Two popular, family-friendly events will return this weekend to downtown Raleigh after having gone virtual for the past two years during the pandemic.
Thousands of visitors are expected at Saturday’s 22nd Annual African American Cultural Celebration at the N.C. Museum of History and on Saturday and Sunday at Astronomy Days at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. It will be the first time either event has been held in-person since 2020.
“We’re glad to see everyone back,” said Marcie Gordon, a spokesperson for the N.C. Museum of History.
African American Cultural Celebration
The African American Cultural Celebration marks the kickoff to Black History Month in North Carolina. The last in-person event drew 6,500 people.
The theme of this year’s festival is “Pathways To Freedom: To Learn, To Vote, To Build.” The performers and presenters will highlight the various pathways to freedom that the African American community has found, built and fostered.
▪ Greg Collier will teach a session titled “Leading with Food: What Good Leadership Tastes Like.” Collier is a James Beard award finalist and co-organizer of the BayHaven Food and Wine Festival in Charlotte.
▪ Eric Marshall, recent champion of Food Network’s “Chopped,” private chef and culinary entrepreneur, will lead a session on creative cooking for every level.
▪ Learn about the freedom farmers in Edgecombe County from Turcois Vazquez, director of operations and director of Historic and Cultural Preservation for Freedom.org; and Kendrick Ransome, co-founder of Freedom Organization and owner of Golden Organic Farm..
Astronomy Days is back with the theme of “Humans in Space: Past, Present, and Future!” The two-day event draws around 10,000 visitors.
This year’s special guest is NASA astronaut Christina Koch, who will speak both days about her experiences on the International Space Station. The N.C. State University graduate’s accomplishments include NASA’s longest continuous spaceflight by a woman and participating in the first all-woman spacewalk.
Other featured presentations include:
▪ Building the James Webb Space Telescope.
▪ From Apollo to Artemis: A look at NASA’s plan to send astronauts back to the Moon.
▪ Taking Off To The Stratosphere: Cardinal Gibbons High School science teacher Diane Ripollone will discuss being a 2022 NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassador and working with scientists on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Boeing 747SP aircraft.
Plan your trip
The African American Cultural Celebration will run from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday at the N.C. Museum of History at 5 E. Edenton St. in Raleigh.
Go to ncmuseumofhistory.org/22nd-annual-african-american-cultural-celebration for more information, including the schedule of events and where to park.
Astronomy Days will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences at 11 W. Jones St. in Raleigh.
Go to naturalsciences.org/calendar/astronomy-days/ for more information.
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