Monday, June 24, 2024

Li’l Friday: Carousel Center Beer Fest, Pawz in the Park, Oktoberfest

David Caserta will perform a magical Haunted Illusions show at Thalian Hall Thursday night. (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.

Thursday, Oct. 27

Haunted Illusions
Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St. • Tickets: $26

Master illusionist David Caserta will transform Thalian Hall’s stage into a wonderworld of “Haunted Illusions” at 7:30 p.m.  

Caserta, one of the top-touring illusionists in the country, presents levitation, disappearing and reappearing acts, as well as comedy. He has been seen on “America’s Got Talent,” “Penn and Teller Fool Us,” and other international shows. 

His performance includes state-of-the-art lighting, pyro and smoke effects, and cutting-edge illusion technology. Expect audience participation as well.

Tickets are $26.

Halloween Movie Night — Two entities are hosting a movie night to kick of the spirit of the season. Cape Fear Community College is hosting the free screening of “Nope” at 6:30 p.m. in S-002 (bottom floor of the S building). The movie, directed by Jordan Peele, is a neo-Western science fiction horror film, starring Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya, Steven Yeun and Brandon Perea. Costumes are encouraged and free snacks offered.  In Southport, The River Hotel will be screening on its outdoor deck a ‘90s throwback, “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” which also happened to be filmed in the coastal sleepy town. The movie starts at 7:30 p.m. at 706 E. Moore St. and is free.

International Restaurant Week — Sister Cities Association of Wilmington presents a week celebrating international flavors. Five restaurants — Brasserie du Soleil, Aromas of Peru, Big Thai, Szechuan 132, and Artisano Pizza and Gelato — are offering specials for dine-in only. A complimentary starter, dessert or non-alcoholic beverage will be brought when mentioning International Restaurant Week to the server.

Friday, Oct. 28

Mark Brady
Dead Crow Comedy Room, 511 N. Third St. • Tickets: $18-$28

Raleigh native Mark Brady is doing a two-night run in Wilmington this weekend at Third Street’s Dead Crow Comedy Room.

Last year, Brady, who has worked with comics such as Andrew Shulz, Pete Holmes, Tom Segura, and Nate Bargatze, released his debut album, “Incognito,” which ranked number two on the comedy charts. He talks about everyday life, such as Google searches in incognito mode — something that would have been helpful growing up with two older brothers.

“I saw stuff way too early, man,” he said. “I saw that movie ‘It’ when I was 7. All my friends my age are like, ‘Let’s play cops and robbers.’ I was like, ‘You’re all going to die. There’s a clown in the sewers.’”

Winner of funniest person at Goodnight’s Comedy Club in Raleigh, Brady has appeared on “Late Late Show with James Corden” and ESPN, and is part of the improvised gaming comedy channel on YouTube Hummy’s VR Comedy.

Tickets to his shows are $18 and up, offered at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. 

Pirate Ball — Argghhhh, mateys! Find yer best hook and slops and head to Bottega on Friday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. for the Pirate Ball. There will be a costume contest, open mic and live music. Free to attend; Bottega is located at 723 N 4th St. 

Voracious Beer Festival — Lighthouse Beer and Wine will host its annual event Oct. 28, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., at Riverfront Park. It will feature the latest, greatest beers, yet to be discovered by connoisseurs, from 50 select breweries. Appetizers are included in the ticket price and live music from The Midatlantic will be played. Tickets are $30-$80.

Big Something — Greenfield Lake Amphitheater is welcoming back the big energy of Big Something to celebrate the Halloween season. The North Carolina-based jamband will perform two shows at the end of the month: Oct. 28 will feature special guests Lespecial and Oct. 29 will bring in Loud Music Company, along with Lespecial. Costumes are encouraged; read about the band’s three-night run last year during Halloween here.

Misery — Big Dawg Productions continues its second weekend of debuting the stage adaptation of Stephen King’s famed novel “Misery.” Yep, the classic Steven King film is coming to life on the stage, as Big Dawg Productions presents “Misery.” The story follows Annie Wilkes’ all-consuming obsession with romance novelist Paul Sheldon, who is being held captive in Wilkes’ secluded home. As she reads his latest book to him aloud, she becomes consumed by anger upon learning her favorite character, Misery Chastain, is killed off. From there, misery ensues for the novelists whose life depends on rewriting the novel. Big Dawg presents the show at Thalian Hall, Oct. 20-30, with showtimes at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $32.

