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Join the crowds

There's no excuse for staying at home this summer

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From Memorial Day to Labor Day, from Saxapahaw to Smithfield, from dawn till dusk, there are outdoor events to enjoy this summer.

Culture

Hillsborough Hog Day: Friday, June 15, 6-10 p.m.; Saturday, June 16, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Downtown Hillsborough. $3 per day, children under 12 free. www.hogdays.com. Why go? Not if you're a vegetarian. Pork will be served while live music plays and vendors hawk crafts and sugary treats. Also: a barbecue cook-off and a classic auto show.

Swedish Mid-Summer's Eve Festival: Saturday, June 16, 2 p.m. Exploris Museum, Raleigh. Free admission. www.exploris.org, 834-4040. Why go? Join the Swedish community of the Triangle for a famous holiday. Mid-Summer's Eve is the celebration of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.

Fiesta Latina at Shakori Hills Farm: Saturday, June 23, all day. 1439 Henderson Tanyard Road, Pittsboro. Free. 742-1448; www.evhnc.org. Why go? A diverse blend of cultures collides when performers take the stage, including blues, funk and soul masters: Brothers & Others, Bravo Norteno, Divisa Nacional and many more. There will also be food, great prizes, and the crowning of Latina Queen and Miss Chiquita. Kids and adult diversions include piñata making, pottery, face painting, moonwalk and animal exhibits.

Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts Festival: Saturday, Aug 25: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in downtown Cary. 462-3864, joy.cox@townofcary.org. Why go? Live music accompanies one of the South's premier festivals over the past 30 years. 60,000 people gather in downtown Cary for the best in arts and crafts, food and entertainment.

Movies

Lumina Theatre: Started May 18. www.thelumina.com/outdoormovies, 969-8049. $3. Why go? Little Miss Sunshine, Night at the Museum, Bridge to Terabithia, The Last Mimzy, Blades of Glory.

Koka Booth Amphitheatre's "Movies by the Moonlight": Starts Tuesday, June 7. www.boothamphitheatre.com/movies, 462-2052. $3. Movies start at dusk. Why go? Happy Feet, American Graffitti, Charlotte's Web, The Birds, Talladega Nights, Dreamgirls, Antz.

North Carolina Museum of Art's "Movies on the Lawn": Begins Saturday, June 16. ncartmuseum.org/events/films, 715-5923. $3. Why go? Little Miss Sunshine, Charlotte's Web, The Devil Wears Prada, Marie Antoinette, Talladega Nights, Iraq in Fragments, Volver, The Queen, A Prairie Home Companion, Dr. No.

Outdoor Music

Raleigh Downtown Live: Outdoor concerts at Moore Square. Free. www.raleighdowntownlive.com, 844-1515. Why go? Everclear (Saturday, June 2), Unforgettable Fire: U2 Tribute Band (Saturday, June 16), Soul Asylum (Saturday, Aug. 11), Warrant (Saturday, Aug. 25).

Summerfest: Begins June 2. Koka Booth Amphitheatre, Cary. Ticket prices vary. www.boothamphitheatre.com/schedule. Why go? Harry Connick Jr, Clay Aiken, John Prine, G. Love, Elvis Costello.

Spring Sertoma Series: Bluegrass & BBQ. Saturday, June 9, 2 p.m. 469-4061. Sertoma Amphitheatre, 801 High House Road, Cary. Free. Why go? A full day of bluegrass and BBQ, with live performances from The Heritage Band, Apple Chill Cloggers, Sweet Potato Pie and Kickin' Grass. There will be a finger pickin' at the end of the day, so bring instruments and be ready to jam.

North Carolina Museum of Art Summer Concert Series: Begins June 16. Joseph Bryan Theater. ncartmuseum.org/events/summerconcert. Why go? Avett Brothers, Southern Culture on the Skids, Los Lobos, Doc Watson, Tres Chicas.

Carolina Music Festival: Saturday, Aug. 25-26. Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. $30 per day, $60 for a two-day lawn pass. 834-4000. Why go? Chaka Khan, Joe Sample, Randy Crawford, Boney James, Michael Franks.

Bull Durham Blues Festival: Sept. 6-8 at Durham Athletic Park. www.hayti.org/blues. Why go? Percy Sledge, Buddy Guy, Booker T. and the MGs. New this year: a Thursday show.

Outdoors

Festival for the Eno: Wednesday, July 4, July 7-8; Open 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. each day. Parking at Durham County Stadium. www.enoriver.org/festival, 477-4549. Free for children and seniors, adults pay $13 each day. Why go? All proceeds of the festival go to protect lands in the Eno River Basin. There will be more than 100 performers on five stages, including the Jon Shain Trio, Rev. Billy C. Wirtz, John Dee Holman and Midtown Dickens. Activities include children's pottery-making, quiltmaking and flint-knapping demonstrations, as well as rock-climbing and canoeing.

BikeFest 2007: The 12th Annual Rural Heritage Tour: Saturday, Aug. 11. 687-5066, www.tarwheels.org. Why go? The Tour begins at the Superior Courthouse in downtown Hillsborough and offers a choice of several rides in rural Orange County: a 20-mile ride, a 31-mile half metric, a 62-mile metric century and a 100-mile English century. Also enjoy an 8-mile family-oriented Historic District Fun Ride. Check-in opens at 7 a.m. and first race at 7:45 a.m.

Museums

Bug Fest: July 15 Sept. 15, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh. www.naturalsciences.org/wnew/2007-05-27_wildmusic.html, 733-7450. Free. Why go? Feast on Café Insecta's delicious insect fare and meet crawly critters while learning to appreciate nature's most numerous group of animals at the nation's largest single-day insect event. Events include BugFest Live bee-bearding demonstrations, make-and-take crafts, roach races, guest speakers and live animal programs.

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