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FOCUS SWIMSUIT & SUMMER GUIDE 2012

We Hope You Have A Great Summer!

NORTH CAROLINA | SOUTH CAROLINA | TENNESSEE | VIRGINIA|

 

NORTH CAROLINA

ARTS

July 7 & 8 Maggie Valley Summer Arts & Crafts Show   Maggie Valley Festival Grounds Call 800-624-4431 Saturday 9AM - 5PM, Sunday 9AM - 4PM Free Event

September 1 & 2 Maggie Valley Labor Day Craft Show   Maggie Valley Festival Grounds 828-497-9425 www.maggievalleycraftshows.com

27th Annual Sculpture Celebration 9/8/12 9am-4pm. T.H. Broyhill Walking Park, 945 Lakewood Circle, Lenoir NC. Sculpture Celebration brings over 70 sculptors with over 200 sculptures from all over the eastern U.S. to compete for cash prizes totaling over $10,000. Preview dinner Friday evening is free to sculptors, $15 for guests. Sculpture Celebration is Free to visitors; sculptors pay to compete. Caldwell Arts Council 828-754-2486 or info@caldwellarts.com www.caldwellarts.com

Downtown Hickory Art Crawl 9/20/12, 5:30-9pm. The Art Crawl is held twice a year & features local artists showcasing their talents in downtown businesses. Over 20 businesses hosted artists last year. A map is provided & participants are welcome to browse the artwork, enjoy refreshments & meet with the artists. Artwork is available for sale. (828)322-1121

2012 ASHEVILLE Asheville Downtown Gallery Association Invites you to visit the downtown galleries and the 2012 Art Walks: June 1, August 3, October 5 & December 7, 5-8pm.www.ashevilledowntowngalleries.org

CAR SHOWS

Corvette Auto Show 5/26/11 10am-6pm. 286 Cabernet Lane, Dobson, NC. Display your beautiful Corvette on the grounds of Shelton Vineyards! Free (336)366-4724 www.sheltonvineyards.com

Volkswagen Car Show 8/11/12 Cherokee braces for a Beetle infestation. No, not bugs, but VW Bugs. Volkswagen devotees make their way to Cherokee for the 3rd annual VW Show at the Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds where Volkswagens of all makes & models will be on display. Contact: Cherokee Welcome Center - (800) 438-1601

Big Rigs Antique Truck Show 10/12-10/13/12 Big rigs and antique trucks rumble into Cherokee October 12-13 for the 7th Annual Big Rigs and Antique Trucks Show, where truck enthusiasts of all types gather to show off their custom and original truck restorations, trade stories and ideas, compete for prizes and raise money for The Hope Chest for Women, which provides educational resources and limited financial assistance to women in Western North Carolina with breast and gynecologic cancer. Family-friendly event. This year organizers expect more than 150 trucks to be on display. Models range from the antique to the working class, including pickup trucks, semis, dump trucks, and more. Anyone with a real working or antique truck may register. Parts and swap meet vendors and food displays will also be available at the show. For all trucks approved for display, the registrant and a guest will receive free admission. Gates open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. General admission is $5; children twelve and under admitted free of charge. For additional show information, contact Bill Ashe at (828) 421-9399. www.aths.org

June 29 - July 1 Maggie Valley Swap Meet & Car Show. Maggie Valley Festival Grounds 423-623-4644  or Vendors 423-623-2723 www.maggievalleyswapmeet.com

September 21 & 22 - 39th Northeast Georgia Regional Mustang Car Show -  Maggie Valley Festival Grounds 770-586-0338

September 28 - 30---Maggie Valley Swap Meet & Car Show  Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. 423-623-4644  or Vendors 423-623-2723 www.maggievalleyswapmeet.com

FAIRS

64th Annual Summer Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands 7/19-7/22/12 & 10/18-10/21/12 10am-6pm Thurs-Sat, & 10am-5pm Sun. Asheville Civic Center, Asheville. Adults $8, children under 12 free. Group discounts available. The Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands has been an eagerly anticipated event in the mountains since 1948. The fair showcases the rich diversity of original crafts created by members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, a non-profit organization with over 900 members throughout the mountain regions of nine states. To become a member of the Guild, craftspeople must have their work juried & accepted by a committee of peers, based on quality, design & craftsmanship. (828) 259-5544 www.southernhighlandguild.org

Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair 8/3-8/4/12 Burnsville, NC. People who have a true appreciation for traditional crafts know this fair. Historic downtown Burnsville. Beautiful handmade quilts, pottery, woven baskets, or most any other handmade craft. (828)682-7413 www.mtmitchellcraftsfair.com

65th Annual Asheville Antiques Fair 11/1-11/4/12 10am-5pm. Crowne Plaza Hotel, Asheville, NC. One of the oldest antiques fairs in the Southeast. Sixty-plus antique dealers from all over the country participate in the Fair the first week of August. The Fair also host an “Heirloom Road Show” with expert evaluations of your personal antiques. Expert lectures on a variety of interesting subjects. Summer Garden Cafe with gourmet luncheon selections. Admission: $10 per person for a Run of Show ticket, good for all three days. www.ashevilleantiquesfair.com

39th Annual Village Art & Craft Fair 8/4-8/5/12 10am-7pm. Historic Biltmore Village, Asheville, NC. 125 artists from 18 states, representing the full spectrum of craft media - jewelry, ceramic, wood, fiber, metals, two-dimensional art & more. Talk with crafters one-on-one. www.biltmorevillage.com (828) 274-8788

Hickory American Legion Fair 8/29-9/3/12 Hickory, NC. Theme this Year: One Great County, One Great Fair (828)464-5433

Mountain State Fair 9/7-9/16/12 Fletcher, NC. FREE parking www.mountainfair.org

The Wilson County Fair 8/17-8/25/12 Wilson, NC (252)237-8443.

Cabarrus County Fair 9/7-9/15/12 Concord, NC (704)920-4751. Cabarrus Arena & Events Center.

64th Annual Chowan County Regional Fair 9/25-9/29/12 Edenton, NC (252)482-4057 American Legion Post # 40 Fairgrounds.

Dixie Classic Fair 9/28-10/7/12 The second largest agricultural Fair in NC, owned & operated by the City of Winston-Salem, NC. (336)727-2236 www.dcfair.com

FAMILY

Free “Movies in the Park” series begins  June 15. The Newton Festival & Events Committee is excited to offer five movies for the 2012 “Movies in the Park” series at Southside Park in Newton, NC. Movies will begin at dusk (approximately 9:00 p.m.) on Friday nights, June 15, 22, & 29, and July 6 & 13. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket for seating.  Concessions will be available, along with FREE popcorn.  No pets allowed.  (828) 695-4317. June 15 Cars 2; June 22 Dolphin Tale; June 29 Hugo; July 6 Despicable Me; July 13 The Blind Side. www.newtonnc.gov

Valdese Trail of Faith Founders Weekend Celebration 8/10/12 Festival Kickoff 6:45pm. Car Show, Live Music by Jim Quick & Coastline, Beer & Wine Garden, Children’s Rides & More! Aug 11 Festival Day 9am-Until (Vendor Day). Over 170 Food/Art/Craft/Novelty Vendors, Live Music throughout the day featuring The Fantastic Shakers, Boccie Tournament, Footrace, Traditional Waldensian Meal, Wine Tasting & Tours, British Car Show, Open Art Competition, P&W Railroad Museum Open House, the Outdoor Drama “From This Day Forward” & Much Much More! (828)874-1893 www.WaldensianTrailOfFaith.com

October 11 - 13 High Country Quilt Show  Maggie Valley Town Hall 828-926-3169

10th Annual Piedmont Pottery Festival 6/2/12 9am-4pm. The finest in hand-crafted pottery from the Triad & southern Virginia. Over 100 potters. Demonstrations & door prizes. Former Goodwill Store, Kingsway Plaza, King’s Hwy, Eden, NC. Free admission. (336) 623-7789 ext 3021 www.edenspecialevents.com

National Hollerin’ Contest 6/16/12 11am-6:30pm. Spivey’s Corner Volunteer Fire Department Spiveys Corner, NC. Created to honor a historic method of communication in the rural South, this festival is nationally known for its crowd-pleasing (& sometimes ear-splitting) hollers that contestants deliver during the contest. Free admission. The winner of the contest often goes on to a guest appearance on national late-night talk shows. Crafts, exhibits & games, t.Country, gospel & bluegrass music. (910) 567-2600 www.hollerincontest.com

Summer Fiber Retreat 7/13-7/15/12 Three spectacular days, 35+ vendors with a variety of over 70 classes/workshops & free demonstrations. Artist & vendors from all over the United States will feature workshops in felting, spinning, weaving, dyeing, knitting, crocheting & much more. No entry charge for the retreat, pay only for classes taken. Located in the Biltmore Square Mall, Asheville, NC. Admission free.Contact: Kim Gough (828) 633-2500 www.friendsandfiberworks.com

Southeastern Tribes Cultural Arts Celebration 9/14-9/15/12 Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds, Cherokeen, NC. The 6th annual Southeastern Tribes Cultural Arts Celebration will bring together master dancers, craftsmen, artists & athletes from the five main southeastern tribes - Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Seminole & Choctaw. This educational & entertaining event teaches & perpetuates the history & culture of these tribes through live demonstrations of traditional tribal dance, storytelling performances, craft demonstrations, primitive skills encampment & juried competitions. Encampment demonstrators will set up living history exhibitions & illustrate primitive survival skills used by tribes in the 1700s & 1800s, such as building bark huts, cooking, fire-making, flint-knapping & carving arrowheads. Dancers from each tribe will explain the history & significance of each dance prior to exhibiting performances of Stealing Partners & the Bear & Quail dance, among others. Master craftsmen from each tribe will provide live demonstrations of rivercane basket weaving, finger weaving with beads, mask making, stone & wood carving & stamped pottery. Artists will exhibit their works & participate in a juried art competition. Archery, blowgun & running contests with thousands of dollars in cash prizes. Other special events include Cherokee Stickball demonstrations. Two-day event offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience firsthand the language, history, talents & culture of Indians from the main Southeastern tribes. Sponsored by the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, Cherokee Historical Association & the N.C. Arts Council. Contact Barbara Duncan, 828-497-3481 bduncan@cherokeemuseum.org. Contact: Museum of the Cherokee Indian (828) 497-3481

FESTIVALS

Food Lion Speed Street Welcomes Night Ranger, Loverboy And Clay Walker To 18TH Annual Festival 5/24-5/26/12 Charlotte: Night Ranger and Loverboy on the Coca-Cola stage starting at 8 p.m., while Walker will kick off his performance on the Miller Lite stage at 9:30 p.m. May 26 at 8 p.m., the San Francisco rock band, Night Ranger, will take attendees back to their 1980s hits.  Taking the stage after Night Ranger, Loverboy will join Food Lion Speed Street attendees at 9:45 p.m. Known best for hit singles, “Turn Me Loose” and “Working for the Weekend.”  Clay Walker, on the Miller Lite stage May 26 at 9:30 p.m. He’s scored four platinum-selling albums and two gold albums. The Coca-Cola stage will be located on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between Brevard Street and Caldwell Street at the NASCAR Hall of Fame entrance.  The Miller Lite stage will be located in the parking lot near the corner of South Tryon Street and East Stonewall Street, across from the Mint Museum. Admission to Food Lion Speed Street is free. The festival opens each day at noon. Visit www.600festival.com or www.facebook.com/FoodLionSpeedStreet

11th Annual Mountain Sports Festival 5/25-5/27/12 Amboy Rd in Asheville, NC. Free. Asheville beer week has partnered with Mountain Sports Festival for BEER JAM. Pro & amateur athletes compete in mountain sports. Live music, food, demos at Festival Village. www.mountainsportsfestival.com

Annual Aurora Fossil Festival 5/25-5/27/12 10am-5pm. 400 Main Street, Aurora, NC. Expanded food vendors, games for kids, amusement rides, classic car show, street vendors, local live entertainment, helicopter rides, a sanctioned “lawn mower” tractor pull, Sunday gospel service/ singing, & a street dance. Festivities include the ever-famous Fossil parade featuring local marching bands & the crowd favorite Shriner units Eastern NC along with floats & fun. 252-3224238 www.aurorafossilmuseum.com

White Squirrel Festival 5/26-5/27/12 Heart of Brevard Historic District in Brevard, NC. Running of the popular Squirrel Box Derby. Also back this year is the Brevard Rotary’s Annual 5K/10K White Squirrel Race. Free musical acts over two days. (828) 884-3278 www.brevardnc.org

11th Annual NC Wine Festival 5/26/11 at Tanglewood Park. 4061 Clemmons Rd, Clemmons, NC. The largest wine festival in North Carolina. Ticket provides tasting from all wineries, artist & crafter displays, great food choices & music all day. Purchase wine by glass & case. www.ncwinefestival.com tickets now online. (336)733-5836 www.ncwinefestival.com

18th Annual Garden Jubilee Festival 5/26-5/27/12 10am-6pm. Main Street from 6th Ave - Caswell St in Hendersonville, NC. The Garden Jubilee Festival offers over 200 vendors selling thousands of plants, arts & crafts, garden talks & clinics, garden accessories, & food. The festival covers 8 blocks of Main Street from Sixth Avenue-Caswell Street. Downtown from 10:00am-6:00pm both days. Memorial Day weekend. (828) 693-9708 www.historichendersonville.org

25th North Carolina Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony 5/28/12 8am-5pm. Downtown Thomasville, NC. 10 am Celebrations Begin! (336) 239-2964 www.thomasvilletourism.com

First Friday Concert & Livermush Festival 6/5/12 7-9pm. Activities include music & a livermush cooking contest. Free. Main St, Historic Downtown Marion, NC. Contact: Freddie Killough Email:freddiek@verizon.net (828) 652-2215 www.mcdowellnc.org

