Monday, June 24, 2024

Li’l Friday Roundup: Over 20 events to enjoy this weekend in the Port City

The Carolina Cup Standup Paddleboard Competition will take place in Wrighstville Beach all weekend long. Spectators can watch for free by heading to Blockade Runner. (Port City Daily/Courtesy photo)


Carolina Cup Standup Paddleboard Competition 
Blockade Runner Beach Resort, 275 Waynick Blvd. • Free for spectators; registration needed for competitors 

Wrightsville Beach will welcome standup-paddleboard competitors of all ages and skill levels this week, as the 10th annual Carolina Cup takes place Nov. 4-7. There will be clinics, expos and demonstrations, plus races. 

On Saturday, the 3.5-mile Harbor Island Recreational race, a 6.5-mile Money Island Open Race, and the 13-mile Graveyard Elite Race will take place. Sunday welcomes the kiddos to the water to compete. Awards are announced Saturday at 4 p.m. oceanside and Sunday at 2 p.m. soundside.

The races qualify competitors for the World APP and WPA SUP Qualifying Series. Spectators can head to Blockade Runner all weekend to watch for free. See the full schedule here.

NEA Big Read: An Evening with Sandra Cisneros — As part of National Endowment for the Arts, UNCW is one of 70 nonprofits in the tri-county region to receive grants to host events promoting literacy throughout the coming year. Thursday at 7:30 p.m., author Sandra Cisneros will speak about her novel “The House on Mango Street,” a required reading in schools across the nation. The free event will take place at Kenan Auditorium (515 Wagoner Dr.) as part of UNCW Writers’ Week; virtual access available but registration required.

READ MORE: In search of a few foodie events? Check out Port City Small Bites

Terrill Williams and Adrienne DeBouse will perform in “The House That Gordy Built” throughout the weekend, as produced by Techmoja Dance and Theater Company. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Techmoja)


The House That Gordy Built
Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St. • Tickets: $40

A trip back to Detroit’s Motor City is on the agenda for the weekend, as Techmoja Dance and Theater Company presents “The House that Gordy Built.” The Motown musical revue highlights the sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s from Barry Gordy’s Motown empire.

It’s a celebration of the legacy of Black music, featuring more than 30 well-known hits by The Supremes, The Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas, and others. The show features a cast of local talent, including Adrienne DeBouse, Terrill Williams, Myra Quince and Joshlynn Starling. It’s directed and choreographed by Techmoja’s founder, Kevin Lee-Y Green.

Tickets are $40, and the show runs for one weekend only on the main stage at Thalian Hall: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

Coastal Carolina Clay Guild — The holiday show and sale from the Coastal Carolina Clay Guild takes place at the Hannah Block Community Center and USO both Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. More than 20 ceramicists will be selling their pottery. There also will be an artist’s reception Friday, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. A pottery raffle will be held to benefit Empty Bowls, a soup fundraiser involving local chefs creating one-of-a-kind concoctions, served in unique bowls made by local potters. It’s held every other year, and benefits Mother Hubbard’s and Good Shepherd.

Coastal Carolina Clay Guild will have its weekend pottery sale at the Hannah Block USO/Community Arts Center Friday through Sunday. (Port City Daily/Courtesy photo)

Friday Night at Riverlights — On the first and third Friday nights through Nov. 19, Riverlights riverfront community welcomes 15 artisans and vendors to set up at Live Oak Commons in the heart of Marina Village, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. The public is welcome to shop through the market and enjoy the Riverlights shops and restaurants.  

Wizardfest — Mad Katz in Monkey Junction is hosting a Harry Potter-themed party, Wizardfest, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. Friday. There will be trivia, a costume contest with cash prizes, a Quidditch pong tournament, live DJ and dancing, as well as magicians. Tickets are $15 for general admission up to $50 for VIP.

