Archives for posts with tag: festival

A Christmas Carol in Raleigh, N.C.Artful Holiday Traditions

Jingle all the way to Greater Raleigh to create new and artful holiday traditions for your family. Take delight in two time-honored performances at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker (12/19-28) and Ira David Wood III’s A Christmas Carol (12/10-14).

You’ll be captivated and fascinated by the awe-inspiring grace, grandeur and mysterious illusions of Carolina Ballet’s production of the holiday classic, The Nutcracker. This season will be spectacular as Robert Weiss again combines the beauty of ballet with a little Las Vegas magic. You can also catch one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast,” A Christmas Carol in Raleigh. Celebrate the musical comedy’s 40th anniversary as this classic performance is sure to warm hearts of all ages. Both productions are bona fide Raleigh holiday traditions and are inspiring ways for adults and children to share in the holiday spirit.

Cap off your holiday experience by grabbing your mittens, lacing up a pair of skates and visiting Ipreo Raleigh Winterfest (through 2/1). A centerpiece during the winter season, this premier holiday event features a signature outdoor skating rink and other fun-filled festivities. Can’t miss: Other holiday favorites across Greater Raleigh like It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Play (12/4-8) and “Tis the Season” (12/12) at the Cary Arts Center, Franc D’Ambrosio – Christmas in New York (12/7) at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre and “Handel’s Messiah – Christmas Section” (12/20) at the Halle Cultural Arts Center in Apex :: All Creative Genius events in December

For the Adrenaline Junkie

The fall season in Greater Raleigh means nonstop soccer on a national scale, highlighted by the return of the NCAA Men’s Soccer College Cup (12/12-14). Forty-eight collegiate teams from across the nation will fight for a spot in the final game at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. Greater Raleigh also hosts the largest annual youth sporting event in the area’s history, featuring the Boys Showcase during the CASL National Soccer Series (12/12-14). Can’t miss: Holiday Invitational Basketball Tournament (12/26-30) at Broughton High School in Raleigh, featuring many of the top-ranked high school players from across the nation :: All Adrenaline Junkie events in December

Seasonal Treats

The holidays offer many special experiences across the Raleigh area. Children will love Brunch with Santa (12/17) at the Garner Performing Arts Center or sipping on a cup of hot apple cider at Historic Oak View County Park for their Sleigh Rides and Cider (12/6) event. Parents can enjoy a night out at the 12th Annual Gingerbread Benefit (12/7) at The Umstead Hotel and Spa, showcasing more than 25 elaborate gingerbread houses donated and created by local celebrity chefs. Can’t miss: North Carolina Symphony’s Sound Bites at the Pub (12/1) at Humble Pie. Sit back and enjoy the performance as you dine on a delicious multi-course meal :: All Foodie events in December

Holidays Around the World

Area holiday celebrations are not limited to those of secular pop culture but include celebrations paying homage to cultures from across the globe. Take part in the rich traditions of the Nordic countries during the Scandinavian Christmas Fair (12/6) at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds and indulge in homemade Scandinavian foods, Nordic folk dancing, a traditional Lucia Procession and more. Listen to the pipes and drums, watch traditional Irish dance and shop from local Celtic vendors at the 8th Annual Celtic Christmas (12/14) at Tir na nOg; or, be part of the candle-lighting and other festivities for all ages in the 20th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration (12/20) at the Cary Arts Center. Can’t miss: Take a special holiday tour of the North Carolina Executive Mansion during the Governor’s Mansion Holiday Open House (12/11-14). Browse the decorations, which include N.C.-grown Christmas trees, whimsical gingerbread houses, ornate mantle displays and mixed evergreen arrangements :: All Lifelong Learner events in December

Let’s Jam!

Warm up with a cup of joe and a performance at a coffee shop. Stop in Lorraine’s Coffee House in Garner for evening shows by Connie McCoy Rogers and Mo’ Jazz (12/6), Diamond Creel (12/11) and Foscoe Philharmonic (12/20). You can also relax with live music at Sola Coffee & Cafe while listening to Cory Bishop and Friends (12/5), Rachel Joy Pletts (12/6), Lounge Doctors (12/12) and Erin Mason (12/19). Can’t miss: The national and world tours stopping in Raleigh at PNC Arena, including The Black Keys (12/5) and The Avett Brothers (12/31) :: All Music Maniac events in December

Even more December can’t misses

The Raleigh Acorn will be lowered at First Night Raleigh 2015 to ring in the New Year. While the acorn has become synonymous with First Night Raleigh, the festival is much more than the countdown to midnight. Your admission grants access to every performance and every venue throughout the day. That’s nearly 100 performances in more than three dozen locations across downtown Raleigh. What a bargain for just $10! This year’s theme is “Out of This World Fun.” Learn more

Holidays in Raleigh wouldn’t be the same without the Capitol Tree Lighting at the North Carolina State Capitol. The Capitol is beautiful by itself… but holiday trees make things just a little more beautiful. Seasonal music and hands-on fun highlight this evening presented by the North Carolina Museum of History.