NC Gold Festival 6/1-6/2/12 12-9pm, Old Fort, NC. Free. Annual event, featuring gold exhibits, gold mining techniques & demonstrations, treasure & scavenger hunts, geo-caching, gold panning, numerous vendors including arts & crafts, raffles. (800)959-9033 www.ncgold.org

9th Annual Piedmont Pottery Festival 6/2/12 9am-4pm. The finest in hand-crafted pottery from the Triad & southern Virginia. Over 100 potters. Demonstrations & door prizes. Former Goodwill Store, Kingsway Plaza, King’s Hwy, Eden, NC. Free. (336) 623-2110 www.edenspecialevents.com

Pleasure Island Beach Music Festival, 26th Annual 6/2/12, 11am-6:30pm. The Beach Music Festival hosted by the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce is billed as the biggest & only beach music festival actually held on the beach on the NC coast. No carry-in alcohol or pets permitted. Beverages, including beer, are available. Ocean Front Beach Stage, Cape Fear Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC. Email:gail@pleasureislandnc.org (910) 458-8434 www.pleasureislandnc.org

15th Annual Black Mountain Arts & Crafts Show 6/2-6/3/12 10am-5pm Saturday & 10am-4pm Sunday. Free. Historic Downtown Black Mountain. Over 65 Juried Crafters/Artists. The purpose of the show is to promote the highest quality crafts. Enjoy food & cold drinks at the west end of town at The Old Depot. (828) 669-4814 www.olddepot.org

Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival 6/8-6/9/12, 10am-11pm. The Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival is a nationally recognized, KCBS sanctioned BBQ Competition & Music Festival including the Foothills Crafts Fair with some of the finest regional artisans presenting their arts. Beach Bingo, Kiddee & Teen Parks & fireworks both nights. No pets, no coolers. Harmon Field, Tryon, NC. (828) 859-7427 www.blueridgebbqfestival.com

Washington Summer Festival 6/8-6/9/12 Washington, NC. Annual summer festival on the beautiful Pamlico River in Downtown Washington features music, arts & crafts, children’s entertainment, food & amusement rides! (252)946-9168 www.wbcchamber.com/events

17th Annual Charlie Poole Music Festival 6/8-6/9/12 10am-5pm. Eden Fairgrounds Eden, NC. Honoring Eden’s legendary son, the Charlie Poole Music Festival is a three-day festival celebrating old-time string & bluegrass music indigenous to our area, & recognizing the importance of this music to our cultural heritage. (336) 623-1043 www.charlie-poole.com

14th Annual Edenton Music & Water Festival 6/1-6/2/12 Fri: 6:45pm & Sat 9-5pm. Edenton Harbor - South Broad St., Edenton, NC. Sunset paddle kicks off the event on Fri evening followed by a day on & off the water with paddling, sailing, activities for children, guided eco-paddles & music. (800)775-0111 www.edentonmusicandwaterfestival.com

NC Blueberry Festival 6/16/12 9am-9pm. Burgaw at the Pender County Courthouse Square Burgaw, NC. The Blueberry Festival, held yearly the third Sat. in June, celebrates the historical, economic & cultural significance of blueberries in southeastern NC. Headline entertainment, car shows, antique show & sale, 5K run/walk, Cape Fear Cyclists Fun Ride, children’s activities, arts & crafts, educational events, beer & wine garden, blueberries, baked goods. Entertainment includes Craig Woolard Band, Holiday Band, & The Band of Oz. A special Limited Edition signed & numbered print by renowned artist & Pender County native Ivey Hayes will be available for purchase. (910) 259-9817 www.ncblueberryfestival.com

NC Rhododendron Festival 6/15-6/16/12 10am-5pm (or until crowd has left). Long running festival celebrating the native rhododendron on Roan Mountain, NC. Featuring street festival, 10K run, street dance, fishing tournament, Miss Rhododendron Pageant, Car Show, Ducky Derby & more. Downtown Bakersville, NC. Contact Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce (828) 688-3456. www.bakersville.com

Fun Fourth Festival Events, Greensboro: freedom run & walk 6/30/12 8am: Kickoff block party 7/3/12 7-11pm. Parade & street festival 7/4/12 9:30am-6:30pm. Pops concert & fireworks 7/4/12 7:30pm-10pm. 1776, the musical 7/6/12 8:00pm, 7/8/12 3:00pm. Live music, vendors & great entertainment & fireworks at Jamieson Stadium at Grimsley High School, Greensboro, NC. (336) 274-4595 www.funfourthfestival.org

NC 4th of July Festival - For over 200 years the City of Southport has celebrated our nation’s independence. This year will be no exception. Over 50,000 people attend the festival each year. Festival events include: naturalization ceremony, over 100 arts & craft booths, food vendors cooking everything from shrimp burgers to bar-b-que, 5K Freedom Run/Walk, parade televised live on WECT TV-6, Sea Notes Choral Concert, live stage entertainment, fireworks, Franklin Square Art Gallery’s National Art Show, children’s entertainment & games, the opening of the Old Jail, pancake breakfast, Beach Day events such as sandcastle building, surf, horseshoe, volleyball and Shag contests. The official dates of the festival are July 2-4 but some years the organizers include July 1st, & 5th. For more information contact: Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce, 4433 Long Beach Road, SE, Southport, NC 28461. Phone 800-457-6964 or e-mail us at events@southport-oakisland.com

Appalachian Summer Festival’s 28th Season 6/24-7/28/12 Season to Feature: An Evening with Bill Cosby, Outdoor Fireworks Concert: Creedence Clearwater Revisited with special guest Lee Brice, The Travelin’ McCourys with Sierra Hull & Highway 111, Chicago and The Doobie Brothers & more! ASU annual summer arts attraction, presents a diverse & unique mixture of music, dance, theatre, visual arts & film events & attracts over 26,000 visitors to the High Country each summer. Tickets for festival events range in price & may be purchased by calling (800)841-2787 www.appsummer.org

The 47th Annual Roasting of the Hog and Fireworks Display 6/30/12 This year, celebrate independence day with Beech Mountain. An annual event, the hog is roasted all day to perfection and cut up right in front of the crowd. With music, moon pies, games, and fireworks! The roasting will take place June 30th at 6pm. To inquire about purchasing tickets please call 828-387-9283. www.averycounty.com

Cashiers Mountain Music Festival 6/30-7/1/12 Cashiers, NC. (828)743-5191 www.cashiersnorthcarolina.com

Independence Day Festival & Parade 6/30/12 9am-10pm. Main Street Blowing Rock, NC. Downtown games, music & the Grandaddy of all small-town parades! (877)750-4636 www.blowingrock.com

8th Annual RED, WHITE AND BLUEGRASS Festival 6/30-7/4/12 Morganton, NC. Saturday June 30th  (FREE) 12:30 Tone Blazers, 2:00 Monroeville,,3:30 Cody Shuler & Pine Mountain Railroad,,5:00 US Navy Band,,6:30 The Boxcars,,8:00 Steep Canyon Rangers,,9:30 FIREWORKS: Sunday July 1st 12:30 Mountain Faith, 2:00 New Found Road, 3:30 Chris Jones and the Night Drivers,,5:00 Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen,,6:30 Darin & Brooke Aldridge, 8:00 Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out,,9:30 The Isaacs. Monday July 2nd: 12:30 Harris Brothers w/Bobby Denton,,2:00 Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road,3:30 The Bankesters. 5:00 The Snyder Family Band, 6:30 Kenny & Amanda Smith Band, 8:00 The Grascals,,9:30 Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers. Tuesday July 3rd: 12:30 Shannon and Heather Slaughter & County Clare, 2:00 The Roys, 3:30 Volume Five, 5:00 Kids Camp ,6:30 The Gibson Brothers,,8:00 Sierra Hull & Highway 111, 9:30 Blue Highway. Wednesday July 4th: 12:30 Moore Brothers Band, 2:00 Skip Cherryholmes Quintet, 3:30 Balsam Range, 5:00 Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, 6:30 Marty Raybon & Full Circle, 8:00 Lonesome River Band, 9:30 Rhonda Vincent & The Rage (800) 939-SHOW www.redwhiteandbluegrassfestival.com

Christmas In July Festival 7/7/12 9am-7pm West Jefferson, NC. Arts & Crafts, Live Music, Adventure & Fun for the Whole Family! (336)846-2787 www.christmasinjuly.com

Carrboro July 4th Celebration 7/4/12 Carrboro, NC. held at the Carrboro Town Hall on Wedesday, July 4th. Event kicks off at Weaver Street Market Lawn (Beginning at 9:30a.m.) with a parade from Weaver Street Market to Town Hall. Kids Fun Zone and Fun Zone Stage face painters, games, good food, and live music. Town Hall Commons. In case of inclement weather the event may be cancelled. Please check the Recreation and Parks Department weather line for an changes to the schedule. (919)918-7364 www.carrborojuly4th.com

Uncle Sam Jam 7/4/12 Music, Food, Rides & Games & fireworks. Oak Hollow Park, High Point, NC. $10 per carload. (336)883-3483 www.high-point.net

Red, White & Boom 7/4/12 Maggie Valley Festival Grounds (828)926-0866 www.blowingrock.com

NC 4th of July Festival 7/2-7/4/12 101 West Bay St, Southport, NC. The City of Southport has celebrated our nation’s independence for over 200 years & this year is no exception. Festival events include naturalization ceremony, parade, fireworks, over 100 arts & crafts booths, food vendors, 5K Freedom Run/Walk, parade, live stage entertainment, children’s entertainment & games, fireworks, Beach Day events such as sandcastle building, volleyball & Shag contests. Most events are free. (800)457-6964 www.ncbrunswick.com

Blackberry Festival 7/14/12 Downtown Lenoir, 10am. In Caldwell County, blackberries are a part of every day life - children beg to go pick from the wild berries lining every bank. The North Carolina Blackberry Festival offers summer fun to all visitors - without the chiggers! www.caldwellcochamber.org

Franklin Folk Festival 7/21/12 Franklin, NC. A celebration of our mountain way of life. From milking cows to shingle splitting to quilting, visitors will have the opportunity to experience what mountain life was like when Franklin was first established some 150 years ago. (828)524-2516 www.renewingfranklin.org

NC Peach Festival 7/19/12 NC Peach Festival is held every year on the third Saturday in July in the Town of Candor. The parade starts at 10am & the festivities take place in the park. Bring your lawn chairs & sit back & enjoy the local live entertainment. Lots of local peaches, peach ice cream & peach desserts. www.townofcandornc.com

Folkmoot USA 7/18-7/19/12 NC’s Official International Festival, is a two-week celebration of the world’s cultural heritage through folk music & dance. The festival is headquartered at the Folkmoot Friendship Center, a former elementary school, in Waynesville, about 25 miles west of Asheville. (828)452-2997 www.folkmootusa.org

26th Annual NC Watermelon Festival 7/14-7/22/12 Fair Bluff, NC. Join the community of Fair Bluff and the county of Columbus as they celebrate the 27th annual North Carolina Watermelon Festival. Majority of the festival events will be located on Riverside Drive in Fair Bluff. Contact Laurie Brook, Event Coordinator (252)398-7695. www.watermelonfestivalnc.com

Bele Chere 7/27-7/29/12 (pronounced Bell Cher) the largest free outdoor street festival in the Southeast, held in downtown Asheville. www.belecherefestival.com

Waldensian Festival 8/10-8/11/12 Valdese, NC. Since 1976, on the second Saturday in August, Valdese hosts an annual festival to celebrate the “Glorious Return” of the Waldenses from exile in Switzerland to their native valleys in the Cottian Alps of Italy in 1689. This celebration is mirrored around the world by other Waldensian communities. Waldensian Festival Weekend. Fri: Kick-off the Festival with an Antique & Classic Car Cruise in followed. Festival will showcase craft, art, novelty foods from vendors from all around the region...children’s rides & more! (828)879-2126 www.visitvaldese.com

35th Annual Sourwood Festival 8/11-8/12/12 Downtown Black Mountain, NC. There’s always plenty to see & do at Black Mountain’s annual festival. Enjoy great music & lots of fun & of course, lots of great mountain cooking. (828) 669-2300 www.blackmountain.org

42nd Annual Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival 8/11-8/12/12 Sneads Ferry, NC. Festival begins with a parade followed by two days of fun, fireworks & street dance on Sat night, top-notch entertainment, browsing the booths for local crafts & artwork & all the shrimp you can eat. (910) 327-2690 www.sneadsferryshrimpfestival.com

3rd Annual Dirty Dancing Festival 8/17-8/19/12 Lake Lure, NC. Dirty Dancing Festival as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the romantic classic film, Dirty Dancing! www.dirtydancingfestival.com

Winterville Watermelon Festival 8/23-8/25/12 Held in downtown Winterville, NC, the festival includes a womanless beauty contest, children’s entertainment, exhibits, watermelon eating & seed spitting contests, & musical entertainment. (252) 756-1068

2012 Asheville Wine & Food Festival 8/25/12 Asheville, NC. 1:30-5 p.m. At this showcase of area chefs, wineries, farmers, and artisan food producers, general admission ticket holders will have several hours to sip, sample, and shop. Asheville and the surrounding area boast award-winning chefs and restaurants. Wine producers and distributors will be on hand as well, letting guests sample local, regional, and national labels. (828) 777-8916 www.wncmagazine.com/wineandfood

31st Annual GoomBay! Festival 8/24-8/26/12, Asheville, NC. GoomBay is an African-Caribbean festival, located in downtown Asheville, that lives up to its West African name, meaning rhythm or drum, with rhythmic sounds & colorful sights. (828) 252-4614 www.ymicc.org