Jon Shain and FJ Ventre — Live at Ted’s (2 Castle St.) will welcome singer-songwriter Jon Shain on acoustic guitar and electric guitarist FJ Ventre, bringing ​​Piedmont blues, swing and ragtime sounds to audiences. Tickets are $10 and the show is 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Randy McQuay — Bluesman Randy McQuay will be performing at Ogden Tap Room (7324 Market St.), 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. McQuay performs numerous classics and original works on acoustic guitar and harmonica. The show is open to the public for free. 

The Tan and Sober Gentlemen and Striking Copper — The Tan and Sober Gentlemen explore Gaelic roots of North Carolina music, a sound blending roots and folk. They will perform at Bougie Nights (127 Princess St.), with local rockers Striking Copper opening the show. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door

The New Hanover County Arboretum, 6206 Oleander Dr., will welcome folks to its grounds for the annual Art in the Arboretum sale, Friday through Sunday this weekend. (Port City Daily/File).


Art in the Arboretum
New Hanover County Arboretum, 6206 Oleander Dr. • Admission: $5 daily, or free for 12 and under, Friends of Arboretum members and military

The Arboretum’s largest fundraiser of the year gets under way Nov. 5-7, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Friday through Sunday. The event will feature 125 local artists selling 2D and 3D works, including paintings, photography, pottery, jewelry and more. Proceeds from art sales are split between the artists and Friends of the Arboretum (members receive a 10% discount on sales) and the Wilmington Art Association.

There also will be a youth art exhibit, featuring works by New Hanover County middle- and high-school students. Kids’ activities will be set up, including a cyanotype printing and leaf-rubbing activity from noon – 4 p.m. on Sunday, as hosted by Wilmington Children’s Museum.

Live music will take place, and food trucks will be on site daily as well, including Wheelz Pizza on Friday, NachoFalt on Saturday, and Papadom’s Singing Sangwich Truck on Sunday.

The Great Pumpkin Blowout  — Looking for a creative way to get rid your rotting pumpkin? The North Carolina Historic Sites and Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site has just the event for you. From noon to 5 p.m., and for a $10 fee, participants can bring their Jack-o-lanterns to the historic site (8884 Saint Phillips Rd. SE) to detonate with the same technology that was used during Civil War times to blow up torpedoes. According to the historic site, the gourds that don’t have as much carving will provide the best explosions. All proceeds fund educational programming at the site.

Southeastern NC Veteran’s Day Parade — A parade celebrating veterans will take place on Saturday in downtown Wilmington. The 208th Army Band out of Concord will lead the parade with other marching bands and veterans’ organizations along the route. It begins at 11 a.m. on Third and Hanover streets, and afterward, a celebration and information fair at Riverfront Park will take place until 2 p.m. Local band The Clams will perform, and food trucks from Mission BBQ, P.T.’s Grille, Trolly Stop Grill and Catering and Sunset Slush of Wilmington will be set up to serve treats. Then the celebration will continue at the VFW Post 2573, 2722 Carolina Beach Rd., with performers Michael Patrick McDonald, The Flying Stronzos and the Ronnie Lynch No Fun Allowed Band, Kenny Reeves and friends, and Mystic River.

Scenes from the 2nd Annual Southeast North Carolina Veterans Day Parade from 2018. The parade will take place Saturday beginning at Hanover and Third streets. (Port City Daily/Stacey Harrell)

4th Annual Free Recovery Walk ILM — Taking place at Long Leaf Park, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., the walk welcomes the community to celebrate addiction recovery and honor those lost to the disease. The walk is happening between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., followed by fellowship, music, food, games, and commemoration through 12:30 p.m. The approximately 3-mile walk is family and pet-friendly. It’s free to attend and takes place at shelters five and six.

Shakey Graves — Touring through Brunswick Community College’s Odell Williamson Auditorium is Shakey Graves, the stage name of Alejandro Rose-Garcia. He’ll bring his American folk-rock vibes to the stage Saturday night; doors at 6 p.m. Tickets are $40.

