What to Do in June 2024 In and Around Raleigh

Relish the start of summer with some hot-weather sports, Pride celebrations, family-friendly shows and laid-back music.
by Addie Ladner

Photo Credit: Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

Watch the Action!

Our area is a hot spot for summer sports. Women’s pro soccer team Carolina Courage will take on California’s Monterey Bay Football Club on June 16 and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on June 22 — get there early to enjoy food trucks and photo ops at FanFest (from $12; 101 Soccer Park Drive, Cary; nccourage.com). Head to Zebulon to support the Carolina Mudcats, the farm team for the Milwaukee Brewers. They have 13 home games this month (from $17; Five County Stadium, 1501 NC-39, Zebulon; milb.com/carolina-mudcats). Get a taste for car racing at the Wake County Speedway the first three Fridays of the month (from $15; 2109 Simpkins Road, Raleigh; wcspeedway.com). Drive out to Pinehurst for the day June 10 to 16 to watch top golfers compete in the U.S. Open (from $65; Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, 80 Carolina Vista, Pinehurst; usopen.com).

Celebrate Pride Month

There are lots of ways to celebrate Pride Month in town! On June 8, Runologie and Trophy Brewing will host the annual Run for Love 5K, which benefits Raleigh Pride and the LGBTQ+ Center of Raleigh. In addition to the 5K, kids can participate in a free 400-meter fun run just before the 5K kicks off. Afterwards enjoy live music, food trucks and a drag show (9 a.m.; from $45; 1251 Goode Street; trophybrewing.com). On June 15, Heights House will host Parlor Pride for the second time, with DJ Jermainia providing the beats and drag performers Chloe Cassidy and Oak City Kitty offering entertainment on the hotel’s front lawn. “Being able to bring our community to celebrate love in all forms truly is the best,” says Will Bryant, manager and operations director at Heights House. Kids are welcome, and the event will feature themed crafts and activities along with food trucks (1 – 5 p.m.; $10; 308 S. Boylan Avenue; heightshousenc.com). On June 22, downtown will be full of life for Out! Raleigh’s 12th annual Pride Festival, which features two stages of performances, plus vendors, food and more (11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Fayetteville Street; outraleighpride.org). 

Weave a Bookmark at the NC Museum of History

Members of the Triangle Weaving Guild will be at the North Carolina Museum of History teaching little ones how to weave a bookmark. The activity will be followed by a Cloth Clues Gallery Hunt, where visitors will search the museum galleries for interesting artifacts for a chance to win a prize. “These gallery hunts always give visitors a chance to connect with our history and with each other,” says Nancy Pennington, the museum’s youth program director. The event is part of the Artist at Work series, which showcases craftspeople from across the state who practice traditional art forms.
June 1 & 15 | 12 – 3 p.m. Free; 5 E. Edenton Street; ncmuseumofhistory.org

Learn About Your Pets’ Secret Lives at Quail Ridge

Did you know canaries have a secret force-field capability? Or that your pet dog never relieves itself in the same place? These are just a few things entomologist and local author Eleanor Rice learned when doing research for her second book, Your Pets’ Secret Lives, out this month. “Each page I wrote taught me something amazing about the animals with which we spend our days. It changed the way I see all pets,” says Rice. Head to Quail Ridge Books for a fun, quirky book release party, where you can ask Rice your wildest questions and meet book illustrator Rob Wilson, who’ll teach you how to draw your pet’s portrait. Plus, there’ll be a special surprise guest (hint: they’re famous, but not human).
June 1 | 11 a.m.; Free but registration encouraged; 4209-100 Lassiter Mill Road; quailridgebooks.com

