The NC State Fair kicks off, plus 16 other things to do this week

Here’s your look at everything going on this week.

NC State Fair

“Nothing could be finer”! The Fair kicks off Thursday, Oct. 17, answering the call for all your fried, farmy, freaky fantasies. Running through Oct. 27, this year’s edition promises not to disappoint with 11 days of high-flying rides, weird/wacky/traditional/delicious treats, the second annual kids’ Field of Dreams, art, livestock, shows (pig races!), the great pumpkin weigh-off and much more. NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh. Oct. 17-27. Adults 13-64: $13; military adults 13-64 with valid ID: $8; youths 6-12: $7; seniors 65+ and children 5 and under: free; visit site for group pricing. ncstatefair.org

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Homegrown Music Fest

Adding to the lineup of this year’s NC State Fair is the Homegrown Music Fest to the tune of 117 concerts. Thursday kicks off with The Up and Up, Tina and Her Pony and Natural Wonder: Stevie Wonder Tribute. Cue all the calls, just to say I love you. Dorton Arena, Raleigh. Oct. 17-27, times vary. Dorton Arena shows are free with entry to the N.C. State Fair. Doors at 7 p.m., shows begin at 7:30 p.m. ncstatefair.org

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Toy Boom! exhibit

Before kids had screen time, they had Gumby, Twister and Etch A Sketch. Those toys are part of the newest exhibit at the N.C. Museum of History. “Toy Boom! Toys from the 1950s & ’60s” opened Oct. 4 and features such vintage toys that made up the childhood experience of Baby Boomers and beyond. With hands-on activities — a Lite Brite wall — and nostalgia galore, perhaps today’s kids will find a new (non-screen) toy to play with. The exhibit is open through Jan. 3, 2021. 5 E. Edenton St., Raleigh. Free. ncmuseumofhistory.org/toy-boom

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Gumby and Pokey are part of the N.C. Museum of History exhibit, “Toy Boom! Toys from the 1950s & ’60s.” D. Kent Thompson NC Museum of History


Belly up for this can’t-miss music and brew fest bringing 70-plus statewide and beyond breweries and bands together for your sipping and listening pleasure to benefit the NC Craft Brewer’s Guild and other nonprofits. Bottoms up. Sugg Farm Park, Holly Springs. Oct. 12, noon to 6 p.m. Ages 21+, music only: $15; general admission: $45; VIP: $75. beericana.com

Luke Bryan

Kick the dust up at Walnut Creek as Luke Bryan brings his 2019 Sunset Repeat Tour to Raleigh, with Cole Swindell and Jon Langston. Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, Raleigh. Oct. 12, 7 p.m. From $39. lukebryan.com

Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan will perform at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek on Oct. 12. Al Wagner AP

Post Malone

Austin Richard Post — aka Post Malone — brings his acclaimed genre-bending beats to Raleigh via his Runaway Tour on the heels of his 2019 slam-dunk album “Hollywood’s Bleeding.” PNC Arena, Raleigh. Oct. 17, 8 p.m. From $119. postmalone.com


The multi-Grammy Award-winning Chicago sextet is “misunderstood” no longer. Consider their more than two-plus decades and 10 studio albums (and a trio of albums with Billy Bragg penning music to lyrics by Woody Guthrie to boot), their own label (dBpm Records) and fest (Solid Sound), and a destination concert experience on tap for 2020 in Mexico. The live powerhouse band brings its sound to Cary for what NPR calls a can’t-miss show: “To see Wilco on stage is to hear the best of the best.” With Soccer Mommy. Koka Booth Amphitheatre, Cary. Oct. 16, 7 p.m. From $35. boothamphitheatre.com

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Raise up a monster of a good time and call up the Halloween spirit at the Carolina Ballet with this debut from Artistic Director Zalman Raffael. Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Fletcher Opera Theater, Raleigh. Oct. 10-27, times vary. Tickets from $36. carolinaballet.com

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North Hills Wine Walk

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and to show your support, lace up for a charity wine walk to benefit Kay Yow Cancer Fund and Young Moms Against Cancer. A $25 donation scores you a cup and “passport” to visit participating stores to shop and taste various wine selections. Completed passports are returned for a drawing to score a North Hills gift card. Grapes, giving, gratitude and gifts? Sign us up! North Hills, Raleigh. Oct. 12, 3-6 p.m. $25 donation. visitnorthhills.com/events/

