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Weekend Plans: African American Cultural Festival, free concerts, more

The African American Cultural Festival takes over downtown Raleigh. The N.C. Symphony plays a free concert. And the best of the Beatles are on tap for an all ages show at Cat's Cradle. Your weekend family fun.

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African American Cultural Festival
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall

After last weekend's washout, it's nice to have a long Labor Day weekend ahead of us ... Here's your weekend family fun ...

The second annual African American Cultural Festival will take over downtown Raleigh this Saturday and Sunday. You'll find African American art and culture along City Plaza, Charter Square and the 300 and 400 blocks of Fayetteville Street from 11 a.m. to 6 pm Saturday and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. There will be an arts and crafts market, specialty food vendors and a special area for families. The family-friendly Family Village will feature performances and educational, interactive programming for school-aged children. Highlights here include the Kenya Safari Acrobats, the African American Quilter Circle, Obakunle, and more. The Family Village will be on the 300 block of Fayetteville Street. For more information about the festival, including a map and full schedule, check the website.
The N.C. Symphony will host a free Pops in the City concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Raleigh Amphitheater in downtown Raleigh. The concert will feature classical masterworks to all-American marches along with a few selections from such contemporary composers as John Williams and Andrew Lloyd Webber. The concert helps to launch the symphony's 2011-12 season, which, as Go Ask Mom readers know, includes the great Young People's Series.
Noah's Landing, a nonprofit zoo, will host two days of activities in Coats, about an hour from the Triangle. Blue & 'Cue at the Zoo will feature bluegrass, barbecue and special activities. This is one of the few times each year that the zoo opens its doors to visitors and does not require them to go on a guided tour. Read more about it in my earlier post.
The Cary Town Band will open Cary's Fall Sertoma Series with a concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Cary's Sertoma Amphitheater at Fred G. Bond Metro Park, 801 High House Rd. The group will play music honoring summer fun as we say so long to the season. Bring a picnic (but no alcohol) to this one.
Also Friday, Triangle Town Center's Kids Fest, which was scheduled for last Friday, was moved to this Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. because of Hurricane Irene. The free event features inflatables, face painting and more.
MVP Sports Factory in Wake Forest will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. The facility will be starting its Basketball Academy Sept. 10 and recently signed on Robert Brickey, a former Duke basketball player with 11 years of collegiate coaching experience. Brickey will head the MVP Basketball Academy, a seven-week program for kids ages 10 to 14 looking to improve their basketball skills. At the open house, kids can brush up on their skills and practice mini drills similar to the lessons they will learn in the academy. Parents can also learn more about the program and meet the staff. The cost of the open house is $5 per person. The cost of the academy is $105 per participant.
The Raleigh City Museum in downtown Raleigh will present Trains, Trolleys and Trikes: Raleigh and the Evolution of Transportation from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Learn basic bicycle maintenance, play with old toy cars and play a game of horseshoes. It's free.
Lots of vintage bikes and scooters in downtown Durham to check out this weekend for the Bull City Rumble. It starts Friday evening, but you'll find the big bike show on Saturday on West Main Street.
Also transportation-related, New Hope Valley Railway will hold its monthly rides on its steam and diesel engines in southwestern Wake County on Sunday. Check the website for more information before you go.
Cat's Cradle in Carrboro will have an all ages show featuring Abbey Road LIVE! playing the best of the Beatles. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. Monday. Show starts at 11 a.m. Tickets are $7 for kids and $10 for adults.
The Carolina Mudcats in Zebulon have games, including fireworks, this weekend.
And something for Chick-fil-A lovers to look forward to next week: The restaurant will be offering free breakfast the week after Labor Day. You just have to make a reservation to receive a free entree item. For details and to make a reservation, click here.

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