Tickets, On Sale Now

A ticket or two, tucked in a drawer, that you peek at every once in a while, and smile.

Anticipation is the first part of the treat, and then comes the big day … when you present that ticket at the door of something special.

If your winter-weary soul needs a little something to look forward to, you’ll love this list of five upcoming happenings, some local, some not, but all with tickets on sale now.

DRESSING DOWNTON

Feb. 5 to May 25, Biltmore House, Asheville

Exhibit included in regular admission; adult tickets from $39, youth from $19.50, children 9 and younger admitted free

biltmore.com

Biltmore House offers an exhibition of more than 40 elaborate costumes from the PBS Masterpiece series Downton Abbey, titled “Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times.”

The exhibition juxtaposes elements of the fictional TV series and the real lives of the Vanderbilts, who lived in Biltmore House during the same early 20th century era. Costumes on display will range from country tweeds to servants’ uniforms, to lavish gowns and evening attire cut from fine fabrics and decorated with intricate embroidery, lace and beading. 

Special offerings complementing the exhibit include a guided Upstairs – Downstairs Tour exploring servant life at Biltmore; themed dining; and a behind-the-scenes rooftop tour showcasing unrestored areas of Biltmore House and offering balcony views of the estate.

ART IN BLOOM

March 19-22, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh

Adult tickets $15 ($10 for museum members); free for children 6 and younger  

ncartmuseum.org

The North Carolina Museum of Art presents Art in Bloom, a four-day festival featuring 45 floral masterpieces inspired by the NCMA’s permanent collection and created by world-class floral designers.

The festival includes:

  • Lectures by Shane Connolly, floral designer for the Royal Family; Hitomi Gilliam, internationally renowned floral artist; Bryce Lane, host of UNC-TV’s Emmy Award-winning show In the Garden with Bryce Lane; and Joseph Covington, NCMA lecturer
  • Floral demonstration by Steve Taras, owner of Watered Garden Florist and primary florist for the NCMA and The Umstead Hotel; sugar flower demonstration by Jennifer Hicks, the NCMA’s special events designer and head pastry chef
  • Master classes by Shane Connolly and Hitomi Gilliam (limited admission)
  • Guided Museum Park tours for children and adults
  • Children’s activities including a scavenger hunt, origami and flower making
  • Wine tasting at the NCMA’s Friday evening wine bar and live-music event, Art in the Evening

All proceeds from Art in Bloom support museum programming and exhibitions and benefit the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation.

GREAT GRAPES! Food and Wine Festival

April 18, Booth Amphitheatre, Cary  

Tickets $20-$49; 12 and younger admitted free

uncorkthefun.com

At Great Grapes!, take your souvenir tasting glass and stroll from tent to tent and table to table, tasting and sampling the rich heritage of North Carolina vines — more than 200 wines from 20 wineries.  

The fest also offers live music, food and gourmet items, arts and crafts, and a children’s area.

DICK VITALE GALA

May 15, Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, Fla.

Tickets $1,000

jimmyv.org/vitale

The V Foundation for Cancer Research, headquartered in Cary, announces the 10th annual Dick Vitale Gala, hosted by ESPN Hall of Fame Sportscaster and cancer research advocate Dick Vitale, to raise funds for pediatric cancer research.

Three coaching greats will also be honored at this year’s gala: Syracuse University men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith, and Florida State University football coach Jimbo Fisher.

The event includes a Celebrity Meet & Greet Private Pre-Party, with entertainment from music group Blood, Sweat and Tears, and a raffle drawing for a 2015 Mercedes-Benz E400A convertible.

To date, the Dick Vitale Gala has raised more than $12 million for pediatric cancer research.

BEER, BOURBON & BBQ FESTIVAL

July 31 and Aug. 1, Booth Amphitheatre, Cary

Tickets $29-up. Ages 12 and younger admitted free; event is not designed for children

beerandbourbon.com or boothamphitheatre.com

Sixty beers, 40 bourbons and lots of barbecue are the reason this show was a sell-out last year. Here’s what else is offered:

  • Unlimited beer and bourbon tastings
  • Barbecue selection of pulled pork, ribs, brisket, chickens, sausages  
  • Seminars with master distillers, brewmasters, and pit masters  
  • Live music and contests  
  • Exhibits of Brewerania, hot sauces, barbecue accessories, and a cigar tent  

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