web analytics

Wake Forest Mardi Gras Street Festival

Wake Forest Mardi Gras Street Festival

City: Wake Forest, NC
Produced by: Wake Forest Downtown

The Town of Wake Forest will showcase its thriving downtown on Saturday, Feb. 6, during the Wake Forest Mardi Gras Street Festival. This family-friendly celebration is scheduled from 11am-4pm and admission is free.

Promising fun-filled activities for both children and adults, the Mardi Gras Street Festival will include face painters, strolling entertainers, live music, an inflatable playground, special contests and much more. Several participating downtown merchants will also offer exceptional discounts and activities throughout the day.

One of the day’s highlights promises to be the Mardi Gras Walking Parade. The lineup will begin at 12:45pm in town hall’s Centennial Plaza, and the parade gets underway at 1pm.

The 2015 N.C. State Fair “Nothing Could Be Finer” and the “Homegrown North Carolina” Concert Series for 2015

After this long hot summer we’ve been having in North Carolina, we are all ready for the N.C. State Fair. Counting down the days to the fair means cooler weather, fun foods, games that challenge our skills, exhibitions, as well as a great concert line up. The North Carolina State Fair is the largest 11-day event in North Carolina, attracting more than 800,000 attendees. Managed and produced by the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, it is consistently ranked among the top 25 fairs in North America.

The 2015 N.C. State Fair will be held this year on October 15-25 with the theme is “Nothing Could Be Finer.” Started in 1853, the N.C. State Fair has become a traditional fall-time event that aims to educate all North Carolinians about the importance of agriculture to our heritage and our economy. Their mission is to showcase and promote the state’s agriculture, agribusiness, arts, crafts and culture through the annual agricultural fair. (Ilina and I have a mutual friend who is a multiple Blue Ribbon winner in the baked goods category at the Iowa State Fair. We’re hoping she will visit one day and bring us some of her award-winning cinnamon rolls.)
2015 NC State Fair "Nothing Could Be Finer"
The State Fair is a a great event for families, groups of friends, or a fun first date. One of my personal favorite things to do is check out the display featuring the largest pumpkin and watermelon in the Expo Center. It’s always a great photo-op and makes a fun photo for your photo albums and Instagram.
Bumper Crop of Fun

Fun things to do at the N.C. State Fair:

  • Try to name as many crops, animals, pieces of machinery and crafts as you can in alphabetical order
  • Check out the 21-foot-tall Smokey Bear display and learn about healthy forests and how to prevent forest fires
  • Find out what the “buzz” is about at the Bee and Honey competition area in the Expo Center. Beekeepers are on hand to talk about beekeeping and the critical role bees play in producing our food. (The exhibit features a screened cage with an active beehive.)
  • See a Milking Demonstration and answer that age old question: Does chocolate milk come from brown cows? (Held between the Graham Building and Expo Center. Check out the daily schedule for times.)
  • Feeling Patriotic? Visit the WWI exhibit in the north-side lobby of Dorton Arena. A partnership between the Department of Cultural Resources, the North Carolina Museum of History and the North Carolina National Guard, this exhibit explains the plight of the American soldier during WWI, and even the role the North Carolina State Fairgrounds played in the victory!
  • Head over to the Expo Center and check out the unusual shaped vegetables
  • Decide which agricultural heritage activity you found most interesting at the Village of Yesteryear on the fairgrounds (blacksmith, boat making, craft-making, growing large horticulture crops, cutting flowers, raising and showing livestock, making clothes etc.) and then Instagram a photo with the hashtag #NCStateFair

Sights from the Expo Building
Take the kids to check out the kids who participate in the fair:

  • Livestock barns and shows. Many youngsters participate in livestock shows, some barely taller than the animals they are showing. In the Expo Center, students can even milk a cow at the N.C. State University Animal Science Club’s Milking Booth.
  • Folk Festival. This event features kids of all ages competing in dance and singing.
  • Arts and Crafts. School work for grades K-12 are on display in the Kerr Scott Building.
  • 4-H Displays in the Education Building features scenes created by 4-H groups in the state.
  • County Fair Best of Show Exhibit (Commercial & Education Building), where adult and junior Best of Show winning entries from fairs across the state are displayed.

