Our top five picks for a weekend of fun

June 6, 2014 

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Steampunk artists David Lee, left, and Stephen Chapman show off their jetpacks and other gadgets at the Maker Faire in 2012.

ALIANA RAMOS — aramos@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

1. Gadgets galore: Want to learn how to pick a lock? See how a 3-D printer works? Try on something called a “robomustache?”

Those are among the many activities at this year’s Maker Faire North Carolina, an annual festival that showcases “makers” of all stripes who are bringing their ideas to life at kitchen tables and in garage workshops. The event lets visitors get hands-on with the unusual creations. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, State Fairgrounds Exposition Center, $10 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and younger, makerfairenc.com.

2. The coast comes downtown: Get a taste of North Carolina’s best seafood dishes in Moore Square on Saturday.

Chefs and fishermen from Raleigh, the Outer Banks and Jamaica are teaming up for N.C. Fresh Catch Raleigh. They’ll be fixing up OBX clambake, island-style fish ‘n’ chips and Jamaican peppered prawns as local artists hawk their wares and diners relax with live music that spans genres from reggae to country. Admission is $4, but the price is credited toward your first food or beer purchase. 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Moore Square, ncfreshcatch.com.

3. Theater on the move: Downtown’s entire Warehouse District becomes a stage during First Friday.

The audience for Moving Pieces: A Multi-Venue Traveling Theatre Experience follows the characters through art galleries and alleyways, the action blending into the bustle of First Friday. The crowd stays connected through a group text message that also lets the audience pick the ending. Space is limited and last month’s performance sold out. 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Friday, starting from Cafe De Los Muertos, 300 W. Hargett St., $20, movingpiecesraleigh.com.

4. Banjos and beer: You don’t have to wait until September to hear bluegrass downtown.

Following the success of last year’s World of Bluegrass festival, summer’s new Pickin’ in the Plaza series debuts Thursday. The free event will take over Fayetteville Street’s City Plaza on alternating Thursdays from the popular Oak City 7 concerts. Like the other series, food trucks and craft beer will be staples at each concert. On the bill this week: Lynda Dawson and Pattie Hopkins (of local band Kickin Grass) and Look Homeward. 5 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, City Plaza, pickinintheplaza.com

5. The community’s band: Catch your neighbors performing classical music outdoors Sunday night.

The Raleigh Concert Band is a group of 70 volunteer brass, woodwind, and percussion players. They play music as a hobby and perform a mix of classical arrangements, ragtime, showtunes and marches. Sunday’s event is the band’s formal spring concert with a mix of Broadway tunes. 7 p.m. Sunday, Stephenson Amphitheatre at Raleigh Little Theatre, $5, thercb.org.

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