NORTH CAROLINA

ARTS

Downtown Hickory Art Crawl 9/20/18, 5:00-8pm. 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 http://www.downtownhickory.com/

Asheville Downtown Gallery Association Invites you to visit the downtown galleries and the 2018 Art Walks. Explore more than 25 downtown galleries, studios and museums, all located within a half mile radius of historic downtown Asheville. First Friday Art Walk, 5-8 pm, every month April-December.

www.asheville.com/news/2018/05/2018-first-friday-art-walks/

Chihuly at Biltmore through Oct 7, 2018, all-day Chihuly at Biltmore represents the first art exhibition in Biltmore’s historic gardens, & the first garden exhibition of Dale Chihuly’s glass work in NC. The world-renowned American artist’s work is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide, and now, for a limited time only, they can be seen at Biltmore. Immerse yourself in this unique visual experience, an absolute must-see presentation of unparalleled artistic expression. The vibrant colors and organic shapes that distinguish Chihuly’s creations are captivating presented within Biltmore’s artfully designed landscapes; the sculptures’ placement offers an intriguing juxtaposition of the master works of two consummate artists—premier American artist Dale Chihuly & revered Biltmore landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted. 800-411-3812  www.biltmore.com/

 

CAR SHOWS

8th Annual Corvette Auto Show 5/26/18 10am-3pm, 286 Cabernet Lane, Dobson, NC 27017. Free admission. Come join us for a day of fun at the annual Corvette Auto Show. Food will be available for purchase at the Harvest Grill Express or bring a picnic while you enjoy the beautiful Shelton Vineyards grounds, as well as the Corvettes on display. We will be honoring our Veterans with a free tour and tastings upon presentation of Military ID Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Memorial Day Weekend. www.sheltonvineyards.com

Maggie Valley Hillbilly Jam 7/27-7/28/18 Maggie Valley, NC, Festival Grounds. Hillbilly Jam is a celebration of mountain music, arts, crafts, moonshine and culture, like you’ve never seen! There are celebrity guests, including real moonshiners from TV! Check out the Show & Shine Car and Bike Show, this year adding hot rods, bikes, 4×4’s, automotive and motorcycle-type vendors, small swapmeet, pinstriping & more! Admission $10 per person, per day. Kids 10 & under free, so bring the whole family! visitncsmokies.com/attractions/hillbilly-jam/

 

FAIRS

71st Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands 7/20-7/22; 10/19-10/21/18; US Cellular Center, 87 Haywood St, Asheville, NC. Thurs-Sat: 10am to 6pm; Sunday: 10am-5pm. Admission: $8; Children under 12 free. In its 71st year, the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands returns to downtown Asheville’s U.S. Cellular Center. Filling both the concourse and arena levels of the venue, makers exhibit a variety of craft ranging from contemporary to traditional in works of clay, wood, metal, glass, fiber, natural materials, paper, leather, mixed media, and jewelry. 828.298.7928 www.southernhighlandguild.org/

Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair 8/3-8/4/18 9am-5pm. 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 http://www.yanceychamber.com/mt-mitchell-crafts-fair/

Hickory American Legion Fair 8/29-9/3/18 Hickory, NC. www.hickoryfair.com (828)464-5433

Mountain State Fair 9/7-16/18 Fletcher, NC. Tickets: $9 Adult, $5 Children 6 – 12 years of age. $5 Senior 65 years & older. Children 5 years & under Free. Hours vary, check website: www.wncagcenter.org

Cabarrus County Fair 9/7-15/18 Concord, NC (704) 786-7221. Cabarrus Arena & Events Center. www.cabarruscountyfair.com

Dixie Classic Fair 9/28-10/7/18 The second largest agricultural Fair in NC, owned & operated by the City of Winston-Salem, NC.  More info at: www.dcfair.com

 

FAMILY

Oconaluftee Indian Village Cherokee, NC – Step back in time to 1760. Witness the challenges of Cherokee life at a time of rapid cultural change as European settlers invaded Indian lands. Tour the authentic working Village with dwellings, residents, and artisans right out of the 1760’s. Experience traditional medicine and interact with villagers as they hull canoes, make pottery and masks, weave baskets and beadwork, and participate in their daily activities. Enjoy live reenactments, interactive demonstrations, and Hands-On Cherokee art classes for kids. Hours of Operation: Open from April 30, 2018 until November 11, 2018. Open Mon-Sat, 10am–4pm with tours every 15 minutes except from 11:30am–12:30pm. Closed Sunday. Arts & crafts classes for children are held daily Mon-Sat. Check with the box office for times & prices. Oconaluftee Indian Village is located at 218 Drama Road, Cherokee, NC. (828)497-2111 http://www.cherokeesmokies.com/oconaluftee_village.html

Salisbury Historic Trolley Tours

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 at 11am, running through October. Historic Salisbury Trolley Tour tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for children 5-10 and free for children under five. Historic Salisbury Combination tickets are $16 for adults, $11 for children ages 5-10 and free for children under five. Tickets may be purchased at the Rowan County Visitors Center on the day of the tour or in advance by calling 704-638-3100. For more info, (800)332-2343. https://www.facebook.com/events/487230065012128/

16th Annual Piedmont Pottery Festival 6/2/18 9am-4pm. The finest in hand-crafted pottery from the Triad & southern Virginia. Over 100 potters. Demonstrations & door prizes. Kingsway Plaza on Kings Highway, 220 W. Kings Hwy

Eden, NC. Free admission. 336-612-8049. http://www.exploreedennc.com/potteryfestival/

 

FESTIVALS

Circle K Speed Street May 24-26, 2018 Charlotte, NC – With so many options available, the 600 Festival Association outlined its top-10 things to do at the 24th annual festival. Music: Funky folk hop and roll Judah & the Lion performs on the Coca-Cola stage Thursday, May 24. Country stars Chase Rice and Easton Corbin share the stage Friday, May 25 with Brett Young and Dustin Lynch closing Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola Saturday night. Tickets for each show are $25 in advance, $35 the day of and can be purchased at  https://bit.ly/2GTcfNk

Race fans attending the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway will head to uptown Charlotte to see some of their favorite drivers during Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola. Among the drivers slated for appearances are: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez and Austin Dillon along with many others. Appearances are subject to change. For a complete lineup of appearances, please visit: https://bit.ly/2qsq4t8. With the exception of the music performances on the Coca-Cola stage in Romare Bearden Park, Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola activities remain free to the public including sponsor displays, musical entertainment, access to a variety of food and beverage, a kids’ zone and much more. The festival opens each day at noon ET.  For a complete list of entertainment & live music on both the Coca-Cola and Mello Yello stages, visit http://600festival.com/speed-street-schedule/.

2018 Gears & Guitars 5/25-5/27/18 At Bailey Park in Winston-Salem’s Innovation Quarter, the event is held in conjunction with the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic and will feature four days of family-friendly entertainment, including performances by indie rock group Cold War Kids and four-time Grammy Award-winner Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. The festival will also include a community day on Monday, May 28, featuring popular local bands. Those shows are all free and open to the public.

Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster or in person at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds and Annex ticket office. All concerts are general admission and will be held at Bailey Park in downtown Winston-Salem.  Children under 10 are admitted free. Special VIP packages this year! For full info: https://www.gearsandguitarsfest.com/

18th Annual Mountain Sports Festival 5/25-5/27/18 Amboy Rd in Asheville, NC. The Mountain Sports Festival is a weekend music and sports festival that celebrates community, athletics and local business. The free festival showcases the terrain, environment, and unique culture of Asheville, NC and the surrounding mountains. The Mountain Sports Festival is organized by a volunteer group of community oriented citizens dedicated to providing a well balanced series of events and music that encourage participation on all levels. Held annually on Memorial Day Weekend, 2018 will mark the 18th Annual Mountain Sports Festival. Every year, we build on our strong community base and bring you a wide variety of events in the mountains, throughout town, and on the river. An amazing array of musical talent, with acts and staging far better than most free festivals, will perform each day, and local beer, cider, and food vendors will be available to fill your belly. Thanks to our amazing sponsors and our hardworking and dedicated volunteer Board of Directors as well as community volunteers, our nonprofit festival continues to remain free to the thousands of attendees (over 8,000 in 2017) each year! We look forward to seeing you in Carrier Park on Memorial Day Weekend to celebrate 18 years of Mountain Sports Festival! https://mountainsportsfestival.com/

25th Annual Aurora Fossil Festival 5/25-5/26/18 Fri (6 pm-10:30 pm) – Sat (8 am-10:45 pm). Friday: Opening Ceremony. Little Miss and Mr Fossil Pageant, 25th Anniversary Fossil Master Reunion, Live Music by Saltwater Gold, Digging for Fossils! Saturday: Digging for Fossils, 5K Fossil Run, Veteran’s Breakfast & Ceremony, Paleontology Lecture Series, Parade, Car Cruise-in, Displays and activities by partner nonprofit organizations, 40th Birthday Celebration of the Aurora Fossil Museum activities in the Children’s Tent, Food/Craft/Fossil Vendors, Lawn mower pulls, Kiddie Rides & Games, Fossil Auction,

Helicopter Rides, Live Music in our Concert Series & Fireworks and much, much more!  Phone: 252-322-4238 www.aurorafossilfestival.net

White Squirrel Festival 5/25-5/27/18 Free. Featuring two-and-a-half days of great live music, the White Squirrel Festival in Downtown Brevard, NC is the perfect way to experience everything this charming mountain community has to offer. Created to enhance and develop the business district of downtown, the event has evolved into one of the premier music festivals in the southeast featuring national and regional artists, whether it is Jazz, Bluegrass, Singer-Songwriter or Rock and Roll, the eclectic music in this beautiful setting provides something for everyone. (828) 884-3278 List of all activities & musicians: www.whitesquirrelfestival.com

18th Annual NC Wine Festival 5/26/18 at Tanglewood Park. 4061 Clemmons Rd, Clemmons, NC. The 18th annual North Carolina Wine Festival at Tanglewood Park is the largest and longest-running wine festival in North Carolina! The Triad’s signature spring event includes a full day of tasting more than 100 different wines, ciders, beers and spirits, along with access to local food, and shopping local artists and vendors. Enjoy live music all day from two stages including Chairmen of the Board, Sons of Paradise, The Shakedown Band, and many other regional acts! Join us for amazing NC craft beverages, tasty chef-inspired menus, live music, and so much more as the unofficial kickoff to your Memorial Day weekend! Tickets now online, $20-65. (919)882-3733 www.ncwinefestival.com

Annual Garden Jubilee Festival 5/26-5/27/18 9am-5pm. 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. Memorial Day weekend. 800.828.4244 www.historichendersonville.org

Beer City Festival 6/2/18, 12pm-5pm. Asheville’s premier downtown craft beer festival will take place on Sat., June 2, on Roger McGuire Green. Beer City Festival brings the best local and regional breweries from Asheville and surrounding areas together for a great day of beer and music. This year’s event features over 30+ breweries and local music acts TBA soon. All attending guests must be 21+ years of age. Token tickets: $25; full ticket with unlimited samples, $45. www.beercityfestival.com

12th Livermush Festival 6/2/1 5-9pm. The Annual Liver Mush Festival celebrates livermush and its heritage in Marion & western North Carolina. “It’s a Squeal!” Celebrate all things pig at the Marion Liver Mush Festival in Downtown Marion. Liver Mush is a regional delicacy & part of the heritage of Marion & McDowell County. Join in the Pig Calling Contest or the Liver Mush Eating Contest! Inflatables and other activities for the kids! Visit the craft vendors and sponsors. And what would a Liver Mush Festival be without the sounds of the sounds of great country music and rock classics by local country band – Roadrunnerz. Free Liver Mush sandwiches from Hunter’s Liver Mush, the event sponsor. For more information, call 828-652-2215 or follow Liver Mush Festival on Facebook. Free. Main St, Historic Downtown Marion. www.mcdowellnc.org

15th NC Gold Festival 6/1-2/18 Free The Lucky Strike Campground along with the Gold Foundation Grounds in Marion, NC will be the home of the 2018 Gold Festival this year. The Festival begins Friday, June 1, & Saturday, June 2, 10am. Come watch as we stamp a gold piece similar to the way the Becthler Mint coin was stamped many years ago. This year’s Gold Festival will have Panning Contests, Demonstrations, Exhibits, Games, Ducky Derby Race, Target Shoots, Horseshoe Tournament, Vendors, Live Music and BBQ. 251 Lucky Strike Lane, Marion, NC, 78752. (800)959-9033. http://www.ncgold.org/festival.php

33rd Annual Carolina Beach Music Festival, 6/2/18, Gates open at 10am. On the beach strand at the historic Carolina Beach Boardwalk in Carolina Beach. On Saturday, June 2nd, ‘shaggers’ of all ages can enjoy a day of live entertainment with the hottest beach music bands in the South. Three bands offer that laid-back style of rhythm and blues with deep roots in the Carolina Coast. No glass, pets, or refunds permitted. Beverages, including beer, available. Ocean Front Beach Stage, Cape Fear Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC.  Ticket: $25 advance, $30 at gate (cash only) (910) 458-8434 www.pleasureislandnc.org

Washington Summer Festival 6/8-6/9/18 Washington, NC. 5-10pm Fri, 10am-8pm Sat. 35th Annual summer festival on the beautiful Pamlico River in Downtown Washington features music, arts & crafts, boat rides, children’s entertainment, food & amusement rides! (252)946-9168 www.wbcchamber.com/our-events/summer-festival

15th NC Blueberry Festival 6/14-6/16/18 At the Pender County Courthouse Square, Burgaw, NC. The North Carolina Blueberry Festival is Burgaw’s annual community celebration. Founded in 2003, the Blueberry Festival has become Burgaw’s premier event. Held on the third Saturday in June, the Blueberry Festival provides an opportunity for people to enjoy a full day of family entertainment while experiencing the southern hospitality of a small town. More than 30,000 people are estimated to attend the annual one day event. The Festival is a great source of local pride, with the entire community involved in promoting Burgaw to the world in its finest shade of blue. More than 100 volunteers are required to stage over 20 events ranging from entertainment to car show, a street fair, recipe contest, barbeque cook-off, a 5K run, special exhibits, and a variety of other events. At the North Carolina Blueberry Festival, we’re certain you’ll find something for the entire family! No pets, please, except ADA trained service dogs. (910) 259-2007 www.ncblueberryfestival.com

72nd NC Rhododendron Festival 6/15-6/16/18 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 (on the border of TN). Contact Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce (828) 688-3456. www.ncrhododendronfestival.org

52nd Season of Shindig on the Green. 6/30, 7/7, 7/14, 7/21, 8/11, 8/18, 8/25 & 9/1, 2018. A joyously spontaneous celebration of traditional and old-time string bands, bluegrass, ballad singers, big circle mountain dancers and cloggers on summer Saturday evenings in downtown Asheville, NC. Stage show and informal jam sessions. Pack Square Park on the Bascom Lamar Lunsford stage. Bring your instruments, lawn chairs or blankets, family and friends. Free. Info: (828)258-6101 x345. www.folkheritage.org/shindigonthegreen

Fun Fourth Festival Events, Greensboro: 7/3-7/4/18 Greensboro, NC. The Fun Fourth Festival has been presented annually since 1975 as a community celebration of Independence Day for Guilford County and the Piedmont Triad. Creating connections through shared experiences that celebrates the rich history of the Piedmont Triad in Downtown Greensboro. Races, Concerts, Fireworks and Festivals bring us together for the best July 4th celebration in North Carolina. The Dixieland Band and Greensboro Concert Band bring the Fireworks to life as they celebrate the Fourth in song! (336)379-0060 www.funfourthfestival.org

NC 4th of July Festival6/24-7/4/18 in Southport, NC. Arts, crafts, parade, 5K run, food, entertainment, children’s games, naturalization ceremony, music, shag contest & more! See “Events & Activities” page for more information and link to the preliminary schedule. Check out the festival’s new website www.nc4thofjuly.com Downtown Southport. Contact: Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce, 4433 Long Beach Road, SE Southport, NC. (910) 457-5578

Appalachian Summer Festival 7/1-8/4/18 Boone, NC. Now celebrating its 34th season, the festival has emerged as one of the nation’s leading regional arts festivals, featuring the best in music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film. See full schedule at www.appsummer.org. Tickets for festival events range in price & may be purchased by calling (800) 841-2787.