Oops Polka Band will perform at Carolina Beach’s Oktoberfest Saturday. (Courtesy photo)

Saturday, Oct. 29

Downtown Carolina Beach Boardwalk, 1 Pavilion Way • Tickets: $5-$10

The ocean breeze on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk will trade in the summer heat for chill fall vibes as Oktoberfest gets underway from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. 

There will be German food, as well as beer and wine served. Oops Polka Band will entertain and encourage singing and dancing.

And just to remind you the holidays are around the corner, another seasonal mashup will be part of the festivities: a Christmas market.

Admission is $5 for kids 10 and under and $10 for adults.

Pawz in Park — From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Long Leaf Park on College Road, a celebration of furry four-legged friends will take place. There will be pet contests, music, a silent auction, beer, food and lots of pet-related vendors. It’s free to attend and all proceeds from the raffle and auction benefit the more than 30 localrescue groups on site Saturday.

Leland Trunk or Treat — Take the kids for early Halloween treats in Leland’s Founders Park from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Area businesses and organizations will be set up to hand out candy to costumed trunk-or-treaters.

Belville Fall Festival — From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Town of Belville will celebrate the season along the Belville Riverwalk. There will be bounce houses, entertainment and food trucks. It’s open to the public and free to attend.

Ghoul’s Night — Downtown’s newest bar, Eagle’s Dare at 3rd and Red Cross streets, will be hosting a Halloween party, with a costume contest and live music with The Many Everythings Band from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.  Free admission.

Belville Movie Night — Eddie Murphy’s “Haunted Mansion” will be screened in Belville’s Riverwalk Park from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The 2003 Disney flick follows a family headed on vacation only to be sidetracked by a mansion with untoward spirits they attempt to escape. The PG-rated film will be open to families for free.   

Flytrap Brewing Halloween Party — Walnut and 4th’s craft brewery will have vinyl spinning with Gregg Wynee from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. as well as WilmiRicans food truck on site serving Puerto Rican grub with Flytrap’s seasonal brews for sale. There will be a costume contest at 8 p.m, with gift card prizes.

Lantern and Lore Walking Tours — The Historic Wilmington Foundation is hosting a mile-long guided walking tour — into all the nooks and crannies and private yards of historic homes — to learn about the ghost stories and ghoulish legends of the area. Tickets are $15 and the tour will be guided by HWF’s executive director Travis Gilbert, who will touch on 18th century pirates and the outcome of the yellow fever outbreak from the 1800s. Proceeds benefit the foundation.

Halloween Comicfest — Fanboy Comics (419 S. College Rd.) is getting into the season with a Halloween fest, offering candy and comics for free, and encouraging attendees to don their favorite villainous and superhero costumes. Free books offered include the “Amazing Spider-man #1,” “Star Wars Doctor Aphra #1,” “Strange Academy #1,” and more. Offered from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. as supplies last. 

Wilmington Vampire’s Ball — Downtown’s The Lookout is calling all the blood-sucking vampires and vampiresses to 23 N. Front St., 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., to dance beneath the moon as DJs Brewtal and RyRy spin tunes all evening long. Tickets are $30 and include a complimentary Devil’s Brew cocktail and entry into the costume contest.

Broomtail Halloween Party — In Ogden’s craft brew taproom, Broomtail Pub and Arcade is getting into the spooky season with a costume contest and Asian fusion food truck Banh Sai parked onsite. The contest will award best men’s, women’s, couple’s, and dog to win cash prices from $15-$50. The food truck is giving free food vouchers to iits favorite costume as well. The shindig, featuring scary movies and music, will take place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.  

Gipsy Kings — The Wilson Center will welcome back legendary Latin fusion artists Gipsy Kings. For three decades, the Gipsy Kings have blended flamenco guitar, rumba, salsa and pop – with booming Spanish vocals – into a notable sound that has helped the band sell 20 million albums, with their music played in popular films including “The Big Lebowski,” “Toy Story 3” and “Glee.” The five-piece will take over the stage at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $44.

A Feast of Music — The WIlmington Symphony Orchestra is hosting a fundraising event this weekend that will include performances by musicians from the symphony, as well as its youth symphony group. A Feast of Music helps the nonprofit music program continue outreach and education in 44 Cape Fear area schools. Tickets are $150 to the black-tie event, hosted at Landfall Country Club, and include live music, cocktail hour, and a coursed meal.

