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FOCUS SWIMSUIT & SUMMER GUIDE 2013

We Hope You Have A Great Summer!

NORTH CAROLINA | SOUTH CAROLINA | TENNESSEE | VIRGINIA|

Model Photos by

Fanjoy Labrenz Photography & Rose Mary Cheek Photography

NORTH CAROLINA

ARTS

Maggie Valley Summer Arts & Crafts Show, 7/6-7/7/13  Maggie Valley Festival Grounds Call 800-624-4431 Open Saturday, July 6 from 9:00am to 6:00pm & Sunday, July 7 9:00am to 4:00pm Free. www.maggievalley.org

Maggie Valley Labor Day Craft Show, 8/31-9/1/13 Maggie Valley Festival Grounds 828-497-9425 www.maggievalleycraftshows.com

27th Annual Sculpture Celebration 9/7/13 9am-4pm. T.H. Broyhill Walking Park, 945 Lakewood Circle, Lenoir NC. Sculpture Celebration brings over 70 sculptors with over 150 sculptures from all over the eastern U.S. Friday, September 6th set-up 10am-7pm & “Blue Jeans Preview Dinner” (casual buffet) 7-8:30pm with comments from the competition judge. Saturday, September 7th setup 7am-9am; open to the public 9am-4pm; judging occurs 9am-3pm with awards announced about 3:30pm. 828-754-2486 or info@caldwellarts.comwww.caldwellarts.com

Downtown Hickory Art Crawl 9/19/13, 5:30-8pm. 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

2013 Asheville Downtown Gallery Association Invites you to visit the downtown galleries and the 2013 Art Walks: First Friday Every month thru December. 5-8pm. www.ashevilledowntowngalleries.org

CAR SHOWS

Corvette Auto Show 5/25/13 10am-6pm. 286 Cabernet Lane, Dobson, NC. Display your beautiful Corvette on the grounds of Shelton Vineyards! Free (336)366-4724 www.sheltonvineyards.com

Big Rigs Antique Truck Show 10/12/13 Big rigs and antique trucks rumble into Cherokee October 12 for the 8th 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. Saturday. General admission is $5; children twelve and under admitted free of charge. For information, contact Bill Ashe at (828) 421-9399. www.aths.org

Maggie Valley Swap Meet & Car Show, June 28 - 30, 2013 Maggie Valley Festival Grounds 423-623-4644  or Vendors 423-623-2723 www.maggievalleyswapmeet.com

2013 Maggie Valley Swap Meet & Car Show, September 27 - 29,  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 July 18 - 21, 2013 & October 17 - 20, 2013 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 August 2nd & 3rd, 2013 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

39th Annual Village Art & Craft Fair, 8/3-8/4/13 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. www.biltmorevillage.com (828) 274-8788

Hickory American Legion Fair Aug 28 - Sept 2 2013 Hickory, NC. Theme this Year: One Great County, One Great Fair! (828)464-5433

Mountain State Fair 9/6-9/15/13 Fletcher, NC. FREE parking www.mountainfair.org

The Wilson County Fair 8/16-8/24/13 Wilson, NC (252)237-8443.

Cabarrus County Fair 9/6-9/14/13 Concord, NC (704)920-4751. Cabarrus Arena & Events Center.

64th Annual Chowan County Regional Fair 9/24-9/28/13 Edenton, NC (252)482-4057 American Legion Post # 40 Fairgrounds.

Dixie Classic Fair 10/4-10/13/13 The second largest agricultural Fair in NC, owned & operated by the City of Winston-Salem, NC. (336)727-2236 www.dcfair.com

FAMILY

Salisbury Historic Trolley Tours Beginning 5/25/2013. Downtown Salisbury, NC. Experience Authentic Salisbury-Rowan County by taking the Salisbury Historic Trolley Tour. Learn about what makes Salisbury-Rowan County historically significant. Tours are every Saturday, April through October (except the 2nd weekend in Oct.) at 11am. Tours begin and end at the Salisbury-Rowan County Visitor’s Center, 204 E. Innes St. Salisbury, NC 28144. Prices are $8 for adults, children 4 to 10 $5, and under 4 are free. For more info, call 1-800-332-2343 or 704.638.3100 www.visitsalisburync.com

11th Annual Piedmont Pottery Festival 6/2/13 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 9/14/13 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. The winner of the contest often goes on to a guest appearance on national late-night talk shows. Crafts, exhibits & games, Country, gospel & bluegrass music. (910) 567-2600 www.hollerincontest.com

Summer Fiber Retreat June 14, 15 & 16, Friday, 10am-8pm;Saturday,10am-8pm;Sunday 12:30pm-6pm. 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. Free.Contact: Kim Gough (828) 633-2500 www.friendsandfiberworks.com

Southeastern Tribes Cultural Arts Celebration 9/20-9/21/13 Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds, Cherokee, NC. The 8th annual Southeastern Tribes Cultural Arts Celebration will bring together master dancers, craftsmen, artists and athletes from the five main southeastern tribes: Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Seminole & Choctaw. This educational, entertaining event teaches and perpetuates the history and 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 5/23-5/25/13 Charlotte: Food Lion Speed Street is an outdoor, multi day music and entertainment festival that leads up to the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Memorial Day weekend. Interactive games, giveaways, and product samples. Free. The festival opens each day at noon. www.600festival.com or www.facebook.com/FoodLionSpeedStreet

13th Annual Mountain Sports Festival 5/24-5/26/13 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 5/24-5/26/13 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 of Eastern NC, along with floats & fun. 252-322-4238 www.aurorafossilmuseum.com

