Weekend events include St. Patrick's Day Festival

1. Neuse River Bridge Run

The 12th annual Neuse River Bridge Run is Friday and Saturday, along with an accompanying event, the March for Sickle Cell.

Races will begin at Union Point Park in New Bern, with headquarters at the nearby New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, 203 South Front St.

It was postponed in October last year by Hurricane Matthew.

The races will be separate events, with the Bridge Run raising funds for eight area nonprofits.

The activities get going on Friday, with packet pickups and on-site registrations along with the race expo from 4 to 8 p.m. at the convention center. That will be followed by the Friday SuperKids Fun Run at 6 p.m.

On Saturday, registration and packet pick-up resumes from 6 to 6:45 a.m.

The first event is the CarolinaEast half-marathon at 7 a.m. The 10K event begins at 7:30 a.m. The Lamar 5K gets the starting gun at 8:15 a.m.

2. Battles for New Berne

On Saturday and Sunday, as many as 1,500 re-enactors will come to Western Craven County for the Battles of New Bern, commemorating the 155th anniversary of the original Battle of New Bern.

The Battle of New Bern was in 1862, in which New Bern fell under Union control for the remainder of the war. The Battle of Batchelder’s Creek came two years later in Western Craven County, a victory for the Confederacy.

The re-enactments will include the Battle of New Bern on Saturday and the Battle of Batchelder’s Creek on Sunday. It will include two separate battlefields.

It will be held at what is known as the Kinsey Farm, 7860 N.C. 55, Dover, near Fort Barnwell, and hosted by Rains Brothers Camp 1370, the 7th NCT Co. F, 5th NCT Co. D, Northampton Artillery and Reilly’s Battery Co. D.

Saturday night will also feature a battlefield hospital setting titled “War is Horrible,” set under candlelight in the woods. Tickets are $3.

The two days also will have militia demonstrations, along with military and civilian camps, with sutlers, the vendors of the day during the war. They will feature Civil War memorabilia ranging from uniforms to black powder.

It is a cash event, with no ATM machines on site.

For gate prices and information, go online to battlesfornewberne.com.

3. St. Patrick’s Festival

The Emerald Isle St. Patrick’s Festival is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Emerald Plantation Shopping Center.

Admission and parking are free.

The event includes more than 75 vendors, amusement rides, a climbing wall and other family-oriented activities.

Food includes corned beef and cabbage, shrimp burgers, hamburgers, barbecue. A beer garden is also included.

For more information, call 354-6350 or go online to www.emeraldisle-nc.org.

4. N.C. Symphony

The North Carolina Symphony returns to New Bern Sunday for a 7:30 p.m. concert at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, 203 South Front St. Tickets are priced from $11 to $50.

The symphony will play two works prepared for the upcoming SHIFT Festival in Washington, D.C., plus Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.

Individual ticket prices are Section A: $50; Section B: $44; Section B - senior rate - $34; Section C: $34; and student tickets: $11.

5. Star gazing

Fort Macon State Park has scheduled an evening of star gazing beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at the Fort Macon Bath House.

A telescope will be set up for views of stars, planets and the universe.

For more information, call 726-3775 or go online to www.ncparks.gov/fort-macon-state-park.