State Fair Kicks Off, Oakwood Candlelight Tour, Annular Eclipse

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Photo by Melissa Wisteuff

FAIR FUN! The North Carolina State Fair kicks off today andruns through Sunday, October 22 from 9 a.m.–11 p.m. at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Enjoy a variety of fair food, including many new offerings this year. Grandstand shows, outdoor music stages, and rides and games are just part of the annual October fun. Free parking is available on State Fair, Carter-Finley Stadium and PNC Arena properties.

The Willard Rooftop Lounge is offering a new cotton candy–inspired cocktail during the N.C. State Fair run, from October 12–22. The Sunset Over Horizon cocktail costs $16 and contains Hendrick’s gin, lemon, grenadine, Licor 43, Chambord and blue spirulina. The cocktail brings a swirl of vanilla, raspberry and orange notes together to create the taste of the state fair in an adult beverage.

FALL FESTIVITIES. The Festifall Arts Market & More is Saturday, October 14, 21 and 28 from 1–6 p.m. Chapel Hill’s annual fall arts festival features three separate markets in the downtown district offering interactive art experiences, entertainment and artisan vendors.

DIWALI CELEBRATION. The 23rd Hum Sub Diwali festival is on October 14 at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. Enjoy a day of cultural immersion into the Indian subcontinent filled with entertainment, shopping, Indian food and fireworks. Gates open at 10 a.m. Learn more here.

HOLIDAY HOMES. Tickets are on sale now for the 52nd Annual Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour, which takes place Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10, 1–7 p.m. Visitors will enjoy intimate tours of 10 homes decked out in Christmas finery. Most properties date from the late–1800s to the mid–1900s, including Queen Anne cottages, Neoclassical Revival and Italianate residences. Docents at each stop will offer information on each home’s unique features, family lineage and surrounding community.

RING OF FIRE. North Carolina residents will have a chance to see a partial view of the annular “Ring of Fire” eclipse on Saturday, October 14. The moon will pass between the earth and sun far enough away from our planet that, for some parts of the country, the moon’s outline will be completely surrounded by the sun. North Carolinians will see what looks like a cookie bite shape as the moon partially covers the sun. Protective eyewear is essential for viewing the eclipse.

HALLOWEEN FUN. If you’re ready to carve out time for spooky fun, Wake County Public Libraries and Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space have some free events on the calendar. The BOOOOOkmobile visits libraries around the county in October, and Halloween Hoot brings storytime to the local branches as well. Even adults can enjoy the spooky season with Haunted Carolina. All events are free, but some require registration.

SCHEDULE CHANGE. The North Carolina Museum of History will be closed on Mondays beginning on November 6. The change will align with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science’s schedule. Each location will be open Tuesdays–Sundays.

CANINE FLU. In response to a recent outbreak of canine influenza, including the death of two dogs, the Wake County Animal Center will be closed through Thursday, November 9 to help contain the outbreak. The center will stop accepting animals to prevent new cases. Veterinarians are reporting that many dogs are picking up respiratory illness after stays at boarding or day care facilities. Most dogs recover after two to three weeks, but some pets develop secondary infections that lead to pneumonia and sometimes death.

FESTIVAL FUN. Festival D’Avion returns to Moore County Airport in Carthage on Friday, October 27, 6–11 a.m. and Saturday, October 28 beginning at 10 a.m. The two-day event is a celebration of freedom and flight beginning with the Children of Fallen Heroes Costume Carnivale Fundraiser on Friday. On Saturday, enjoy military aircraft, precision flyovers from the Bandit Flight Team, parachute jump teams, fixed wing and helicopter sightseeing tours, live music, the 82nd Airborne Chorus and more. 

The Bull City Race Fest and Food Truck Rodeo takes place in downtown Durham (318 Blackwell Street) on Sunday, October 15 beginning at 7:30 a.m. The event features a half–marathon and a 5–miler, suited to competitive runners and families alike. The post–race festival takes place on the lawn at the Diamond View Park on the American Tobacco Campus and features food trucks, a beer garden and a kids’ zone. 

