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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Woodwinds & Whirligigs

Posted November 2, 2007 8:54 a.m. EDT
Updated November 2, 2007 4:16 p.m. EDT

People ask me every week for recommendations for weekend activities. Let me make two suggestions this weekend: Cary Band Day tomorrow in Cary and Wilson’s Whirligig Festival Saturday and Sunday. One event is well established. The other is just getting out of diapers but both are tons of fun.

More than two dozen high school bands will trumpet their finest musicianship in the 49th annual Cary Band Day. The festivities begin in the morning with a parade led by meteorologist Chris Thompson of the WRAL Weather Center. Activities end late Saturday night at Cary High School with competition and an awards program. Cary Band Day is believed to be the longest running high school marching band field competition in the nation. 


The 3rd Annual Whirligig Festival in Wilson celebrates the whimsical art of native son Vollis Simpson. His wind-driven works of metal work have wowed art lovers in many states. The festival is an open-air arts and crafts event on Nash Street with bands including Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes.

Today’s questions: what are your favorite high school band memories and your thoughts on the staying power of Cary Band Days?

Also, how many of you have seen a whirligig and if so, describe the magic.