5 Virtual Things To Do in Durham This Weekend

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Virtual event: Beaver Queen Pageant
The annual Beaver Queen Pageant goes virtual this year. Photo by Lyn Steuart

Compiled by Madeline Kraft and Hannah Lee


The (Virtual) Monti: People are the Worst 
Jeff Polish started The Monti in 2008 with the goal to “bring people to a space where they can tell stories about life as it is: the wild, the funny, the precious and the flawed.” This weekend, the storytelling continues about people who, “let’s face it … are just the worst.” Join Monti storytellers as they share frustrating (yet funny) experiences they’ve had with other people during a Zoom performance. Tickets are free, but the nonprofit suggests a $7 donation.


Freight Train Blues – Phil Cook 
During the second part of this music series, watch Durham’s Phil Cook, a songwriter and producer with two acclaimed solo albums, perform live on Facebook and YouTube from 6-7pm. The five-week live-streamed music series – presented by the Music Maker Relief Foundation, among other organizations – celebrates Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten’s contributions to American roots music by featuring local North Carolina artists.


The Beaver Queen Pageant
This unique and often wacky – in a good way! – pageant started in 2005 when the construction of I-85 threatened the Duke Park beavers. Contestants dress up in themed costumes, vying for the title of Beaver Queen, all to benefit Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association (ECWA). This year, organizers shifted the annual fundraiser online due to COVID-19. On Saturday, watch an introductory episode to the contestants – Beaver SandersBoy George BeaverDr. Beaverly Crusher and Locutus of Beav-orgDr. Dam SavageMartha Dam and Pain Fonda) – the first of four online events live on the pageant’s website at 6pm. Every online vote, which costs $5, supports ECWA’s mission to create an interconnected network of trails and nature preserves, and restore water quality and habitat in Ellerbe Creek.

Free Virtual Fencing Class
Mid-South Fencers’ Club hosts a free virtual one-hour fencing lesson for anyone eager to practice the fast-paced sport. Coach Jennifer Oldham instructs participants on the basics of the Olympic sport via Zoom on Saturday from 1-2pm. Participants, ages 7 and older, should come prepared with a household object that can act as a sword (i.e. pool noodle, wooden stick or toy lightsaber).


Stay Away 5K
The Duke Lemur Center hosts a virtual 5K this weekend to support its lemur care and conservation. Registration costs $30 and includes a commemorative T-shirt and decal printed with the winning designs from its T-shirt Design Contest. Family and friends can register as a team. Teams of seven or more will be entered into a raffle to win a private tour of the facility. While Duke Lemur Center remains closed to visitors, they continue to care for more than 2,000 lemurs across 14 different species – the most diverse population of lemurs in the world outside of Madagascar.

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Hannah Lee

Hannah Lee

Hannah Lee is the assistant editor at Durham Magazine. Born and raised in Winston-Salem, she attended UNC-Chapel Hill and double majored in broadcast journalism and German.

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