Posts Tagged ‘World of Bluegrass’

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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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!

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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.


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.


 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.


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.


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.



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.

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