Sensory Overload in North Carolina's Capital City

RALEIGH, N.C. (March 2009) - The Raleigh area gives you more than 150 reasons to
celebrate this May with 20 festivals, 37 sporting events, 11 culinary experiences, more than 50
concerts, six shopping extravaganzas, four major museum exhibitions, 25 FREE attractions,
Raleigh Fashion Week, Triangle Restaurant Week and a tour of urban chicken coops....just to
name a few. So, get ready for a month of Sensory Overload.

Plan your visit over a weekend and enjoy many special hotel packages and offers including the
ZSpot Card available at many Wake County Hotels. The card, purchased at check-in, gives
visitors discounts and special offers at area restaurants, attractions and events. For more
information on specific packages, a full schedule of all events taking place in the Raleigh area or
to book tickets online, visit or call (800) 849-8499.

Here's a sampling of some of the events taking place in the Raleigh area this May. For a full
Sensory Overload schedule visit

Major Exhibitions

Pirates of the Black Flag at the N.C. Museum of History
March 6 - January, 4, 2010

Marauders. Plunderers. Bloodthirsty sea-thieves. Whatever their name, pirates have wreaked
havoc on the high seas since waterway travel began. These seafaring scoundrels command
attention in a major exhibit at the N.C. Museum of History. Knights of the Black Flag will
explore the legacy of pirates, from ancient times to the present, through intriguing artifacts,
legends, and history that bring their ruthless adventures to life. The interactive exhibit will be an
exciting experience for all ages.

Showcasing many objects related to pirates, Knights of the Black Flag includes the largest
collection of artifacts ever exhibited from the shipwreck believed to be Blackbeard's flagship,
Queen Anne's Revenge. Legends surround another compelling artifact on loan from the Peabody
Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts: the alleged skull of Blackbeard. Admission: Free 18
and under; $5 adults; $4 senior citizens.

Chocolate: The Exhibition at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences
May 9 - Sept. 7, 2009

A gift from the gods. A symbol of wealth and luxury. An economic livelihood. Bonbons. Hot
fudge. Candy bars. For thousands of years humans have been fascinated with the delicious
phenomenon that we call chocolate. You'll begin in the rainforest with the unique cacao tree
whose seeds started it all. Visit the ancient Maya civilization of Central America and discover
what chocolate meant nearly 1,500 years ago. Then travel forward in time and northward to the
Aztec civilization of 16th-century Mexico, where cacao seeds were so valuable they were used
as money. Discover chocolate's introduction into the upper classes of European society and its
transformation into a mass-produced world commodity.

Chocolate will engage your senses and reveal facets of this sumptuous sweet that you've never
thought about before. You'll explore the plant, the products and the culture of chocolate through
the lenses of science, history and popular culture. Admission: TBD

Highlights of the American Collection at the N.C. Museum of Art

Highlights of the American Collection showcases a selection of some of the finest paintings from
the Museum's American collection. The 19 paintings are arranged thematically, allowing for
interesting, often surprising, conversations among works by different artists from different
generations. The show features many of the Museum's finest works by American artists
including: John Singleton, Winslow Homer, Albert Bierstadt and Frederick Frieseke. Admission:

Power to Play at Marbles Kids Museum
Through August 23, 2009

Fuel your fun with Power2Play! Kids learn about healthy food choices while playing hard with
full-body physical activities in our newest special exhibit. Kids pedal, skate, leap and climb
through an obstacle course while learning about muscles, bones and heart rate too. And the
energy continues as the popular Center Ice rink returns to Marbles in Power2Play. Admission: $5

Special Events

29th Annual Meet in the Street Festival in downtown Wake Forest
May 2, 2009

Nearly 70 vendors from all over the Southeast proudly show off their handiwork at Meet In The
Street®. The entire family will be entertained by local dancers, singers and musicians on two
different stages. Sometimes you can even meet up with some of the Triangle's favorite sports
mascots! Admission: Free.

