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Autumn’s Happenings

Fall is approaching. Don’t fret, just because the temperature is dropping doesn’t mean the events are.

Fall is approaching. Don’t fret, just because the temperature is dropping doesn’t mean the events are. Arguably, there’s a lot more going on in the fall months than any other time of year in the Port City. Here’s a look at some of the best offerings in which to partake.


PC Ping Pong Throwdown
September 6th 4:30-6:30pm
Brooklyn Arts Center
This is the second year of the Port City Ping Pong Throwdown, and like last year the Brooklyn Arts Center will be housing the tables where all the magic happens. The tournament starts on Friday, September 6th. Registration is at the door same day from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Registration is $10 and nonplayers can come to spectate for only a $5 fee. Make sure to get there early and warm up those wrists on the open tables before the event starts.

History and Science of Alcohol
September 20th, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Cape Fear Museum
Did you know North Carolina went completely dry almost a decade before the national prohibition passed? Me either. As much as I drink beers around town, I’ve never thought much about its historical place in the city, but the Cape Fear Museum outreach programs are looking to change that.

“According to our historian, Jan Davidson, alcohol has a lot to do with the way the world is shaped and structured,” Amy Mangus, coordinator of the event, says. “People’s thirsts for spirits, beer, and wine has shaped trade relationships and human interactions since the first person imbibed and fermented beverage.”

There’s much more to be learned at the tour, taking place September 20th from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Explore early 20th century prohibition, including an actual still smashed by federal agents. Of course, craft beer and wine samples will be available. Cost is $5 for members and $7 for non-members.

Burgwin-Wright Paint-Out
September 27-28th
Burgwin-Wright House
Plein-air painting: A French expression meaning “to paint in the open air.”
The Burgwin-Wright House is putting this ideal to use at their first annual Paint-Out on September 27th and 28th. Thirty artists will paint outside in the gardens of the Burgwin-Wright House from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Folks can watch the artistic process in the house’s famous gardens.

Participants also will vote on the best painting for the People’s Choice Award. Artists will paint on Friday, and the reception to sell to the artwork will be on Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event is free, aside from cash purchases.

September 28th 11 a.m. – until
Front Street Brewery
Starting off with the annual tapping of the Oktoberfest seasonal lager at Front Street Brewery, this year’s Oktoberfest marks 180 years for the world’s largest fair. Kicking it off in historic downtown Wilmingon, Brewmaster Kevin Kozak will tap FSB’s Oktoberfest and drink from “Das Boot,” officially beginning the celebration of this historic event. Half-liter German Oktoberfest Steins will go on sale, $5 “Pretzel and a Pint” specials will run all day, and Polka music will play! At 7 p.m., The Beam Room will host The Chive unofficial meet-up—a nonprofit organization which helps other nonprofits in town! Wear your dirndl dress or lederhosen; a costume contest will be underway.


“Ain’t Misbehavin’”
City Stage 10/18-20 & 25-27
8 p.m. or Sun. 3 p.m.
City Stage and True 2 You Productions presents “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” a prodigious comic and musical soul of 1930’s Harlem lives in one rollicking, swinging show. Thomas Fats Waller rose to international fame during the Golden Age of the Cotton Club, honky-tonk dives along Lenox Ave, rent parties, stride piano players and that jumpin’ new beat, swing. The show evokes humor and infectious energy, with struts, strums and singalongs to Waller’s famed songs. Directed by Joy Gregory, with choreography by Tracy Byrd and musical direction by Chiaki Ito, the cast features Joy Gregory, Kim Pacheco, Tracy Byrd, Stephanie Newkirk, and Markus Temoney. Tickets are only $18 to $22 and can be purchased online at .

California Roots – The Carolina Sessions
October 26th, all day
Battleship Park
Jeff Monser and Dan Sheehan of California Roots and Vibes Entertainment Group have announced their first event on the East Coast, California Roots—The Carolina Sessions. The all-day festival will bring major headliners and thousands of fans to Battleship Park along the Cape Fear River.

