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Free Weekend Fun: Festivals, Concerts, Parade

October 17, 2012 7:51 pm
Written by: Odile Fredericks
Get ready for a weekend of festivals and other family fun in the Triangle. Celebrate at a Mardi Gras-style parade with giant puppets in Hillsborough. Explore the culture of India at the Diwali festival of lights in Cary. Head to Durham for the Durham Bulls Fall Fan Fest, where Wool E. Bull will be showing off his Halloween costume. Or enjoy the natural wonders of the North Carolina Botanical Garden's Morgan Creek Festival, in Chapel Hill. Many events are free and feature live music. Unless otherwise noted, find details of these upcoming events in our Daily Calendar.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, don't miss the Hillsborough Handmade Parade, a Mardi Gras-style street parade through downtown Hillsborough featuring giant puppets, marching bands and stilt-walkers. The walking theatrical performance from Margaret Lane up Churton Street to the Historic Burwell school is free and sponsored by the Hillsborough Arts Council. After the parade, enjoy a free concert of five bands until 10 p.m. as part of the Fresh Roots Festival. Details about the parade including maps, traffic routing and free parking are available at this website.

In Cary, Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, runs from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Booth Amphitheatre. A free cultural event, Cary's Diwali offers an array of local and international entertainment, arts, cuisine, and shopping reminiscent of India. Headlining this year's show is the SHIAMAK Dance Team, which has performed at global events including the Closing Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games and the World Economic Forum. Fireworks will cap the evening. The event will take place rain or shine, and is free to the public; seats in the VIP area in front of the stage are $10 and available the day of the event only. Learn more here.

In Durham, head to the Durham Bulls' Fall Fan Fest  Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.  Former Bull and current Tampa Bay Rays infielder Elliot Johnson will be signing autographs, and fans can take batting practice and play catch on the field. Entry to Fall Fan Fest is free with the donation of three canned food items.  The first 250 fans to arrive will receive a free lunch, and all fans can take a tour of the Bulls clubhouse.  Super Wool E. Bull will be showing off his Halloween costume and taking pictures with fans. For more information, visit this site.

In Chapel Hill, the Morgan Creek Festival will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the North Carolina Botanical Garden celebrating the natural wonders and rich history of the Morgan Creek Valley. Listen to live music at 1 p.m., take an expert-led hike from 3 to 5 p.m. or enjoy a presentation about the valley. The event is free and appropriate for all ages. Learn more in our Daily Calendar.

In Raleigh, you're invited to the Historic Yates Mill County Park to discover the mill's Revolutionary past and its role in the Civil War from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The program, Soldiers and Militiamen is free. See our Daily Calendar for details.

Also in Raleigh, it's Family Fun Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Kidz Celebrate, located at 6801 Falls of Neuse Rd. Kids of all ages are invited to enjoy pumpkin painting, carnival games, door prizes and free tours of the facility. Wear a costume to receive a special prize. Melody Maker provides a jumpy castle house, Spider Man balloon art runs from 11:30 to 12:20 p.m., and Princess Rapunzel face painting is offered from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The event is free. See our Daily Calendar for details.

On Sunday, head outdoors for a Fall Bird Hike from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. at Historic Yates Mill County Park, in Raleigh. Discover why birds migrate and hike around the pond looking for the birds of autumn. The event is appropriate for all ages and is free, but registration is required. See our Daily Calendar for details. Take binoculars.

On Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., the North Carolina Museum of Art, in Raleigh, is hosting Octoberfeast a day dedicated to feasting when you'll find a food truck roundup, local artisans and chefs, opportunities to make edible works of art, a special exhibition and more. The free event is appropriate for all ages.

Visit our Things to Do page, Family Fun page and Fall Fun Guide to the Triangle and Beyond! for more upcoming events.


Interested in improving your family's health?

Would you like your family to be one of the Carolina Parent Healthy Families Challenge families? If selected, you will get specialized support and assistance from our team of health and wellness experts to make healthy changes in your family's lifestyle. Learn more here.