10384591_10152558384189367_3149141661301439576_nIn the South, bluegrass remains a staple of its rich culture. From today through Sat., Oct. 4, downtown Raleigh welcomes International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA’s) World of Bluegrass, a week-long celebration of all things twangy.

Kicking off World of Bluegrass, the Bluegrass Ramble runs today through Thurs., Oct. 2, in seven sites around Raleigh: The Architect Bar & Social House, Kings Barcade, Lincoln Theatre, The Pour House Music Hall, Raleigh Convention Center, Tir Na Nog and Vintage Church. Ticket-holders can “ramble” all over downtown, checking out a bevy of talented acts from across the nation including Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, Rebecca Frazier and Hit & Run, Newtown, The Danberrys and Garner’s own Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road. The Bluegrass Ramble shows begin at 7pm and run until well after midnight at each venue.

ramble-poster-version011377455_10151851510179367_634910898_nOn each day of the Bluegrass Ramble, Raleigh Convention Center hosts the IBMA Business Conference. This massive trade show and insider gathering covers all aspects of the musical genre. Artists, merchandisers, publicists, record labels and a host of others talk tunes and debut the latest innovations in recording technology, instruments and strategies. This year’s keynote speaker is Bela Fleck.

The Bluegrass Ramble builds up to the 25th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards at Memorial Auditorium at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, hosted by Lee Ann Womack and Jerry Douglas. Listed performers include Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Balsam Range, Del McCoury Band and The Boxcars.

2014-awards1377392_10151853656829367_437700088_n1375895_10151853822754367_1946461971_nFor those of you concerned about getting around, a complementary shuttle runs between hotels and venues over these three days. The Ramble-based shuttle operates from 4:45pm-2:45am.

But that’s just the prelude to the weekend blowout: PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass. On Fri., Oct. 3, and Sat., Oct. 4, the festival’s two main stages, Red Hat Amphitheater and Raleigh Convention Center, explode with talent. 2014 headliners include Del McCoury Band, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Yonder Mountain String Band, Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby and Steep Canyon Rangers. Fri. night’s show finishes at Red Hat Amphitheater with the Wide Open Jam, featuring Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Bryan Sutton, Edgar Meyer and Stuart Duncan.

WideOpen-poster-20141474407_10152700561574367_25411150177228156_nOn a budget but aching for some good live bluegrass? The PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass Street Fest will help you get your fix. Four professional stages, one youth stage and one dance tent line Fayetteville St. on Fri. and Sat. from noon-midnight. And it’s free. FREE.

ramble-poster-version011381986_10151855310894367_1198374962_nFree performances from Gibson Brothers, Della Mae and The Duhks. Free peformances from Blue Highway, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road and Chatham County Line. Free bluegrass from more than 85 bands, right on the streets of downtown Raleigh.

10346454_10152590211214367_2852084799719141432_nAre you excited yet? Because there’s still more.

The 2014 N.C. Whole Hog Barbecue State Championship runs concurrent with PNC Presents Wide Open Bluegrass. Between 15-20 local barbecue competitions give out prizes, and the cooked meat will be sold to the public at the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle tent, located on Cabarrus St. beside the Raleigh Convention Center.

If you’re still looking for more ways to appreciate bluegrass, you can check out the inaugural IBMA Bluegrass Film Festival. Two Feature Films are set to be screened at the Business Conference, while six Festival Films will be shown during the PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass.

All told, more than 160 acts flood downtown Raleigh for the World of Bluegrass festivities. Join the party and embrace one of our country’s most impressive bluegrass festivals. It doesn’t take a Music Maniac to appreciate this special week. On the heels of Hopscotch Music Festival 2014, our great city cements itself as a musical hub to rival all others.

1375162_10151855634194367_2099675258_nVisit the official website for tickets and full event schedules (you can also see the PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass map and schedule here). For information on parking, click here. And for accommodations, events during the festival, dining and more, click here.


