Amid much anticipation & excitement, Netflix’s Emmy-winning show Stranger Things returned July 4, 2019 for its third season. Watch the trailer here!

The series follows a group of adventurous middle school-age friends that encounter supernatural forces and government secrets. Inspired by 80’s books and movies like “The Goonies,” “E.T.,” and “It,” the show pays homage to pop-culture classics from that era to create a nostalgia-filled, action-packed fan-favorite. 

As some local watchers have noticed, the show also pays tribute to Durham, North Carolina. The fictional town of Hawkins, where the story takes place, is laced with references to Durham. This is no coincidence as the hit sci-fi show is written, directed, and produced by Durham natives, Matt and Ross Duffer. 

The Duffer Brothers, as they are professionally known, attended Duke School from elementary to middle school and later Charles E. Jordan High School. Growing up, they made videos in their neighborhood during the summer using a camera their parents gave them and attended films at the Carolina Theater. Drawing inspiration from their own childhoods in Bull City, the characters are seen trick-or-treating in Lochn’ora neighborhood and riding their bikes along Cornwallis and Kerley Roads. The Eno Rock Quarry, Jordan Lake, Lover’s Leap, Mt. Sinani Road, and even their neighbor growing up gets a mention! 

Joining in on the fun, the Durham Bulls will host a “Stranger Things” night for the second year in a row. This year, it will take place on July 11 and fans are encouraged to wear ‘80s clothing or dress up as their favorite characters. The team will sport uniforms that reference the character Eleven’s, proclivity for flannel shirts and waffles and they will be auctioned off after the game with proceeds benefiting Children’s Flight of Hope. More info about the event can be found here

However you choose to experience the Upside Down, whether you are starting from season one, bingeing season three, or headed to the Bulls tribute game, a strange adventure awaits you this summer!