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NORTH CAROLINA

ARTS

First Friday Art Walk – Every month April-December – 5-8 pm.  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. www.asheville.com/news/2019/05/2019-first-friday-art-walks

Blowing Rock Art in the Park 5/25/19, 6/15/19, 7/13/19, 8/10/19, 9/7/19, 10/5/19 – Blowing Rock, NC. Park Avenue in Downtown Blowing Rock, rain or shine! Free parking downtown on the street and in the parking decks on Wallingford St. and at BRAHM.  Free trolley to and from parking areas at Tanger Outlets and Food Lion, all day, looping every 20 minutes. Art in the Park’s high standards and professional jury attract artisans from all over the Southeast to exhibit in a series of six shows, May through October. The quality of work exhibited draws thousands to the area each month. 828-295-7851 blowingrock.com/artinthepark/

Lake Lure Arts & Crafts Festival 5/25 – 5/27/19 – 119 Arcade St Parking lot across from Lake Lure Beach, Lake Lure, NC 28746. Each year, this 2-day spring festival celebrates the rich tradition of hand-made, Appalachian arts and crafts and features over 80 artisans and crafters who personally exhibit and sell their hand-made works to the public. Enjoy fun for the whole family! Many great food and beverage vendors, entertaining musicians all day, a creek-side picnic area and a large kids’ activity zone. This is an event you won’t want to miss! (828) 625-4683 www.lakelureartsandcraftsfestivals.com

Art for a Cause: The Cashiers Rotary Arts & Crafts Show 5/25 – 5/26/19; 8/31 – 9/1/19 – 10am – 5pm (rain or shine). The Village Green Gazebo, Cashiers Village Green 35 US Hwy. 64, Cashiers, NC 28717. The Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley presents “Art For A Cause”: two arts & crafts fairs that take place in the spring during Memorial Day weekend and in the fall during Labor Day weekend. Both events showcase some of the finest arts and craftspeople in the Southeast. On display is work from more than 90 of the finest artisans from throughout the Southeast. From unique ironwork and woodcraft to hand-thrown pottery, hand-stitched textiles and homemade cakes, pies, jellies and jams, there’s something to please every artistic palate and tempt even the finickiest of tastes. www.cashiersrotary.org

Eden’s 17th Annual Piedmont Pottery Festival 6/1/19 – 9am-4pm, First Presbyterian Church, 582 Southwood Drive (behind Walmart), Eden, NC 27288. Over 75 potters from North Carolina and Virginia converge in Eden to show off their skillful art. Door prizes will also be awarded. 336-612-8049 www.piedmontpotteryfestival.com

22nd Annual Black Mountain Old Depot Art by the Tracks 6/1/18 & 10/26/19 – Historic Black Mountain, Saturday, June 1, 10am-6pm & Sat., October 26, 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! www.olddepot.org/art-by-the-tracks.html 

Asheville Art In The Park 6/15, 6/22, 6/29/19 and 10/5, 10/12, 10/19/19 – 10 AM-5 PM. Area artists gather on six Saturdays to show and sell their creations at the Art in the Park outdoor market at Pack Square in the middle of downtown Asheville. Visit with talented artists that exhibit their creations – including glass, ceramics, woodworking, metalsmithing and the fabric arts. From pottery to jewelry to sculpture and two-dimensional art, the market promises a bouquet of contemporary and traditional mountain art and crafts. Plus, dozens of art galleries are a short walk away. www.ashevilleartinthepark.com

Under the Oaks Arts Festival 6/18 & 6/19/19 – 1100 Club Road, Corolla, NC 27927 Tuesday: 10am – 5pm; Wednesday 10am – 5pm. The 18th Annual Under the Oaks Arts Festival is a two-day outdoor-juried art show with a variety of fine and wildlife artists on the sweeping waterfront grounds of historic Corolla Park at Whalehead. One hundred-year-old live oaks, open green lawns and casual breezes from the Currituck Sound make for a perfect location. This festival features the unique talents of over 50 quality artists with a wide array of creations in painting, pottery, jewelry, mixed media, photography, woodwork, glass, metal, fiber art plus local food concessions and a silent art auction that benefits Whalehead. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Whalehead was the 1920s residence of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Collings Knight, Jr., a 21,000-square-foot “mansion by the sea.” This event is rain or shine with free parking shuttles. (252) 453-9040 www.visitcurrituck.com

