Category Archives: Events

Circus 1903 Brings Big Top Thrills to DPAC September 26th – October 1st

Circus 2

Circus 1903 Elephant (Photo by Mark Turner)

It’s been a long time since I have been the the circus, but next week I will get my chance to relive that sense of wonder at “Circus 1903″ playing at the Durham Performing Arts Center September 26th through October 1st. Now this show is no ordinary circus, it is a thrilling turn of the century big top spectacular harking back to old-fashioned circus arts such as knife-throwing, hand to hand acrobatics and aerial ballet. This is a circus re-imagined from the producers of the world’s biggest magic show, The Illusionists and the award winning puppeteers from War Horse. 

The show is unique in that it takes aspects of the traditional circus and adds a fresh, innovative and humane spin on them. One magical change is the use of carefully constructed and realistic puppets in place of actual animals. The elephants featured in Circus 1903 are puppets, brought to life by the talented team at Significant Object (the award-winning puppeteers from War Horse). 


The Hammer Guys (Photo by Mark Turner)

The show also features a talented case of real circus stars. They are hand-selected from all around the world with 15 different countries represented in the cast. It is a team of incredible artists and athletes with many coming from multi-generational circus families from all over the world.

I spoke with Petter Vatermark, one of The “hammer” guys and teeter board experts touring with the show as part of the trio of wonderful tumblers know as the “The Flying Fins”. “It’s an incredible family friendly show that appeals to a wide audience. Everyone from families bringing their grandchildren to a special exciting date night,” said Vatermark. “The elephants are a big draw and capture people’s imaginations, but it is truly an exciting evening from start to finish with wonderful acts that focuses on the outstanding talent of the artists and features the amazing creatures brought to life before your eyes through magic of puppetry.”

This show sounds like something fun and different to experience at the theater. With sensational puppetry, an exciting musical score and a cast of amazing skilled performers bringing exciting circus acts from all four corners of the world to Durham, this show is sure to remind people why they love the circus in the first place. I can’t wait to check it out!

“Circus 1903” has performances at DPAC Tuesday Sept. 26th through Sunday, Oct. 1st. For tickets visit


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Weekend Picks: September 15th – 17th


Curtis Eller performs at Mystery Brewing in Hillsborough this Friday

So this weekend there are several big events going on celebrating art, music and fashion. In Raleigh I recommend checking out the weekend long SPARKcon. Over in Durham there is Centerfest. And down in Apex you will find a day full of music at the Apex Music Festival. In addition to those big events here are the rest of my weekend picks:

Friday – September 15th

Curtis Eller performs at Mystery Brewing Public House
Singer songwriter and banjo player Curtis Eller is resuming his residency at Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough with a solo performance this Friday at 8:30pm. No cover.

Thomas Ryant performs at The Bullpen in Durham
Thomas Rhyant is a gospel singer and musical troubadour, using music to tell stories of those who came before him. With his tasteful guitar style and stunningly wide-ranging voice and enigmatic backing band, Rhyant brings joy to audiences while keeping the history of soul music alive. Music starts at 8:30pm at The Bullpen. No Cover.

Saturday – September 16th

Durham Farmer’s Market
The market takes place each Saturday through November at Durham Central Park, but I especially enjoy visiting during this time of year. In addition to producers and other vendors, there are usually several great local food trucks serving brunch and lunch items. I recommend hitting the market and then exploring Durham. A top pick while in Durham is always a visit to Cocoa Cinnamon!

Sunday -September 17th

Midtown Bluegrass at North Hills
Just in time to get you warmed up for this year’s Wide Open Bluegrass, two of this year’s official International Bluegrass Music Association Bluegrass Ramble showcase bands will close out this year’s Midtown Bluegrass Series. Get a sneak preview of what’s in store this year with Colorado-based bandThe Railsplitters (4:30-6 pm) and North Carolina’s own Fireside Collective (3-4 pm). The afternoon will begin with a facilitated youth jam with local musicians Lynda and Jamie Dawson.

A new coffee spot to visit while you are out and about…

If you are ever up in Youngsville (just 10 minutes north of Wake Forest) be sure to check out the cool Packhouse Coffee Company drive-thru coffee hut set up just off the main drag downtown. They serve locally roasted Red Rooster coffee and have a full menu of coffee, espresso drinks as well as frappes.

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Weekend Picks: September 1st – 3rd


African American Cultural Festival of Raleigh and Wake County is this Saturday & Sunday
(Photo courtesy Glenn Parson)

I’m keeping my fingers cross that the wet weather stays away the next few days because there are some fun events going on this weekend. Here are my top picks for things to check out this weekend. Also, keep and eye out for the Grand Opening of Pie Hole in Durham this Saturday and Sunday. Looks to be a fun new spot to grab a slice of pie and coffee. I will share a preview of the new shop next week!

Friday – September 1st

Sorelle Performs at Sola Coffee in Raleigh
Sorelle is a whimsical indie band comprised of two sisters Toney-Paite and Skylar Phillips.  Toney-Paite and Skylar have been playing guitar, singing and writing songs since they were 8 and 9.  The sisters went away to school last year, and after some time of being apart realized that music is what they wanted to persue.  They have been writing and recording all new music, and are in the Raleigh/Durham area performing once again! No Cover. Music 7:30-9:30.

