It's going to be a busy weekend with a lot going on. I just wanted to highlight three big events in the Triangle.
I'll have more on each of these later this week and, of course, my usual Weekend Plans post on Wednesday night with many more activities. (I know there are lots of other things going on including Hog Days in Hillsborough and the Magic Wings Festival at the Museum of Life and Science).
But for your planning purposes, here's what's on tap:
1. The Got to Be NC Festival at the N.C. State Fairgrounds runs Friday through Saturday. It's a mini-version of the State Fair, except admission and parking are free. There are rides, exhibits, live music and more. The gates are open 9 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. Exhibits are open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. And the carnival hours are noon to midnight Friday, 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. Click here for details.
2. Artsplosure, the major arts and crafts festival in downtown Raleigh, starts up Thursday and runs through Sunday.
The heart of the festival is on Saturday and Sunday, when you'll find the arts and craft vendors, live music and kids activities. But a giant luminarium, a large scale, inflatable sculpture constructed of translucent vinyl and made up of labyrinthine tunnels and spacious domes. also will return to City Plaza. This will be the third luminarium in Raleigh and, I'm told, the biggest one so far. Watch my video from last year to get an idea of what it's like. It's great for all ages. Check Artsplosure's website for details.
The luminarium is open 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It's $5 per person. Kids 3 and under are free.
For more details on everything else at Artsplosure, check the website.
3. And while Justin Roberts won't draw thousands like the other events will (though he has at other venues), this Grammy-nominated kids performer is seriously a don't miss concert. He'll be at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $8 for kids and $10 for adults. Click here for details.
Here's what I wrote about Justin in an earlier post: "And here's why we like Justin. While my six-year-old is one of his biggest fans, I can say that his lyrics ring true for me as much as they do for her.
There's nothing here about why brushing your teeth is a good idea or how to sing the ABCs, though they may get a mention somewhere along the way. Roberts' lyrics are all about real life and set to music that's been compared to everybody from Buddy Holly and Weezer to Nick Lowe and Paul McCartney.
He'll take you right back to your own childhood with pieces on trick-or-treating, the first day of school or the parachute in gym class. And then he'll jerk you right back to your life today as a parent with anthems on childhood meltdowns or just how much you love your kids. If you're like me, you'll tear up at songs like "Fruit Jar" or "Never Getting Lost" or "Sandcastle."
Your kid, of course, will think he's singing all for her.