Sights from the Flower ShowFirst Weekend: Oct. 13-16

I’m looking at heading over to the fair on October 15th to see an old favorite band from my youth, Firehouse. I might even break out my very old, err, vintage rocker gear to wear to the show! Wait, I think it’s time for a NC Handmade Trivia Question: What was the original name of Firehouse? The answer will be at the end of the post.

NC State Fair Homegrown Concert Series

Oct. 15 — Firehouse with The Fifth

Oct. 16 — The Summit Church featuring Kaimy Masse, Hank Murphy and Summit Worship

Oct. 17 — Jason Michael Carroll, Luke Combs, Stephanie Quayle

Oct. 18 — Orquesta GarDel

Oct. 19 — Nuv Yug Presents Bollywood Night

Oct. 20 — Black Sheep with Shadina

Oct. 21 — Band of Oz and The Embers

Oct. 22 — Wake Chapel Choir, Instrument of Praise Gospel Concert Chrale, Watts Chapel Gospel Choir

Oct. 23 — The Love Language

Oct. 24 — Charlie Daniels Band and Kasey Tyndall

Oct. 25 — Nantucket and Sidewinder

All concerts are free, but floor seating (closest to the stage) will require a ticket, which can be picked up beginning at 9 a.m. the day of the show at the Dorton Arena Box Office. There is a limit of six tickets per person and tickets will only be available for that day’s show. First-come, first-served seating will be available in the arena’s permanent seating section.

Doors will open at 6:15 p.m., with shows starting at 7:30.

INFO:

The N.C. State Fair runs Oct. 15-25. For more information, go to www.ncstatefair.org.

Discount tickets to the 2015 N.C. State Fair go on sale on Monday, Aug. 3, at 10 a.m.

Trivia Question Answer: Firehouse used to be called “White Heat.” I saw them play when I was a freshman in high school at the local community college.

Jane’s Walk Returns to Raleigh

Jane's Walk -- Mitchell Silver -- HandmadeNC.com

I live near downtown Raleigh, as I have for 13 years. I love to see how the city has evolved and I am particularly enthralled with the history that peppers each street. We’re lucky to live in a place that’s walkable. There’s a friendly smile, neighborly wave, giggles of school children, and clip of runners as I make my way through my neighborhood on my daily dog walks. It’s pretty marvelous to live with such a palpable sense of place. I’m pleased to bring you the words of Lauren Pritchett today. Lauren is co-organizer of Jane’s Walk Raleigh.

Cities all over the world, including Raleigh, are gearing up to honor the late urban activist Jane Jacobs’ birthday through Jane’s Walk the weekend of May 2-3, 2015. Jane’s Walk offers a way for passionate citizens to lead free conversational walking tours about their home city. Anyone can plan and lead a tour – the only requirement is to have fun!

In 2014, Raleigh hosted its inaugural Jane’s Walk, which captivated nearly 500 people through different walking tours about history, architecture, urban development, and parks.

Jane's Walk, Raleigh 2014

Raleigh’s 1st Jane’s Walk

Raleigh’s first Jane’s Walk appropriately began where our capital city established its roots – on the Capitol grounds, with a tour called 200 years of Architecture & History in 400 square feet. Researcher Catherine Bishir and architect Frank Harmon discussed elements of our rich Southern history with eager Raleighites throughout the Capitol.

I was ecstatic to lead the History of Commerce Tour, which highlighted several commercial buildings in downtown Raleigh. Each landmark had a different story to tell, adding a significant layer to Raleigh’s dynamic history. Although I spent a lot of time researching each historical landmark, I learned even more from the people who joined my walk and shared their own experiences with the group.

Next, dozens of walkers followed former City Planner Mitchell Silver through the downtown Warehouse District on his Looking Back and Looking Forward tour.

On the second day of Raleigh’s 2014 Jane’s Walk, Matt Tomasulo of CityFabric and WalkYourCity (two wonderfully thriving handmade Raleigh businesses) led the way from the Boylan Heights neighborhood to the Dorothea Dix property to discuss potential for city parks and green space.

Each homegrown walk featured a unique component of North Carolina’s capital city and sparked conversation among strangers and neighbors alike.

