Category Archives: Events

Grilled Cheese Competition Returns to Downtown Raleigh Farmers Market!


Grilled Cheese Cook-Off

The Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market’s annual celebration of all things cheese returns this Wednesday, July 26th. The highlight of the day is the grilled cheese competition were local chefs go head to head creating and sampling their own grilled cheese masterpieces. Participating restaurants in the grilled cheese competition this year include:

Buku raleigh
Jimmy V’s Osteria + Bar
Rye Bar & Southern Kitchen
State of Beer NC
Linus and Pepper’s

The competition and sampling will last from 11:30-1:30pm, samples are available until supplies run out. The event is free but donations are accepted. While you’re there be sure to also shop around the market and visit all of the other great local vendors to pick up some fresh produce and baked goods.

Downtown Raleigh Farmers Market
City Plaza (Fayetteville Street) in Downtown Raleigh
Wednesdays from April 19th until October 11th from 11am-2pm.



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“Motown The Musical” Opens at DPAC August 1st!


Chester Gregory as Berry Gordy (center right) and cast of “Motown the Musical”
(photo by Joan Marcus)

On Tuesday, August 1st “Motown The Musical” opens at DPAC with shows running through Sunday August 6th. Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, this musical tells the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from a former featherweight boxer drawn to Detroit to work in the auto industry, to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of such icons as Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and many more.

The show features more than 40 classic hits such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and explores how the whole Motown family fought against the odds to create the soundtrack of change in America.

The tour guide on this journey exploring the Motor City of the late 1960s and ’70s, and the show’s principal character, is Berry Gordy (played by Chester Gregory), the founder of Motown Records. I recently had the chance to speak to Gregory by phone about what it is like to play the this icon of Motown.


Chester Gregory (Berry Gordy) & Allison Semmes (Dianna Ross) in “Motown the Musical”
(photo by Joan Marcus)

Chester Gregory has always been a fan of the music of Motown and the artists who got their break and eventually achieved stardom by way of the famous record company. Previous to joining Motown, Gregory gained a lot of attention and praise  for his role as Jackie Wilson in “The Jackie Wilson Story”. He also performs as a recording artist by the name of Chess, and has starred in multiple shows on Broadway and in in touring productions such as “Sister Act,” “Hairspray,” “Shrek,” and “Dreamgirls”.

“Having played Jackie Wilson, and now having the opportunity to play Berry Gordy, the founder of the Motown record label is an amazing opportunity,” says Gregory. Chester also once performed for Michael Jackson. “MJ was very influential in the development of my career. He changed the face of pop culture. Now getting the chance to play Gordy, who wrote songs for Jackie Wilson, who in turn influenced MJ, well it sort of feels a little like things coming full circle for me in terms of the characters I play”.

When asked how the show is different from other musicals, Gregory explains it this way – “We’ve  all either heard of or been to other shows that have been inspired by Motown-like stories, but this is how it all started. Most importantly this is the story as written by the man himself, Berry Gordy, who put it all together.”

Gregory hopes the show will give audiences an intro a glimpse of the interesting backstories behind their favorite Motown tunes and transport them back in time to moments shaped by the music performed on stage. “What I hope they take away is not only celebrating Motown’s legacy, but learning more about how it all came together and the man who was the visionary behind it all.”

“Motown the Musical” opens at DPAC Tuesday, August 1st with performances through Sunday, August 6th. For tickets visit

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Weekend Picks: July 21st – 23rd

Andy Ferrell

Andy Ferrell performs at Mystery Brewing in Hillsborough Friday at 8:30pm
(photo by Daniel Barlow)

This weekend is going to be a scorcher so I’ve decided to pick events to enjoy inside where it will be nice and cool. Here are my top picks for the weekend. Also, if you are looking to cool off with some ice cream I recommend checking out the new Two Roosters Ice Cream Shop that just opened in North Raleigh. If you are in Durham, there is no better place to grab a cone than at The Parlour. Stay cool and happy exploring!

Friday – July 21

Cajammers Perform at the Blue Note Grill – Durham
The Cajammers are a North Carolina band that has been playing a highly danceable mix of Cajun, Zydeco, and swamp pop since 2012. Unique to the group is a trio of female fiddlers who adore sharing their love for Louisiana-inspired tunes with the audience. This energetic group will keep your toes tapping from beginning to end! Music 8pm-11:30pm at the Blue Note Grill in Durham.