Blowing Rock Independence Day Festival: 7/6-7/8/18  7/6, 1pm-7pm, 4th of July Park Dance. Live music and fun in the park for the Independence Day holiday, at Memorial Park. 7/7, 10am-9:30pm, 4th of July Festival & Parade. Activities include park games, airwalks, watermelon eating contests, music, and dancing! The parade will take place on Main St. and will be followed by fireworks! Catch the Park Dance on Sunday, 7/8 – 4th of July Sunday Concert with the Watauga Community Band at Memorial Park, Blowing Rock. For more information, call (828)295-5222 www.blowingrock.com/calendar/events/?id=190

Fireworks Extravaganza at Tweetsie Railroad: 7/4 – 9:30 – 10pm Celebrate July 4th with a day of family fun at Tweetsie Railroad, and the High Country’s most spectacular fireworks display. The park will remain open until 9:00 pm and fireworks begin at 9:30 pm. 800-526-5740 https://tweetsie.com/

15th Annual RED, WHITE AND BLUEGRASS Festival 7/4-7/7/18 Morganton, NC. Call or go online for schedules and tickets (800) 939-SHOW 12 & under get in FREE with paid admission. Camping available, no hookups. www.redwhiteandbluegrassfestival.com

Christmas In July Festival 7/6-7/7/18 July 6, live music only, 3-10pm. Music plus all other events, Sat., July 7, 9am-7pm West Jefferson, NC. Arts & Crafts, Live Music, Adventure & Fun for the whole family! (336) 846-9196 http://www.christmasinjuly.info/index.html

Carrboro July 4th Celebration 7/4/18 Carrboro, NC. The 2018 Carrboro July 4th Celebration will be held at Carrboro Town Hall on Wednesday, July 4. Help us kick off the event at Weaver Street Market Lawn beginning at 9:30am! A parade from Weaver Street Market to Town Hall, starting at 10:50am, will bring the Weaver Street participants together with those in attendance at Carrboro Town Hall.Of course the Kids Fun Zone and Fun Zone Stage will be back and better than ever! Enjoy plenty of activities, games, good food, and live music. (919)942-8541 www.carrborojuly4th.com/308/July-4th-Celebration

Blackberry Festival 7/12-7/14/18 Downtown Lenoir. One of the largest events in Historic Downtown Lenoir, the NC Blackberry Festival has brought an estimated 15,000-17,000 visitors to beautiful Caldwell County. Live music every day, jam contest, 5K & Fun Run, Blackberry Belle Pageant, World’s Largest Cobbler, Farmers Market, Parade, Blackberry Patch, vendors, tons of kids stuff, inflatables, arts & crafts activities. Thursday, July 12, 6-9pm, Main St. Lenoir, “An Evening of Everything Blackberry” is a ticketed event kicking off the NC Blackberry Festival weekend on Lenoir’s Main St., featuring blackberry infused cuisine, drinks, music and dancing, and the swinging styles of The Starlighters. Friday, July 13, 5pm-10pm & Saturday, July 14, 9am-5pm, experience the tastes of our regional and local breweries on the Square in Historic Downtown Lenoir; tickets and wristbands will be made available downtown during this event. 7/13, “The Blackberry Jam,” a jam packed evening featuring the Black”Beer”y Garden Featuring Local Breweries and Craft Beers, local vendors, live music by the contestants of The Blackberry Jam Competition, at 7pm, a songwriting competition and event on the Blue Ridge Music Trail, among many other exciting events, all emceed by local band Sycamore Bones. Saturday, July 14, 10am to 5pm, live music & entertainment, vendors, happening all day. 7/14, busking will be encouraged in spots around the festival around Downtown Lenoir. Full info: www.ncblackberryfestival.com

NC Peach Festival 7/20-7/21/18 NC Peach Festival is held every year on the third Friday & Saturday in July in the Town of Candor. 4-9pm Friday, 10am-4pm, Saturday. Parade, live music, lots of vendors.  Lots of local peaches, peach ice cream & peach desserts. 214 S. Main St., Candor, NC. (910)974-4221 www.ncpeachfestival.com

Folkmoot USA 7/19-7/29/18 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..Events & performances take place across Western NC. Tickets now on sale. (828)452-2997 www.folkmoot.org

Winterville Watermelon Festival 8/23-8/25/18 Winterville, NC. www.watermelonfest.com

91st Annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. 8/2, 3 & 4/18 The nation’s longest running folk festival. Since 1928, mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, dancers, balladeers and others have come to enjoy themselves “along about sundown” the first weekend in August at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. In 2018, performers at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival will take to the stage for the 91st time at Mission Health/A-B Tech Conference Center, 340 Victoria Road, Asheville, NC 28801. Free parking in the adjoining garage. Nightly, 6:30pm-9:30pm. Tickets on sale now: https://folkheritage.org/asheville-events/mountain-dance-and-folk-festival/

Waldensian Festival 8/10 – 8/11/18 Downtown 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. The 2018 Waldensian Festival will concentrate on unique crafts, great food, and top-quality entertainment. To achieve this goal, the committee continues to search for wonderful artists, food vendors and entertainers from around the country. Choosing participants that will come together to make an unforgettable festival. (828)879-2120 www.townofvaldese.com/community/downtown-district/waldensian-festival/

40th Annual Sourwood Festival 8/10-8/12/18 Downtown Black Mountain, NC. Free. Sourwood Idol Contest is 8/10/18, 7-10pm. There’s always plenty to see & do at Black Mountain’s annual festival. Enjoy great music, & vendors & lots of fun & of course, lots of great mountain cooking.  (828) 669-2300 www.sourwoodfestival.com

Annual Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival 8/10 – 8/12/18 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)327-3335 www.sneadsferryshrimpfestival.org

Asheville Wine & Food Festival No dates set yet for 2018. http://www.ashevillewineandfood.com

9th Annual Dirty Dancing Festival 8/24-8/25/18 Lake Lure, NC. For eight The Dirty Dancing Festival has descended upon the beautiful town of Lake Lure, North Carolina for two days of live music, dancing, food and fun!  Come see what all the fuss is about and have the Time of Your Life! Pre-sale tickets on sale through May 31. info@dirtydancingfestival.com www.dirtydancingfestival.com

21st Annual Black Mountain Old Depot Art by the Tracks 6/2/18 & 10/27/18 will be held in the middle of Historic Black Mountain, Saturday, June 2, 10am-6pm & Sat., October 27, 10am-5pm. The Arts and Crafts Show is FREE TO PUBLIC (on Sutton Avenue, next to The Old Depot) – food and cold drinks available at West end of The Old Depot. Check out our new stuff! http://www.olddepot.org/art-by-the-tracks.html

Woodmill Winery Grape Stomp, 8/25 & 8/26/18. 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

North Carolina Apple Festival, 8/31-9/3/18 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 at the event. www.ncapplefestival.org

Annual Carolina Mountains Literary Festival 9/6-9/8/18 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. Ticketed workshops for writers. (828) 682-4476 www.cmlitfest.org

Historic Morganton Festival 9/7-9/8/18 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.morgantonfest.org

Bush Hill Heritage Festival 9/8/18 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

Lincoln County Apple Festival 9/15/18 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. (704)530-4636 www.lincolncountyapplefestival.com

54th Annual Festival in the Park

9/21-9/23/18 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 11/3-11/4/18 Hampstead, NC. The Annual Spot Festival in Hampstead, NC, offers an opportunity to enjoy a dinner of spot, one of the area’s best-tasting and most popular fish, along with generous helpings of cole slaw and hush puppies. The festival also has amusement rides, a variety of bands, entertainment from area schools, arts and crafts, and fireworks show on Saturday at dark. Free to attend, but there is a charge for food and amusement rides. www.ncspotfestival.com

Annual NC Seafood Festival 10/5-10/7/18 Morehead City, NC. (252)726-6273 www.ncseafoodfestival.org

