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Enjoy live traditional, bluegrass and gospel music Saturday at
Horne Creek Farm’s cornshucking frolic in Pinnacle.

An old-time celebration of fall in Pinnacle, hand-dipped candle making in Creswell and concerts of music from Oscar-winning movies across the state are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The weekend kicks off Thursday when the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem debuts a small new exhibit showcasing the work of local kids, and the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport hosts a 1950s-style sock hop featuring stories and images from Hurricane Hazel.

The fun continues Friday, when visitors to the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh can learn the basics of digital photo restoration from renowned local photographer Dr. Brenda Scott, and the N.C. Museum of Art screens the 50s film noir On Dangerous Ground across town.

Saturday promises opportunities to get your culture on across the state. In the west, Asheville’s Thomas Wolfe Memorial will host an 8k road race to help support the site, while Horne Creek Farm in Pinnacle will put on its annual cornshucking frolic, featuring music, food, kids’ activities and the chance for visitors to try heritage skills like basket weaving and blacksmithing.

In the piedmont, the N.C. Museum of History will host noted Civil War historian Chris Fonville for a talk on the sinking of the ironclad CSS Albermarle, while Historic Halifax will show the family favorite Hook in conjunction with the Queen Anne’s Revenge traveling exhibit it currently has on display. In Mount Gilead, Town Creek Indian Mound will celebrate International Archaeology Day with hands-on archaeology activities for kids and families, crafts and Native American games. Back in Raleigh, the N.C. Museum of Art will offer gallery tours and studio time for families around the theme of unusual landscapes and have a pop-up art cart in its galleries to help kids make mini collage portraits. Also in Raleigh, the State Archives will participate in Home Movie Day by screening films from members of the public and offering prizes for attendees.

At the coast, Creswell’s Somerset Place will have costumed historic interpreters on hand to help visitors make hand-dipped candles and learn the history behind the craft, while the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will host a gathering of traditionally-made boats, complete with free rides for the public and a pig pickin’. The Maritime Museum in Southport will also offer bike tours highlighting the history of its hometown.

The weekend wraps up Sunday at the N.C. Museum of Art with a concert of 17th century music from the Low Countries to celebrate the recent opening of its Small Treasures exhibition.

Throughout the weekend, the N.C. Symphony will play music from Star Trek, West Side Story and other classic movies in New Bern, Raleigh, Fayetteville, Southern Pines and Wilmington , while the 1897 Poe House at the Museum of the Cape Fear in Fayetteville will be decorated for Halloween-themed tours.

Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

Chat with Revolutionary War re-enactors and experience colonial music and dance
Saturday at Historic Halifax

A celebration of Revolutionary War music and dance in Halfiax, behind-the-scenes Battleship tours in Wilmington and a mountain militia muster in Weaverville are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The fun and learning start Thursday when the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort hosts an informal lunchtime chat about a French merchant ship’s role in the American Revolution. Later that day, the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City will give visitors a behind-the-scenes look at its 1888 steam-powered fire engine and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem will host a special screening of a series of films by artist Kevin Jerome Everson in conjunction with its Gather Round exhibition of Everson’s work.

Friday, visitors to the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort can learn how to surf fish from an expert, while the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh shows the Wilmington-filmed thriller Maximum Overdrive as part of its Starring North Carolina! movie series. The N.C. Museum of Art will screen the 1950 thriller Gun Crazy across town.

Revolutionary War-era music, dance and special tours will be offered at Historic Halifax Saturday to celebrate the release of a new book set in the northeastern North Carolina town, while Historic Edenton will showcase another round of yoga classes overlooking the picturesque Albemarle Sound. In Wilmington, the Battleship North Carolina will host exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of unrestored sections of the ship.

Back in Raleigh, the N.C. Museum of History will offer guided tours of its beautiful outdoor agriculture exhibit and teaches kids about North Carolina’s rich tradition of pottery before helping them make a clay-based craft of their own. In the evening, the N.C. Museum of Art will have hors d’oeuvres and live music to celebrate its new exhibition of small-format paintings by Dutch and Flemish masters.

The weekend wraps up Sunday with a concert of old-time banjo music and traditional songs at the N.C. Museum of History and an afternoon of family activities at the Museum of the Albemarle in conjunction with the city-wide Walk for Hunger.

Throughout the weekend, New Bern‘s Tryon Palace will have free garden admission and a heritage plant sale in conjunction with city-wide MUMfest celebration and Vance Birthplace in Weaverville will come alive with the sights and sounds of a mountain militia camp during the Revolutionary War.

Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

This year and last, we’ve been thrilled to host the International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual meeting and music festival in Raleigh. Seeing the breadth of talent in the genre today and the massive number of people interested in a form of music that has strong ties to the western part of our state has truly been amazing.

So, now that you’ve been to (or at least heard of) IBMA and bluegrass, you’re probably wondering what more there is to explore. The answer is simple: a lot.

To get you started here are six Tar Heel bluegrass destinations and events you won’t want to miss:

1. The Earl Scruggs Center, Shelby, Cleveland County

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Named in honor of bluegrass legend and Cleveland County native Earl Scruggs, this spectacular museum opened to wide acclaim earlier this year and explores Scruggs and the roots of the music genre he came to dominate.

2. Red, White and Bluegrass, Morganton, Burke County

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Held annualy on the Fourth of July, there’s no better way to celebrate our nation’s birthday than at this festival, one of North Carolina’s largest music events.

3. The Mount Airy Bluegrass and Old-Time Fiddlers Convention, Mount Airy, Surry County

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One of the more significant of the music festivals held in the Blue Ridge area every summer, this convention celebrates the fame Surry County musicians have achieved throughout the nation.

4. MerleFest, Wilkesboro, Wilkes County

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One of the nation’s premiere music events, this annual festival honors Watauga County bluegrass stars Doc and Merle Watson and draws nearly 75,000 attendees each year.

5. Yadkin Valley Bluegrass Convention, Yadkinville, Yakdin County

A throwback to the more traditional, smaller music contests of yesteryear, this annual event has become a favorite among bluegrass and old-time music fans and musicians alike.

6The BarnEden, Rockingham County

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Not many people create a music venue in their front yard, but that’s exactly what Jerry and Debbie Wilson did just a few years ago. Stop by on any Tuesday night to see and hear bluegrass and gospel bands play in the Wilsons’ barn.

These six places and events are just a few tips to get you started exploring the Old North State’s rich bluegrass culture and heritage. Pick up a copy of the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, produced by the N.C. Arts Council and Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, or check out the book’s companion website for more great ideas.

Meet Thomas the Tank Engine and friends for special train rides, crafts and games
this weekend at the N.C. Transportation Museum

A bluegrass jam in Raleigh, cemetery tours based on the work of Thomas Wolfe in Asheville and train rides with Thomas the Tank Engine in Spencer are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The action starts Thursday when PineCone presents a bluegrass jam at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. Anyone and everyone is invited to bring out their instruments and jam, or just sit back and listen to musicians show off their love of bluegrass. Elsewhere around the state Thursday, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem will host a symposium on the work of filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson, who is the subject of SECCA’s newest exhibition, and the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras will show a film highlighting the history of Blackbeard’s flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Friday, the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will screen the film noir masterpiece The Maltese Falcon, while Saturday, the museum will show a documentary on how new technology is being used to discover the secrets behind some of the world’s oldest art and play the hilarious mockumentary This is Spinal Tap under the stars. Also Saturday, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial will offer tours of Asheville‘s Riverside Cemetery focusing on the real people that inspired Wolfe’s work.

Throughout the weekend:

  • The N.C. Museum of Art will offer free, introductory tours of its galleries and grounds to help visitors get a glimpse of its offerings and see what’s worth deeper exploration
  • Internationally-renowned concert pianist Yevgeny Sudbin joins the N.C. Symphony for concerts of music by Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich in Raleigh
  • Thomas the Tank Engine, Percy and friends pull into the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer for special train rides, crafts, games and more
  • Cycle North Carolina’s “Mountains to Coast” ride will speed through Historic Edenton Thursday and by Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo Friday before wrapping up at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum Saturday
  • Bluegrass musicians from across the country will descend on Raleigh for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass meeting and music festival

Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

Tryon Palace will have interactive crafts for kids and living history tours
of the Hay House as part of its Fall Family Day Saturday

A bluegrass festival in Manteo, a day of family activities in New Bern and an afternoon of jazz music in Raleigh are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The fun starts Thursday when the President James K. Polk Historic Site in Pineville comes alive with the smells and sounds of 19th century cooking. At the coast, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras will help kids create a sandcastle-themed craft and host a local artist for canvas-backed decoy painting demonstrations.

Friday, the N.C. Museum of Art will show the postwar classic drama Ace in the Hole, starring the legendary Kirk Douglas, and stay open late for visitors to explore the galleries at night with the smooth jazz sounds of Fusion Collective South as a backdrop.

Saturday, living historians will be stationed throughout the Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington to show what life was like aboard World War II’s most decorated ship, while the Tryon Palace in New Bern will offer interactive crafts for kids and special living history tours of the Hay House as part of its Fall Family Day. Tryon Palace will also be giving free admission to teachers, serving as a stop on the Kitchens of New Bern tour and hosting Revolutionary War historian Christian McBurney for a lecture and book signing Saturday.

