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Branding Events

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Throughout the year, Hickory hosts a variety of special events, festivals, and concerts. The City of Hickory is proud to partner with local organizations to support programs and events that promote the City's Life. Well Crafted. brand. Below is a listing of select annual City-sponsored and/or brand partner events. For more local event information, visit

City Branding Events

Hickory Crawdads Baseball

Enjoy Minor League Baseball with the Hickory Crawdads, the High-A Affiliate of the Texas Rangers, at L.P. Frans Stadium in Hickory. 

Hickory Hops

Beer. Well Crafted. The annual Hickory Hops Festival features hundreds of craft beers and live music each April, which is recognized as North Carolina Beer Month.

Downtown Hickory Art Crawl

Each year, the Hickory Downtown Development Association hosts art crawls in the spring and fall. The events showcase the work of local and regional artists throughout Downtown Hickory. 

Jazz on Tap Legacy Concert Series

Hosted by Hickory Downtown Development Association and Hickory Jazz Society, in partnership with the City of Hickory, the Jazz on Tap Legacy Concert Series presents free jazz concerts on the CommScope Stage on Union Square select Sundays from 4-6 p.m. The concerts feature some of the most requested of all the Jazz on Tap musicians from 2000-2020.

Sails Original Music Series

The Sails Original Music Series features free concerts of live original music under The Sails on the Square in Downtown Hickory. The series will occur Friday evenings in May, June, and September, beginning at 7 p.m. Bring a blanket or lawn chair, pack a picnic or grab food from downtown establishments, purchase beer and wine from local vendors within the new Hickory Downtown Social District, and enjoy a diverse lineup of bands from regional to internationally recognized musicians.

Swingin' Under the Stars

Presented by the Hickory Music Factory and sponsored by the City of Hickory, the annual Swingin' Under the Stars event brings the big band of the early days of jazz to Union Square in Downtown Hickory. The event is usually held the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.

Hickory Choral Society Pops Concert

The Hickory Choral Society, comprised of over 100 singers, enchants audiences with a free Pops Concert performed in Downtown Hickory each year. 

Symphony Under the Sails

The Western Piedmont Symphony, Hickory's very own prize-winning orchestra, fills downtown with music every year with free concerts under The Sails on the Square.


Drive over to the SALT Block North Lawn the first Saturday after Labor Day for the Hickory Museum of Art's annual Autolawn Party featuring a European classic car show, great food, beverages, and fun.

Footcandle Film Festival

An entire weekend of film and fun! The Footcandle Film Festival is designed to bring unique, challenging, and entertaining films to Hickory every September. 


Organized by the Hickory Downtown Development Association, Hickory Oktoberfest is three-day, outdoor festival celebrating the region's German heritage with non-stop live entertainment, amusement rides and carnival games, a juried arts and crafts show, and hundreds of food and commercial vendors. 


An independently organized TEDx event, TEDxHickory brings people together to share ideas and inspire through featured live speakers, TEDTalk videos, and the resulting deep discussions.

Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting

To kick off the holiday season, the City's Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting takes place the Friday before Thanksgiving in Downtown Hickory. Drawing thousands of residents and visitors to downtown each year, this annual event is definitely a holiday favorite! 

Downtown Hickory Farmers Market

Shop for local produce, meats, cheeses, honey, baked goods, eggs, herbs, pickles, preserves, cut flowers, potted plants, handmade soaps, lotions, crafts, and more at the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, April through October. The winter market runs November through March on Saturdays only. The City of Hickory sponsors live, local music during market days and sponsors annual market festivals, including Lavender Day and Green Fest.

Other Events

In addition to those listed above, Hickory residents and visitors can enjoy brand partner events with Catawba Science Center, Hickory Community Theatre, Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory Young Professionals, Hickory Metro Sports Commission, Hickory Public Schools, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Appalachian State UniversityVisiting Writers SeriesCatawba Valley Community College, The Chamber of Catawba County, and Hickory Metro Convention Center & Visitors Bureau.