Autumn Jubilee No 2018 date set yet, check online. Salisbury, NC. Plan to join in on all the fun and activities on Bringle Ferry Road at Dan Nicholas Park in Salisbury, NC. The festival will be on Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 6pm. Some 45,000 plus visitors enjoy the family fun festival. (704)216-7803 www.dannicholas.net

Carolina Renaissance Festival Weekends, Saturday & Sunday, Sept 29-Nov 18, 2018, Huntersville, NC. The festival is a medieval amusement park with staged theater, arts & crafts & jousting. Open rain or shine, no pets, please. Call or go online for more info and dates and tickets. (704)896-5555 www.carolina.renfestinfo.com/

Annual Great Grapes! Wine, Arts & Food Festival 10/6/18 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! For more info & to purchase tickets: www.uncorkthefun.com/charlotte-north-carolina/site-info

33rd Oktoberfest 2018 10/12-10/14/18 Downtown Hickory, a three-day, outdoor festival on the second weekend of October, in Hickory, North Carolina, featuring three stages of non-stop live entertainment ranging from traditional polka to rock & roll, two beer gardens, amusement rides and carnival games, a juried arts and crafts show, and hundreds of food and commercial vendors. The Hickory Oktoberfest festival started in 1985 and has grown to become one of the premiere festivals in Western North Carolina. Free (828)322-1121 www.hickoryoktoberfest.com

Smoking In The Foothills Barbecue Competition and Festival North Carolina State Championship Event 10/19-10/20/18 In Historic Downtown Lenoir, NC. Come to the beautiful foothills of North Carolina and find out what real barbecue is all about. This is a family friendly world class barbecue competition and festival. Sanctioned by The Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS). So come get your smoker going. If you are not a Pitmaster that’s OK too, we have plenty to do for the whole family.  http://www.smokinginthefoothills.com/

Woolly Worm Festival 10/20-10/21/18 on the grounds of the Banner Elk Elementary School, downtown Banner Elk, NC. The perfect time to share some tips that will make your experience a good one while at the festival and getting to the festival. Yes there is an admission cost to get into the festival because all of the proceeds are given back to our community to enhance our schools, children’s programs, and to promote businesses and tourism in Avery County. Yes, there is ample parking, but the free parking is on a first come basis and other parking by organizations for a minimal fee …please no pets inside festival gates, except Woolly Worms, of course. No pets, sorry. There are no ATMs on festival grounds so be sure to stop at one of the bank ATM machines on your way. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children 6-12, under 5 years old, free. What is there to do once we get inside the festival gates? Of course wace your woolly worm! It is $5 to wace your worm and if you didn’t find one along one of the many back roads before you get here, don’t worry the PTO will have them for sale inside the gate by the main gate information booth. Be sure to arrive early as the Worm Wace Wegistration fills up quickly. What a great time to think of the holidays and purchase great wares from our handcrafted juried artists from fun items to those for decorating your house with amazing furniture, and who wouldn’t love a nice piece of jewelry or pottery under the Christmas tree. There are inflatables rides, live music and dance teams. Tickets can be purchased online at WoollyWorm.com. Remember the winning woolly on Saturday has the esteemed honor of predicting the High Country weather and wins a huge pot of $$$ If you are very lucky your Woolly Worm will share its $1000 cash prize with its owner. Can’t make it to the festival on Saturday not to worry we begin the fun on Sunday at 9am until 4pm. Call the Avery County Chamber at 828-898-5605 for more information. The fun starts Saturday morning at 9am and the woolly worm waces begin shortly after with Mr. Woolly Worm and Merryweather leading the fun! Tickets & info online: www.woollyworm.com

Taylorsville Hometown Apple Festival 10/20/18 Taylorsville, NC. The streets of Taylorsville fill to overflowing for the Annual Taylorsville Apple Festival which draws an estimated 35,000 attendees and hosts over 250 exhibit booths. The festival provides a fantastic assortment of entertainment, food and vendors. The festival boasts 3 entertainment stages. The Kid’s Korner has hosted in the past, pony rides, mechanical bucking bull rides, pitching booths, numerous professional inflatables, puppet shows, music and much more. Food vendors surround the courthouse emitting some of the most wonderful smells and best tasting food you’ll find in the Carolinas. One can find chopped barbeque, egg rolls, hamburgers and hotdogs, barbeque chicken, Italian sausages, and the list goes on. And don’t forget dessert. Items here include: homemade ice cream, cakes, cookies, and of course fried apple pies. Hundreds of craft vendors lining many blocks of town that day. (828)632-2999 www.alexandercountyonline.com/applefestival/index.html

LEAF Lake Eden Arts Fall Festival 10/18-10/21/18 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 http://www.theleaf.org/the-festival/

Carolina Balloon Fest, 10/19-10/21/18 Statesville, NC. Advance ticketed event, no walk-ins, no refunds as it is a fundraiser. Bring lawn chairs and blankets (pets & coolers will not be admitted) to enjoy the 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. 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 permitting! http://www.carolinaballoonfest.com

 

MOTORCYCLES

Hog Happenin’ Bikes & BBQ 6/7-6/10/18 Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds in Newton, NC. On site camping. From bike shows, games & rides to competitions – this is where the rubber meets the road. Bar-B-Que: the area’s best grillers compete to put the “hog” in Hog Happenin’! Four days of great live music including AC/DC Tribute Band Problem Child! Keep checking website for regular updates. www.hoghappenin.org

Asheville Ride for Kids 8/25/18 Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Registration: 9am-10:30am. 11am start. Starting Point: Cane Creek Middle School, 570 Lower Brush Creek Rd, Fletcher, NC 28732. Ending Point: Oskar Blues Brewery. Enjoy a fun ride, food and entertainment! Cheer our Stars, local children fighting brain tumors. Fundraiser to earn incentives like T-shirts, jackets and more. Get a chance to win a new Honda Rebel 300, CBR 300, Grom (Winner’s Choice) and other great prizes (see rules below).  Connect with other enthusiasts for a great cause. Come join us with any make or model of street legal motorcycle, or just enjoy the day with family and friends! http://pbtf.convio.net/site/TR?fr_id=2997&pg=entry

Thunder in the Smokies Motorcycle Rallies 6/29-7/1 & 9/7-9/9/18 Maggie Valley, NC. Join us at the Handlebar Corral for a rumbling weekend in the Great Smoky Mountains in June or September for a weekend of fun. Thousands of bikers roll into Maggie Valley, North Carolina for the busiest motorcycle weekend in town. Maggie Valley is a biker friendly town and a great place for bikers to gather for a motorcycle rally surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery and enjoy riding the Blue Ridge Parkway. Event includes tour rides, bike games, bike show, vendors, music & more. www.handlebarcorral.com

6th Annual Biker Blues BBQ Rally & BBQ Classic 9/14-9/15/18 Salisbury, NC, held at Tilley Harley-Davidson, This family oriented event is a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned event. Charity Poker Run 9/15. This event will bring together sponsors, vendors, first class entertainment, the general public, and motorcycle enthusiasts for an admission-free event. Free to the general public, the goal is to have proceeds going to event charities. (704) 638-6044 http://www.bikerbluesbbqrally.com

 

MUSIC

The Sails Original Music Series Hickory, NC. Free. The show begins at 6:30 pm and audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Olde Hickory Brewery will sell beer in designated areas, and there are a variety of close-by restaurants to patronize. The Sails Original Music Series will feature live music under the Sails on the Square in Downtown Hickory every Friday evening in May, June, and September, beginning at 6:30 pm. In the event of rain, the Sails Original Music Series will be held indoors at the Hickory Elks Lodge #1654, located at 356 Main Ave NW. The City’s Facebook pages and website will be updated with those details, if the event is relocated. For more information about the Sails Original Music Series and upcoming bands, please visit the Sails Music Series Facebook page – www.facebook.com/SailsMusic.

