Budget-Friendly Summer Movies & Concerts


Published:

Beat the summer heat without breaking your family's budget. Start with this sampling of low-cost or free movies and free outdoor concerts in the area.

Free movies

Durham

Northgate Stadium 10 Free Summer Movie Camp – Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. through Aug. 20. Visit www.eastcoastmovie.com/theatre_info.html for schedule.

Garner

Garner Towne Square 10 – Free kid-friendly features every Tuesday and Wednesday at 11 a.m. through Aug. 4. Call 919-226-2038 or visit http://bit.ly/9LrkV7 for the schedule.

Holly Springs

Friends of the Holly Springs Branch Library Family Movie Festival – Free movie series with G and PG movies on most Saturday mornings at 10:15 a.m. through August. Please call ahead to confirm schedule and arrive early for seating. For more information, schedules and movie titles, call 919-577-1660. Holly Springs Cultural Center, www.hollyspringsnc.us/dept/park/culture.

Raleigh

Raleigh Grande Kids Free Summer Shows – Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. through Aug 4. Visit http://bit.ly/cx8szb for a complete schedule.

Wakefield Marquee Cinemas' Kid's Summer Movie Series – Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. through Aug. 11. Two movies to choose from each day with free admission. Call 919-453-2746 for more information or visit http://bit.ly/cJBXcq for a full schedule.

Multi-city locations

Regal Entertainment Group Free Family Film Festival – Features kid-friendly G or PG movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. through Aug. 11 or 12 (depending on the theater). Triangle locations are Beaver Creek Stadium 12 in Apex, White Oak Stadium 14 in Garner, Brier Creek Stadium 14 in North Raleigh, and North Hills Stadium 14 in Raleigh. Visit http://bit.ly/colGXb for a complete schedule and statewide locations.

Discounted movies

Apex

Halle Cultural Arts Center – Periodically offers Pizza and a Show nights. Visit www.apexnc.org/depts/parks/artsCenter.cfm for details.

Cary

Movies by Moonlight, Koka Booth Amphitheatre – Thursday evenings through Aug. 19. Gates open at 7 p.m. and the movies start at dusk (about 8:30 p.m.). Features PG and PG 13 movies including The Sting and New Moon. Adults, $3; children 12 and under, free. Picnic baskets allowed. A portion of the proceeds benefit the WakeMed Just for Kids Kampaign. www.boothamphitheatre.com/movies.htm.

Chapel Hill

$4 Movies on the Green – Friday and Saturday nights at dusk through July 31 at Lumina Theatre. Call 919-932-9000 for showtime recording,www.thelumina.com.

Raleigh

Blue Ridge Cinemas – Tickets are always $1.50. 919-828-8007 or visit www.carmike.com and choose Raleigh.

N.C. Museum of Art – Outdoor film series on Fridays through Aug. 27 at 8:30 or 9 p.m. Most films are for older kids, but there are a few family flicks on the schedule, including Where the Wild Things Are and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Tickets are $4 and may be purchased at the museum box office, by calling 919-715-5923, or online at http://ncartmuseum.org.

Raleigh's Mission Valley and Six Forks theaters – Shows every Tuesday and Wednesday through Aug. 18. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and the show starts at 10 a.m. Parents/chaperones admitted free with children. Season pass is $6 for 10 films per child. Individual tickets are $2 each. Popcorn and a drink for $2. For more information, contact the general manager of the appropriate theater atSix Forks, 919-846-3904, or Mission Valley, 919-834-2233, or visit http://bit.ly/9lJE51.

Raleighwood Cinema Grill – Weekday afternoon matinees are $2.50. Arrive 30 minutes before the show. Offers booths for dining while watching the movie. Call the office, 919-847-8370; the Movie Line, 919-847-0326; or visit www.raleighwoodmovies.com.

Other parks programs and libraries in the Triangle offer free movies throughout the year.

Free outdoor concerts

Apex

Outdoor Concerts at the Historic Train Depot – Performances include brass, country, big band, rock and roll, beach, bluegrass, reggae and jazz. Visit www.apexnc.org for concert schedule.

Carrboro

Weaver Street Market – After Hours Music on Thursdays and Weaver Street Market Morning Jazz and More Brunch on Sundays – Through Oct. 3. To see if a musical event has been cancelled, call the store at 919-929-0010. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/c2AziR.

Cary

Sertoma Concert Series 2010 – All shows are free and are at the Sertoma Amphitheatre in Bond Park on select Saturdays and Sundays. Picnic baskets permitted. For more information visit http://bit.ly/9n87J1.

Chapel Hill

Carolina Inn Music on the Front Porch – Free concerts on Fridays through Oct. 15. Music from 5-8 p.m. For more information visit http://bit.ly/cz1Cb4.

Chapel Hill 5:40 Summer Music Series – Presented by The ArtsCenter on select Thursdays through Sept. 9. Located at Environ Way near UNC's Finley Golf Course. Concessions available. For more information visit http://bit.ly/dmWWGJ.

