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23 Triangle events to check out this week
09/25/2017 04:25 AM
Circus 1903Enjoy a large-scale bluegrass music festival in downtown Raleigh this week along with a circus in Durham, beer and wine dinners, plenty of live music and more.

Man wins collard-eating contest, missed goal
09/25/2017 04:12 AM
Peachtree Baptist ChurchMort Hurst, named winner of the Ayden Collard Festival eating contest after downing six pounds of collards on Sept. 9, fell short of his goal: besting his 33-year-old record of seven and a half pounds.

Raleigh native in 'survivor mode' after hurricane destroys Puerto Rico home
09/25/2017 02:01 AM
Mother struggles to bring family home from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria A North Carolina woman is stranded in Puerto Rico with her fiancé and two infant sons and her mother is desperately trying to bring the family back home after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

Goldsboro police investigate drive-by shooting
09/24/2017 09:17 PM
Shooting, traffic accidentThe Wayne County Sheriff's Office says they are investigating a drive-by shooting that happened around 8 p.m. Sunday in Goldsboro.

Trooper: One dead in Johnston County motorcycle wreck
09/24/2017 07:49 PM
Shooting, traffic accidentA man is dead after being ejected from a motorcycle on Lakewood Road in Johnston County, officials said. No other vehicles were involved in the wreck.

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Raleigh Connoisseur Feed

A Walk Up Peace Street
09/22/2017 03:00 AM
Peace Street, September 2017 Warning! (or treat!) This will be an image-heavy post. I had the pleasure of taking a walk up Peace Street recently, during rush hour, to witness all the demolition and work taking place around the Capital Boulevard bridge. We’ve all been following the work in this area for awhile but when […]

FNB Tower Video Rendering
09/19/2017 05:44 PM
Over on Vimeo, there is a new video showing renderings of FNB Tower. This video is pretty cool and I can’t wait to see work start on this project. This will make a dramatic change to City Plaza when finished. Similar Posts: New Design Surfaces For Site 1 (February 10, 2013, 0 Comments) Charter Square […]

Pic of the Week
09/15/2017 03:00 AM
Looks like it is actually happening after so many years. Moore Square will close down this November and the redesign takes place throughout 2018. Similar Posts: Moore Square Redesign Cost and Dates (January 6, 2013, 1 Comments) Guest Post On Raleigh DLA (February 10, 2013, 2 Comments) RalCon Polls (January 5, 2013, 6 Comments)

New Upfit Activities in the Moore Square Historic District
09/13/2017 04:00 AM
Rendering for new storefront at 211 South Wilmington There’s work taking place in the Moore Square Historic District that may see new life in older buildings. Currently under review by the Raleigh Historic Development Commission is a new storefront for 211 South Wilmington. The building will be upfit with a new storefront that aims to […]

Pic of the Week
09/07/2017 03:00 AM
Townhomes on West Street The townhomes called West + Lenoir are taking shape along West Street. The units are almost all sold at the time of this writing. Similar Posts: The Apartment Mid-rise Boom is Fading in Downtown Raleigh (August 28, 2017, 12 Comments)

Welcome to RaleighFree!

Our goal is to provide you with information about the wide variety of free things to do in Raleigh, NC. With the many parks, museums, and other attractions, there's enough to keep most people busy and happy for quite a while. Browse our links, and check back soon, more content is coming online quickly.

History of Raleigh

Oak Tree Raleigh is also known as the "City of Oaks," mainly because of the numerous oak trees that adorn the entire city. Yet aside from these functions, the city is also North Carolina's capital and Wake County's seat. According to a count for July 2006, Raleigh's population is estimated to be around 353,604, thus making the capital one of America's rapidly expanding cities. In fact, Raleigh ranks fourth in the "List of Best Big Cities in 2006" by Money Magazine. Of course, anyone who is familiar with the city's history is not at all surprised by such a remarkable development. Since Raleigh is among the selected US cities intentionally developed to be a state capital, it can easily be said that the city is destined for expansion and progress.

Long before becoming a state capital, the city was called as the "Wake Crossroads," a name that gives a clear idea regarding the city's geographical function. At that time, Raleigh served as a place where travelers from either north or south could rest and maybe have a drink in one of its taverns. The place was eventually chosen to be North Carolina's capital in 1788. According to some accounts, "Wake Crossroads" was selected since it was within a 10-mile radius of Isaac Hunter's Tavern, a place popular among legislators at that time. But it was in 1792 when Raleigh was formally established as North Carolina's capital.

Sir Walter Raleigh That same year, the North Carolina General Assembly bought a lot from a local businessman and started making plans for Raleigh, which was by the way, modeled after Philadelphia, the US capital state at that time. The city got its name from Sir Walter Raleigh, who sponsored the Colony of Roanoke. The aforementioned assembly held its first meeting in the capital in December 1794. A month after that, the legislative body officially granted Raleigh a charter along with an "Intendant Police" (Mayor) and seven commissioners. John Haywood was Raleigh's first "Intendant Police."

Although Raleigh was lucky to be spared from destruction during the Civil War, the city remained little in size until streetcar lines were introduced in the 1920s. Since then, Raleigh began to grow, eventually transforming into one of the state's commercial hubs. A railroad was also constructed to link the city to neighboring communities. By the end of the Second World War, Raleigh had undergone many significant developments, particularly in its infrastructure. What used to be a rural community evolved into a bustling urban center. The development of the city's infrastructure is largely attributed to the founding of the North Carolina State University School of Design in 1948. But the construction and existence of the Research Triangle Park in the 1959 also brought big changes to the city. With a 7,000 acre land area, the RTP is the world's biggest research park, comprising Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. With its high-tech facilities, the RTP is also among the global leaders in scientific research and development.

As education is essential to any improvement of a city, Raleigh also has many universities and colleges. Aside from the North Carolina State University, other schools in the capital include Shaw University, St. Augustine's College, Meredith College, Wake Tech Community College, and Peace College. Both St. Augustine's and Shaw were founded towards the end of the 1860s, as schools for the freed slaves after the Civil War. Shaw was the premier university founded for that particular purpose in the country. In 1874, the Estey Hall was added to provide higher learning to women of African-American ethnicity.