2018 Valdese Family Friday Nights Local nostalgic, beach, classic rock, Americana, 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 on Main Street. Sponsored by the Town of Valdese. Friday Night Cruise-ins at Myra’s continue throughout the year. Vintage cars and trucks fill up the block around Myra’s Restaurant. Designated Fridays host a car show on Main Street.  Full list of bands and more info: https://www.townofvaldese.com/community/downtown-district/family-friday-nights/

Conover Alive! The 2018 Conover Alive season starts Friday, June 1 and will continue on Friday nights: 6/15 & 29; July 13 & 27. Conover City Park, 7pm-11pm, Conover Station, downtown Conover. Free & Family Friendly! Food & beverages for sale, all shows rain or shine. For more information about the Hickory Jaycees, contact us on Facebook or e-mail hickoryjaycee@yahoo.com

Shelby Alive! Free Outdoor Concert Series City Pavilion, 126 W. Marion St., Shelby, NC Each year Uptown Shelby Association offers outdoor concerts to showcase the heart of our city and to bring people together to meet friends, enjoy music, relax and have some fun. The concerts are held on the fourth Thursday of each month. More great music and more good times in Uptown Shelby. 2018 Concert Schedule: May 24, June 28, July 26 and August 23, all at 6-9 pm.  For more information on Shelby Alive! or other great events going on in uptown Shelby please visit https://www.uptownshelby.com/events/216-alive-after-five or call 704-484-3100.

Bluegrass Music Jam 2018 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 http://www.hometownmarion.com/events

Annual Singing on the Mountain Sunday, 6/24/18, 9am-6pm. Grandfather Mountain MacRae Meadows, Linville, NC. The all-day gospel sing and fellowship returns to MacRae Meadows at Grandfather Mountain for its 94th year. A dozen top gospel groups will perform, and audiences can expect a sermon from a well-known speaker. Free admission. Camping (without hookups) is available on the field. 336-261-8386. www.grandfather.com/events/singing-on-the-mountain/

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

Biltmore’s 22nd annual Concert Series heats up the summer Celebrate summer at Biltmore when the estate’s 22nd annual Concert Series begins Thursday, August 2, 2018. Aug. 2 Creedence Clearwater Revisited and Night Ranger (Arena Rock); Aug. 3 Jay Leno (Stand-Up Comedy); Aug. 9 for King & Country and Lauren Daigle (Contemporary Christian); Aug. 11 An Evening with Lyle Lovett and his Large Band (Country/Folk/Western Swing) and Aug. 16 The Temptations and The Four Tops (R&B). All shows start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at www.biltmore.com/concerts, or by calling 866-336-1255; or in person at Biltmore’s Reservation and Ticketing Sales Center, 1 Lodge St., Asheville, NC 28803. Performers and dates are subject to change. A variety of ticket, dining and lodging packages will be available for the concerts. Tickets do not include or require estate admission. Performers & dates are subject to change.

Taste Of Charlotte 6/8-6/10/18, Taste of Charlotte is a 3 day festival featuring over 100 samples from area restaurants along with Live Music and Entertainment, Interactive Children’s Activities, Street Performances, Unique Shopping and a large variety of local, regional and national sponsors interacting with festival goers, providing information, coupons and free stuff! Admission to Taste of Charlotte is FREE.  Purchase festival coins to use for restaurant samples, beverages and kid’s activities.  You can purchase your coins on site at booths located throughout the festival or pre-purchase them before arriving.   Located on Tryon Street, Taste of Charlotte spans 5 city blocks from Stonewall to Trade.  Enjoy delicious food while strolling the festival experiencing two stages of entertainment, street performances and interactive tours.  Taste of Charlotte truly is a fun, friendly atmosphere for all ages.  Come see for yourself why Taste of Charlotte is a taste of everything Charlotte has to offer. Friday & Saturday 11am-11pm, Sunday 11am-6pm No pets allowed. (704)262-9847 www.tasteofcharlotte.com

59th Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament 6/8-6/16/18 The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament is fished by around 100 competitors in substantial cash categories. This event produces revenue for charities. Big Rock Landing, Morehead City, NC. Contact Crystal Hesmer (252) 247-3575 www.thebigrock.com

Animals’ Birthday Party Wed., 6/13/18 Grandfather Mountain, Linville, NC, 10:30am-3:30pm. 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. 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646 (800)468-7325 https://grandfather.com/events/animal-birthday-party-2/

C & E Gun Shows June 23-24 & Sept 15-16, 2018 Sat: 9am-5pm, Sun:  10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults: $9, Tickets can only be purchased day of the show at the door. Tickets can only be purchased with cash. Saturday Admission good for Sunday with Hand-stamp. Children under 12 years of age admitted FREE with Adult. Hickory Metro Convention Center 1960 13th Ave. Dr. SE, Hickory. www.cegunshows.com/hickory–nc.html

4th of July Celebration 7/4/18 Downtown Asheville. Join in the fun in Pack Square Park starting at 2pm on Wed., July 4th. The free festival includes performances by the Ultimate Air Dogs again at 2, 4, 6 & 7:30pm. Children’s activities and bouncy house 2-6pm. Splashville Fountain will be on 2-6pm. Live music starts at 5pm. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. Fireworks at 9:30pm can be best seen from the park. Bring your chair or blanket to picnic. Buy from food trucks or nearby restaurants. Parking is available in nearby parking decks, on the street or in private lots. No outside alcohol, coolers or pets in the park. https://www.ashevilledowntown.org/independenceday

July 4th Celebration 7/4/18 Brevard, NC. Celebration begins with the 5K/10K Firecracker Run at 8am. Downtown streets close for the Fine Arts & Craft Festival 9am-5pm. Pet Parade at 9am. The Classic Auto Show stretches for blocks. The Courthouse Gazebo is center stage for day-long musical entertainment. Evening fun moves a few blocks to Brevard College starting at 6 PM, with fireworks at 9:30 PM. Bicycle parade, hot dog eating contest and much more. http://www.brevardnc.org/4th-of-july-brevard/4th-of-july-2016/

July 4th Celebration 7/4/18 Waynesville: Stars & Stripes Celebration Shops & Restaurants open all day, live music & entertainment, 11-3pm. Patriotic Kid’s Parade on Main Street 11am; Haywood Community Band Patriotic Concert on Courthouse lawn, 2pm. http://www.waynesvillenc.gov/2018-event-calendar

Asheville Quilt Guild Show 9/28-9/30/18 Fri & Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-4:30pm. 350 quilts expected. Demonstrations, Silent auction, Opportunity quilt, Kids’ sewing station, Vendors, Gift shop. Multi-day passes Admission $7 – Free parking, Handicap accessible WNC Agriculture Center, 1301 Fanning Bridge Rd Fletcher, NC. (Just off I-26 across from the airport.) http://ashevillequiltguild.org/quilt-show/

 

THINGS TO DO

Top Places to See Along the Parkway in the Asheville area, beginning north and traveling south: Rough Ridge Hike, Blue Ridge Parkway: (Milepost 302.8) It’s a short hike to this boardwalk with spectacular views along a ridge with sweeping mountain views, overlooking Linn Cove Viaduct and Grandfather Mountain.

Linn Cove Viaduct: (Milepost 304) This 1243-foot concrete segmental bridge snakes around the slopes of Grandfather Mountain. Drive across it and stop at the Visitor Center to read about the construction and walk underneath it. It was completed in 1987 at a cost of $10 million and was the last section of the Blue Ridge Parkway to be finished. To ride across and get a close look at this engineering marvel, drive north on the Parkway for 78 miles from Asheville to Milepost 304. http://www.romanticasheville.com/linn_cove_viaduct.htm

Linville Falls: (Milepost 316) See five viewpoints of the most photographed waterfall in North Carolina via two trails that begin at the Visitors’ Center. Open May-Oct, some weekends in April. http://www.romanticasheville.com/linville_falls.htm

Crabtree Falls: (Milepost 339.5) Take a 2.5 mile roundtrip woodland hike to this beautiful 70 foot waterfall. Picnic area and camping. http://www.romanticasheville.com/crabtree_falls.htm

Mt. Mitchell: (Milepost 355) Drive to the summit of the highest point east of the Rockies and take a short paved trail to the observation deck for panoramic mountain views. Tour the museum, have a picnic or dine at the restaurant. Hike on a variety of trails. Remember, it’s usually 15-20 degrees cooler here than in the city of Asheville. http://www.romanticasheville.com/mtmitchell.htm

