Weekend best bets: Got to be NC Festival, Artsplosure

May 21, 2017 GMT

This is a huge weekend in the Triangle! Our best picks include Brad Paisley, Artsplosure, the Got to be NC Festival, Moogfest and more.

Moogfest - This festival explores the synthesis of music, art and technology. Events will be held at various venues in downtown Durham Thursday through Sunday. Highlights this year include a multimedia installation and talk by REM’s Michael Stipe, a live concert featuring the “Stranger Things” soundtrack and much more.

Artsplosure - Enjoy artwork by more than 170 juried artists and craftspeople, and enjoy music, food trucks and more during this annual celebration in downtown Raleigh.

Got to Be NC Festival - This pre-cursor to the N.C. State Fair is Friday through Sunday at the fairgrounds. Check out carnival rides, fair food, live music, pig races and more fun.

Durham Blues and Brews Festival - This unique music festival will be Saturday at Durham Central Park. There will be 10 food trucks on hand and only North Carolina craft beers will be served. Additionally, the brewers will be on site to tell you their stories. Proceeds go to benefit Durham’s local charities and programs.

Fest in the West - West Cary’s own festival will be held Saturday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. The free event will feature an arts and crafts village, KidsZone, beer garden, food truck rodeo, pie-eating contest, live music and more.

Bimbe Cultural Arts Festival - This national award-winning festival celebrates African and African American history, culture, arts and traditions. Enjoy live music, local talent, ethnic food, arts and crafts, a family fun zone and more on Saturday at Rock Quarry Park in Durham.

Brad Paisley - The country star will play Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek on Saturday night. He will be joined by Dustin Lynch, Chase Bryant and Lindsay Ell.

Nina Simone Tribute - The Durham Symphony Orchestra presents this tribute to North Carolina’s own singer, songwriter and activist Nina Simone on Sunday at Hayti Heritage Center.

Carmen - Carolina Ballet presents this production at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium.

Damien Escobar - Damien Escobar’s claim to fame came early on in his teens when he appeared on “America’s Got Talent” as Nuttin’ but Stringz. The two parted ways and Damien continued his career as a solo artist. See him Sunday at Fletcher Opera Theatre.

Soundtracks: John Williams’ Music from Star Wars and Harry Potter - The Triangle Brass Band and Youth Brass Bands will be performing John Williams’ music from Star Wars and Harry Potter at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre Sunday.

Milk Bar 1 year anniversary - Help this bar celebrate its first year on Glenwood South this weekend. There will be a special cocktail menu, giveaways and live music Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, there will be a huge party with two bands, free food, free cocktail samples and a raffle to benefit Wine to Water’s Raleigh Chapter.

Txakolifest - Black Twig Cider House, Mattie B’s Public House and The Rickhouse partner to carry on the torch of Txakolifest on Sunday. Txakolifest has always been a celebration of Basque country’s finest white wines married to Durham’s best foods. Txakolifest will be donating funds from the festival into an immigrant legal defense fund used to help local families navigate the often-confusing immigration rules that come with establishing roots in the United States.

Pop-Up Raleigh - Trophy Brewing on Maywood Avenue hosts this monthly art and vintage market on Saturday. There will be food trucks, shopping and great beer.

Wool E. Bull’s birthday - The Durham Bulls will celebrate their mascot’s birthday on Sunday during their game against the Gwinnett Braves.

Crank for a Cause - Crank Arm Brewing, Alexander Family YMCA and College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving will be sponsoring a stationary bike challenge on Saturday at Crank Arm Brewing. Proceeds will go to Oaks and Spokes, which focuses on bicycle safety and awareness in the Raleigh area. There will be live music and more.

Brews for Outlaw Beagles - Head to Pharmacy Bottle + Beverage in Cary on Saturday to help raise money for these pups. Lonerider will be brewing up a special keg (Hoppy Ki Yay MANGO) and donating it for the event. Pharmacy will donate all proceeds from that keg to the beagles.

Battle of the Bags - Haven House’s 2nd Annual Battle of the Bags cornhole tournament fundraiser is at Trophy Brewing and Taproom on Maywood Avenue in Sunday. Registration begins at noon, and matches start promptly at 1 p.m. The event includes a band, food trucks, children’s activities, raffles and more. Proceeds go to fund Haven House, which helps young people who are homeless, in-crisis or struggling with significant life challenges.

Farmers + Makers Market - The Raleigh Wine Shop is teaming up with Inter-faith Food Shuttle to raise money to fight hunger in North Carolina while supporting local farmers and craftspeople with this Sunday market in the parking lot right next to the Glenwood South wine shop. The parking lot will be packed with farmers, juicers, artisans, pasta makers, dog treat bakers, ice cream makers, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers, and The Raleigh Wine Shop will be selling glasses of wine and wine-based drinks with beer from Tarboro Brewing Company.