Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Artsplosure returns for 36th year with Birdtown, puppets, aerial artists

Posted May 12, 2015

during Artsplosure in Raleigh on Saturday, May 17, 2014. Photo by Christine Adamczyk.

For the 36th year, Artsplosure, the free massive spring festival, will take over the streets of downtown Raleigh this weekend.

The event features dozens of artists, who will be displaying and selling their pieces in tents along the city's streets. There's also a big schedule of live music and performances. As always, the event features some great fare for families. My five-year-old still talks about last year's Artsplosure where she got to see acrobats and lead a drum circle.

This year, program director Terri Dollar tells me that Moore Square will be focused on activities designed for kids and families. Artsplosure's Main Stage is on Fayetteville Street.

A must see, she tells me, is the Birdtown installation by artist Greg Carter and the Paperhand Puppet Intervention. Visitors can explore the inside of it from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, in Moore Square. According to Artplosure's description, visitors can "twitter and chirp as you hop inside the Magical-Bird Playhouses of Birdtown." You also can check out decorated birdhouses that were created by local artists as part of the Artsplosure Community Birdhouse Project.

Always a kid favorite, Sandy Feat will return to Moore Square with artist Ed Moore carving a sculpture out of tons of sand. There's also sand for kids to play with while they watch Moore work. It's a fascinating process.

Kidsplosure on Moore Square also offers a variety of free crafts and performances. Crafts will be bird themed this year, so expect to make bird nests and bird seed, among others.

The Kidsplosure stage will feature bands from local schools, music groups featuring kids and puppet shows. Puppeteer Tarish Jeghetto Pipkins will perform at 11 a.m., Saturday and Sunday. And from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, the Chatham County Jam will have an instrument petting zoo with instruments for kids to check out and play.

For some pretty amazing feats of strength and agility, from 10 a.m. to 5p.m., Saturday, Down to Earth Aerials will be performing 10-minute routines every hour on Moore Square. And from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, they'll move over to Fayetteville and Hargett streets.

Some tips if you go:

If you want to avoid the crowd and plan on pushing a stroller around, get there at 10 a.m., Sunday. Also, download the mobile app (search for Artpslosure 2015) for information about parking, schedules and more. Downtown Raleigh Alliance also  has a great map of parking in and around downtown Raleigh.

Artsplosure runs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday.

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