Sax-a-where? That was my reaction when a friend, an Ohio transplant no less, asked if I had been to Saxapahaw. For a concert at the Haw River Ballroom? To eat at the General Store? For Saturdays in Saxapahaw? Sadly, in all my years of living in the Triangle I had never heard of Saxapahaw. And just like that, mentions of this not-so-secret town kept popping up in random onversation. My cousin just built a tiny house there! The ballroom is a killer music venue! We love taking the kids to Saturdays in Saxapahaw!
Turns out I’m late to the Saxapahaw party, but all the more reason it landed “on the list.”
Nestled just past the Orange/Alamance County line, Saxapahaw is a solid hour drive from my home in N. Raleigh. So one can imagine after a busy day of t-ball games and swimming in the hot June sun, the kids were hardly motivated for an excursion to the “middle of nowhere.” My husband and I ignored their tired, chlorine eyes, as well as the looming storm clouds, and off we went.
I am so glad we did.
Saturdays in Saxapahaw occur every Saturday from May through the end of August from 5-8pm. Performances by top bands occur from 6-8pm. Features include a small farmers’ market (produce, handmade jewelry, soaps, baked goods, fairy hair), food trucks, and craft beers (cash only). Admission is free and donations are accepted.
We had a unique first experience as the pouring rain moved the festivities from the usual grassy hill into the Haw River Ballroom across the street. Parking was surprisingly easy and the crowds still plentiful in spite of the weather. The ballroom was located in mill-buildings-turned-industrial-chic, which also housed local-flavor restaurants, small retailers, and apartment lofts overlooking the Haw River. We ate at The Eddy Pub (yum) before migrating downstairs to enjoy Tonk, a country music band from Raleigh. The vibe was upbeat and relaxed as we sipped beers while the kids danced and angled for money to buy handmade bug catchers and marshmallow shooters. We ended the evening devouring sweet potato donuts from Yee Haw Donuts and enjoying the views of the Haw River. We even bumped into our friend’s cousin who built the tiny house! Turns out what started as a place to stay when attending concerts has given them the perfect weekend getaway for their family.
I was told on nice weather evenings the kids can enjoy a slip’n’slide and other activities. If you ask me, the “rain plan” was just as entertaining (with less mosquitos) so don’t let the threat of bad weather keep you away.
Bottom line: Rock on, SXPHW! We’ll be back.