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Is Raleigh big enough for two big events?

Posted October 12, 2009

— This year’s Raleigh Wide Open event will mark the grand opening of the city plaza on Fayetteville Street. It also coincides with the final weekend of the N.C. State Fair.

Organizers for both events say Raleigh is big enough for their respective parties.

Raleigh Wide Open on Oct. 24 event will celebrate the opening of the city plaza, which features new pieces of art.

“People can see the new city plaza, including towers and public art, because so much has changed over the last year,” Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said on Monday.

State fair officials: Got the flu? Stay home Raleigh events face-off

In previous years, the Wide Open bash coincided with the grand opening of the Raleigh Convention Center and Fayetteville Street, which were held in July and September, respectively.

The weekend of Oct. 24 also marks the days of the North Carolina State Fair.

“It’s usually a big weekend for us. We like to finish strong,” said Brian Long, spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The last weekend of the state fair usually brings out more than 100,000 people, Long said.

“People always have a decision on what to do on the weekend. They can come out to the fair and have a good time and they can go downtown and have a good time too,” Long said.

“There’s room for two big events. The thing that will really influence it will be the weather. If it’s raining, both events will suffer. If it’s not, both events will do fine,” Meeker said.

The N.C. State Fair starts Thursday.


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  • dwntwnboy Oct 13, 2009

    "There is not even a Wal-Mart or Target downtown"- YAY!! There are LOTS of things downtown. I didn't realize how much downtown had changed until I started working down here. There are lots of good places to eat, drink and more and more places to shop and art galleries opening all the time. The Shopping Spree at the Civic Center is the same weekend, so there is lots to do. The face and character of downtown is changing for the better....and I encounter worse begging at the corners of the Beltline and Glenwood than I do on Fayetteville Street.

  • superman Oct 13, 2009

    Nothing downtown and you could be caught dead downtown with all the homeless. Get cursed when you dont give them money. There is not even a Wal-Mart or Target downtown!

  • Pineview Style Oct 13, 2009

    While it is good to have stuff to do, it seems like you are standing in a crowd eating bad food listening to a bunch of racket at both.

    Festivals and bars are nice from time to time, but where are the actual businesses to shop at or provide services downtown? There aren't that many I can think of and, unfortunately, demographic trends will keep these places in the 'burbs.

  • bluecharger Oct 13, 2009

    couldn't care less about either.....if I wanted to be jostled, pocket-picked and ripped off right and left whilst mingling in the masses from way down south, I could just go Wal-Mart

  • Space Mountain Oct 13, 2009

    Kind of stupid to have the Wide Open thing on the same Saturday that is the last Saturday as the fair, which is usally the biggest day for attendance att he fair. I don't get the Wide Open thing anyway. They already have a Christmas parade there. Do we really need another parade?

  • foetine Oct 13, 2009

    I didn't finish the post - but with this Saturday looking like a disaster in the making with the cold and wet weather, it's easy to see that the weekend crowd will be going for next Saturday to get their fill of deep friend Hohos and butter.

    What nobody is mentioning is the "most direct road" between downtown and the Fairgrounds is Hillsborough St. That's going to be disaster zone from all the people who haven't a clue that it's been torn down for roundabout-land.

    Best bet for next weekend, stay home, watch college football on WRAL

  • whatelseisnew Oct 13, 2009

    "“People always have a decision on what to do on the weekend. They can come out to the fair and have a good time and they can go downtown and have a good time too,” Long said."

    Not interested in either one of these events. I will keep my money in my pocket.

  • seekthesummit Oct 13, 2009

    @foetine - RWO is on 10/24, not this weekend.

    People who are passionate about both have 10 other days to visit the State Fair. My hope is that they'll make their attendance decisions accordingly.

    I'm working at the fair that evening so I'll unfortunately miss the RWO party and plaza unveiling. Unlike the fair though, which comes around once a year the City Plaza will now be available for everyone to enjoy yearlong. RWO and Winter Fest (with an ice skating rink) are just the beginning.

  • mocena Oct 13, 2009

    What people should really be asking is if they are ready for the Raleigh Wide Open to run smack into Raleigh's Zombiewalk.

  • lecach Oct 13, 2009

    That weekend is also the big Shopping Spree event by the Jr. League at the Convention Center. It draws a ton of people...usually.

    I think having three events (fair, wide open and the spree) is just way too much. If the wide open were another weekend I would go to it AND the fair. But we have plans to go to the fair that day with out of town family so we'll have to miss it.