White Squirrel Festival 5/25-5/26/13 Heart of Brevard Historic District in Brevard, NC. Running of the popular Squirrel Box Derby. 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 5/25/13 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. Tickets now online. (336)733-5836 www.ncwinefestival.com

18th Annual Garden Jubilee Festival 5/25-5/26/13 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 10am-6pm, both days. Memorial Day weekend. (828) 693-9708 www.historichendersonville.org

North Carolina Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony 5/27/13 8am-5pm. Downtown Thomasville, NC. 10am Celebrations Begin! (336) 239-2964 www.thomasvilletourism.com

First Friday Concert & Livermush Festival 6/7/13 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 5/31-6/1/13 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

Pleasure Island Beach Music Festival, 28th Annual 6/1/13, 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

16th Annual Black Mountain Arts & Crafts Show 6/1-6/2/13 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 6/14-6/15/13, 10am-11pm. Free for everyone on Friday from 10am until 2pm. All other times, adult tickets are $8, with children 12 and under admitted free. Active duty service people FREE anytime with military ID. 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. Free parking. Harmon Field, Tryon, NC. (828) 859-7427 www.blueridgebbqfestival.com

Washington Summer Festival 6/7-6/8/13 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

18th Annual Charlie Poole Music Festival 6/14-6/15/13 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

15th Annual Edenton Music & Water Festival 6/1/13 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 6/15/13 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. (910) 259-9817 www.ncblueberryfestival.com

NC Rhododendron Festival 6/14-6/15/13 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 Saturday, June 29, 2013 8am. kickoff block party Wednesday, July 3, 2013 7-11pm. Parade & street festival Thursday, July 4, 2013 9:30am-6:30pm. Pops concert & fireworks Thursday, July 4, 2013 7:30pm-10pm (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. Over 50,000 people attend the festival each year. Festival events include a 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. For more information contact: Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce, 4433 Long Beach Road, SE, Southport, NC 28461. 800-457-6964 or e-mail us at events@southport-oakisland.com.

Appalachian Summer Festival’s 29th Season. 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

Independence Day Festival & Parade 7/6/13 9am-10pm, parade at 2pm. Free music July 7. Main Street Blowing Rock, NC. Downtown games, music & the Grandaddy of all small-town parades! Free. (877)750-4636 www.blowingrock.com

8th Annual RED, WHITE AND BLUEGRASS Festival 6/30-7/4/13 Morganton, NC. Sunday June 30th. 11:00 Eddie Rose & Highway Forty, 12:00 The Bankesters, 1:00 The Kruger Brothers
2:30 Chris Jones and the Night Drivers, 4:00 Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, 5:30 Break, 6:30 Marty Raybon & Full Circle, 8:00 American Drive, 9:30 Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out. Monday July 1st, 11:00 The Rigneys, 12:00 Republik Steele, 1:00 Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, 2:00 Flatt Lonesome, 3:00 Mountain Faith, 4:00 Break, 5:00 Darin & Brooke Aldridge, 6:00 Balsam Range, 7:00 The Grascals, 8:00 The Boxcars, 9:30 Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Tuesday July 2nd 11:00 Eddie & Martha Adcock with Tom Gray, 12:00 Kenny & Amanda Smith Band, 1:00 Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, 2:30 Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, 4:00 Special Consensus, 5:30 Break, 6:30 Seldom Scene, 8:00 Lonesome River Band, 9:30 Mountain Heart. Wednesday July 3rd, 11:00 Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, 12:00 Snyder Family, 1:00 The Spinney Brothers, 2:30 Gibson Brothers, 4:00 Kids Camp, 5:30 Break, 6:30 The Rambling Rooks, 8:00 Masters of Bluegrass, 9:30 Steep Canyon Rangers. Thursday July 4th (FREE) 11:00 The Idle Time Band, 12:00 Most Wanted Bluegrass, 1:00 Moore Brothers Band, 2:30 Tone Blazers, 4:00 Audie Blaylock & Redline, 5:30 Break, 6:30 David Peterson & Old Time Country, 8:00 Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers. 9:30pm FIREWORKS (800) 939-SHOW www.redwhiteandbluegrassfestival.com

Christmas In July Festival 7/6/13 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 7/4/13 Carrboro, NC. held at the Carrboro Town Hall on Wedesday, July 4th. Event kicks off at Weaver Street Market Lawn (Beginning at 9:30am) 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 7/11-7/14/13 Music, Food, Rides & Games & fireworks. Oak Hollow Park, High Point, NC. (336)883-3483 www.unclesamjamfest.com

Red, White & Boom 7/4/13 2pm-11pm. Free. Fireworks at dark-thirty. Maggie Valley Festival Grounds (828)926-0866 www.blowingrock.com

Blackberry Festival 7/13/13 Downtown Lenoir, 10am-4pm. 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 7/20/13 Franklin, NC, 9am-4pm. A celebration of the 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 7/20/13 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 7/17-7/28/13 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

27th Annual NC Watermelon Festival 7/31-8/3/13 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 7/26-7/28/13 (pronounced Bell Cher) the largest free outdoor street festival in the Southeast, held in downtown Asheville. “Bele Chere” means beautiful living. That’s what you’ll find in Asheville at the largest FREE arts and music street festival in the Southeast. Great art, music, food, and beer come to the streets of downtown Asheville each summer. Discover a cool new band, find the perfect piece of art, sample some local cuisine, enjoy a microbrew – find your own way to celebrate Bele Chere. The festival began in 1979 as a collaboration between the merchants that populated downtown Asheville. Their vision was to revitalize the downtown business district, and they realized their vision in the form of a street festival. The name derives from an ancient Scottish dialect that means Beautiful Living. Over the past 34 years, downtown Asheville has returned as the main attraction and epicentre for our local restaurants, galleries, clothing stores, theatres, and art exhibits. Asheville’s downtown is now the envy of cities from around the nation. www.belecherefestival.com