See Sertoma Art Center’s Student Art Show

This month at Sertoma Arts Center, more than 120 pieces of student art, chosen by their instructors, will be displayed across its four galleries. In the Raleigh Room, Art Needs Art shows new paintings from Peter Marin’s advanced painting students. In the Hall Gallery, The Talent of Sarah Ann Austin’s Students shows mixed-media pieces. In the display cases will be Deliberate Texture, various sculptural pieces and handmade objects put together by Ann Haigler. And in the Wall Case Gallery is Weaver of Worlds, colorful handwoven wall hangings curated by Leeman Smith. “Through this collection, the viewer senses the individual style of each artist while detecting the influence of their instructor. The methods and techniques used are consistent threads while the execution, content and composition are uniquely individual,” says Joeli Franks, the art center’s director.
June 1 – 27 | Various times; Free; 1400 Millbrook Road; raleighnc.gov/arts

See Raleigh Little Theatre’s Kinky Boots

Based on a true story, Kinky Boots follows the unexpected journey of Charlie Price, a reluctant shoemaker who rallies to save his father’s failing shoe factory. In the meantime, Charlie forms a friendship with a drag queen named Lola, who convinces him to make dazzling stilettos instead of traditional men’s dress shoes. With a score by the legendary Cyndi Lauper, this musical will make you smile, laugh and ponder what could happen when you step out of your comfort zone.
June 7 – 23 | Various times; From $25; 301 Pogue Street; raleighlittletheatre.org

Scarf Up Foodie Fare at Raleigh Iron Works

Event production group MAKRS Society is hosting a food and art festival at Raleigh Iron Works. Local singer and guitarist Kerry Long and vocalist Scarlet Tantrum will be performing live while guests enjoy eating from top-notch food trucks. Amoung them: Cousin’s Maine Lobster, Poblanos Tacos, Narrative Coffee and The Jones BBQ.
June 8 | 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Free; 2200 Atlantic Avenue; raleighironworks.com

Hear Steep Canyon Rangers with the NC Symphony at Koka Booth

Conductor Michelle Di Russo with the North Carolina Symphony will join Grammy-winning folk group Steep Canyon Rangers at the wooded Koka Booth Amphitheatre. The show is part of the Symphony’s UNC Summer Fest, a laid-back concert series where guests can bring their own picnics, beverages and lawn chairs to relax and enjoy music under the stars.
June 8 | 8 p.m.; From $41; 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary; boothamphitheatre.com

Hear from Kathy Izard on her latest book, Trust the Whisper

Author and motivational speaker Kathy Izard will be in conversation with two of Raleigh’s housing advocates in Raleigh this month. Jackie Craig, the founder of The Green Chair Project, and Molly Painter, campaign chair for CASA’s King’s Ridge development, will join Izard to discuss her books Trust the Whisper and Grace Heard a Whisper. Over coffee and light bites, the three will discuss their work and the importance of leaning into your purpose.
June 13 | 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.; $35; 1853 Capital Boulevard; thegreenchair.org

Celebrate Juneteenth!

Celebrate the end of slavery in the United States with moving and joyous events. At the North Carolina Museum of Art, the two-day Juneteenth Joy celebration kicks off on Friday, June 14, with a gospel concert featuring Grammy-winning musician Kirk Franklin and Stellar Award-winning songwriter Maurette Brown Clark. On Saturday, June 15, the museum will stream the 2023 film adaption of The Color Purple, based on the acclaimed novel by Alice Walker (check website for prices and times; 2110 Blue Ridge Road; ncartmuseum.org). On June 15, the Capital City Juneteenth Celebration at Dorothea Dix Park will feature entertainment, family activities, vendors and food on the lawn at Harvey Hill (12 – 6 p.m., free; 693 Palmer drive; dixpark.org). Also on June 15, check out Juneteenth Celebration at Downtown Cary Park, a jubilant festival hosted by cultural historian Darrell Stover. Enjoy bites from food trucks like Royal Cheesecake & Varieties and TrySeafood. And for entertainment, funk group Plunky & Oneness of Juju as well as poet and singer Priscilla Miller are on the lineup (1 – 7 p.m., free; 327 S. Academy Street; downtowncarypark.com). On Juneteenth itself, June 19, visit the John P. “Top” Greene community center to see a display of Ankara fabrics and African American quilts for the African Cultured Expressions of the Arts “Sewcial” exhibition (6 – 8 p.m., free; 401 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard; raleighnc.gov/parks).

