DAY TRIP. Those mysterious Carolina bays … take a day trip to Jones Lake State Park in Elizabethtown to see one for yourself. Carolina bays are elliptical depressions in the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Few know about them, and even fewer venture into them. Explore the bays in the latest issues of Midtown and 5 West.
‘CUE FOR A CAUSE. Lawrence Barbecue hosts Getting Piggy With It at Trophy Brewing’s Maywood Hall & Garden on Sunday, May 21, noon–6 p.m. The barbecue festival is a fundraiser for the Frankie Lemmon School and Development Center in Raleigh. The event will feature pitmasters from around the region along with live music and entertainment. Tickets are available online.
ON THE PATIO. Good Day Good Night at The Casso in Raleigh is offering brunch every Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m.–1 p.m. Guests can enjoy brunch favorites, including the sourdough french toast served with either berries or bananas foster; avocado toast with homemade everything seasoning, queso fresco, grilled corn and petitas eggs; and the strawberry basil mimosa with housemade strawberry basil syrup. See the full menu here.
FOOD FUNDRAISER. A Place at the Table will host the Pay-What-You-Can Food Truck Rodeo on Sunday, June 4, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. The event takes place in the parking lot on the corner of West Hargett and South Harrington streets in Raleigh. Enjoy food from The Spinning Plate, Bulkogi, Magdalena’s Chimney Cakes, Locopops and many other local trucks. Tickets are available online.
RACIN’ WEEKEND. NASCAR racing legends Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte and Kyle Petty will serve as grand marshals of the Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the weekend of May 26–28. Three-day ticket packages are available beginning at $99. Sunday’s events include a pre-race concert by the Doobie Brothers featuring Michael McDonald, along with a patriotic salute to the U.S. Armed Services.
GHOST STORIES. Purchase tickets now to see Amy Bruni on her “Life with the Afterlife Tour” at the Carolina Theatre of Durham on Sunday, October 22 at 8 p.m. Bruni is a ghost hunter and the co-star of The Travel Channel’s “Kindred Spirits,” one of the long-running TV shows about paranormal life. She also hosts the “Haunted Road” podcast.
CHOIR CONCERT. Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus presents four “Remembering Sondheim” concerts. The first shows are at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church (1801 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh) on Saturday, May 12 at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Then on Sunday, May 21, the chorus has two shows scheduled for Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (4907 Garrett Road, Durham) at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.
THAT SPECIAL PIECE. The Raleigh Market takes place at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds this Saturday and Sunday, May 13–14. Shop for antiques and collectibles among Americana, folk art, fine art, furniture, art pottery, art glass, farm implements, vintage jewelry and more. Food trucks will be on site for the free event.
PET RESCUES. Local rescue options offer spaying/neutering, some elective surgeries, medical assessments and treatments for all animals. Volunteers are needed to help with everything from cat cuddling, dog walking, foster pet care and even assisting with a barn cat program.
CARE FOR CATS. Safe Haven For Cats (8431 Garvey Drive #137 Raleigh) is bringing together current foster volunteers and interested newcomers for Foster Night tomorrow, Tuesday, May 9, 6–8 p.m. Meet staff and current volunteers to learn more about the process. The event is free, and registration is available online.
TEE UP FOR TOYS. On Monday, May 22, teams from local businesses and individuals will step up to the tee for a special 18-hole round at Chapel Hill Country Club to raise funds during the 5th Annual Zach’s Toy Chest Golf Classic. The nonprofit helps children receiving cancer treatment focus on fun and “just being a kid.” Zach’s Toy Chest has provided 140,000-plus new toys over the past 13 years to stock cancer treatment clinics. Purchase tickets here.
HEADING TO D.C. The Athens Drive High School Marching Band will perform in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. on Monday, May 29 at 2 p.m. The largest Memorial Day event in the U.S. takes place along Constitution Avenue. Former astronauts Rusty Schweickart (Apollo 9), Charlie Duke (Apollo 16) and Jack Schmitt (Apollo 17) will serve as grand marshals. The parade will be streamed live on the American Veteran Center’s YouTube page and Facebook page.
DEBUT FILMS. The ninth annual Longleaf Film Festival takes place Friday, May 12 (beginning at 5 p.m.) and Saturday, May 13 (beginning at 11 a.m.) at the North Carolina Museum of History. The festival highlights the best of independent films that have a Tar Heel state connection. The movie screenings are free. Tickets for the Filmmakers and Friends Reception are available online.
ART OF THE DANCE. The Pan American Symphony Orchestra brings Tango of the Americas to the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater at the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, May 13 at 8 p.m. With 20 musicians, international soloists and six professional tango dancers, the program showcases new and traditional tango music from the U.S., Colombia and Argentina.
PLAY PLACE. A state-of-the-art inclusive playground has opened in Knightdale’s Harper Park (209 Main Street). The sensory-rich playground is designed to provide children of all abilities with a safe and fun place to play. The venue was funded by Wake Stone Corporation in memory of the company’s founder, John Bratton.
SPORTS OF ALL SORTS. Swing Racquet + Paddle will offer a brick-and-mortar Wilson branded retail experience for multi-racquet sports when the venue opens in Raleigh in 2024. Swing’s Raleigh campus will feature a Wilson Stringing Bar for tennis racquets and serve as a testing ground for Wilson’s new technology-driven consumer experiences. The venue also plans to host national and international tournaments.
HUNGER HELP. Letter carriers and the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina in the Triangle will team up for Stamp Out Hunger on Saturday, May 13. Letter carriers will pick up food donations left beside mailboxes. The public is asked to place bags filled with nonperishable food items next to the mailbox.
BRICK ART. The Art of the Brick comes to Pleasant Valley Promenade (6204-121 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh) on Wednesday, May 17, 6–8 p.m. The LEGO exhibition immerses visitors in the world of artist Nathan Sawaya, who used more than one million bricks to create more than 90 art masterpieces. Tickets are available online.
STAR POWER. Locals can enjoy stargazing events during the month of May. Science Café at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will explore the possibility of humans living on the moon on Thursday, May 18, 7–8 p.m. Then it’s Stargazing with Morehead Planetarium from The Durham hotel’s rooftop on Monday, May 22, 9–11 p.m. At the end of the month, join the Raleigh Astronomy Club at The Willard Rooftop for stargazing on Wednesday, May 31, 8–10 p.m.
BY THE BOOK. Durham’s Book Harvest recently provided its two millionth book, “I’ll Build You a Bookcase” (by Jean Ciborowski Fahey) to a first-grade student at Little River K-8 School in Durham. Founded in 2011, Book Harvest provides books and literacy support to families and children to ensure that every child can become a lifelong reader and learner.
Liberation Station celebrates its first brick-and-mortar shop at CAM Raleigh (409 West Martin Street) on Thursday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m. Local author Victoria Scott-Miller’s children’s bookstore will specialize in children’s literature by black authors and illustrators with a focus on black children and families. Tickets are available online. Guests will receive a signed copy of Scott-Miller’s “The Museum Lives in Me.”