Labor Day Weekend Fun, Gladys Knight Performs, Last Chance for Summer Movies

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Photo by Skrotaa –

LABOR DAY WEEKEND FUN. There’s plenty of fun to go around for Labor Day weekend. Keep reading for our suggestions, and find more fun in our Midtown and 5 West calendars. 

MUSICAL LEGEND. Let’s kick things off with Gladys Knight for an evening of pop, R&B, gospel and adult contemporary music at Joseph M. Bryan Jr., Theater in the North Carolina Museum of Art’s Museum Park on Friday, September 1 at 7:30 p.m. R&B singer Eric Benet will open the show for the seven-time Grammy winner. 

MOVIE LOVERS. There are still a few more opportunities to enjoy free and discounted summer movies this weekend, both indoors and outdoors. The First Friday Series will show “Back to the Future” at Moore Square in Raleigh on September 1 at approximately 6:30 p.m. The same evening in Pittsboro, residents can watch “Moana” at Movie Night at Mosaic beginning at 8:30 p.m. Regal Cinemas is showing $2 movies for kids on Tuesday, September 5 and Wednesday, September 6, including “Despicable Me 3” and “Spirit Untamed.”

’CUE IT UP. The Pinehurst Barbecue Festival will offer an early bird sampling ticket to the Christopher Prieto Pitmaster Invitational in the Village of Pinehurst on Sunday, September 3 beginning at 10 a.m. A sampling ticket to the Pitmaster Invitational includes a combined 1.5 pounds of various meats to taste and 1.5 pounds of Southern sides. North Carolina pitmaster Adam Hughes will kick off the weekend with the High On The Hog Gourmet Pitmaster Dinner at the Village of Pinehurst Fair Barn on Friday, September 1, 6:30–8:30 p.m.

FOOD TRUCK RODEO. The Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo is Sunday, September 3, noon–4 p.m. The event features a variety of truck and drink vendors and helps raise funds to operate the 5-acre park. Volunteers are welcome. 

FALL FUN GUIDE. It may not feel like fall yet, but the season of apple picking, festival attending and pumpkin spice everything is just a few weeks away. To assist you in locating pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hay rides, Halloween festivities and more, we’ve released our annual fall fun roundup. Check it out for dates, locations and descriptions of the seasonal fun that awaits you.

MUSIC IN THE AIR. The Hopscotch Music Festival is in downtown Raleigh Thursday, September 7–Saturday, September 9. Stages will be set up in the heart of Raleigh, but the festival will also feature day parties at bars and breweries. The headlining lineup will include Pavement, Denzel Curry, Japanese Breakfast, King Krule, Margo Price, Dinosaur Jr. and more.

MAUI RELIEF. Durham’s Alley Twenty Six is offering an Island Relief cocktail to raise money for those affected by the wildfires in Maui. Three dollars of each Island Relief cocktail sold through Sunday, September 10 will be donated to the Hawaii Community Foundation to assist in disaster response and recovery. The cocktail contains white rum, pineapple, banana, orange, lime and Angostura bitters.

BEER HERE. The Museum of Life and Science in Durham and Cary’s Bond Brothers Beer Company have launched Citrusaurus Wheat, a beer brewed to celebrate community, curiosity and the Triangle’s craft beer culture. Citrusaurus Wheat is made from malted barley, malted wheat and a citrusy German hop. The beer features a grapefruit aroma up front, some malt sweetness through the beer and a lime finish. The beer is available on draft at Hops & Vine at the Museum of Life and Science, and at the Bond Brothers taproom. 

GIVEAWAY! Get ready to embark on a delectable journey into the world of premium chocolates as Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory at Brier Creek in Raleigh proudly presents its new Chocolate Sampling Experience! We’ve partnered with them to offer two tickets to three lucky winners for this special experience on Tuesday, October 10, at 7 p.m. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is located at 8521 Brier Creek Parkway, #103, Raleigh. Fill out this form for a chance to win two tickets. We’ll select three winners from our Midtown5 West and Triangle Family audiences Wednesday, September 6. Get an extra entry by following one or more of the social media accounts for our new magazine, Triangle Family

VOTING UPDATE. Wake County Board of Elections is making it fast and convenient to get a required photo voter ID for the upcoming municipal elections in November. Staff will host a five-hour weekend event for eligible voters at the election office (1200 North New Hope Road, Raleigh) on Saturday, September 9, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Staff will check voter status, take photos and print new voter ID cards on site. The event  and IDs are free. 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING. The Wake County Board of Commissioners has approved a loan of more than $5.7 million to support the creation of 144 new affordable housing units. Parkside Apartments will be located on Kent Road near downtown Raleigh. Since its inception in 2018, Wake County’s Affordable Housing and Community Revitalization Department has committed or reinvested funding to create and preserve 3,766 units of affordable housing. Developers expect to break ground on the project by June 2024.

STRANGE HISTORY. The Museum of Durham History (500 West Main Street, Durham) explores the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on young people during their socially formative years in its new exhibit, “Stranger Times,” which will launch with a family-focused celebration on Friday, September 8, 6–8 p.m. The exhibit was developed with input from teens across Durham and inspired by the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” created by 2003 Jordan High School graduates and brothers Matt and Ross Duffer.

TAKE A HIKE. PBS North Carolina will premiere “Ten to Try: Trails” on Thursday, August 31 at 8:30 p.m. on PBS NC, as well as online and on the PBS App. The program showcases 10 trail experiences across the state. Shown through the eyes of nature lovers and trail experts, the half-hour show highlights the rich diversity of nature opportunities in the “Great Trail State.” It commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1973 North Carolina Trails System Act, which instituted a state system of scenic and recreation trails. 