PUMPKIN POTTERY. The Seagrove Potters celebrate American Craft Week with several upcoming events. The Potters’ Pumpkin Patch Trail takes place each Saturday in October, featuring pottery pumpkins, ceramic gourds, woodland creatures and more. The Triangle Studio hosts the Gourd Garden Event on Saturday, October 14 and Saturday, October 21. Gourds will be available for order online on October 14, and a series of mythical-creature pottery will be on display on October 21. 

FOR A GOOD CAUSE. Raleigh Fashion Fest takes place at Raleigh Iron Works (1101 East Whitaker Mill Road) on Thursday, October 19, 5–9 p.m. The event benefits The Women’s Center and its mission to serve marginalized women experiencing homelessness. Enjoy a fashion show, shopping, food and drink, and live entertainment.

Nonprofit Now Serving hosts an evening of culinary delights at Now Serving Food + Wine (421 North Harrington Street, Raleigh) on Saturday, October 21. Proceeds will fund Now Serving’s community meal program, which has delivered more than 72,000 meals to under-resourced neighbors. Tickets are available online. 

A FRIGHTFUL PROM. Boxcar Bar + Arcade will host the Night of the Living Dead Prom Party Friday, October 13, 6 p.m.–11:59 p.m. Enjoy a festively frightful drink in addition to the $3 Fireball Friday special; hit the dance floor with DJ Handsome Robb; and dress to kill in your undeadliest prom attire (optional, but encouraged) to score four free game tokens at the door. Learn more here.

SPOOKY TOUR. The Friends of the City of Raleigh Museum host the Dark Raleigh Walking Tours in downtown Raleigh (220 Fayetteville Street) on Thursday, October 26 and Friday, October 27. There are six tour times each night beginning at 6:30 p.m. for the “true death, true crime” tour that explores the city’s macabre past. The last tour each night at 9 p.m. is a member-only and sponsor tour that includes a reception in the museum following the tour.

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS. Crabtree Valley Mall and the American Cancer Society celebrate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with the “Men Wear Pink” campaign during October. Michel Kors, Coach and other retailers will host special events, and ambassadors will wear pink throughout October, raising money and awareness through their personal, professional and social media networks.

WELLNESS NEWS. Wellness enthusiast Felicia Trujillo has opened The Lotus Room at 5 West Hargett Street, Suite 404, in Raleigh. The space is for women to connect, learn and be inspired through 60-minute sessions led by guest speakers in an intimate space. Speaker topics will include professional coaching, spirituality and physical wellness. Sessions will be available for individual purchase. A subscription model will be installed at a later date.

Umbrella Dry Bar will open this winter at 14 West Martin Street in Raleigh. The zero-proof cocktail bar, bottle shop and event space will allow guests to socialize and explore their wellness journeys. The bar will be open Thursdays (noon–5 p.m.), Fridays (noon–7 p.m.) and Saturdays (10 a.m.–5 p.m.), and offer a retail selection to take home.

DIRECTIONS IN A BOX. Downtown Raleigh is now home to several 8-foot-tall interactive kiosks that highlight nearby businesses, upcoming events and transit options, according to The News & Observer. There will be 15 of the big black boxes when all are installed. The kiosks engage with the touch of a hand to help identify nearby attractions, restaurants and shops. The multilingual boxes also identify homeless shelters, as well as city and state buildings. 

WALK THE WALK. Porchfest 2023 takes place Saturday, October 14, 4–6:30 p.m. The historic walk from Raleigh’s Tarboro Road to St. Agnes Hospital will feature more than 20 neighbors and business owners from the past sharing their stories. Enjoy free food and music at the educational event, featuring keynote speaker Nasif Majeed (N.C. House Representative, District 99), as well as family members of the Haynes family. 

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