Brooke Hatala and others in concert at Pullen (Sun, 6/9/2013)

I featured Brooke Hatala just about a year go, but never made it to the concert. There will be another chance to see Brooke this Sunday from 5p-5:30p, followed by The Village Band (traditional band music) at 5:30 and Tight Squeeze (classic rock covers) at 7:30.

Not convinced? Here is Brooke performing at Pullen last December:

Milagro Saints play Fletcher Park on Sun, 6/2/13 6pm

Milagro Saints, a local band firmly rooted in downtown Raleigh, will kick off this year’s concert series in Fletcher Park. Last year, we went to see a show that didn’t take place due to a thunderstorm, and ever since I’ve been waiting for a chance to go back. (That band, Sandbox will play in two weeks, I’ll remind you.)

Milagro Saints play “Americana Poetic Roots Rock”, and their music is perfect for hanging out in the park on a lazy, hot Sunday afternoon. Fletcher Park is a good destination for a Sunday picnic anyway, so pack up the kids and a picnic and head on out – this Sunday, 6pm, Fletcher Park.

Fletcher Amphitheater

Fill this place with music! (Photo (c) City of Raleigh)

Caribbean Instrument Petting Zoo (5/25 2p)

This Saturday, the Cameron Village will turn into a zoo of sorts, but no animals will be there; no, the “petting zoo” will be filled with exotic instruments from various Caribbean islands and from Nigeria. Members of the Raleigh/Durham Afro-Caribbean Association will show the instruments and provide opportunities to explore them up close.

Zoppe Family Circus in Raleigh (5/17-5/19, 2013)

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Update: We didn’t make it to the circus unfortunately, but a fellow local blogger (and clown!) wrote a very nice three-post series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) with many pictures about his visit to the Zoppe Family Circus. Go have a look!

I featured another circus a few weeks ago, and we’ll remember that one fondly as our family’s first circus experience. But depending on how the weekend pans out, we may go to the circus again, since Zoppe promises a small intimate circus right within walking distance.

Zoppe is a family circus, and its history is a marvelous read: Back in 1842 (no typo), a young clown from France (Napoline Zoppe) fell in love with an equestrian ballerina in Budapest, Hungary, much to the chagrin of the ballerina’s father. A clown just didn’t cut it. The young lovers ran away to Venice Italy and founded the circus. Napoline’s great-grandson Alberto came to the US to work for Ringling Brothers (in exchange for an elephant), and brought the circus over here. He performed in the circus until recently, well into his 80s, and today the circus is run by his son Giovanni, great-great-grandson of Napoline and pictured above as clown Nino.

Zoppe features clowns, acrobats, horses and dancing dogs. They perform Friday – Sunday in front of the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts. No online tickets – Advance Tickets at the box office or at the door.

Image (c) Zoppe Family Circus.

Play a Public Piano (5/15-5/30)

As part of Artsplosure, the City has placed six artfully adorned pianos at various downtown locations. The public is invited to play them – no skills required! The pianos are placed at the following locations:

  • outside City Hall (Hargett&Dawson)
  • in front of Duke Energy Center
  • on City Plaza
  • in City Market (across from Big Ed’s)
  • in Moore Square (by Marbles)
  • in Marbles’ courtyard

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Photo (c) City of Raleigh.

Got to be NC Festival 2013

Do you feel like the State Fair is a “must-see” for your kids, but do you loathe the crazy crowds? Try the Got to Be NC Festival instead.

Less crowded, less crazy, more family-friendly, more exciting. You still get all the main State Fair ingredients (rides, tractor pulls, lawn mower racing, farm animals, fried food), but in a more relaxed atmosphere.

The event kicks off Friday afternoon and continues through Sunday. Admission and parking is free.

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Image (c) NC Department of Agriculture.

Medieval Fair at the NC Museum of Art (Sun 5/5)

The Art Museum does a flashback to Medieval Times this Sunday afternoon, with knights, minstrels and, of course, artists. The crafts workshops (Artist Guilds) are hands-on, probably mostly for elementary to middle-school aged kids, but many other activities are suitable for all ages, like the juggler’s show or wandering minstrels (“Thunder and Spice” are pictured above).

Relatively short, the event only lasts three hours (from 1p-4p on Sunday), but it is free, and you can always extent it with a stroll through the beautiful museum park.

All_smiling-(c)-Thunder-AndImage (c) Thunder and Spice. They will be performing as traveling minstrels at the medieval fair.

Chavis Carousel Grand Re-Opening

Chavis Park is one of the best kept secrets of Raleigh. A nice playground, a cool pool, and unique and unfamiliar views of the downtown skyline and easy access to the greenway system make a trip worthwhile.

But there is more to come, with the Grand Re-Opening of the historic Allan Herschel Carousel, built some 70-80 years ago. It has recently been refurbished and moves a few 100 feet (not without controversy). The reopening is slated for this Saturday and a dedication ceremony will be held at 2pm. (Download dedication postcard.)

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The Okee Dokee Brothers in Chapel Hill

Children’s Music has come a long way from the bopping keyboard with squeaky children’s choir days. Today, there are children’s music bands, children’s music songer-songwriters and even children’s music Grammy Awards. The Okee Dokee Brothers are all of the above (yes, they won a Grammy) and also friends since childhood.

Go see them on Saturday at 11a at the Carrboro Arts Center.

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