Li’l Friday Roundup: 15 events happening in the Cape Fear this weekend

Local musician Paige Bacon will play Mother’s Day brunch on Oceanic Pier at noon on Sunday. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Paige Bacon)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Spring suddenly has turned summer this week, with temps topping near 90 degrees some days. Makes sense, seeing as things are heating up around Wilmington. Local calendars are filling with more activities weekly, seemingly getting us closer to pre-pandemic days.

You know the drill: It’s Li’l Friday (local speak for Thursday), meaning it’s time to run down the dream for all of your weekend fun. With Mother’s Day weekend upon us, you’ll be pleased as pink punch to find Sunday Funday is dedicated to all music and brunch spots, perfect to celebrate your beloved matriarch.

But you don’t have to wait until Sunday to have the fun. There is a photography exhibit on tap, a Shakespearean youth theatre production, UNCW baseball, a bird hike, plenty of arts festivals on Saturday, and lots of sunshine to keep the vibe all the merrier.

Cheers to Li’l Friday! The weekend has arrived.

Have an event you want considered for inclusion in Port City Daily’s Li’l Friday Roundup? Email by every Wednesday, noon.

The Dog Wizard will be at Hi-Wire Brewing on Thursday covering dog-owner etiquette, safety and manners, and ways to properly train your furry pal. Port City Daily/Courtesy of Pexels, by Samson Katt)


Proper Pup Club
Hi-Wire Brewing • 1020 Princess St. • Free

Need to learn how to calm down Fito every time you go on a walk? Prevent him from scratching the door to shreds every time someone knocks on it?

The Proper Pub Club, presented by The Dog Wizard, is hosting a free informative session at Hi-Wire Brewing’s taproom on Thursday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Limited space is available, so registration is a must for folks bringing dogs. All humans should leash (no retractables) their pups and make sure they’re collared; bring treats as well.

The Dog Wizard will lead the group through the dos and don’ts of proper owner etiquette, safety and manners. Anyone with reactive pooches are welcome to attend, but asked to leave their furry friends at home, as the session is taking place in tight quarters.

Register here. If slots are filled to bring along your dog, feel free to attend solo.


Music Bingo — Cody’s III at 6495 Carolina Beach Rd. hosts Music Bingo on Thursday nights. Free fun to test your music knowledge against your friends for a chance at prizes. Takes place 8 p.m -10 p.m.

World of Aging Photography Exhibit — Associate professor of geriatric medicine and palliative care at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Dr. Jeffrey M. Levine has portraits on exhibit that he has photographed during his worldwide travels — from India to Central Asia to South America. “A World of Aging” is intended to spark discussions about perceptions of aging, and it’s on display at Veterans Hall on UNCW’s campus free.

Thalian Association’s youth production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” takes place this weekend and next, in person at Hannah Block community arts center or to stream. (Port City Daily/Courtesy of Thalian Association)


A Midsummer Night‘s Dream
Thalian Association • Hannah Block/USO Building, 120 S. 2nd St. • $15

Thalian Association Community Theatre will continue to wrap its youth production season with Shakespeare. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” follows the tale of a group of actors who prepare to perform at the marriage ceremony of Theseus and Hippolyta. Instead, the are manipulated by fairies in an enchanted forest into their own romantic plot.

Some in-person shows are being hosted at the community arts center and tickets can be purchased for $15 here. If the shows are sold-out, the play can be streamed for $15, May 14-16.


Widespread Panic — Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. for the three-night residency set to christen Wilmington’s Riverfront Park July 16-18.

Bird Hike — Halyburton Park hosts bird hikes free every month with a park guide. Folks can enjoy May’s hike this week from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and learn about the bird habitats that live and hang out in the 8-acre park at 4099 S. 17th St. Free!

UNCW Baseball — The Seahawks will take on the James Madison Dukes at 6 p.m. Friday, then again on Saturday, at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. at Brooks Field on UNCW’s campus. Tickets are $8.

