What To Do in October 2023 In and Around Raleigh

Happy fall, y’all! This month, enjoy pumpkins in various ways, outdoor festivals and some great live music.
by Addie Ladner

October in Raleigh brings cooler temperatures, earlier sunsets and the renewed energy in the city that comes with the onset of fall. Hopefully, you’ve settled into a school or post-summer rhythm by now and are ready for a month that’s equal parts fun and restful. That should be easy to do with things like complimentary yoga at the Gregg Museum, fall festivals, big and local musical acts and of course, our State Fair!

Stock Up on Pumpkins at Shepherd’s Way Farm

Whether you like a classic orange carving pumpkin, subtly colored heirloom gourds or flat-topped pumpkins for stacking, Shepherd’s Way Farm has a pumpkin for you. Based in Laurel Springs, this seventh-generation farm has been providing pumpkins to the Triangle since 2008, a longtime fixture in North Hills and, in recent years, The Village District. “We bring the farm to Raleigh,” says farmer Tim Moses. Shepherd’s Way now grows more than 80 different varieties of the gourd. “Growing pumpkins started as a rotational crop on our Christmas tree farm, but has grown into a labor of love for us. We have made many memo- ries over the years providing pumpkins and seasonal decorations to our friends, family and customers,” says Moses. 
All month | 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.Free to visit; 1010 St. Albans Drive or 13044 Norwood Road; shepherdswayfarmsnc.com

Tour New and Custom homes on the Triangle Parade of Homes Tour

Tour new and custom homes in Wake, Durham and Orange counties on this year’s Triangle Parade of Homes. It’s a perfect opportunity to get inspired for your next dream home or renovation project. With more than 180 homes in more than 120 residential communities open to tour, there’s inspiration for every taste. This tour is free, open to the public and self-guided, with a tool on the tour’s website to map the homes you want to visit.
Oct. 1, 6-8 & 13-15 | 12 – 5 p.m. | Free; Various locations; triangleparade.com

Hear Zac Brown Band at Walnut Creek

Zac Brown Band — a multiple Grammy- winning, nine-member folksy rock group based in Atlanta — is coming to Walnut Creek Amphitheater on its From The Fire Tour. Hear the band play now-classic country tunes like “Chicken Fried,” “Knee Deep” and “Colder Weather,” perfect songs for fall. King Calaway, a country band whose members hail from the United States, Scotland and Gibraltar, will open the show. 
Oct. 5 | 6:30 p.m. From $41; 3801 Rock Quarry Road; zacbrownband.com

Enjoy a Comedic Night with Kevin Nealon

If Saturday Night Live, Weeds and Adam Sandler films are on your viewing rotation, you probably know award- winning comedian Kevin Nealon. This month, he’s taking the mic at Goodnights Comedy Club. No topic is off-limits with Nealon, who’s known for his conversational dialogue and sarcasm. 
Oct. 5 – 7 | Various times, From $27; 401 Woodburn Road; goodnightscomedy.com

Take In a Movie at the Raleigh Film & Art Festival

Founded in 2012 by Christopher Terrell, the Raleigh Film & Art Festival showcases work from independent filmmakers, painters and theater artists. Hosted at NC State’s Centennial Campus, this three-day festival will showcase more than 200 independent films in categories including shorts, feature, animated and documentary. One of those films will be Who Am I?, a short by North Carolina native Alex Ellis that follows Grammy-nominated rapper Petey Pablo on a therapy session that turns into a musical fever dream. “I wrote this piece because I want to normalize getting help — there is still such a stigma around it, especially in the Black community,” says Ellis. “I want to make going inward a safer space for all, and Petey was the perfect person for this given his desire to change for the better.” 
Oct. 6-8 | 6:30 p.m. From $4; 1840 Entrepreneur Drive; raleighfilmandartfestival.com

Join in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s

If you or someone you know are affected by Alzheimer’s, consider walking or giving to support research to combat the disease. Hundreds will gather around the Halifax Mall to participate in the Triangle’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s. It’ll be a sea of color: blue for someone living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, purple for those who have lost someone to the disease and yellow for people offering care or support. The walk is part of the annual international program that has garnered more than 300,000 participants in the United States. There’s no registration fee, but walkers are encouraged to participate in fundraising. 
Oct. 7 | 10:30 a.m. Free but fundraising encouraged; 300 N. Salisbury Street; act.alz.org

