Spring Fantasy and Fun
Outdoor festivals abound in Western Wake
BY CORBIE HILL
Going outside for a walk around a trail is pretty nice, and taking the kids to a park is even better. But spending a whole day at an outdoor festival—that’s memory making. Especially in the close-knit communities of Western Wake, where neighbors run into neighbors and children encounter school friends. There’s almost a collective sigh of relief as we shed our heavy coats and relish the feel of spring fever rising.
Below, we’ve selected seven of the Western Wake festivals that are slated to happen from March to mid-May. Whether you’re looking to hunt colorfully decorated eggs, revel in a fantasyland, or peruse antiques, there’s a wide variety of events to choose among. To find a Raleigh-oriented list, please pick up a copy of our sister publication Midtown magazine.
The Festival of Legends
April 14th and 15th, 10am to 6pm | Optimist Farm, Apex
COST: $12.50 for a one-day pass; $15 for a weekend pass; VIP packages start at $44. Children 12 and under are free.
THE SCOOP: Let’s be clear, this isn’t a Renaissance Faire, but a fairy festival. Where Ren Faires aim for some degree of historical accuracy, fairy festivals are in it for folklore, myth, fairytales, and even some modern fantasy and fiction. Both types of events, though, provide a form of escape from modern life and its responsibilities. The Festival of Legends celebrates magic and imagination. Entertainment includes Celtic harp music, aerialists, mounted archery,
and, yes, jousting.
March 17th, 8am to noon
Jefferson L. Sugg Farm at Bass Lake Park, Holly Springs
THE SCOOP: Let loose at the Holly Springs festival that kicks off the spring season with a traditional egg hunt and many appealing activities for kids—bounce houses, games, and likely a visit by a big white bunny. For those Holly Springs residents who seriously need to engage in some spring cleaning, Spring Fling also features a community yard sale. To register for the yard sale, call 919.557.9603.
PEAKTIQUE Antique & Collectibles Festival
April 6th and 7th, 8am to 5pm
Norris Industrial Park, 3350 Apex Peakway, Apex
COST: An Admission donation of $5 is requested and will cover both days. Children 12 and under are free.
THE SCOOP: The PEAKTIQUE festival is celebrating its second year and anticipates 25 antique dealers will participate this year. (Last year, 15 antique dealers exhibited and nearly 700 people attended.) As the name suggests, the festival is all about antiques and collectibles made before 1975. Sponsored by the Apex Downtown Business Association (ADBA), the Apex Historical Society, and the Town of Apex, the festival raises funds to support and promote historic Apex.
April 28th, 9am to 5pm | Bond Park, Cary
THE SCOOP: Cary’s Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resourcesdepartment takes livability very seriously and plans its programs accordingly. For instance, April is “Fit Cary Month,” which is focused on health and wellness. March 3rd sees Bond Park’s annual Kite Festival; March 17th is Cary’s Arbor Day celebration at Downtown Park; and on May 12th, Ritmo Latino brings Latino and Hispanic music, dance, food, and culture to Town Hall.
The centerpiece of all these celebrations is Spring Daze, on April 28th, which also features an Earth Day. What sets Spring Daze apart is the wealth of local artists it draws—more than 170! There are four stages and a children’s village where your kids can check out interactive exhibits and hands-on crafts.
Great Grapes Wine and Food Festival
May 5th, noon to 6pm
(VIP admission at 11 am)
Town of Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre
COST: $33 to $55, and $20 for “designated driver” admission. Kids 12 and under free.
THE SCOOP: If you love outdoor festivals and the stuff grapes grow up to be (to borrow a phrase from Bob’s Burgers) then maybe Great Grapes is your speed. With 22 wineries and more than 200 wines, this may just be the place you find your new favorite pinot. There’s a free children’s area, too, for those who’d like to make this one a family excursion. Just please promise us you’ll assign
a designated driver.
May 5, 9am to 5pm
Salem Street in Downtown Apex
THE SCOOP: Apex offers its share of festivals throughout the year—a music fest, a barbecue fest—but Peakfest is the largest, and has been a tradition in this Wake County town for 38 years. For nearly four decades, on the first Saturday in May, vendors, musicians, bounce houses, street performers, and a festive vibe descend upon downtown. Peakfest is referred to as an arts and crafts festival, but there’s tons of food, fellowship, and live music all day—and typically more than 22,000 of your friends and neighbors in attendance!
May 19th, 4pm to 9 pm | Town Hall Drive, Morrisville
COST: Free admission. $20 for 25 game tickets, or $1 per individual game ticket.
THE SCOOP: Don’t feel like waiting for the N.C. State Fair to ride rides and play carnival games? No matter, Morrisville’s Springfest brings the Midway to Western Wake. Springfest will be its own entity for sure, though, as it pairs the Midway games-and-rides experience with delectable local food trucks like Ed Mitchell’s Q on Wheels, Oak City Fish and Chips, and Bulkogi Korean BBQ.