Get ready for a weekend of festivals and other family fun in the Triangle. Celebrate at a Mardi Gras-style parade with giant puppets in Hillsborough. Explore the culture of India at the Diwali festival of lights in Cary. Head to Durham for the Durham Bulls Fall Fan Fest, where Wool E. Bull will be showing off his Halloween costume. Or enjoy the natural wonders of the North Carolina Botanical Garden's Morgan Creek Festival, in Chapel Hill. Many events are free and feature live music. Unless otherwise noted, find details of these upcoming events in our Daily Calendar.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, don't miss the Hillsborough Handmade Parade, a Mardi Gras-style street parade through downtown Hillsborough featuring giant puppets, marching bands and stilt-walkers. The walking theatrical performance from Margaret Lane up Churton Street to the Historic Burwell school is free and sponsored by the Hillsborough Arts Council. After the parade, enjoy a free concert of five bands until 10 p.m. as part of the Fresh Roots Festival. Details about the parade including maps, traffic routing and free parking are available at this website.

In Cary, Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, runs from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Booth Amphitheatre. A free cultural event, Cary's Diwali offers an array of local and international entertainment, arts, cuisine, and shopping reminiscent of India. Headlining this year's show is the SHIAMAK Dance Team, which has performed at global events including the Closing Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games and the World Economic Forum. Fireworks will cap the evening. The event will take place rain or shine, and is free to the public; seats in the VIP area in front of the stage are $10 and available the day of the event only. Learn more here.

In Durham, head to the Durham Bulls' Fall Fan Fest  Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.  Former Bull and current Tampa Bay Rays infielder Elliot Johnson will be signing autographs, and fans can take batting practice and play catch on the field. Entry to Fall Fan Fest is free with the donation of three canned food items.  The first 250 fans to arrive will receive a free lunch, and all fans can take a tour of the Bulls clubhouse.  Super Wool E. Bull will be showing off his Halloween costume and taking pictures with fans. For more information, visit this site.

In Chapel Hill, the Morgan Creek Festival will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the North Carolina Botanical Garden celebrating the natural wonders and rich history of the Morgan Creek Valley. Listen to live music at 1 p.m., take an expert-led hike from 3 to 5 p.m. or enjoy a presentation about the valley. The event is free and appropriate for all ages. Learn more in our Daily Calendar.

In Raleigh, you're invited to the Historic Yates Mill County Park to discover the mill's Revolutionary past and its role in the Civil War from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The program, Soldiers and Militiamen is free. See our Daily Calendar for details.

Also in Raleigh, it's Family Fun Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Kidz Celebrate, located at 6801 Falls of Neuse Rd. Kids of all ages are invited to enjoy pumpkin painting, carnival games, door prizes and free tours of the facility. Wear a costume to receive a special prize. Melody Maker provides a jumpy castle house, Spider Man balloon art runs from 11:30 to 12:20 p.m., and Princess Rapunzel face painting is offered from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The event is free. See our Daily Calendar for details.

On Sunday, head outdoors for a Fall Bird Hike from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. at Historic Yates Mill County Park, in Raleigh. Discover why birds migrate and hike around the pond looking for the birds of autumn. The event is appropriate for all ages and is free, but registration is required. See our Daily Calendar for details. Take binoculars.

On Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., the North Carolina Museum of Art, in Raleigh, is hosting Octoberfeast a day dedicated to feasting when you'll find a food truck roundup, local artisans and chefs, opportunities to make edible works of art, a special exhibition and more. The free event is appropriate for all ages.

Visit our Things to Do page, Family Fun page and Fall Fun Guide to the Triangle and Beyond! for more upcoming events.


Interested in improving your family's health?

Would you like your family to be one of the Carolina Parent Healthy Families Challenge families? If selected, you will get specialized support and assistance from our team of health and wellness experts to make healthy changes in your family's lifestyle. Learn more here.


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