Celebrate Autumn at Fall for Local at Dix Park

The City of Raleigh, Dix Park Conservancy and Shop Local Raleigh are coming together to celebrate autumn in the heart of Raleigh. Held at Dix Park’s Big Field, Fall for Local will include a giant pumpkin patch, miniature animals, inflatables, hay and tractor rides, live music, photo booths and more. “It’s the perfect way to kick off the season,” says Jennifer Martin, executive director of Shop Local Raleigh. Food trucks like Hot Chix Hotcakes and Chicken, Ultimate Eggrolls, Hollywood Taco Shop and Geluna Gelato will be selling bites for purchase, along with beverage vendors. 
Oct. 7 | 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Free admission; 101 Blair Drive; shoplocalraleigh.org

Help Clean up Falls Lake at the Big Sweep

Help keep Falls Lake clean by joining this community event held annually at Blue Jay Point County Park on the shores of this 12,000-acre body of water that spans three counties. Participants must be over 8 years old, and closed-toe shoes, a hat and sunscreen are recommended. Cleanup supplies provided!
Oct. 7 | 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.Free but registration required; 3200 Pleasant Union Church Road; wake.gov

Meet Local Author Carol Ann DeLaRosa

Hear Carol Ann DeLaRosa read from her Raleigh-set novel, Shoeless, at Oberlin Regional Library in The Village District. The story is about a Catholic mother and lawyer who is surprised when she reencounters a Saudi Arabian lawyer she met on a cruise decades before. Stay for a Q&A discussion to learn more about this local author’s storytelling process and inspiration. 
Oct. 8 | 3 – 4 p.m. Free; 1930 Clark Avenue; wake.gov

Photo credit: Justin Kase Conder

Check Out the Animals, Food and Games at the N.C. State Fair

The fair is back, for the 170th year! Whether you’re in it to wonder at the giant pumpkins, fancy chickens and livestock showcases in the Agri Supply Expo Center or ready to thrill yourself with the rides in the Midway and deep-fried food, there’s something for everyone. There will be fireworks every night, themed days and many musical acts, so visit the website to pick the day that suits your schedule.
Oct. 12 – 22 | Various times, From $8; 4285 Trinity Road; ncstatefair.org

See Arcadia at Burning Coal

Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard, is a playful production that explores the relationship between history and current day and contemplates what’s guaranteed in life. The story starts with a curious girl enthralled with science and math who captures the heart of her older tutor in the early 1800s. In the present day, researchers scour her home to learn more about their story. “I saw the original production at Lincoln Center in the early 1990s and was blown out of my chair by its capacity to thrill and present so many ideas,” says director and Burning Coal cofounder Jermone Davis. “It’s about a time, place and people that none of us have any connection to, except the connection that matters — the human one.” 
Oct. 12 – 29 | Various times From $5; 224 Polk Street; burningcoal.org

Hear David Menconi Discuss Oh, Didn’t They Ramble

Longtime music writer and WALTER contributor David Menconi will be at Quail Ridge Books talking about his latest book, Oh, Didn’t They Ramble. The book follows the origins of Rounder Records, a music label born in the 1960s that helped popularize and distribute American folk music. The ticket price includes a copy of the book. 
Oct. 17 | 7 p.m. $28.50; 4209-100 Las- siter Mill Road; quailridgebooks.com

Practice Mindfulness at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design

In partnership with its Hillsborough Street neighbor, the Alexander Family YMCA, the Gregg Museum of Art Design at NC State University will offer morning yoga in the museum’s main lobby. Led by longtime yogi Jeff Manning, this is a convenient way to stretch your muscles and relax your mindset in one of Raleigh’s best-kept secrets. Bring your own mat or beach towel and take some time to walk the museum and campus grounds afterward. 
Oct. 19 | 10 a.m. Free; 1903 Hillsborough Street; gregg.arts.ncsu.edu

