Category Archives: Events

In Cary, greenways will soon link American Tobacco Trail to Umstead State Park

By the end of 2019, greenways in Cary could link the American Tobacco Trail to Umstead State Park.

“This coming year, we will be getting closer to finishing the White Oak Creek Greenway, which will go all the way from Bond Park to the American Tobacco Trail,” Town Council member, Jennifer Robinson said.

That remaining work, about two miles in all, is in two segments. The longer segment, 1.81 miles from Green Level Church to the American Tobacco Trail, is under construction with completion scheduled for early 2019. The second segment, between MacArthur Drive and Davis Drive, is much shorter at four-tenths of a mile. But it’s more complicated because it requires a crossing under a CSX rail line.

“We’re still working on an agreement with CSX,” Amy Mackintosh, a landscape architect with the town, said in an email. “But we’re planning to start this fall if agreements are finalized.”

Given a year for construction, the project will wrap up in the fall of 2019.

That will be cause for excitement, George said. “When the town finishes those two miles of greenway, we’ll have 14 continuous miles of greenway that run from the American Tobacco Trail all the way to Umstead Park,” he noted in “Cary Matters.”

That’s because the White Oak Creek Greenway will stretch from the American Tobacco Trail to Bond Park, where it already meets the Black Creek Greenway, which runs to Umstead Park.

The town considers the White Oak and Black Creek greenways the spine of its greenway system, but those two trails have plenty of company in Cary, which has more than 80 miles of trails.

Also this year, the town plans to begin work on two segments of the Panther Creek Greenway. One segment will run 1.2 miles from the Cameron Pond neighborhood to Green Level Church Road. The second segment will run one-third of a mile to connect to Mills Park.

“When complete, this 4.9-mile greenway will run from Highway 55 to the American Tobacco Trail,” Robinson noted.

Beyond greenways, Cary this year is designing two 20-acre neighborhood parks — one on McCrimmon Parkway and one on Carpenter Fire Station Road.

Possible amenities for the McCrimmon Parkway park include nature trails, a play area, a picnic shelter, an open lawn, an open-air pavilion, a dog park, courts, adult fitness and a corner plaza.

The Carpenter Fire Station Road park could feature a play area for teens, sports fields, courts for tennis and pickleball, adult fitness areas, a picnic shelter, wetland education, a lawn and space for future fields and courts.

When the town will build these parks is an open question. Cary has set aside the money for design but not construction.

by: Scott Bolejack, New & Observer
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2017 Holiday Events: Santa Visits, Christmas Tree Lightings, Sleigh Rides, Parades, Festivals

APEX

The Halle Cultural Arts Center presents two holiday productions in December. See Infinity Ballet perform “Nutcracker Dances” Dec. 1-3, and two musicals in one with “A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol” and “The Great Big Holiday Bake Off: A Confectionary Christmas Musical” Dec. 8-10. Visit etix.com for show times and to purchase tickets.

CARY

See 20 light displays illuminated by thousands of LED lights at the Chinese Lantern Festival at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary Nov. 24-Jan. 14. The hours are 6-10 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. The festival also features cultural performances and artisans. Purchase tickets, $15 for adults and $10 for ages 3-17, online at boothamphitheatre.com/nc-chinese-lantern-festival-cary.

The 2017 Cary Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Cary Jaycees, is Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. See the website for the parade route. caryjaycees.org/cary-jaycees-christmas-parade.

Cary Ballet Company presents “The Nutcracker Suite” Dec. 15-17 at the Cary Arts Center. Purchase tickets, $21-$25, at etix.com/ticket/v/8087/cary-arts-center.

Cary’s Menorah Lighting is Dec. 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Cary Arts Center. The town’s Kwanzaa Celebration is Dec. 29, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. townofcary.org.

DURHAM

Carolina Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” Dec. 9-10 at the Durham Performing Arts Center. See the website for show times and to purchase tickets at carolinaballet.com.

Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker” takes place Dec. 13-14 at 7 p.m. at Carolina Theatre in Durham and features world-class Russian dancers, nesting dolls and giant puppets. Purchase tickets online at ticketmaster.com.

