Weekend Picks ~ Sept 30th- Oct 2nd

pepfestIf you are looking for something fun to do this weekend there are three great events going on that I recommend checking out. No matter what you do, I hope you get outside and get a chance to enjoy the beautiful weather. Happy Exploring!

Friday & Saturday – Sept 30th & Oct 1st
Wide Open Bluegrass StreestFest – Raleigh

As part of the free Wide Open StreetFest, Raleigh will host 90+ bands on 5 stages, a dance tent, artisans and local vendors, concessions, youth performances, and more. Visit the Raleigh Convention Center for FREE access to the Exhibit Hall, the Masters’ Workshop Stage, and plenty of jamming. You can view a schedule of all the free performances here.

Satruday – October 1st
TerraVita Grand Tasting on the Green – Chapel Hill

The TerraVita Grand Tasting offers edibles from more than 40 exceptional chefs & artisans from across the state and features more than 120 sustainably-produced beverages from around the globe, including microbrews and spirits, craft sodas, organic coffees, & biodynamic, organically-grown and natural wines. Get tickets here.

Sunday – October 2nd
Pepper Festival – Chapel Hill
PepperFest is at the perfect time of year to celebrate the harvest, enjoy cooler weather, and savor the deliciousness of Carolina peppers!  It’s a chance to hang out with your friends, listen to fantastic live music, and sample all you can eat of pepper-themed dishes and beverages, made by dozens of star chefs, brewers, distillers and more, from central N.C.

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Kinky Boots at DPAC Sept 13-18th!


Kinky Boots National Touring Company (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

Back by popular demand, Kinky Boots, the smash-hit musical that brings together four-time Tony® Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (Book) and Grammy® Award-winning rock icon Cyndi Lauper will return to the Durham Performing Arts Center next week for shows September 13th-18th as part of the Encore Broadway at DPAC series.


Aaron Walpole, J. Harrison Ghee and the cast of the National Tour of Kinky Boots (Photo by Matthew Murphy

Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family shoe business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.


Tiffany Engen in the National Tour of Kinky Boots (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

In preparation of the productions run in Durham next week I had the opportunity to speak with one of the leads – Tiffany Engen, who after enjoying roles in the age productions of Legally Blonde and Rock of Ages, and roles in films like Hairspray joined the Kinky Boots cast last November.

Can you tell me a little bit about your character?
“I play Lauren who is one of the workers in the shoe factory and the love interest of Charlie – the owner of the business who takes over after his father passes away. I love my character because she is unique, funny and strong but sensitive. She is actually the one who has the “Light bulb” moment and comes up with the idea of finding a niche market to save the factory.”

Do you get to wear the Kinky Boots?
“Yes, actually at some point all the characters in the show wear boots. We all have our own pair. It is quite fun during rehearsals when the performers put them on for the first time – especially the guys. They look like bambi on ice, they slip a lot at first, but they get the hang of it!”

What is your favorite number in the show?
“There are so many great songs in the show, but I really like one my character does called “History of the wrong guys” which has a very strong Cyndi Lauper vibe. Actually Cyndi did all the music and songs for the show – original tunes. Many people don’t realize all the different influences she pulled into her music for the show. There are of course rock-n-roll influences, but also pop, gospel, and disco references.”

What is the overall theme of the show, the message it leaves with the audience?
“The show has a wonderful message. It is all about not judging a book by it’s cover and accepting yourself and accepting those around you. Living your life with pride and leading with love.”

Kinky Boots  plays at the Durham Performing Arts Center September 13th through the 18th. For more information and to order tickets visit http://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/kinky-boots-1.

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Beericana Craft Beer & Music Festival is this Saturday in Holly Springs


September marks the beginning the busy festival season in the Triangle. Kicking things off is  Beericana, a craft beer & music festival this SaturdaySeptember 10th at Sugg Farm Park in Holly Springs. Beericana features 70 breweries from across North Carolina and beyond, 20 food trucks, and 3 live bands. Entry to the festival gets you unlimited tastings from the breweries. Food will be available for purchase from the many food trucks. To plan your day and map out what breweries and trucks you want to try visit the event website to see the full list of breweries and food trucks.


Tickets are $45 for general admission, $75 for VIP (with 2 hours of early entry), and $15 for designated drivers. I enjoyed the VIP experience last year and think it is well worth the price. While this isn’t one of those festivals that gets ridiculously crowded it is still really nice to get in early and avoid the lines. Tickets can be purchased online at Beericana.com.


Please note that no children are allowed at Beericana and a valid photo identification must be presented. Check out the FAQ on the the event website for additional details.

Beericana Craft Beer & Music Festival
September 10th, 2016
Sugg Farm Park – Holly Springs, NC (map)
For updates & inside notes follow @beericana and @919beer.


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Picture of the Week: Neuse Greenway

The Upper Neuse Greenway is one of my favoritae places to run in Raleigh. Starting at Falls Dam the flat paved trail stretches for more than 27 miles along the river all the way down to Johnston County. Along the way you’ll experience nice views of the river, cross winding boardwalk areas over wetlands, and enjoy a lush wooded landscape. If you haven’t done so already I recommend checking it out. Now is the perfect time of year to explore the trail! For a map of the trail visit the trail website here.

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September Events Around the Triangle ~ 2016

Beericana 2016b

I love this time of year. It’s still warm enough for a trip to the beach, but you can feel the change in the air as the heat begins to break and make way for the cooler fall weather. This means it is the perfect time to catch some great outdoor events around the Triangle. Below is a quick list of some of my favorite upcoming events for the month of September. If you know of some other fun things on deck next moth feel free to let me know in the comments section. Thanks!

September 2016 Events


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