North Carolina Apple Festival, 8/31-9/3/12 Hendersonville, NC. The North Carolina Apple Festival is held annually over Labor Day Weekend in Hendersonville, North Carolina. 4 days of fun including one of the most best known Street Fairs in the Carolinas with Freshly Picked Apples, Arts & Crafts, Festival Food and FREE Entertainment at the Historic Courthouse on Hendersonville’s Beautiful Main Street. Labor Day features the King Apple Parade! Please leave your pets comfortably at home, the City of Hendersonville’s ordinance prohibits animals in the event. www.ncapplefestival.org

Labor Day Beach Music Weekend 9/1-9/4/12 The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa, Asheville, NC. Summer may be winding down, but the fun is still building at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spas annual Beach Music Bash. Enjoy the best of the beach in the coolness of the Western NC mountains!Entertainment throughout the weekend includes shag dance lessons, a Coastal Seafood Buffet overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains & lots of great beach music! (828) 252-2711 www.groveparkinn.com

12th Annual Heritage Walk & Festival 10/13/12 10am-4pm. Historic downtown Murphy, & Konehete Park, Cherokee County, Murphy, NC. Step back in time with this celebration of Cherokee County. All-day historic walking tours & a heritage festival celebrating area artists, crafters, growers, food, live stage entertainment, & more. All events are free & open to the public. (828)837-6821 www.heritagepartners.org

Carolina Mountains Literary Festival 9/6-9/8/12 Burnsville, NC. Novelists, poets, historians, playwrights, journalists & storytellers gather to read from & discuss their works. Multiple events happening simultaneously in venues throughout the town (all within walking distance). Events for kids on Saturday. FREE & OPEN to the public. (828) 682-4476 www.cmlitfest.org

Historic Morganton Festival 9/7-9/8/12 Morganton, NC. The festival generally brings in 40,000 to 50,000 attendees throughout the weekend from across the state as well as South Carolina & Virginia. Two major music stages. City Stage performers are national acts featuring country & oldies. Stage II features local & regional bands & two “Zones” are designed for kids from infants to high school! Plus two more stages feature children’s entertainment & demonstrations from local performance groups. (828)438-5252 www.downtownmorganton.com

10th Annual Blues, Brews & BBQ 10/12-10/13/12 Charlotte, NC. Blues, Brews & BBQ is a competition & festival that features blues music, an array of beer samples, & some of the best barbecue you will find anywhere. Interactive cooking demonstrations & contests are featured all day. This festival celebrates the best of the southern cuisine & southern music. Food, music, entertainment & more! (704)332-2227 www.bluesbrewsandbbq.com

Bush Hill Heritage Festival 9/8/12 9am-4pm Archdale, NC. This festival was born in 1986 as the bicentennial celebration of the Quaker settling known as Bush Hill. (336)434-2073 www.bushhillfestival.com

NC Turkey Festival 9/7-9/15/12 Raeford, NC. (910)904-2424 www.ncturkeyfestival.org

Ahoskie Heritage Festival 9/7-9/8/12, Ahoskie Recreational Center Ahoskie, NC. The ninth annual Ahoskie Heritage Festival has live bands, children’s rides, fireworks & food. Day one will be Fri, Sep 7, 6-11pm & feature Down Home Eating events such as a live music with the Pizzaz, craft vendors, children’s rides, & mouth watering food. Day two Sat, Sep 8, 10am-11pm will begin Ahoskie’s Most Beautiful Women with the annual 5k Fun Run followed by the antique tractor & vehicle & horse parade on Main Street. (252) 332-5146 www.ahoskie.nc.org

North Carolina Shakespeare Festival Announces 2012-13 Season 9/9-9/30/12 High Point, NC – The North Carolina Shakespeare Festival will mark its 2012-13 schedule with the 35th MainStage production, an innovative, contemporary look at Romeo and Juliet, along with its beloved annual production of A Christmas Carol and a spring statewide tour by the Shakespeare To Go program, the festival announced today. Romeo and Juliet, which will run Sept. 9-30, marks the festival’s return to presenting a MainStage season at the High Point Theatre. Tickets will go on sale July 9. NCShakes will also present the 35th annual production of A Christmas Carol from Dec. 6-23 at the High Point Theatre. To commemorate the 35th anniversary, the festival plans to produce and sell a limited-edition soundtrack recording, Silva said. NCShakes is already booking stops on the spring 2013 tour of the Shakespeare To Go program, which performs for over 20,000 North Carolina elementary, middle and high school students each year. The North Carolina Shakespeare Festival has been based in High Point since its founding in 1977, and has been honored by the General Assembly as the state’s official Shakespeare festival. In addition to public performances, NCShakes offers a number of educational programs, camps, teacher workshops and seminars. Affiliate company Festival Stage of Winston-Salem performs a three-play season of contemporary works at Hanesbrands Theatre. For further information about the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, call 336-841-2273 or visit www.NCShakes.org . For further information about affiliate company Festival Stage of Winston-Salem, call 336-841-2273 or visit www.FestivalStage.org

59th Annual Macon County Agricultural Fair 9/12-9/15/12 Macon County Fair Grounds, Franklin, NC. 57 years of authentic agricultural fair featuring crafts, farm animals & festival foods. (828) 524-3267 www.franklin-chamber.com

Railfest 9/14-9/16/12 Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Depot, Bryson City, NC. All aboard for a full weekend of special train excursions, a Motor Car & equipment display, & a festival atmosphere complete with entertainment including railroad work songs, food, & arts & crafts. (828) 488-7000 www.gsmr.com

Benson Mule Days 9/20-9/23/12 Benson, NC. The weekend is packed with rodeos, a mule pulling contest, arts & crafts, vendors, street dances, carnival rides, camping, trail rides, parades, bluegrass shows & more. (919)894-3825 www.bensonmuledays.com

48th Annual Festival in the Park 9/21-9/23/12 Charlotte, NC. A fun- filled event designed to promote & stimulate interest in the arts. It provides the opportunity for all to see, hear, & learn from over 150 artists & crafts people who actively demonstrate & display their art. Nearly a thousand entertainers provide free ongoing performances at the main band shell & many stages surrounding it. (704)338-1060 www.festivalinthepark.org

Kuumba Festival 9/29/12 Laurinburg, NC. (910)276-4345 www.kuumbafestnc.com

NC Spot Festival 9/29/12 Hampstead, NC. (888)699-9907 www.ncspotfestival.com

Carrboro Music Festival 9/30/12 Carrboro, NC. (919)918-7364 www.carrboromusicfestival.com

Annual NC Seafood Festival 10/5-10/7/12 Morehead City, NC. (252)726-6273 www.ncseafoodfestival.org

Autumn Jubilee 10/6-10/7/12 Salisbury, NC. Join in on all the fun & activities on Bringle Ferry Rd at Dan Nicholas Park. Saturday & Sunday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. 45,000 plus visitors enjoy the this family fun festival. (704)216-7816 www.dannicholas.net

Carolina Renaissance Festival Weekends, 10/6-11/18/12, Sat & Sun 10am-5:30pm Davidson, NC. The festival is a medieval amusement park with staged theater, arts & crafts, & jousting. (877)896-5544

10th Annual Great Grapes! Wine, Arts & Food Festival 10/6/12 Charlotte, NC. Bring friends, family & picnic blankets to Symphony Park & enjoy a day on the lawn listening to favorite tunes while enjoying tasting hundreds of wines from NC. If you enjoy great food & the gourmet lifestyle, then you’ll really enjoy strolling the exhibits or taking in one of the wine & food seminars. hundreds of Wines, over 50 exhibits! (410)878-9900 www.triggeragency.com

Oktoberfest 2012 10/12-10/14/12 Dowtown Hickory, Fri: 12-11:30pm. Sat: 10am- 11:30pm. Sun: 12-5pm. Oktoberfest, the most anticipated event in the Unifour area, is in its 25th year. This festival offers a weekend of family entertainment. Two stages will present non-stop musical entertainment. Kids will enjoy the Kidsfest area, offering amusement rides & games for a thrill for all ages. Artisans will be selling such items as beautiful pottery, jewelry, glass, fabrics, woodcrafts, etc. Commercial vendors sell a variety of merchandise ranging from sunglasses to handmade soaps. There are many food vendors located in the Food Court selling a variety of treats, goodies & great food. Oktoberfest also features the Castle of Cans—the Castle of Caring, which features canned food donated for distribution to the needy by area churches, civic organizations, businesses & individuals. (828)322-1121 www.hickoryoktoberfest.com

Woolly Worm Festival 10/19-10/20/12 on the grounds of the Banner Elk Elementary School. Downtown Banner Elk, NC. Banner Elk welcomes more than 23,000 people to the community to make family memories & also to win the prestigious title of predicting the High Country weather & the chance to win the $1000 bounty.Over 140 food & craft vendors plus rides, musicians & dance teams. Returning vendors make worm houses & pins, face paint & the festival also include artists who do photography, pottery, stained glass & much more. Participants wishing to race their worm may register at 9:00 am & shortly after that races begin. 25 worms are in each heat, “but please come early as race entries fill up early.” says Director of the Chamber, Susan Freeman. Saturday’s winning Woolly Worm holds the esteemed honor of predicting the winter weather season & the Woolly Worm wins prize monies of $1000, which we hope the winning worm shares with its owner. Sunday’s winning Woolly Worm wins $500. The Avery County Chamber of Commerce (800)972-2183 www.averycounty.com

Autumn Leaves Festival 10/12-10/14/12 Mt Airy, NC. The Autumn Leaves Festival showcases Old-Time, Blue Grass & Gospel music performed by local musicians on the downtown stage; the unique arts & crafts of more than 170 craftsmen line the streets with many demonstrating their talents & skills passed down through the generations.s “Food for the Soul”, ham biscuits, collards & cornbread, barbeque, hamburgers, ground steak & more served by local civic & other community groups. (800) 948-0949 www.autumnleavesfestival.com

Taylorsville Hometown Apple Festival 10/20/12 Taylorsville, NC. (828)632-2999 www.alexandercountyonline.com/applefestival/index.htm

LEAF Lake Eden Arts Fall Festival 10/18-10/21/12 Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain, NC. LEAF takes you around the cultural globe through music & you can zipline, trapeze, do yoga, SLAM, costume, camp, take workshops, kayak, shop & more. (828)686-8742 www.theleaf.org

MOTORCYCLES

Rally to Ridgecrest 5/25-5/28/12 Ridgecrest, NC. At the Ridgecrest Conference Center located at One Ridgecrest Drive in Ridgecrest. Opens at 8am on Fri & includes a police escorted parade ride through Black Mountain, guided rides on mountain roads, guest speakers, music & more. (800) 588-7222 www.lifeway.com/motorcyclerally

Ride for a Vet 5/26/12 Burnsville, NC. The ride begins at Town Square in Burnsville with registration from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. The ride begins at 12:00 pm as the first wave of the Memorial Day Parade. The ride fee is $20 for the rider and $10 for a passenger. the fee includes food at the end of the ride. The ride ends with door prizes, 50/50 drawing, raffles and food. All proceeds will benefit the Mt Mitchell Marine Corps. League 1266, to help veterans who are unable to help themselves. (828) 467-0259 www.rideforavet.com

21st Annual Reunion Bike Ride 8/19/12 The Newton Parks & Recreation Department has announced plans for the 21st Annual 30-60-100 Mile Century Bike Ride on Sunday, August 19 at 8am as part of the Soldiers Reunion events in Newton. The event begins with a mass start at the Newton Recreation Center. All bicycle rides will be conducted at each rider’s own pace, with three ride lengths mapped throughout Catawba County. Each ride offers scenery and hills for cyclists to enjoy. The ride is open to anyone; however, those under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian while participating in this event. First aid, refreshments, t-shirts, and more will be provided for all participants. Ride applications are available at Newton City Hall, Newton Recreation Center. Pre-registration is $20 for the ride, and will be accepted until Wednesday, August 15, at 5:00 p.m. late registration will be $25. For more information call the Newton Recreation Center at (828) 695-4317. www.newtonnc.gov

Sandhills Bikefest 9/29/12 Cameron, NC. The rally will be held at 2957 Cypress Chapel Road near Cameron. The event includes a poker run & bike show. Trophies will be given to winners of the bike show. Vendors, music, camping & more. (919) 777-6873 www.sandhillsbikefest.com

Hog Happenin’ 6/1-6/2/12 Lincolnton, NC. The event kicks-off Friday night with live bands on the Main Stage, Piglets playpen and swap-meet. The cook-off will start Friday night with judging on Saturday. The Poker Run & WALK, Bike Show, Bike Games and swap meet will be on Saturday. (704) 736-8915 www.hoghappenin.org

4th Annual Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association NC 15-2 Benefit Ride 6/2/12 Wilkesboro, NC. 68 mile police escorted ride. Bands, food, prizes and great fellowship. Come join the largest Veteran benefit ride in North Carolina. Everyone welcome, you do not need to be a Veteran to ride. www.cvmaride.com

Dixie Steel Stampede 10/28-10/29/12 Whiteville, NC. The motorcycle rally will be held at Columbus County Fairgrounds in Whiteville. Gates open 12pm. The event includes a bike show, bike games, a ride for Special Olympics & more. (910) 840-5207 www.dixiesteelstampede.com

Asheville Ride for Kids 8/26/12 Asheville, NC. Escorted ride starts at the Biltmore Square Mall, 800 Brevard Road in Asheville at 10am. Registration from 8-9:45am. Ride fee is a minimum donation of $35. All bikes are welcome. Proceeds go to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation® medical research & family support programs. (800)253-6530 www.pbtfus.org/rideforkids

