1. Creative class: Find your niche – or several – at SPARKcon, an annual celebration of all things creative.
This open-source festival will bring together 2,000 artists in more than than 200 events that include visual arts, dance, fashion, music, circus performance and many talents in between. Each “spark” segment develops its own way to highlight the creative energy of makers and shakers. Shop local crafts, cover the city in sidewalk chalk or chow down at a food truck rodeo. Free, Thursday-Sunday, Downtown on and near Fayetteville Street, sparkcon.com.
2. Do some good: Volunteer to honor the victims and survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Officials hope 2,000 volunteers will turn out for projects around the Triangle, from serving breakfast at the Raleigh Rescue Mission to sorting donations at Missions Thrift Store. An evening commemoration and service event for the public will be held at Red Hat Amphitheater. To register a group to volunteer for the Triangle 9/11 Day of Service, email Activate Good at email@example.com or call 919-578-2280.
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3. Lake love: Get to know Falls Lake a little better.
Dip your toes in the lake or paddle a canoe to show your appreciation for the county’s primary source of drinking water during the Falls Lake Festival. Among the day’s events: the first annual “Jug-Oar-Knot” paddle race hosted by the Neuse RiverKeeper Foundation. Free, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, 11405 Falls of the Neuse Road, Wake Forest.
4. Summer’s not over yet: There’s still outdoor music to be had in the city, including at North Hills’ Midtown Park.
Trial By Fire brings you a night of Journey covers at this outdoor concert series. If you don’t find yourself singing along to “Don’t Step Believin’” “Anyway You Want It,” or the oft-underrated “Wheel in the Sky,” we’re not sure what we can do for you. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Free, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 4020 Market at North Hills St., northhillsraleigh.com/event/friday-night-tribute-series-trial-by-fire-journey-tribute/
5. Art After Hours: Browse the galleries and shops of downtown Wake Forest.
Businesses on and around South White Street stay open late for this monthly gallery walk. In September, visit Sunflower Studio & Gallery (214 E. Jones Ave.) for acrylic and mixed media paintings by Barbara Batchelor and acrylic paintings by Alma Burke; the Artists' Nook at Mimosa (113 S. White St.) for paintings by Michael Nardozzi; and The Cotton Company (306 S. White St.) for dog portraits and still life acrylics by Dick Larsen. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, South White Street, Wake Forest