HIGH FLYING FUN. Indoor adventure park OC Aerial (3463 Coates Industrial Boulevard, Durham) is celebrating its first anniversary with special deals for guests. Climbers who stop by the park from Friday, September 1–Monday, September 4 will be entered for a chance to win a four-pack of day pass tickets. OC Aerial invites all active military personnel and veterans to receive 20% off any ticket purchase on Mondays from September 4–November 27. A valid military ID or other formal proof of service is required.

The Willard and The Roof at The Durham will host free, family-friendly Swift Night Out gatherings in September. The events are designed for guests to experience the swarms of swifts as they dive and roost in downtown Durham chimneys  The Willard will host a talk by John Gerwin, research curator of ornithology at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, in the hotel’s Horizon Ballroom on Wednesday, September 20 at 6 p.m. The New Hope Audubon will be on hand at The Durham on Wednesday, September 27, 6:30–8 p.m. with telescopes, binoculars and information about how to protect the endangered birds and their habitats.

PRESERVING HISTORY. Wake County Commissioners unanimously approved $400,000 of funding for a conservation easement that will be held by Triangle Land Conservancy to ensure 112 acres of forest land and prime farmland will remain for generations to come. The land includes Oaky Grove Farm off Turnipseed Road in eastern Wake County. The farm was once a plantation with more than 4,500 acres and five grist mills, with a plantation home built in the 1800s.

BREWS + TUNES. Virginia’s Kendall Street Company, a genre-fluid, eclectic rock ensemble, will perform at Bowstring Pizza and Brewyard Sunday, September 3, 6–10 p.m. Purchase tickets online for $15–$18 here. Then on Friday, September 8, 7–10 p.m., you can hear Fleatwood Mac Tribute Band perform. Purchase tickets starting at $17 here.

FOODIE NEWS. Tonbo Ramen (211 South Wilmington Street, Raleigh) has revealed its new izakaya taco menu. Tonbo, known for its delicious ramen and 24 hour-simmered broths, will amplify its menu with chipotle edamame, japamex street corn, spicy street corn and spicy tuna nachos. Izakaya tacos come in diablo shrimp, tuna, unagi, pork belly and fish. The menu will remain in place through the end of 2023. Reservations are available online. 

TWISTED MYSTERIES. Search in the City hosts Murder Mystery Party: Murder at the Juice Joint at Tap Yard Raleigh on Sunday, September 10 at 6 p.m. Guests will try to solve a murder among mobsters, a swanky singer, a cigarette girl and other colorful characters. Admission is $60 per person and includes a four-hour hosted party, a hand-picked character for each person, one drink ticket, and a variety of prizes. Food trucks will be onsite. 

FUNHOUSE: A Terrifyingly Twisted Circus Show comes to Motorco (723 Rigsbee Avenue, Durham) on Sunday, October 8 at 7 p.m. The show will be a spooky kickoff to Halloween month, showcasing the best circus and sideshow acts in the Triangle, including burlesque, pole dance, trapeze and contortion. Guests must be at least 18 years of age.

GOING UP. Kane Realty Corporation plans to unveil its latest mixed-use project within North Hills Innovation District in mid-2024. Tributary, named for the creek adjacent to Crabtree Creek, will be a six-story residential building with 320 luxury apartment homes and 6,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. The property will include two large courtyards, an innovative digital content recording room and an elevated wellness center overlooking the district. St. Albans Lofts will be a six-story residential mid-rise project with 396 apartment homes across two buildings and will feature an expansive resident club, entertaining spaces, a zen courtyard, a resort-style pool courtyard overlooking Big Branch Creek, a club-quality fitness center, remote-work spaces, a private rooftop lounge, two levels of sub-terrain parking and 6,000 square feet of retail space.

FOR A CAUSE. Break The Cycle, a bike ride event, takes place at John Chavis Memorial Park (505 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Raleigh) on Sunday, September 17 at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. The ride is to benefit women experiencing homelessness in the local community. In addition to the 5-mile or 30-mile ride, guests will enjoy food trucks, a beverage tent, raffles and medals. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

DELIVERING DOLLARS. SECU Foundation has surpassed a quarter of a billion dollars in cumulative funding since its establishment in 2004. At the end of June, the foundation’s commitment to North Carolina nonprofits tallied more than $258 million for grants and financing in support of scholarship programs, affordable housing initiatives, homeless shelters, health and wellness programs, and advocacy and supportive services for children and adults. State Employees’ Credit Union and its member-owners fund the foundation through the reallocation of their $1 monthly checking account maintenance fee. 

GOOD TALK. Registration has begun for the Poe Center’s next “Guy Talk” for Parents/Trusted Adults and Son Workshop on Saturday, October 7, 9–11 a.m. “Guy Talk” will equip boys with accurate age-appropriate information developed to help with healthy growth and development. Workshop topics include the changes during puberty, the reproductive systems, online safety, and proper nutrition and hygiene. Registration is available online and costs $25 per pair.

GARDEN VARIETY. The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation will award 24 schools across the U.S. with a new or refreshed learning garden as part of a recent contest, and Durant Road Middle School in Raleigh was one of the schools selected to receive one of the gardens. On Saturday, September 23, close to 500 Sprouts team members will build the 24 school gardens in 24 hours as part of this $500,000 investment in local schools across the country for nutrition education. The foundation helps kids develop healthy habits through nutrition education and hands-on gardening programs. 

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