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Signature Events in Raleigh

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I saw an advertisement in the N&O today about Raleigh Fashion Week . I'm assuming that this is the first year that this event is being held, and while it may not be on most people's top 10 lists of events to attend, unless you're really into fashion and modeling, I think it's interesting to see local sponsors working together to organize signature events for Raleigh. It shows that Raleigh really is moving forward as a city.

Any thoughts?

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Raleigh has always struggled to develop a marketable identity...or lat least the folks who are supposed to be marketing it have struggled. I think this leaves a nice void for anyone else with money and ideas to step and leave their mark. Its amazing to me still that even though the convention and visitors bureau, downtown raleigh alliance and the like, barely mention the arts scene here, the arts scene in its various forms and niches still steps up and tries to get itself on the map such as with this fashion show. I guess mushrooming into a signature event is how you get noticed (Downtown Raleigh Live, Artsplosure, etc.)

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I don't know much about the Raleigh Fashion Week, all I know is the site is very low quality and the logo is terrible. I'm quite surprised by this because you need a tight established identity for a event like this. This leads me to believe its not a very signature event.

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The website says that the show will be televised. I guess that doesn't mean much as far as a signature event, but still seems to be somewhat of a big deal, especially if you're trying to model and get real experience.

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This looks kind of like an offshoot of similar activities with Sparkcon, though I'm not sure if they're related. From the website, it just looks like a way to draw people to the RBC Plaza's condos and the Oxford next door. Too bad there's no fashionable stores at street level in the RBC building... or any stores at all!

As for other "signature events" in Raleigh, there are a few somewhat established, listed in order on the calendar:

- St. Patrick's day -- not much, but Tir Na Nog usually has something going on across the street in Moore Square

- Artsplosure - could/should it be more? Probably, but still a large arts/crafts sale-street party.

- World Beer Festival - back for year 2, and sold out quick last year. It is later this year due to scheduling conflicts.

- Raleigh Downtown Live - more of a concert series than event, but each show draws big crowds.

- the Ray Price Harley Rally - not sure if it is happening this year, but has seemed to draw a crowd in years past.

- Raleigh Wide Open - never the same date twice, for better or worse. Celebrating City Plaza this year?

- Raleigh Christmas Parade - having it back on F Street is cool, and the Hillsborough Street stretch still holds its own.

- First Night - various art performances and two acorn drops to ring in the new year.

There are other events that may become (or were) largeish events.

- First Friday art gallery crawl - a draw people seem to take for granted now. Attendance is directly related to the weather.

- the Krispy Kreme challenge - from a silly dare to ESPN coverage in a few short years.

- Sparkcon - a multiheaded beast, in a good way. Not sure of its future.

- The Old Reliable - 10 K run sponsored by the N&O, though for how much longer with all their layoffs and other budget slashing?

- The Raleigh Marathon - seems to be on firm ground the last few years after earlier stops and starts.

- the Criterion (sp?) cycling race - a loop through the east side of downtown. Not sure of its status going forward.

- Alive After 5 - Raleigh Downtown Live on Thursdays with mostly cover bands. WRAL-FM hasn't really stepped up to the plate since moving it around after the initial F Street rennovations.

- CIAA/MEAC/other basketball tournaments - it seems like the CIAA isn't coming back, the MEAC cost too much, the ACC won't play on a member school's home court, and no other conferences make sense.

- Aggie/Eagle classic - moved to Durham after a few years with bad weather led to low turnouts at Carter-Finley.

- 3 on 3 basketball touranments - seem to have died down in the last few years.

EDIT: I apologize if I left anything off -- feel free to add!

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This looks kind of like an offshoot of similar activities with Sparkcon, though I'm not sure if they're related. From the website, it just looks like a way to draw people to the RBC Plaza's condos and the Oxford next door. Too bad there's no fashionable stores at street level in the RBC building... or any stores at all!

As for other "signature events" in Raleigh, there are a few somewhat established, listed in order on the calendar:

- St. Patrick's day -- not much, but Tir Na Nog usually has something going on across the street in Moore Square

- Artsplosure - could/should it be more? Probably, but still a large arts/crafts sale-street party.

- World Beer Festival - back for year 2, and sold out quick last year. It is later this year due to scheduling conflicts.