Waldensian Festival 8/9-8/10/13 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. 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 8/10-8/11/13 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 8/10/13 Sneads Ferry, NC. Festival begins with a parade followed by two days of fun, fireworks & a 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 8/16-8/18/13 Lake Lure, NC. Dirty Dancing Festival celebrates the 25th anniversary of the romantic classic film, Dirty Dancing! www.dirtydancingfestival.com

2013 Asheville Wine & Food Festival 8/22-8/24/13 Asheville, NC. 1:30-5pm. 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

North Carolina Apple Festival, 8/30-9/2/13 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 8/30-9/2/13, 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

Carolina Mountains Literary Festival 9/12-9/14/13 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 and OPEN to the public. (828) 682-4476 www.cmlitfest.org

Historic Morganton Festival 9/6-9/7/13 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 10/18-10/19/13 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. Festival celebrates the best of the southern cuisine & southern music. Food, music, entertainment! (704)332-2227 www.bluesbrewsandbbq.com.

Bush Hill Heritage Festival 9/14/13 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.

Ahoskie Heritage Festival 9/14/13,11am-11pm. Ahoskie Recreational Center Ahoskie, NC. The ninth annual Ahoskie Heritage Festival has live bands, children’s rides, fireworks & food. (252) 332-5146 www.ahoskie.nc.org

59th Annual Macon County Agricultural Fair 9/11-9/14/13 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

12th Annual Railfest 9/14-9/15/13 Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Everett Street, Bryson City, NC.Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad! This festival offers guests a taste of railroad food, memorabilia, storytelling, dance, music, special excursions and events that happen only once a year including a special collection of motorcars and a photo special excursion to Andrews on Sunday. For more information: 800-872-4681, www.gsmr.com

Benson Mule Days 9/6-9/29/13 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 9/20-9/22/13 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

NC Spot Festival 9/28-9/29/13 Hampstead, NC. www.ncspotfestival.com

Carrboro Music Festival 9/29/13 Carrboro, NC. (919)918-7364 www.carrboromusicfestival.com

Annual NC Seafood Festival 10/4-10/6/13 Morehead City, NC. (252)726-6273 www.ncseafoodfestival.org

Autumn Jubilee 10/5-10/6/13 Salisbury, NC. Join in on all the fun & activities on Bringle Ferry Rd at Dan Nicholas Park. Saturday & Sunday from 10am until 6pm. 45,000 plus visitors enjoy the this family fun festival. (704)216-7816 www.dannicholas.net

Carolina Renaissance Festival Weekends, 10/5-11/24/13, Sat & Sun 10am-5:30pm Davidson, NC. The festival is a medieval amusement park with staged theater, arts & crafts, & jousting. (877)896-5544.www.royalfaires.com/carolina

Annual Great Grapes! Wine, Arts & Food Festival 10/5/13 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! Adult Admission & Tasting Glass: $25 advance(online) / $30 on-site Includes a souvenir wine glass, unlimited wine samples, all performances. Designated Driver Ticket: $20 advance online & on-site and includes admission into the event ONLY. Kids - 12 and under are FREE! (410)878-9900 www.triggeragency.com

Oktoberfest 2013 10/11-10/13/13 Downtown 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. FREE! 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 10/19-10/20/13 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 includes artists who do photography, pottery, stained glass & much more. Participants wishing to race their worm may register at 9am & shortly after that races begin. 25 worms are in each heat. 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 10/11-10/13/13 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. “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 10/19/13 Taylorsville, NC. (828)632-2999 www.alexandercountyonline.com/applefestival/index.htm

LEAF Lake Eden Arts Fall Festival 10/17-10/20/13 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 5/24-5/27/13 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 5/25/13 Burnsville, NC. The ride begins at Town Square in Burnsville with registration from 10am to 12pm. The ride begins at 12pm 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

Hog Happenin’ 6/7-6/8/13 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

Asheville Ride for Kids 8/25/13 WNC Ag Center Expo Hall, Gate 5, 775 Boylston Hwy. (Airport Road) Fletcher, NC. When you join hundreds of other motorcyclists for this scenic ride through the North Carolina countryside, you’ll have a great time while raising funds for the PBTF’s medical research and family support programs! Riders on all makes and models are welcome. Registration opens at 8am and closes at 9:30am. The escorted ride starts at 10am sharp, rain or shine! The ride will loop back to the start point. We’re excited to offer Ride for Kids participants a new incentive program this year. The more money you raise, the more incentives choices you have! Get a collectible event T-shirt for as little as $100 per person. Depending on how much more you raise, you’ll qualify for one additional incentive with choices offered at each fundraising level. Plus, for every $300 you raise, you’ll be eligible for a drawing for a Honda motorcycle and other great prizes (must be present to win). All participants receive free beverages, a light breakfast and lunch. Plus, meet our Ride for Kids “stars,” the local children we help! Online registration is coming! The early bird rate of $40 per motorcycle includes one ticket for the event prize drawing. Walk-up registration (day of event) is $50 per bike. For more information, call 800-253-6530 www.curethekids.org/rideforkids/events/2013/asheville.html

Thunder in the Smokies Fall Motorcycle Rally 9/13-9/15/13 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 9/20-9/21/13 Salisbury, NC, Sponsored by Tilley Harley-Davidson. The event will be held at Tilley Harley-Davidson in Salisbury. 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

