Another summer season’s end is upon us. If you’re reading this, you might be staying in the Triangle this weekend and looking for some thing or some place “new to you” to explore, outside your usual neighborhood. Feels like a mini-vacation when you venture beyond your normal haunts, doesn’t it? We’re lucky to have so many diverse communities within a short drive – never a lack of something to do! Well, I have a few suggestions for your extended holiday weekend free time. So let’s get the staycation-ing started!
In Hillsborough, Last Fridays is a free concert series and art walk held in the historic downtown area. You can listen to the western swing and honky-tonk blues of Kelley and the Cowboys on the lawn of the old courthouse this last Friday, as well as browse artists and crafters around the square sidewalks (6:30-9:30 pm). Plan ahead and make reservations for dinner at any one of downtown’s restaurants.
Why not take that picnic over to the NC Museum of Art park in Raleigh and catch the outdoor screening of the Oscar-winning movie “The Artist” Friday evening? Of course, you can visit the museum Saturday and or Sunday too and take in one of the current exhibits (Word Up, Project 35, A Discerning Eye are all well worth a look). With miles of art-lined trails to explore outdoors and an expansive permanent art collection in the new building, hours of enjoyment are free for the budget conscious, and priceless delights abound, in and around the museum.
In the mood for some theater action this weekend? Paperhand Puppet Intervention‘s very kid-friendly “City of Frogs” continues at UNC Chapel Hill‘s Forest Theater with shows Friday, Saturday, Sunday (including a matinée showing on Sunday) as well as Labor Day. For grown-up theater, catch “Radio Gold” at Deep Dish Theater in University Mall (now through Sept. 15th). For a pre-theater dinner treat, call to make your reservations for the Weathervane’s winning Fire in the Triangle “Battle Grits & Chocolate” prix fixe menu (limited to Aug 30th – Sept 1st only).
Here’s your last call to catch the last two home games of the Durham Bulls, August 31st and September 1st (both games include fireworks at the end). While in/around the American Tobacco Campus, make sure you find and admire the lovely bovines of CowParade 2012 (there are 11 cows on display around the DBAP and ATC according to this map). Come back to Durham Central Park on Sunday, September 2nd (from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm) to find the biggest food truck rodeo in the Triangle (an estimated 40-ish vendors are anticipated this go round). This event has grown large enough that it will expand onto adjoining Hunt Street.
You might want to spend your entire weekend in and around Pittsboro when you learn about all the activities available (and I hear there’s a new bed and breakfast in town should you want to stay over one weekend). It all starts Friday with the last installment of the Bynum Front Porch music series for 2012, when the ever popular Saludos Company plays the grand finale. Then on Saturday out Shakori Hills way, you’ll find folks gathering in the field, enjoying live music, NC beer and wine, as well as tasty bites at the NC Hops & Roots Festival. This coming Sunday is the first Sunday of the month, and that means the merchants of downtown Pittsboro put out their welcome mats and invite us to join them from Noon to 4 pm. Just beyond downtown, in the Village at Chatham Mills, Starrlight Mead celebrates their second birthday with special events and tastings all weekend long. Now you see why I suggested the overnight stay, right?
Just down the road from Pittsboro in Silk Hope, the Silk Hope Ruritan Club hosts the 37th Annual Old Fashioned Farmers’ Day on the grounds of Farm Heritage Park (Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 am to 8:00 pm). We’re all invited to come “visit the past”, view working exhibits, admire antique tractors, tour the blacksmith and wheelwright shop, a restored log cabin and tobacco barn. This event includes music, performances and activities, as well as a lot of food demonstrations. Attendees can watch a grist mill grind corn into corn meal, then purchase said corn meal, as well as fresh cane molasses and steam-engine churned ice cream. Admission to this event is $7 per person, per day.
There you have it. A little art, theater, music, baseball, food and lots of farming fun all in one weekend, all around the Triangle. Enjoy and as always, thank for keeping it local!