Elsewhere at the coast, the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will celebrate National Estuaries Day with family activities and a trash clean-up of the Rachel Carson Reserve, while the Graveyard of Atlantic Museum will give a talk on whaling and invite members of the public to share their stories related to the industry. The Museum of Albemarle in Elizabeth City will help teens and adults make a fun, fall-themed craft and open a new exhibit on the tradition of tea with a reception and princess tea party.

Back in the Triangle, the N.C. Museum of Art will help families work together to create a piece of collage art after taking a short tour of one museum’s wonderful galleries. Five of our historic sites and museums around the state will be will be offering free admission as part of Smithsonian Magazine‘s Museum Day Live.

Things wrap Sunday with an afternoon of spirituals and jazz with noted vocalist Yolanda Hall at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh, and a concert of old-time stringband music by the Happy Valley Pals at the N.C. Museum of Art across town. The Museum of Albemarle will host local writer Majorie Ann Berry for a lecture and book signing focusing on Elizabeth City’s most famous residents.

Throughout the weekend, the N.C. Symphony will play concerts of music from the Broadway hit West Side Story with scenes from the film as a backdrop in Raleigh, while Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo will host the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival featuring Ricky Skaggs.

Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

Happy first day of fall! Autumn is always an amazing time to get out there and explore all the unique outdoor and cultural destinations that the Tar Heel State has to offer.

To celebrate this year’s Fall Equinox, we thought we’d share seven activities we have on our fall bucket list that you should try, too:

1. Take a stroll in the N.C. Museum of Art’s Museum Park.

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Thanks to this year’s great weather, the museum still has some outdoor concerts and movies left.

2. See how North Carolinians celebrated fall during the Civil War at Bentonville Battlefield.

3. Take in the breathtaking fall foliage 19th century-style at Vance Birthplace.

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 4. Sample a heritage heirloom apple at Horne Creek Farm.

Horne Creek is home to the Southern Heritage Apple Orchard, which preserves more than 400 varieties of old southern apples. Many of those varieties are on the brink of extinction. The Annual Cornshucking Frolic in October is a great excuse to visit.

5. Find your favorite North Carolina sounds at a fall music festival.

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We’re especially excited for the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival in Manteo this weekend and the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival in Raleigh next week.

6. Explore a different kind of fall beauty at Tryon Palace’s gardens.

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This weekend’s Family Day and Mumfest in October are two of the best times to visit.

7. Pick a pumpkin at the N.C. Transportation Museum’s Harvest Festival.

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As you begin to explore all that North Carolina has to offer this season, be sure and tune into Visit North Carolina’s website and social media for fall foliage and fishing reports from the State Parks, and tag all your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts with #visitnc; we’ll be passing along some of our favorites.

Bennett Place will celebrate fall 19th century style Saturday and Sunday.

A 19th century autumn festival in Durham, an end-of-summer stargazing session in Mount Gilead and a celebration of vintage cars and trains in Old Fort are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The fun starts Friday, when visitors to Tryon Palace in New Bern have the chance to win more than $1,000 in prizes at the inaugural Governor’s Challenge Cornhole Tournament. Elsewhere at the coast, Hatteras‘s Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum will host a lecture commemorating the 60th anniversary of Hurricane Hazel and the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City will help kids and parents create college art for public display.

In Raleigh, the N.C. Museum of Art will kick off its fall film noir series with the classic Hitchcock thriller Strangers on a Train and offer a special gallery talk and tour to complement its new photography exhibit Private Eye. The tour will be led by the collector who donated the work in the exhibit.

Saturday starts with behind-the-scenes tours of the State Capitol in Raleigh, and just in time for the harvest, guided tours of the N.C. Museum of History’s agriculture exhibitacross the street. Food will be the focus in Pineville, where the President James K. Polk Historic Site will host special tours of its kitchen building and let visitors try their own hand at colonial chores. Town Creek Indian Mound in Mount Gilead will help visitors get the most out of some end-of-summer stargazing, while the Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort will celebrate vintage cars and trains with family activities, unique artifacts and a lecture.

At the coast Saturday, the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will help visitors build a boat in a day and host archaeologist Ryan Bradley for a talk on whaling. Visitors can even bring in family photos and artifacts related to the industry and have Bradley take a look at them.

Throughout the weekend, the N.C. Symphony will open its 2014-2015 season with concerts featuring award-winning saxophonist and composer Branford Marsalis in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, while Bennett Place in Durham comes alive with the sights and sounds of the 19th century home front to celebrate the arrival of autumn.Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

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