Ann Krol Hair’s artworks, including “Welcome to the Garden” and “Children’s Fountain,” will be for sale at Art in the Gardens on May 9. (Port City Daily/Courtesy of artist)


Mother’s Day Art in the Garden
Harbor Way Gardens • 321 Causeway Dr. • Free

Taking place May 8 and 9, Art in the Garden will allow folks to take self-guided tours through Harbor Way Gardens on Wrighstville Beach, and also purchase plants and art, just in time for Mother’s Day. Proceeds benefit Harbor Island Garden Club, which was founded in 1952 to beautify Harbor Island at Wrightsville Beach, as well as support the junior gardening program and coastal preservation.

On May 8, members will have floral and horticultural arrangements they created for sale. Folks will also be able to speak with them about gardening and floral arranging. Also for sale will be roses, herbs and garden bricks.

On May 9, plein-air artists will have their works for sale in the gardens. Ann Krol Hair, Nancy Noel May, Gale Smith, Sue Bark, Kay Bilisoly, Barbara Bear Jamison, Todd Carignan, Lyudmila Lucy Tomova, Jenny McKinnon Wright, Rose Kennedy, and Zak Duff created paintings and artworks outside around the island from May 3-7.


Carolina Beach Arts Festival — More than 70 artists and fine crafters — selling everything from pottery to paintings to jewelry, glassworks, soaps, candles and more — will encircle the Carolina Beach Lake on Saturday. Also, there will be an interactive children’s area, plus Carolina Beach Elementary School Ukulele Club and Green Arts Club will be at the festival. Free to attend from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Leland Cultural Art Center Market — The LCAC’s spring market gets underway from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at its cultural arts center on 1212 Magnolia Village Way. Artisans will be set up, selling handmade creations — pottery, home goods, fine art, and more. Free to attend.

Moxie and Flo will play Smoke on the Water on Sunday, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Moxie and Flo)


Mother’s Day Brunch + Music
Various spots across town

It’s Mother’s Day! We know you’ll be showering your beloved matriarch with gifts today and likely planning a meal to celebrate her. So why not choose a place that also will be offering live music?

Here are a few hotspots across town that can fulfill your order of delicious food, local sounds and chill vibes:

Smoke on the Water — Located in Riverlights, Smoke on the Water serves fresh seafood, like oysters on the half shell, peel-n-eat shrimp, smoked trout dip, as well as sandwiches, salads and entrees. Come Sunday, the Cape Fear Riverfront eatery will have live music from Moxie and Flo playing on their outdoor patio from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Catawba Brewing — Located in the Target Shopping Center, Catawba Brewing is Wilmington’s latest craft brewery and also churns out farm-to-table grub, like flatbreads, burgers, gourmet sandwiches and dogs. For Sunday Funday Mothers’ Day, the brewery will welcome live music from Jarrett Raymond from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Bluewater Waterfront Grill — Though Mother’s Day brunch at Bluewater technically starts a little earlier than the music, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., why not just kick your feet back and enjoy a late brunch, drinks and the breeze of the Intracoastal Waterway? TOFU will take over the outdoor patio at 4 p.m. at Bluewater as part of their music series, taking place every Sunday through summer. Brunch specials will include quiche, rack of lamb and surf and turf.

Oceanic Grill — If dining oceanside on the Atlantic is more your style, take Mom to Oceanic. From noon to 3 p.m., the sounds of Paige Bacon can be enjoyed on the pier. Brunch specials are served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and include a special frittata and pan-roasted sea bass.


Second Sunday WSO — The Wilmington Symphony Youth Orchestra holds a concert every second Sunday of the month at the Cameron Art Museum. A jazz quartet will play familiar jazz standards on May 9. Admission is $10; though, anyone 20 and under is admitted free. Concert takes place at 3201 S 17th St. from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Have events you want considered for Li’l Friday? Email

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