Downtown Cary Park Announces Food and Beverage Vendors, Watermelon Festival at Phillips Farm, The Rink Returns to Raleigh

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GOOD EATS. Downtown Cary Park, the upcoming urban park spanning 7 acres in the heart of downtown Cary, announced this week that Cary Park Ventures will serve as its exclusive food and beverage vendor upon completion of construction, prioritizing local sourcing and offering fresh seasonal menus. Cary Park Ventures will service Market 317, an elevated grab-and-go market within Academy Street Plaza, as well as The Bark Bar, an open-air pavilion offering libations and light snacks, situated next to the Park’s ‘Barkyard’ dog park. They will also offer food and beverage service from mobile food carts throughout the park. 

WATERMELON FUN. Take a bite of fresh watermelon at Phillips Farms’ Watermelon Festival on Saturday, July 29. The Cary farm will a host a farmers market and feature watermelon products, a watermelon eating contest, food trucks, live music, a petting zoo, face painting, a cow train, wagon rides and more. Learn more about the farm here.

JUST PEACHY. Peach season is in full swing at Asali Desserts and Cafe, and the Cary establishment is offering several seasonal treats. The specials include six-layer peach cake, peach macarons, iced peach matcha, peach milk pudding, peach tarts, peach puff pastry and peach cake pops. 

FESTIVAL OF FANDOM. GalaxyconRaleigh takes place at the Raleigh Convention Center starting today, July 27, through Sunday, July 30. The festival features celebrities, artists, writers, voice actors, cosplayers, entertainers, creators, wrestlers, fan groups and panelists. Join with fans to celebrate comic books, pop culture, sci-fi, anime and more. Limited single-day tickets are available online. 

WINTER SKATE. The Rink is set to return to Red Hat Amphitheater from November 16, 2023–January 15, 2024. The holiday ice skating experience will offer extended operating hours, special programming on select nights and a brand new exclusive Igloo Lounge experience. Guests can reserve the lounge, a private retreat for groups of six. Admission is $15 and includes skate rental. 

ART SHOWS. The North Carolina Museum of Art presents exhibitions “Luis Rey Velasco” and “The Surrealist Impulse” beginning on Saturday, August 12. Highlighted in “Luis Rey Velasco” are the artist’s pictures of children of North Carolina migrant farmworkers. In “The Surrealist Impulse,” artworks are brought together to illustrate a surrealist impulse that exists in contemporary art. Photo courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of Art.

FUTURISTIC FUN. ROBOPARK, an immersive, futuristic experience featuring more than 50 cutting-edge robots, made its U.S. debut July 19 at Crabtree Mall in Raleigh. Mirey Robotics, an exhibition company specializing in interactive tech events, is behind this interactive display promoting STEM education. The event runs through August 20 at three Crabtree locations: two on the lower level Belk wing and one on the lower level Macy’s wing. Purchase tickets here. 

SCAVENGER FUN. Waldo is hiding around Raleigh. Pick up a Where’s Waldo passport at Quail Ridge Books and collect a stamp for each box on the passport. Then join the Where’s Waldo celebration at Quail Ridge Books (4209–100 Lassiter Mill Road) on Tuesday, August 8 at 5:30 p.m. The event, which is co-sponsored by Shop Local Raleigh, includes prizes and activities.

PARK PLAYTIME. Playdates at Dix Park consists of a partnership with Marbles Kids Museum featuring play-based programming that sparks curiosity, creativity and connection. Foodie Friday at Dix Park is tomorrow, July 28, 5–8 p.m. August playdates feature a variety of themes and are scheduled for August 2, 3, 5, 9, 11, 12, 16 and 23 at various times. The series is free, but registration is required

SWEET TREATS. The Dessertery returns to the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts in November and December. The family–friendly dessert café will feature exquisite décor and an all-you-can-eat selection of sweets and hot cocoa, along with live entertainment on select nights. Guests will be treated to cake bites, cookies, cheesecakes and more. The cocoa bar will offer more than 100 toppings. Photo courtesy of the City of Raleigh.

FREE WORKOUTS. Visit The Streets at Southpoint on the lawn to join in fun and free workout classes hosted by a variety of athletic retailers this summer. Classes will be added throughout the summer, so those interested in attending should regularly check The Streets at Southpoint Weekly Wellness page for the most up to date schedule and registration information. The next class will be led by lululemon this Sunday, July 30, at 10:30 a.m.

BOARD THE BUS. Beginning Sunday, August 6, GoTriangle will begin restoring services that were cut due to a national bus operator shortage. GoTriangle will restore service on weekend routes 100, 300, 400, 700 and 800, as well as weekday routes 805 and DRX. GoTriangle created an in-house driver training program and raised operator salaries to attract additional operators. 

MUSICAL TRIBUTE. “Stayin’ Alive: One Night of the Bee Gees” comes to the Carolina Theatre of Durham on Friday, September 15 at 8 p.m. The tribute show entertains audiences with songs and sights from a full Bee Gees playlist, including hits such as “Night Fever,” “Jive Talkin’,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” “You Should Be Dancing,” “Nights on Broadway,” and “Stayin’ Alive.”

VEGGIE SELFIES. Guests who book a field trip with the Poe Center for Health Education can receive exclusive access to the center’s new virtual field trip website, the Poe Universe. Once there, scan or click the QR code to access fun fruit and vegetable themed selfies. Allow “” to access the motion detectors and camera on your mobile device, then tap the image to shuffle through a variety of options. Photo courtesy of the Poe Center for Health Education.

PLAYING IN THE DIRT. The Wake County Soil and Conservation team wants to inspire fourth and fifth grade students to discover the fascinating world living underground and enter a statewide poster contest to earn cash prizes. “The Living Soil” competition allows children to illustrate their understanding of soil organisms by describing how worms, bacteria, fungi, roly-polies, ants, millipedes or dung beetles adapt to living underground and their role in the soil ecosystem.

HELPING TEACHERS. The State Employees’ Credit Union is accepting donations through August 18 to support the 2023 Governor’s School Supply Drive to help teachers and students get the items they need for the upcoming school year. Through a collaborative effort, the collected supplies will be distributed to public schools in the counties where they were received. Wish list items include paper of all types, pencils and pens, crayons, markers, dry erase markers, USB flash drives and more.

Local operators of the 19 Triangle-area Moe’s Southwest Grill locations are launching a weeklong social media giveaway to welcome teachers back to the classroom. Community members can participate in the giveaway by tagging or nominating a local educator for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card for their classroom wish list. Fifteen teachers will be notified by private message on Monday, July 31. 

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