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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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