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Written by:  Odile Fredericks
Date: May 17, 2012

Plan on a weekend of eclectic fun in the Triangle, where family events and kids activities celebrate hogs (Hillsborough Hog Day), Tar Heel culture, music and cuisine (Got to Be NC Festival),  chickens (Tour d'Coop), art (Artsplosure), LEGOs (BrickMagic LEGO Festival), the universe (Astronomy Days), and music (Town of Cary's free Starlight Concert Series, Artsplosure, Hillsborough Hog Day). Many events are free! Unless otherwise noted, you'll find details of these events, and many others, in our Daily Calendar.

Kick the weekend off with a free spicy Latin concert in Cary at 7 p.m. Friday, compliments of the Town of Cary's Starlight Concert Series. The Serengue Salsa Band will perform at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center Garden. Don't forget to pack a lawn chair and pack a picnic for a perfect outing.

On Saturday and Sunday, Artsplosure 2012, the annual Raleigh arts festival, offers live music, an art market, food and visual art from more than 170 artists. A special Kidsplosure area offers fun for children and families, including interactive art activities and performances for younger audiences.

Also in Raleigh on Saturday and Sunday, the third annual BrickMagic LEGO Festival will draw LEGO fans of all ages. Help certified professional LEGO builder Dan Parker build a 6-foot-wide LEGO Deathstar. Explore a huge hall of custom creations and make your own in a Free Build Room. Watch mini movies. Buy accessories you need. See our Daily Calendar for the festival schedule.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, catch The Got to Be NC Festival at the N.C. State Fairgrounds, in Raleigh, to join in a celebration of our state's culture, music and cuisine. Enjoy a carnival as well as a tractor parade, petting zoo, racing pigs, hands-on educational activities, and arts and crafts for kids in the Kidz Corral. Admission is free, but there is a fee for some activities and areas. See our Daily Calendar for schedules.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh, will feature Astronomy Days, a free event on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 20 from noon to 5 p.m. Astronomy Days, produced by NASA, the museum and the Raleigh Astronomy Club, offers educational stations, interactive exhibits, workshops and presentations on space. This year's theme, Manned Space Flight and the International Space Station, takes a look at past shuttle missions and their role in planetary exploration. You can also see the NASA exhibit "Destination Station," which highlights activities performed on the International Space Station and potential impacts the station's work may have for daily life on Earth. Visit the museum's site for details.

Take a tour of urban chicken coops in Raleigh on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the Tour d'Coop takes place rain or shine. You'll view hens and coops tucked into the neighborhood gardens. To purchase tickets, visit www.tourdcoop.com. All tour proceeds benefit Urban Ministries of Raleigh.

In Chapel Hill, there's a celebration of all things Greek. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, head to a Greek Festival at East Chapel Hill High School to enjoy Greek music, folk dancing, pastries, vendors and more. See our Daily Calendar for details, including admission price and schedules.

On Friday and Saturday, Hillsborough will host Hillsborough Hog Day, a family fun festival featuring food, live music, crafts and vendors, games, rides and a classic car show. You'll find a pig cooking on Friday. Admission is free. See our Daily Calendar for schedules.

On Saturday, a Downtown Durham Event, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., will feature live music, a kids' area, a book giveaway and a free picnic lunch with hot dogs, hamburgers and ice cream. The event will be held on Queen Street, between Main and Liberty streets, in Durham, and it's free for all ages. You are welcome to bring non-perishable food for donation.

Free Saturday fun includes events at Triangle-area farmers markets!  In downtown Hillsborough on Saturday, the Eno River Farmers Market will run from 8 a.m. to noon and will feature free make-and-take crafts for kids. In Cary, the Western Wake Farmers Market will run from 8 am. to noon offering live music, the produce of more than 30 farmers and artisans, and a special program in the Education Tent.

In Durham on Sunday, The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University will host a free Family Day. Enjoy a gallery hunt, make-and-take crafts and live entertainment from noon to 4 p.m.

Also in Durham on Sunday, Spring Family Fun at Duke Gardens, a free drop-in program appropriate for all ages, runs from noon to 3 p.m. Head to the Doris Duke Center at Duke University to enjoy activity stations and displays. Make a craft to take home. See our Daily Calendar for details.

In Raleigh, the Historic Yates Mill County Park, in Raleigh, will hold corn-milling demonstrations from 1 to 4 p.m. Step back in time with costumed interpreters to see how corn was ground into meal. Ages 6 and younger are admitted free. Reservations are encouraged. See our Daily Calendar for details.

How about taking your kids to learn how to fish on Sunday? Fishin' Frenzy kicks off at 2 and runs through 4 p.m. at the Lake Michie Boathouse, in Durham. Poles and bait are provided. The program is for children ages 5 to 12 who are accompanied by an adult. See our Daily Calendar for details on cost.

If you're concerned about the lack of health care for students in Wake County, join with Wake County students who will be rallying to promote their solution to the issue. The free Hands on School Health Rally will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Wake County Commons Building at 4011 Carya Drive, in Raleigh, and will feature three hour-long trainings on advocacy and a spoken word performance by the North Carolina-based Sacrificial Poets. Youth who take part can receive community service hours. Learn more in Wake Students Rally to Build Support for School-Based Health Center.



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