Thunder in the Smokies Fall Motorcycle Rally 9/14-9/16/12 Maggie Valley, NC, Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, 3374 Soco Road in Maggie Valley. Gates open 11am & at 9am on Sat & Sun. Event includes tour rides, bike games, bike show, vendors, music & more. (828)246-2101 www.HandlebarCorral.com

Biker Blues BBQ Rally & BBQ Classic 9/20-9/22/12 Salisbury, NC, Sponsored by Tilley Harley-Davidson. The event will be held at Tilley Harley-Davidson in Salisbury. Huge “Pre-event” party on Thursday, September 20 with well-known entertainment sponsored by Buckshots and Uncle Buck’s All-American Pub & Grub. We are also going to have a huge “Final Finale” party after the awards presentations on Saturday, September 22 sponsored by Tom McGrath’s Motorcycle Law Group. Both parties are free admission to all. Not only will we host this event free to the general public, our goal is to have proceeds going to local charity. 2011’s event supported three local charities with $1,000 each. (704) 638-6044 www.bikerbluesbbqrally.com

MUSIC

2012 Valdese Family Friday Nights Summer Schedule Wachovia Parking Lot at 7pm Each Friday. Valdese Local Merchants will have extended hours every Friday Night. Celebrate the Summer with the Town of Valdese! www.visitvaldese.com

Haywood Community Bands Maggie Valley Concert Series - Maggie Valley Pavilion (beside Town Hall) 6:30PM Free Event 828-456-4880. July 15, August 19 & September 16. 828-456-4880

Hickory Alive 2012 Every Friday Night in June, 7-11pm. The Hickory Jaycees have announced the 22nd season of Hickory Alive! This annual, free concert series on Union Square will kick off on June 1, and it will run every Friday night in June. Live entertainment will run from 6pm to 10pm. June 1 The Buchanan Boys, June 8 The Night Move Band, June 15 Xerockx, June 22 The Newz, & June 29 Deason Black. Food and beverage vendors will be on hand for people 21 and older, United Beverage will provide adult beverages. The purpose of the Jaycees is to promote and foster growth and development of young leaders. For more information about Hickory Alive or the Hickory Jaycees, call 828-322-2080, email hickoryjaycees@ yahoo.com or visit www.hickoryjaycees.org www.new.hickoryjaycee.com

Dance at the Alive After Five Concert Series Main St, downtown Lincolnton, comes alive the last Thursday of every summer month with regional bands playing on an outdoor stage. Food vendors, local restaurants, & a beer garden will be open. Lawn chairs are encouraged, but coolers are not allowed. Contact the Downtown Development Association: (704)736-8915 www.GoLocalLincolnton.org

Alive After Five Free Outdoor Concert Series 1st & 3rd Thurs of June & July 5:30-8:30pm. Uptown Shelby on the historic court square Shelby, NC. Live music on the court square, presented by the Uptown Shelby Association & its community partners. Food & beverage vendors on site, Uptown restaurants open late for dinner. (704) 484-3100 www.uptownshelby.org

Bluegrass Music Jam Every Thurs 7-9pm. Historic Marion Depot in Marion, NC. Open to all musicians, no scheduled performers. Outdoors (weather permitting), bring chairs or blankets. Free! 7-9pm. (828)652-2215 www.downtownmarion.org

Childress Vineyards: Live music in the Vineyards every weekend from May thru Oct 11am-3pm, weather permitting. Sit outside on the lawn and enjoy good music & fine wine. Come out to the winery, relax with the music & enjoy lunch & award-winning wines. Childress Vineyards Lexington, NC. (336)236-WINE www.childressvineyards.com

Biltmore Concert Series Asheville, NC. This year’s series has grown from a summertime event to one stretching from July thru Oct. In addition to the South Terrace, performances will be held at Biltmore’s newest event venue, Diana at Biltmore, an intimate setting on the vista overlooking Biltmore House. Stunning views of Biltmore House & the Blue Ridge Mountains from each site offer a perfect place to see a show under the stars. The Biltmore Concert Series line-up is: Steve Miller Band Aug 9, Peter Frampton Grin & Bear It! Aug 11, KC and the Sunshine Band & Village People Aug 18, Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas Aug 24, Chris Tomlin Welcomed by 106.9 The Light Aug 25, Foreigner Sep 1, The Lettermen September 28, David Cassidy in Concert Oct 5, Mary Wilson of the Supremes Oct 12, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers Oct 19. (866)336-1255 or visit http://www.biltmore.com/visit/calendar/concerts.asp for ticket prices & booking. A variety of ticket, dining & accommodations packages are available for all of the concerts. Tickets do not include or require estate admission. Performers & dates are subject to change.

88th Annual Singing on the Mountain 6/24/12, 8:30am-3pm. Grandfather Mountain MacRae Meadows. The “Singing” is a day-long gathering held out-of-doors in a meadow at the base of Grandfather Mountain. Music begins at 8:30 a.m. & continues throughout the day, with a break at mid-day for the sermon. Many families bring lawn chairs & picnics & make a day of seeing old friends & enjoying performances by top Southern Gospel groups. Camping (with no hookups) available on a first come basis. (828)733-1333 www.grandfather.com

SPECIAL EVENTS

American Kennel Club (AKC) Dog Agility Trial 5/25-5/27/12 8am-3pm, Fletcher, NC. The Blue Ridge Agility Club of Western North Carolina is hosting an American Kennel Club Dog (AKC) dog agility trial. Spectators are welcomed to attend & admission is free. Over 300 purebred dogs, from throughout the southeast, will compete at various levels of difficulty. (828) 687-1414 www.agr.state.nc.us/markets/facilit/agcenter/western

Save The French Broad 2012 Events May 26 – Daylong kickoff at the Mountain Sports Festival. May 26-July 4 - Buy Your Paper Fish to Save the French Broad. Look for fish in more than 20 bars, restaurants and businesses around town. They can be purchased for $1, $5, or $10. June 1 - Beer Hopper Bus Tour. June 9-17 - Save the French Broad Float, a nine-day float down 115 miles of the French Broad River. June 28 - Bruisin Ales Sweetwater Tasting; July 22 - Raft Race. Grand Finale Concert - TBA. Learn more and stay up to date by visiting www.wnca.org or www.savethefrenchbroad.com

International International Collectibles & Antiques Show Metrolina Tradeshow Expo 5/31-6/3/12, Thurs-Sat 9am-5pm & Sun 10am-4pm. General Admission Thurs-Sun $5, Seniors $4, Children 16 & under FREE. 7100 Statesville Rd, Charlotte, NC. (704)714-7909 www.icashows.com

Greater Hickory Pet Expo 6/2/12 Hickory. Show hours: 9am-5pm. Ticket Information: adults: $7 ~ kids (6-15): $5 ~ 5 & under: FREE. Shop for & learn about common household pets & the products & services that are available to provide the utmost care for them. Entertainment, education, demonstrations & hands on activities! Hickory Metro Convention Center, 1960 13th Ave Dr SE, Hickory. (828)324-8600 www.ghpetexpo.com

Taste Of Charlotte 6/8-6/10/12, Fri, 11am-11pm. Sat, 11am-11pm. Sun, 11am-6pm. NC’s largest food festival is set to return for its 12th Year to the streets of uptown Charlotte. The event, which drew approximately 100,000 visitors last year, offers a mix of family entertainment, unique shopping, live music, kid’s activities, a wide array of specialty beer & fine wine & more than 100 menu items for sampling from a collection of Charlotte’s hottest restaurants. There is no cost for admission to Taste of Charlotte. Food samples can be purchased with festival coins. Center City Charlotte. Admission is free. Tryon St (between MLK Blvd & 6th St), Charlotte, NC. (704)947-6590 www.tasteofcharlotte.com

Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament 6/8-6/16/12 The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament is fished by around 100 competitors in substantial cash categories. Big Rock Landing, Morehead City, NC. Contact: Crystal Watters (252) 247-3575 www.thebigrock.com

Asheville Kennel Club AKC All Breed Dog Show, 6/9-6/10/12 WNC Agricultural Center Davis Arena, all-breed shows offer competitions for over 150 breeds & varieties of dogs recognized by the American Kennel Club, Fletcher, NC. (828)687-1414 or (828)258-4833 www.ashevillekennelclub.com

Animals’ Birthday Party 6/13/12 Grandfather Mountain, Linville, NC. 10am-3pm. Grandfather Mountain will host a birthday celebration for all of the animals in the park. Grandfather’s habitat staff has prepared a fun-filled day for guests as well as programming to honor & treat its furry inhabitants. (800)468-7325 www.grandfather.com

Annual Antique Show & Sale 6/22-6/23/12 Times vary. Tickets: $7. Held in conjunction with the Beaufort Old Homes & Gardens Tour at the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City, this event features more than 40 booths of antiques & collectibles, as well as a gourmet Tea Room. Crystal Coast Civic Center, Morehead City, NC. Contact: Patricia Suggs (252) 728-5225 www.beauforthistoricsite.org

Annual Benson State Singing Convention 6/22-6/24/12 The oldest Southern gospel convention in the nation includes three days of gospel music. Friday night gospel sing.Saturday & Sunday will be competition days for amateur duets, trios, quartets, choirs, and family groups. The Saturday evening concert will be “The Perrys.” www.gospelsingingconvention.org. Event times: Fri 7pm, Sat 2-10pm & Sun 11am-6pm.

C & E Gun Shows 6/23-6/24/12 & 9/15-9/16/12 & 11/3-11/4/12 Sat 9am-5pm & Sun 10am-5pm. Adults $8, Children 12 & Under w/ Adult - FREE. Sat admission good for both days! Hickory Metro Convention Center 1960 13th Ave. Dr. SE, Hickory. Hickory Metro Convention Center 1960 13th Ave. Dr. SE, Hickory. www.cegunshows.com

4th of July Celebration 7/4/12 Downtown Asheville. Pack Square Park 4th of July Celebration is an event for the whole family. Festivities start at 4pm & close with fireworks at 9:30pm. The day will feature live music from some of Asheville’s hottest bands along with a wide range of family activities and a variety of food from area vendors. www.romanticasheville.com

July 4th Celebration 7/4/12 Brevard, NC. 5K/10K Firecracker Run, organized by the Brevard Rotary Club. During the day, downtown streets are closed to an overflowing crowd. In 2011 Transylvania Community Arts Council hosts its 40th Annual Fine Arts & Craft Showcase. Classic Automobile Show stretches for blocks & delights even the casual aficionado of 1920s to 1970s vintage vehicles. Organized by the Transylvania Cruisers, entertainers like Elvis & the Blues Brothers have been known to show up & croon while you swoon over these classic beauties. Contact: Jerry Arnold (828)884-3670 www.brevardnc.org

July 4th Celebration 7/4/12 Waynesville: The Stars & Stripes Celebration runs from 11am-3pm along Main St with music & sidewalk sales. www.romanticasheville.com

4th Celebration 7/4/12 Marion, NC. Parade 6pm–Main Street. Music/Street Dance-Main Street 7pm. Fireworks: Recreation Department Ballfield 9:45pm. Free. Marion, NC. (828) 652-2215 www.downtownmarion.org

Red, White & Boom! Jul 4, 2012 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm (Wednesday) Charlotte, NC. Memorial Stadium. 310 North Kings Drive, Charlotte, NC. Spend your Fourth of July with friends and family in Center City Charlotte for Red, White & Boom! Taking place at Memorial Stadium, find your viewing area, grab a blanket and claim a spot for the spectacular fireworks show (Time TBD). For the best viewing and wholesome good time, check out the Family Fun Festival! It’s games, food, music, and prizes for children of all ages capped by the best seat in the house for Red, White & Boom! FREE admission, parking fee at Memorial Stadium to be determined. For volunteer opportunities, please email volunteer@findyourcenter.com

2012 Motorcycle, Truck, & Car Show 7/28/12 Gentlemen, start your engines! The Newton Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring a Motorcycle, Truck, & Car Show Classic at Southside Park on Saturday, July 28. The gates will open at 11:00 a.m. and will close at 6:00 p.m. with a $2 general admission fee. Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free. Concessions will be available. For show participants, the pre-registration deadline by mail is Friday, July 20, 2012 with a $12 entry fee. Registration the day of the show will be allowed until 3:00 p.m. with a $15 fee. Judging will begin at 3:30 p.m. for all classes. Three (3) trophies will be given away in each class for “winner,” “runner-up,” and “best of show.” Special club participation trophy awards will include: “farthest distance,” “best dressed,” and “most members.” All motorcycle or car clubs must have six (6) or more members to be considered for these awards.A variety of special activities are planned for the event from 12:00 noon to 3:30 p.m. A “Horsepower Shoot-Out,” featuring dyno testing courtesy of Max Power Mobil Dyno Service of Concord, will be a special highlight. Dyno testing will be free until 3:00 p.m.; however, a $10 fee will be charged after that time. In addition, the Christian Motorcycle Association will sponsor “Motorcycle Games” with the Harley Davidson Riders vs. Sport Bike Riders.Contact Newton Recreation Program Coordinator Charles James at 828-695-4317. www.newtonnc.gov

Newton Recreation plans annual Reunion 5K Run/Walk 8/18/12 The Newton Parks & Recreation Department has scheduled the 22nd Annual Soldiers Reunion 5K Run/Walk for Saturday, August 18 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Newton Recreation Center. A one-mile fun run is slated to begin prior to the 5K run at 8:00 a.m. Trophies will be given to the top three male and female finishers in the 5K overall, as well as in each age division, with awards presented for first place ONLY in each age division for the one-mile fun run. Each participant will receive a t-shirt. Race applications are now available at Newton City Hall. Pre-registration rates (through Wed., August 15) are $15 for the 5K run/walk, and $10 for the one-mile fun run. Late registration runs through 7:30 a.m. on race day for $20 for the 5K and $15 for the one-mile fun run. Contact Carol Stiles at (828) 695-4317. www.newtonnc.gov