Clayton

Clayton Town Square Concerts Series – Free concerts in downtown Clayton through Sept. 16. All concerts are on Thursdays from 7-9 p.m. at the Town Square in downtown Clayton. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. Concessions available. For more information visit www.downtownclayton.org.

Durham

Brightleaf Square Summer Concert Series – Friday nights through Sept. 10 from 7-9 p.m. One Saturday event Aug. 14. Visit www.historicbrightleaf.com/news/index.html.

Music On the Lawn Free Concert Series at American Tobacco Historic District – American Tobacco and WUNC-FM present the Back Porch Music series to deliver 10 free shows at A.T.'s amphitheater on select Fridays at 6 p.m. through Oct. 8. www.americantobaccohistoricdistrict.com.

Southpoint Mall Summer Concert Series – Programs on Saturdays from 6-9 p.m. through October. Visit www.streetsatsouthpoint.com/events for details.

Third Friday Concert Series – Every third Friday through October, 6-8 p.m. Downtown Durham. Visit http://bit.ly/aaVBJC for details.

Garner

Garner Summer Concerts at Lake Benson Park – Free concerts on July 17 and Aug. 21 from 6-8 p.m. Bring lawn chairs. Concessions available. For more information, call 919-773-4442 or visit www.GarnerNC.gov.

Hillsborough

Last Fridays Free Concert Series – Concerts on the last Friday of the month through September presented by the Hillsborough Arts Council at 6:30 p.m. on the old courthouse lawn alongside visual arts, dance and literature. Arts, crafts and food vendors present. Visit www.hillsboroughartscouncil.org/LastFridays.html.

Holly Springs

Holly Springs Cultural Center Outdoor Concerts – Second and fourth Fridays. Music starts at 7 p.m. For complete schedule, visit www.hollyspringsnc.us/dept/park/culture.

Raleigh

Free Summer Concert Series at Fletcher Park – One concert each month through September. Food, games and other family-friendly activities. For a detailed schedule visit www.fletcherparks.org/events/concerts.html.

Midtown Beach Music Series, On the Commons, North Hills – Free concerts on Thursdays from 6-9 p.m. include beach music bands such as the Embers and Liquid Pleasure. For the complete schedule visit http://bit.ly/c5S2hW.

Music on the Porch at Seaboard Station – Friday nights from 7-9 p.m. through the fall at Seaboard Station near Ace Hardware and Peace China, 802 Semart Dr. Includes a large area where kids can play. Dog-friendly event. Occurs rain or shine. Bring lawn chairs. Visit www.seaboardmusic.com.

Kidsfest at Triangle Town Center – Entertainment on the second and fourth Sunday of the month through September from 2-5 p.m. in the Triangle Town Commons. Includes kid-friendly activities.
www.TriangleTownCenter.com.

Wake Forest

The Factory Families After 5 Free Music Series – Thursday, July 8. Music from 5:30-8:30 p.m., http://eatshopplay.com.

See our monthly calendar at www.carolinaparent.com for more family-friendly events.

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Calendar

June 2019

Every year on June 21, we enjoy the most hours of sunlight during the whole year. Discover the science and cultural celebrations behind this special summer day. Make a pretty sun catcher to hang in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

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This celebration of toys features interactive attractions, vendors, toy experiences and more. Purchase tickets online. 

Cost: $12/person. Free for ages 2 and younger.

Where:
Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

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Enjoy stories with Amy Godfrey.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth St.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

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Join Mindful Families of Durham, a Buddhist-inspired spiritual community that supports area parents, caregivers, and their children in the practice of mindfulness and the understanding of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
Website »

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Enjoy food, activities, music, and water sprayer fun for kids. Sixteen vendors will offer African clothing, jewelry, beauty products, voter registration, HIV/AIDS education and testing,...

Cost: Free

Where:
East End Community
Wake Forest, NC  27587


Website »

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p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.0px Calibri; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} Safely view the Sun through a solar telescope, hear about how...

Cost: Free

Where:
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
11 W. Jones St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Website »

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Learn more about our amazing star, the Sun. Safely view the Sun through a solar telescope, hear about how the Sun and other stars affect life on planets, and about current solar science...

Cost: Free

Where:
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
121 W. Jones St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

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Discover Historic Yates Mill - a place of business, community, and exciting local history! Watch a brief slideshow, then explore the inner workings of the mill itself and witness the power of water...

Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Free/Child (6 - under)

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Enjoy ice cream made by the Children's House program and splash in the water table and kiddie pool.

Cost: Free

Where:
Nido: Coworking & Childcare
902 Broad St.
Durham, NC  27705
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Website »

More information

Durham Refugee Day celebrates the contributions and cultures of our refugee and immigrant communities and provides an opportunity to stand in solidarity with these neighbors. This is a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Durham Central Park
501 Foster St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Website »

More information

Make colorful jellyfish with wiggly tentacles. Age 2-6 with caregiver. Register online. Choose course #125005.