Lincoln County Apple Festival 9/21/13 The Lincoln County Apple Festival is held annually in downtown Lincolnton the third Saturday in September. 9am- 4pm. The festival provides the community with a family friendly event that serves as an annual reunion for many folks. Entertainment, food, crafts, and much more. If you have any questions, please contact Joyce Dorsey at the Lincoln County Cooperative Extension Service at 704-736-8452. www.lincolncountyapplefestival.com

Carolina Balloon Fest, Statesville, NC. 10/18-10/20/13 We invite you to bring lawn chairs and blankets (Pets & Coolers will not be admitted) to enjoy our beautiful Carolina autumn weather. Be amazed by the sights and sounds of colorful hot air balloons and ongoing festivities in the field of our venue at Statesville Regional Airport. Taste North Carolina’s fine wines & craft beers from our state’s vineyards and breweries or stroll the Artisan Village and Marketplace to shop for unique gifts. Our Kids Zone offers fun bouncers and challenges for children of all ages. Live Entertainment. Come experience the beauty and wonder of 50 magical hot air balloons decorating the sky! Weather permitting, hot air balloons will fly near dawn and dusk. Saturday evening, after dark is our traditional Saturday evening Balloon Glow, Hot Air Balloon Rides and Tethered Balloon Rides are available throughout the weekend, weather perimitting! http://www.carolinaballoonfest.com

Taylorsville Apple Festival 10/19/13, 9am-5pm. Free! Main Avenue Drive, Taylorsville, NC. 250 exhibit booths. The festival provides a fantastic assortment of entertainment, food and vendors. The festival boasts three entertainment stages: The Main Stage on the courthouse lawn, the Gospel Stage at the west end of the festival, and the Children’s Stage on the east end of the festival. The Kid’s Korner is the biggest draw for our younger attendees. Hundreds of craft vendors and a festival flea market section near the west end of our festival for the flea market enthusiasts. www.alexandercountyonline.com/applefestival

MUSIC

2013 Valdese Family Friday Nights Free, live entertainment on Friday nights, May through September. Local bluegrass, gospel, nostalgic, variety and country music performers are sure to get your toes tapping. The music starts at 7pm at the Town of Valdese parking lot beside Wells Fargo Bank, Main Street. Friday Night Cruise-ins at Myra’s continue throughout the year with vintage cars and trucks around Myra’s Restaurant. Designated Fridays host a car show on Main Street. Jacumin Plaza will be presenting free movie night every Friday night immediately following the Family Friday Night entertainment. www.visitvaldese.com

Haywood Community Bands Maggie Valley Concert Series The Haywood Community Band has begun rehearsals for its eleventh season of providing Free Concerts for the Haywood community. Concerts are played on the third Sunday of each month, May thru October at the Maggie Valley Pavilion next to the Maggie Valley Town Hall. The concerts are performed under the sponsorship of the Maggie Valley Civic Association. A special memorial concert honoring our founder, Bob Hill, will be played on November 3 at the First Methodist Church in Waynesville. In addition to our scheduled theme concerts the band also performs on Memorial Day, July 4th, and when called upon by civic organizations in our Haywood community. 828-456-4880 http://maggievacation.com/area-events

Hickory Alive! 2013 The Hickory Jaycees have announced the 23rd season of Hickory Alive! This annual, free concert series will kick off in Downtown HIckory in the City Hall parking lot on May 31st, and it will run every Friday night in June & also on July 5th. Live entertainment will run from 6pm to 10pm. May 31st: 20/20; June 7th: Xerockx; June 14th: Baby Black; June 21st: Deacon Black; June 28th: The Extraordinaires; July 5th: The Ramblin Gypsy Band. Food and beverage vendors will be on hand for people 21 and older. 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 throughout the summer, starting June 14; 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. www.childressvineyards.com Childress Vineyards Lexington, NC. (336)236-WINE

Biltmore Concert Series Asheville, NC. This year’s series has grown from a summertime event to one stretching from July thru Oct. Thursday, July 25: Heart, Sunday, Aug. 4: Sheryl Crow, Friday, August 16: Casting Crowns, Friday, August 23: The Four Tops and Temptations, Friday, August 30: The Beach Boys, Saturday, August 31: Comedian Bill Engvall. 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. (866)336-1255 or visit http://www.biltmore.com/visit/calendar/concerts.asp for ticket prices & booking. Tickets do not include or require estate admission. Performers & dates are subject to change.

89th Annual Singing on the Mountain Sunday, 6/23/13, 8:30am-3:30pm.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 8:30am & continues throughout the day, with a break at midday 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. 800-468-7325 www.grandfather.com

SPECIAL EVENTS

American Kennel Club (AKC) Dog Agility Trial 5/24-5/26/13 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/facility/agcenter/western

Second Annual Studio Glass Exhibition Scheduled for 6/1-7/6/13 Morganton, NC The Second Annual Western North Carolina Studio Glass Exhibition is scheduled to start June 1 and run through July 6, 2013. An opening reception for the artists is scheduled for Saturday, June 1 at each participating gallery. The mountains of North Carolina are home to some of the world’s most talented studio glass artists. To recognize the exceptional work of these preeminent artists, an exhibition of work is scheduled in a collaborative event taking place in four downtown Morganton venues: the Burke Arts Council Gallery, Kal? Gallery, John S. Payne Studio and MESH Gallery. Each gallery is located within 2 blocks of downtown Morganton. Last year, visitors from all across the southeast U.S. traveled to Morganton to view this impressive collection of studio glass. The four galleries will serve as serve as singular venues for the exhibition and each will offer participants a distinct experience in viewing the entire exhibition of work. Among the artists participating in this year’s exhibition are Kenny Pieper, Greg Fidler, Sam Stark, Roger Parramore, Gary Beecham, Joe Nielander, Judson Guerard and Thor and Jennifer Bueno. The galleries are in close proximity, allowing visitors to walk to each venue in Morganton’s historic downtown district. Art Work on exhibition will be available for purchase. www.downtownmorganton.com.

