Durham kicks off the summer season with a bang this June, with a month full of dance and music festivals, events and contests, and visits from nationally-recognized personalities and politicians. Break out your calendar – you’re going to want to write these down.
Uniquely Durham Gatherings
The most popular animals in town have scheduled an extra date on June 1 for the annual Lemurpalooza, so more guests will get a chance to visit the oh-so-cute primates of Madagascar. The annual sponsor-a-lemur event takes place at the Duke Lemur Center and will feature educational activities, food trucks and of course, visits with the Duke Lemur Center’s mascot, Maky. Although the event is already sold out this year, you can still make a visit to the center to see some furry friends!
Stick with the animal theme the next day on June 2 at the Beaver Queen Pageant. Watch contestants dressed in elaborate beaver-themed costumes compete pageant-style with interviews in evening wear and unique talent performances for the title of 2018 Beaver Queen. The fun is all for a good cause; proceeds benefit the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association.
For the Love of Festivals
We hope you didn’t think our festivals only took place in the spring! June brings even more of our three favorite things: dance, food, and music. From June 14 through July 17, the American Dance Festival brings two months of modern dance to Durham, with performances this year from Shen Wei Dance Arts, Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre, and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company.
On June 18, the third annual Triangle Community Band Festival will host performances from The Cary Town Band, Durham Community Concert Band, Holly Springs Community Band, Raleigh Concert Band, and the Village Band, as well as food and drinks from local food trucks, all at Durham Central Park.
Catch internationally known and up-and-coming hip-hop artists at the North Carolina Hip Hop Festival in Downtown Durham from June 22 through June 24 for indoor and outdoor performances, demonstrations, music production seminars, and educational panels.
Round out the month by attending the Bennett Place Historic Site annual Beer, Blues and BBQ fundraising event, where you’ll enjoy a plate of hot barbecue, a glass of cold beer, and blues from the Harvey Arnold band.
Celebrating History and Open Dialogues
As Durham’s profile rises, we’ve drawn the attention of nationally-recognized personalities that want to get to know our diverse community. Joe Biden, former vice president of the United States will visit DPAC on June 6 as a part of his “American Promise Tour” in support of his New York Times bestselling memoir, "Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship and Purpose.” The tour discusses the book and focuses on 2015, the year he lost his son to brain cancer, as well as the most significant political moments of his career. In February 2016, Biden toured a lab at Duke University and met with Duke University Hospital doctors involved in brain tumor research.
Mid-month, celebrate emancipation at Durham’s annual NC Juneteenth Celebration on June 16, sponsored by Spectacular Magazine. Here’s a little-known reason why you should celebrate this holiday in Durham: everyone knows confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, but few people realize his defeat didn’t actually end the Civil War. Lee ceded his army but the war's most significant troop surrender happened two weeks later at Bennett Place in Durham. Celebrate at the all-day event with live music, food and merchandise vendors, a health fair, kids zone, exhibitors, and more.
On June 24 (the last Sunday of the month), politically progressive podcast "Pod Save America" will stop for a live taping at DPAC as a part of their Pod Tours America road show. Co-hosted by Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, Jon Lovett, and Daniel Pfeiffer, the show will most likely feature special guests and is sure to be unforgettable.
By the looks of things, summer in Durham is definitely heating up!