Salt & Smoke Festival Returns Saturday Nov. 4th!

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Salt & Smoke Festival  is this Saturday, November 4th in Orange County

This Saturday, November 4th ACME presents the annual Salt & Smoke Festival at Rock Quarry Farm in Orange County just outside of Chapel Hill. What is Salt and Smoke? Think whole hog BBQ, a heaping plate of southern sides, perfect raw oysters, the best local spirits and beer, and live music all day long.

This festival is a taste of the South. They pick the best farmers and musicians, brewers and fishermen, cooks and craftsmen–people who have built a life in a place they love. And then we bring these people and their passion together for an afternoon of good food, music, and community.

Enjoy some amazing food and drink and catch musical performances by Boom Unit Brass Band, The Rock Quarry Ramblers (new music from the guys in Big Fat Gap!), Greg Humphreys & Friends, and Hearts and Daggers!

For more ticket info visit their website

Salt & Smoke Poster


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Weekend Picks: October 27th – 29th


Full Bloom Coffee in Garner Hosts “Food Truck Friday” Tonight  5-8pm.

There are some fun events going on this weekend that take advantage of this great fall weather we are enjoying. Here are my top picks for the last weekend of October:

Friday – October 27th 

Food Truck Fridays
Curry in a Hurry Food Truck will be serving up delicious Indian cuisine in Downtown Garner this Friday night from 5-8pm. You can find them parked outside Full Bloom Coffee at 141 W Main Street. While you’re there be sure to pop in Full Bloom and enjoy both coffee and one of their several local beers on tap.

Saturday – October 28th

Durham Farmer’s Market
This is a great time of year to visit the Durham Farmer’s Market held on Saturday from 8am-12pm. Make sure you come hungry and enjoy brunch at one of the many Food Trucks set up along Hunt Street.

HollyFest 2017 in Holly Springs
The Town of Holly Springs joins with churches, civic organizations and businesses for this annual community celebration. Admission is free. The event is on rain or shine. Enjoy live entertainment, rides, inflatables, pig races, and food for every taste. Get a jump start on your Christmas list by visiting the Business Expo and our Arts and Crafts vendors! HollyFest will run 10am-4pm at Sugg Farm Park.

Sunday – October 29th

Food Truck Rodeo in Fuquay
Come out and enjoy an afternoon (1-4pm) of good food, craft beer, live music, and children’s activities in downtown Fuquay (405 Broad Street). Trucks scheduled include:  Cousins Maine Lobster, Brachi- Le Petit Roll, Chirba Chirba Dumplings, Dusty Donuts, JAM Ice Cream, Morfa Empanadas, and Queso Monster.

Food Truck Rodeo in Wake Forest
Find over a dozen popular food tricks this Sunday from 12-4pm in downtown Wake Forest in the parking lot at 405 S. Brook Street. There will also be local vendors, live music, face painting plus additional activities for the kids. Trucks scheduled include: Baconessence, Baquettaboutit, Charlies, Kabob, Cockamoodledoo, Coco Forte, Greek Gussy’s, Hot Chix Hot Cakes and Chicken, Kona Ice, Lumpys Ice Cream, Macurroni, Nutnbutluv, Sweet Traditions, Virgil’s Jamaica.

Additional Weekend Picks You Can Do Anytime:

Take a Walk through Historic Oakwood Neighborhood 

Lunch walk though Historic Oakwood. This is one of my favorites. #Raleigh #HistoricOakwood

A post shared by Triangle Explorer (@triangleexplorer) on

Check out the Latest Mural Project in Raleigh 


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Picture of the Week: Bean Traders in Durham

Bean Traders opened in the Homestead Market on Highway 54 in Durham back in 2000 and it continues to be mainstay of the local coffee scene. It is one of those coffee shops that I just don’t get to as often as I would like, but fall in love with it every time I visit. They roast their own coffee beans, have a creative drink menu, and offer an  impressive assortment of food items like waffles, homemade pies, and my personal favorite …. dark chocolate sea salt cookies.

A little over a year ago the shop expanded into the space next door and revamped its layout adding a lot of additional seating and a bigger coffee bar island to serve its droves of faithful customers. I usually go on the weekends when it can be quite busy, but the line always moves quickly and the space has a relaxing vibe making it a great spot to spend a Saturday morning nursing a warm mug of fresh coffee and people watching.

When you visit there is a pretty good chance you will run into the owners Christy and David both baking things for the shop and working the espresso machine. To learn more about their story and how they first met check out this great article in Durham Magazine. In the meantime add Bean Traders to your list of places to check out the next time you are in the Southpoint Mall area of Durham. Be sure to try their cold brew, it is some of the best around!

Bean Traders
105 W NC Highway 54
Durham, NC

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Weekend Picks: October 20th – 22nd


“Run For Good” at Runologie this Sunday 1-5pm

We have a beautiful weekend ahead of us and there are tons of fun things going on. The NC State Fair is still in town and this weekend also marks the return of the International Festival at the Raleigh Convention Center. Along with those big events be sure to check out the rest of these fun local events going on around the Triangle. Happy Exploring!