Rock Out to Shania Twain at PNC

Canadian country music star Shania Twain is “still the one” we want performing in Raleigh! She’ll visit PNC Arena on tour for her 2023 album, Queen of Me, the first one she’s released in five years. Contemporary country- pop artist Lily Rose will open the show. 
Oct. 18 | 7:30 p.m.From $66; 1400 Edwards Mill Road; pncarena.com

Try Out Square Dancing at Transfer Co. Food Hall

Wear your favorite boots and denim for an evening of square dancing at Transfer Co. Food Hall hosted by PineCone and NC Square. Enjoy tunes by the Triangle- based string band Blue Star Travellers as you hone your dance moves. Come early and take advantage of the food hall’s offerings like Che Empanadas, Chhote’s and Bul Box. All ages are welcome and no previous square dancing experience is required. 
Oct. 20 | 7 – 9:30 p.m. Suggested donation $10; 500 E. Davie Street; pinecone.org

Fight Hunger at Now Serving Food + Wine

Now Serving (originally named The Sunday Supper) was formed in 2022 by community members and chefs to raise money to help people affected by Hurricane Matthew. Since then, more than 72,000 meals have been fed to under-resourced communities. At this fundraiser in Smoky Hollow, you can help grow that number by sampling dishes from more than 20 local chefs and food purveyors, including Cheeni Indian Food Emporium, Cortez, Hummingbird, Madre, Mandolin, Midwood Smokehouse, O-Ku, Stanbury, Standard Beer + Food and St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar. Also enjoy wine and spirits, live music and cooking demonstrations. 
Oct. 21 | 2 – 6 p.m.$75; 421 N. Harrington Street; nowservingnc.org

Get Outside with Wild I.D.E.A.s

Celebrate the outdoors at the George and Julia Brumley Family Nature Preserve in Chapel Hill. Hosted by Triangle Land Conservancy, community groups including Schoolhouse of Wonder, Outdoor Afro, Feminist Bird Club and BLK Hiking Club will offer family-friendly, inclusive activities. Hike the trails, look for wildlife and participate in nature-themed crafts at this 600-acre sanctuary complete with a labyrinth, historic structures and ponds. Food and drink options will be available for purchase. 
Free admission; 3055 New Hope Church Road, Chapel Hill; triangleland.org

Watch Floating Jack-O-Lanterns at the Pumpkin Flotilla in Cary

Each October in Cary’s Bond Lake Park, jack-o-lanterns set sail across at dark, creating a whimsical, water-borne display. Come to view the spectacle or bring your own carved pumpkin to float. (Pumpkins must weigh around 8 pounds and be about the size of a basketball; bases are provided.) Before the flotilla, enjoy live music and food trucks while you wait for the sun to set. Then find a spot on the edge of the lake to watch the evening’s big show. 
Oct. 27 | 4 – 7 p.m. Free; 801 High House Road; carync.gov.org

Honor the Dead at DÍa De Oakwood

In 2012, restaurateur Angela Salamanca started the Day of the Dead 5k, a race that benefits the Brentwood Boy & Girls Club. The race will take place on Oct. 28, with costumed runners heading up Wilmington Street, through the Historic Oakwood Cemetery (visit wakebgc.org/dod for more info). And this year, Salamanca will expand one element of the event, the ofrenda, an altar to honor lost loved ones, in Oakwood Cemetery. Artist Peter Marin will create an installation that expands the ofrenda to mimic the layout of the pyramids of Teotihuacán in Mexico, with two main ofrendas and five small ofrendas in the field near the entrance of the cemetery. It will be accessible all week to make offerings, with programming including an inaugural ceremony on Oct 27th, a screening of Coco on Oct. 29 and a Catrina parade on Día de Muertos, Nov. 2., each with music and food trucks. “We’re creating a place for the community to celebrate, grieve and come together to remember our loved ones,” says Salamanca.” 
Oct. 28 – Nov. 4 | Various times Free; 701 Oakwood Avenue; historicoakwoodcemetery.org

This article originally appeared in the October, 2023 issue of WALTER magazine.