Cost: $10/resident, $13/nonresident

Where:
Bond Park Community Center
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
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Website »

More information

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Enjoy stories with Amy Godfrey.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth St.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

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Drop by the cybrary for storytime with a librarian. Activity Room 4. Preschool and kindergarten ages. No registration necessary. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Carrboro Cybrary
100 N Greensboro St
Carrboro, NC  27510
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-918-7387
Contact Name: Cybrary
Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy stories with Amy Godfrey.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth St.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.0px 'Times New Roman'; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.0px 'Times...

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Court
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Website »

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Ages 11 and older with special needs sing favorite songs, karaoke-style. Register online. Choose course #125030.

Cost: $3/resident, $3/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
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Website »

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Enjoy stories with Amy Godfrey.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth St.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

See a fun mashup of classic fairytales. 

Cost: $3/person

Where:
Carrboro Century Center
100 N. Greensboro St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
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Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

Sally Ride will take audiences on the ride of their life in this dynamic performance about space exploration. Through music, audience participation, and narrative, kids will see just how far...

Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Main Library
137 W Margaret Ln
Hillsborough, NC  27278
View map »


Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Orange County Main Library
Website »

More information

Enjoy tea time for the whole family. Samples of hot tea, cold tea, and kombucha will be provided, along with games and family fun.

Cost: Free

Where:
IngenuiTea Kombucha Coffee & Tea
514 E Williams St
APEX, NC  27502
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Sponsor: IngenuiTea Brews
Telephone: 919-438-3684
Contact Name: Mark Poole
Website »

More information

Sally Ride will take audiences on the ride of their life in this dynamic performance about space exploration. Through music, audience participation, and narrative, kids will see just how far...

Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Main Library
137 W Margaret Ln
Hillsborough, NC  27278
View map »


Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Orange County Main Library
Website »

More information

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Meet a staff member at the information desk and follow your guide outside to the garden exhibit or into one of the museum galleries. Look around and listen to a history-related story. Ages 3...

Cost: Free

Where:
N.C. Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Website »

More information

Kids ages 6-9 discover the different types of turtles that live at the Preserve.  The focus will be hands-on outdoor investigation and the study of living things in their habitat.  In...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Marti Kane
Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

Explore the ocean through books and trivia. Make your own travel-sized magnetic fishing game. Grades 3-5.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Court
Knightdale, NC  27545
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 11 and older with special needs play bocce, cornhole, croquet and more on the lawn. Register online. Choose course #125353.

Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

Where:
Page-Walker Arts & History Center
119 Ambassador Loop
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Website »

More information

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Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

Walk through the Cretaceous period, the Jurassic Period and the Triassic period and experience what it was like to be among living dinosaurs. See life-size replicas of adult and baby dinosaurs, dig...

Cost: $22-$36

Where:
Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Meet live owls and other raptors, learn the secrets about their lives in the wild. Grades K-5.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Court
Knightdale, NC  27545
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 4-10 enjoy an evening with hiking, crafts, music, games and s'mores. Register online. Choose course #124331.

Cost: $23/parent and child pair; $12 additional child

Where:
Bond Park, Kiwanis Shelter
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

Join the TreeRunner staff at Raleigh for a magical night in the park. Dress as your favorite prince, princess, wizard or another fairy tale character and come climb in the trees. Take pictures with...

Cost: General Admission

Where:
TreeRunner Raleigh
12804 Norwood Rd
Raleigh, NC  27613
View map »


Sponsor: N/A
Telephone: 919-410-7347

More information

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Walk through the Cretaceous period, the Jurassic Period and the Triassic period and experience what it was like to be among living dinosaurs. See life-size replicas of adult and baby dinosaurs, dig...

Cost: $22-$36

Where:
Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Take your family for a fun day of making slime, playing with slime, watching live demos on how to make slime, buying slime from Instagram slime stars, and much more! Kids under 3 admitted free....

Cost: $20-$70

Where:
Kerr Scott Building of NC State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Take part in the Carolina Hurricanes' Summerfest Celebration, headlined by an autograph session at 10 a.m., a State of the Hurricanes panel at 10:45 a.m. and the final practice of Prospect...

Cost: Free

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh , NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 1-5 and caregiver delight in the discoveries of nature. Register online. Choose course #124952.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Please join us for the SouthEast Crab Feast event this summer in Raleigh, NC.  This event offers the Low Country Coastal Heritage of outdoor cooking of fresh seafood.  This highly...

Cost: $10-$30

Where:
Lake Wheeler Park
6404 Lake Wheeler Rd
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: SouthEast Crab Feast Inc.
Telephone: 980-202-1142
Contact Name: Jamell Hamilton
Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

Search wetlands and forests for birds. Ages 13-15. Register online. Choose course #124934.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Hemlock Bluffs/Stevens Nature Center
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Want to get inside Historic Yates Mill? Join us for a half-hour tour (starting at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30 or 3 p.m.) to view the main power drive and milling machinery while exploring the mill's...

Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Free/Child (ages 6-under)

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Take the family for a day of fun, free food, live music, kids activities, giveaways, and motorcycle shows. There will be an onsite food pantry, job fair, health screening, clothing distribution,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Launch Ministries
3013 Barrow Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27616
View map »


Telephone: (919) 225-1020
Contact Name: Yolanda Morgan
Website »

More information

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Annual Guides

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