Weekend at a Glance: Oktoberfest, Orchestras & Outdoor Events

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Spend your weekend in Durham celebrating Oktoberfest, discovering a new band, adding to your art collection or dining on local food!

Oktoberfest in Durham this weekend
The Glass Jug Beer Lab celebrates its seventh anniversary during its annual Oktoberfest at its Research Triangle Park location.

Compiled by Charlotte Goto

The Painted Chair Auction for the Animals – Through Sept. 24 – Independent Animal Rescue hosts its 19th annual fundraiser with the goal of raising $40,000 to save the growing number of dogs and cats in its care. The virtual event features a silent auction and a live auction on Sept. 23 at 7:30pm with more than 300 items to bid on.

Children’s Fun Day – Thursday, 7:30am-6pm – Durham Parks & Recreation hosts an activity-packed day, including games, arts and crafts, sports and more at W.I. Patterson Recreation Center

RTP180: Food Science – Thursday, 5-7pm – Local experts speak passionately and authentically about what matters to them in five minutes or less during this webinar series presented by Frontier RTP. This month’s discussion focuses on food safety and processing, gastronomical psychology, food tech, nutritional science and truffle-sniffing dogs. Consume a feast of information at this event along with beer from Fullsteam Brewery or wine from RTP Uncorked (if you attend in person).

Dine & Discover: Migration – Thursday, 6-8:30pm – The Museum of Life and Science hosts a multi-course themed meal with a complimentary cocktail inspired by migratory birds. Before the meal, a museum ranger and representatives from Piedmont Wildlife Center will lead a stroll through the Butterfly House garden and share information on rehabilitated birds on-site and their cross-continental journeys. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Piedmont Wildlife Center.

The Gories & BANGZZ – Thursday, 8pm – Duke Performances presents these two garage punk bands at Motorco Music Hall. The talented guitarists perform fast-paced, hard-edged melodies to give your weekend an electric start. 

Anime-Magic Film Series – Friday-Sunday – The Carolina Theatre presents a weekend-long lineup of anime classics from around the world. 

Indie Strings Orchestra Concert – Friday, 6-8pm – Visit Durham Farmers Market to listen to this community group consisting of beginner, intermediate and advanced adult string players. Durham City Council member Pierce Freelon will also make a special appearance at this free performance.

Third Friday Durham Art Walk & Gallery Crawl – Friday, 6-9pm – Support local artists at 15 downtown venues during this monthly event hosted by Downtown Durham Inc. There will be street performances by guitarist and vocalist Kelly Dansby, saxophonist Shaquim Muldrow and Brazilian dance troupe Batalá Durham.

Third Friday Festival – Friday, 6pm-1am, and Sunday, 11:30am-5pm – The Festivals of Art, Thought and Culture takes over The Fruit with a festival on Friday and an afternoon party on Sunday. Both events feature emerging musicians, dancing, art exhibits and food trucks, and Friday’s event also includes a fashion show at 7pm.

‘My Name is Pauli Murray’ Screening – Friday, 7pm – This documentary follows the journey of the extraordinary African American activist from the segregated South. Barbara Lau, executive director of the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice, will host a Q&A session with the audience following the screening. 

Durham Success Summit – Saturday, 9am-3pm – The third annual event aims to empower Black male students aged 18-24 to begin taking important steps in their careers. Reggie Love, former political aide to President Barack Obama, will be the keynote speaker at the in-person event at the W.G. Pearson Center. Research shows only one-third of Black residents in Durham have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to two-thirds of white citizens. “I was tired of seeing men like me be treated as if our lives didn’t matter,” DSS founder Derek Rhodes said. “Now, three years later, I am happy to have created an event that uplifts and supports Black men.”

Seasonal Celebrities: Autumn Plants for Your North Carolina Garden – Saturday, 10-11am – Jan Little, director of education and public programs at Sarah P. Duke Gardens, hosts a series of educational discussions on horticulture. This week’s online presentation focuses on a variety of maples. 

Pauli Murray Walking Tour – Saturday, 10-11:45am – Join the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice for a 75-minute walking tour of the West End neighborhood. Take a deep dive into Durham’s history of racial segregation and civil activism during this educational tour led by Aya Shabu

Liberty Arts Scratch Block Workshop – Saturday, 10am-1pm – Create an individual mold to be cast into iron this fall during the fifth annual Iron Pour at Durham Central Park. No experience is necessary, and all instruction and materials will be provided. 

Cooking Demonstration: Enslaved People’s Food and Cooking Traditions – Saturday, 11am-4pm – Public historian Dontavius Williams returns to Historic Stagville to lead an outdoor cooking demonstration, interpreting the cultural traditions of enslaved people in North Carolina. 

The Sunday Special – Saturday, noon-2pm – This new energetic band from Raleigh performs live on Boxyard RTP’s BeatBox stage. The trio is known for their unique “nerdy rock” sounds and catchy hooks. 

Art-n-Soul Market – Saturday, noon-4pm – Shop local and find unique creations during this traveling marketplace at Mystic Farm & Distillery, complete with local artisans, live music and the Crispy Gyoza food truck.

Oktoberfest – Saturday, noon-10pm – The Glass Jug Beer Lab celebrates its seventh anniversary during its annual beer festival in the beer garden of its Research Triangle Park location. Dress in your lederhosen or dirndl and celebrate the occasion with live music, German eats, a bounce house, a stein hoisting competition and delicious beer (of course!).

Durham Cider Crawl – Saturday, noon-10pm – Taste cider, cocktails and food pairings at this non-ticketed event. Select your stops, and explore sites throughout the city as you sip flavors of autumn. 

Durham Oktoberfest – Saturday, 1-10pm – Motorco Music Hall presents its 11th annual festival featuring traditional German eats like pretzels, schnitzel and bratwurst and a live performance from The Little German Band and Dancers.

Snap! Selfies, Photobombs and Photographs Then and Now – Saturday, 1-3pm – Durham Parks & Recreation leads a presentation of photography from the past and offers a self-guided tour of West Point on the Eno. Visitors are encouraged to take their own photos, selfies and photobombs along historical sites. 

Farm Dinner – Saturday, 6pm – Connect with nature, interact with animals and enjoy a five-course, locally sourced meal by farm/chef Ted Domville at this outdoor event at Elodie Farms.

The Ultimate Queen Celebration – Saturday, 8pm – Marc Martel and his band head to Durham Performing Arts Center to perform Queen’s classic hits. Marc provides a theatrical tribute to the iconic rock group with anthems such as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Are The Champions” and “Somebody to Love.”

21c Drag Brunch – Sunday, noon-3pm – Treat yourself to performances by local queens along with mimosas and brunch made by Chef Jeff Seizer and his team at Counting House

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