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Live birds of prey exhibit and home interiors show highlight springtime special events at The Carolina Inn

CHAPEL HILL - A live exhibit of birds of prey, a home interiors show and a birdhouse-making workshop for kids are among the featured events of this year's Birdhouses on Parade, the Carolina Inn's annual celebration of spring.

What began five years ago as a display of one-of-a-kind birdhouses crafted by North Carolina artisans has grown into a 22-day series of activities and special events. It begins Sunday, March 25, with the opening of this year's birdhouse exhibit and a free Community Open House from noon to 5 p.m.

Other events on the Birdhouses on Parade calendar include:

  • "Build Your Own Birdhouse" workshop for children 12 and under, Sunday, March 25, 1:30 p.m. Participants may keep their birdhouses or donate them to the Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation Department.
  • "Birds of Prey" live raptor exhibit, Saturday, March 31, 1-5 p.m. in the Carolina Inn ballroom. An expert from the Carolina Raptor Center in Charlotte will show eagles, owls and falcons and answer questions.
  • Easter egg decorating for kids, Sunday, April 8, 2-3:30 p.m. Children in grades K-6 will learn how to turn ordinary eggs into works of Easter art.
  • "Steel Magnolias Luncheon," Saturday, April 14, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Cecilia Budd Grimes, an expert on etiquette and all things Southern, hosts this "what it means to be Southern" luncheon for daughters, mothers and grandmothers. Then, from 3:30-5 p.m., Grimes will host a "what it means to have a Southern wedding" bridal tea.
  • "Feather Your Nest - Best in Home Interiors Show," Sunday, April 15, 12:30-4:30 p.m. The show features exhibits, demonstrations and advice from experts on interior design and decorating.
  • "Tea in the Garden with Bill Ferris," former director of the National Endowment for the Humanities and expert on the American South, Sunday, April 15, 3-5 p.m.

The Birdhouses on Parade schedule of events also includes everything-you-need-to-know programs on bird feeders, the history and customs of tea, and growing Mediterranean gardens in the Piedmont. There will be a hands-on flower arranging workshop and a spring menu cooking demonstration.

There is a charge for some of the special events at the Carolina Inn; others are free.

A complete schedule of Birdhouse on Parade and other springtime events is on the Inn's web site, www.carolinainn.com. Reservations are required for many of the events and may be made online or by calling (919) 918-2711.