Pumpkin Patch Read & Ride Children’s Tour

All Aboard! Pack up the fam and take a 30-minute trolley read & ride tour with The Conductor & the Friendly Characters of the Pumpkin Patch via Great Raleigh Trolley. Characters will visit with each kid for photo opps, and read a few stories on the Trolley. Each ticket includes a cannon ball pumpkin and decorating supplies, plus on-hand pro photos for capturing the moment (with free digital downloads), themed crafts and activities at The Trolley Lot, children’s snacks and juice boxes, face painting and fairy hair booths, and more. A portion of proceeds serves as a donation to local children’s literacy organizations including Read & Feed, WakeEd and more. Tours begin at The Trolley Lot, 424 S. McDowell St., next to Poole’s Diner, Raleigh. Saturday and Sunday through October, times vary. Arrive 15-30 minutes in advance of your tour time. $25 each (children under 2 free with parent admission). greatraleightrolley.com/read-ride

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Carolina Ballet presents a world premiere of “Frankenstein,” from Artistic Director Zalman Raffael. Rachel Neville Photography

Food and Flea anniversary

Fete five years of Food & Flea in Cary with food trucks, Bond Brothers beer, 65-plus opps to shop handmade goods from local artisans, live music, face painting and more. 100 W. Chatham St., Cary. Oct. 13, noon-4 p.m. Free to enter. facebook.com/downtowncaryfoodandflea/

After Hours Raleigh

To market, to market! The long-anticipated Weaver Street Market is open, and what better way to mark the occasion than a block party? Hargett Street will be closed for lawn games (cornhole, giant Connect4, etc.), music by Rhonda Robichaux and food samples. 404 W. Hargett St., Raleigh. Oct. 17, 7-9:30 p.m. Free. facebook.com/weaverstreet

The Vampire Ball of NC

Write your own (elegant) entry to Vampire Diaries with this ball to support the victims of Hurricane Dorian as you party among professional Gothic- and Victorian-attire-garbed models. Don’t worry, they won’t bite. Professional photogs, emcee Vlad the Gothic Magician, live music, an Undead DJ and much more promise to make it a night to remember. Don’t miss your chance to get your future read, or the runway competition for cash and surprises. Occasion dress required. Isaac Hunter’s Tavern, 414 Fayetteville St., Raleigh. City. Oct. 11, 9 p.m. $20-$250. facebook.com/huntersoakcity/

Grilled Cheese Fest

Say cheese! Childhood food dreams meet adult fodder fuse with this cheesy fest of the best all-you-can-sample grilled cheeses plus live entertainment and a beer and bloody Mary garden. Cheers! MAC Sports & Entertainment, 8924 Midway West Road, Raleigh. Oct. 12, noon-5 p.m. GA $30, VIP $45. raleighgrilledcheesefestival.com/

Sir Walter Smoke-Off

Park your picnic blanket and camping chairs at R&D Brewing for a family friendly day of barbecue, tunes and cold ones plus a KidZone. There will be a dozen-plus pro barbecue teams competing for the Golden Pig trophy and $1,000 prize. 1323 Capital Blvd., Raleigh. Oct. 12, noon to 6 p.m. General admission is free with $15 worth of nonperishable food items for the Eastern Food Bank North Carolina, or free with unused, unopened holiday gift for a kid 12 and younger. The gift should have a value of at least $15. These items will be delivered to children by the Capital City Clauses. Otherwise, general admission is $5, pork passport $20, champion package $45. sirwaltersmokeoff.com

Harvest Dinner

It’s that time of year. The annual Harvest Dinner returns to Raleigh City Farm with a seasonal multicourse meal under the stars featuring Hummingbird chef Coleen Speaks, plus wine and beer pairings, a live and silent auction, VIP cocktail hour and more. All proceeds support the mission to grow the next generation of farmers by connecting community to sustainable agriculture. 800 N. Blount St., Raleigh Oct. 13, 6-9 p.m, VIP Cocktail Hour 5-6 p.m. GA $125, VIP $200. raleighcityfarm.org

North Carolina Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Festival

Consider this an afternoon Euro staycation with varietals from Italy, Spain, France… (and the U.S., with even some local NC faves), plus local and regional chocolate and cheese tastings to boot. Demo tents on-site for the curious. Otherwise, sip and browse or listen to live tunes from three bands, two DJs and more. Lafayette Village, Raleigh. Oct. 12, noon to 6 p.m. General admission: $36.95; VIP single, $59.95; VIP partner pass, $119.95; donations to supported charity welcome. facebook.com/ncwinecheesechocolate

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