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Oct
01

Oktoberfest Coming to Booth Amphitheatre This Weekend

oktoberfestOne of Cameron Village and North Hills’ great traditions from yesterday was Oktoberfest. Hark! the event lives on now at Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre. The event begins Saturday and will feature entertainment, a variety of German foods, biergarten, football-viewing tent with TVs, sanctioned beer-judging competition and more. The schedule for the two-day event is as follows:

Saturday, October 4

  • Noon – Gates open with Chuck Piercy as emcee; Kinder Platz Kid Zone open
  • 1 p.m. – Opening Ceremony, including keg tapping with Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht and other dignitaries
  • Live Music and dancing from the Little German Band throughout the day
  • 1:30 p.m. – Stein Hoist I Contest
  • 2 p.m. – Ladies’ Hammerschlagen (nail-driving competition) I Contest, followed by Men’s Hammerschlagen I Contest
  • 3 p.m. – Stein Hoist II Contest
  • 4 p.m. – Wiener Dog Races, Best Dressed Dog Contest
  • 5 p.m. – Best Dressed of the Day Contest (Ladies, Men and Children); Egg Race; Fräulein Beer Challenge Contest
  • 6 p.m. – Stein Hoist III Contest
  • 7 p.m. – Kinder Platz Kid Zone closes; Alpine Horn, Tuba Challenge or Yodeling Contest
  • 8 p.m. – Stein Hoist IV Contest
  • 9 p.m. – Fräulein Beer Challenge; Beer Obstacle Course
  • 10 p.m. – Festivities end for the day

Sunday, October 5

  • Noon – Gates Open with Chuck Piercy and Ernie McAllister as emcees; Kinder Platz Kid Zone Open; Egg Race and Chicken Dance Contests; Fräulein Beer Challenge
  • 1 p.m. – Live music and dancing throughout the day; Beer Obstacle Course; Ladies’ Hammerschlagen II Contest; Men’s Hammerschlagen II Contest
  • 2 p.m. – Stein Hoist V Contest
  • 3 p.m. – Beer Awards Announced; Best Dressed of the Day (Ladies, Men and Children)
  • 4 p.m. – Wiener Dog Races; Best Dressed Dog Contest
  • 5 p.m. – Stein Hoist VI Contest
  • 6 p.m. – Closing Remarks; Oktoberfest ends

Tickets for Saturday are $20 for 16 and up, $5 for ages 6 to 15, free for 5 and under.Sunday tickets are $15 for 16 and up, $5 for ages 6 to 15, free for 5 and under. Two-day tickets for 16 and up are also available for $30.  Beer Judge Tickets (including commemorative glass and unlimited beer sampling for the day) available for $45. Discounts available for seniors, as well as active and retired military. To purchase tickets, visit the Booth Amphitheatre Box Office, call 1-800-514-3849 or visit http://triangleoktoberfest.org/buy-tickets/

May
14

Maybe the Foxes Are Sending “Triangle” a Message

RTP_DogFor five decades now the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area has been termed “The Triangle”, and for good reason. As three cities/towns hosted the most important academic, medical and business centers, it was only natural to focus on the three entities. While we expected infill in The Triangle, we perhaps didn’t see our grown concentrations morph the area into a different shape; a red fox.

The area’s satellite imagery reveals much growth from Chapel Hill and Carrboro toward Raleigh, but Raleigh’s growth has been along outward spokes to the northeast, southeast, and southwest. According to the figure, Umstead park appears like a saddle on the little fox, and Jordan Lake looks like a long line of droll from Carrboro/Chapel Hill, the mouth of the dog.

While I’m not assigning any character traits to communities based on this morphology, the shape does spur some interesting questions such as:

  • Why hasn’t Creedmoor Road/hwy 50 seen any retail development?
  • Why has the Apex/Garner axis been kept so rural?
  • Why has the Durham/Wake Forest axis been kept so rural?

Maybe these little red foxes that are invading our cities are simply a calling; the new mascots for the area. Instead of “The Triangle”, we could be called “The Fox”. The airport code could be changed to “FOX”. The 10 o’clock news could be the Fox News Hour….oh wait.

Feb
27

Food Porn visits: Bella Mia

Tucked in a shopping center across Harrison Avenue from SAS in Cary is the Triangle’s best pizza. Bella Mia has a refreshing pizza menu, complete with items like broccoli, fresh basil, and excellent prosciutto. The high-quality ingredients hit a delicious dough, and go into Bella Mia’s coal-fired oven to make a delicious final product.

