Raleigh is a busy city, with a full schedule of food and drink festivals, fancy galas and balls, museum exhibits, music and theatre performances, and lots of charity fundraisers filling up its calendar pages each year. As we’ve done in the past, we spent some time combing through that calendar to bring you our list of the city’s best events of 2018-2019 for our first issue of the spring season. Happy hunting—we know you’ll find something you’ll love to attend.
Farm to Fork
6/3/2018, 9/6/2018, 12/6/2018
Get tickets: farmtoforknc.com
Cost: $45 – $500
The fun begins with the first event on June 3rd, the perennial favorite Farm to Fork Picnic, where the area’s best farmers and chefs are paired. Then, on September 16th, there’s a pop-up dinner featuring Jacob Boehm of Snap Pea Underground & Catering. The series concludes on December 6th with John T. Edge and a celebration of Southern food on Chapel Hill’s Lavender Oak Farm.
Embark on a safari for your taste buds to support the Conservators Center. Tickets include six food and mystery brewing beer pairings, as well as a walking tour.
Dorothea Dix Hospital Exhibit
10/2018 – 2021
This free exhibit will bring to life the stories of those who called Dix home, from patients and employees to the hill’s first-ever residents.
Get tickets: greatcrawl.com
Cost: $130- $195
The Great Gatsby Ball: Casino Night will have more than two dozen table games for you to choose from- Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and more. Try your luck, and see how high you can grow your stacks. At the end of the night, the more chips you’ve got, the better your chances are to win one of over thousands of dollars in prizes. When you’re done at the tables, step over to the Daily Planet Theater for the dance party that made Gatsby infamous. Video DJ Al-Ski Love will keep the party going all night with your
favorite songs and music videos.
Get tickets: walkforhope.com
Evening of Hope is a who’s who of Raleigh. The annual gala includes a delicious dinner with wine pairings at the Pavilion at the Angus Barn. The only part better than the meal is the speaker; featured this year is Brooke Shields, actress and humanitarian.
8th Annual Red & White Food and Beverage Festival
Get tickets: alumni.ncsu.edu
Cost: $30- $35
An evening of enjoying savory tastings and sips from NC State alumni who are part of the culinary, brewery or wine community.
Benefits: City of Raleigh
Museum’s exhibits and programming
Get tickets: cityofraleighmuseum.org/time-warp/
Cost: $50 – $250
They are time-tripping again this year at the City of Raleigh Museum, going back to the 1970’s. Dig out those bellbottoms and disco shoes. You’ll be dancing to some great rock-and-roll, eating excellent food and drinking local craft beer, wine and cocktails. There will be a costume and dance contest along with a silent and live auction.
Benefits: Project ALS
Get tickets: teamchriscombs.org
This event was created by Team Chris Combs to support his fight against ALS. Last year, the evening of cocktails, food and dancing with a silent and live auction raised over one million dollars. Look for it to be another magical evening at the Umstead Hotel in 2018.
Get registered: sonc.net
Commit to raise $1,000
A true one-of-a-kind experience with an adrenaline rush.
Participants rappel 30 stories down the Wells Fargo Capitol Center on Fayetteville Street to raise funds for the Special Olympics of North Carolina.
11/6 – 12/2/2018
This show will be one of the hottest tickets in town—finally see for yourself what all the talk is about when the Tony Award-winning musical makes its way to the Triangle.
We’re the only state in the country that features all and only music from our home state at the fair. That’s national news right there–we support our musicians and the arts. This music festival is designed to showcase existing talent but also introduce new talent, with more than 100
concerts. Of course, there’s lots else to discover about North Carolina at the fair, too.
Get Tickets: raleighlittletheatre.org
This glamorous cabaret competition is not only a fantastic show but also serves as a fundraiser for the divas’ charity of choice. Each performer competes to be the Diva of the Year by raising the most money. Plus, tickets include an hors d’oeuvres and drinks reception.