Photo by Ted Richardson

Festivalgoers, meet the Hopscotch music venues. Get the scoop on the dozen Hopscotch Music Festival 2014 venues below, plus some tips to help along the way.

City Plaza
Located in the heart of the center city, the artful City Plaza, with 50-foot programmed light towers, three sculptures from North Carolina-based artists and a smart design, is one of the premier and most popular spots for outdoor live music events in Raleigh. Experience Spoon, St. Vincent, Mastodon, De La Soul and more rocking downtown Raleigh all the way down Fayetteville St. and back at the plaza. Memorable Hopscotch moment in City Plaza: Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips shooting lasers out of a pair of giant hands all the way down to the North Carolina State Capitol. Located near an abundance of Foodie hot spots.


Photo by Ted Richardson

Contemporary Art Museum (CAM Raleigh)
CAM Raleigh features an ever-changing collection of contemporary art and strives to inspire visitors with captivating works from some of the top artists today. The museum, in a repurposed early 20th century produce warehouse, honors the spirit of the former tenant by keeping fresh works moving in and out, showing visitors what’s current in the art world. Situated in the Warehouse District, chow down on delicious eats at spots such as The Fiction Kitchen and The Pit, before or after performances. And you can also grab a brew on your way at Crank Arm Brewing.

CAM Raleigh 2Deep South the Bar
Experiencing Deep South when you come to Raleigh for live music is a must. With lyrics covering the interior walls of the venue, look for the words from some of your favorite songs. Deep South certainly knows live music as it hosts concerts 365 nights per year. Thirsty? Deep South offers crazy-good local beers! Plus, catch some fresh air between performances at the venue on the outdoor patio and see an iconic view of the Raleigh Convention Center’s CREE Shimmer Wall.


Photo by @kristenabigailphoto on Instagram

A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
A theater full of personality and class, the venue offers 600 seats, with the farthest balcony seat (yes, balcony seating for an “overhead” view of the stage) 70 feet from the stage. You won’t want to miss room-filling sounds from artists such as Phosphorescent, Future Shock, IIII and Celestial Shore. Located on the east side of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing arts, the walk to the venue makes for great photo/Instagram opps.

Kennedy Theatre at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
This 170-seat, 40×60-foot, black-box experimental theater fuses intimacy with energy and the deeply personal with the universal theater experience. In past years, the venue’s atmosphere has dramatically amplified the mood of the performances held here. Kennedy Theatre is going to be the perfect venue to catch Screature, White Lung, Power Trip, Ken Mode and more this year.

Kings Barcade
After relocating to Martin St. in 2010 following a three-year absence from the music scene, Kings Barcade has once again become a prime location to catch independent bands on the rise. A favorite of local musicians, this spacious club is not only a great place to hear music, but also a good place to hang out in the cocktail lounge downstairs, Neptune’s Parlour, which has become home to the venue’s arcade game collection. Muppets (yes, “The Muppets,” as in those funny-looking, puppet creature things) Statler and Waldorf catch every single show at the venue. Find them and say hello to them while you’re there.

1a8a52661Lincoln Theatre
A haven for singer-songwriters, rock fans and a plethora of cover bands year-round, this former movie theater is home to one of the best sound and lighting systems in the area. Music Maniacs can get up-close-and-personal with Hopscotch artists stage-side, or watch from a variety of levels for multiple views. Don’t miss Raleigh’s American Aquarium (Sept. 4, 10:30pm) or Demon Eye (Sept. 6, 9:30pm) perform at the venue. Catch Sun Kil Moon, Witch Mountain, Mark McGuire and more here as well over Hopscotch weekend

485970_10151453665774367_1192793866_nThe Pour House Music Hall
You may feel a bit like Harry Potter skulking around Knockturn Alley the first time you walk down the narrow alley and through the door of this Moore Square institution. Open nearly 365 days a year, The Pour House Music Hall plays host to bands of all genres, from bluegrass to metal and reggae year-round. But the place isn’t called The Pour House Music Hall for nothing. The venue is known for its well-stocked bar and variety of quality beers on tap, so go thirsty.

1a8a68821Slim’s Downtown
Slim’s may be your quintessential hole-in-the wall venue. Blink as you’re walking past its downtown Raleigh storefront and you might miss it. Inside you’ll find one of the area’s more shoulder-to-shoulder venues as patrons crowd the narrow stage and line the stairway to get a better view. Check out the small lounge with a pool table upstairs to get a game in (you might have to get in line). Local brews offered include Aviator Brewing Company and Big Boss Brewing Company, and the venue offers them at surprisingly affordable prices. Must be 21+ to enter.

