Kick off Black History Month at Raleigh’s North Carolina Museum of History this weekend. While you’re downtown for that, there’s a two-day astronomy festival just next door at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science. Elsewhere, Quail Ridge Books holds a children’s author event and Durham’s Scrap Exchange hosts a stage production of “Rapunzel.”
▪ The 16th Annual African American Cultural Celebration kicks off Black History Month Saturday at the N.C. Museum of History. It starts off with a 10:30 a.m. procession, which features the Tryon Palace Jonkonnu drummers and A Drummer’s World Drumline, and lasts until 4:30 p.m. with music, drama, storytelling, art and education all through the museum. Visit ncmuseumofhistory.org to learn more about this free celebration.
▪ The first total solar eclipse visible in the mainland U.S. since 1979 comes later this year, in August. Appropriately, The North Carolina Museum of Natural Science’s annual Astronomy Days is focused on the stars this year, including our own sun. There will be crafts for the kids, safe sun-gazing through solar telescopes and presentations both days by esteemed astronomer David Jewitt, co-discoverer of the Kuiper Belt. Astronomy Days runs 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. For a full schedule of this free solar fest, visit naturalsciences.org.
▪ Acree Macam and Natalie Nelson read from their 2016 picture book “The King of the Birds” 10 a.m. Saturday at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh. Their book, inspired by the life of essential Southern author Flannery O’Connor, is about a little girl who tries and tries to convince a peacock to show his fantastic plumage. This special story time with related crafts is for kids 4 and older. Visit quailridgebooks.com.
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▪ Rags to Riches Theatre for Young Audiences presents “Rapunzel” Saturday at the Scrap Exchange in Durham. There are participatory elements to the show, and children in attendance will have opportunities to sing, shout and dance as part of the performance. This is immediately followed by a themed make-and-take activity using Scrap Exchange materials. Pay $10 for the show and activity, or $5 just for the show. This starts at 4 p.m. and is for ages 2 and up. Visit scrapexchange.org.
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