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Good morning again, Thursday. It's Grayson.

The ceremony for the Sir Walter Raleigh Awards wasn’t the only event scheduled for CAM Raleigh last night. Not long after the designers, planners, and politicians had left, the space was again transformed, decorated this time with images of “Dreamville.” That’s the name the record label and nonprofit of Fayetteville-raised rap star J. Cole share. He was in the building, ostensibly recruiting friends for a new project he wants to bring to Raleigh soon.

Cole, it seems, is on a quest to plug into the capital city’s steady surge by staging a large-scale, likely outdoor festival sometime in the next year. Last night, in CAM’s cozy street gallery, the mayor and architects rubbed shoulders with fashion designers and DJs, producers and festival directors, rappers handing out business cards and reporters dutifully collecting them. Members of J. Cole’s Dreamville team drifted through the room, shaking hands and presumably building Rolodexes. They asked questions about the city’s history and scene and people. At times, it felt a little like a room full of first dates. In a white T-shirt, the star stood mostly still, letting his associates goad people his way for short but sincere chats.

We all left with black Dreamville tote bags, stuffed with branded coffee mugs and bottle openers, buttons and key chains. What’s more, many of us left with a question: Just what will J. Cole pull off in Raleigh?

Weather: Summer still loves us, it seems. The temperature vaults into the mid-90s, with humidity close behind. Clear skies for days, though.
Stat: 2,452—the collective number of attendees for three days of Hopscotch last year at The Pour House, a club that holds 289. The number includes day parties.
Job: The City of Raleigh is looking for a Special Events Manager to handle permits and assorted paperwork. Apply.
Do: Hopscotch starts at noon, and make the first decision the right decision with free pizza and The Magnolia Collective's mellow folk-rock at the Potluck Foundation's party at Slim's. 
Raleighite: Greg Lowenhagen, the Hopscotch cofounder who begins his final festival in the role of director today. Read about his exit here.

How we'll Hopscotch: Day One [Currin]
We present a few strategies for making the most of the day and night at Hopscotch 2016, which begins today.

The must-see highlights of Hopscotch Design Festival [Vitiello]
As the creative festival still searches for its identity in the shadow of its parent festival, we pick a few essential speakers at the third-annual event.

Making a place [Porter]
We went to last night's Sir Walter Raleigh Awards and took the chance to reflect on the Raleigh that's now being built.

Goodbye, Winnie Baygo [Waters] 
A doctor told Winnie Baygo, a legend of Raleigh's drag queen scene, she had six weeks to plan her farewell before cancer killed her. She threw a great going-away party.

What to do this weekend [Porter/Currin]
Don't want to go to Hopscotch? In our "Out on the Weekend" column, we offer twenty-five alternatives, from late-night parties and motorcycle rallies to gardening classes and "dog olympics."


Wake County unveiled a draft of its school reassignment proposal yesterday, and it doesn’t do much to increase student diversity. School board members said they were hamstrung by few economic development initiatives and affordable housing options. [Hui/N&O

A national partisan organization disguised as a local PAC is targeting Josh Stein, a former state Senator from Raleigh and the Democratic candidate for Attorney General. Carolinians for Freedom, a front for the Republican Attorneys General Association, has reserved more than $2.4 million in TV time for attacks against Stein. [Blest & Watson/INDY]

N.C. State is preparing to reopen Reynolds Coliseum after extensive renovations. The $35 million project has made way for a "Grand Hall of the Walk of Fame and History" and includes more than 1,400 bits of Wolfpack memorabilia. [Payne/WRAL]

The Carolina Panthers start the NFL season tonight with a Super Bowl rematch against the Denver Broncos. During the last quarter-century, no team has lost the Super Bowl and managed to make a return trip the next year. [ESPN]

Security detail and swag bags last night at J. Cole's CAM Raleigh party.

We'll see you in the morning with our review of Hopscotch 2016's first day and our picks for the second.
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