What to Do in March 2024

March welcomes the onset of spring with supper clubs, community fundraisers, tons of live music and, of course, St. Patrick’s Day!
by Addie Ladner

photos by Joshua Steadman

There is no shortage of ways to celebrate Irish heritage — here are a few picks. Kick off the holiday with the Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which will feature Celtic-inspired outfits, bagpipes and many marching bands — Gorta Mór Memorial Pipes & Drums, Triangle Pride Band and the Cardinal Gibbons Band and Drum Line among them (March 16; 10 a.m.; downtown; raleighstpats.org). The kids might also enjoy Lafayette Village’s family-friendly Paddy on the Green celebration with themed games (March 16; 12 – 4 p.m.; 8450 Honeycutt Road; lafayettevillageraleigh.com). For grownups, TráLi Irish Pub & Restaurant will have a tent set up with live music and pub fare like corn beef and cabbage and fish and chips (March 17; 10370 Moncreiffe Road, #109; traliirishpub.com). Just don’t forget to wear your green! And — if you are not into celebrating the holiday that in the U.S. is widely different than how it is celebrated in its home country, read on for other ideas of things to do this month. With the start of springs comes arts, music, and fundraisers galore.

Hear Balsam Range at Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts

North Carolina mountain folk group Balsam Range, a two-time International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainer of the Year, will take the stage this month at Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts, hosted by North Carolina roots music organization PineCone. “Balsam Range is a North Carolina treasure and they put on an incredibly entertaining show. Their songs tell rich stories that make me melt every time,” says PineCone executive director David Brower.
March 1 | 7:30 p.m.; From $18; 2 E. South Street; pinecone.org

Head to Juniper Level Botanic Garden’s Open House Weekends

A Rose Festival? In the dead of winter? That’s the sort of magic that Triangle-area residents will get to experience at Juniper Level Botanic Garden’s open house weekends – Friday, February 23rd – Sunday, February 25th and Friday, March 1st – Sunday, March 3rd. The Winter Rose Festival invites visitors to explore hundreds of blooming Hellebores, more commonly known as the Lenten rose, throughout the eight-acre garden grounds. Guests can also explore acres of evergreens, cyclamen and one of the world’s largest collections of trilliums. Horticultural staff will be on-site to assist guests with finding plants, answering questions, and offering free educational programs to help them flourish as gardeners. Free; 9241 Sauls Road; juniperlevelbotanicgarden.org

Experience Soda Water Sea Live

Enjoy a mysterious evening of intimate music and food in the heart of downtown Durham with Soda Water Sea. Dubbed the Bull City’s “psychedelic orchestra,” this 22-member band will play songs from its inaugural record, The Freedom Ring. Start the evening with a vegetarian meal by Andy Magowan, the lead band member and a chef in Durham, along with beer, wine and nonalcoholic libations. The menu itself will remain a surprise until the night of the show, but it will feature locally grown produce and be served buffet-style, allowing guests to feast at communal tables with the performers before the show. “The group is truly a slice of our Durham community, ranging in age from 16 to 70. It’s a mix of experienced music-scene folks and people who have never performed with a rock group before,” says Magowan, who wrote The Freedom Ring. “The album was written and recorded as the pandemic unfolded, which led to some interesting recording set-ups, like a lot of the choral parts had to be recorded outdoors,” he says. The circumstances helped inspire the music to touch on themes of climate change, transformation and spiritual growth. Music starts at 8 p.m. and guests receive a copy of The Freedom Ring on vinyl with ticket purchase.
March 2 & April 6 | 6:30 p.m.; $70; location only given to ticket holders; sodawatersea.bandcamp.com

Head to Supper Club at Heights House Hotel

You don’t have to go far to experience Sardinia, the idyllic Italian island known for its citizens’ longevity. Hospitality owner Liz Grandchamp and the Heights House Hotel team are continuing their Italian-themed Supper Club, and this month they’re taking us to the region that produces Cannonau wine. “Italy is full of so many different regions and subregions that have their own culture and food. We want to spend each dinner exploring a different province and allowing our guests — and ourselves — something different to eat and cook,” says Grandchamp. The four-course pre-fixe meal complemented by Italian wines and amaros will boast flavors of the Mediterranean like fresh herbs, lemon and saffron. Grandcamp says the dishes will be authentically Sardinian and likely new to guests: “Almost everything that we are cooking, we’ve never made before. We love to honor the traditional flavors of a dish, even if we put a slight twist on it. We’re excited to discover new flavors!”
March 4 & 5 | 6 p.m.; $165; 308 S. Boylan Avenue; heightshousenc.com 