2012 Bookmarks Festival Of Books 9/8/12 10am-5pm. In The Downtown Arts District in Winston-Salem, centering on Trade and Sixth Streets. www.bookmarksbookfestival.org

Asheville Quilt Guild Annual 9/28-9/30/12 WNC Agriculture Center, 1301 Fanning Bridge Rd Fletcher, NC. (Just off I-26 across from the airport.) 2012 Theme: “Color Your Life With Quilts”www.ashevillequiltguild.org

The Color Run Charlotte, NC 10/27/12 The Color Run is a one of a kind experience that is less about speed and more about enjoying a color crazy day with your friends and family. Our events, are all about people of all different speeds, ages, shapes, and sizes toeing the start line. The Color Run pretty much has 2 SIMPLE rules. 1. White shirts (any mostly white T will work great) mandatory at the start line and 2. Color plastered EVERYTHING at the finish!  The color is a special “elf made” recipe of magical color dust.  All products are 100% natural and safe.  Either way, in our expert opinion we think you are plain LOCO if you don’t give the Color Run a shot! Check out “OUR LOCATIONS” for a Color Run near you. www.thecolorrun.com

THINGS TO DO

Join Hunger Games fans and other Tributes for a Hunger Games Day Tour. Explore DuPont State Recreational Forest with your “Mentor” to discover the locations used in the movie. Master fundamental survival skills like orienteering, camo-face painting, and shelter building needed to excel in the Hunger Games. Lunch will be provided in Hunger Games style. Shuttle service, DuPont State Recreational Forest permit, survival workshops, and guides provided.Two types of Day Tours:  Day Tours by Shuttle and Day Walking Tours. Day Tours by Shuttle: Travel deep into DuPont State Forest to see all the filming locations used in the movie. This day tour includes shuttle service, your guides, survival workshops and lunch (Hunger Games style). Parking/Orientation Location: Comporium Parking Lot Main Street across from the Brevard/Transylvania Chamber of Commerce (190 East Main Street, Brevard, NC 28712) Pre-registration required. The cost is $79 per person. Dates: May 26, May 27, July 14, July 15, Aug. 11, Aug. 12. Ages: Our tours are best suited for children 10 yrs + accompanied by an adult. We welcome family tour groups. Any child under the at the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Night zip-lining requires participants to be 10 yrs +. Your Hunger Games Weekend includes: three days and two nights stay at Earthshine Mountain Lodge, 6 Hunger Games meals, Hunger Games snacks, guides, all Hunger Games skill training, Night Zip Lining and your Hunger Games Simulation. Shuttle service to and from the Asheville Regional Airport is included. Cost: $389 per person. Note: There is a $2 ticketing process fee from Ticketleap, our ticket service. June 8 – 10, June 22 – 24, July 27 – 29, August 24-26, September 21 – 23. www.hungergamesfantours.com

Great Wolf Lodge Charlotte-Concord’s Water Park Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, NC is your one-stop-shop for family fun and entertainment. With rides and slides for parents and kids of all ages, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at our indoor water park. These fun-filled adventures await you and your family. Dining, lodging, health club, spa. Families, groups & meetings. http://www.greatwolf.com/concord/waterpark/rides

Letterland at Tweetsie Railroad Blowing Rock, N.C. See the alphabet come to life when Tweetsie Railroad transforms into the magical world of Letterland. Letterland has been successful in raising literacy standards among children in North Carolina and around the world. For the past six years, Tweetsie Railroad’s Letterland Days have served as both a reward and celebration of North Carolina children’s literary achievements. As part of the park’s continuing education efforts, Tweetsie visitors can experience the Learning Express, which will be offered every Friday after Labor Day through October 26 (September 7, 14, 21 and 28 and October 5, 12, 19 and 26). The Learning Express provides a full day of fun at Tweetsie Railroad including a ride on the Learning Express Train, which pulls out of Main Street several times daily. This special ride presents a unique opportunity for teachers and parents to make history, math and science memorable, exciting and fun. Tweetsie Railroad open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays including Memorial Day Monday, and seven days a week from June 1 through August 19. The park returns to the weekend schedule from August 24 through October 28, including Labor Day Monday. The 2012 season ends Sunday, October 28. The park’s regular hours are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., but will be open until 9:00 p.m. on July 4 and July 7, 14, 21 and 28 for Cool Summer Nights. In addition, the park will be open at 8:00 a.m. both Saturdays (June 2 and 9) for the popular Day Out With Thomas™ event. The Ghost Train® Halloween Festival will take place Friday and Saturday nights September 28 through October 27 from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and price of admission is $28 for adults and children, with children 2 and under admitted free. Daily admission to Tweetsie Railroad is $35 for adults and $22 for children ages 3 through 12. Children 2 and under are admitted free. Print at home tickets and Golden Rail Season Passes are available at www.Tweetsie.com. Tweetsie Railroad is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains on U.S. Highway 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina. For more information about the 2012 season at Tweetsie Railroad, visit Tweetsie.com or call 877.TWEETSIE (877.893.3874). Find Tweetsie on Facebook or follow Tweetsie on Twitter @TweetsieRR.

Antique Vending Company 24 South Main Street #2 Granite Falls NC; open by appointment only, free admission. Antique vending showcases one of the world’s largest vintage soda machine collections. This expanding museum has over 1,000 soda machines dating back to the 1920s, including one of the original 1925 Coca-Cola vending machines (even Coke headquarters in Atlanta doesn’t have this machine). Visitors can browse the museum while listening to the jukebox & enjoying a cold glass bottle soda dispensed free from one of the machines on display. Adjoining the museum facility is Club Cola, a banquet hall that can be rented for parties with all the old-fashioned bottle soda you can drink. Phone: (828) 962-9783 www.antiquevending.com

Granite Falls History & Transportation Museum 107 Falls Ave, Granite Falls, NC. Operated by the Town of Granite Falls, this museum is housed in the historic home of Andrew Baird, one of the town’s original founders. The restored house dates back to the 1790s & is the oldest structure in Granite Falls. The museum features local transportation memorabilia & Granite Falls history. Free admission. Hours: Sat 10am-4pm & Sun: 2-4pm. (828) 396-2792 or (828) 396-3131

Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC. 8,000 acres of beauty at the Historic Biltmore Estate. Kids 16 and younger are admitted FREE all summer. Dads for FREE on Father’s Day, June 17. New exhibition about the Vanderbilt family. Annual concert series kicks off in August. One Lodge Street, Asheville, NC. 828-225-1333 www.biltmore.com

Hudson Railroad Depot Museum 550 Central St Hudson, NC. This renovated depot was originally built around the turn of the 20th century & was used as a train station until the 1970s. The museum provides memorabilia pertaining to the Town of Hudson including the history of the Hudson Depot. On exhibit is a restored 1912 Wood-Sided Rear Cupola Caboose furnished with railroad artifacts. Free admission. Hours: The museum is open during special events & by appointment. (828) 728-8272

The North Carolina Transportation Museum The Museum That Moves You The NC Transportation Museum is a window to the history of transportation innovation & its effects on the state. A family-friendly place filled with interesting exhibits & special events, the museum is a source of education & fun for young & old. Year-round, there’s plenty to see & do. Bring your children to a Day Out With Thomas™. Take a ride on the train or turntable. Go on a scenic autumn excursion or participate in special Halloween & Christmas festivities. Museum hours & train ride schedules are seasonal. 9am–5pm Mon–Sat & 1–5pm Sun. There is no admission fee for museum exhibits. Train Ride Schedule: Thurs & Fri 11am, 1 & 2pm; Sat 11am, 1, 2 & 3pm; Sun 1:30, 2:30 & 3:30pm. Train Ride Prices: Adults $6, Children (ages 3–12), $5, Seniors (ages 60+) $5, Children 2 & under FREE. 411 S. Salisbury Ave. Spencer, NC. (704)636-2889 www.nctrans.org

Carolina Aviation Museum Charlotte, NC. Spread your wings & soar! Collections of aircraft, helicopters, equipment, gadgets & printed material cover years of aviation history & accomplishments. Interactive displays are especially attractive to the younger visitor...but we have noticed aircraft buffs of all ages climbing into the pilot’s seat. Located adjacent to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, so visits will include watching all types of commercial & private aircraft land & takeoff. Operating Hours: Mon-Fri: 10am-4pm & Sat: 10am-5pm & Sun: Closed. Admission: Adults: $12, Seniors: $10, Students & Active Military with ID: $8, Children under 6: Free. Discounts for groups of ten or more with advance reservation. (704)359-8442 www.carolinasaviation.org

Mountain Music in Old Fort Every Friday evening at 7-11pm Since 1986, folks have gathered to hear & play bluegrass & traditional mountain music. Nobody’s paid, everyone’s welcome & coffee & sodas are still just a quarter! Located in the Rockett Building on Main St, Downtown Old Fort. A variety of performers, not only from surrounding counties, but also surrounding states, even from merry old England they come to entertain you weekly. From as few as three to as many as eight bands play for us every Friday. Bands play for 30 minutes, then a new band takes over. Free, donations gladly accepted. (828)668-9891 www.oldfort.org

The NC Zoological Park, Asheboro, NC. With more than 500 acres in its African & North American continental regions, this is a place of wonder & discovery. The country’s largest & finest walk-through, natural-habitat zoo. This means that the animals & plants in its exhibits are seen in settings that closely resemble the habitats in which they would live in the wild. (800)488-0444 www.nczoo.org

Wet‘n Wild Greensboro, NC. The largest water park in both the Carolinas is the place to cool off, get sun & have fun. Over 36 rides & attractions for all ages from tots to seniors. Family friendly & the young kids will have a great time in Splash Island & Happy Harbor. Wet‘n Wild Emerald Pointe offers an abundance of lounge chairs & shaded areas. All Day Splash - 48 Inches & Over $34.99, All Day Splash Junior - under 48 inches $23.99, All Day Splash Senior - 55 & older $23.99 & 2 & under are free. (800)555-5900 www.emeraldpointe.com

Battleship USS NC - Standing with quiet dignity & majesty across from historic downtown Wilmington, the Battleship NC beckons visitors to walk her decks & envision daily life as well as fierce combat situations that her veterans faced in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. Admission Prices: Adult - 12 & over $12, Seniors (65 & older) $10, Military (active duty or retired with military ID card) $10, Child 6-11 $6, Child-5 & under Free, ADA $6, Child ADA $3 ADA Staff needed to assist - Free (up to 1 per client) (910)251-5797 www.battleshipnc.com

NC Aquariums - Located on Roanoke Island Pine Knoll Shores & Fort Fisher, the Aquariums were established in 1976 to promote an awareness, understanding, appreciation, & conservation of the diverse natural & cultural resources associated with NC’s ocean, estuaries, rivers, streams, & other aquatic environments. Adults 13-61: $8, Seniors 62 & over: $7, Children 3-12: $6, 2 & under: FREE. www.ncaquariums.com

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad With 53 miles of track, 2 tunnels & 25 bridges, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers a variety of excursions that explore the amazing landscape of Western NC. With the romance & mystique of an era gone by, guests on-board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad will enjoy scenic train journeys across fertile valleys & through river gorges in a spectacular region near The Great Smoky Mountains. For rates & schedule: (800)872-4681 www.gsmr.com

Day At The Farm - Day At The Farm is the site of a 150 year old Craven County farm. Located in Cove City, NC, the farm offers picnic areas, nature trail, animal feeding, an ice cream parlor, maze, guided tours & more. (252) 514-9494 www.adayatthefarm.com

Ride the South Fork Catawba River Rail Trail A relatively flat trail along the South Fork Catawba River, this trail offers views of floodplain forests, a bald cypress swamp, rock outcrops & wildflowers to bikers & pedestrians. 2677 Laboratory Rd. www.catawbalands.org

Woodmill Winery Watch the process of muscadine wine being made from the five acres of vines to the bottling area & wine cellar in the winery’s basement. 1350 Woodmill Winery Lane, Vale, NC. (704)276-9911 www.woodmillwinery.com

Lineberger’s Berry Hill Farm Pick your own strawberries, blueberries, or Christmas tree. Juicy strawberries or blackberry & strawberry cider available. (704)748-1488. Sweet blueberries or Christmas trees available at Helms Christmas Tree Farm (704)276-1835 www.helmschristmastreefarm.com

The New Andy Griffith Museum Andy Griffith’s hometown of Mount Airy, NC is home to the new Andy Griffith Museum with the largest collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia collected by his friend Emmett Forrest. The collection features hundreds of items from the life & career of Andy Griffith in movies, television & music as well as a variety of memorabilia. There are actual props from The Andy Griffith Show & Matlock given by Andy Griffith himself. The museum also includes items donated by cast members from The Andy Griffith Show as well as a special section on the career of actress & current Mount Airy resident Betty Lynn. Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 11:am-4:pm, Sun 1:30-4:30pm. Closed holidays. A minimum donation of $3 per person required for admission to the Andy Griffith Collection. Children 12 & under will be admitted free of charge. The Andy Griffith Museum & Collection is located at The Andy Griffith Playhouse & Surry Arts Council. The Andy Griffith Playhouse is also home to the TV Land Landmark the Andy & Opie Statue. Admission: $3 a person & Children 12 & Under are FREE. (800)286-6193 www.surryarts.org

