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Photo by Janelle Vadnais
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3 min Read
Published August 23, 2015

Top 4 Reasons To Love Raleigh In September

There’s just something about Raleigh in the Autumn. The muggy air starts becoming breathable and crisp. Umstead’s hiking trails suddenly become more appealing. Local coffee shops and breweries start crafting pumpkin spice everything. And Raleigh proves it knows how to party — every single weekend in September.

Music and colors fill the streets–thousands of people come together to improve our communities, bolster our local arts and music, and enjoy all the tastes and sights of our growing city.

Here are the top four reasons to love Raleigh and get out of the house this September.


1. Hopscotch Music Festival – September 10th – 12th

Kings. Slims. Lincoln. All your favorite music venues, all playing live music, all weekend long. I’ve got to say: Thank God for Hopscotch for driving the Raleigh music scene, bringing in a solid mixture of big names and local bands to generate exposure for musicians and venues of all sizes and popularity. The local businesses appreciate the extra foot traffic, too. Let’s keep those patios alive, folks!

Top 4 Reasons To Love Raleigh In September - Hop Scotch Music Festival Ralegih

This year’s lineup includes Lydia Loveless, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, TV on the Radio, Moon Duo, American Aquarium, and dozens of others. On a more personal note, I just noticed that Battles, one of my favorite bands, is going to be there! Thanks, Hopscotch!

RELATED: The Four Best Coffee Shops In Raleigh.

2. Activate Good 9/11 Day Of Service – September 11th

When Activate Good launched its first 9/11 Day of Service, I was so proud of my city. Thousands of Triangle citizens commemorate this day of national sorrow by taking back our power to create positive change in the world. The evening ceremony at Red Hat includes an inspiring speech by Mayor Nancy McFarlane and various Activate Good board members that admittedly makes me cry every single year. While music and art festivals are full of whimsy and fun, there’s something truly humbling about watching your entire city join together in service and kindness.

Volunteers painting a mural at Raleigh Girls Club!
Volunteers painting a mural at Raleigh Girls Club!

So where will you be on September 11th? Beautifying a local park? Building our community trails? Delivering food to homebound seniors?

I’ll see you out there!


3. SPARKcon – September 17th – 20th

Last year I created a virtual tour of SPARKCon, an event that swirls into downtown Raleigh with the excitement of Christmas come early! It’s a great excuse to wear your most whimsical outfit and dance down Fayetteville Street with all the other creative eccentrics.

RELATED: A Virtual Tour Of SPARKCon.

SPARKCon is an arts festival created by Raleigh’s own arts community. So when you see fire dancers and parkour jumpers, or watch giant robots battling in front of Boylan-Pearce, or stroll through rainbows of Mary Poppins chalk art, you can be sure it’s all done by local people just like you. Plus, there’s tons of collaborative, community projects you can take part in, so you can be part of the art.

Food trucks, music, rickshaws, and a weekend of total freedom. I seriously love SPARKCon.

A Virtual Tour Of SPARKCon - ricksaw

Photograph by: Janelle Vadnais, Marketing Chair for Activate Good


4. World Of Bluegrass Festival – September 29th – October 3rd

September winds down with bluegrass, beer, and barbecue — for a true, down home North Carolina festival. When I’m tired of dancing, I just sit down in the grass and enjoy the music and the crisp Autumn air. World of Bluegrass is a great way to greet the cooler weather.

Top 4 Reasons To Love Raleigh In September - World Of Bluegrass Festival

This year, Raleigh can look forward to the plucky sounds of Alison Krauss & Union Station, ft. Jerry Douglas, the Sam Bush Band, the Gibson Brothers, The Infamous Stringdusters, and plenty more.

RELATED: Raleigh Now and Then: 5 Awesome Past and Present Pics.

When it’s all said and done, and you take your first full weekend of October to relax, you’ll have corn mazes and pumpkins ahead. I sure do love Raleigh in the Autumn.

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  • I sincerely believe that through the power of storytelling, I can make social issues become more than a set of statistics. My expertise is in community leadership, non-profit work, event coordinating, networking, and storytelling. All my articles.

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