Folk Art Center: (Milepost 382) Shop for wonderful art and craft by regional artists with items in all price ranges. Then see the finest in traditional and contemporary craft of the Southern Appalachians with exhibitions in three galleries. http://www.romanticasheville.com/folk_art.htm

Skinny Dip Falls: (Milepost 417) Take a short hike from the Looking Glass Rock overlook to this refreshing swimming spot in the summer with a series of cascades and pools. And it’s a beautiful spot to enjoy year-round, but you do have to wear clothes! No lifeguard on duty. http://www.romanticasheville.com/skinny_dip_falls.htm

Graveyard Fields: (Milepost 419) This very popular hiking spot features two waterfalls in a mile-high valley filled with wildflowers and surrounded by Blue Ridge Mountains with 6,000-foot peaks. One waterfall is a short hike from the parking area. Milepost 419. http://www.romanticasheville.com/graveyard.htm

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 is now in its 61st year!  Blowing Rock, NC. This year North Carolina¹s first theme park will include annual events such as the July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza, Day Out With Thomas, K-9¹s In Flight Frisbee® Dogs, the award-winning Ghost Train® and more. Daytime operations for Tweetsie Railroad will continue through October 28. The theme park will extend its nighttime operations, every Friday and Saturday night, November 23 through December 29 for Tweetsie Christmas, a special holiday event. Tweetsie Railroad offers plenty of fun for the entire family. Whether it¹s hopping aboard a train pulled by a historic steam locomotive to experience an exciting three-mile Wild West adventure through the Blue Ridge Mountains, panning for gold, meeting cowboys and Can-Can girls, or strolling through an authentic Western town, the theme park has something for everyone. Families looking for even more delights can explore amusement rides, gem mining, and the Deer Park Zoo – home to more than 90 animals including deer, emus, goats, llamas and miniature horses. Tweetsie Railroad also offers plenty of live entertainment including the Country Clogging Jamboree, Diamond Lil¹s Can-Can Review, and Tweetsie Railroad¹s own Hopper and Porter show. Miner¹s Mountain will soon be home to two new shops for guests to enjoy: Miner¹s Mountain Ice Cream Shop and Face Paint Parlor. Miner¹s Mountain Theater, home to popular live shows including Hopper and Porter and the Magic Show, has also been renovated and expanded. The 2018 season will feature a variety of events that will provide many opportunities for exciting and memorable trips to Tweetsie Railroad: David Holt and the Lightning Bolts in Concert, Saturday, May 26; Day Out With Thomas: The Friendship Tour 2018, June 8-17; Fireworks Extravaganza,  July 4; Cool Summer Nights, July 7, 14, 21 and 28; Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star July 13-15; K-9s In Flight Frisbee® Dogs, July 21-29; Riders In The Sky, August 11-12; Railroad Heritage Weekend, August 25-26; Ghost Train®, Friday and Saturday nights, September 21 through- October 27; Tweetsie Christmas, Friday and Saturday evenings, November 23 – December 29. Daytime admission is $45 for adults, $30 for children (ages 3 to 12) and free for children 2 and under. Admission prices for Ghost Train and Tweetsie Christmas are $38 for adults and children. When you enter Tweetsie Railroad® after 3pm you can use your tickets the next day at no additional charge. Keep your ticket stubs and present them at the Ticket Office for a full day of family fun. Note: The “After 3” offer is not valid for June 7, 2018, Ghost Train®, or Tweetsie Christmas. Some restrictions apply during Day Out With Thomas™. Inquire at the Ticket Office. Tweetsie Railroad is located on U.S. Highway 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina. For more information about the 2018 season at Tweetsie Railroad, visit Tweetsie.com or call 800.526.5740.

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 (except holiday weekends): Sat 2-4pm & Sun 2-4pm. (828) 396-3131 http://www.granitefallshistorymuseum.org/

Hudson Railroad Depot Museum The Hickman Windmill Park and Hudson Railroad Depot Museum is in Hudson, North Carolina. The park contains a renovated depot that was built around the turn of the 20th century and was used as a train station up until the 1970s. (828) 728-8272 A highlight of the museum is its collection of several restored cabooses including a restored 1912 Wood-Sided Rear Cupola Caboose furnished with railroad artifacts, and a Delaware & Hudson. http://www.ashevilleguidebook.com/wnc/cultural-attractions/hudson_railroad_depot_museum.htm

Carolinas 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. 10am-4pm, Mon-Friday; 10am-5p, Sat; Sunday, 1-5pm. Note-not air-conditioned. For admission info: call 704-997-3770 or check it out online at

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. No pets, please. For service animal policy, see website. For ticket info: (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. For more info and ticket prices call (800)555-5900 or go online at: www.emeraldpointe.com

Battleship USS NC – Standing with quiet dignity & majesty across from historic downtown Wilmington, NC, 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 (not including tax): Adult-12 & over $14; 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) Guided tours are slightly more expensive. (910)399-9100 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. Visit website for hours & full ticketing information. www.ncaquariums.com

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Bryson City, NC. Generally runs April-December. 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. Fontana Trestle Train featuring BBQ & Brews: Back by popular demand our BBQ & Brews now featured on the Fontana Trestle Train this summer! Featuring slow-cooked BBQ prepared fresh and beer tastings showcasing our local breweries! Family friendly seating is available on this experience! For all rates & schedule: (800)872-4681 www.gsmr.com

Lineberger’s Berry Hill Farm & Lineberger’s Maple Springs Farm.  Pick your own strawberries, blueberries, or Christmas tree. Juicy strawberries or blackberry & strawberry cider available. Iron Station, or Dallas, NC (704.922.8688). https://www.facebook.com/Linebergers-Maple-Springs-Farm-179458952097635/

Helms Christmas Tree and Blueberry Farm. Vale, NC. Sweet blueberries or Christmas trees available at Helms Christmas Tree Farm. Henry has been producing choose and cut trees of multiple varieties for nearly 50 years.  Helms’ Christmas Tree Farm believes in regenerative planting.  This means that when a tree is cut, one is put back in its place the next year. Call to check blueberry availability. Christmas Tree sales start Nov 17, 2018. (704)276-1835. https://helmschristmastreefarm.com/

Andy Griffith Museum Mt. Airy, NC. The Andy Griffith Museum is a place both for learning about and celebrating Andy Griffith, who was born in Mount Airy in 1926. Home of the single largest collection of artifacts and memorabilia related to Andy Griffith, the museum features hundreds of items from Andy’s life and his career in theater, film, and music. Highlights of the collection include actual props, wardrobe, and other artifacts from The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock that were donated by Cindi and Andy Griffith, members of the casts and crews, and other individuals and organizations. Many essential and rare items in the museum were lovingly collected by lifelong Mount Airy resident Emmett Forrest, the founding curator of the museum and a friend of Andy’s since childhood. Forrest shepherded the collection to its current building, which was dedicated in 2009. Though Forrest died in 2013, his passion and vision continue to guide the museum in its mission to preserve and share Andy Griffith’s legacy. Part of that mission was a substantial renovation of the museum’s exhibits that was completed in 2017. The state-of-the art improvements are intended not only to greatly enhance the museum experience for visitors, but also to ensure the careful preservation of the collection for generations to come. The Andy Griffith Museum is open year-round, seven days a week, except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. For Tickets & more info: http://www.surryarts.org/agmuseum/index.html