Taste Of Charlotte 6/7-6/9/13, 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. 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, Tryon St (between MLK Blvd & 6th St), Charlotte, NC. (704)947-6590 www.tasteofcharlotte.com

Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament 6/7-6/15/13 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, 6/8-6/9/13 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 6/12/13 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 6/28-6/30/13 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 6/21-6/23/13 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 6/22-6/23/13 & 9/14-9/15/13 & 11/30-12/1/13 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 7/4/13 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 7/4/13 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 7/4/13 Waynesville: The Stars & Stripes Celebration runs from 11am-3pm along Main St with music & sidewalk sales. www.romanticasheville.com

4th Celebration 7/4/13 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, 2013 4pm-10pm, 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.comwww.eventful.com/charlotte

2013 Bookmarks Festival Of Books 9/7/13 10am-5pm. In The Downtown Arts District in Winston-Salem, centering on Trade and Sixth Streets. www.bookmarksbookfestival.org

Asheville Quilt Guild Annual 9/27-9/29/13 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 10/19/13 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.  Check out “OUR LOCATIONS” for a Color Run near you. www.thecolorrun.com

THINGS TO DO

Battleship North Carolina Takes Green Initiative Strides Earlier this year, the Battleship North Carolina took significant steps to become more energy efficient and environmentally conscious. Located at the junction of Highways 17/74/76/421 on the Cape Fear River. Visit www.battleshipnc.com or follow us on www.Facebook.com/ncbb55 and Twitter.com/battleshipnc for more information.

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. Dining, lodging, health club, spa. Families, groups & meetings. http://www.greatwolf.com/concord/waterpark/rides

Tweetsie Railroad Blowing Rock, N.C. Tweetsie Railroad will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays starting April 12, including Memorial Day Monday, and seven days a week from May 31 through August 18. The park returns to the weekend schedule from August 19 through November 3, including Labor Day Monday. 2013 season ends Sunday, November 3. For ticket prices and more information about the 2013 season at Tweetsie Railroad, visit www.Tweetsie.com or call 877.TWEETSIE (877.893.3874). Find Tweetsie on Facebook or follow Tweetsie on Twitter @TweetsieRR.

Antique Vending Company 30 South Main Street, 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 12-4pm & Sun: 2-4pm. (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. Free admission. Hours: The museum is open during special events & by appointment. (828) 728-8272

The North Carolina Transportation Museum • Museum In Motion Festival June 1st-call for ticket prices. 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. 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. Located adjacent to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Operating Hours: Mon-Fri: 10am-4pm & Sat: 10am-5pm & Sun: 1-5pm. Admission: Adults: $12, Seniors: $10, Students & Active Military with ID: $8, Children under 5: Free. 6 to 18: $8 Under 18 not admitted without adult. NOTE: not air conditioned.(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, NC. Bands play for 30 minutes, then a new band takes over. Free; donations gladly accepted. 888-233-6111 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. Tickets range from $16 to $6; under age two free admission.(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. 25th anniversary! 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. Call ahead to visit. 183 Woodrow McCoy Rd.Cove City, NC, 28523.(252)514-3033

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., Lincolnton. www.catawbalands.org

Woodmill Winery Grape Stomp, 8/24 & 25/13. 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. Iron Station, NC.(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 Mayberry Days-September 26-29, 2013; check website for events, contests, shows and tickets. • Andy Griffith’s hometown of Mount Airy, NC, is home to the new Andy Griffith Museum with the largest collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia. The collection features hundreds of items from the life & career of Andy Griffith in movies, television & music as well as a variety of memorabilia. 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. 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 FREE. 336.786.1604 www.surryarts.org

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. 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. www.visitmayberry.com

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. 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

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. Many events & festivals and things to do year. 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. 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 Randolph, 2730 Randolph Rd., Charlotte, NC. Mint Museum Uptown, 500 S. Tryon, Charlotte, 28202. Call or go online for ticket prices. www.mintmuseum.org

Discovery Place Charlotte, NC From bears to beakers, there’s something for everyone at Discovery Place & Charlotte Nature Museum. Monday-Friday 9:00am-4pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun noon-5pm. $12 Adults; $10 kids (for non-members).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. 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 USNWC hosts World Cup competitions & Olympic Trials, & serves as the home of international Olympic athletes. www.usnwc.org

Schiele Museum Gastonia, NC 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. Mon-Sat 9-5; Sun, 1-5pm. Call for ticket prices, or go online. Prices for special events and festivals vary. Please call 704-866-6908 in advance to verify fees. 1500 East Garrison Blvd, Gastonia,NC.(704)866-6900 www.schielemuseum.org

