Posts Tagged ‘MerleFest’

A look at the science of pirates in Greenville, re-enactments commemorating the largest surrender of the Civil War in Durham and an afternoon of living history activities near Sanford are just of the few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend across North Carolina.

Here are 11 suggestions to help you make the most of your limited time:

1. Touch a cannon that was once mounted on Blackbeard’s flagship and learn about the science of pirates Saturday at the Queen Anne’s Revenge Conservation Lab in Greenville.



2. Commemorate the 150th anniversary of the largest troop surrender of the Civil War throughout the weekend at Bennett Place in Durham.



3. Celebrate the culture of southern Appalachia Saturday at the Mountain Gateway Museum’s Pioneer Day in Old Fort, featuring craft demonstrations, music, food and Civil War re-enactors.



4. Spend your Saturday afternoon at “Retreat,” now known as House in the Horseshoe near Sanford, and experience artillery and musket firings, pottery making and 18th century toys and games.



5. Hear some of the state and county’s best musical acts perform “traditional plus” music throughout the weekend at MerleFest in Wilkesboro.



6. Honor the anniversary of George Washington’s visit to Tryon Palace with a colonial ball,dinner with President Washington and other activities throughout the weekend in New Bern.



7. See groundbreaking new films selected as noteworthy by the RiverRun International Film Festival throughout the weekend at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem.



8. Check out Zoosphere, a new exhibition at the N.C. Museum of Art that explores humans’ effect on the environment through video, when it opens Saturday in Raleigh.



9. Kayak through local history Saturday with the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort.



10. Join the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum in Sedalia Saturday for a community discussion of the connections between Dr. Brown’s work and the Freedom Riders.



11. Enjoy the moving sound of Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” and other American masterworks as performed by the N.C. Symphony throughout the weekend in Chapel Hill and Raleigh.



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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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


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


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


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


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


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.

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