Saturday – July 22

Andy Ferrell at Mystery Brewing Public House – Hillsborough
North Carolina roots songwriter Andy Ferrell perorms this Saturday at the Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough 8:30pm-11:30pm. Born in Boone, NC, Ferrell grew up in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the birthplace of Appalachian traditional music and the home of the great Doc Watson. Growing up in Watson’s shadow, and with a folk guitarist for a father, Appalachian roots play a large role in Ferrell’s music.

Sunday – July 23

Kitten Party at Wake County Animal Center – Raleigh
The Wake County Animal Center of Raleigh will be having a kitten party. Come meet your new best friend. There will be many adorable available fuzz balls. 12-5pm. 820 Beacon Lake Dr, Raleigh.

Free Play at Level Up Kitchen & Barcadium
Play any of your favorite arcade games at The Level Up Kitchen + Barcadium for FREE. Sip on one of our ice cold drafts for $1 off!

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Weekend Picks: July 14th – 16th


Two Roosters Ice Cream Truck Opens their North Raleigh Storefront this Sunday at 2pm

This weekend there are several cool things to enjoy. Friday night I highly recommend checking out the Party in the Park at the NCMA Ellipse Lawn. Then there’s awesome Blues Music in Durham on Saturday. Finally, wrap up the weekend with the Grand Opening of the Two Roosters Ice Cream Shop on Sunday. Below are all the details you need to enjoy my top picks this weekend. Happy Exploring!

Friday – July 14th

Hoopla: Party in the Park at NCMA
Hoopla is back, Polynesian style, with a Carolina luau! Experience fire dancers and ukulele music amid art in the Park. A local DJ spins tunes, and Imagine Circus dazzles with their Femme de Fire show. Durham Ukulele Orchestra and Raleigh Drum Circle perform. Food trucks will be on hand (see list below), and beer, wine, and nonalcoholic drinks will be available for purchase. The Disney film Moana (ticket required) screens after the party at 9 pm. The event takes place in the NCMA Park at the Ellipse Lawn

Gregg Gelb & the Second Line Stompers in Cary
The Starlight Concert Series is a lively series of free concerts that features musical styles from near and far. Concerts takes place at 7pm in the beautiful gardens of the Page-Walker Arts & History Center in Cary. Bring a picnic and enjoy music by starlight! Enjoy and evening of jazz with central North Carolina’s top jazz musician and his band in their Starlight Concert debut!  With guest singer Kathy Montgomery Gelb. Del’s Lemonade will be on-site during the concert selling frozen lemonade!

Saturday – July 15th

Pat “Mother of Blues” Cohen performs at The Bullpen
For years, Pat sang in New Orleans six nights a week, performing at a wide array of venues including the House of Blues, until Katrina destroyed her home. She relocated to North Carolina and has recently started touring with the Music Maker Blues Revue. This Saturday at 8:30pm you can hear her perform at The Bullpen in Durham right next to the Durham Bulls Stadium. The Bullpen is known for great wings and a nice selection of local beer.

Sunday – July 16th

Two Roosters Ice Cream Shop Grand Opening
The Two Roosters Ice Cream Truck is opening their long awaited Brick & Mortar Ice Cream Shop in North Raleigh this Sunday at 2pm. Customers can expect a rotating menu of ice cream with 10 popular flavors always on hand. The new storefront is located next to Gonza Tacos off Lead Mine Road in the same shopping center as Sola Coffe Cafe’. Nothing better than enjoying a cone of locally made ice cream as a way to celebrate National Ice Cream Day!

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Beericana Craft Beer & Music Festival Returns to Holly Springs September 9th!


Do you like craft beer and food trucks? Well, mark your calendars because the Beericana craft beer & music festival returns to Holly Springs SaturdaySeptember 9th. This year’s event, organized by 919 Beer, will feature 70 breweries from across North Carolina and beyond, 16 food trucks, and 3 live bands. Entry to the festival gets you unlimited tastings from the breweries. Food is available for purchase from the many food trucks.

Tickets go on sale July 15th at 10am. Tickets are $75 for VIP early access from noon to 6 p.m. and $45 for general admission from 2 to 6 p.m. There is also a $15 option for music only. For a peek at what Beericana was like last year check out the short clip below.

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 9th, 2017
Sugg Farm Park – Holly Springs, NC (map)
For updates & inside notes follow @beericana and @919beer.

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