Mayberry Days, Sept 24-30, 2018

Mt. Airy, NC. Mayberry Days® is a festival for the whole family with activities and events for the fans who long for the days when life was simple and the sheriff didn’t carry a gun. Enjoy a bottle of pop while playing checkers, relax to music from many local bands playing the same songs that Andy grew up with and performed on The Andy Griffith Show. From the first laugh at “The Mouth of Mayberry” on Monday to “The Emmett” golf tournament on Thursday to eating a porkchop sandwich to singing along on the last song at the Blackmon Amphitheatre on Sunday evening, there is something for everyone in the family. The Surry Arts Council and City of Mount Airy welcome fans of all ages and from all around the world to Mayberry Days. Make plans now to attend this family-friendly festival and enjoy days filled with the Mayberry spirit. There is so much to do during the festival with all types of shows, a parade, Special Guests, contests, a silent auction, contests and games. Something for the entire family! So much to do, but remember to take time to slow down and enjoy what Mayberry means to you. All Mayberry Days events take place at the Andy Griffith Playhouse, Historic Earle Theatre, Andy Griffith Museum Theatre or Blackmon Amphitheatre except “The Emmett” with the Dinner & Entertainment on Thursday at Cross Creek Country Club. The Surry Arts Council venues are within walking distance of each other, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothes (the festival goes on, rain or shine). There is free parking in the numerous municipal lots downtown. Events are scheduled for minimal overlap where you can enjoy nearly everything. Be sure to come visit Mount Airy during other times of the year as well. The Andy Griffith Museum is open 7 days a week and the Surry Arts Council has events going on throughout the year, so there are plenty of reasons to return. http://www.surryarts.org/mayberrydays/index.html

Squad Car Tours, Mt. Airy, NC. Mount Airy’s famous Mayberry Squad Car Tours. This is an exciting tour of the historic town and all its famous Mayberry landmarks. We’ll start you off at the famous Wally’s Fillin’ Station, then take a ride down main street and check out all the sites like the Blue Bird Diner, Floyd’s Barber shop, Snappy Lunch and then we’ll swing by Andy’s original home place. This and much more can be seen while taking a trip through the past. If you’re a true Andy Griffith fan then this tour is a must. Where else will you ever get the chance to ride in a Mayberry squad car. This is an experience you’ll never forget! (336)789-OPIE or www.tourmayberry.com

Tour Floyd’s City Barber Shop Mt. Airy, NC. Floyd’s City Barber Shop is a real-life barber shop. The “Wall of Fame” in the shop contains more than 20,000 pictures of visitors — and counting — Oprah Winfrey and “The Incredible Hulk” Lou Ferrigno have visited. Admission is free, but a haircut will cost you! We’re open Mon, Tues, Wed & Fri, 7 am – 5 pm but are closed Thursday and Sunday. (336) 786-2346. 200 N. Main St, Mount Airy, NC. https://www.visitnc.com/listing/Bu5x/floyd-s-city-barber-shop

Pilot Mountain State Park 1792 Pilot Knob Park Rd, Pinnacle, NC

(336) 325-2355. Rising abruptly more than 2,000 feet, Pilot Mountain has been a navigational landmark for centuries, and is a recreational landmark as well, offering miles of trails, camping, climbing and spectacular scenery. The mountain summit remains the principal park area, connected to the Yadkin River section by a 6.5-mile trail corridor. An extensive trail network is augmented by a bridle trail and a canoe trail section on the river. Family camping in a 49-site campground is augmented by riverside group camps and canoe-in sites. Rock climbing and rappelling are allowed on portions of the park’s steep cliffs, and those cliffs perched around the mountain’s summit offer seemingly endless views of piedmont, Sauratown Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains. No drones, UAV’s, flying machines, or RC aircraft are allowed at Pilot Mountain State Park. Drones also cannot be launched from the state road or US highway outside the front gate. Park hours vary, check website for updates. Closed Christmas Day. Park Office Hours 8am-4:30pm 7 days a week. Closed state holidays. https://www.ncparks.gov/pilot-mountain-state-park

Land Of Waterfalls Brevard & Transylvania County, NC   When it comes to North Carolina waterfalls, Transylvania County is Mecca. The county’s unique geography allows for 250 magnificent cascades within a few miles of each other. Many of Transylvania County’s most beautiful falls are easily accessible. From the awesome 400 foot drop of Whitewater Falls (highest falls east of the Rocky Mountains) to the iconic beauty of Looking Glass Falls to Sliding Rock, Western North Carolina’s most beloved natural thrill ride, romantics, adventurers and career waterfall-spotters can easily sate their thirst on a whole other level. As beautiful as our waterfalls are, they also hold hidden dangers. We ask you to join with us, Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Recreational Forest and Gorges State Park in encouraging everyone to practice waterfall safety. If you’re planning a visit, please follow the waterfall safety tips found on our website. The Easy Way: If time or physical ability will not allow for a self-guided waterfall adventure, consider one of these local outfitters for a guided tour. You may even get to see waterfalls not open to the public. Eastatoe Trail Tours: (828) 482-9060; Leap Frog Tours: (828) 507-1421; Lydia Odell Tours: 828-553-5628; Miller’s Land of Waterfalls Tours:  828-884-8982; Pisgah Field School: 828-884-3443 and Pura Vida Adventures:  772-579-0005. Also on this website is full information on festivals & events, lodging, dining, arts & culture. www.visitwaterfalls.com/the-great-outdoors/waterfalls/

The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC Too many exhibitions, collections & events to list, go to website! The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative museum of international art and design committed to engaging and inspiring all members of our global community. The Mint Museum is dedicated to leadership in collecting, exhibiting, conserving, researching, publishing, interpreting, and sharing art and design from around the world. These commitments are central to the museum’s core values of leadership, integrity, inclusiveness, knowledge, stewardship, and innovation, promoting understanding of and respect for diverse peoples and cultures. Through our two locations, Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph, we hope to stimulate the senses, ignite inner passion and compel our visitors to share the things that inspire them with the world. Just as our artists do. 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. Step into a world where science is brought to life through interactive exhibits and explosive experiments during daily programs. Connect with the past and visit the future with ground-breaking exhibitions, larger-than-life IMAX Dome films and hands on activities that let you explore more. For tickets and more info: (800)935-0553 www.discoveryplace.org

Hickory Crawdads Baseball Team, a Texas Rangers affiliate. LP Frans Stadium 2500 Clement Blvd NW Hickory, NC (828) 322-3000. https://www.milb.com/hickory

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, and serves as the home of international Olympic athletes. Tickets & full schedule open 365 days a year: www.usnwc.org

Schiele Museum, Gastonia, NC The Schiele Museum of Natural History inspires wonder and appreciation for science and the natural world through programs, exhibits, and research. Planetarium, 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 presentday 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 704-866-6900 in advance to verify fees. Closed major holidays. 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; Tues-Fri, 10am–5pm; Sat, 10am–3pm (excluding major holidays). 131 W. Main Street, Dallas, North Carolina, 28034. 704-922-7681. www.gastoncountymuseum.org

Hickory Museum of Art Daily admission to the Hickory Museum of Art is FREE. Amazing array of events & always-changing exhibitions. Classes, too! Visit website for up to date information on exhibits, events. 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: Tues-Saturday 10am-4pm; Sunday 1- 4 pm. Closed Mondays and Holidays. 243 3rd Avenue Northeast, Hickory, NC, 28601. (828) 327-8576 www.hickoryart.org

Catawba Science Center Hickory, NC. Catawba Science Center is a nonprofit science and technology museum providing hands-on learning for all ages, with more than 18,000 square feet of exhibit space for visitors to explore physical, natural and earth sciences. Aquarium galleries take visitors through immersive freshwater and marine habitats, with opportunities to touch live creatures, including sharks and stingrays. A 65-seat, full-dome planetarium theater features astronomy talks, immersive digital presentations in surround sound and laser light shows. Traveling exhibits rotate throughout the year. Prices, exhibits, planetarium/laser show schedules and field trip information on their website. 243 3rd Avenue Northeast Hickory, NC 28601 (828) 322-8169 www.catawbascience.org

Hickory Aviation Museum FREE admission every day! Display aircraft are:  Grumman F-14D Tomcat; North American FJ-3 Fury; Douglas A-4L Skyhawk; Northrop F-5E Aggressor; EA-6B Prowler; Republic F-105B Thunderchief, a P-3 Orion and many more! Open to public, come sit a pilot’s seat!  Volunteers available to answer questions. (828)323-1963. Hickory Regional Airport, just off of Hwy 321, 3101 9th Ave Dr NW, Hickory. Tues-Fri, 10am-3pm. Sat 10am-4pm, Sunday 1pm-4pm. www.hickoryaviationmuseum.org. Schedule group tours. (828)323-1963. Veterans’ program open to veterans of all wars the first Sat. of month beginning at 11am.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Raleigh, NC: Free General Admission. Featuring an incredible 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. Hours and days open vary at each of the four  sites. Check online in advance. Nature Exploration Center: 11 West Jones St., Raleigh, NC. Nature Research Center: 121 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27603, Phone: 919.707.8080. Prairie Ridge Ecostation, 1671 Gold Star Drive, Raleigh, NC, 27607. Phone: 919.707.8888. Whiteville: 415 South Madison Street, Whiteville, NC, 28472. Phone: 910.914.4185

