Arts & Culture in Elizabeth City, NC

By Laura Gallagher on October 27, 2012 at 10:00 am EST

Live performances, special events, museums and historical destinations contribute to Elizabeth City's arts scene and make the area a top spot for culture and entertainment.

Arts in Elizabeth City

In 2009, the old Lowry-Chesson Building, once an opera house and then a flagship department store, was brought once again to life. It is now known as the Arts of the Albemarle Center, commonly called The Center. Home to the Jaquelin Jenkins Gallery, the Maguire Theatre and the School of the Arts, The Center has become a cultural hub in Elizabeth City.

The Encore Theatre Company has been a mainstay of the arts community in Elizabeth City for 20 years. Performances are held at the Maguire Theatre inside Arts of the Albemarle. Encore’s season runs from November to May, during which the troupe stages three shows, including musicals, comedies and dramas.

Elizabeth City Historical Attractions

Visit the Museum of the Albemarle for a sampling of local history. Located near the waterfront, the 50,000-square-foot museum contains both long-term and changing exhibits showcasing more than 700 artifacts reflecting the history and culture of the region.

The museum regularly holds free events and lectures that provide hands-on opportunities to learn about music, history, art and more.

Walking tours provide a different approach to taking in local history. Pick up the Elizabeth City Historic Walking Tour guidebook and stroll through the historic Main Street commercial district, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Festivals and Events

Elizabeth City is home to a variety of events and festivals that stimulate the senses and the palate. The  North Carolina Potato Festival each May features a variety of activities and, of course, potatoes. Get free French fries, and snack on funnel cakes, hot dogs and much more. Visitors can enjoy amusement rides, potato sack races, a street fair and a street dance.

Held in October, the Downtown Elizabeth City Harvest Festival provides family-friendly fall fun. The event features a pumpkin-carving contest, pie-eating contest, costume competition, food and live music.

Find more on the arts in Elizabeth City, NC.

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