Christmas Parade

Correct, it is not even Thanksgiving yet, but we’re having the Christmas Parade. On its traditional route down Hillsborough and then Fayetteville Street, the Christmas Parade can be relied upon to warm hearts and freeze toes.

Some people arrive early and brave the cold and drizzly weather, while other come later and only admire the tallest balloons floating over the heads of people standing in front of them.

The parade is from 10:00-12:00, and is taking place for the 69th time. (And if you don’t like rain – the parade is also broadcast live on WRAL.)

Firetruck Parade (Sat noon)

Every industry has its trade show, and so do the firefighters. But unlike other industries, where booths filled with sales people and presentations by subject matter experts dominate, the firefighters know how to put up a decent parade.

In fact, the fire truck parade is on the same level as the annual holiday parades, well attended, and very interesting. Here is a video from last year:

The parade starts promptly at noon, and will probably not last for too long, so it pays to be there before 12. The parade route is down Fayetteville from the Capitol, and then hops over to Salisbury, passes the Convention Center (another good viewing area) and ends in a static display in front of the Performing Arts Center, where all the trucks can be viewed from up close.

Kidical Mass Bike Ride in Raleigh (2013)

Briefly mentioned last week, Oaks and Spokes is a festival celebrating cycling in Raleigh. Events, mostly geared towards adults, have taken place all week, but on Sunday the kids will take over for a the “Kidical Mass” ride through historic Oakwood and Mordecai.

The event will kick off on Sunday at 10am at the Oak City Cycling Project, but the ride won’t start until 11:30am. Kids old and skilled enough to ride alone are encouraged to do so, with the watchful parents riding along. Two loops are planned through Mordecai and Oakwook, and you can expect to be done by 1pm.

The weather should also get better, with Sunday clear and in the 60s.


Mardi Gras Warm-up Party (Feb 2013)

While the Daddy Weekly distinctly focuses on Downtown Raleigh, every once in a while, a trip to Durham is worthwhile. And when two big names – Motorco and Scrap Exchange – work together, some good usually comes out of it.

This Saturday from 4-6, Motorco in Durham is hosting a Mardi Grad costume making party. Costume making supplies are provided FREE OF CHARGE from Scrap Exchange.

The Blue Tailed Skins will play. There will be fun.

Later that day, at 8, a similar event is held for the grown-ups.

MotorCo, Durham, Saturday 4-6. With ScrapExchange.

Three Kings Day Parade (1/6/2013)

Reyes Magos Parade (c) Diamante Inc. (DSC01401)_squareWith Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa over (not to forget Winter Solstice and Festivus), the “holidays” and all their diverse festivities are slowly coming to an end… but one more is still due: Dia de los Reyes Magos (or Twelfth Night, or Dreikönigstag) is celebrated on Jan-6 in regions of the world with a strong Catholic influence (Spain, Mexico, Italy, parts of Germany and Switzerland) and marks the day when the Three Kings arrived at the birth place of Jesus. For kids in Spain or Mexico, this is actually the holiday, since gifts are given on Three Kings’ Day, and not on Christmas.

There are not many public celebrations of Three Kings Day around here, but one nice event that stands out is the Three Kings Day Parade at Cary’s Bond Park, which drew over 1,000 visitors last year. If you’re up for one last winter holiday head out there on Saturday from 1p-4p.

The image is from a previous parade and (c) Diamante Inc.

Veterans Parade (11/11/2012)

The parade season is upon us, with the Veterans parade this weekend, and the “Christmas parade” (Christmas in November?) one week later. Here some tips from the Daddy for an enjoyable parade:

– Bundle up! Saturday will be sunny and not too cold, but you’ll be standing around for a while. If you’re not hauling lawn chairs, bring a thick insulating something to keep bottoms warm.
– Arrive early! The Veterans parade will not have as much spectators as the Christmas parade, but still.
– If you must drive, use the Alexander Square Parking deck. You enter (by car) from Wilmington St., but you exit (on foot) right onto Fayetteville. If you stay on that block, you and a screaming baby will be back in the car in a matter of minutes. You could even view the parade from the parking deck, but there are no safe, comfortable viewpoints for the littlest ones (30″ concrete wall and don’t even think about sitting them on the railing).
– Bring water and snacks. It would be too bad to give up your coveted perfect spot just to buy some overpriced bottled water. But in any case: The CVS at the corner of Fayetteville and Hargett has everything from water to food to diapers.

The parade starts at 9:30am by City Plaza and then goes up Fayetteville towards the State Capitol (opposite direction to most parades). A wreath laying ceremony at 11:00am and a static display of the parade with music are also planned.

Patriotism by abbyladybug, used under the CC BY-NC license

The image is Patriotism by abbyladybug and used under the CC BY-NC license. Thanks, Abby!

