Well, if we were denied live events during the depths of the pandemic, we certainly are not now.
If anything, there is too much fun this weekend in Wilmington, from super cool art shows to concerts big and small to the Azalea Festival’s summer debut.
Here are some events to keep on your radar:
The azalea festival in August? It’s one thing as Wilmington’s annual spring outbreak, which was largely canceled in 2020, has been postponed this year due to pandemic concerns.
Most of the big events of the festival – the concerts, the parade, the street festival – do not take place until mid-August. But this weekend offers a kind of preview, with the Airlie Luncheon Garden Party on Friday (a private event for sponsors and invited guests at Airlie Gardens), followed by the After Garden Get Down at the Bluewater Grill in Wrightsville Beach, which is open to the public.
A midsummer-spring festival: Azalea Festival returns with a weekend of hot events
The main public event of this weekend will take place on Saturday at the Greenfield Lake Amphitheater with Paws on Parade, a combination of a dog lover festival, dog competition and concert led by Azalea Festival Queen Victoria Huggins. The event’s debut in 2019 was a hit with dog lovers, so this year’s edition – the gates open at 5 p.m. on Saturday – centered around food trucks, dog product sellers and live music from long-time Wilmington band Machine Gun, all conducted by Wilmington’s long-time band Machine Gun by guitarist Tommy Brothers.
For $ 25, you can register your pooch to win prizes like Best Dressed, Best Trick, Best Howler, and Looks Only a Mama Could Love. Huggins will also crown a Dog King and Dog Queen Azalea who will ride along with four members of the Dog Azalea Court in the festival parade on August 21.
Details: After Garden Get Down is on July 30th from 2pm to 6pm at the Bluewater Grill in Wrightsville Beach. Paws on Parade begins July 31st at 5pm at the Greenfield Lake Amphitheater. $ 5 upfront, $ 10 a day, $ 30 VIP. 5:30 p.m. Canine Court Pageant, 7:15 p.m. concert.
This action-packed classical music festival should definitely be on your radar as it brings multiple players with world-class chops to Wilmington for a range of concerts, song recitals and master classes through August 10th.
One of the highlights of this weekend is a concert by classical pianist Arthur Greene, who will play pieces by Chopin, Beethoven and Nathaniel Dett on Saturday at Cape Fear Community College Wilson Center. In the Wilson Center on Sunday the quartet of Ani Kavafian (violin), Ara Gregorian (viola), Clive Greensmith (cello) and Dmitri Vorobiev (piano) will play in a virtuoso full concert with the bill “encores!”
And that’s just the big concerts; There are many more intimate appearances at Vivace. A full festival schedule can be found on VivaceMusicFoundation.org.
Details: Arthur Greene will perform at the CFCC Wilson Center on July 31st at 7:30 p.m. The encores! The concert is on August 1st at 7.30 p.m. at the Wilson Center. Tickets range from $ 21.38 to $ 34.60. VivaceMusicFoundation.org.
After being closed since the pandemic, the intimate Wilmington listening room Live at Ted’s returns with three shows this weekend.
Related: Wilmington Music Venue Live at Ted’s reopens with plans to expand
The concert on Friday with L Shape Lot is already sold out, but on Saturday it continues with Bluegrass from End of the Line and Sunday with Blues, Standards and Originals from the Port City Trio.
And there’s a lot more music to be found, with concerts from local and touring acts scheduled at Ted’s through November.
Details: Live at Ted’s is at 2 Castle St., Wilmington. Shows take place on Fridays and Saturdays from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., doors open at 7:00 p.m. Sunday shows are 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., admission 3 p.m. Tickets for most events are first come, first served. For a full schedule of upcoming events, visit LiveAtTeds.com.
Elizabeth Darrow, who has been part of Wilmington’s art scene since 1977, is one of Port City’s most talented and prolific visual artists. Her paintings and collages can be bizarre and unsettling at the same time, a kind of vortex of light and dark.
Some of Darrow’s latest work will be featured in Start with the Eyes, an exhibition in the Mayfaire Mall hosted by the Art Gallery in Bloom downtown. It opens on Thursday, July 29th, but the show will stay on until August 28th.
In addition to Darrow’s work, “Start with the Eyes” will also feature new paintings by Debra Bucci, Bradley Carter and Joan McLoughlin as well as ceramics by Brian Evans, Dianne Evans and Traudi Thornton.
Details: The opening is on July 29th from 6pm to 9pm at 820 Town Center Drive, Unit 120, in the Mayfaire Shopping Center near the cinema. Also on display from Monday to Saturday until August 28, 12 noon-6 p.m. 910-763-8341 or AIBgallery.com.
Wilmington brothers Wiley and Cliff Cash – the former a bestselling author, the latter a touring stand-up comedian whose album “Half Way There” hit # 1 on the iTunes charts in January – will team up for a lively night of stories, discussions and lots of laughter.
In “An Evening with the Cash Brothers,” the Cash brothers talk about writing, growing up in the South, and their sibling relationship. A public Q&A will take place after the presentation.
Entertainment: Wilmingtons Cliff Cash is a stand-up and seeker in search of comedy gold
Cliff Cash will be at Bourgie Nights on August 8 for a stand-up show with fellow local comics, his first Wilmington comedy show in more than two years.
Wiley Cash’s latest novel “When Ghosts Come Home” is due out on September 21st.
Details: 6:00 p.m. Doors, 7:00 p.m. Show, August 1st at Bourgie Nights, 127 Princess St., Wilmington. $ 25 upfront, $ 30 at the door. Facebook.com/BourgieNights
The second touring artist to play Wilmington’s brand new Live Oak Bank Pavilion in Riverfront Park – after Widespread Panic, who held court there for three days earlier this month to get things started – is the self-proclaimed “future funk” and electronic music Artist GRIZ.
His latest album, the epic 23-track Rainbow Brain, is his seventh studio release. Expect an immersive sound and visual experience with a trippy light show that goes with the heady music.
Details: 7.00 p.m. 30.-31. July at the Live Oak Bank Pavilion in Riverfront Park, 10 Cowan St., Wilmington. $ 42.50 plus taxes and fees, $ 85 for a two-day pass. Facebook.com/LiveOakBankPav
Sunday is the last day to see “Safe Places,” Robert Johnson’s exhibition of more than 80 works inspired by his visits to 41 North Carolina state parks, including Carolina Beach State Park.
Using pencil, acrylic, and gouache on paper and canvas, Johnson’s work adds a studied, reverential, and sometimes playful touch to the North Carolina landscape.
“I hope the people who see ‘Safe Places’ understand what ecologically diverse state we live in,” said Johnson in order to preserve what is left of the natural environment. “
Details: 10 am-5pm Friday-Sunday at the Cameron Art Museum, 3201 S. 17th St., Wilmington. $ 10; $ 8 for seniors and students; Free for children under 19 years of age, EBT cardholders and active military and family. 910-395-5999 or CameronArtMuseum.com.
Contact John Staton at 910-343-2343 or John.Staton@StarNewsOnline.com.