Throughout the year, Downtown Hickory hosts a variety of special events, festivals, and concerts. Below are listings of annual events. For more detailed local event information, visit our EVENTS CALENDAR.
UNION SQUARE under the SAILS!
Open all year!
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. Saturdays only November – March.
It’s a soulful feeling and sense of belonging. We will continue the SNAP/EBT program.
Valentine's from the Heart Of Hickory
When you buy a ticket to the Valentine’s from the Heart of Hickory event you will receive a thoughtfully crafted item from participating businesses.
Simply stroll around Hickory’s beautiful downtown on the event date and stop by the participating businesses to pick up your gift.
Please make sure that you have your ticket receipt with you! It is your passport to receive your items and will need to be presented at the time of pickup.
On The Square, Downtown Hickory
Hickory Hops is an annual Craft Beer & Music festival on Union Square during the month of April. Over 50 craft breweries participate in this sampling event. All Tasting Tickets include a tasting glass that will be provided on the day of the event. No one under 21 will be allowed to enter. Cash only event. Tickets are sold at Olde Hickory Station, Olde Hickory Tap Room, Amos Howards Restaurant & Brew Pub or online at hickoryhops.com
Hoppin' Around Downtown Hickory
Community members can purchase event tickets. Ticket holders will pick up their passports and map on the day of the event from the HDDA tent on Union Square.
The ticket holder will then hop around downtown to participating businesses. At each business they will present their passport to be stamped and receive a candy filled egg.
After getting all of their stamps they will return to the HDDA tent on Union Square, where they turn in their passport to be entered into a raffle.
The Fall Art Crawl in September brings a plethora of artwork to Downtown Hickory. The Downtown Hickory Art Crawl boasts the works of more than 60 artists along with music, all with an easily walkable four block area. Remember, the artwork is for sale, so please support these talented, local artists.
Swingin' Under The Stars
Under The Sails, Downtown Hickory
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's Singing Under The Sails Concert
Spring and Fall
Under The Sails, Downtown Hickory
The Hickory Choral Society, comprised of over 100 singers, enchants audiences with a free concert performed in Downtown Hickory each year. Sponsored by the City of Hickory.
Side / Show
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. Sponsored by the City of Hickory.
The Sails Original Music Series
Union Square, Downtown Hickory
The City of Hickory’s Original Music Series, consisting of bands from diverse and unique backgrounds. Stay tuned for 2023 season updates.
For more information, band line-up, and future updates, visit the Facebook page at Facebook.com/sailsmusic
Sit back, relax and enjoy the show! Saturday Screenings take place at 8:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Fridays of July and August.
Weather permitting, the outdoor screenings will take place at Union Square in downtown Hickory, except for the August 26th screening, which will be held at Samuel Davis Multipurpose Field in Taft Broome Park. All movies are rated PG.
Concessions and games will be available before each movie begins. Audience members are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Saturday Screenings are presented by Jay Brown, Realtors® and hosted by the City of Hickory Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism Department. Additional partners include Footcandle Film Society and Metronet.
City Walk Stroll
The event includes music, vendors, food trucks, and activities for the kids! The event is free to the public, with food and drink available for purchase.
SALT Block, Downtown Hickory
The Autolawn Party is an exciting, community event on the SALT Block North Lawn in the Fall. The Autolawn Party is an outdoor celebration of the road’s number one traveler – the automobile.
Our annual Oktoberfest is the second weekend of October. Having been co-founded by a German, Adolphus “Dolph” Shuford, Hickory has a long, proud German heritage. Home to the United States headquarters for several German companies, and being a sister city with Altenburg, Germany, our connection to Germany, has never left us.
Footcandle Film Festival
The 9th Annual Footcandle Film Festival is September 15th through September 24th, 2023. An entire week of film and fun! The Footcandle Film Festival is designed to bring unique, challenging,and entertaining films to Hickory every September.
Trick or Treat on your Downtown Streets
Union Square, Downtown Hickory
The Hickory Downtown Development Association will host a Halloween Scavenger Hunt. Participants may pick up a Scavenger Hunt Card at the HDDA tent.
In addition to the Scavenger Hunt, there will be Halloween related arts and crafts for the children. Completed Scavenger Hunt cards should be returned to the HDDA table for Halloween pretzel snacks and apple cider, along with an entry in a grand prize drawing. Scavenger hunt clues can be found in the windows of various local Downtown Businesses.
Shop Small Saturday
Shop Small Saturday is the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. Head to Downtown Hickory as we celebrate Shop Small Saturday and kick off our SNOWMAN STROLL! Participating Downtown businesses will be displaying unique snowmen for the whole family to enjoy as Downtown heads into the holiday season!
Lowes Foods Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting
The City of Hickory hosts its annual holiday season kick-off event, the Lowes Foods Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting, on the Friday before Thanksgiving. The festivities begin at 5:45pm with the Fallen Soldiers kicking off the official parade at 6pm. Lowes Foods has been the sponsor of this festive event since the first year.
At the conclusion of the parade, Santa’s float will stop at Union Square so he can light the Christmas tree in Downtown Hickory.
The parade will follow the following route:
Parade starts at the intersection of 4th Street NW and 1st Avenue NW
Continue on 1st Avenue NW towards City Hall
Turn right on North Center Street
Turn right on Main Avenue NW
Continue through Union Square and exit on Main Avenue NW (Santa will be dropped off at Union Square before exiting downtown.)
Purchase a ticket and bring your receipt to the HDDA tent on Union Square to receive your Cookie Crawl Passport! Then follow the crumbs to collect a different holiday inspired cookie from each participating business! It’s the perfect way to enjoy Downtown Hickory, vote on your favorite Holiday window decoration AND leave with a bag of treats!
Downtown Hickory EventsSponsorship Opportunity
- Your donation will help cover the expenses of hosting events organized by the Hickory Downtown Development Association. We appreciate your support! This link will allow you to choose an amount from $100 to $3500.
Hickory's OktoberfestSponsorship Opportunity
- Your donation will help with expenses for Hickory’s Annual Oktoberfest! Please visit the Oktoberfest page, then choose the Sponsors link for more information. This link will allow you to choose an amount from $100 to $3500. We appreciate your support!
The City of Hickory is a North Carolina Main Street community, designated by the N.C. Department of Commerce Main Street & Rural Planning Center. Hickory Downtown Development Association is charged with administering the program at the local level and building public-private partnerships to spur economic development that achieves measurable results such as investment, business growth, and job creation.
As a Main Street America™ Accredited program, Hickory Downtown Development Association is a recognized leading program among the national network of more than 1,200 neighborhoods and communities that share both a commitment to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. All Main Street America™ Accredited programs meet a set of National Accreditation Standards of Performance as outlined by Main Street America.
©2023 Hickory Downtown Development Association