Sunday, June 26, 2022

Li’l Friday Roundup: 8 events to do in the Cape Fear this weekend

Randy McQuay will perform at Waterline Brewing on Saturday from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. (Port City Daily/Photo by Jaret Sears)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Go ahead and say it with me: “It’s Li’l Friday!”

That’s local speak for: “It’s Thursday, which means it’s practically the weekend.”

Things are picking up across our coastal region as the Covid-19 fog lifts somewhat, and businesses and events get back into action. Rather than scouring multiple calendars and social media invites, Port City Daily has done some research for you to make sure you get a jumpstart on your weekend of fun.

From local live music to art talks, volunteer opportunities to adult “kegg” hunts (Easter is Sunday!), there is no more room for boredom in your life with our Li’l Friday Roundup.

Cheers to a happy weekend!

Have an event to be considered for Li’l Friday? Email

Chris Helms will lead a gallery talk about Carolina Beach State Park in Cameron Art Museum as part of Robert Johnson’s latest exhibit, “Safe Places,” which illustrates 41 North Carolina state parks. (Port City Daily/Courtesy CAM)

Thursday, Apr. 1

CAM Gallery Talk with Chris Helms: “Safe Places” 
Cameron Art Museum, 3201 S. 17th St. • Free with museum admission

Cameron Art Museum is displaying 100 new works from North Carolina artist Robert Johnson. Surreal land- and waterscapes showcase 41 N.C. state parks, and the differences in flora, fauna, and all the creatures inhabiting the areas. 

Johnson spent a year traveling and sketching in the wild, capturing the mood of the environments. (Port City Daily interviewed the artist in February, which can be read here). As it turns out, the artist — whose love for the western part of the state is well-documented — said one of his favorite stops was at Carolina Beach State Park.

The park’s superintendent, Chris Helms, will lead a gallery talk on Thursday, Apr. 1, 7 p.m., to talk about the park’s rich history and habitats. The talk is free with museum admission and folks will have a chance to see Johnson’s work up, close and personal. Interested parties must pre-register here.

“Safe Places” will be on display through August 2021, before it moves back to Asheville to open as an exhibit at Blue Spiral 1 Fine Art + Craft Gallery.

Town of Leland Drive-Thru Egg Hunt
Leland Town Hall, 102 Town Hall Dr. 

Folks who still are weary about being out in public can still enjoy an old-fashioned Easter egg hunt Covid safe.

The Leland Parks and Recreation is hosting a drive-thru egg hunt on Thursday, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Vehicles must pre-register and will be guaranteed a bag of candy-filled eggs. It’s limited to 100 cars, and all participants must stay in their vehicles during the visit.

Friday, Apr. 2

Over the Rainbow Easter Drag Show
Barzarre, 1610 Castle St. • $10

It’s not your typical celebration of the springtime Christian holiday, but it certainly will be one of the most unforgettable. 

Kayla Valentino, Vivianne Heaux and Icéyyy Is-A-Man will take over the Barzarre stage to entertain in a cabaret-style show. Lots of songs, lots of personality, and lots of costumes! The fun gets under way at 8 p.m. 

Comedy at the Kettle
The Brewer’s Kettle, 4718 Oleander Dr. • $5

Face it, a little laughter is indeed in high demand nowadays. A group of comedians want to test-run their latest routines on the back patio at midtown bottle shop Brewer’s Kettle.

They just need you … an audience.

Hosted by Zack Burk, folks will hear sets by Lex Hunt, Feliz Nadeau, Ellie Coleman, Billy Raim, Louis Bishop, and Lew Morgante.

Extra parking is at the bank across the street from the Kettle.

Saturday, Apr. 3

Live Music with Randy McQuay
Waterline Brewing Co. • 721 Surry St. • Free

Like the blues? Randy McQuay is the quintessential local bluesman who has won the hearts and ears of local fans for years — and those at the International Blues Challenge in 2015.

He’ll be taking over the Waterline beer garden stage at 3 p.m. for a midday concert, playing original blues and roots tunes on guitar and harmonica. He also does quite a few mad covers, from John Hiatt to Bob Dylan (“I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” is a standout), Sam Cooke to Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins.

Seating is first-come and will fill up early. A&M’s Food Truck will be on site from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.; McQuay will play until 5 p.m.

Read more about Randy McQuay in Port City Daily’s December 2020 coverage here.

Easter “Kegg” Hunt
Watermans Brewing, 1610 Pavilion Pl. • Free

Watermans Brewing knows how to elevate Easter for adults. 

On Saturday, the folks at the brewery are hiding 10 brightly colored Easter “Keggs” within a 5-mile radius of the brewery, located on Pavilion Place near Wrightsville Beach. They will release clues at the brewery and on its social media page, as well as on the Penguin’s social media page (full disclosure: The Penguin is the sister station of Port City Daily).

Folks who find the kegs will bring them to Watermans, and once all are returned, the winners and prizes will be announced on the outside patio. The brewery is eyeing winner announcements by 11 a.m.

Sunday, Apr. 4

Easter Community Lunch: The Feast Gathering 
St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 12 N. 6th St. 

The Feast Gathering is a nonprofit community organization that hosts religious services and meals for unsheltered individuals in poverty. It will host Easter dinner from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Paul’s and is in need of volunteers who can help.

The setup will be Covid-cautious, with social distancing, masks, hand sanitizer and gloves required. The Feast Gathering needs help setting up, running the dinner, and breaking it down; volunteers can sign up as food runners, hosts, servers, etc.

Interested parties can sign up here

RELATED: Deep Dive: Riverwalk renovations highlight need to address downtown unsheltered population

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Civil Rights March in 1963 in D.C. A Zoom meeting will take place to honor the activist on the 53rd anniversary of his assassination. (Port City Daily/Public Domain photo)

Life, Legacy, Untold Truth About Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s Assassination
Zoom gathering, 4 p.m.

Hosted by New Hanover Chapter of the National Black Leadership Caucus and the National Black Leadership Caucus North Carolina Congressional District 8, a Zoom gathering will observe the 53rd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.

On April 4, 1968, Dr. King was slated to be in Wilmington, NC, but had to pivot his plans and head to Memphis to help the sanitation workers. That fateful day, James Earl Ray shot down the United States’ most prominent civil rights leader at the Lorraine Motel.

The gathering will discuss King’s impacts with a guest panel of speakers and how he set the foundation for today.

A drawing will be held for a copy of the national best seller “The Plot to Kill King: The Truth Behind the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (2016) by Dr. William F. Pepper, Esq.” as well; must be present to win.

It’s free to join but pre-registration is required. 

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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