In the third year of a combined push to get residents and visitors to downtown Raleigh, Mayor Nancy McFarlane on Friday detailed the 19 events in the 2017 Raleigh M.A.I.N. Events (Music, Art, Innovation, and Noise) lineup, ranging from cultural festivals to new music to entrepreneurship to a Sept. 11 Day of Service.
The month opens with the African American Cultural Festival of Raleigh & Wake County and concludes with a coding conference called NC DataPalooza.
Raleigh M.A.I.N. 2017 schedule of events
September 2 - 3: The African American Cultural Festival of Raleigh & Wake County
An annual celebration of African American culture as expressed through art, music, dance, food & community. Explore the work of visual artists in our Art Gallery Walk; music & dance performances on our Main Stage; and interactive activities in our Family Village. All are welcome!
September 7 - 8: Hopscotch Design Festival
Local, national, and international talent presenting in the fields of graphic design, user experience, urban planning, technology, architecture, manufacturing, music, food, and film. This two-day event features presentations, workshops, interactive sessions, and street parties.
September 7 - 10: Hopscotch Music Festival
Showcasing national and international artists alongside North Carolina’s rich local talent, this 3-day music event features a 6,000 capacity Main Stage, 12 downtown venues, day parties, poster exhibition, a makers market, as well as the Hopscotch Design Festival.
September 10: Marbles Makers Mash-up
Create, tinker and invent the next generation of great ideas at Marbles Kids Museum! Bring your inventions to life alongside some of Raleigh’s most playful makers, designers and artists. Tackle design challenges, explore new materials and mix, mash & make your own creation.
September 11: 9/11 Day of Service
The 9/11 Day of Service is a community-wide volunteer event coordinated by Activate Good with support from Triangle businesses to honor those lost on 9/11 with volunteer service. The Day will include service projects throughout the day on Monday, September 11 and an Evening Commemoration and Service Event starting at 6:00 PM on Monday, September 11. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
September 14 - 17: SPARKcon
SPARKcon is an annual 4-day creativity festival for all things weird, fun, and free! 1.9 million sq.ft of Downtown Raleigh will showcase 200+ events that highlight over 12 creative disciplines, i.e. comedySPARK, artSPARK, danceSPARK, etc. SPARKcon is a unique opportunity for all people, varying in ages and interests, to experience, to explore, and to contribute to a collective display of creativity.
September 16: BugFest
Open your eyes mind and mouth to the amazing world of bugs when the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences hosts its 21st annual BugFest – the nation’s largest single-day bug event – on Saturday September 16, from 9am to 7pm. Eat bug-filled dishes at Café Incecta, cheer on your favorite roach at the Roachingham 500, and more! FREE.
September 19 - 20: CED Tech Venture Conference
CED Tech Venture Conference is the premier event for technology entrepreneurs in the Southeast. From early startups to highly successful tech companies, venture funds to angel investors, this annual celebration of technological innovation attracts over 800 entrepreneurs, investors, corporate leaders and top tech experts from across the country.
September 22 - 24: Ray Price Capital City Bikefest
The Ray Price Capital City Bikefest is a free family-friendly 3-day event on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh and the Ray Price Dealership, Now in its 13th year, the event celebrates Raleigh's rich motorcycle culture and features live music on 3-stages, parades, charity rides, stunt shows, vendors and more. All proceeds from the weekend are donated to the USO of NC and the US Veterans Corps.
September 23: Live & Local: Roots Fest
Live & Local: Roots Fest is a free street festival on Hillsborough Street where you can experience the roots of North Carolina music and arts. The festival will feature two music stages with performers ranging from bluegrass to rock and everything in-between. The event will close Hillsborough Street from Enterprise Street to Pogue Street and run 12 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Come explore the work of local arts and craftspersons, amusement rides, food trucks, and specials from your favorite Hillsborough Street merchants.
September 23 - 24: Ray Price Motorsports Expo
Held in conjunction with the Ray Price Capital City Bikefest, the Motorsports Expo focuses on the artistry of motorcycles of all makes and models. This free family-friendly, 2-day event is located in the Raleigh Convention Center and features one of the largest public bike shows in the southeast. The Elite Builder Competition features some of the most innovative builders in the country. Patrons can also enjoy death defying stunt shows and a variety of vendors, as well as watch live bike builds and acoustic performances.
September 24: La Fiesta del Pueblo
La Fiesta del Pueblo celebrates everything Latino – the culture, the community, the language, the vibrancy. Participants enjoy dance performances, pop and folk music, visual art exhibits, and children’s activities. And then there’s the food, Pupusas, paletas, churros, tortillas, tacos al carbón, empanadas and more. You won’t leave hungry.
September 26 - 30: IBMA’s World of Bluegrass
World of Bluegrass is a multifaceted industry event and festival with hundreds of offerings for every bluegrass professional and fan! World of Bluegrass encompasses the International Bluegrass Music Association's Business Conference, Bluegrass Ramble Showcases, Awards Show, and Wide Open Bluegrass, presented by PNC. World of Bluegrass provides the unmatched opportunity for expanding your professional networks, learning the latest in industry best practices, and discovering new bluegrass music. If bluegrass music moves you, come to the conference that moves bluegrass music.
September 26 - 28: Bluegrass Ramble
The Bluegrass Ramble is IBMA’s innovative showcase series in club venues in downtown Raleigh. With over 200 showcase performances, the Ramble is the premier platform for introducing talent and new material to the bluegrass community. Venues include: Lincoln Theater, The Pour House, Kings, Architect Bar, Vintage Church, and the Raleigh Convention Center. Ramble along and catch some of the hottest acts shaping bluegrass music today!
September 27: Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market
On Wednesday, September 27, the Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market celebrates bluegrass in Raleigh with the “Bluegrass Breakdown.” As always, the market will feature over 35 local vendors ranging from bakers to farmers. The market runs from 11am-2pm. Local bluegrass act the Ninth Street Ramblers will perform.
September 28: International Bluegrass Music Awards
The International Bluegrass Music Awards recognize outstanding achievement and pioneering efforts in the genre as determined by professionals in the bluegrass music industry. Held annually since 1990, today almost two dozen awards recognize the top achievements across the industry. This year's Awards show will be hosted by Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn.
September 28 – 30: CityCampNC (by NC OpenPass)
An annual event bringing citizens, government, and businesses together to openly innovate and improve our community through collaboration and an open data competition.
September 29 - 30: PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass
Wide Open Bluegrass has a ticketed Main Stage at Red Hat Amphitheater, with part of the proceeds benefiting the Bluegrass Trust Fund; a FREE StreetFest with music on several stages and a dance tent; a music expo inside the Raleigh Convention Center, and more! The North Carolina Whole Hog Barbecue Championship adds a distinctly NC flavor to this event. Plus, check out the juried artists in Artsplosure's Arts Market, Got to Be NC products, vendors from Shop Local Raleigh, and more.
September 30: NC DataPalooza (by NC OpenPass)
An open-data startup competition to catalyze positive community and economic impact. Kickoff is Sept. 30 in conjunction with CityCampNC, followed by Team Pitch at All Things Open conference on Oct. 23 at the Raleigh Convention Center, concluding with the Finale at Raleigh's Capital Club on Nov. 13.