Gaston County Museum In 1852, Daniel Hoffman built an impressive 44-room hotel on Lot #5 on the southeast corner of the Dallas Court Square. Bricks were made on-site, as were the square-headed nails used in construction of the hotel, which consisted of a basement and an attic, 3 floors of hotel rooms, dining room and family quarters. Step back in time as you view the Greek Revival architecture and Victorian furnishings. The museum houses two floors of changing exhibits, on history and/or art, the Daniel Stowe Carriage House, featuring the state’s largest collection of horse-drawn vehicles, and the permanent Carolinas Textile Exhibit, showing the area’s primary commodity from the late 1800’s to mid-1900’s – cotton mills and the lives that revolved around them. Many, but not all events or exhibits are FREE. Sunday & Monday–CLOSED; Tuesday thru Friday, 10am–5pm; Saturday, 10am–3pm (excluding major holidays) 131 W. Main Street, Dallas, North Carolina, 28034. Email: museum@co.gaston.nc.us.Phone: 704-922-7681. http://www.gastoncountymuseum.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 10am-4pm; 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. Tuesday-Friday 10am until 5pm; Saturday 10am until 4pm; Sunday 1-4 pm. 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! Re-opening after renovation on Memorial Day, 2013. 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. https://www.facebook.com/HickoryAviationMusem www.hickoryaviationmuseum.org.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Raleigh, NC: Free Admission. Featuring an array of permanent and special exhibits, live programs and educational films that appeal to audiences of all ages, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences encourages visitors to explore the natural world and their connections to it. Monday-Saturday: 9am-5pm; Sunday: Noon-5 pm; Thursdays & First Fridays the Museum is open until 9pm. Special areas are closed on Mondays. 11 West Jones St., Raleigh, NC, 27601. http://naturalsciences.org/

Asheville Art Museum Innovative programming utilizing an outstanding collection of American art of the 20th and 21st centuries has established the Asheville Art Museum as a leader in the arts for Western North Carolina and the Southeast. It is the only organization of its kind providing cultural and educational experiences for residents and visitors to the 24 county region. Established by artists and incorporated in 1948, the Asheville Art Museum is committed to being a vital force in community and individual development and to providing life-long opportunities for education and enrichment through the visual arts. Museum Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 1-5pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s Day. The Asheville Art Museum is fully accessible. Admission $8 per Adult; $7 per Student (K-12 and college students with valid school ID). $7 per Adult Senior (ages 60+); Children age five and younger: Free. Members are admitted free to the Museum. Additional fees may apply for selected exhibitions. 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville, NC, 28801. (828) 253-3227 www.asheville art.org.

Caldwell Heritage Museum The Museum opened in 1991 and is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of Caldwell County, North Carolina, primarily through about two dozen permanent exhibits and rotating special exhibits. Special exhibit May-July: John F. Kennedy Memorabilia. Open Tuesday-Friday from 10am until 4:30pm; Saturdays,10am until 3pm. No admission charge, but donations for the operation of the Museum are appreciated. 112 Vaiden St., SW, Lenoir, NC, 28645. (828) 758-4004, or via email at caldheritmus@aol.comhttp://www.caldwellheritagemuseum.org

History Museum of Burke County The History Museum of Burke County is dedicated to preserving and displaying local heritage for both current and future generations. Special exhibits and events are scheduled during the year and published in a quarterly newsletter and area media. Artifact collections change regularly-so please visit often. Hours of Operation: Old City Hall, Tuesday-Friday,10am-4pm; Saturday, 10am-2pm & Closed Monday. Nearby, the Rail Road Depot: 1pm-3pm, Saturday. Other days and hours available by appointment. Tour groups should schedule several days in advance so that Docents will be able to provide guided tours. Old City Hall, 201 West Meeting St., Morganton, NC, 28655. Telephone: 828-437-1777.http://www.thehistorymuseumofburke.org.

Old Jail Museum, Taylorsville, NC. The Old Jail was built in 1913. Today the Old Jail houses a small museum concerning the former jailers and their families who lived in the jail supervising the prisoners. Located in Downtown Taylorsville, across from Town Hall, 205 Main Ave Drive, SE. Open to the Public: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9am-3pm. Also, Lucas Mansion. The Hiddenite Center’s Lucas Mansion is a restored three-story turn-of-the-century Victorian house once owned by James Lucas, known as “Diamond Jim” Lucas. Step back in time as you enter the first floor of the home, restored to capture the era when Diamond Jim occupied the residence. Monday-Friday, 9am-4:30pm. Admission: Members - Free; House Museum Tour (first floor), $2.50 for Adults, $1.50 for Students & Senior Adults. All other gallery areas are free of charge Advance reservations are requested for groups of 15 or more. The Center is located three blocks north of Highway 90 in Hiddenite on Church Street. 828-632-6966

SOUTH CAROLINA

FESTIVALS

Freedom Weekend 5/24-5/27/13 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. Heritage Park 861 SE Main St., Simpsonville, SC 29681. Advance General Admission Ticket - $8 through 5/23 only. Day of Show General Admission Ticket (until 4 PM)- $12* Day of Show General Admission Ticket (after 4 PM)- $15. Children 12 years old and under are free with adult purchase. Smoke-free park. Parking: $5 per car. (864)399-9481 www.aloft.org

The Party In The Pines 6/6-6/8/13 Whitmire SC. A 3-day festival held in Whitmire, S.C. 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: 5pm-midnight. Street dances, parade on Sat, 5pm. Lots of food, arts & crafts, live entertainment each night. http://www.angelfire.com/sc/pinp

Mighty Moo Festival 6/12-6/15/13 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