Boom Unit Brass Band at The Station in Carrboro
The Boom Unit Brass Band takes the Second Line sound of Old N’awlins to the Old North State and adds some of their own funky flavor. Traditional favorites “Bourbon Street Parade” and “Down To The River” join reimagined pop hits “Sweet Dreams” and “Uptown Funk” to create a sound never heard before. This line-up is ready for any size parade or stage. When you hear Boom Unit Brass Band coming down the street, you best get ready to party. Show is at The Station in Carrboro. Cover $6 Music 9-12pm w/ The Spectacles.

Saturday – September 2nd

African American Cultural Festival – Downtown Raleigh
The African American Cultural Festival of Raleigh and Wake County is an annual celebration of African American culture as expressed through art, music, food and community. Over the past seven Labor Day weekends, the two day festival has connected diverse people and families from across our region with local, national, and international artists, performers, food vendors, area business owners, and our local media outlets. The festival has become Raleigh’s premiere destination for teaching, sharing, and celebrating the distinctive folk and cultural traditions of African Americans here in North Carolina and from around the world.

Big Spooners Peanut Butter at Oliver’s Collar
Locally made Big Spoon Roasters  has partnered with Oliver’s Collar in Durham to make a fresh-roasted, unsalted peanut butter specifically for dogs, and they are kicking things off this weekend were you can enjoy samples of all their peanut butter products. Joe Van Gogh has also partnered with BSR for their baked goods, and will be handing out samples of their Almond Butter Toast. Bring the kids and the dogs, it’s gonna be a tasty Peanut Butter Palooza kind of day for everyone! Event is 11am-1pm at Oliver’s Collar Dog Treat Bakery & Boutique located at 4711 Hope Valley Road in Durham.

Sunday – September 3rd

Durham Food Truck Rodeo – Durham Central Park
The Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo is an all-ages Sunday afternoon gathering of dozens of the Triangle’s most popular food trucks, live music from Wood Robinson’s New Formal, and local beer. Event is from 12-4pm. You can view a list of the over 50 trucks planning to attend here.

A new coffee spot to visit while you are out and about…

This Saturday and Sunday you can stop by the new Pie Hole on 9th street in Durham. They are a new shop opening over Labor Day weekend that will feature pie by the slice and coffee from California Roaster Klatch Coffee. Look for my full review of them coming next week!

And a new taco spot opens next week…

Got word that the North Raleigh Chronic Tacos will open its doors next Wednesday, September 6th at 10am. This location is up off Falls of Neuse Road in the same shopping center as the new Sprouts grocery store.

North Raleigh @chronictacosnc location (next to Sprouts) opens next Wednesday, Sept 6th. #NorthRaleigh #Tacos #ChronicTacos

A post shared by Triangle Explorer (@triangleexplorer) on

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Weekend Picks: August 25th – 27th


Neuse River Greenway – Raleigh, NC

This weekend the temps should be a bit cooler making it a great time to head outdoors. One of my favorite places to enjoy some time outside is the Neuse River Greenway, which now stretches over 27 miles from Falls Lake in North Raleigh all the way down to Johnston County. If you are looking for other fun things to check out this weekend below are my top three picks. Also, make sure you check out the latest coffee news about two cool new shops to check out at the bottom of this post. Happy Exploring!

Friday – August 25th

Live Music by Jason Adamo at Whole Foods Wade Avenue in Raleigh
Catch live music by Jason Adamo at Whole Food’s “Pickin on the Patio” series Friday night from 5-7pm at their Wade Avenue, Raleigh location.

Saturday – August 26th

Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts Festival in Cary
This is one of Cary’s biggest annual events, drawing around 50K guests and takes place place both Saturday and Sunday in the historic downtown area. The two-day event features arts and crafts, food, a Kid’s World and two huge stages with entertainment all day. For parking info event details visit the official website here.

Sunday – August 27th

Durham Bulls Game – Meet the Players Event
This Sunday the Durham Bulls will host a pregame “Meet the Team” event on the field at Durham Bulls Athletic Park from 3 to 3:45 p.m. During this time fans will have the opportunity to get autographs and take pictures, play cornhole and have a catch with players and coaches, among other activities. The game itself starts at 5:05pm. You can purchase tickets to Sunday’s game here.

Coffee shops to visit while you’re out and about….

There is a new coffee shop in Chapel Hill on West Franklin Street called Perennial Coffee & Pastries. Looks like a cozy spot to grab a latte made with Counter Culture Coffee.

And Cocoa Cinnamon’s Lakewood location is now open and operating in “beta-mode” as they tweak the space in menu during roll-out. During beta-mode they are open until 10pm this Friday and Saturday (Closed Sunday). Make sure you get a churro!

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Culver’s Now Open in Wake Forest


Culver’s in Wake Forest – Now Open

Wisconsin-based Culver’s opened it’s first Triangle location today in Wake Forest. The quick-service family restaurant known for its burgers, frozen custard, and cheese curds is located at 2819 Rogers Road just around the corner from The Factory and next to the new Starbucks and Rite Aid. I’ll be checking out the restaurant soon for a full review, but judging from reactions on social media I expect this latest addition to the Triangle burger scene to be a big hit!

Culver’s – Wake Forest
2819 Rogers Road, Wake Forest, NC (map)
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