Pilot Mountain State Park 1792 Pilot Knob Park Rd, Pinnacle, NC. (336) 325-2355. Approach from any direction & see Pilot Mountain rising more than 1,400 feet above the rolling countryside of the upper Piedmont plateau. Dedicated as a National Natural Landmark in 1976, this solitary peak is the centerpiece of Pilot Mountain State Park. Fun, from relaxation to exhilaration, is easy to find here. Treat yourself to a horseback ride through the woods or challenge the river from raft or canoe. A five-mile woodland corridor joins two sections of the park, each section offering a wealth of opportunities for outdoor fun. The mountain segment, which includes the two pinnacles, contains most of the visitor facilities. The more primitive river section centers around the lazy, meandering Yadkin River. Park Hours: Nov-Feb, 8am-6pm, Mar & Oct, 8am-7pm, Apr, May, Sep, 8am-8pm, Jun-Aug, 8am-9pm. Closed Christmas Day, Park Office Hours 8am-5pm weekdays. Closed state holidays www.ncparks.gov

Squad Car Tours Mt, Airy, NC. Open Mon-Sat (Jan-Dec) Open On Sun (July-Sep) No visit to Mayberry is complete without a ride in Mayberry’s Squad Car. Located at Wally’s Service Station. Cruise on over to Andy’s homeplace then ride in Mayberry style down Main St past Floyd’s Barbershop & Snappy Lunch. Your personal tour of Mayberry Awaits you-climb on in. The Car can hold up to 5 people in the car. Location: Wally’s Service Station, 625 S. Main St, Mount Airy, NC. Please call ahead to reserve your squad car tour: (336)789-OPIE or www.tourmayberry.com

Tour Floyd’s City Barber Shop Mt. Airy, NC. Open for tour: Mon, Tues, Wed & Fri. 7am-5pm. Sat 7am–3pm, Sometimes on Thurs, but never on Sunday! (336) 786-2346 Floyd’s City Barbershop-free admission-but a hair cut will cost you! Location: Historic Downtown, 129 N. Main St, Mount Airy, NC. Russell Hiatt has cut Andy Griffith’s Hair BEFORE! www.visitmayberry.com

Land Of Waterfalls Brevard & Transylvania County, NC A place where 250 waterfalls & countless streams have taken centuries to patiently carve the very faces of these mountains. Local bluegrass jams coexist along virtuoso performances by some of the greatest classical musicians of our time. A temperate rain forest supports some of the rarest plant & animal species on the planet and a pair of white squirrels, on the lam from a traveling carnival in the 1950’s, started a family that now spans generations. In short, it is a place like no other on earth. Welcome to the Land of Waterfalls. A world apart. www.visitwaterfalls.com

The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC Providing innovative educational experiences is at the core of The Mint Museum’s mission. Experience Art through Programs & Events! Having two locations provides our visitors with twice as much to see & do. The Mint Museum & their affiliate groups organize a variety of programs & events throughout the year. Education programs are designed to enhance the permanent collections & temporary exhibitions at both locations, while events mix social interaction with informal art appreciation. Lectures & demonstrations provide a window into the themes, cultural history & techniques of art. Classes sharpen minds as well as skills in art & craft media. The Mint Museum welcomes families, children, adults & seniors, offering gallery guides, touchable objects, hands-on workshops & Family Days that enable participants to connect to art & to each other. (704)337-2000 or by mail at: Mint Museum of Art 2730 Randolph Rd Charlotte, NC. Mint Museum of Craft + Design 220 North Tryon St Charlotte.

Discovery Place Charlotte, NC From bears to beakers, there’s something for everyone at Discovery Place & Charlotte Nature Museum. Monday-Friday 9:30am-4pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun noon-5pm. The Charlotte Observer IMAX Dome Theatre has multiple shows daily. (800)935-0553 www.discoveryplace.org

Hickory Crawdads LP Frans Stadium 2500 Clement Blvd NW Hickory,NC (828) 211-3000 http://hickory.crawdads.milb.com

U.S. National Whitewater Center Charlotte. The USNWC is only 10 minutes from downtown Charlotte & provides over 300 acres of woodlands along the scenic Catawba River. Olympic-caliber athletes, weekend warriors & casual observers share this world-class sports & training center. Inspired by the successful Penrith Whitewater Stadium built for the 2000 Olympics & the stadium built for the 2004 Athens Games, the USNWC is the world’s only multi-channel recirculating whitewater river. The USOC has designated the USNWC an official U.S. Olympic Training Site. The national governing body for the sport, USA Canoe & Kayak (USACK) has also designated the Center as its new home. The USNWC hosts World Cup competitions & Olympic Trials, & serves as the home of international Olympic athletes. www.usnwc.org

Schiele Museum Gastonia, NC Entering The Schiele Museum and being wowed is a perfectly natural phenomenon. Spectacular lifelike dioramas filled with live animals, mounted specimens, vegetation and land formations showcase an impressive collection of North American birds, mammals and reptiles as well as installations and interpretations of the history and present day lifestyles of peoples of the region and North America. Whether visiting the Paleozoic sea or one of the Southeast’s most diverse collections of rocks and minerals, it becomes crystal clear that the wonders of the natural world never cease, and that The Schiele Museum is the perfect place to discover them... over and over again. Hurry. The dinosaurs are waiting. 1500 East Garrison Blvd, Gastonia, NC. (704)866-6900 www.schielemuseum.org

Hickory Museum of Art Daily admission to the Hickory Museum of Art is FREE. Group tours may be arranged in advance. For information on group tours and school field trip opportunities, call HMA Educator Ginny Zellmer at 828-327-8576. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10 AM - 4 PM. Sunday 1 - 4 PM. Closed Mondays and Holidays. 243 3rd Avenue Northeast Hickory, NC 28601. (828) 327-8576 www.hickorymuseumofart.org

Catawba Science Center Hickory, NC. Tuesda - Friday 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday 1 to 4 p.m. Catawba Science Center is closed to the public on Mondays. Exhibits Admission CSC Member: FREE. Nonmember Adult: $7 Senior (62 & over): $5 Youth (3 to 18): $5, Children under 3: FREE, Student with ID: $5, Active Military with ID: $5, ASTC Reciprocal: FREE. Planetarium Admission: CSC Member: $2, Nonmember: $3, ASTC Reciprocal: $3. Combo Ticket (Exhibits & Planetarium Show) CSC Member (all ages) $2. Nonmember Adult: $8, Senior (62 & over): $6 Youth (18 & under): $6, Student with ID: $6, Active Military with ID: $6 Children under 3: $3, ASTC Reciprocal: $3. 243 3rd Avenue Northeast Hickory, NC 28601 (828) 322-8169 www.catawbascience.org

Hickory Aviation Museum FREE admission! Display aircraft are: Grumman F-14D Tomcat; North American FJ-3 Fury; Douglas A-4L Skyhawk; Northrop F-5E Aggressor; Fokker F-27; Republic F-105B Thunderchief; Lockheed T-33A; DeHavilland Vampire; McDonnell-Douglas F-4B Phantom II; LTV A-7A Corsair II. F-27 & A-7A open to public, so if you’ve ever wanted to sit in the pilot’s seat, here’s your chance! Volunteers available to answer questions. Schedule group tours. (828)323-1963. Veterans program open to veterans of all wars the first Sat of month beginning at 11am. Hickory Regional Airport, just off of Hwy 321, 3101 9th Ave Dr NW. Fri 10-2, Sat 10-5, Sun 1-5. www.hickoryaviationmuseum.org


SOUTH CAROLINA

FESTIVALS

Freedom Weekend 5/25-5/28/12 Simpsonville, SC. This annual event offers attendees a family-oriented, affordable & fun-filled weekend which includes: more than 80 hot-air balloons, concerts, frisbee dog competitions, rides & games, fireworks, music, great food & much more. (864)399-9481 www.freedomweekend.org

Myrtle Beach Sun Fun Festival, 6/2-6/4/12 one of the largest summer vacation season kick-off parties in the country! Thousands of visitors flock to the sixty miles of beach in the area for special events, competitions, concerts, activities, games, food, and other festival fun. Some popular highlights of the Sun Fun Festival include a professional sand sculpture, special concert series, the Sun Fun Beer Garden, “Beach Tennis USA,” the Miss Sun Fun USA Pageant, the Sun Fun Show Center featuring vendors, food, entertainment, and a special children’s area, an incredible air show, and much more! A family festival area will include special contests, activities, face painting, sand castle building contests, and more, while the Kids Fair area features inflatable rides, music, contests, crafts & activities, and more. www.grandstrandevents.com

The Party In The Pines 6/7-6/9/12 Whitmire SC. A 3-day festival held in Whitmire, S.C. 25th year. For three days the Whitmire Jaycees will close Main Street for fun & frolic for the young & young-at-heart. The festival attracts thousands of people from surrounding counties to this small town of less than 2000. One thing that sets this festival apart from others is that it is strictly an evening event. Hours: Thurs: 6-11pm. Fri: 6pm-midnight. Sat: 4pm-midnight. Street dances, Parade Sat 4pm. Lots of food, Arts & Crafts, Live Entertainment Each Night. www.angelfire.com

Mighty Moo Festival 6/13-6/16/12 Cowpens, SC. A four-day event that boasts street dances, a golf tournament, a baseball game, an arts & crafts sale, carnival rides, fireworks, & a parade. The festival is a time for the townspeople to celebrate their history & to honor the veterans & crewmen of the USS Cowpens CVL 25 & the USS Cowpens CG63. www.cowpensmightymoo.com

42nd Annual Ridge Peach Festival 6/16/12 9am-4pm. Trenton, SC. The Fort Gordon Military Band will lead the parade again this year & kick off the festival with a wonderful park concert. 100 arts & crafts, antiques, Carnival Rides & inflatables, fresh Titan Farm peaches, homemade peach preserves, jams, & jellies at the Country Store. Parade comes thru at 10:30am. Hands-on demonstrations, such as spoon carving & blacksmiths, Softball Tournament too. Peaches, Unique Crafts, An awesome Parade, Vendors, Delicious Homemade preserves & jellies. The event is on level ground & shuttles will run all day from the parking area to the park. Bring your family, but leave your pets at home. www.ridgepeachfestival.com

Hampton County Watermelon Festival 6/16-6/24/12 Hampton, SC. The Festival’s 70th Year Theme is “Honoring Teachers.” Festival highlights: Lake Warren State Park Family Fun Day, Youth Parade, Pet Show, Mud Run, Watermelon Eating Contest, Watermelon Judging Contest, a Melon Miss pageant for all ages, the big Miss Coastal & Miss Teen Coastal Empire Pageants, arts & crafts displays, a Taste of good Hampton County Food, plus variety of musical entertainment, and one of the largest parades in the state! www.melonfest.org

July 4th Celebration‚ North Charleston, SC Riverfront Park, 1001 Everglades Drive 3-10PM (843) 745-1087 The City of North Charleston is once again hosting the July 4th celebration at the Riverfront Park on Sunday, July 4, 2012 from 3:00 PM - 9:00 PM. Live entertainment ends a wonderful day with a spectacular fireworks display at dark. The Festival is presented free of charge to the public. Guests attending the Festival are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets, as there is no seating provided. No alcohol is permissible within the park. A wide variety of food vendors are always on site. Children activities are available free of charge, including inflatable jump castles, games, the play area, the giant sandbox, and the water fountain. The Festival at Riverfront Park is located on the former Charleston Naval Base, easily accessible from I-526 and I-26. Guests may enter the former Charleston Naval Base by the McMillan Avenue gate or the Virginia Avenue gate and turn onto Hobson Avenue. Riverfront Park signs are visible for easy to follow directions. All parking is free and shuttles are available during the event for the convenience of guests. Riverfront Park is open to the public year-round and has become a favorite destination for residents and visitors. Set on the banks of the beautiful Cooper River, the park is adjacent to the historic homes once occupied by the Charleston Naval Base officers, surrounded by graceful grand oak trees and peaceful river vistas. Bordered by Noisette Creek, the park boasts a magnificent contemporary Performance Pavilion and meadow. Riverfront Park is home to the Greater Charleston Naval Base Memorial, erected in honor of the countless military personnel and civilians that served the United States and the Greater Charleston region while the Charleston Navy Base was operational. A component of the 2009 North Charleston Arts Festival, the Competition and Exhibition features large-scale contemporary sculptures on display throughout the year. www.charlestonlowcountry.com

South Carolina Festival of Discovery 7/13-7/14/12 Greenwood, SC. Discover what rural America is all about during the award-winning South Carolina Festival of Discovery, in beautiful Uptown Greenwood. Enjoy the weekend rubbin’ elbows with the BEST barbeque cooks from across the country, while listening to the rich sounds of the blues. Festival features fun for the entire family including a Barbeque & Hash Cook-off, a “Blues Cruise,” & much more. www.festivalofdiscovery.com

Beaufort Water Festival 7/13-7/22/12 Beaufort, SC. 10-day event includes music, air show, Blessing of the Fleet, sporting events, crafts, dances, food. www.bftwaterfestival.com

Pageland Watermelon Festival 7/20-7/21/12 Downtown Pageland, SC. Large Sat. morning parade. Savor the delicious variety of foods as the beautiful wares of the crafters lure you. A variety of events throughout the day at the Children’s Stage located in Moore’s Park. Old fashioned seed spittin’ & watermelon eatin’ contests for all ages. Pageants will be held the weekend before the festival, with divisions for adults, teens, youth & children. This will allow the winners to enjoy the festival with us the following weekend. Classic car & motorcycle show & a rodeo. At the end of each day take in the music & entertainment of live bands. www.pagelandwatermelonfestival.com

Little Mountain Reunion 8/3-8/4/12 Little Mtn., SC The first Little Mountain Reunion was held in 1882 making it one of the oldest folk festivals in South Carolina. Bring the whole family out for two days packed with fun & entertainment including a parade, carnival rides & games, an 8K run, & more. www.littlemountainreunion.org