Slim'sThe Hive (at Busy Bee Cafe)
The Busy Bee restaurant originally opened in 1913, serving breakfast and lunch to Raleigh’s downtown crowd. For years after the cafe closed in 1925, the space was used for an auto parts tore, a hardware store and more, and in 2009, the building underwent an extensive renoviation, reopening as Busy Bee Cafe and The Hive (second level of Busy Bee Cafe). Named one of America’s 100 Best Beer Bars this year by Draft, this local hot spot offers some of the best of craft brews and, in addition to Hopscotch performances, hosts live music events year-round such as the PineCone Bluegrass Jam. Must be 21+ to enter.

hive2Tir na nOg
With a prime location in Raleigh’s Moore Square, Tir na nOg is part restaurant, part bar and part venue. Catch a performance, taste local brews and dine on some killer Irish fare. Its Pub Classics include Ye Olde Celtic Nachos, Scotch Eggs, Guinness Wings and more. And it’s right next to The Pour House Music Hall, so if you’re catching shows there, hop next door for a bite to eat.

On Sept. 4-6, during the evenings, Vintage Church’s downtown Raleigh location will turn into a Hopscotch Music Festival music venue. See noise genre music here and more (if you haven’t exprienced the noise genre–Hopscotch is the place to do it). Spacey rock jams are also on the bill here.

Wanna’ know how to get to the venues? The festival website has a venue map to plan ahead with that also includes parking lots/garages, Larry’s Beans Veggie Shuttle sites and SiteWork Art sites.

Haven’t purchased tickets yet? Get them here!

If you celebrate Easter or are just looking for something fun to do on the weekend of March 30-April 1, we would like to invite you to participate in one of the great Easter egg hunts of Greater Raleigh! Sure, egg hunting is fun in your backyard with the family, but joining a large community egg hunt can only up the ante!

The Town of Cary will be hosting its 21st Annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Fred G. Bond Metro Park and Boathouse this year. There will be not one, not two, but three large egg hunts featuring multiple divisions for different age groups. Rise and shine for the 10 a.m. egg hunt on Saturday, April 7, or sleep in and enjoy the afternoon with a 1:30 p.m. hunt. Once you’ve gathered up as much candy and toy eggs as you can find, head over to the Sertoma Amphitheatre for a family-friendly concert by the Sandbox Band.

Rolesville’s 7th Annual Easter Egg in the Park Hunt will also take place on Saturday, with five different hunting sessions for children of different age ranges. There will be food vendors, games and plenty of Easter treats, so come with an appetite! The Garner Spring Eggstravaganza is celebrates the coming of spring with a traditional egg hunt, in addition to entertainment, live music, games, arts and crafts, and more! The Easter Bunny will be in attendance, so make sure to bring your camera!

The area’s largest Easter Egg Hunt will take place at the Raleigh Easter 2012 celebration at Halifax Mall, located across the street from the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and the soon-to-open Nature Research Center. This free event will feature more than 40,000 eggs for kids to find, as well as games, music, balloons, inflatables and so much more. The festivities begin at 11 a.m. on April 7, so head out early so you’ll have the whole day to enjoy all the fun!

Christmas may not be until December, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to celebrate the holiday season. The 2011 WRAL Raleigh Christmas Parade will be held Saturday, November 19th this year, and the whole family is invited.

The Raleigh Christmas Parade is approximately 1.4 miles, the largest of its kind between DC and Atlanta. This fun, spirited event is hosted by the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association and sponsored by WRAL News. Awards will be given to parade entries in four categories: best use of the imagination to depict the “Spirit of Raleigh,” outstanding showmanship and design concept, most entertaining, and people’s choice.

Parking can be hard to come by at some parades, but check out this parking map to plan ahead and make getting to the parade a breeze. After the event, spectators and participants alike are encouraged to dine, shop and enjoy downtown Raleigh. View this comprehensive list of downtown restaurants and check out all of the fun things to do in the area before you plan your trip, or download the visit Raleigh iPhone app to plan as you go.

The parade starts at 9:40 a.m., so plan to rise and shine and celebrate a wonderful upcoming Christmas and holiday season.

Greater Raleigh is proud to be a melting pot of many different cultures and ethnicities, and even more proud to host dozens of cultural festivals throughout each year in support of this diversity. No culture seems to be left uncelebrated within Wake County’s lines. On September 18th, La Fiesta del Pueblo will showcase the beautiful cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean, adding even more local flavor to the mix.