Funnel Cake Festival — Sweet, fluffy cakes covered in powdered sugar or dunked in chocolate will be at the center of celebration on Saturday at the Kingdom Impact Funnel Cake Festival. Admission costs $5 or $20 for a family of five — ages 2 and under free — includes a funnel cake. It also allows access to carnival games, a Paw Patrol bounce house (the largest in N.C.), face-painting, an axe-throwing booth, Port City Gymnastics Flip N’ Fun Bus, and meet-and-greets with Mickey Mouse, Dora the Explorer, Elmo, a Ninja Turtle, and other characters.

Gloria Gaynor — The disco-era icon will be performing at Wilson Center in downtown Wilmington on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. PCD talked to Gaynor about her 40-plus-year career and the trials and triumphs she has overcome; read the interview here. Tickets start at $29, and Wilson Center requires the audience to remain masked during the show unless eating and drinking.    

Morning News and The Pinkerton Raid — Bourgie Nights (127 Princess St.) will welcome a night of rock from Durham’s Pinkerton Raid and and Americana-inspired tunes from Wilmington’s own Morning News. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door, which opens at 9 p.m. The show starts at 10 p.m.

Bellydance Showcase — Live music from Dr. Z and friends will accompany a night of belly dancing at Barzarre (1610 Castle St.). Belly dancers are welcome to join, led by Susan Henry. Hookahs, drinks and tacos will also be available. 

The Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce holds the annual Cape Fear Kite Festival each November, welcoming multiple shapes, sizes and colors, with activities for kids, live music and food trucks parked on site. (Port City Daily/Courtesy of Cape Fear Kite Festival)



Cape Fear Kite Festival
Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, 1000 Loggerhead Rd. • Free

On Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the annual Cape Fear Kite Festival will welcome families — and well-behaved leashed pups — to see kites filling the sky along the seashore. 

Sponsored by the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce, the 15th annual festival includes a multitude of kites of various shapes, sizes, styles and colors. There also will be a kids decorating workshop and face-painting. Food trucks, breweries and a lemonade stand also will be set up. 

Four parking areas for attendees will be marked along Fort Fisher Boulevard. The kite festival normally takes place both Saturday and Sunday; however, on Thursday, the committee decided to cancel Saturday’s event, including live music from Deeper Shade of Blue and Blackwater, because of inclement weather.

Tallis Chamber Orchestra Novemberfest — Annually ​​each fall, the Tallis Chamber Orchestra of Wilmington hosts a concert performing classical music from the 15th to 21st century at Fermental (7520 Market St.). The 12-member orchestra will take over the beer garden stage at 3 p.m. Saturday. The event also is a fundraiser for NourishNC; attendees can bring a non-perishable food item for donation, which will help the nonprofit feed hungry students in the county.

Melissa Etheridge — The Grammy and Academy Award-winning Melissa Etheridge is set to perform at Wilson Center on Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Etheridge has 17 albums to date and scored numerous Billboard hits, including “Bring Me Some Water,” “No Souvenirs,” “Ain’t It Heavy,” “I’m the Only One,” and “Come to My Window.” Tickets start at $40 — only a few are left here. Wilson Center requires the audience to remain masked during the show unless eating and drinking.   

Melissa Etheridge plays Wilson Center Sunday night. (Courtesy photo)

Mac & Juice — After meeting in 1999 at ECU School of Music, Mac & Juice has been playing their “jammy-soul rock ‘n’ roll” for local crowds aplenty. The band — made up of Brian “Juice” Raynor, Mac Nelson, Brian Mason, and Jason Moore — will celebrate 21 years together with a concert at Moe’s Original Barbecue on Sunday. The music starts at 4 p.m., and food and beverages from Moe’s will be available for purchase.

Paws4Vets 5K — A Veteran’s Day 5K run and walk is taking place Sunday, and welcomes both humans and their well-behaved leashed dogs to partake. All proceeds from the race will benefit Paws4Vets, which specializes in placing service dogs with veterans and service members living with PTSD, TBI, and/or MST. The event is happening at Greenfield Lake and Park, 302 Willard St. and registration is $30-$40.

Have events to consider for Li’l Friday? Email

Shea Carver
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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