South Carolina Peanut Party 8/10-8/11/12 Fri; 5am-11pm; Sat 10am-11pm. 951 Pine St. Pelion Sc 29123; Pelion Community Center, across from the fire station & next door to Shumpert’s IGA. No gate fees. Palmetto Amusement Ride costs: armbands ($15).Pelion-bands, carnival rides, parade, peanut butter sandwich eating contest, lots of boiled peanuts. www.scpeanutparty.com

MOTORCYCLES

Atlantic Beach Bike Festival 5/25-5/28/12 Atlantic Beach, SC. The event will be headquartered at Town Center 30th Ave & South Ocean Blvd in Atlantic Beach but various activities will take place around the Myrtle Beach Grand Stand area. The official opening time is 12pm May 25. Activities will include drag racing, organized rides, custom bike show, poker runs, music & more. Trophies & awards will go to the bike show winners. There is also awards for winners in the drag races. The event it open to all types of riders, & all races. (202) 492-7909 www.blackbikeweek.us

Myrtle Beach Bike Week Fall Rally 10/3-10/7/12 Murrells Inlet, SC. The event headquarters at welcome tent at Cooter’s Backyard Bar & Grill, 3264 S. Highway 17 in Murrells Inlet. Activities will take place at various locations in & around Murrells Inlet. The event includes bike shows, poker runs, tours, vendors, entertainment & more. (336) 643-1367 www.myrtlebeachbikeweek.com

THINGS TO DO

Alabama Theatre 4750 Hwy. 17 S North Myrtle Beach, SC. The remarkable, multi-talented entertainers, aerialists, & world-class musicians deliver two hours of incredible music, dance & comedy. Summer months offer Family Nights, when kids aged 16 & younger are admitted free with paid adults. Additionally the Guest Artist Concert Series delivers some of the biggest names in show business. The South’s Grandest Christmas show offers the most dramatic & extravagant Holiday production on the East Coast. Admissions : One The Show $34.95-$45.95; age 16 & younger $17.95. Group rates available. 4750 Hwy. 17 S North Myrtle Beach, SC. (800)342-2262 www.alabama-theatre.com

Barefoot Landing 4898 Hwy. 17 S. North Myrtle Beach, SC. Shopping, dining, & entertainment along the Intracoastal Waterway in a relaxed, boardwalk atmosphere surrounding a 27-acre lake. Over 100 shops, 15 restaurants, The Alabama Theatre, Alligator Adventure, Carolina Vineyards Winery, Ghosts & Legends Theater, House of Blues & MirrorMaze. 800-272-2320 Days & Hours of Operation: Open Daily at 10 AM, closing hours vary by season. Days & Holidays Closed: Christmas Day. www.bflanding.com

Broadway At The Beach 1325 Celebrity CIR Myrtle Beach, SC. Myrtle Beach’s Broadway At The Beach Announces The 2012 Coca-Cola Summer Nights Entertainment Line Up June 4 through September 2, with free nightly entertainment. “The Bryan Dangerous Comedy Show” is a family friendly, interactive comedy juggling show set to high energy music. In addition, Coca-Cola Summer Nights will feature a variety of on-stage entertainment as well as strolling entertainers. Legends In Concert will showcase several of their tribute artists every Monday at 5:30 p.m. on the Coca-Cola stage. Returning to Broadway at the Beach this year for a longer engagement, Mr. Nigel & Friends, a kid-friendly band out of Charlotte, N.C., will appear every Monday and Tuesday nights, June 18 through August 14, at 7 p.m. Starting May 29, Broadway at the Beach will also be bringing back fireworks extravaganzas every Tuesday at 10 p.m. through August 28. Hard Rock Café will feature nightly entertainment on their patio May 28 through September 3, and Celebrity Square will feature a Thursday night concert series, as well as a live DJ every Friday and Saturday night. For more information about Broadway at the Beach or Coca-Cola Summer Nights, visit www.BroadwayattheBeach.com, call 1-800-386-4662. Among Broadway at the Beach’s restaurants are Hard Rock Café, Planet Hollywood and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. Broadway at the Beach is also home to three hotels, Hampton Inn, Fairfield Inn and Holiday Inn Express, plus WonderWorks, Legends in Concert, Ripley’s Aquarium, Palace Theatre, Carmike’s Broadway Cinema 16, the Pavilion Nostalgia Park (featuring nine rides from the former Pavilion Amusement Park), and Celebrity Square, a New Orleans-inspired nightclub district. (800)386-4662 www.broadwayatthebeach.com

Family Kingdom Amusement Park & Oceanfront Water Park 300 S Ocean Blvd Myrtle Beach, SC. Family Kingdom features more than 30 rides including a thrilling wooden roller coaster & South Carolina’s largest ferris wheel with one-of-a-kind views of the ocean. Crank up the fun without breaking the bank. Admissions: Amusement Park Wristband is $24.50 per person plus tax, Water Park Wristband $20.95 per person plus tax. Days & Hours of Operation: Amusement Park is open thru 10/8/11, 4pm-Midnight. Please note opening time may vary at the amusement park, call for specific hours of operation. Water Park is open Daily 5/28-9/4/11 at 10am. (843)916-0400 www.familykingdomfun.com

Riley Moore Falls Off Cobb Bridge Rd (Co. Rd. 37), on Spy Rock Rd Westminster, SC. Riley Moore Falls is a relatively short cascade of about 12 feet, but is 100 feet wide. It once powered a mill & is now used occasionally by Class VI whitewater paddlers. The 45 minute, moderate 1 mile hike is worth the travel time. Watch for clusters of daisy fleabane & fern, plus numerous azaleas adorning the falls during springtime. (864)638-9568 www.sctrails.net

South Carolina Botanical Garden 150 Discovery Lane Clemson University, Clemson, SC. The South Carolina Botanical Garden is a diverse 295 acres of natural landscapes, display gardens, & miles of streams & nature trails. Together with distinguished education & outreach programs, a nationally recognized nature-based sculpture collection, & the Bob Campbell Geology Museum, the SCBG is a premier site for experiencing nature & culture. The South Carolina Botanical Garden is home to an official American Hosta Society Display Garden, a 70-acre arboretum, miles of nature trails & streams, a butterfly garden, wildflower meadow & fern & bog gardens. The Garden is also home to over 400 varieties of camellias, as well as hollies, hydrangeas, magnolias & native plants. Free admission. Days & Hours of Operation: Gardens open daily from dawn to dusk. Visitors Center open Mon- Sat, 10am-4pm. (864)656-3405

Shipwreck Cove 119 S Spencer St., Duncan, SC. One of the region’s most exciting, family-friendly water parks & destinations for families & kids of all ages! Admissions: 10am-4pm: $8 under 42 inches, $11 over 42 includes; 4-6pm: $5 under 42 inches, $7 over 42 inches. Days & Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat 10am-10pm; Sun reserved for private events. (864)949-0290 www.shipwreckcovesc.com

Spirit of Lake Murray 1600 Marina Rd., Lake Murray Marina, Irmo, SC. The Spirit of Lake Murray is an 80-foot, steel hulled yacht offering an exquisite way to cruise the waters of Lake Murray in comfort. Located at the Lake Murray Marina & Yacht Club in Ballentine, SC, the charter passenger yacht has an indoor bar & climate controlled deck salons. The Spirit of Lake Murray is available for charters, & provides the ultimate experience for an intimate private cruise, family outing, class reunion, party, wedding, or business meeting. (803)730-3044 www.spiritoflakemurray.com



TENNESSEE

FESTIVALS

Covered Bridge Celebration 6/7-6/9/12 Elizabethton, TN. 46th Music, crafts, kids island, free fishing, free ice cream social, Hillbilly Contest, 5K Run/Walk, Car show,Third Tyme Out. (423)547-3850 www.coveredbridge.elizabethtonchamber.com

Old Fashioned 4th of July 7/4/12 Etowah, TN. Food & Craft vendors with Games & Rides for the Kids, Music & Entertainment all day long! (423)745-6680 www.coveredbridge.elizabethtonchamber.com

Uncle Dave Macon Days 7/13-7/15/12 Murfreesboro, TN. Old time music & dance competitions. National championships buck dance, clogging, old time banjo. juried arts & crafts. 615-893-4953 www.uncledavemacondays.com

Smokin’ in McMinnville BBQ Festival 8/10-8/11/12 McMinnville, TN. Join us for this 3-day KCBS sanctioned state BBQ competition & family friendly festival Free admission. (931)473-6611 www.smokininmcminnville.com

Southern Fried Festival 9/28-9/29/12 Columbia, TN. Three music stages, Kid Zone, Arts & crafts, Cooking Challenge, Commercial vendors, Zinghopper Kids performance & more. (888)852-1860 www.southernfriedfest.com

Harvest Street Festival 10/6-10/7/12 Newport, TN. Free two-day, 27th annual event includes local & regional arts & crafts, entertaintment, kiddie land & much much more. (423)623-7201

Oktoberfest 10/12-10/13/12 Crossville, TN. Annual Oktoberfest at Knights of Columbus Activity Park, German/Polka music from 3 Bands, Great German Food. (931)707-7291 www.crossvilleoktoberfest.com

MOTORCYCLES

Knoxville Ride for Kids 7/29/12 Knoxville, TN. Ride starts at Pellissippi State Community College, 10915 Hardin Valley Road in Knoxville. Registration 8-9:45am. Escorted ride starts at 10am. Ride fee is a minimum donation of $35. All bikes are welcome. Proceeds go to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation® medical research & family support programs. (800)253-6530 www.pbtfus.org/rideforkids

South East Raider Rally 8/1-8/5/12 Johnson City, TN. Registration begins at 4pm at the Holiday Inn, 101 West Springbrook Drive in Johnson City. The rally will have a group ride each day & will benefit Kari’s Heart Foundation. (904) 222-4685 www.raiderrally.com

AHDRA Thunder in the Valley Nationals 8/3-8/4/12 Bristol, TN. Motorcycle racing will take place at Bristol Dragway, 151 Speedway Boulevard in Bristol. Gates open Fri 4pm, Sat 9am & Sun 8am. Qualified racers can enter in 16 classes of competition. General admission $50 for the weekend or $30 for a single day. www.ahdra.com

Hawg Holler Fall Bash 8/16-8/19/12 Atwood, TN. 164 Clay Farm Lane near Atwood. 127 acre biker friendly park with paved roads and beautiful camping facilities plus hot showers! live music and great food with cold beer sold on premises plus biker games & stage contests all weekend long! do not miss out on all the fun! must be 21 to attend! vendors welcome! The bike show will have various classes & be judged by peoples’ choice. Trophies will be awarded to winners. The bike games will include a slow race, weenie bite, barrel roll, & others. (731) 571-0125 www.hawgholler.net

West TN Valley Rally 8/23-8/26/12 Morris Chapel, TN. 2410 Marshall Drive. Events start 8pm on Thurs. Slow race, keg roll, straight line contest, weenie bite, a bike show, burnout contest, poker run, music & more. Bike show will have awards for best paint, most chrome, best modified, smallest street bike, best in show & more. (731) 412-6276 www.westtnvalleyrally.com

THINGS TO DO

Chattanooga Zoo The mission of the Chattanooga Zoo is to provide an educational & recreational opportunity for all. The Chattanooga Zoo also seeks to provide a dignified & esthetically pleasing environment for the animals. www.chattanooga.gov

Chattanooga Riverboat Company offers fabulous dinner cruises, daily lunch cruises or daytime sightseeing cruises along the scenic Tennessee River aboard the Southern Belle. 201 Riverfront Parkway, Pier 2 Chattanooga TN. (423) 266-4488 www.chattanoogariverboat.com

Ruby Falls Chattanooga, TN America’s highest underground waterfall open to the public, is located on historic Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Take a guided tour of the caves & the spectacular 145-foot waterfall. Ruby Falls - a memorable experience for all ages. Ruby Falls, 1720 South Scenic Highway, Chattanooga, TN. (423)821-2544 www.rubyfalls.com

Tennessee Aquarium World’s largest freshwater aquarium. Journey through a spectacular 60-foot canyon & two living forests, with over 9,000 animals that swim, fly, & crawl in natural habitats. One Broad Street, Chattanooga TN. (800)262-0695 www.tnaqua.org

Tennessee Valley Railroad The largest operating historic railroad in the South. Restored steam & diesel locomotives pull trains along a historic railroad on 50-minute roundtrip rides. 4119 Cromwell Rd, Chattanooga, TN. (423)894-8028 www.tvrail.com

Abraham Lincoln Library & Museum Located on the beautiful campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, the Abraham Lincoln Library & Museum houses one of the most diverse Lincoln & Civil War collections in the country. 6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway, Harrogate, TN. (423)869-6235 www.lmunet.edu/museum

Museum of Appalachia Opened in the late 1960’s, the museum has grown to 65 acres, including dozens of authentic log structures, a large Display Building, an extensive Craft & Gift & Antique Shop.Auditorium & the popular Appalachian Hall of Fame Building. 2819 Andersonville Hwy. Clinton, TN. (865) 494-7680 www.museumofappalachia.org

Country Tonite Theatre, Pigeon Forge, TN The same high-energy, non-stop entertainment that has made its Branson & Las Vegas shows so popular. In its fifth year in Pigeon Forge, Country Tonite’s spectacular music & entertainment is presented by America’s largest award-winning cast. 129 Showplace Blvd, Pigeon Forge, TN. (800)792-4308 www.countrytonitepf.com

Creative Discovery Museum, Chattanooga, TN A great place for children to discover themselves & the world they live in. Hands-on, interactive arts & science exhibits wow & challenge children to explore, create & learn. Creative Discovery Museum 321 Chestnut St, Chattanooga, TN. 423) 756-2738 www.cdmfun.org