Catch the Final Round of Cooking for the Kids

Catch the culmination of Rocky Top Catering’s annual fundraiser, Cooking For the Kids, as chefs battle it out to raise money for A Place at the Table, Raleigh’s first pay-what-you-can restaurant, and Overflowing Hands, a volunteer-led organization serving vulnerable neighborhoods. In February, chefs including Blake Gotliffe of Under the Oak, Bobby McFarland of Wye Hill, David Mitchell of Plates Kitchen and Kevin Ruiz of Oro participated in a cook-off. For the final round this month, each of the remaining chefs will prepare an appetizer, main course and dessert using surprise ingredients, then each of their dishes will be rated on taste, creativity, presentation and execution. The judges include chefs, food enthusiasts and guests who get to taste the creations. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the benefiting organizations. Also enjoy a silent auction, fine wine, cocktails and most importantly, says Dean Ogan, Rocky Top Catering owner, conviviality: “It’s heartwarming to see our community come together to fight food insecurity and to provide much needed support and services to children, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Overflowing Hands and A Place at the Table this year.”
March 6, 7 & 14 | 5:30 p.m.; From $125; 1705 E. Millbrook Road; rockytopcatering.com

Support Big Night In for the Arts

Tune into WRAL-TV for an evening celebrating the North Carolina arts community. In this fundraiser for the Wake, Durham, Chatham and Orange County Arts Councils, creatives of all stripes will be sharing their talent on the screen. This year’s lineup includes Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Tift Merritt, award-winning bluegrass musician Tray Wellington, singer Pierce Freelon and mural artist Gabriel Eng-Goetz. Now in its fourth year, Big Night In has raised nearly $800,000 to ensure that arts and culture will continue to thrive. “We are thrilled to be highlighting incredible local artists, in partnership with WRAL, and traveling our Triangle-wide watch party to Durham. The arts are an integral part of what makes the Triangle such a great place to live and I love how Big Night In tells the story of our local creative sector,” says Jennifer McEwen, United Arts Council president.
March 7 | 7 p.m.; Free to watch; broadcast and live-streaming, WRAL-TV; bignightin.org

Experience Carolina Ballet’s Premier of The Little Mermaid

A favorite Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale is being interpreted on stage in the Fletcher Opera Theatre by Carolina Ballet. The company’s world premiere of The Little Mermaid will offer never-before-seen choreography, costumes and sets, as well as a new score composed by renowned New York ballet composer Aaron Severini. “Working on the sets for The Little Mermaid has been so great, such a dream come true. I’m using the natural world as a metaphor for the human experience. The ocean itself is a metaphor for the experience of the little mermaid. She comes out of the depths of the ocean into the terrestrial world. She gains legs. She gains awareness of good and evil — this is the human experience, coming from darkness to light,” says Rebecca Rebouché, the artist who designed the brand-new sets. A live orchestra will provide the soundtrack as the titular mermaid embarks on her physical and emotional journey of self-discovery and love.
March 7 – 24 | Various times; From $25; 2 E. South Street; carolinaballet.com

Celebrate Raleigh Brewing’s 10 Year Anniversary

Raleigh Brewing is celebrating 11 years with a big block party. Guests can enjoy bites from food trucks, live entertainment and, of course, the company’s popular brews, like the Belgian pale ale Rye’d Or Die or coffee porter Hidden Pipe.
March 9 | 1 – 8 p.m.; Free entry; 3707 Neil Street; raleighbrewing.com

See Sleeping Booty at Lincoln Theatre

Longtime Wake County cover band Sleeping Booty is celebrating 25 years with a fun show at Lincoln Theatre. The 12-piece band, which originated as a 1970s tribute group, features percussion, several vocalists and a horn section. Over the years, it has evolved its style and sound to offer a unique spin on a range of sounds, from Otis Redding to Van Morrison to Old Crow Medicine Show. On stage, Sleeping Booty is known for its lively choreography, on-theme wardrobes and ability to get everyone moving on the dance floor. And even though they’ve opened for the big-time acts (see: KC and the Sunshine Band, Earth Wind & Fire), they’re pumped for a hometown show. “We are going to tear the roof off the sucker in downtown Raleigh, come down and celebrate with us!” says band member Damon Underwood.
From March 9 | 8 p.m.; $10; 126 E. Cabarrus Street; lincolntheatre.com

Celebrate Reptile and Amphibian Day at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Spend the day at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences celebrating creatures in the reptile and amphibian category, from turtles to snakes to tadpoles to this year’s featured animal, the crocodile! The museum will offer a variety of themed crafts, presentations and other fun set up around the facility, including some opportunities for close encounters with the critters. Its veterinary services team will be conducting turtle exams in the Window on Animal Health throughout the event, and if you’re inspired to attract more reptiles and amphibians into your own backyard, there’ll be a program to learn how to make your backyard more friendly to lizards, small snakes and tree frogs.
March 9 | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Free admission; 11 W. Jones Street; naturalsciences.org

See Classic Films @ The Library

Enjoy some of your favorite childhood films with this movie series, which takes place every first and third Saturday at Oberlin Regional Library. March’s picks are the 1996 film Matilda, based on Roald Dahl’s book about a bright girl with special powers who’s born to a disastrous family, and live-action blockbuster Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. On-theme outfits welcome! Kids can look forward to some interactive themed activities and popcorn.
March 10 & 24  | 2 – 4 p.m.; Free; 1930 Clark Avenue; wake.gov

