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September brings the beginning changes of the season and with it some of our favorite Raleigh festivals. Here are a few highlights worth exploring around town this month:

African American Cultural Festival: Starting September off right, the annual African American Cultural Festival will be held Saturday, September 1st and Sunday September 2nd. We love watching the stilt performers, musicians, and dancers make their way through City Plaza. Fayetteville street is lined with artisans, foods and interactive learning spaces as we celebrate the folk and cultural traditions of the African American community. Perfect for families, the festival begins at 12pm on Saturday, more details can be found here.

Hopscotch Music Festival: Named one of the “best and most eclectic music festivals in America,” by Spin magazine, the annual Hopscotch Music Festivals takes over downtown Raleigh September 6th through 8th. This experimental festival features well known acts such as The Flaming Lips and Boulevards along with lesser known musicians from genres including rock, hip-hop, metal, folk, electronic, and more. The everyman music festival, tickets are available here or enjoy the day party on Saturday beginning at noon along Fayetteville Street complimentary.

Paperhand Puppet Intervention: Part of the 2018 Summer Concert Series at the NC Museum of Art, the Paperhand Puppet Intervention presents In the Heart of the Fire Friday, September 7th through Sunday, September 9th. A wonderous show with larger than life puppets, stilt dancers, and original live music, this performance is an incredible spectacle to behold. Blankets and picnics are encouraged, though food vendors will be present. Friday evening will also feature “Iris after Dark” with wine specials and small plates in the museum’s restaurant. More information and ticket details are available here.

Sparkcon: Spanning over 15 blocks, the creativity festival SPARKcon takes over downtown Raleigh Thursday, September 13th through Sunday, September 16th. Dance, fashion, music, film, and food, this over the top festival is truly unique. There are fire dancers and artists, ribbon acrobatics and comedy acts, poetry performances and a bazaar filled with local goods and artisans all of which is worth exploring. Additional details for this free festival can be found by visiting their website here.

Bugfest: What do butterflies, beetles, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, cicadas, and crayfish all have in common? They are not only all arthropods, but they can be found at this year’s Bugfest! Held on Saturday, September 15th at the NC Museum of Natural Science, this free festival gives you a chance to interact with scientists and discover more about the fascinating world of bugs. This festival will feature over 100 exhibits, crafts, games, a beekeeping workshop, and nocturnal insect activities along with a creepy-crawly café adventure where you can taste a few of your favorite bugs. Details and directions are available here.

Wide Open Bluegrass: The World of Bluegrass week comes to a close with the annual Wide Open Bluegrass Festival on Friday, September 28th and Saturday, September 29th. The street festival includes 5 stages along with a dance tent, art, BBQ championships and food, as well as shopping vendors all down Fayetteville street while the evening stage events feature headlining acts like Ricky Skaggs, Chatham County Line, and the Flatt Lonesome. The street festival is free with tickets for the main stage events available here.

There is always something to do in Raleigh! For more suggestions or information speak with our friends at VisitRaleigh or contact our Concierge team at 919-447-4030.

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