Dollywood & Splash Country Escape to the unique world of Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain theme park in Pigeon Forge. Enjoy the wholesome fun & entertainment of the music, crafts, attractions & rides at Dollywood. Dolly’s Splash Country offers waterfalls, winding streams & white water adventures for the whole family. Pgeon Forge, TN. (800)365-5996 www.dollywood.com

Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre On your next visit to the Great Smoky Mountains, head for Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre, Gatlinburg´s top entertainment attraction & oldest purveyor of professional, live-on-stage, original musical comedies, outrageous humor & hilarious fun. 461 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN. (877)388-5784 www.sweetfannyadamstheatre.com

Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort & Amusement Park A mountain top of fun, excitement, & mountain beauty at the scenic & exciting four-seasons world of Ober Gatlinburg. 1001 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN. (865) 436-5423 www.obergatlinburg.com

Jon Dee’s Hypnotized Comedy Show 115 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg, TN. Jon showcases the powers of our God given minds in the world’s only permanent comedy hypnosis theater. Volunteer or watch your friends, either way you will laugh hysterically & be amazed. (877)732-5497 www.gatlinburgshow.com

Motion Ride Movie Theater 716 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN. Extreme fun in the area’s wildest simulator! Virtual Reality motion simulator features eight awesome movie rides for one low price. Downtown Parkway next to Fort Fun. (865) 430-8985 www.smokymountainfun.com

Mysterious Mansion Of Gatlinburg 424 River Road, Gatlinburg, TN. Gatlinburg’s scariest & most exciting attraction. Open daily, 10am-11pm. Call for Spring & Winter hours. (865) 436-7007

Old Town Gem Mining 644 Parkway Suite 3, Gatlinburg, TN. Right smack in the middle of downtown Gatlinburg. Join the adventure of finding gems & precious stones. 1,000’s of carats found every week. Specializing in making jewelry out of rough finds. (865) 436-5029


VIRGINIA

FESTIVALS

The Stone Tower Renaissance Faire 6/23-6/24/12 Natural Chimneys Park 94 Natural Chimneys Lane Mt. Solon, VA, at the Natural Chimneys Park. Sat 10am-6pm; Masquerade Ball 5pm; & Sun 10am-5pm. Emerging from the myst ascending from the Glenn, rise the spires of the Ancient Castle that gives unto this magical place its name, Stone Tower Glenn. Festive music complements the festive sounds of laughter & merriment that abounds here. While the aromas of delicious foods drift through the Merchant tents filled with wondrous wares, & Knights of Olde clash their swords for Honour & Glory. Amazing performers, & games to test your skills, & more. Admission Fee: $7 per car load. (540) 337-6324 www.medievalfantasiesco.com

Heathsville Strawberry Festival 5/26/12 10am. St. Stephens Church Hwy 360 Heathsville, VA. Near Chesapeake Bay. Over 100 artists & crafters will exhibit their handmade wares. Delicious, freshly-picked strawberries & strawberry shortcake, giant bake sale. Live entertainment. Lunch on the premises. Good Southern hospitality. Call George & Jan Beckett, festival co-chairs at (804)580-5179 for more information & driving directions. Festival held at St. Stephens Church on Hwy 360 in Heathsville. Blackbeard Pirate Festival 6/1-6/3/12 Mill Point Park, Downtown Hampton & Hampton Waterfront, 756 Settlers Landing Rd Hampton, VA. Join Blackbeard & his Crew in Downtown Hampton for the 12th annual Hampton Blackbeard Pirate Festival, See the the notorious Edward Teach, a.k.a. Blackbeard as he fights his final battle versus Lt. Maynard of the Royal Navy. This family festival celebrates living history & returns the Hampton waterfront to the way of life in 1718. Full-scale sea battles, tall ships, treasure hunts, sea chanties, historic reenactments, a pirate camp, strolling entertainers & a fireworks spectacular highlight the weekend. (757) 727-0900 www.blackbeardpiratefestival.com

18th Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival 6/2/12 10am-4pm. 9431 West St Manassas, VA. The Manassas Heritage Railway Festival is a family celebration of the rich railway history that Manassas has to offer. Manassas Junction was the site of both the 1st & 2nd Battles of Manassas during the Civil War & of the nation’s first military railroad. Come out to Old Town Manassas & see model railroad displays at the Harris Pavilion along with lots of fun rides for kids of all ages. The VRE Excursion Train ride to Clifton & back will be available this year. Trains will leave from Manassas for round trip excursions to Clifton from 10am-2pm. Admission free. (703) 361-6599 www.visitmanassas.org

Norfolk Harborfest, 36th Annual 6/8-6/10/12 Town Point Park Waterside Dr, Norfolk, VA. Three explosive days of free entertainment, electrifying fireworks display & the biggest outdoor dock party in Hampton Roads. The weekend festivities include over 130 hours of live entertainment on multiple stages, featuring national, regional & local musical acts • Parade of Sail • Battleship • Tall Ship Tours • Fireworks • Pirates • Fireboats • Norfolk Harborfest® Rendezvous • Virginia Wine sampling •The Ultimate Build a Boat, formerly Quick & Dirty Boat Building • Tug Muster • Chesapeake Workboats • Children’s Activities & More! (757) 441-2345 www.festevents.org

MOTORCYCLES

7th Annual Eastcoast Honda vtx Gathering with Bulldog 5/25-5/27/12 Fredericksburg, VA. The ride will start at 322 Deacon Rd. in Fredericksburg. The event includes an escorted ride & unescorted rides. There will also be food, tech sessions, prizes & more. (540) 848-4887

Ride for the Children- Kidz 2 Kamp 6/2/12 Portsmouth, VA. The dice run starts at Roger Browns, 315 High Street in Portsmouth. Riders will leave at 9am & go through Suffolk, & Chesapeake. The ride ends in Virginia Beach & includes breakfast & lunch and door prizes, trophies, 50/50 drawing, & live music. All proceeds go to the Edmarc hospice for Children & Camp Hope Haven. (757) 448-8072

4th Annual Ride for Jill’s House 6/9/12 Manassas, VA. Event starts at Prince William Campus of McLean Bible Church, 10002 Battleview Parkway in Manassas. 100 mile ride starts at 9:00 am. The funds raised will help support the on-going operations of Jill’s House. (571) 229-7623 www.jillshouseride.com

Back of the Dragon Day 6/2/12 Tazewell, VA. Event takes place at Crab Orchard Museum & Pioneer Park in Tazewell. Bike show begins at 10am. The entry fee for the bike show is $5. Trophies will be awarded for best in cruiser, sport bike, & sport tour. Registration 11am-12:30pm. The ride ends with lunch, music & more. Proceeds from the event support Historic Crab Orchard Museum. (276) 988-5726 www.backofthedragon.com

Richmond Ride for Kids 6/3/12 Mechanicsville, VA. The ride starts at Richmond Times-Dispatch, 8460 Times Dispatch Boulevard in Mechanicsville. Registration 8-9:45am, escorted ride starts at 10am. Ride fee is a minimum donation of $35. All bikes are welcome. Proceeds go to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation® medical research & family support programs. (800)253-6530 www.pbtfus.org/rideforkids

Thunder on the Mountain VII 7/13-7/15/12 Hillsville, VA. The rally will be held at the Lake Ridge RV Resort on Route 100, 4 miles North of Hillsville. Gates open at 3:00 pm on Friday. The event includes a bike rodeo, bike show, poker run, vendors & music. Admission is $10 per day or $15 for the weekend. There is no setup fee for vendors. Proceeds go to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. (276)755-5145 www.vabikers.org

Habitat for Humanity Poker Run 7/14/12 Winchester, VA. The motorcycle poker run starts at Groves Winchester Harley-Davidson Inc.,140 Independence Drive in Winchester. Registration 8:30-9:30am, $25 for the rider & $20 for a passenger. Additional hands are $5 each. (540) 662-7066 www.habitatwfc.org

Rally to the High Ground 9/30-10/2/12 Monterey, VA. The event will be held at Word of Faith Church, 93 Water Street in Monterey. A ride begins each morning with participants gathering at the church at 8:30am. The ride leaves at 9am & will go through the mountains of VA & WV. The ride will stop for lunch before returning to Monterey. There is no fee for the rides. (540) 474-3802 www.chiphillministries.com

SPECIAL EVENTS

BB&T 4th Of July Balloon Rally 7/3-7/5/12 Virginia Military Institute Letcher Ave to VMI parade grounds Lexington, VA. Featuring piloted & tethered hot air balloon rides, live musical entertainment, children’s activities, antique appraisals, classic car show, lots of food & a dazzling FIREWORKS display! All activities take place on the parade grounds at Virginia Military Institute. Piloted hot air balloon rides are limited & must be reserved in advance. No reservations required for tethered balloon rides. (540) 464-7207 www.sunriserotarylexva.org

THINGS TO DO

Busch Gardens Williamsburg One Busch Gardens Blvd. Williamsburg, VA 23185. Busch Gardens will take guests on a new journey in 2012 with the addition of a pulse-pounding roller coaster, sensational family attractions and the return of exciting seasonal events. An autobahn touring experience through Germany’s scenic countryside takes a thrilling detour pushing guests to the edge of their seats aboard Verbolten. Families will twist and turn through the forbidden Black Forest in a harrowing, action-packed adventure on the park’s newest roller coaster that opens in late spring. And that is just the beginning of the excitement at the Williamsburg-area theme park. With the return of the IllumiNights: A Busch Gardens Encore, Howl-O-Scream and Christmas Town: A Busch Gardens Celebration guests are in for a year full of fun. Admission Fee: A $66.99 K $56.99. For more information on Busch Gardens’ exciting offerings, visit www.buschgardens.com/va or call (800) 343-7946.

SEE Kiteboarding School 239 Mason Avenue Cape Charles, VA. SouthEast Expeditions Kiteboarding School has your ticket to ride! Kiteboarding is the fastest growing sport on the water, and the SEE Kiteboarding School is the only full service kiteboarding center in Virginia. With our Sunset Beach outpost just blocks from the beach, the SEE crew is tuned into the local conditions. The Cape Charles beachfront is an ideal learning environment with flat, shallow water and consistent side shore breezes. For more experienced riders, SEE offers kiteboarding expeditions through the shallow bays & barrier island breaks of the Seaside of the Eastern Shore. Discover the spot that the Kiteboarder magazine calls “the best kept secret on the East Coast”! If you’re looking for hype, head to Hatteras. Call (757)-331-2680 today for more information and reservations. www.southeastexpeditions.com

Skyline Drive Swift Run Gap Elkton, VA. Entrance Rt. 33 & Skyline Dr. 22699 Spotswood Trl. Region Shenandoah Valley Locality Rockingham. The Skyline Drive runs 105 miles north & south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park & is the only public road through the park. You can enter Shenandoah at four places: Front Royal near Rt. 66 & 340, Thornton Gap at Rt. 211, Swift Run Gap at Rt. 33, & Rockfish Gap at Rt. 64 (also the northern entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway). It takes about three hours to travel the entire length of the park on a clear day. Swift Run Gap Entrance Station (Mile 65.7) is accessible via U.S. 33. (540) 999-3500 www.nps.gov

VMP-ATV HOME OF VMP-MX & VMP-BMX 8018 Boydton Plank Road Petersburg, VA. 9am-5pm. VMP-ATV is home to VMP-MX & VMP-BMX Open for practice at the motocross track 5 days a week, Tuesday thru Sunday. The BMX track has gate practice every Tuesday night at 5:30pm with open practice most days (depending on the weather.) Check website for race & practice schedule & fees, plus some awesome photos. Spectators are always welcome! Full service concession on all race weekends plus a bathouse & camping on some practice weekends. Motocross race weekends allow camping all weekend. Admission fees vary by age (804) 815-5145 www.vmp-atv.com

Natural Bridge Zoo, Natural Bridge, VA. It’s Like Animal Planet in 3D. 5784 South Lee Highway Natural Bridge, VA. 9am-6pm. The Natural Bridge Zoo Park is home to the most complete collection of animals & birds in the state of Virginia and is a breeding & rescue center for rare & endangered species. African Elephant rides are held on the weekends along with a chance to feed our elephant. At scheduled times, photo opportunities with specific baby animals, such as white baby tigers, are held. Take a walk on the wild side with mountain lions, tigers, bears, serval, zebras, various antelope, alligators, & more. Monkey around with numerous species of baboons, capuchins, gibbons, lemurs, macaques, & spider monkeys. Feed herds of Giraffe, llamas, pygmy goats, exotic donkeys, camels, fallow deer, & pot-bellied pigs. Photograph rare cranes, hornbills, & Virginia’s first colony of breeding flamingo. More than 100 babies are born each year. Picnic area. (540) 291-2420 www.naturalbridgezoo.com

Great Wolf Lodge - Waterpark 549 E. Rochambeau Dr Williamsburg, VA. A 67,000-sq. ft. indoor entertainment area featuring its own gigantic waterpark. Four-story, interactive treehouse, Waterfort, 1,000 gallon Tipping Bucket, 8 Waterslides, 4 pools, 2 giant hot tubs, Spacious outdoor pool & Huge Wave Pool. (800) 551-9653 www.greatwolf.com/williamsburg/waterpark

Staunton River State Park 1170 Staunton Trail Scottsburg, VA. Staunton River State Park is one of the six original state parks that opened in June 1936. The 1,597-acre park’s shoreline is beside the John H. Kerr Reservoir (also known as Buggs Island Lake) & the Dan & Staunton rivers. The largest lake in Virginia is only one of the park’s many attractions, which include a swimming pool, camping, cabins, picnic shelters & nature trails. Admission Fee: Park entrance feed. (434) 572-4623 www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/sta.shtml

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