Raleigh, N.C. — The WRAL Raleigh Christmas Parade is this weekend along with Repticon, several tree lightings, festivals, comedians and more.
WRAL Raleigh Christmas Parade - This is the 72nd anniversary of this annual parade presented by Shop Local Raleigh. The parade kicks off Saturday at 10 a.m. in downtown Raleigh.
Ice Raleigh rink opens - Raleigh's only natural ice outdoor skating rink opens in City Plaza following the WRAL Raleigh Christmas Parade on Saturday.
Santa Paws 5K - This 5K run helps raise money for homeless pets at the SPCA of Wake County. The race starts at 9 a.m. Sunday at Dorothea Dix Campus in Raleigh. While you are out there, get your photo taken with Celebrity Santa WRAL anchor Gerald Owens.
Holiday Open House - Waverly Place is holding horse and carriage rides, trackless train rides and more during its open house Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. On Friday, Waverly Place will hold its tree lighting ceremony as well.
North Hills Tree lighting - This celebration will take place Saturday in the commons area. Enjoy live music, a trackless train, "snow" slopes, crafts and a bounce house. Santa will be there at 6 p.m. to light the tree and take photos.
Durham Art Walk - Start your holiday shopping tour at the Durham Arts Council in downtown Durham this weekend. This free event will give you a chance to shop artwork from more than 200 artists, in addition to live music, food and fun.
Holiday Sip and Shop - Experience the sights and sounds of the holiday season during this event on Saturday afternoon at North Hills. Starting at 6 p.m., there will be a tree lighting ceremony, including a chance to visit with Santa.
FAB Mistletoe Market - This 2nd annual "old-time" handmade craft and food market features modern appeal. Shop it on Saturday at Green Hope High School.
Pop-Up Raleigh - This monthly vintage market will be held Saturday at Trophy Brewing on Maywood. Enjoy shopping, food trucks and great beer.
Food and drink
Durty Bull Brewing Grand Opening - The Durham brewery will be celebrating its grand opening on Saturday with the release of two barrel-aged beers, food trucks and live music.
Competition Dining Finale - The finale is here. See which team is named the best in the state during this Iron Chef-like cooking challenge.
Night Night Party - Head to Aviator Brewing Company for this 8th anniversary celebration on Saturday. There will be live music, rare beers and much more.
Hurricanes Homegrown Series - On Friday night, the Canes kick off their homegrown series with a game against the Montreal Canadiens. Foothills Brewing will be the featured brewery, and there will be music from The Roman Spring. Also look for a great shirt from Porchfly and a chicken and waffles entree for sale at the concession stand.
Botany Bar Crawl - Durham Parks and Recreation and Ponysaurus Brewing are teaming up to help you learn about how plants are used in the manufacturing of adult beverages. Guests will take an adventure to local parks to explore the botany side of beer then return to Ponysaurus to hear about the science behind the libations.
NC Symphony plays The Planets: Live - Enjoy an out-of-this-world experience that combines the music of Gustav Holst’s famous symphonic suite The Planets with stunning images from NASA missions sent to explore the planets of our solar system during a performance of the North Carolina Symphony in collaboration with imagery from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Led by conductor Carlos Izcaray, these two multi-media performances will take place Friday and Saturday at Raleigh’s Meymandi Concert Hall.
Good Charlotte - See the Madden brothers band at The Ritz Saturday night.
Monty Python Spamalot - Lovingly ripped off from the classic comedy film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot retells the legend of King Arthur and his King Knights of the Round Table. See it through Sunday at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium.
Gilbert Gottfried - The comedian with the annoying voice will be hitting Goodnights Comedy Club Thursday through Saturday.
Billy Childs: Reimagining Laura Nyro - When jazz pianist and composer Billy Childs was 11 years old, his older sister introduced him to the work of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer-songwriter Laura Nyro and her blend of Broadway inspired melodies, jazz improvisation and socially conscious lyrics. Now Childs has returned to his early source of inspiration for conceiving and orchestrating his latest project. He'll be joined by two electrifying young vocalists Saturday night at N.C. State's Stewart Theatre.
Charlie Parr - Having made his way from the plains of Duluth, Minn. to the forests of North Carolina, Charlie Parr has won over crowds with his rustic, resonator-fueled folk songs. See him with Durham-based Phil Cook of Megafaun and the Stumpjumpers on Friday at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro.
Fourplay - This contemporary jazz quartet plays Carolina Theatre of Durham Friday night.
My Brightest Diamond - See this art rock band at Motorco Saturday night.
The Naked and Famous - This New Zealand indie electronic rock band plays The Ritz Sunday.
No Shame Theatre - This open performance venue features original and compelling works of theatre. Pieces arrive up to an hour before show time. They're cast, rehearsed and put on stage in front of a live audience an hour later. No Shame is a chance to experience 15 works of art that you’ve never seen before and may never see again. Plus it’s cheap, it’s fun and it’s like nothing else in Carrboro. Enjoy it Saturday night at The ArtsCenter.
November Dangling Loafer - This monthly local comedy series continues Friday at Kings with Asheville comic Cody Hughes. Tickets are $5.
Straight No Chaser - See the group perform songs from its new album, which features takes on Radiohead's "Creep," The Weekends' "Can't Feel My Face" and more. The show is Sunday.
Temptations with Four Tops - Enjoy some great Motown Friday night at DPAC when these two bands hit the stage.
History, film, diamonds and more
American Indian Heritage Celebration - Named a "Top 20 Event" in 2015 by the Southeast Tourism Society, musicians, dancers, artists, storytellers and authors from North Carolina's eight state-recognized tribes will gather for this popular family event on Saturday at the N.C. Museum of History. Activities include craft demonstrations, hands-on activities, games and food.
Carrboro Film Festival - This two day celebration of film art has been called eclectic, powerful, humorous and moving. Enjoy films Saturday and Sunday at The ArtsCenter.
Diamond Scavenger Hunt - City Social and Diamonds Direct are giving people the opportunity to win a 2-carat diamond ring or a new DeNovo Luxury Men's Watch in this interactive scavenger hunt throughout downtown Raleigh on Sunday.
Repticon - This reptile and exotic animal show will be at the Kerr Scott Building at the N.C. State Fairgrounds Saturday and Sunday.