National Train Day in Selma and Cary (Sat 5/11)

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Amtrak celebrates National Train Day this Saturday, and there are two ways to participate:

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  • First, you can drive to Cary, where a quite large event is taking place in the downtown depot. Even better, you could take the (short) ride on the Amtrak from Raleigh to Cary; leave Raleigh at 11:45am and get back at 3:11pm, about 15 minutes on the train each way. Train fare $11/adult.
    The event has a Chuggington exhibit, model trains and free train whistles, live music, hot dogs, and other things that get rail fans excited.
  • Secondly, you can take the train to Selma, where National Train Day is a major event for this  quaint Eastern Piedmont town. For this trip, you would leave Raleigh at 10:25am and get back at 4:42pm, and spend closer to 40 minutes on the train each way. (You could of course also drive to Selma.) Train fare $16/adult.
    Selma’s event is probably a bit smaller, but not any less exciting, with a live band, food vendors, kids activities and so on. There will also be trains arriving and departing while you’re there, going to far-away places like New York or Savannah.

If you’re planning to take the train to one of these events, let me know.

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Antique Car Show at Oak View Park (Sat 5/4)

Oak View is one of our favorite parks, often for is relative tranquil setting. But this Saturday, it will be buzzing and humming and roaring with the sounds of dozens of antique engines. The local chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America willl have its Spring Meet there, and the public is invited.

I haven’t been to this park when it is crowded, but it might be a good idea to park at the Olivia Rainey library, and take the short walk through the park. (Use 4016 Carya Drive in your GPS, or take the first left after turning onto Carya Drive, followed by a second left into the parking lot.)

This is an all-day affair, from 9am-4pm. One thing not to be missed is the Ford Model T quick assembly, which the club will perform at 11:30a and 2:30p. An entire Ford Model T will be assembled from a pile of parts to driving condition in a matter of minutes.

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Longleaf Festival at Harris Lake County Park

Harris Lake is a beautiful park, albeit a bit of a drive from (downtown) Raleigh. (~25 minutes) This Saturday, they celebrate their Longleaf Pines, and they have about 60 acres full of them. The Festival features hayrides through the longleaf preserve, entertainment, crafts, live animals and even a fire engine. Since this is not hipster downtown, but rather the rural fringe of Wake County, food will not be provided by some fancy food trucks, but catered by Chick-Fil-A. (So you might want to bring your own kale chips and alfalfa sandwiches.)

The festival takes place this Saturday, April 13, from 11a to 3p at Harris Lake County Park.

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Longleaf Pines by Chris M Morris, licensed under the CC BY license.

I’ve been working on the railroad…

Whether you want to learn about the thermodynamics of a steam engine, or understand the mechanics of the Walschaerts valve gear, New Hope Valley Railway is the place to be this Sunday. Of course, you can just ignore the science, and ride the choo choo for pure enjoyment.

NHVR-by-abbyladybug

 

Untitled (New Hope Valley Railway) by abbyladybug, used under the CC BY_NC license.

The Wienermobile is coming!

Have you also secretly dreamed about what your kids will be when they graduate college? Lawyer, ballet dancer, nuclear engineer? You probably realized by now that they’ll do what they will, but how becoming a brand advocate for Oscar Mayer and drive cross country in a giant hot dog? This dream comes true for 12 marketing or PR college grads every year, who get selected by Oscar Meyer to do just that. Check out their hotdoggerblog.com and visit two of them this Saturday when they are in the area.

9am-12pm, Walmart near Brier Creek (Hwy 70& I-540, specifically 10050 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh NC)
1pm-4pm, Walmart in Morrisville (Hwy 54& I-540, specifically 1001 Shiloh Glenn Dr., Morrisville)

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Hot Dog! by Bill on Capitol Hill

Raleigh Car Show (Auto Expo) (Feb 2013)

New cars and old cars are both on display at the “2013 North Carolina International Auto Expo”. But that isn’t all: Both the GEICO gecko and Spider-Man are slated for an appearance, making the case that this is definitely intended to be a family affair. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for kids (under 6 free), and you can save another dollar by printing a coupon from the (also antique?) website.

Saturday 9-5:30, Sunday 10-5, Spiderman on Saturday 11-2.

Ford GT & 2005 Ford Mustang GT-R Concept

Ford GT & 2005 Ford Mustang GT-R Concept by StanD70, on Flickr

Ride with Santa on New Hope Valley Railway (12/9/2012)

If you’ve heard about the holiday train at Pullen Park and are still thinking about going, you will probably keep thinking: Tickets are completely sold out for the entire duration. But a good alternative would be the New Hope Valley Railway, which also has rides with Santa this weekend. They are also sold out, but are holding a limited number of walk-in tickets. Make sure you read details before taking the half-hour-drive. (My suggestion would be to get there before or right at 10 a.m., and be prepared to not get tickets for the very first ride. (There is enough to see during the wait…)