- Raleigh Downtown Live - more of a concert series than event, but each show draws big crowds.

- the Ray Price Harley Rally - not sure if it is happening this year, but has seemed to draw a crowd in years past.

- Raleigh Wide Open - never the same date twice, for better or worse. Celebrating City Plaza this year?

- Raleigh Christmas Parade - having it back on F Street is cool, and the Hillsborough Street stretch still holds its own.

- First Night - various art performances and two acorn drops to ring in the new year.

There are other events that may become (or were) largeish events.

- First Friday art gallery crawl - a draw people seem to take for granted now. Attendance is directly related to the weather.

- the Krispy Kreme challenge - from a silly dare to ESPN coverage in a few short years.

- Sparkcon - a multiheaded beast, in a good way. Not sure of its future.

- The Old Reliable - 10 K run sponsored by the N&O, though for how much longer with all their layoffs and other budget slashing?

- The Raleigh Marathon - seems to be on firm ground the last few years after earlier stops and starts.

- the Criterion (sp?) cycling race - a loop through the east side of downtown. Not sure of its status going forward.

- Alive After 5 - Raleigh Downtown Live on Thursdays with mostly cover bands. WRAL-FM hasn't really stepped up to the plate since moving it around after the initial F Street rennovations.

- CIAA/MEAC/other basketball tournaments - it seems like the CIAA isn't coming back, the MEAC cost too much, the ACC won't play on a member school's home court, and no other conferences make sense.

- Aggie/Eagle classic - moved to Durham after a few years with bad weather led to low turnouts at Carter-Finley.

- 3 on 3 basketball touranments - seem to have died down in the last few years.

EDIT: I apologize if I left anything off -- feel free to add!

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Isn't there also an annual Mannequin ball that occurs in the spring or fall? I think that's somewhat of a signature event. Not to say that alot of the other events aren't meaningful, but if Raleigh is to become a more serious cosmopolitan metro, and start attacting larger corporations looking to relocate and to host more bigtime events, we've got to do better.

There seems to be plenty of events that cater to the beer and brats crowd, but what the area seems to suffer from is a lack of high profile and cultural events.

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One thing that is missing is a good summary of these events. One of you guys should get on the DRA's case...or the Visitor's Bureau or get one of the other organic sites (please not Ann Cabell), to summarize this. These events cross genres making a previous cheerleader for them all hard to identify. This is the sort of stuff that is good to get organized even if brick and mortar construction is slow. On a related note....any chance we could pull off a SXSE...ya know instead of SXSW? :dontknow:

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There may be a lot of high society/culture/whatever events already in place, but they either don't do a good job of getting the word out or don't want the common folk showing up. And I know I'm not going to learn the secret hand shake any time soon. The Hurricanes have a big casino night for their kids in community foundation, which is held at the RBC Center.

There are a few balls/galas/etc. fundraisers tucked away high above it all in the Capitol and Cardinal Clubs, but they are kinda hush-hush as well. The ballroom in the new convention center was built to attract exactly those kinds of events, but I don't know of any that have happened yet.

I would think businesses would be more attracted by the relatively lower costs of living, large pool of workers with higher degrees, etc. vs. being repelled by the lack of black tie events.

I was hoping that Sparkcon would morph into a SXSE geared more toward ideas than music, but it seems too rooted in wanting to highlight the locals to attract a regional or national audience.

The smaller events seem to all happen at once, then there's nothing for a few weeks.

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There may be a lot of high society/culture/whatever events already in place, but they either don't do a good job of getting the word out or don't want the common folk showing up. And I know I'm not going to learn the secret hand shake any time soon. The Hurricanes have a big casino night for their kids in community foundation, which is held at the RBC Center.

There are a few balls/galas/etc. fundraisers tucked away high above it all in the Capitol and Cardinal Clubs, but they are kinda hush-hush as well. The ballroom in the new convention center was built to attract exactly those kinds of events, but I don't know of any that have happened yet.

I would think businesses would be more attracted by the relatively lower costs of living, large pool of workers with higher degrees, etc. vs. being repelled by the lack of black tie events.

I was hoping that Sparkcon would morph into a SXSE geared more toward ideas than music, but it seems too rooted in wanting to highlight the locals to attract a regional or national audience.

The smaller events seem to all happen at once, then there's nothing for a few weeks.

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