Christmas in the Piedmont During the Civil War at Bennett Place State Historic Site in Durham celebrates the season Dec. 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with living historians who demonstrate cooking and gift-wrapping in the 19th century. Santa visits with families during the event. Candlelit tours of the site take place from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are required for the tours and are $3 for adults and $2 for ages 5-16. 919-383-4345. bennettplacehistoricsite.com.

RALEIGH

 

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” lands at Fletcher Theater for performances Nov. 24-Dec. 24. Purchase tickets, $15 and up, at ticketmaster.com.

Theatre in the Park presents “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Dec. 1-10. See the website for show times and to purchase tickets. Theatre in the Park’s production of “A Christmas Carol” is Dec. 6-10 at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium and Dec. 14-17 at the Durham Performing Arts Center. See the website for show times and purchase tickets at ticketmaster.com.

Raleigh Little Theatre presents its holiday sugarplum, “Cinderella,” Dec. 1-17. See the website for show times and to purchase tickets. raleighlittletheatre.org.

RALEIGH LITTLE THEATRE’S “CINDERELLA” CHARMS AUDIENCES OF ALL AGES DEC. 1-17. PHOTO COURTESY OF CARRIE SANTIAGO

Mordecai Historic Park’s Holiday Open House in Raleigh welcomes families Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Dec. 10, 1-4 p.m. Tour the home as it would have been decorated for Christmas during colonial days through the World War II era. Admission is free. Take one of the lantern tours, which run 5-8:30 p.m. on Dec. 9, through the house and grounds to watch vignettes of the Mordecai family, soldiers and enslaved people during the Civil War. Purchase tickets, $5 per person, at reclink.raleighnc.gov (click on “advanced search” and search for “Mordecai”).

Raleigh Ringers’ Holiday Concerts Dec. 9-10 at Meymandi Concert Hall showcase unique interpretations of sacred, secular and popular music arranged just for handbells. See the website for show times and to purchase tickets. ticketmaster.com.

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s holiday spectacle, “Ghosts of Christmas Eve,” is Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at PNC Arena. ticketmaster.com.

Carolina Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” Dec. 15-24 at Raleigh Memorial auditorium. See the website for show times and purchase tickets at carolinaballet.com.

The renowned Raleigh Boychoir presents “Carols of Christmas” Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. at Edenton Street United Methodist Church. Purchase tickets, $8-$18, at raleighboychoir.org.

First Night Raleigh takes place Dec. 31, 2 p.m.-midnight, in downtown Raleigh. Enjoy a variety of family-friendly activities prior to the Acorn Drop at midnight. A First Night button, $10, is required for entry. firstnightraleigh.com.

RING IN THE NEW YEAR AT FIRST NIGHT RALEIGH. PHOTO COURTESY OF ARTSPLOSURE/FIRST NIGHT RALEIGH

OTHER TRIANGLE TOWNS

Visit Lights on the Neuse in Clayton, a 1-mile, tractor-pulled Christmas hayride through a magical extravaganza of holiday lights on select nights in November and December. The event also offers a sweet shop and visit with Santa. See the website for hours and to purchase tickets. lightsontheneuse.com.

Hop aboard an open train car with all the trimmings when New Hope Valley Railway in New Hill hosts its annual Holiday Santa Trains. Santa Claus and his elf visit with each child and pose for photos. Trains run Dec. 2, 3, 9 and 10, departing at 9:30 a.m.,11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Visit the website for prices and to purchase tickets. triangletrain.com.

RIDE THE RAILS WITH NEW HOPE VALLEY RAILWAY IN DECEMBER. PHOTO COURTESY OF NEW HOPE VALLEY RAILWAY

The Pittsboro Christmas Parade is Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. and features seasonal floats, tractors, vintage vehicles, Santa and more. pittsboronc.gov.

Smithfield’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting is Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at the corner of Third and Market streets. Enjoy hot chocolate, live entertainment and an appearance from Santa. The annual Smithfield Christmas Parade is Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. on Market Street. smithfield-nc.com.

The Lighting of Wake Forest  The town’s holiday parade, featuring high school marching bands, more than 100 colorful floats and Santa, takes place Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. in downtown Wake Forest. wakeforestnc.gov.

