Raleigh Christmas Parade Reformat, Afternoon Tea at The Parlor at Heights House, Food Bank Partners With Olive Garden

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PARADE CHANGE. After the event was briefly canceled, the Raleigh Christmas Parade is back on for 2023, according to the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association. The 79th annual parade will take place on Saturday, November 18 at 9:30 a.m. and will feature marching bands, performers, costume characters, horses, dog rescues, giant balloons, musical acts and more. The parade will not include motorized floats and vehicles.

INDY FILMS. BEYOND: The Cary Film Festival returns to The Cary Theater from Thursday, September 21–Sunday, September 24. In its sixth year, the event celebrates short films from independent filmmakers from around the world. The festival also hosts three workshops for all experience levels, including a screenwriting workshop for ages 7–16 on Saturday at 1 p.m. Tickets are available online. 

CELEBRATING INNOVATION. Bull City Summit kicks off a weeklong celebration with a benefit concert for Durham’s Families and Communities at Motorco Music Hall on Monday, September 18. The show features sets by soul singer Lee Fields & The Expressions (8:30 p.m.) and North Carolina Central University-trained Mavis Swan Poole (10 p.m.). The all-week festival and business conference celebrates innovation in music, the arts, science and technology. 

STRIKE A POSE. The Streets at Southpoint continues its Weekly Wellness workout classes with yoga at lululemon (8030 Renaissance Parkway, Durham) on Sunday, September 24, 10–11 a.m. FlowCorps presents the free class on the lawn in front of the AMC Theatre. Guests are encouraged to bring water and a mat. 

VIRTUAL POUR. Durham’s Alley Twenty Six has launched a series of virtual cocktail classes. The next event, Wry Rye, will be on Thursday, September 28 at 7 p.m. Individual classes are $15. Guests will learn from James Beard finalist bartender Shannon Healy, the owner of Alley Twenty Six. A Zoom link and list of supplies will be emailed before the class. Register online.

CREATING A BUZZ. Join Bee Downtown for a virtual honey harvesting event at the Poe Center on Thursday, October 5, 9:30–10:30 a.m. Follow along as the bee team leads guests through the extraction process as the organization tries to reach its goal of 20,000 pounds. The Poe Center’s garden health educators will be available to answer questions about pollinators, honey, gardening and more. The free event is suited for elementary school and homeschool groups, as well as caregivers and children.

YOUR OPINION MATTERS. Sponsors of transit projects in Wake County are requesting $21.8 million, and they’re inviting the public to review and comment on the requests through Saturday, September 30. The project’s sponsors – Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the City of Raleigh, GoTriangle, Town of Cary and Wake County – have requested a total of seven amendments to the FY2024 Wake Transit Plan. The plan strives to create frequent and reliable urban mobility and enhance access to travel. 

HOLIDAY CONCERTS. Country music star Martina McBride kicks off The Joy of Christmas Tour at the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh on Friday, November 24 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday, September 22 at 10 a.m. The tour marks the 25th anniversary of her first holiday album, “White Christmas.”

Chris Isaak: It’s Almost Christmas Tour comes to the Carolina Theatre of Durham on Saturday, November 4 at 8 p.m. Over the course of his 40-year career, the Grammy-nominated singer and actor Chris Isaak has performed across the globe and put together a catalog of 13 studio albums. His biggest hit was “Wicked Game” in 1989.

A SPOT OF TEA. Heights House Hotel in Raleigh’s historic Boylan Heights neighborhood is now hosting afternoon tea at The Parlor at Heights House on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 2 and 2:30 p.m. The event gives non-hotel guests the chance to explore the pre-Civil War property, which owners Sarah and Jeff Shepherd restored. The tea will feature steeped loose leaf teas by Rishi Tea, complemented by mini desserts from Raleigh patisserie lucettegrace and delicate open-faced tea sandwiches made in–house

ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY. Decree Company, a luxury custom stationery and distinctive gift store, will celebrate the one-year anniversary of its storefront in downtown Raleigh (135 East Martin Street) on Saturday, September 23, 10 a.m–6 p.m. The business is dedicated to creating high-end stationary and custom print work. Designs are created by an in-house team and printed on letterpress and engraving machines from the 1900s.

EDUCATION EVENT. St. Timothy’s School in Raleigh will host its annual High School Fair on Wednesday, October 4, 6:30–8 p.m. Parents and rising high schoolers can meet with representatives from more than 40 local, private and boarding schools. The event is free. 

WEEKEND BRUNCH. The Willard’s Rooftop Jazz Brunch is set for Sunday, September 24, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. The three–course prix fixe brunch costs $55 per person and includes a Bloody Mary or Mimosa. Enjoy a Belgian waffle, shrimp and grits and eggs benedict with country ham. For dessert, Tepuy Donuts brings hand-crafted sourdough donuts. Pianist Jonathan Markow and his trio will provide entertainment.

DESERVING WINNER. William Winslow of Raleigh, founder of The Food Drive Kids, has received the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, a national award that celebrates inspiring, public-spirited young people from across North America. Over the past 10 years, William has collected and donated more than 70,000 pounds of food and raised more than $80,000. The donations allow him to continually stock his network of nine Little Free Pantries. Winslow receives $10,000 to support his service work or higher education.

OFFERING SERVICES. Wake County, along with community partners, will host Community Day at the Chavis Community Center (505 Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, Raleigh) on Saturday, September 23, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Government, nonprofit and other community groups will share information about the services they offer. Local employers actively seeking new talent will also be on-site to share job opportunities and engage with potential candidates. Families can eat, celebrate and find out about dozens of available resources. Registration is available online.

FOR A GOOD CAUSE. Darden Restaurants is helping 10 Feeding America food banks, including Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, via a 26-foot refrigerated truck. The truck can transport up to 12,000 pounds of food at a time. The food bank will also receive $20,000 to use for food and other needs. Darden Restaurants, which include Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, is marking the 20th anniversary of its Harvest food donation program.

Bull City Burger and Brewery hosts OctoBullFest on Saturday, September 23, 2–6 p.m. East Parrish Street in Durham will be closed to traffic for the street festival, which features an outdoor stage with two live bands, a kids’ bounce house, Balloon Man Mike and more. Enjoy pork bratwurst, North Carolina grass-fed beef burgers and Stierstadt Octoberfest lager. The event supports Durham’s Habitat for Humanity with a portion of the proceeds going directly to homebuilding in Durham. 

Santa Barbara Greek Orthodox Church (8306 Highway 751, Durham) will host A Taste of Greece on Saturday, September 30 and Sunday, October 1, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. rain or shine. The free event will feature popular traditional food and dessert offerings, including gyro pita wraps and baklavá. Greek beer and wines will also be available. A portion of all the proceeds will benefit Ukrainian relief efforts.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention  hosts an Out of the Darkness Community Walk at Fleming Loop Park in Fuquay-Varina on Sunday, September 24 at 4:30 p.m. The nonprofit’s mission is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. Dial 988 counselors are available at all times.

NextStep Fitness Raleigh presents Stand Together Gala at Whitaker & Atlantic (1053 East Whitaker Mill Road, Raleigh) on Monday, October 23 at 6:30 p.m. The evening includes food, drinks, raffles and silent and live auctions in a fundraiser for its paralysis recovery center. The dinner will be prepared by Raleigh chefs Liz Grandchamp, David Mitchell, Marc Russel and Tie Whittaker. 

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