1. Jammin’ with java: A new free weekly concert series launches Friday at Saxby’s Coffee on Hillsborough Street.
The coffee shop is relatively new to the area, but it’s jumping into Hillsborough’s storied tradition of live music with Saxby’s Friday Nights. The series will feature local, mostly acoustic musicians in intimate performances. Bring a date or a friend because the store will offer buy one, get one free drinks. This week’s show features The Eternal Hiccups, a Durham folk/country duo. 7-9 p.m. Friday, Saxby’s Coffee, 2604 Hillsborough St.
2. Music city: Fans of underground rock and other undiscovered music will descend on downtown all weekend.
The Hopscotch Music Festival is back for three days of nonstop music. This year’s lineup is almost too diverse to describe, ranging from experimental electronica to an 18-member brass band. Wristbands are required for the headliner performances in City Plaza and the nightclub shows that follow. But the festivities are free during the day, with hours of music at day parties all over town, including a block party Saturday afternoon on the south end of Fayetteville Street. Thursday through Saturday, downtown Raleigh, hopscotchmusicfest.com
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3. Afternoon art: Not every gallery open in Raleigh happens on First Friday.
If you didn’t get your art fix Friday, head to Little Art Gallery on Saturday afternoon. It will open an exhibit called “Colorscapes” by Nancy Hughes Miller, who will be on hand to answer questions about her work. Here’s how the gallery describes it: “a bold yet quiet impression of everyday nature as the colors of sky, earth and water converge on the horizon.” 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Little Art Gallery, 432 Daniels St., littleartgalleryandcraft.com
4. Gourds galore: Celebrate the unsung vegetable at the N.C. State Fairgounds this weekend.
The N.C. Gourd Society (yes, that’s an actual group) will host the 73rd Annual N.C. Gourd Festival on Saturday and Sunday. According to the group, “displays of historic and exotic gourds will show how this garden oddity has served in our households since the beginning of civilization.” Also check out the best in gourd art and see the competitors for 70 categories of gourd awards. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, $2, Holshouser Building at State Fairgrounds, ncgourdsociety.org
5. American classic: The Justice Theater Project presents Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun.”
The play revolves around three generations of the Younger family on Chicago’s South Side and the dreams each member has for the future. The play explores the Youngers’ internal struggles and the racism they face as a black family. “A Raisin in the Sun” opened on Broadway in 1959 and was the first play written by a black woman to be produced there. Discussions on history and the role of art in understanding it are scheduled throughout the run. $10-$22, Friday through Sept. 21, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, Clare Hall at St. Francis of Assisi, 11401 Leesville Road, Raleigh, thejusticetheaterproject.org