Friday, July 18, 2014

DPAC Sets New Records, Places in Top Three Nationwide

All of the 13 theaters in Durham are great destinations for different reasons, and the biggest, DPAC, Durham Performing Arts Center announced this week key attendance statistics for their just-completed sixth season.

Among other records set, DPAC ranks third in the United States in the latest national attendance rankings by Pollstar magazine. A release from the theater offered more details:
"The sixth season boasts new records with 76 sellout performances and 14,081 season seat members for their signature series, SunTrust Broadway at DPAC.  DPAC's 2013 / 2014 Season featured 179 performances which drew 383,415 guests and 64 concerts, comedy and special events.  This 2013 / 2014 attendance mark was DPAC second highest ever since DPAC’s opening in 2008.  Heading the list of the highest attended shows were The Book of Mormon (16 performances at DPAC) and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (10 performances at DPAC).   DPAC begins the 2014-2015 SunTrust Broadway season as one of the top Broadway series in the country, with season seat sales now at 14,220 and still growing."
Bested by only Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and the Fox theater in Atlanta, both of which top DPAC's seating by more than 1300 seats, the third place ranking nationally is just another reminder of the theaters' popularity, and another indicator of Durham's robust arts scene.

Learn more about all the arts and entertainment events with the Durham Event Calendar, and plan a trip to Durham online.

Read more about DPAC's recent TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Markets

Great variety and authenticity are expressed exceptionally well in Durham’s food - that's why Durham is the Tastiest Town in the South. Part of Durham’s exciting food culture comes from a fascination with locally grown and raised products, and from the chefs who prepare celebrated cuisine recognized in regional and national media. Each week at Durhams's farmers' markets everyone can be a chef with access to fresh local produce.

Produce available this week includes: tomatoes, jalapenos, corn, carrots, cucumbers, garlic, peaches, blueberries, blackberries, eggplant, yellow squash, zuchinni, peas, peppers and more! Also look for meats, cheeses, flowers, specialty items and crafts.

Durham Farmers' Market
This week will be the annual Tomato Tasting Day with more than 50 varieties of tomatoes to taste. Visit the Durham Farmers' Market Saturdays from 8am- Noon and Wednesdays 3:30-6:30pm in Durham Central Park.

South Durham Farmer's Market
This week, the La Farm Bakery food truck will be on site. Visit the South Durham Farmer's Market on Saturdays from 8am-Noon and Wednesdays 3:30-6:30pm at Greenwood Commons, 5410 Highway 55.

Visit the farmers' markets, tour a farm, and discover more great agritourism opportunities in Durham.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

DCVB and DDI Team to Release New Downtown Map and Guide

Downtown Durham is brimming with places to explore, and the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) and Downtown Durham, Inc. (DDI) have produced an updated and enhanced guide to help visitors and newcomers do just that.

The two organizations have partnered on this publication since 2010, but the 2014 edition introduces several enhancements to make it more user-friendly. With a new layout and expanded content, the Downtown Map and Guide spotlights Downtown Durham’s diverse districts and businesses.

The guide’s notable features include:
  • A more portable brochure format with a convenient foldout map
  • Feature content to highlight the personality of each downtown district
  • Complete dining, shopping, and entertainment listings, including the area’s Celebrated Cuisine
  • Information about transportation, downtown walking tours, the History Hub, and more
For those interested in the stories behind downtown’s historic buildings, public art, and points of interest, the Downtown Durham Self-Guided Walking Tour is a companion piece available online at the DCVB’s website.

The Downtown Map andGuide is available at the Visitor Information Center, from one of DDI’s Ambassadors, as well as select other visitor destinations around Durham. An electronic version is also available at DCVB’s website.

Friday, July 11, 2014

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Markets

Great variety and authenticity are expressed exceptionally well in Durham’s food - that's why Durham is the Tastiest Town in the South. Part of Durham’s exciting food culture comes from a fascination with locally grown and raised products, and from the chefs who prepare celebrated cuisine recognized in regional and national media. Each week at Durhams's farmers' markets everyone can be a chef with access to fresh local produce.

Produce available this week includes: jalapenos, corn, carrots, garlic, peaches, blueberries, blackberries, eggplant, peas, peppers and more! Also look for meats, cheeses, flowers, specialty items and crafts.

Durham Farmers' Market
This week there will be a HomeFries kids cooking class by Susan Sing of Tarheel Foodie. Visit the Durham Farmers' Market Saturdays from 8am- Noon and Wednesdays 3:30-6:30pm in Durham Central Park.

South Durham Farmer's Market
This week, there will be music by The Bred & Butter Duo. Visit the South Durham Farmer's Market on Saturdays from 8am-Noon and Wednesdays 3:30-6:30pm at Greenwood Commons, 5410 Highway 55.

Visit the farmers' markets, tour a farm, and discover more great agritourism opportunities in Durham.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Triple-A Baseball All-Star Game Events Start Saturday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park

Coming up next week the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham is playing host to the annual Triple-A All-Star Game for all of Minor League Baseball. Since announcing this last year, the event has blossomed into an epic occasion.

Players from every team in the minor league will be in Durham to play the Wednesday night game, as well as to participate in the events that kick off this prestigious event starting Saturday night.

"This is a major coup for Durham," said Shelly Green, President and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB). "We expect more than 30,000 fans to attend the festivities over the five-day period.  Not only will these visitors spend a lot of money in Durham…about $3.3 million…but they are sure to have a great time as the Durham Bulls certainly know how to pull off spectacular events,” she added.

