What's on Tap

What's on Tap

SPARKcon brings art in all its forms to Raleigh

Posted September 10, 2014

Artists create masterpieces on the streets of downtown Raleigh with chalk during SPARKcon 2013.

— SPARKcon, downtown Raleigh's annual celebration of creative arts, is Thursday through Sunday. The festival is filled with art, music, film, fashion, dance, poetry and just about any creative outlet you can think of.

Each discipline is divided into different "SPARKs," or themes, like bazaarSPARK, circusSPARK, geekSPARK and ideaSPARK. It's fun to explore the SPARKs, see local talent and explore the city during this free event.

There are so many events going on through the weekend – take a look at the full schedule of SPARKcon's website.

Here are a few highlights and unique events worth checking out:

ideaSPARK - PechaKucha Night Vol. 18: PKN talks are curated talks that are only 6 minutes and 20 seconds long, featuring 20 slides shown for 20 seconds. Concise and quick, these talks can be inspiring, funny and educational. See it at CAM Raleigh Thursday 6:40-8:30 p.m.

circusSPARK - SPARKcon afterDARK: A Night of Burlesque, Boylesque, Adult Cirque & Erotic Poetry: The fifth annual showcase of live body painting, burlesque, adult poetry and more. See it at Kings Barcade Thursday 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

theatreSPARK - theatreSPARK pop-ups: Local theater companies bring drama to the streets of Raleigh. See it in various locations Friday 2-6 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 2-4 p.m.

circusSPARK - Magical Mystery Circus Parade to the Main Stage: Everyone is welcome to join in this high-energy parade. After the parade ends at City Plaza, there will be a circusSPARK show. See it at the corner of Martin and Fayetteville streets Friday 7-7:30 p.m.

designSPARK - Capital Cartography: A History of Raleigh in Maps: This exhibit features 14 maps showing more than 200 years of history in Raleigh. See it at the City of Raleigh Museum Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

geekSPARK - ClickSiege: Battle for territory in downtown Raleigh with real-world battle stations or in the digital world on your smartphone. See it at City Plaza Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

comedySPARK - R-Line Clean Stand-up Comedy: Free, family-friendly stand-up comedy on Raleigh's free bus line. Participating comedians include Mello Mike and Adam Cohen. See it on the R-Line Saturday 4-6 p.m.

danceSPARK - Ballroom Dance Party: The first annual Ballroom Dance Party features performances from local dancers. Get on the dance floor! See it at The Grand Ballroom Saturday 7-10 p.m.

circusSPARK - 70s Disco Dance Party in the Street: Break out the bell bottoms and fringe vests for a funky dance party. See it at Fayetteville and Martin streets Saturday 10-11 p.m.

circusSPARK - Banana Dance Flash Mob Parade: Meet at the circus bus in your brightest yellow outfit and dancing shoes to learn some choreography, then parade through the streets. See it at Fayetteville and Martin streets Sunday 2-2:30 p.m.

Some ongoing events include:

bazaarSPARK: A vendor fair with local food, art, fashion and more. See it on Fayetteville Street Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

artSPARK - Instagram Photo Scavenger Hunt: Take pictures and post them for a chance to win prizes. See it around downtown Thursday 6-10 p.m., Friday 3-11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

artSPARK - Children's Photography Event: Keep an eye out for volunteers with polaroid cameras. Kids are welcome to take pictures of SPARKcon and show their perspective. See it around downtown Thursday 6-10 p.m., Friday 3-11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

artSPARK - Street Painting: Incredible chalk art. See it on Fayetteville Street Saturday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. View completed projects on Sunday.


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  • Pepe Silvia Sep 11, 2014

    Love SPARKcon, definitely one of the best festivals Raleigh has each year!

  • Paul Gallant Sep 10, 2014
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    Sparkcon is the best art festival that Raleigh has to offer. It's focus is all local talent in so many area's