Peak Fest in downtown Apex
May 2, 2009

The annual Peak Fest that celebrates the "Peak of Good Living" is held on the first Saturday in
May each year. This festival has grown from a small community day in a school parking lot to an
event which draws hundreds of vendors and over 25,000 people to the streets of downtown
Apex. Admission: Free.

Triangle Restaurant Week
May 11-17, 2009

More than 30 of the top Raleigh area restaurants participate in Restaurant Week with special
menus and offers. Get out and explore some of the area's favorite restaurants with a three-course
meal for $15 at lunch and $30 at dinner.

Raleigh Fashion Week and Strut '09
May 14-16, 2009

Raleigh Fashion Week will foray into fashion by featuring an exposé of the area's emerging
talent. Beauty, talent and health seminars as well as trunk shows, vendor displays, and nightly
runway shows will serve to highlight the trends and offerings of local boutiques and shops. The
week's festivities will all come to a culminating grand finale with Strut '09, a red-carpet runway
event. Event is held at the Raleigh Convention Center, tickets prices vary per event.

4th Annual Henside the Beltline Tour d'Coop
May 16, 2009

Raleigh's city chicken owners invite you into their backyards for a first-hand look at keeping
chickens in an urban environment. Discover the variety of breeds that might be nesting in your
neighborhood, learn about raising chickens, and see how families integrate chickens into their
gardening practices. In addition, you'll be impressed by the ingenious coops that can be devised
to shelter these feathered pets. Downtown Raleigh's Five Points District. Admission: Free,
donations encouraged.

Artsplosure, The Raleigh Arts Festival Celebrates its 30th
May 16-17, 2009

Artsplosure has established itself as an institution within the Raleigh community. The annual
festival unites artists and admirers of art to appreciate the visual and performing arts of national,
regional and local excellence. The festival is an art bazaar and expo that mixes street fair
activities such as bubble wand-making and life size chess games to encourage family fun. Event
is held in downtown Raleigh's Moore's Square Park. Admission: Free.

2nd Annual Got to Be NC Festival
May 29-31, 2009

This home-style trade show and festival will entice visitors by its feature of carnival rides and
livestock, antique tractor expo and tractor-pulls, lawn-mower races and other pastimes of true
North Carolinian culture. The taste of our traditions will be served up for sample and sale at the
Food Expo. Aligning with ag culture, these products are sustainably produced within the
communities of North Carolina. Also debuting, for sample and sale, will be selections from
North Carolina's young, thriving wine industry. The festival will host demonstrations such as
soap-making, churned ice cream station, and storytelling to showcase the agricultural and rural
traditions of the Tar Heel State. Exposition Center., N.C. State Fairgrounds. Admission: Free.

Performing Arts

Coppelia - Carolina Ballet
April 30-May 3, 2009

This beloved story ballet is one-half of our two-part family series. With music by Delibes, this
comedy will delight your auditory and visual senses, and it will tickle your funny bone! Children
and adults alike enjoy the escapades of Dr. Coppelius, and the humorous misunderstandings
between Swanhilda and Franz. Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Admission $18-

Wizard of Oz - Broadway Series South
May 5-May 10, 2009

There truly is no place like home as the greatest family musical of all time, the wonderful
WIZARD OF OZ, twists its way into Raleigh! The entire family will be captivated as they travel
down the Yellow Brick Road and beyond with Dorothy, Toto and their friends the Cowardly
Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow in this lavish production, featuring breathtaking special effects,
dazzling choreography and classic songs. Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
Admission: $16 - $60.

Carolina Bluegrass Festival at Koka Booth Amphitheatre
May 17, 2009

Bluegrass favorites The Del McCoury Band, Tony Rice Unit, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage
among others take the stage at Cary's Koka booth Amphitheatre for a day of good music, great
friends in one of the area's best outdoor music venues. Admission: $25 - $50.