The North Carolina Visitor Center




Hamlet-All American City


By Marchell David


Nestled in the southeastern center of the state of NC is the quaint City of Hamlet.  Formally known as the “Hub of the Seaboard” during the heyday of rail on the eastern seaboard, Hamlet is rich in small town charm and culture. Hamlet’s story is one that continues, encompassing diverse generations, abilities, stories and ethnicities.  Our history is far reaching in that it is diverse and congruent as well as unique.


Culture can be defined as social and intellectual formation. For the City of Hamlet, culture has been and continues to be defined by its deep roots in the railroad industry.  The train brought in many traveling shows and minstrel acts during the early to mid 1900’s who performed at the Hamlet Opera House.  Variety shows provided by local performers supplemented Hamlet’s cultural offerings during the mid to late 1900’s.  Today Hamlet’s culture is classified as a melting pot or artistic mecca for past, current and future generations who value the various art forms.     


Hamlet is the birthplace of the accomplished jazz great “John Coltrane”.  Saxophone extraordinaire Coltrane has touched this genre of music in a style that no other musician has matched.  His work is etched in the minds, lyrics and compositions of almost all contemporary jazz musicians.  Hamlet and the greater Richmond County is also home to many great musicians representing multiple genres including country, gospel, hip hop, beach, bluegrass, reggae, rhythm &blues, neo-soul, rock, ragtime and folk.


The artistic community is very diverse in that it offers something for the poet, dancer, singer, author, musician, artist and craftsperson alike.  One can find pottery & ceramics created by local potters, quilts tediously made by county quilters, fiberarts crafted by weavers, spinners & dyers, specialty baskets created by local basket weavers and stained & fused glass meticulously made by glass artisans.        


The annual Seaboard Festival plays tribute to Hamlet’s deep history. On the last Saturday in October of each year 25,000-30,000 residents and visitors frequent the various crafts booths, live performances, demonstrations, food and railroad memorabilia vendors.  Fun is had by all as we bask in the history and tradition that is Hamlet.


Hamlet is home to many special people with special talents, skills and abilities that help to make our community a great place to live, work and play.  



Visit Hamlet, NC

The All American City


If you’re looking for small town charm and family activities, the City of Hamlet would like to invite you to come and visit our “All America City.”  From nearby racing at the Rock to the Annual Seaboard Festival, Hamlet has something for everyone.    


Hamlet has a wide variety of monthly and yearly activities going on throughout the city and is open for the public to enjoy. 


The City provides an Annual Fireworks Display on July 4th in observance of Independence Day at the Hamlet Fairgrounds.  A display of the show can be enjoyed by the public at the City Lake, Main Street, Hamlet Avenue and other nearby locations of town beginning at dusk.  Local business owners sponsor a family day of games and activities on Main Street during the day and live evening entertainment at the Hamlet Depot Park on Main.


The Hamlet Lions Club sponsors the Richmond County Agricultural Fair during the first or second week each October at the Hamlet Fairgrounds.  The event draws citizens from many areas with the rides, games, food and display of livestock, crafts and produce.   


The Annual Seaboard Festival is held on Main Street on the last Saturday of October that includes delicious foods, arts and crafts, games, custom jewelry and other unique items, as well as live music and entertainment.  This venue welcomes thousands of visitors each year.


In an effort to welcome the Christmas season, the City hosts an Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Depot Park on Main Street the Monday immediately following Thanksgiving Day beginning at 5:30 p.m. 


A yearly Christmas parade is sponsored by the Hamlet Rotary Club on the second Thursday in December at 3:30 p.m.  The route normally begins at the Fairgrounds, goes up Main, around Rice, heading back down Charlotte Street ending back at the Fairgrounds.        


The newly renovated Hamlet Depot on Main Street houses a museum with railroad artifacts and a train model display.  Tours of the museum are given on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5 p.m. by local volunteers.


Monthly Friday Night Cruz-Ins are sponsored by the Main Street Café in Hamlet.  The event is held the first Friday of every month beginning at 6:00 p.m.  Visitors can take pleasure in viewing a car show, socializing with friends and great food. 


The Hamlet Downtown Merchant’s Association is an active and vital part of the City and is recognized for bringing many visitors to town with Rodeos, Outdoor Live Music Concerts and other events during different seasons of the year.    


Hundreds of residents and visitors enjoy sporting programs hosted by the City’s Parks and Recreational Department.  The city and county youth have the opportunity to participate in Basketball, Baseball, Soccer, Tackle Football, Flag Football and Cheerleading programs during the year.      


A wide variety of entertainments is offered throughout the year at the Robert L and Elizabeth S Cole Auditorium located at 1042 W. Hamlet Avenue in Hamlet.  This new state of the art facility seats well over 900 guests and has brought performances such as: Hello Dolly, A Christmas Carol, The North Carolina Dance Theater and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.  The auditoriums’ events calendar and other information can be found by visiting       


Additional information on the City of Hamlet can be found by visiting  

*** The Sandhills Visitor Center thanks Hamlet City Councilman Tony Clewis for providing this article ***