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Old 02-21-2011, 11:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NcerfromNY View Post
another great park imho - is the park at roseville. You can reserve a eating area (covered) with tables and a grill. Nice walking trails, places for littles to play, nice bathroom facilities. nice places to take pix of the graduate too.
any link to this park? i haven't heard of it & i'm not sure where's it's located.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoopDeLoop View Post
please keep the suggestions coming for the park ideas! those may be perfect! maybe i'll look into renting a shelter somewhere as i'm mostly fearful of surprise showers or crazy hot sun.
There are small (but picnic-friendly) shelters out at Falls Lake or Lake Wheeler that you can reserve, I think, for free.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francois View Post
There are small (but picnic-friendly) shelters out at Falls Lake or Lake Wheeler that you can reserve, I think, for free.
just in case anybody else is looking, these are free but only on a first-come, first-serve basis. you can reserve (meaning first-come, first-serve is void for that shelter) for small fees. both umstead & falls lake are this way, though i didn't look at lake wheeler since i'd prefer not to go out that far. the fees aren't bad, i don't think, but vary from shelter-to-shelter.

i am really leaning toward reserving a shelter & catering with barbecue for a low-cost, enjoyable gathering for family & friends.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
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You may want to check the NC Arboretum if you haven't already - they have facilities for events like this and the gardens would be beautiful that time of year. Another idea is the Rose Garden. Good luck and congrats to the upcoming graduate!
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCerfromNY
another great park imho - is the park at roseville. You can reserve a eating area (covered) with tables and a grill. Nice walking trails, places for littles to play, nice bathroom facilities. nice places to take pix of the graduate too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoopDeLoop View Post
any link to this park? i haven't heard of it & i'm not sure where's it's located.
just checking on this. looks like umstead fell through (already booked). i'd love to hear more recommendations on roseville & other lake shelters.

i've never been to lake wheeler. i see they have shelters but don't give much info on how many they will hold. anybody been in the picnic shelters? i'm estimating around 50-60 now & would like an affordable location near water if possible. i'm not as familiar with falls lake shelters either so please pipe up if you've been.

thanks for the suggestions. it's been helpful.
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:25 PM
 
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We've used the shelters at Lake Crabtree. $60-$80 each

WakeGOV.com - Picnicking and Shelters

Frank
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:34 AM
 
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i wanted to report back on this information in case others are seeking information for an outdoor graduation party (or similar event).

we hosted the party this past weekend, reserving the fews ford picnic shelter at eno river state park (durham) & catering it with barbecue from clyde cooper's barbecue (in downton raleigh). here are some of my observations & experiences:

01 . for graduation party locations, start looking early!
with all of the universities & colleges in the area, competition was fierce for picnic shelters in decent parks. this time of year is when everybody begins craving that spring-almost-summer outdoor contact. after searching for months, i had a very hard time finding a shelter that was large enough & available.

we eventually booked the fews ford shelter at eno river state park for $98 for the day. all went smoothly for the location once i found it. the shelter was clean & ready for our party with a sign marking it as a reserved. we had trails at our disposal along with the river, along with close parking & trash/recycling. we hosted a 3-9PM event that would allow people to drop in before/after dinner at 6PM. there were plenty of trails & the river to keep people busy when not visiting with others. given that my DH (who will graduate later this year with his PhD in Biology/Zoology/Ecology) is the outdoorsy sort of guy, this location was perfect. the only drawback was that there were no lights in the shelter & no electrical hook-up (we had planned a hilarious slideshow of his childhood photos showing his love of all things science/animal related from a very early age but had to abandon it with no hook-ups for such things). otherwise, the shelter worked well & fit perfectly.

N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation: Eno River State Park - Facilities and Fees

02 . select your caterer early!
we originally planned to retain clyde cooper's bbq for on-site catering. $7.95/person was VERY reasonable considering it came with chopped barbecue, choice of barbecued or fried chicken, choice of cracklin's or dinner rolls, potato salad, cole slaw, tea, lemonade, all the paper/plasticware/cup items, sauces, utensils, & service. we ended up amending that when clyde cooper's was so booked (3 parties, i think!) that we had to switch to plan b which was picking up the food. so, we got all of the above for $5.95/person (since no on-site catering was available). the drawback was that they were so busy that the food was not ready to go when it was promised (although they did work on it immediately upon my parents arrival to pick it up). we would use them again.

Welcome | Cooper's BBQ & Catering (http://www.clydecoopersbbq.com/prosite/ - broken link)

overall, it was good & a great celebration time. i'd recommend both eno river state park & clyde cooper's to others.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:43 PM
 
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If you need an indoor venue that is inexpensive and allows outside catering (and alcohol), check out Connections Event Center.

Connections Event Center - Raleigh Meeting Space for Special Events, Receptions, Corporate Parties & Functions
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