Cary Film Festival, Virtual Events, Whiskey, Wine & Fire Festival

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INDY FILMS. BEYOND: The Cary Film Festival returns to The Cary Theater from Thursday, September 21–Sunday, September 24. In its sixth year, the event celebrates short films from independent filmmakers from around the world. The festival also hosts three workshops for all experience levels, including a screenwriting workshop for ages 7–16 on Saturday at 1 p.m. Tickets are available online. 

PARADE CHANGE. After the event was briefly canceled, the Raleigh Christmas Parade is back on for 2023, according to the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association. The 79th annual parade will take place on Saturday, November 18 at 9:30 a.m. and will feature marching bands, performers, costume characters, horses, dog rescues, giant balloons, musical acts and more. The parade will not include motorized floats and vehicles.

CELEBRATING INNOVATION. Bull City Summit kicks off a weeklong celebration with a benefit concert for Durham’s Families and Communities at Motorco Music Hall on Monday, September 18. The show features sets by soul singer Lee Fields & The Expressions (8:30 p.m.) and North Carolina Central University-trained Mavis Swan Poole (10 p.m.). The all-week festival and business conference celebrates innovation in music, the arts, science and technology. 

BOOTH BASH. Whiskey, Wine & Fire takes place at Koka Booth Amphitheatre on Saturday, September 23, 5–9 p.m. The foodie celebration features grilling, local food trucks, whiskey tasting, wines and more. Enjoy live bluegrass, Americana and country music throughout the evening. General admission tickets include all-you-care-to-taste beverage sampling. 

THEME NIGHT. PBR Cary hosts Latin Night on Monday, September 21 from 8–10 p.m. Take part in the theme night on the first and third Monday of each month and enjoy $25 Corona buckets and $5 lime margaritas.

STRIKE A POSE. The Streets at Southpoint continues its Weekly Wellness workout classes with yoga at lululemon (8030 Renaissance Parkway, Durham) on Sunday, September 24, 10–11 a.m. FlowCorps presents the free class on the lawn in front of the AMC Theatre. Guests are encouraged to bring water and a mat. 

VIRTUAL POUR. Durham’s Alley Twenty Six has launched a series of virtual cocktail classes. The next event, Wry Rye, will be on Thursday, September 28 at 7 p.m. Individual classes are $15. Guests will learn from James Beard finalist bartender Shannon Healy, the owner of Alley Twenty Six. A Zoom link and list of supplies will be emailed before the class. Register online.

CREATING A BUZZ. Join Bee Downtown for a virtual honey harvesting event at the Poe Center on Thursday, October 5, 9:30–10:30 a.m. Follow along as the bee team leads guests through the extraction process as the organization tries to reach its goal of 20,000 pounds. The Poe Center’s garden health educators will be available to answer questions about pollinators, honey, gardening and more. The free event is suited for elementary school and homeschool groups, as well as caregivers and children.

YOUR OPINION MATTERS. Sponsors of transit projects in Wake County are requesting $21.8 million, and they’re inviting the public to review and comment on the requests through Saturday, September 30. The project’s sponsors – Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the City of Raleigh, GoTriangle, Town of Cary and Wake County – have requested a total of seven amendments to the FY2024 Wake Transit Plan. The plan strives to create frequent and reliable urban mobility and enhance access to travel. 

HOLIDAY CONCERTS. Country music star Martina McBride kicks off The Joy of Christmas Tour at the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh on Friday, November 24 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday, September 22 at 10 a.m. The tour marks the 25th anniversary of her first holiday album, “White Christmas.”

Chris Isaak: It’s Almost Christmas Tour comes to the Carolina Theatre of Durham on Saturday, November 4 at 8 p.m. Over the course of his 40-year career, the Grammy-nominated singer and actor Chris Isaak has performed across the globe and put together a catalog of 13 studio albums. His biggest hit was “Wicked Game” in 1989.

FOR A GOOD CAUSE. Darden Restaurants is helping 10 Feeding America food banks, including Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, via a 26-foot refrigerated truck. The truck can transport up to 12,000 pounds of food at a time. The food bank will also receive $20,000 to use for food and other needs. Darden Restaurants, which include Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, is marking the 20th anniversary of its Harvest food donation program.

Bull City Burger and Brewery hosts OctoBullFest on Saturday, September 23, 2–6 p.m. East Parrish Street in Durham will be closed to traffic for the street festival, which features an outdoor stage with two live bands, a kids’ bounce house, Balloon Man Mike and more. Enjoy pork bratwurst, North Carolina grass-fed beef burgers and Stierstadt Octoberfest lager. The event supports Durham’s Habitat for Humanity with a portion of the proceeds going directly to homebuilding in Durham. 

Santa Barbara Greek Orthodox Church (8306 Highway 751, Durham) will host A Taste of Greece on Saturday, September 30 and Sunday, October 1, 11 a.m.–7 p.m. rain or shine. The free event will feature popular traditional food and dessert offerings, including gyro pita wraps and baklavá. Greek beer and wines will also be available. A portion of all the proceeds will benefit Ukrainian relief efforts.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention  hosts an Out of the Darkness Community Walk at Fleming Loop Park in Fuquay-Varina on Sunday, September 24 at 4:30 p.m. The nonprofit’s mission is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. Dial 988 counselors are available at all times.

NextStep Fitness Raleigh presents Stand Together Gala at Whitaker & Atlantic (1053 East Whitaker Mill Road, Raleigh) on Monday, October 23 at 6:30 p.m. The evening includes food, drinks, raffles and silent and live auctions in a fundraiser for its paralysis recovery center. The dinner will be prepared by Raleigh chefs Liz Grandchamp, David Mitchell, Marc Russel and Tie Whittaker. 

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