Pictured is the Sausage, Broccoli, and Smoked Mozzarella Pizza.

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Feb
10

Wild Wing Café Coming to Crossroads Area

wildwingcafeGood news for wing lovers in West Raleigh and Cary. Wild Wing Café, the 34-store wing chain out of Atlanta, will open “late spring” in the former Jack Astor’s location on Walnut Street (in the BJ’s shopping center). This will be the restaurant’s second area location, as the first is at Brier Creek.

Personally, this is my favorite of the wing outlets. The 35-sauce menu has much variety, but “Island Jerk” still stands as my favorite (even if it does make me think of van-der-sloot).

Aug
04

Jack Astor’s, Foster’s/Nelson’s/Felson’s/Noster’s Close

Restaurant closings are hitting the mid-priced restaurants at these times. Jack Astor’s was simply an easy meal in Cary. Foster’s on the other hand, was an important ITB social spot over the last couple of decades. The brick arches inside were reminiscent of the old Darryl’s on Hillsborough St. Wood from barns out in Wake County was used to fabricate the large doors inside. There were Clarence Foster’s locations in Atlanta, Charlotte, and Wrightsville Beach, but the Raleigh store was bought by the local owners when the chain went down. Later on Ralph Nelson converted the space into an upscale oyster bar and restaurant. The space underwent a massively expensive, and poorly designed renovation. Nelson’s didn’t make it and the space was converted back to Foster’s. Foster’s…man….Faaaahhster’s.

It is hard to imagine that the Fosters space will be kept in its same configuration. Whatever is next is likely to be quite different, and an end to many memories. Along with the Brewery (which has already been torn down), the ITB crowd lost a a pair of fun spots this week.

Jun
29

Chick-Fil-A Crossroads Closing for Remodel

chick-fil-a-logo One of the area’s most popular Chick-Fil-A locations, the Crossroads Plaza store, will close temporarily “from July 9 thru early August” for remodeling. Alternative sites are: Cary Town Center, Waverly Place, North Hills, Crabtree Valley Mall, and Glenwood Avenue (Townridge Square). Check the store’s website for updates on the opening date.

Jun
16

Anna’s Linens Coming to Crossroads

annasNational bedding retailer Anna’s Linens is coming to Crossroads Plaza. It will occupy the space in the center building that was once occupied by several CD and video stores, and Space Savers. It will be the state’s second Anna’s.

May
12

Huey Lewis Coming to Cary

hueylewisOn Sunday, July 24, Cary will go back in time as Huey Lewis plays Koka Booth Amphitheatre. Tickets start at $43 and go on sale to the public tomorrow (5/13).

May
11

Ray LaMontagne Returning to Cary

LaMontagneOn Monday, September 19, Ray LaMontagne will return to Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre. Brandi Carlile opens. Tickets go on sale this Friday morning (5/20).

Here’s a little something for the sneering hipsters to ponder: when I was at Macaroni Grill, they were playing Ray LaMontagne. (commence writhing)

Apr
27

Death Cab for Cary

deathcabforcutieOn Monday, August 8, Death Cab for Cutie will be returning to the area. This time the concert is at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. The band will be supporting their new CD, “Codes and Keys”, which hits stores on May 31. Frightened Rabbit opens.

Aug
29

Lady Antebellum Coming to Cary

On Thursday, September 23, Lady Antebellum will return to the area. This time it is a headlining date at Cary’s Booth Amphitheater. Tickets are on sale now.

Jul
14

Cary, Chapel Hill Make Small Town List

Money Magazine has released its best small towns list, and two triangle towns are in the Top 40. Chapel Hill comes in at 40, and Cary ranks #23.

The results are interesting. Living in Chapel Hill is a distinct experience. All residents definitely feel the center of the town, the Franklin Street/Carr Mill axis. However Cary feels more like a series of subdivisions and strip shopping centers. Cary certainly feels different than Chapel Hill and North Raleigh, but does Cary really have a distinct vibe, or is it just a coincidental collection of new developments in Triangle, USA?

May
14

Counting Crows, Augustana Coming to Cary

crows On Thursday, July 15, Counting Crows will return to the area; this time to Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre. This year’s band that will upstage the Crows (it’s become an annual event)? Augustana. We got a chance to see Augustana at the Cat’s Cradle last fall and they were sensational. Hopefully Augustana singer Dan Layus will feel comfortable bantering between songs in this venue, because he is a hoot. Tickets are just under $40 for lawn and just under $60 for reserved.

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