Caldwell Heritage Museum   Lenoir, NC. The Caldwell Heritage Museum opened in 1991. Built in 1926, it housed the auditorium and music rooms. Today, the space is being utilized for a chronological history of Caldwell County, from pre-Colonial days until the present, through a series of exhibits. Among the historic treasures are Native American spears and arrow points, early maps, grants, and deeds. There is also information and pictures about the founding of Caldwell County, as well as the establishment of the town of Lenoir as the county seat and its development into a railroad terminus and furniture manufacturing center. The museum also has several special interest collections: medical, music, military, and photography. Special collections of loaned items are featured for short periods of time each year. Open Tuesday-Friday from 10am until 4:30pm; Saturdays, 9am until Noon. No admission charge, but donations for the operation of the Museum are appreciated. 112 Vaiden St., SW, Lenoir, NC, 28645. (828)758-4004 http://caldwellmuseum.org/

History Museum of Burke County Morganton, NC. 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, 72 Main Ave Drive. Open to the Public: Tuesdays 9am-3pm.  828-635-0064 http://www.taylorsvillenc.com/museumsOldJail.htm

 

SOUTH CAROLINA

 

FESTIVALS

The Party In The Pines 6/7-6/9/18 Whitmire SC. A 3-day festival held in Whitmire, SC. 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-11pm. Sat: 4pm-11pm. Street dances, parade on Sat, 5:30pm. Lots of food, arts & crafts, live entertainment each night. http://www.angelfire.com/sc/pinp/

Mighty Moo Festival 6/13-16/18 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. Celebrating the 27th Anniversary of the USS Cowpens CG63 Aegis Guided Missile Cruiser – Commissioned March 9th, 1991. All CG63 Plank Owners and past crew members & their families are invited to come attend and catch up with long-time no see buddies and meet some of the WWII CVL25 crewmen that remain in attendance. http://cowpensmightymoo.com/

48th Annual Ridge Peach Festival 6/16/18 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. One hundred arts & crafts, antiques, carnival rides & inflatables, fresh Titan Farm peaches, homemade peach preserves, jams, & jellies at the Country Store. Parade comes through 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 6/15-6/24/18 Hampton, SC. Festival highlights: Lake War

 

ren 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! 803-943-8365. www.hcmelonfest.org

Pageland Watermelon Festival 7/20-7/21/18 Downtown Pageland, SC. Large Saturday 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.Listed on Facebook. 843-672-6400. www.pagelandwatermelonfestival.com

 

MOTORCYCLES

Atlantic Beach Bike Festival 5/25-5/28/18 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. 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. www.blackbikeweek.us

Myrtle Beach Bike Week Fall Rally 10/1-10/7/18 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 http://www.myrtlebeachbikeweek.com/events/fall-rally/

 

THINGS TO DO

Alabama Theatre 4750 Hwy. 17 S North, Myrtle Beach, SC. The remarkable, multi-talented entertainers, aerialists & world-class musicians deliver two hours of incredible music, dance & comedy. Summer months offer Family Nights, when kids aged 16 & younger are admitted free with paid adults. 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, and House of Blues. (843) 272-8349 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 Circle, Myrtle Beach, SC. 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, Broadway Cinema movie house, 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

Fun After Dark at the South Carolina Aquarium After Hours Returns on many Fridays, Charleston, SC — Aquarium After Hours series, designed for adults 21+. Grab a friend or a date, a beer or glass of wine, and enjoy access to all of the South Carolina Aquarium galleries after dark. Check this web page for more info and tickets: http://scaquarium.org/afterhours. General info on SC Aquarium: www.scaquarium.org or call (843) 577-FISH (3474)

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. (864)638-9568

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. One of the region’s most exciting, family-friendly water parks & destinations for families & kids of all ages! Open May 26, 2018! (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 https://lakemurraycruises.com/

TENNESSEE

FESTIVALS

Uncle Dave Macon Days 7/13-7/14/18 Murfreesboro, TN. The Biggest Bluegrass & Old Time Festival in Middle Tennessee is primed to have the best year yet in 2018! Featuring: Rhonda Vincent, The Isaacs, Flatt Lonesome, Ralph Stanley II, NewTown, The Hogslop String Band and The Glade City Rounders! Also, old time music & dance competitions. National championships buck dance, clogging, old time banjo. Juried arts & crafts. Uncle Dave Macon Days held at Cannonsburgh Village in Murfreesboro. Tickets are $10 for adults. Children under the age of 12 are permitted free. Sunday is free to all attendees. 615-893-4953 http://uncledavemacondays.com/

Oktoberfest 10/19-10/20/18

Crossville, TN. Annual Oktoberfest at Knights of Columbus Activity Park, German/Polka music from 3 Bands, Great German Food. Visit website for tickets. (615)893-2369 www.crossvilleoktoberfest.com

MOTORCYCLES

NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals 6/15-6/17/18 Bristol, TN. Extreme machines roar into Bristol Dragway June 15-17 for the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, treating guests to one of the most electrifying weekends in all of motorsports. Scheduled for Father’s Day weekend, the event has become a can’t-miss on the NHRA calendar and Bristol Dragway creates an action-packed weekend guaranteed to not only celebrate Dad but entertain the entire family! Visit website for tickets. http://www.bristoldragway.com/get_tickets/nhra_thunder_valley_nationals/

 

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. Visit website for tickets. Open daily, 9am-5pm. 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. Check website, trains run at various times, especially on weekends. 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 Clinton, TN. A living museum. 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. Open every day. 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. 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. Check online for tickets & hours. 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 & whitewater adventures for the whole family. Pigeon Forge, TN. (800)365-5996 www.dollywood.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

 

VIRGINIA

 

FESTIVALS

Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival 6/2/18 10am-3pm. Free. Experience Manassas at its best this June and come out to the 24th Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival. This family celebration of rich railroad history features train memorabilia, specialty vendors, and live performances. http://visitmanassas.org/

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

Flying Circus Balloon Festival 2017 8/18-8/19/18 This is the oldest continuing hot air balloon festival in VA. It takes place on the third weekend in August every year in Bealton, Virginia. Contact Star Ballooning directly for availability on flights. Airshows on both Saturday and Sunday! Hot Air Balloon Launches Both Days. Early Morning 7-9 a.m. & Late Afternoon/Evenings 6-8 p.m. Note: Hot Air Balloons cannot fly in windy conditions, so most balloon activities will take place during the early mornings and late in the afternoon/evenings when the air is the calm. http://www.flyingcircusairshow.com/schedule.html

 

THINGS TO DO

Busch Gardens Williamsburg One Busch Gardens Blvd. Williamsburg, VA. Sensational family attractions and the return of exciting seasonal events. For more information on Busch Gardens’ exciting offerings, tickets & more info visit https://buschgardens.com/williamsburg/

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 https://www.virginia.org/listings/OutdoorsAndSports/SkylineDriveSwiftRunGapEntrance/

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 water park. 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. Tucked neatly into the heart of Virginia, about 25 miles from the North Carolina border, Staunton River offers much to families and outdoor enthusiasts. The 2,400-acre park offers woodlands, meadows and shoreline along the Dan and Staunton rivers. Cabins built in the 1930s by the CCC and a campground offer overnight lodging. The equestrian campground offers large campsites and horse stalls. Access to Virginia’s largest lake, Buggs Island Lake, offers freshwater fishing and boating, along with water skiing and many other aquatic activities. The park also has Olympic-sized and wading pools, picnic shelters, three playgrounds, tennis and volleyball courts, several boat launches and more than 17 miles of multi-use trails. This park is the first state park in Virginia to be designated an International Dark Sky Park and is ideal for stargazing. Park staff conducts associated interpretive programs and rents telescopes. Contact the park for more information on star-watching opportunities. http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/staunton-river#general_information