Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Weekend Plans: BugFest, SPARKcon, Caniac Carnival, much more

Posted September 16, 2015

People got to get hands-on with roaches, grasshoppers and more at Bugfest at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on Sept. 20, 2014.

It’s a big fall weekend with a lot of activities to keep you busy (if your weekends aren’t already full of soccer and birthday parties like mine!).

Check Go Ask Mom’s Halloween and fall fun database for the pumpkin patches, corn mazes and more across the region. We have nearly 90 destinations listed. And always check’s Out & About calendar for more activities around the area.

Here goes!

BugFest, the largest arthropod-focused event in the country, is 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. More than 30,000 people will come out to take in exhibits, displays, crafts, games, activities, bands, presentations and even a Cafe Insecta where you can eat insects. (We’re talking Hush-Grubbies or Lemony Crickets). This year, the festival’s theme is the cicada. So expect some special cicada crafts and activities. This event is free and a lot of fun.

SPARKcon, the big downtown Raleigh festival of creativity, runs Thursday through Sunday. Saturday is packed with activities for kids and families, including LEGO building, Parkour, creative movement and more. Also fun: Checking out the pretty amazing artwork completed by local artists during the street chalk event along several city blocks on Fayetteville Street. The best time to view the completed art is on Sunday. The programs are free and open to the public.

Triangle Reads, a program designed for adults, will feature two dozen authors from noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, at the North Raleigh Hilton. They’ll be talking about their craft. I’ll be moderating the panel discussion about children’s books. This will be a fun event for book clubs and book lovers. There’s a BOGO ticket deal going on at last check.

We have six consignment sales across the region - everywhere from Morrisville and Raleigh to Benson and Rocky Mount.

Pack a picnic and head down to Lake Wheeler Park in Raleigh for the 2015 SAISA SailPack Women’s Regatta. N.C. State is hosting the event, which opens at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, and runs both Saturday and Sunday. The park is at 6404 Lake Wheeler Rd. The event will feature 40 college sailors and coaches from eight colleges and universities across the Southeast including squads from NC State and Duke. It’s a chance to see some amazing women athletes, but also learn more about the sport. These are really fun to watch! And it’s free! It will run through 4 p.m., Saturday, and start up again at 9:30 a.m., Sunday.

Meredith College is hosting the NC Dance Festival each year. The closing event this year is the ALL-Dance Concert, a family-oriented event at 3 p.m., Sunday, at the Raleigh college. The program, which celebrates youth dancers, will include Ligon Middle School, Broughton High School, Rainbow Dance Company, Meredith College, NC State University, and a group of public school dance educators from Wake County. Tickets are $15; $10 for students and seniors; and $5 for kids under 10. There’s also a $25 festival pass.

The 24th annual Dog Olympics at N.C. State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday. The event features dogs of all kinds competing in athletic and non-athletic events. They include the limbo, musical sit, howling contest and high jump. Kids also will be invited to show off their pet’s skills in the demonstration ring. Scheduled demonstrations include Flyball with Officer Phil Humphries and Robby of the Cary K9 Unit, Dog Gone Fast, Canine Good Citizenship Testing with Helping Paws International, and a demonstration by Triumphant Tails. There also will be a free microchip clinic. The cost is $5 for owner and competing canine athlete; $2 for each additional event and photo; $3 for owner and a non-competing dog; $1 for individuals; and free for kids 5 and younger.

Also Saturday, you can head across Blue Ridge Road from the college to the N.C. State Fairgrounds for the AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day, which also runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday. The free event includes demonstrations, giveaways, games and more, including an area for kids.

The Kids Together Walk, Run & Roll for Inclusiveness is 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, at Marla Dorrel Park, 111 Thurston Dr., Cary. The morning includes a 1.4-mile walk and activities, art, games and refreshments for kids and families, along with play at the great Kids Together playground, which is designed for kids of all abilities.

Lord of the Rings lovers will be heading to the Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh for “The Lord of the Rings, In Concert: Fellowship of the Ring,” Thursday and Friday. The award-winning epic will play on a giant high definition screen while the N.C. Symphony, N.C. Master Chorale and the Raleigh Boychoir perform the music. Tickets start at $26. The movie is rated PG-13.

We have festivals …

CenterFest in downtown Durham runs Saturday and Sunday with arts, music, dance and a zone for kids.

The Clayton Harvest and Music Festival runs through Sunday with rides, games, food, music and more.

The 10th annual Fall Harvest Celebration at Historic Yates Mill County Park just south of Raleigh runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, at the park, 4620 Lake Wheeler Rd., Raleigh. There will be demonstrations, music and more, including performances from the Sandbox band.

The Caniac Carnival, which helps kickoff the Carolina Hurricanes’ upcoming season, is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, at the PNC Arena in Raleigh. Admission and parking are free. Food and drinks are sold at a discount. The event stretches inside and outside the arena with inflatables, autograph sessions, a scrimmage, a kid’s zone, games, Stormy and more.

Finally, if you had marked this on your calendar, the 10th annual Eastern Triangle Farm Tour, which was slated for this weekend, has been canceled to protect poultry from a possible seasonal outbreak of a avian virus, that’s been in the news and has been a real threat to chicken and other birds.


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