La Fiesta del Pueblo celebrates family, culture and the community through showcases of popular music and artists, art exhibits, traditional dance performances, folk musicians, and delicious cuisine. Come prepared to bite into mouthwatering papusas, paletas, churros, empanadas, and much more. Crafts by local artists will be on display for your enjoyment or purchase.

This is a very family-friendly event, so bring along the kids and let them explore in the children’s area. Here, they’ll find crafts, balloons, face-painting, inflatable rides, clowns and puppets to entertain and engage them in this wonderful cultural celebration. Bring the whole family and all of your friends without having to reach for your wallet; this festival has free admission.

Find La Fiesta in Moore Square Park between noon and 8 p.m. to celebrate the Latino community and learn more about just one of the many cultures that call Raleigh home.

Whether you’re an expert on Greek culture or your only understanding of it comes from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you’re in for a real treat. The 30th Annual Greek Festival is taking place in the Exposition Center of the N.C. State Fairgrounds Sept. 16-18, and it’s going to be a great time.

Hosted by the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Raleigh, this festival is guaranteed to be as authentic as they come. For the completely affordable admission price of $3, you’ll get to taste handmade Greek food made from recipes that have been passed down for generations, listen to live Greek tunes, and watch traditional folk dance performances. The Church family has pulled from the artistic, historic and cultural richness of their Greek heritage to share it openly with you and your family or friends.

If the whole family is coming along, seniors and teens are admitted for only $2, and children under 13 are absolutely free. Proceeds will be donated to Habitat for Humanity of Wake County. This is a great, low-cost opportunity to explore authentic Greek culture and, not to mention, eat some really tasty baklava.

What if you could fit the whole world in one building? You could explore every country and every culture in just a few days, and there would be no planes or trains involved. Plus, you’d have the widest variety of food, art and performances to enjoy, all within steps of each other. Sounds great, right?

Well, Raleigh may not have the whole world under one roof, but it will certainly feel that way Sept. 30th through Oct. 2nd, when more than 50 ethnicities and cultures will unite at the Raleigh Convention Center for the 26th Annual International Festival of Raleigh.

This three-day extravaganza will feature delicious international cuisine, cultural exhibits, ethnic crafts and lessons, as well as bazaars with varieties of international items for sale. There will also be two stages featuring dance performances and music from more than 30 different cultures. Bring the kids and let them get hands-on in Sophia’s Corner, a children’s area full of face-painting, storytelling, games and other fun activities.

Tickets for the International Festival are only $7 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-12 and seniors, and free for children 6 and under. You can purchase discounted tickets in advance on this website.  This festival has become a key component of Greater Raleigh’s cultural and artistic offerings and is sure to be an entertaining and informative event in 2011!

Creative Geniuses can delight as one of their favorite Greater Raleigh festivals quickly approaches. That’s right–SPARKcon 2011 is almost here and will take place Sept. 15-18th. SPARKcon aims to ignite Raleigh as the creative hub of the South through a vibrant celebration of everything artistic and local.

When you think of a festival that celebrates local creativity, your first thought is probably of arts and crafts, live music and delicious festival food. While all of these wonderful things will be present, SPARKcon takes the celebration several steps further by including ideaSPARK, comedySPARK, bazaarSPARK, geekSPARK, poetrySPARK and many, many other SPARKs that cover a massive array of genres. No matter what you’re into, you’ll find something exceptionally interesting at this festival.

During these four days in September, Fayetteville Street, public spaces, stages and clubs will come alive with cultural richness. The festival has an open-source approach so that anyone in the community can get involved in the planning and execution of a SPARK. As a festival by the people, for the people, you’re sure to get a truly authentic dose of local creativity and flavor!

In 2010, more than 15,000 people attended the inaugural African American Cultural Festival of Raleigh and Wake County, and this year is expected to be even bigger and better. The African American Cultural Festival is a family friendly celebration of African-American arts and culture in downtown Raleigh. The 2011 festival takes place during Labor Day weekend.

During this event, the main stage of City Plaza will come alive with featured performances by legendary artists, and the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel will be home to an exhibition by black artists from across the state. Kids can take part in the fun too, by visiting the Family Village with crafts and entertainment geared towards children.

This year, the main stage will feature performances by Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Trouble Funk, African Children’s Choir, Troop 41, and many more. The Family Village stage will host performances by The African American Dance Ensemble, Kenya Safari Acrobats, and The Purple Charlotte Steppers, to name a few.

Come celebrate African-American arts and culture in the second year of this fun and engaging event. For more information, visit this site.


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