Weekend at a Glance: Festivals, Flowers and Fireworks

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Celebrate the Fourth of July weekend with live music, outdoor events and a laser light show

Crowd of people in bathing suits sitting on the rocks at the Eno River
Concerts, crafts and food trucks aren’t the only attractions for festivalgoers – bring your swimsuit and take a dip in the river! Photo by Caroline Cockrell

Compiled by Brooke Spach

Virtual Walk on the Wild Side: Summer Flowering (Part 1) – Thursday, 11am – Sarah P. Duke Gardens hosts a free virtual tour of their Blomquist Garden of Native Plants. The one-hour presentation will be led by the garden’s curator and horticulturist and will feature North Carolina’s native summer blossoms. Registration is required.

Beats, Brews & Baseball – Thursday, 6:35pm – Bender Street Band performs outside the Blue Cross NC front gates at Durham Bulls Athletic Park from 5:30pm until just before first pitch. Fans can also purchase a beer flight from the 42 Bar at Jackie’s Landing.

Top Gun Night – Friday, 6:35pm – Fly by the DBAP as the Durham Bulls celebrate Top Gun Night at the ballpark. Plus enjoy Friday night fireworks and local food trucks The Corner Venezuelan Foos, Mama Voula’s and Goodness GraceUs on the Diamond View Concourse in right field throughout the game.

Live Jazz w/ The Simon Dunson Trio – Friday, 7pm – Simon Dunson grew up immersed in bluegrass as a Chapel Hill native. He went on to receive classical training and become the first mandolin player in the New England Conservatory’s jazz department. Though he sometimes pushes the boundaries of the genre, he shows his love for traditional jazz through his original compositions. The trio will perform at The Oak House Durham.

PLAYlist Concert Series: Al Strong – Friday, 8pm – Durham local Al Strong is a central figure in the local jazz scene. He’s played trumpet since childhood, and in 2016 released his debut album, “LoveStrong Vol. 1.” He kicks off this concert series tonight at Durham Central Park.

Festival for the Eno – Friday-Sunday – The annual festival, a part of Durham’s summer landscape since 1980, returns to West Point on the Eno after a one-year “virtual” hiatus. This year’s event includes a ticketed, livestreamed performance at St. Joseph AME Church on July 2 as well as in-person events on July 3-4 that feature a rich array of music, crafts, dance, demonstrations, activities and live performances, including Durham native Curtis Eller. Proceeds benefit the Eno River Association’s mission to help create parklands and protect the water quality of the Eno River.

Murals by Bike Tour – Saturday, 10am – This bicycle tour starts off at the Major the Bull sculpture, and features the historic murals of downtown. The route is curated by Preservation Durham in partnership with The Nasher Museum of Duke University and the Museum of Durham History, and is designed for anyone who feels comfortable riding a bike on the street. The ride will last about a hour and a half; registration is required.

Live DJ: Gemynii – Saturday, 11:30am-2:30pm – Drop by Boxyard RTP to check out its open vendors while enjoying some good music by DJ Gemynii, a sound curator, event producer and visual artist who spins a wide range of music selections with the intent of raising and celebrating the divine feminine energy.

Independence Day Celebration – Saturday, 6:35pm, and Sunday, 6:05pm – The Bulls celebrate Independence Day weekend with special post-game fireworks shows. On Sunday, gates will open for general admission at the end of the 7th inning based on availability for those that would like to view the fireworks show from inside the ballpark. 

#RAWNC Showcase – Saturday, 7pm – Double A Entertainment and SHOWOUT Entertainment present the Real Artists Working Showcase at Sh’Bella Studios. Come hear live music by local artists or sign up for a performance slot yourself! Grand prize winners will receive the footage of their set, social media promotion and more. Tickets required.

Laser Light Show – Saturday and Sunday, 9pm – Durham Parks & Recreation hosts two patriotic-themed laser light shows over the holiday weekend at Durham County Memorial Stadium. The drive-in event is free, but pre-registration is required.

Children’s Independence Day Parade – Sunday, 9:30am – Durham Central Park presents its annual Fourth of July children’s parade. Meet at the pavilion at 9:30 a.m. to decorate your bikes, wagons or strollers before the parade starts at 10:30. Afterwards, DJ Piddipat will provide the tunes while your family enjoys free popsicles and fire truck tours.

Frederick Douglass Community Reading – Monday, 10am – Commemorate the holiday with a community reading of Frederick Douglass’ “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July,” held on the anniversary of its reading at an Independence Day celebration in 1852. Bring your own chair or blanket to sit on the lawn. The event will last about one hour, followed by an optional tour of Horton Grove.

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