Cost: $30 – $45
Brewgaloo is North Carolina’s largest craft beer festival, as well as the largest festival celebrating (everything) local—local beer, local food trucks, local vendors. It’s 100 percent local! Friday night’s Block Party will be a sampler event from 6 – 10 p.m.; Saturday’s event is 2 – 10 p.m.
Band Together with Walk the Moon
Benefits: Triangle Family Services
Get tickets: bandtogethernc.org
The charitable music event held at Red Hat Amphitheatre benefits Band Together and its partnership with Triangle Family Services.
Artsplosure is Raleigh’s perfect mix of visual and performance art celebration and bringing the community together. The festival also does a great job of introducing the community to new music, with performances by acclaimed national artists alongside some of North Carolina’s best talents. Look for a combination of stage performances as well as some street performances. It’s unquestionably a festival where there’s something for everyone.
Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo
5/6/18, 6/10/18, 8/5/18, 10/14/2018
A half mile of food trucks and restaurants spread out over 11 city blocks on Fayetteville Street. Try a new truck or an old favorite; either way you’ll find something you love.
Triangle Wine Experience
1/31/2019 – 2/2/2019
Benefits: Frankie Lemmon School
Get tickets: trianglewineexperience.org/events
A three-day celebration of great wine and food benefitting the Frankie Lemmon School and Development Center. The weekend begins with a kick off party followed by Thursday evening Winery Dinners—the hottest restaurants paired with the world’s best wines at intimate gatherings all over the Triangle. The weekend culminates with the black-tie grand gala and auction on Saturday evening featuring entertainment and world-class wine.
Benefits: CAM Raleigh
Get tickets: camraleigh.org
Cost: $175 – $300
Arthouse features delicacies created by Chef Scott Crawford of Crawford and Son Restaurant. Marvel at the art. Mingle with artists.
Benefits: North Carolina nonprofits that address issues related to food insecurity.
The two-day event will highlight the 1.5 million people in the state struggling to buy affordable and fresh foods. The festival will feature top chefs from 50 North Carolina restaurants serving food and drink samples against a backdrop of live music each night.
Benefits: local youth sports, fitness, trails and greenway projects
Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Cary Road Race as it returns to where it all started in Downtown Cary! In addition to a 5K, 5-Miler, and Fun Run, enjoy live music, food trucks, local beer and family-friendly activities.
Get Tickets: theatreinthepark.com
We look forward to this Raleigh tradition all year long. Don’t miss Ira David Wood’s transformation to Mr. Scrooge; it’s truly an unforgettable experience.
10/13/2018 – 1/20/2019
NC Museum of Art
This innovative exhibition brings together a significant number of Georgia O’Keeffe’s works as the centerpiece of an exploration of her continued force as a touchstone for contemporary art. Alongside paintings and sculptures by this founder of American modernism, viewers encounter works by emerging artists that evoke and expand upon O’Keeffe’s enchanting artistic language.
North State Bank Summer Salute
Benefits: Transitions LifeCare hospice
Get tickets: northstatebank.com/summer-salute
Forget the jacket and tie – grab your shorts and sandals and get ready to dance to the music of Raleigh’s own “The Embers” featuring Craig Woolard. This event is a perfect way to kick off summer – it’s as close to the beach as you can get and still be in Raleigh!
Marbles Imagination Ball
Get tickets: marbleskidsmuseum.org
Cost: $50 – $60
This year’s Imagination Ball is bigger and more fun with its 10th birthday edition –
A Whimsical Wonderland. The evening includes eating, drinking and dancing along with silent and live auctions and wine roulette.
Farewell YellowBrick Road Tour
The global icon Elton John is saying farewell with a tour that includes five continents and 300 shows, with a stop at PNC Arena. Elton’s new stage production will take his fans on a musical and highly visual journey spanning a 50-year career of hits like no one has ever seen before.
Midtown Beach Music Series KickOff with the Embers featuring Craig Woolard
Celebrating the 11th season of Midtown Beach Music Series at North Hills. This popular concert series features the best of Beach Music on warm summer nights with lots of Shag dancing, a time-honored tradition in the South. It is one of the few free local concerts available to the public.