Thursday, July 25, 2024

Li’l Friday: Corn Maze, ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ Barktoberfest

Trask Family Farm has opened its corn maze on Blue Clay Road. (Courtesy photo)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Li’l Friday is a weekly roundup of events in art, music, theater, comedy, pop-up markets and more.

All events featured were scheduled as of Thursday; however, it’s wise to check in ahead of attending any one. Inclement weather, changes in schedules and unforeseen circumstances may shift for organizers at the last minute.

READ MORE: Halloween 2022: 20 ways to celebrate the haunting season

Thursday, Oct. 13

Corn Maze
Trask Family Farms, 3650 Blue Clay Road • Tickets: $12

The Halloween season brings with it plenty of opportunities to be entertained. Off Blue Clay Road, near the outskirts of the county, the Trask family has been preparing 10 acres for its fall corn maze, with over 4 miles of trails. The maze is cut out to showcase the UNCW logo and celebrate Seahawks basketball. 

There is also a pumpkin patch, mums and fresh produce for sale, open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The maze — $12, free for children under 2 — is open Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Punch Brothers — Grammy Award-winning folk players Punch Brothers will perform at Kenan Auditorium (515 Wagoner Drive) at 7:30 p.m. Consisting of guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjoist Noam Pikelny, and violinist Gabe Witcher, the brothers are touring in support of their pandemic-released “Hell on Church Street,” which reimagines “Church Street Blues,” by bluegrass giant Tony Rice. Tickets start at $50 and can be purchased here.

Pickle and Pig Pickleball Tournament — Scheduled Oct. 13 to 16, a pickleball tournament will get underway at Northern Regional Park in Castle Hayne at 4700 Old Ave. There will be women’s and men’s divisions, as well as mixed play, in a round robin format leading to a single elimination and then a medal round. The weekend will culminate in a Sunday BBQ. There is a $100 registration fee — six games guaranteed — to benefit NourishNC, a nonprofit organization to feed hungry kids in New Hanover County. 

32nd Annual Take Back the Night March and Rally — Serving Wilmington for almost 40 years, Domestic Violence Shelter and Services is hosting its annual rally — theme “Capturing Hope” — to gather support for its cause: empowering survivors of domestic violence. The community is welcome to join its march and rally at 6:30 p.m., with a gathering at The Harrelson Center thereafter at 7 p.m. 

“Something Rotten” will continue its final weekend run at Thalian Hall. (Courtesy Thalian Association Community Theatre)

Friday, Oct. 14

‘Something Rotten’
Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St. • Tickets: $36

Thalian Association for Community Theater is hosting a romp of Shakespearean pleasure. The musical comedy “Something Rotten” — based on the book by John O’Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick with music and lyrics by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick — follows brothers Nick and Nigel, struggling playwrights whose main competition is the one and only William Shakespeare. 

The Tony Award- and Drama Desk Award-winning show includes 18 numbers performed by over a dozen cast members. It continues its final run this weekend at Thalian Hall at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Niles Abston — Mississippi comedian Niles Abston, writer for season three of Hulu’s “DAVE,”  will perform four times this weekend at Dead Crow Comedy Room. Abston, whose career goal was to be a rapper, talks about situational and observational life situations. Also an independent filmmaker, Abston produced his debut hour comedy special, “Girls Don’t Twerk to Jokes,” available on YouTube. He recently taped season 10 of Comedy Central’s “The Standups.” Abston will perform at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; tickets are $18-$28.

‘Stay Prayed Up’ — If you missed the documentary at 2021’s Cucalorus film festival, Jengo’s Playhouse — the independent film festival’s headquarters at 815 Princess St. — is hosting a second chance screening. D.L. Anderson and Matt Durning tell the story of Lena Mae Perry, who for 50 years led The Branchettes. The gospel group was legendary in North Carolina, touring and packing churches throughout the South. At 7 p.m. the film “demonstrates that music, like faith, ain’t nothing without some fire inside.” Tickets are $10.

Dorothy Papadokas will perform live on organ to the screening of 1925’s ‘Phantom of the Opera’ at St. Paul’s Episcopal this Saturday. (Film still)

Saturday, Oct. 15

“Phantom of the Opera” 
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 16 N. 16th St. • Tickets: $10

Before it was Broadway’s most popular musical, the silent film brought the gripping horror of the deformed phantom to life in 1925, as an adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel “Le Fantôme de l’Opéra,” directed by Rupert Julian and starring Lon Chaney. 