Experience 10 Years of NCMA’s Art in Bloom

The North Carolina Museum of Art’s celebration of art through flowers is back! Art in Bloom will take over the museum for five days as works in the People’s Collection are interpreted into jaw-dropping flower installments. In honor of the event’s 10th year and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the North Carolina State Art Society, 10 of the floral works will be themed by decade, from the 1920s to the 2020s. In addition to viewing the main installation, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the flower-focused event. Keynote speaker Ace Berry, the owner of Ace in Full Bloom in Houston, Texas, who’s been featured on HBO’s Full Bloom, will lead two live floral programs. Local horticulturist Brie Arthur will host a workshop on creating a native garden with ease.
March 13 – 17 | Various times; From $40; 2110 Blue Ridge Road; ncartmuseum.org

Boogie Down at the North Carolina Discovery Ball

Now entering its second year, The American Cancer Society’s North Carolina Discovery Ball raised $250,000 in its inaugural year to support cancer research, patient support and advocacy. Held at Angus Barn, the evening kicks off with a cocktail reception and silent auction followed by an elegant dinner, entertainment and testimony from Elizabeth Alexander, a cancer survivor who has undergone 26 rounds of chemotherapy and surgeries since being diagnosed with the disease in 2022. “Her inspiring fight emphasizes the importance of continued funding for cancer research,” says Bonnie Sargent, development coordinator for the American Cancer Society.
March 15 | 6 – 10 p.m.; $500 per ticket; 9401 Glenwood Avenue; ncdiscoveryball.org

Support the No Women, No Girl Initiative at Women’s Day

“It is evident that our community is experiencing crises. Women’s Day is an opportunity to meet the needs of the citizens of Raleigh,” says Shirnetta Harrell, executive director of the nonprofit No Woman, No Girl. “Whether an individual needs clothes, mental health support, diapers or other resources, this is a day where they can glean hope, despite their circumstances.” This month, No Woman, No Girl is hosting an event to provide on-site health and wellness services. Attendees will receive free supplies of everyday hygiene essentials as well as clothing, basic medical supplies and guidance on housing, mental health and more from local agencies such as Step Up Ministry, Note in the Pocket, Three Oaks Behavioral Health & Wellness, Triple C Counseling Services and Dress for Success. Presenting sponsor Coastal Credit Union will be providing on-site financial check-ups at the event like free credit checks and credit recovery insight. The event is open to the general public and will include food from Longleaf Swine, live music and vendors such as Tropical Smoothie Cafe and Raleigh Pop Balloons. Tickets are not required and all are welcome.
March 16 | 12 – 3 p.m.; Free; 605 Raleigh Boulevard; nowomannogirl.org

Hear Blue Cactus at The North Carolina Museum of History

See country duo Steph Stewart and Mario Arnez of Blue Cactus perform at the North Carolina Museum of History for an installment of Tar Heel Troubadours, a showcase of established and emerging musicians from our state. Beer and wine are available for purchase throughout the show and the museum’s gift shop will be open prior. Museum creative director Kara Leinfelder, who produced the concert series, says they curated a range of musicians that represent North Carolina’s musical history. “Blue Cactus offers a fresh perspective on the traditional with beautifully orchestrated variety,” says Leinfelder. “They can oscillate between a folky vibe to a full bluegrass sound complete with pedal steel guitar without missing, well, a beat!”
March 23 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.; $15; 5 E. Edenton Street; ncmuseumofhistory.org

Head to Longleaf Lounge for A Heathers Party

Head to Longleaf Hotel’s lounge for croquet on the lawn (aka the patio) to celebrate the 35-year anniversary of the cult classic 1989 film Heathers, starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. Play a game of croquet and indulge in snacks and cocktails inspired by the film like Twizzlers, Corn Nuts and more. The film will be playing throughout the night but go ahead and watch it beforehand for some wardrobe inspo.
March 23 | 4 – 10 p.m.; Free admission; 300 N. Dawson Street; thelongleafhotel.com  

Run or Walk the Annual ROC5K

Run, walk, or jog alongside a team of high school students as they host the 12th annual Running Over Cancer 5K at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary to benefit the American Cancer Society. “It’s a healthy mix of runners, walkers, strollers and pets with a good dose of cheerleaders, too! It’s a laid-back, feel-good way to spend a couple of hours on a March afternoon,” says parent helper Christina Woelffer. Sophomores and juniors at Ravenscroft School have raised more than $1 million through this race in its lifetime, and are already halfway to this year’s goal of raising $100,000. Organizers say over the years the race has benefited them beyond raising money. “My family members have had cancer and my grandmother was a direct benefactor of the ACS and Hope Lodge in Boston during her many months of cancer treatment. It is such a special opportunity and there is no better feeling than getting to work with a dedicated team of classmates knowing we are helping to save lives,” says Ravenscroft junior Chris Speranza.
March 24 | 2 p.m.; From; $35; 101 Soccer Park Drive, Cary; runningovercancer.com

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