Festival in Motion (9/29/2012)

Last year, I think I stumbled upon the Festival in Motion by accident on one of my green-way walks. This year, I’ll make a point to go again. If you haven’t been on the greenway system much, this is an excellent “show case” opportunity, Because with some planning, you can check out

  • Eliza Pool Park
  • Walnut Creek Wetland Center
  • Chavis Park
  • Rocky Branch Greenway
  • Walnut Creek Greenway
  • Little Rock Greenway

All in one loop! See a custom map that I’ve put together, which is a (long) loop walk for anyone living in downtown  proper or nearby. Here is how you could spend your Saturday:

  • Head out along Rocky Branch to Eliza Pool Park, where starting at 11am there will be a bike decorationg session.
  • Around noon (I guess), the decorated bikes will parade along Walnut Creek Greenway to the Walnut Creek Wetland Center with a police escort. Either ride with the bike parade, or head out a bit earlier and watch them ride by.
  • At the Walnut Creek Wetland Center you’ll find food trucks, live music and other assorted merrymaking, culminating in a 5K in the early afternoon
  • Head back toward downtown along Little Rock Greenway, stop for a snack and some more play at the awesome Chavis Park playground
  • Head back top downtown along Chavis Way and Lenoir St.

I’ve walked (and biked) this loop several times now, and it truly is an excellent cross section of Raleigh Parks and Rec; note that this is 6.25 mi, and thus 2-3 hours of walking, breaks not included. Plan to be out for most of the day…

Benson Mule Days (9/22/2012)

Not just Raleigh has its fall festivals. I suggest that after Hopscotch and SPARKcon, you head out for a somewhat different program at the Benson Mule Days. First, where is Benson? Have you ever noticed that going to and coming from the beach on I-40, the signs say you’re going to “Benson”, but then you actually never go through Benson? Well, for future reference, “Benson” is code for “the intersection of I-40 and I-95”. And Benson is also the location of the annual (63rd this year) Benson Mule Days.

A long weekend filled with small town fun, rides, parades, a rodeo and many four-legged animals, mules and others. Here is the website and their program.

The photo is Mule Riding Couple by Mangrove Mike, used under the CC BY license

Fire Truck Parade (8/11/2012)

Wait, didn’t we already have that? No, no, see: A few weeks ago, we had the Raleigh Fire Department Centennial Fire Truck Parade. This weekend, we’ll see the South Atlantic Fire Rescue Expo’s Fire Truck Parade.

The parade starts at 9 a.m., but be there early – it is a pretty short route. The trucks start at the capitol, go down Fayetteville and switch over to Salisbury at the end. After the parade is over, the trucks go to the static display, where they can be looked at from up close, climbed on and sat in.

I may be a bit biased, because my son would happily go to a fire truck parade every weekend. But especially if you missed the last one, this is another opportunity to see some exciting vehicles.

Some impressions from the previous parade can be seen on

Independence Day 2012

Here some ideas to celebrate Independence Day:

Best fireworks for kids: First, if you can’t wait until tomorrow (or want the kids to see the fireworks and sleep in the next day), don’t be uppity and head out to Garner tonight. Their fireworks are earlier, the symphony is playing, and it is probably less crowded than “The ‘Works” in Raleigh tomorrow. Garner Independence Day Celebration, 5p-8p, July-3rd.

Best neighborhood parade: If you’re lucky enough to live in University Park, you have your very own Independence Day Parade right in your heighborhood. Firetrucks and Locopops; need I say more? University Park Independence Day Parade, 9:45am, July-4.

Best children’s parade: A bit out of the way, but specifically dubbed a children’s parade: Wake Forest Independence Day Children Parade, 10:30am, July-4.

Best parade that includes a splash-down from a fire truck: The Apex festivities include karaoke, inflatables and street performers in the morning and end with a parade and an opportunity to “cool off under the spray of the Apex Fire Department’s fire hose“. Town of Apex Olde Fashioned Fourth of July, activities 9a-12p, parade 12:00pm, July-4.

Best “let’s turn Independence Day into a three-day-festival”: As every year, Durham is hosting the Festival for the Eno with tons of activities. Festival for the Eno. Wed July-4, Sat. July-7, Sun. July-8.

And of course, there is also the Independence Day Celebration of the City of Raleigh which, following the overall trend, has moved from the fairgrounds to downtown and will take over Fayetteville Street and surrounding areas. Everything will be there, from a Reading of the Declaration of Independence to Arts Vendors to Circus to Music to Beer Tasting to, of course, at the end, Fireworks. This year, the Rotary Club will release 100 firefly lantern as a special treat at 9:30pm just before the fireworks. The ‘Works, 11am-10pm, July-4.

Also note that while the downtown museums (Science, History, Marbles) are open, the Art Museum is closed.

Fireworks Finish Up Raleigh Wide Open by abbyladybug, used under the CC BY-NC license