43rd Annual Ridge Peach Festival 6/15/13 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 6/23-6/30/13 Hampton, SC. 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! June 8th: If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast then mark June 8th on your calendar for this year’s 9th annual Hampton County Watermelon Festival Bike Ride. Begins at Harold’s Country Club in Yemassee w/registration from 10am until 1:30pm. The first bike is out at 10:30am and last bike in is 3pm. This year’s Bike Ride is sponsored by the Hampton County Watermelon Festival Association and includes a BBQ chicken dinner, chance drawings and lots of prizes. This year a new event has been added--- a Bike Show! Entry fee for the Bike Ride is $15 per bike and $5 for an additional rider. The entry fee for the Bike Show is $10. Contact event chairperson, Ann Long at 803-943-8365. www.hcmelonfest.org

The City of North Charleston is once again hosting the July 4th celebration at the Riverfront Park on July 4, 2013 from 3pm – 9pm. This year’s event features Common Ground, Coastrunners, Atlanta Pleasure Band, and Ruben Studdard, along with other activities throughout the event, ending a wonderful day with a spectacular fireworks display at dark, coordinated with live music from Equinox Jazz Band. The North Charleston 4th of July Festival boasts the largest fireworks show in the State of South Carolina. The Festival is presented free of charge to the public with all general admission for attendees. Guests attending the Festival are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets, as there is no seating provided. No alcohol is permitted within the park. A wide variety of food vendors are always on site. Childrens’ activities are available free of charge, including inflatable jump castles, games, the play area, the giant sandbox, and the water fountain. The City of North Charleston’s 4th of July Festival is their largest sponsored event. Annually held at Riverfront Park, the Festival features nationally reknowned performers, such as Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Marshall Tucker Band, and Lee Greenwood. www.northcharleston.org/visitors/events/4thofJuly.aspx or www.charlestonlowcountry.com

South Carolina Festival of Discovery 7/11-7/13/13 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 7/19-7/28/13 Beaufort, SC. 10-day event includes music, air show, Blessing of the Fleet, sporting events, crafts, dances, food. www.bftwaterfestival.com

Pageland Watermelon Festival 7/19-7/20/13 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. Classic car & motorcycle show & a rodeo. At the end of each day take in the music & entertainment of live bands. www.pagelandwatermelonfestival.com

South Carolina Peanut Party 8/9-8/10/13 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.discoversouthcarolina.com/products/2116.aspx

MOTORCYCLES

Atlantic Beach Bike Festival 5/23-5/27/13 Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach & 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 23. Activities will include drag racing, organized rides, custom bike show, poker runs, music & more. Trophies & awards will go to the bike show winners. There are also awards for winners in the drag races. The event is open to all types of riders, & all races. (202) 492-7909 www.blackbikeweek.us

Myrtle Beach Bike Week Fall Rally 10/2-10/6/13 Murrells Inlet, SC. The event headquarters at a 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

World-Renowned UFOlogist, Stanton Friedman, somes To Broadway At The Beach to celebrate the Exhibition Myrtle Beach, S.C. - “Encounters: U.F.O. Experience,” the world’s first comprehensive exhibition exploring reports of U.F.O.s, alien abductions and encounters with extraterrestrials, opens at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Unique and extraordinary, much of the Encounters exhibition content was gathered from the private collections of UFOlogists from around the world. There are displays of more than 200 original artifacts, conceptual models, and documented film clips and recordings that support claims of ancient encounters through modern day sightings. At Broadway at the Beach through Labor Day. Beginning Memorial Day, Encounters will be open seven days a week, Sundays through Thursdays from 11am to 8pm, Fridays & Saturdays from 10am-10pm. Encounters is located on the northeastern side of Broadway at the Beach in a building distinguished by a flying saucer bursting from its side. $14 adults; $12 seniors & students; $10 children (ages 4 - 12). Children under the age of three are free. www.UFOexhibition.com or call (843) 353-0046.

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. 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. 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 10am, 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 Coca-Cola Summer Nights. Monday, June 3rd thru Sunday, September 1st, Enjoy FREE family-style entertainment nightly, including stage shows, street acts, musical entertainment and more! Tuesday Night Fireworks, May 28th thru August 27th, 10pm. Friday Night Fireworks June 21st thru August 16th (with the exception of Friday, July 5th),10pm. Mr. Nigel’s Music, Monday, Wednesday & Friday, June 3rd thru August 30th, 7pm. Fire & Hula Circus, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday, June 4th thru September 1st, 8pm. Whacker Barrel. Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday, June 4th thru August 29th, 6pm. Living Statues, Wednesday & Friday, June 5th thru August 30th, 7pm. 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. (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, one 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, free admission. Visitors Center open Mon- Sat, 10am-5pm, Sunday 1-5pm, also free. (864)656-3405 http://www.clemson.edu/public/scbg

Shipwreck Cove 119 S Spencer St., Duncan, SC. Opening Day - Saturday, May 25, 2013! Open Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday thru Monday only. Open every day starting Saturday, June 1, 2013 One of the region’s most exciting, family-friendly water parks & destinations for families & kids of all ages! (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 6/19-6/22/13 Elizabethton, TN. 47th Music, crafts, kids island, free fishing, free ice cream social, Hillbilly Contest, 5K Run/Walk, Car show,Third Tyme Out. (423)547-3850 www.elizabethtonchamber.com

Old Fashioned 4th of July 7/4/13 Etowah, TN. At L & N Depot- Downtown Historic Etowah, on the edge of the Natahala National Forest. Enjoy this all day celebration beginning at 7:30 a.m. with all day entertainment and the best of the area’s food and crafts booth. The event climaxes with one of the largest firework displays in the region and and a big band performance that last until 11p.m. www.etowahcoc.org/visitorinfo/calendar.asp (423) 263-2228