Local musician and world-renowned jazz artist and organist Dorothy Papadakos has made it a tradition each Halloween season to improvise the score live. The event takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, in concert with the screening of the silent film.

Tickets can be purchased here

Pumpkin Palooza — Check out the best carved pumpkins across the area at the Arboretum this Saturday. The New Hanover County Extension’s garden pumpkin walk will be available in three time slots: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. The jack-o’-lanterns will be illuminated, and it’s $25 per carload to participate. Folks who wish to have their carved pumpkins displayed (no painted pumpkins allowed) can drop them off between noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and pick them up before 5 p.m. on Sunday, else they will be composted. There also will be activities from the UNCW Mad Scientists, North Carolina Aquarium Scales and Tails, plus chocolate, s’mores and snacks for sale. 

Flytrap Brewing 8-Year Celebration — The small brewery at Walnut and 4th in downtown Wilmington will celebrate eight years of brewing handcrafted IPAs, saisons, stouts and more, beginning at noon. There will be special beer releases, live music, food from Rebellion, as well as raffles throughout the day to benefit Eden Village, a tiny home community under construction to benefit the unsheltered population.

Fall Skate Film Festival — Satellite Bar and Lounge (120 Greenfield St.) welcomes the skateboarding community to gather for the first Fall Skate Film Festival. Footage of the best 180s, acid drops, airwalks and more will be showcased as part of a film compiled by The Skate Barn. It’s free to attend and lasts from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

La Big Bouche Cabaret and Halloween Show  At Barzarre on Castle Street this Saturday, a vaudeville cabaret show is planned with plenty of ghostly entertainment. There will be dancing, singing, comedy, circus arts, adult puppetry and acrobatics performances by La Big Bouche and Tressa LaTush. Tickets are $20.

Riverlights Fall Festival — From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Riverlights will welcome 30 local makers to its grounds. Brighter Days Coffee Truck and Coastal Craft Creamery Ice Cream will be parked on site as well. Families and leashed pets are welcome to the free event. 

Movies in the Park: Hocus Pocus — Founders Park in Leland will host a free movie for the Halloween season from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 113 Town Hall Drive. The ‘90s Disney hit “Hocus Pocus,” starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimi follows the story of three witch sisters from Salem who are conjured from the 17th century to present day, only to be confronted by modern-day quandaries. Blankets and picnics welcome (no pets or alcohol).

Bull City Ciderworks welcomes the pooches and their humans Sunday for Barktoberfest. (Courtesy Pexels)

Sunday, Oct. 16

Bull City Ciderworks, 615 S. 17th St. • Free

A fundraiser for paws4people is taking place from noon to 9 p.m. in The Cargo District’s Bull City Ciderworks. 

Barktoberfest welcomes humans and their furry canine companions to enjoy a puppy kissing booth, puppy pool party, raffle items and live music, plus A&M food truck onsite at 5 p.m. Bull City will donate $1 from sales of four specialty drinks to paws4people. 

The nonprofit trains service dogs to help the community, including veterans, trauma survivors and children. The Cargo District’s new dog park bar, Ruff Draft, and Bones Pet Boutqiue on Queen Street will be on hand too.

Bachtoberfest — Also taking place in The Cargo District, is another festival, only this time it’s less about the bark and more about the Bach. Classical music fans will enjoy the sounds from the Tallis Chamber Orchestra performing Sebastian Bach’s 17th century compositions. There will be Oktoberfest beers, pumpkin ales, and other seasonal varieties for sale. Donations also will be accepted for local nonprofit NourishNC. Performance begins at 4 p.m. and food truck Wheelz Pizza will be parked at 5 p.m.

Halloween Scare Fair — A pop-up market is taking place at Waterline Brewing (721 Surry St #5043), 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will be vendors, face-painting, photo ops with Halloween characters, plus food trucks Smash n’ Dash and Rude Bwoyz Jerk BBQ. Live music will be performed by John Hussman from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. It’s free to attend.

Beethoven Eroica — The North Carolina Symphony will be landing on the Wilson Center stage Sunday at 7:30 p.m. to entertain audiences with what’s considered one of Beethoven’s greatest works, Symphony No. 3 — the Eroica. The concert will also feature Beethoven’s Egmont Overture and Kodály’s Dances of Galánta. Tickets start at $20.

Have comments or tips? Email

Want to read more from PCD? Subscribe now and then sign up for our newsletter, Wilmington Wire, and get the headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.

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.

Related Articles