In addition to promotion of the game and pre-game festivities to visitors and residents alike, DCVB will assist the Bulls in hosting the visiting teams and officials with Minor League Baseball's governing organization.  One amenity DCVB offers is a concierge-like service at the host hotel where friendly and knowledgeable Durham Wayfinders are stationed with iPads at key times to help the players, staff and dignitaries find everything they need in Durham. 

To enhance fan excitement about the game, The Durham Bulls have released three sets of tickets to the game on Wednesday that will be given away on the Durham, NC Facebook fan page. Those interested in winning should like the page to see all the details and chances to win.

The schedule of events follows:

Saturday, July 12
    • All-Star Fan Fest - 11am-2pm at Durham Bulls Athletic Park
    • All-Star Block Party - 6pm-10pm on Blackwell St. adjacent the DBAP
    • Free admission to both All-Star Fan Fest & Block Party (food & beverage available for purchase)
    • Share your Fan Fest & Block Party experiences using #AllStarFanFest and #AllStarBlock party on social media.
Monday, July 14
Tuesday, July 15
    • All-Star Workout Day - 2pm-5pm at Durham Bulls Athletic Park (open to public)
    • IL & PCL All-Star Autograph Session - Approximately 2:45pm-4:00pm
Wednesday, July 16
    • 2014 Cree Triple-A All-Star Game - 7:07pm at Durham Bulls Athletic Park
    • Buy Tickets for the 2014 Cree Triple-A All-Star Game online
    • Share your All-Star Game experiences using #ASGDurham on social media.
Understanding the power of social media, the Bulls are urging attendees to use the hashtags indicated above to ensure that the events get fan engagement at the global level. Fans are encouraged to join the conversation and share the energy at the events.

Durham is exciting year 'round. Stay up to date on all that is happening here with the Durham Event Calendar, and plan a trip to Durham online.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Durham TDA Welcomes New Chair and Officers

Bill LeFevre, executive director of Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University, is the new chairman of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau's governing board, the Tourism Development Authority.  Vice Chairman is Summer Bicknell of Locopops, and Monica Edwards of Morehead Manor Bed & Breakfast is Secretary/Treasurer of the Authority.

LeFevre's background includes a B.S. in Landscape Design from the University of Connecticut and a M.S. in Public Horticulture Administration as a fellow in the Longwood Graduate Program at the University of Delaware.

Since being named as Duke Gardens’ first full-time director in 2007, the Gardens have completed over $6,000,000 in capital projects including the Durham Toyama Sister Cities Pavilion and Japanese Garden in the Asiatic Arboretum, relocation of the century-old Roney Fountain from East Campus to the re-designed Mary Duke Biddle Rose Garden and completion of the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden, a pilot project of the national Sustainable Sites Initiative.

Summer Bicknell was first appointed to the TDA in 2011.  Prior to starting Locopops, Summer earned an MBA from Vanderbilt University and spent 10 years doing marketing and information technology for a Fortune 500 company.  She is passionate about smart growth, retaining and cultivating all things distinctly Durham as well as Durham's foodie culture.

Monica R. Edwards brings a small business perspective to the TDA from her experience as an innkeeper. She is an ambassador for Durham and the Bed & Breakfast sector of the economy. She is an active member of the Inns of Durham, North Carolina Bed & Breakfast & Inns and The Professional Association of Inkeepers International. In 2012, Edwards was recognized with the Outstanding Business Services Award by the National Council of Negro Women

The TDA, the governing board for the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau, is marking its 26th year since being first appointed in 1988. DCVB, Durham’s marketing agency, was chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly as a provision for granting Durham County authority in 1986 to levy a visitor “room occupancy and tourism development tax.” The Authority was appointed according to terms in an Interlocal Agreement by the City Council and Board of County Commissioners. Each body appoints five members to seats with specific qualifications and jointly appoint another.

DCVB is an independent agency under the North Carolina Local Government Budget & Fiscal Control Act and falls under the oversight of the North Carolina Local Government Commission.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

World Beer Festival Coming Up October 11

The original World Beer Festival is returning to Durham on October 11 for its 19th year. A major event put on by the publishers of Durham-based All About Beer Magazine, the event originated in Durham. The year the organizers are boasting 200 beers available to taste.

The event this year will be intentionally smaller. According to a release by the organizers, 35% fewer tickets will be sold, thereby reducing lines at tasting tables. A new Belgian Beer program is an expanded educational offering, too, with a different Belgian beer being tapped every 15 minutes. There will be a VIP level ticket offering special access.

Durham has a robust and well-known beer culture. As home to several breweries that have gotten considerable acclaim, the local food scene is one that seeks out local and craft made products - beer among them. For beer lovers, Durham delivers year round with great local retail options stocking deep inventories of some of the most sought after beers made.  Read more about the expansion of well-known Durham beer retailer Sam's Bottle Shop here.

Tickets for this event will go on sale to the general public on July 17, with magazine subscribers getting the option to buy tickets starting on July 9. Ticket information is available here, and the event will be held in the newly renovated Durham Bulls Athletic Park in the American Tobacco Historic District in Downtown Durham.

Learn more about Durham's exciting food scene online, plan a visit to Durham here, and stay up to date on everything happening here with the Durham Event Calendar.