Friday – October 20th

Third Friday Art Walk in Durham
Explore downtown Durham’s galleries, artist studios, shops, restaurants and music, from 6-9 p.m. every Third Friday. It’s Third Friday Durham. Get to know the dynamic crop of local buskers around every corner, playing from 6:30-8:30 p.m. View the event map here.

Saturday – October 21st

Oakwood Cemetery Lantern Walk
The annual Oakwood Lantern Walk is a family-oriented program of historical vignettes of life (and death) during the war between the states. Guests will follow a lantern-carrying guide (in period attire) down the luminary-lined paths among the headstones of the 1400 Confederate Veterans buriend in the cemetery. Last tour is at 9pm. Cost $7 (12 & up) / $4 (ages 6-11). This is family friendly, not scary. Tickets sold at the gate. CASH ONLY.

Sunday – October 22nd

“Run for Good” at Runologie
This Sunday from 1-5pm four teams of runners will run on four treadmills outside of Runologie four four hours to raise money for several great charities. You can make a donation, cheer on the runners, and enjoy a beer from State of Beer next door. This is a great local event for excellent causes and I highly recommend you check it out.

Music at Oakwood Cemetery
Historic Oakwood Cemetery hosts its second musical event of the year under the direction of  our Musician-in-Residence Philip Sasser. Joining his chamber-folk ensemble will be the Triangle-area Shape Note Singers singing selections from the Sacred Harp. This unique performance will occur at the cemetery’s iconic “House of Memory,”a stone, neo-Gothic, war memorial adjacent to the Confederate Cemetery. Picnic baskets and families are welcome. Bring your own lawn chairs! Music starts at 4:30pm. No Charge.


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The Little Mermaid Brings Magic of The Sea to DPAC!

Cast of Disneys THE LITTLE MERMAID. Photo by Mark & Tracy Photography.jpg

Cast of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”
(Photo by Mark & Tracy Photography)

The Little Mermaid opened this past Tuesday night in Durham and brought a wave of Disney Magic to the stage at DPAC. I haven’t seen the animated film in quite a while but watching this touring production stirred up a strong dose of nostalgia as the story of the world’s most famous mermaid was brought to life on stage.

The show tells the story of Ariel, a mermaid princess (played by Diana Huey) who longs to leave behind the aquatic kingdom along with her life under the sea to join the humans on the surface. Ariel’s love for the land leads her to make secret journeys to the surface and on one such trip early in the first act she encounters Prince Eric (played Eric Kunze). Ariel ends up rescuing the Prince when he is thrown overboard the ship he is sailing and immediately falls for him further cementing her desire for a life on land.

Ariel’s dad, King Tritan (played by Steve Blanchard) is not pleased with Ariel’s fascination with humans as he blames them for the untimely death of Ariel’s mother. Ariel, being the headstrong mermaid she is turns to the sea witch Ursula in her desperation to make her human. But it comes at a heavy cost – her voice and her soul if she can’t get Prince Eric to kiss her before sunset on the third day.


Diana Huey in Disneys THE LITTLE MERMAID. Photo by Mark & Tracy Photography.jpg

Diana Huey in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”
(Photo by Mark & Tracy Photography)



The show is faithful to the movie with a few adjustments for the stage. These changes add to the story and allow us to learn a little more about the relationship between King Tritan and Ursula (they are brother and sister).

The cast was a lot of fun to watch in this production. Huey does an excellent job as Ariel and her voice shines in several of the numbers.  It is truly amazing the job she does with vocals considering she is almost in constant motion gracefully swimming across the stage suspended high above the ground in a harness.

Sebastian, played by Melvin Abston, also gave a notable performance and almost stole every scene he was in. Abston is full form during the iconic songs “Kiss the Girl” and crowd favorite “Under the Sea”. Equally impressive was Ursual, played by Meredith Inglesby joined by her glowing minions Flotsam and Jetsam.  And of course, the Chef Louis scene in the second Act was an absolute crowd favorite and had people singing along in their seats.

While I’m sure for many in the audience their favorite part of the show was the iconic songs, I was equally amazed at the sets and flight choreography is breathtaking as the characters float/swim across the stage. The cast and crew’s ability to seamlessly work between the stage and the rails deserves high praise for its fluidity and perfection in timing.

Another truly impressive aspect of the show was the sets, while simple in nature, use colors and lighting so well that you truly do feel like you are experiencing life under the sea. This production of “The Little Mermaid” feels like a storybook fantasy come to life on stage and is sure to be a crowd favorite for children and adults alike. There are limited seats available for the remaining shows, but worth trying to catch one if you can!

“The Little Mermaid” has performances at DPAC  through Sunday, October 22nd. For tickets visit

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