Jane's Walk 2015

Jane’s Walk Raleigh 2015

I am thrilled that Jane’s Walk is returning to the Oak City this year because we already have an eclectic itinerary in the works. Back by popular demand, Catherine and Frank will be leading the Capitol grounds tour again on Saturday, May 2nd, 2015 at 12pm.

This year’s newest addition to the Jane’s Walk Raleigh repertoire is a tour of The Wedge Community Garden by Shamsa Visone on May 2nd at 11am. Shamsa and tour-goers will talk about how to grow a healthier and happier neighborhood through communal gardening.

There is still time for anyone to sign up to become a walk leader! You are encouraged to share your love of local food, art, fashion, and just about anything else with other Raleigh citizens. Just visit the Jane’s Walk Raleigh website or contact Lauren Pritchett for help setting up a walk. One of the best parts about living in Raleigh is being surrounded by the enthusiasm of citizens who love their community.

Jane's Walk -- Raleigh 2015

As someone who’s completed three historic home renovations in Raleigh, I wholeheartedly agree! Cheers to Raleigh…Ra-Ra-Raleigh!Jane's Walk -- Raleigh 2015

Stanbury, Where Nothing Disappoints

 IMG_0595
IMG_0596

There is one problem with having dinner at Stanbury.

Every meal you eat thereafter pales in comparison. Such was my plight last weekend. My husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary with a marvelous dinner at Stanbury. We found ourselves indifferent to every other meal option for the rest of the weekend. Nothing sounded appetizing. We are normally pretty eager eaters so it took a while to realize that what we were experiencing were the lingering effects of dinner at Stanbury.

I began my journey on the Pineapple Express, a delectable cocktail that was ever so balanced to be both perfectly sweet and tart. Goldilocks would have approved. My husband had the Stanbury Gin & Tonic. Who knew that celery, the wallflower of vegetables, could be so divine? And to think we relegate those stalks to tuna salad, never giving it a stage to shine on.

IMG_0597
We enjoyed the most delectable, creamy oysters with our cocktails. They were served on a bed of rock salt and presented ever so simply. To have dolloped a bit of cocktail sauce would have been a culinary crime. You might have heard audible gasps if you were seated at the table next to us.
IMG_0598
The charred broccoli in chili sauce was also divine, though it could be a tish spicy for the uninitiated. I’m from India and embrace spicy food so I thought it was sublime. My husband loved it too, though he might have ordered another cocktail to quell the heat. We devoured it so quickly I didn’t even capture a shot.

The first time we visited Stanbury we lamented the fact that we ate so much that we didn’t have room for the marrow. We weren’t newbies this time and knew to prioritize this indulgence. We shall never visit Stanbury again without ordering the marrow. When we told our sons about the melty, richness of this dish, they clamored to go to Stanbury right away. Never mind that it was 10:00 am. Your senses will be delirious with one bite of this goodness. The zing of the capers and parsley cuts the richness of the marrow, while the crunch of bread completes the medley. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t daydreamed about this dish.

IMG_0599
IMG_0602
IMG_0603
To finish off our meal, my husband and I shared the ribeye. We had been hearing accolades about the ribeye so we decided we must finally give it a go. This is one more thing our sons are dying to try. It’s delicious in its simplicity. The ribeye is generously topped with truffle butter and is certainly large enough to share. I’m pretty sure the truffle butter is what sold our sons on this dish. I swear, there can’t be 11 and nine-year olds on the planet who devour more truffle salt. The ribeye is also served with fries and an arugula salad. We also eat more arugula than any family in America so this too excited my boys.
IMG_0605
The light was dim so apologies for the photo. I admittedly didn’t fool around too much because I just wanted to dig in. Stanbury does not disappoint. The service is attentive and friendly, a nice departure from the oft uptight atmosphere that this caliber meal is usually served in. It’s a relaxed vibe that makes you feel chill, not out of place. There’s not need to dress up or stand out, though it’s cool if you do. Next time I’m going to kick back on the patio with the cocktail menu and indulge in oysters and marrow. Join me.

Where is Stanbury located?

Stanbury is located in Raleigh at 938 N. Blount Street.