“[California Roots] have had huge success on the West Coast and reached out to Pipeline Entertainment to bring the vibe to the East Coast,” Chris Lee, coordinator from Pipeline Event Management, says. “We are stoked to host this incredible lineup in our backyard versus a bigger market like Raleigh or Charlotte.”

Lee says the event will consist of 12 hours of roots, rock and reggae from some of the biggest touring acts in that genre. “Our tagline is ‘it’s a movement,’” Lee says. “We are firm believers in the good vibes and sounds that will engulf Battleship Park.”

Tickets are $50 for general admission or $125 for VIP, and can be purchased online or at Gravity Record, Momentum Surf and Skate, and Althea’s Attic.

A Vintage and Modern Hat Fashion Show
October 28th, 2 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Bellamy Mansion, $35
Looking for something more refined—maybe with a little more charm. Elegance awaits at the Bellamy Mansion parlors for their popular series “Afternoon Tea at the Mansion.” Proceeds support and maintain the mansion, and last year’s series sold out! Participants are encouraged to reserve early for the event. Three courses will be served, including finger sandwiches, scones, desserts and confections, and of course, tea. Door prizes, raffles and giveaways are slated, too.


Coastal Carolina Clay Guild
November 1st, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
November 2nd-3rd, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hannah Block Community Arts Center; free
The Coastal Carolina Clay Guild will host their annual Holiday Show and Sale on Friday, November 1st. There will be an artist’s reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and the event continues on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. This event is a great way to support local artists while helping out positive projects in the community. Raffle proceeds will benefit Empty Bowls and other community projects.

“Ruth Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”

November 9th, Kenan Auditorium
$22 GA; $5, students
Inspired by the career of modern dance pioneer Ruth St. Denis, “Ruth Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” stresses themes of cultural collection, representation and transmission. The contemporary dance performance features an original score by Guy Klucevsek, as well as two other dancers, musicians, a stage packed with projections, video and even a leaf blower—all to explore St. Denis’ career. Accordions and violins are among the live instruments used. Tickets can be bought at Kenan Auditorium, UNCW.

North Carolina Writer’s Conference
November 15th-17th
Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort
Every year the NC Writer’s Conference rotates around the state and attracts hundreds of writers from around the country for a weekend full of readings, keynotes, and open-mic sessions across all genres of writing. This year’s conference will be at the Holiday Inn at Wrightsville Beach, and will give writers an opportunity for one-on-one manuscript critiques with editors and agents.

The keynote address will be given by the critically acclaimed local Clyde Edgerton, author of five New York Times Notable Books and recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. UNCW’s Rebecca Lee will lead the Master Class in Fiction, while Philip Gerard and Peter Makuck will lead the Master Classes in Creative Nonfiction and Poetry. Over 200 writers of all levels of and experience are expected, to attend over 25 workshops and special events. Visit .

Cucalorus Film Festival
November 13th-17th
Price dependent on type of pass.
Cucalorus is among the fall’s premier events. Founded in 1994 by the underground filmmaking collective “Twinkle Doon,” the event started out by only showing a mere 16 local films. Today Cucalorus takes place every November and features hundreds of projects, spanning multiple venues. Filmmakers, choreographers, video artists, vagabonds and vigilantes alike convene over five days to watch over 200 films and programs. Subjects abound, from dance and music videos, to emerging artists, social justice, works-in-progress, short films, and more.

The festival also hosts international artists/filmmakers from Spain, Israel, Brazil, and more. Cucalorus has a Kickstarter taking place currently, which helps fund costs of bringing filmmakers to the festival. To donate, visit Kickstarter, and attend their September 29th Launch Party downtown at 128 South, with nibbles, live music and a celebration of meeting their goal.
Passes are on sale now at a discount ($45-$300) and can be purchased at

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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