Uncle Dave Macon Days 7/12-7/14/13 Murfreesboro, TN. Old time music & dance competitions. National championships buck dance, clogging, old time banjo. juried arts & crafts. Uncle Dave Macon Days will be held July 12-14 at Cannonsburgh Village in Murfreesboro. Tickets are $5 for adults. Children under the age of 12 are permitted free. Sunday is free to all attendees. 615-893-4953 http://uncledavemacondays.com/wordpress

Southern Fried Festival 9/27-9/28/13 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 10/5-10/6/13 Newport, TN. Free two-day, 28th annual event includes local & regional arts & crafts, entertaintment, kiddie land & much much more. (423)623-7201 www.newportcockecountychamber.com

Oktoberfest Crossville, TN. 10/11-10/12/13 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 7/28/013 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 or www.curethekids.org/rideforkids

South East Raider Rally 7/31-8/4/13 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 8/2-8/3/13 Bristol, TN. Motorcycle racing will take place at Bristol Dragway, 151 Speedway Boulevard in Bristol. www.ahdra.com

Hawg Holler Fall Bash 8/15-8/18/13 Atwood, TN. 164 Clay Farm Lane near Atwood, TN. 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. $30 registration. (731) 571-0125 www.hawgholler.net

West TN Valley Rally 8/22-8/25/13 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. Open daily, 9-5. www.chattzoo.org

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. Open 8am-8pm, all year. Paid admission. (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. Open daily, 10am-6pm. Paid admission. 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, an 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. Paid admission. 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 Gatlinburg, & Pigeon Forge, 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 May-October, 10am-11pm. Call for Spring & Winter hours. (865) 436-7007

VIRGINIA

FESTIVALS

Heathsville Strawberry Festival 5/25/13 9am-3pm. 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. www.ststephensheathsville.org

The Stone Tower Renaissance Faire 6/22-6/23/13 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

Blackbeard Pirate Festival 6/1-6/2/13 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) 727-1102 www.blackbeardpiratefestival.com

19th Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival 6/1/13 10am-4pm. 9431 West St Manassas, VA. Free. 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, 6/6-6/9/13 Town Point Park Waterside Dr, Norfolk, VA. Free. 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

Ride for the Children- Kidz 2 Kamp 6/1/12 Portsmouth, VA. The quiz ride starts at Roger Browns Sport Bar and Grill in Portsmouth. Registration begins at 8:30am and the last motorcycle goes out at 10:15am. The fee is $15 for the rider, $5 for a passenger. The ride ends with door prizes, live music, trophies and more. The proceeds go to Kidz 2 Kamp which supports sending under privileged kids to summer camp For more information call (757) 572-5777.

Manassas, Virginia 6/1/13 Manassas Elks School Supply Poker Run Sponsored by Manassas Elks 2512. The ride starts at 10501 Balls Ford Road in Manassas. Registration begins at 7:30am and the motorcycles go out at 8am. The ride fee is $25 for the rider and $15 for a passenger. The ride ends with a slow ride contest, 50/50 raffle, food, and more. All bikes are welcome. Proceeds will provide school supplies for Kids that can’t afford what is needed. For more information call (703) 369-2512.

Virginia Ride for Kids Richmond, Virginia 6/2/13 The ride starts at 8460 Times-Dispatch Boulevard in Mechanicsville. Registration is from 8am to 10am. The one hour country ride will end with presentations and a box lunch. All money raised goes to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. For more information go to http://www.curethekids.org/rideforkids/events/2013/virginia.html

Frogs for Freedom 6/15/13 Virginia Beach, Virginia. The poker run starts at Papa’s Pub, 2105 Diamond Springs Rd. in Virginia Beach. Registration begins at 9am, the first motorcycle goes out at 9:30am and the last motorcycles go out at 10:30am. The registration fee is $20 for each person. Additional poker hands available for $10 each. Plaques will be awarded for best and worst hand. There will also be door prizes, a 50/50 raffle, and live band. For more information go to https://www.udtseal.org/frogsforfreedom.aspx.

4th Annual Car and Motorcycle Show 6/21/13 8am-5pm. Richmond, Virginia.Sponsored by Easter Seals UCP, Page Custom Rods & Restorations. The motorcycle show will be held at Richmond International Raceway, 600 East Laburnum Avenue in Richmond beginning at 8am. An award will be given to the best motorcycle. For more information call (804) 287-1007.

4th Annual Hooters Poker Run 7/20/13 Fairfax, Virginia Sponsored by Desert Knights of America Motorcycle Club. The ride starts at Fairfax Hooters, 10334 Fairfax Boulevard in Fairfax. Registration is from 10am to 10:45am and the motorcycles go out at 11am. All bikes are welcome. The ride fee is $15 per hand. Prizes will be awarded for high and low hands. The ride ends with a 50/50 raffle, door prizes, and more. Proceeds will benefit the Fisher House in support of wounded Soldiers and their families. For more information click here to send e-mail, or go to www.desertknightsmc.com/Hooters_Poker_run.html

SPECIAL EVENTS

BB&T 4th Of July Balloon Rally 7/4-7/6/13 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 takes guests on a new journey 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: Adults $70, Kids $60. For more information on Busch Gardens’ exciting offerings, visit http://seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardens-williamsburg (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”! Call (757)-331-2680 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. 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/shen

Natural Bridge Zoo, Natural Bridge, VA. It’s Like Animal Planet in 3D. 5784 South Lee Highway, Natural Bridge, VA. 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 flamingoes. More than 100 babies are born each year. Picnic area. Paid admission, hours vary. Closed Thanksgiving time and Dec.-mid March. (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. Call or or check online for fees or reservations. (434) 572-4623 www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/sta.shtml

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