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Capital of North Carolina
Raleigh is the state capital for North Carolina, whose boundaries are mostly within Wake County, and is the 2ndbiggest city in this given region. Its name is in honor of Sir Walter Raleigh who was a noted writer, soldier, poet, politician and explorer of British descent. This North Carolinian capital is very often called the ‘City of Oaks,’ which is due to the numerous oak trees that line the city center streets. It is also recognized as one of the most progressive and fastest growing cities in the United States.
This city was established as the North Carolina state capital in 1792 mainly because of its proximity to the geographical center of the state. At this time, the American Revolutionary War was in full swing, and the former capital New Bern was under siege from the British Imperial troops. A North Carolinian state convention, which was held in 1788 was in search for a more centralized site for a permanent seat of the state government. In the long run, Raleigh was picked, and 1,000 acres of land was bought from Joel Lane, an early pioneer settler of the region.
The city was surveyed and planned as well by William Christmas in the year 1792. The plan had the Union (state capitol) situated at the very center, and the city’s various streets transcended from it. At the time, there were only 8 streets, and they were named after the 8 different districts of the state. The initial plan for Raleigh factored in the construction of 4 parks that were named in honor of the 1st3 governors of North Carolina and a famous attorney general. By 1872, the commercial area of the fledging city was located on Fayetteville Street. This was on the southern side of the state capitol. On the other hand, the foundries, warehouses along with the factories were situated close to the tracks of the northern and western sides of the town. The remaining spaces within the Raleigh’s limits were reserved for residential buildings, 3 hotels and boarding houses too.
Over the passage of time, this North Carolinian capital city also emerged as an important education center in the south during the 19thcentury. In the first place, the Episcopal Church established the St. Mary College in 1842, while the Peace Institute was founded in 1858. More importantly, the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts was established in the city in 1917. It then evolved into the North Carolina State University, which is currently the largest institute of higher learning in the whole state. In 1959, the Research Triangle Park was established. At the moment, this is the biggest and one of the key research parks in the nation.
Raleigh is widely acclaimed for being one of the most cultured cities in the United States. It is home to a number of world class museums, performing arts centers, visual art galleries together with numerous urban recreational parks.
This is a premier visual arts center that has being designed inspire innovation. It does this by facilitating for opportunities where guests can experience creative processes and interact with professional artists. Art Space offers a dynamic studio setting, which comprises of professional artists, art education programs and innovative art exhibitions as well. Guests get to buy original works of art, or if they wish, take creative art classes.
Contemporary Art Museum
The Contemporary Art Museum is a progressive museum that curates modern works of art and design. Guests can derive inspiration from the facility’s architecture, artworks and its impressive service. The exhibitions showcased here are changed all through the year. Best of all, this museum is open to the general public for no charge at all on the first Fridays of each month.
Raleigh Flea Market
This flea market is open to the general public on each and every weekend (Saturdays and Sundays) from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, and this has been the case ever since 1971. Essentially, over 600 vendors get to showcase their merchandise to eager shoppers. This can include homemade wares, collectibles, clothes, furniture items, jewelry, antiquities and many more others.
The Raleigh City Market was first opened over a century back, and it remains one of the most popular hotspots in this city. Generally speaking, it consists of boutiques, shops, eateries as well as pubs. This market is situated a couple of blocks from the North Carolina Museum of History, and can be an ideal place for a leisurely stroll when the weather is good.
Top festivals and events
Raleigh, like it was earlier stated, is a cultured and progressive city. All year round, this North Carolinian capital hosts a wide variety of festivals and events, which attest to its deep cultural heritage and tradition.
Triangle Restaurant Week
This is a full week culinary event that lets the very best eateries in North Carolina showcase their wares. These restaurants provide 3 course menus, which are to be had at fixed prices. During the Triangle Restaurant Week, locals and guests get the golden opportunity to frequent their favorite restaurants or discover new ones.
Krispy Krome Challenge
The Krispy Krome Challenge is, without question, one of the US’ most distinctive athletic and eating events. The participants have to run for 5 miles, then eat 12 doughnuts at the ½ way point, prior to finally bolting to the finish line. All this has to be accomplished in less than an hour. This running event was incepted in 2004, and now draws an average of almost 8,000 participants each and every year. At first, the participants were just a few North Carolina State University students.
Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day Parade & the Wearin’ ‘O the Green Festival
This festival is an intriguing commemoration of the marvelous St. Patrick and Irish along with Celtic heritage and traditions as well. The parade consists of a variety of dancers, singers and even bagpipe players, who gloriously match through the streets of downtown Raleigh. The celebrations always culminate with a full lineup of upbeat live music and other performances, which take place at the City Plaza.
Cary Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival
The Cary Spring Daze Arts & Craft Festival features over 170 homegrown artists who fill the streets of Raleigh with their wares including works of art, jewelry and sculptures. The festival also includes fun kids’ activities, delicious foods offered by vendors and, of course, live music sessions all through the day.
This is currently North Carolina’s biggest craft beer festival, and it is part of the state’s annual ‘Beer Month.’ The last of which is a full month commemoration of the more than 25 craft beer brewers in North Carolina. This festival lets participants buy beer samples or full pints from these brewers to enable them to enjoy the celebrations in the best mood possible.
Most notable natives
Raleigh has being home to quite a large number of notable personalities and celebrities. To begin with, there is Loy Allen Jnr. the famous NASCAR drive, Chris Archer a Major League Baseball player. John Barker a National Football League player, Jeb Bishop a jazz singer, Dan Briggs the bass guitarist for the heavy metal rock band ‘Between the Buried and Me.’ David J Burke a movie and television director and screenwriter. John Custer a record producer, John Anthony Copeland Jnr. a freed slave, political activist and abolitionist. Leroy Harris a National Football League player, Sharon Lawrence an actress, Liz Vassey an actress and Danny Young a National Basketball Association star.
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