Carousel Center Beer and Wine Festival — One of the most desirable local fests in the region returns to Riverfront Park in downtown Wilmington. Ticket holders will sip through more than 50 breweries — including many of Wilmington’s very own. Wineries also will be represented, and festival-goers will be able to enjoy live music from Mike Blair and the Stonewalls, Blue-Footed Boobies and Michael Eakins. Tickets are $60 to $80. Proceeds from the event help the Carousel Center continue serving on average per year 450 children, ages birth to 19, from the tri-county region. The center aids children working through physical and sexual abuse. Since opening in January 2000, Carousel Center has provided certified medical exams to almost 5,000 kids and helped with almost 10,000 child-trauma therapy sessions.

Reggie’s Halloween Show — A host of local bands will take to the Reggie’s 42nd Street stage this weekend to bring to life some of their favorite musical acts. The shows take place both Friday, Oct. 28, and Saturday, Oct. 29. The bands include The You’re Gonna Die and Go To Hells playing  The Ramones and Hyperloops bringing to life the funk-rock of Les Claypool’s Primus on Friday. The following night a tribute to David Bowie will come when Mega Colossus becomes Star People and surf-rock act The Swellians play The Mummies. The evening will culminate with Rocket 77 as Social Distortion and Summer Set and Thunderlip! banding together to present Jeff Mangum’s psychedelic folk rock of Neutral Milk Hotel. Tickets are $10 a night.

Poplar Grove will have a two-day Halloween event featuring arts vendors, carnival games, food trucks, trick-or-treating and more. (Courtesy photo)

Sunday, Oct. 30

Goosebumps in the Grove 
Poplar Grove Plantation, 10200 Hwy 17 • Admission: $5

Annually, Poplar Grove Plantation celebrates Halloween with a two-day event, Goosebumps in the Grove. It features 75 artisan vendors lining the plantation grounds, along with food trucks, trick-or-treating activities, carnival games and prizes.

There will be a “Monster Mash,” vintage Halloween photos-ops,  balloon creations by Mr. Twister, and a  singalong as well.

It takes place Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; admission is $5.

OctubaFest — For a different take on October celebrations, UNCW hails the tuba Sunday. Hosted at Beckwith Recital Hall in the Cultural Arts Building, the concert will feature works by Barbara York, John Phillip Sousa and traditional German bands, performed by guest artist Brian McBride and the Port City Tuba Quartet, Jonathan Watkins and Ben Edwards. It’s open to tuba and euphonium players as well, who can register for $10 and rehearse from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The concert takes place at 4 p.m. 

Halloween is for the Birds — Skywatch Bird Rescue is hosting a festival Sunday, Oct. 30, 1 p.m., at 3600 Lynn Ave. in Castle Hayne. There will be a costume contest with prizes for kids — even the emus, donkeys and friendly sulcatas may don the best threads of the season. There will be a golden egg treasure hunt and raffle, Halloween treats and drinks for sale, candy and plenty of opportunities for Halloween pictures. Entry is $8 for adults, $6 for kids and free for children 2 and under.

Wilmington Goth Night — The Barzarre (1612 Castle St.) is having a 38-hour Halloween escapade starting at noon Sunday and not stopping until 2 a.m. Monday. Costumes welcome — or not — for goth music, ranging from synth pop to cold wave, dark Medieval folk to contemporary dark metal. It will showcase all sounds coming out of the “Die Schwarze Szene” (The Dark Scene in German). There will be bubble fog and laser lights, along with other visual effects, and music videos played on the big screen. It’s free to attend and those who can’t make it in person can tune in here.

Halloweekend Musical — A fundraiser for NourishNC will take place at Waterline Brewing at 4 p.m. Nonperishable donations are accepted and $1 from every pint sold will be donated to the area nonprofit that keeps area school children fed with nutritious and healthy food. Local vendors will be set up and music will be performed by Dead Fox No Groove and La Veta Pass. Costumes encouraged.

Happy Hippie Halloween — Kids with dietary restrictions can enjoy a healthier trick-or-treat option at Panacea Brewing Co. from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Area VW riders, including members of Circle the Wagens, will be set up to hand out the treats to the costumed kids. Beer and booch will be for sale, and there will be prizes and other surprises.

Church Halloween Events — A few area churches are also hosting Halloween festivities and trunk-or-treats. Cape Fear Free Will Baptist Church (5350 Holly Tree Rd.) will have bounce houses for the kids and give away candy, hot dogs and s’mores from 5 p.m. to  7 p.m. Masonboro Baptist Church (1501 Beasley Rd.) will have games and candy to give away. Cape Fear Presbyterian Church (2606 Newkirk Ave.) will also host a trunk-or-treat event from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Ogden Baptist Church (7121 Market St.) is hosting a fall festival from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with music, food, games and candy.

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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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