Practice Sound Healing Meditation at the Library

Emily Barnhill, a local certified sound-healing practitioner, will lead a centering meditation session at the Oberlin Regional Library. Bring your mat, water bottle and a mind ready for clearing. It’s just one of several free events of this type geared towards mental and physical wellness in adults and seniors throughout June. Others include yoga and therapy gardening classes.
June 15 | 3 – 4 p.m. Free but registration encouraged; 1930 Clark Avenue; wake.gov/events

Experience Cirque de Vol’s Into the Garden at Burning Coal

Local aerial acrobatic company Cirque de Vol is bringing an enchanting, family-friendly performance to Burning Coal Theatre. Follow Peanuts, an inquisitive pet hamster, as she embarks on a journey through her front yard — which turns into a magical adventure of self-realization, courage and love. The intimate downtown theater will be enlivened with 13 aerialists disguised as flowers, gnomes, mushrooms and flowers in this original production that will captivate all ages.
June 17 – 18 | 7 p.m.; From $25; 224 Polk Street; cirquedevol.com

Make New Friends at A Midsummers Celebration

“The art of friendship is not lost in adulthood!” says The Crowded Table Club founder Lucy McInnis. “Each event reminds me that the journey of starting over is best walked with friends by your side.” McInnis founded the club when she moved to Raleigh two years ago to create events where women and femme-identifying individuals could make friends. The group hosts monthly pop-ups where guests are encouraged to enjoy the art of conversation. This month’s theme is A Midsummer Celebration, playing up the summer solstice with an evening of whimsy that’ll include hair-braiding and flower-crown stations, a seated dinner and a “letting go ceremony” surrounding a bonfire.
June 20 | 7 – 10 p.m.; From $77; 330 Gideon Creek Way; search “Crowded Table Club” on eventbrite.com 

Support Hope Renovations at its Summer Soiree

Hope Renovations is a nonprofit organization with a twofold mission: to prepare underemployed women to work in construction and to aid adults with aging in place. At the organization’s annual fundraiser, Summer Soiree, founder Nora El-Khouri Spencer will celebrate recent success stories. Guests can enjoy a meal prepared by Carolina Inn staff, danceable tunes from six-piece band CJ Baker Entertainment and a chance to participate in both live and silent auctions.
June 22 | 6 p.m.; From $175; 211 Pittsboro Street, Chapel Hill; hoperenovations.org

Sip on Slow Drinks at Durham’s Kingfisher

“This is, perhaps, my favorite time of the year, landing right at the intersection of two of the most fruitful and exciting microseasons,” says author and beverage guru Danny Childs. “It’s peak berry season, herbs are at their prime and some of the hallmark ingredients of summer — like tomatoes, peaches and corn — start to trickle in from the fields and the forests.” Childs is known for his skill and passion for foraging ingredients to create craft spirits. He’ll be at hip bar Kingfisher promoting his new book, Slow Drinks, and serving his niche cocktails for an additional cost.
June 26 | 6 – 8 p.m.; Free to attend; 321 E. Chapel Hill Street, Durham; kingfisherdurham.com

Catch Pete Davidson’s Prehab Tour

Actor, stand-up comedian and producer Pete Davidson, a Saturday Night Live veteran, is coming to the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts for his comedy show, “Prehab Tour.” Among Davidson’s list of accolades is making Time’s “100 Most Influential People” list, Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list and producing a semi-autobiographical comedy show, Bupkis, on Peacock. His routines often have themes of advocacy around mental health and openness about his own struggles.
June 30 | 7 p.m. From $49; 2 E. South Street; martinmariettacenter.com 

This article originally appeared in the May 2024 issue of WALTER magazine.