Take a covered wagon hayride through the holiday lights, and enjoy bonfires, a jumping pillow, train rides and music at Hill Ridge Farms’ Festival of Lights in Youngsville Nov. 23-Dec. 31, 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Admission is $10 for ages 2 and older Sun., Mon., Tues and Thurs.; $12 for ages 2 and older Fri.-Sat.; and $8 on Wed. hillridgefarms.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is this city the new belle of the American South?

They say good things come in threes, and North Carolina’s Research Triangle of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill is no exception. Raleigh is the state capital, Durham, with its healthcare, life sciences and biotech industries, is the “city of medicine,” while Chapel Hill is a university town. While they are for sure a powerful trio, there are plenty of reasons to visit just Raleigh. It’s a destination in its own right. Last year 15 million visitors came to Raleigh, despite having not a beach or mountain in sight. Go figure.

For one thing, times have changed. To say that downtown was once sleepy is polite. What was “dead” just a few years ago has morphed into a hip hub, one where folks not only hang out after work, but also on weekends. What happened? Duke Energy sold to Red Hat, Citrix moved from the suburbs to downtown and HQ Raleigh, a startup incubator, sprang up. The Warehouse District, a major piece of downtown, has been revitalized with many old red brick buildings repurposed. Investments in apartments, condos, mixed-use developments followed, as did a slew of restaurants, bars and music venues. Hoteliers haven’t missed out. The Residence Inn by Marriott Downtown Raleigh is a welcome addition, especially with its 10th & Terrace rooftop bar.

There’s no shortage of hot spots. Bon Appetit just ranked Brewery Bhavana one of the top 10 restaurants in the nation. It’s on historic Moore Square park downtown, and you could spend hours there. It’s a brewery, dim sum restaurant, flower shop and bookstore. Pick out a book and relax at the long tables and sip a brew. Whiskey Kitchen is a little bit country and a lot whiskey. Get set for some of the best fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese and pea tendrils, boiled peanuts with pickled peppers, lamb burgers, shrimp rolls and more in the site of a former automotive shop. Garland, meanwhile, is a tasty mashup of Indian and Pan-Asian fusion and craft cocktails. Its whimsical setting feels more West Village than You can’t visit North Carolina without some barbecue. The Pit Authentic Barbecue has been featured on the Travel Channel and the Food Network, among others. It’s no surprise. This whole-hog, pit-cooked barbecue passes the taste test for the most discerning BBQ fans. Not only do you get pork, but Texas-style brisket, barbecued turkey, fried chicken, skillet cornbread, deviled eggs, collards, mac ‘n’ cheese. Whatever you order must also include the banana pudding.

The Warehouse District is also home to CAM Raleigh (Contemporary Art Museum). There is no permanent collection, so there’s always something new.  Boxcar Bar + Arcade is where you can just plain have fun. Remember Skeeball and air hockey? Get your fill of them here, plus more than 100 arcade games, live music, draft craft beers and a full bar. Visit Videri Chocolate, the Morgan Street Food Hall & Market, as well art galleries and unique stories like Raleigh Denim

Workshop, for limited edition jeans made from start to finish in downtown Raleigh. These jeans are designed for men and women, “who love what they do and get shit done.”

Perhaps plan a trip around one of the city’s numerous fests, like the annual Wide Open Bluegrass Festival, featuring a weekend of concerts at the Red Hat Amphitheatre, plus several stages of free concerts around downtown. There’s also the North Carolina Whole Hog BBQ Championship including a conference, exhibits, food, drinks and street vendors. Every month there’s some kind of festival, especially in September and October.
The action doesn’t begin and end in downtown. Do venture to the North Carolina Museum of Art and Art Park, which at 164 acres is the largest museum art park in the U.S. and features larger-than-life outdoor art installations, woodlands and creeks. Drink up at dozens of breweries along the Raleigh Beer Trail. Elsewhere, there are plenty of places to bike and golf. Don’t cheat yourself. Explore neighboring towns like Cary, where you can chill out at the Five-Diamond Umstead Hotel and Spa, where pampering and pleasing is a priority.

Raleigh isn’t trying to be like any other city; it’s cool with who it is and what it’s becoming. Folks in Raleigh live by the state motto, “To be, rather than to seem.”

by: Sheryl Nance-Nash