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Weekend Plans: Bluegrass, festivals, college fair, more

We have lots of great free festivals this weekend and more. Here's what's happening.

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Another busy weekend. Let’s get to it. As always, check WRAL.com’s Out & About calendar and our Halloween and Fall Fun Guide for more activities. Corn mazes and pumpkin patches are open or will open this weekend.
Wide Open Bluegrass, a major bluegrass festival, will take over downtown Raleigh this Friday and Saturday. For the second year, the festival is bringing top bluegrass acts to our area, along with all kinds of related activities. Tickets are available for the shows, but there also are a lot of free activities during the street festival that are great for families. I roamed Fayetteville Street with my then four-year-old last year and we heard some great music. More than 85 bands will perform for free on stages along Fayetteville Street. A dance tent will feature various kinds of dances like clogging and square dances. A youth stage near Salisbury and Lenior streets at the convention center will feature young performers. There also will be art vendors, a sports zone and food.
The Fox 50 Family Fest is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. The event features a giant rubber duck race, which raises money for local charities. There also are performances, games and other activities for kids. It’s free.

We have other festivals:

Railroad Days in Selma runs Friday evening and Saturday. The 29th annual event features a run and family fun walk, cornhole, a pageant and performances. A parade begins at 10 a.m., Saturday.
Wendell’s Harvest Festival is Friday and Saturday at the Town Square. Activities include games, inflatables, a pumpkin derby and, at 10 a.m., Saturday, a parade.
In Chapel Hill, the 42nd annual Festifall is noon to 6 p.m., Sunday, in downtown Chapel Hill. There are hands-on crafts, music, food, art and more.
Saturday is Fireman’s Day in Garner. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, at 503 W. Main St., there will be games, BBQ plates and vendors. A parade is at 2 p.m.
And Bay Leaf Volunteer Fire Department will hold its annual open house from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, at its new headquarters at 11713 Six Forks Rd., Raleigh. The afternoon includes a visit from WakeMed’s Air Mobile One, Sparky the Fire Dog, Smokey the Bear, fire demonstrations, a clown, fire trucks (obviously), food and more.
Durham County Library holds its annual book sale this weekend.
We have consignment sales in Raleigh and Smithfield. An addition: Thrift 2 Gift, 900 E. Chatham St., Cary, will have free food and deals on clothing at the store. The store will offer free donuts in the morning and free hot dogs in the afternoon thanks to Salem Baptist Church. Food is served from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, while supplies last. For every three pieces of kids clothing you buy, you can pick out a stuffed animal. And for every three articles of summer sale clothing purchased, you can get a fourth for free. Also, all children's clothes will be priced at $1.50 from now on.
MacGregor Village shopping center in Cary will host Triangle Oktoberfest  on Friday and Saturday with German music, a kids zone, traditional Bavarian food and beer. Dreamsports will be putting on the kids area, called Kinder Platz. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m, Saturday. The kids area will have bounce houses, soccer, hockey, four square, and other activities. It will be cordoned off for just the kids and their parents. Tickets to Oktoberfest are $5 for ages 6 to 12. Ticket packs for those over age 12 start at $10.
Triangle Independent School Consortium, which is made up of 14 private schools in the region, has its second admission fair this weekend. At the fair, parents can learn more about the admission process and cost and meet admission directors. This weekend, it’s set for 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, at the Hilton Garden Inn at The Streets at Southpoint, 7007 Fayetteville St., Durham.
Northgate Mall in Durham will host the Durham College Fair from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday. Two and four-year private and public schools will be visiting from across the state and country. Durham Public High School counselors will be on hand to help students. It’s free and open to all.
The very family-friendly Kids Rock Benefit Concert bring some fun family music to the Triangle. The event is 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, on the Green at Southern Village in Chapel Hill. Big Bang Boom, The Buzztown Band, John Saylor and emcee Courtney Saffie will be on stage. The concert is free. Picnics are welcome. Baked goods will be for sale. Dancing, face painting, a bouncy house and other activities are $1 each. You also can get a $10 wristband for unlimited activities. All proceeds help the Chapel Hill Cooperative Preschool.
Historic Oak View County Park in Wake County will hold its annual Heritage Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. The free event is like an old-time county fair with music, animals, agricultural displays, crafts, a quilt auction and more.
And Jordan Lake State Recreation Area will hold its annual Heritage Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday. The free event includes activities, entertainment and demonstrations related to the cultural and natural resources of the region.
Along the same lines, Bass Lake Park in Holly Springs will celebrate Bass Lake Day, an annual nature and environmental education festival. It’s 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, at the park. The free event includes music, interactive exhibits, crafts, games and live animals.
The great Scrap Exchange will host a big event from noon to 7 p.m., Sunday, to celebrate the opening at its new home at 2050 Chapel Hill Rd. in Durham. The afternoon includes a parade through the new space, artist demos, art making, a trash-free food truck rodeo, live music and more.
The Raleigh Astronomy Club will host a public star gaze from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, at the Annie Louise Wilkerson MD Nature Preserve, 11408 Raven Ridge Rd., in north Raleigh. Club members will bring out their telescopes and knowledge. You’ll be able to view the moon, Saturn, Mars, double stars and more. Bring a flashlight to help you get to the viewing site. Check the club’s website before you go if there is inclement weather. It’s free. Children are welcome as long as they’re with an adult. 


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