Raleigh, N.C. — The WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest, the Doughman "foodie" race, live music and theater hits top our list of best bets this weekend.
WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest - This annual festival will be held again this year at Fuquay-Varina's Fleming Loop Park Friday through Monday. There will be hot air balloon mass ascensions and basket glows Friday through Sunday. In addition to balloon activities, there will also be live music, vendors, food and a beer and wine garden. Admission is free.
JAWSFest - This block party will be happening on Sunday in downtown Chapel Hill. The day will include music, food, art and a punk rock flea market. The Baxter, the hub for JAWSFest, will have drink specials including $2 Land Shark beer. There will be screening of the movie starting at 9:30 p.m. Local 506 will be the spot for local music all day. Tickets are $7.
Animazement - This fan-run anime convention will be held this weekend at the Raleigh Convention Center. The annual celebrates popular Japanese visual culture in all of its forms.
The Doughman - This race, which is in its ninth year, is known for being fun and outrageous. It includes all of the elements of a triathlon - plus eating. Each team consists of four people - two runners, one biker and one swimmer. The event takes place on 9th Street in West Durham on Saturday morning.
Downtown Raleigh Outdoor Movie Series - This year's annual outdoor movie series in City Plaza kicks off Friday night with "Mrs. Doubtfire." There will be food trucks and craft beer. Admission is free.
An American Celebration: The Best of Broadway - Head to Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary on Sunday for an evening of the best numbers from classic and current Broadway shows, featuring Triangle Wind Ensemble’s “big band” and vocal soloists, plus a salute to our Veterans on this Memorial Day weekend.
NC Symphony Summerfest - The North Carolina Symphony kicks off its Summerfest at Koka Booth Amphitheatre on Saturday with Dvořák’s take on American music in his ever-popular “New World” Symphony and Sibelius.
Finding Neverland - One of Broadway's biggest hits, this show tells the story behind one of the world's most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever. The magic of Barrie’s classic tale springs spectacularly to life in this heartwarming theatrical event. See it at DPAC through Sunday.
Cool John Ferguson - A frequent performer at blues festivals around the world, Cool John was named "most outstanding guitarist" by Living Blues Magazine two years straight. See him Saturday night at The Bullpen in Durham.
Matilda The Musical - Winner of 50 international awards, including four Tony Awards, Matilda is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. See it at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium through Sunday.
Maxwell - The singer-songwriter will play Red Hat Amphitheater with special guests Ledisi and Leela James Friday night.