Pots on the Green 6/22 – 6/23/19 – 10 am – 5 pm, 160 Frank Allen Road, Cashiers, NC 28717. Join us for a two-day ceramic art show celebrating the area’s rich pottery heritage. Unique, original pottery by select artisans will be on display and for sale. Learn about the history of pottery and techniques used in our area during four distinct demonstrations and talks. Free admission to the festival and food will be available for purchase. (239) 331-0054 www.villagegreencashiersnc.com

Maggie Valley Summer Arts & Crafts Festival 7/6 & 7/7/19 – 9am –  4pm. Maggie Valley Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, 3374 Soco Road, Maggie Valley, NC 28751. More than 100 regional craftsmen, jewelry, woodwork, soapmakers, candlemakers, anything and everything. Our best craft event of the year. Chainsaw demonstrations and a variety of foods are also onsite. Free parking. (828) 926-1686 maggievalleyfestivalgrounds.com

Fine Arts & Master Crafts Festival 7/19 – 7/21/19; 8/9 – 8/11/19 – 185 Azalea Circle, Banner Elk, NC 28604. These juried festivals feature hand-crafted wares from more than 90 vendors. Photography, paintings, jewelry, sculpture, and pottery are just some of the crafts on offer. Presented by the Avery County Chamber of Commerce at the Historic Banner Elk Elementary School. Show Hours:  Friday: 1pm-5pm, Saturday: 10am-5pm, Sunday: 10am-4pm (828) 898-5605 averycounty.com

72nd Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands 7/18-7/21; 10/17-10/20/19 – US Cellular Center, 87 Haywood St, Asheville, NC. Thurs-Sat: 10am to 6pm; Sunday: 10am-5pm. Admission: $8; Children under 12 free. In its 72nd year, the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands returns to downtown Asheville’s U.S. Cellular Center, 87 Haywood Street.  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 8/2-8/3/19 – 9am-5pm. Downtown Historic Burnsville, NC. People who have a true appreciation for traditional crafts know this fair. Beautiful handmade quilts, pottery, woven baskets, or most any other handmade craft. (828)682-7413 www.yanceychamber.com/mt-mitchell-crafts-fair

Downtown Hickory Art Crawl 9/19/19 – 5-8pm. Kick-Off Party from 5 – 5:30pm at Fanjoy Labrenz Studio, 215 1st Ave. SW, Hickory, NC 28601. 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 www.downtownhickory.com

Hendersonville At Art On Main 9/28/19 – 10am – 5pm, Main Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792. Hendersonville is transformed into a giant outdoor art gallery featuring the finest artists & artisans from the Southeast. 2019 is the 60th anniversary of this treasured event, which was named one of the 200 Best Shows in America for Fine Art & Design from Sunshine Artist Magazine this year. Again this year, more than 100 artists will participate in this juried and judged festival. Demonstrations can include blacksmithing, basket making, stone cutting lapidary, copper and brass art, wire wrapping, raku pottery firing, painting, weaving, fiber and a caricature artist! A changing and wide range of artists display their creative processes and techniques each year. Artists take time to explain their processes and motivation and many will have finished work for sale. (828) 693-8504 www.acofhc.org

Green Energy Park Youth Arts Festival 9/21/19 – 9am-3pm, 100 Green Energy Park Road

Sylva, NC 28779.Come watch demonstrations of glassblowing, blacksmithing, pottery, woodcarving, printing and raku kiln firing. We’ll have live entertainment, good food and fun! The metal forges and the glass furnaces used by the artists use renewable landfill gas from a nearby closed landfill to power them. All the artists at the festival will enjoy helping children to create their own works of art. (828) 631-0271 www.jcgep.org

55th Annual Festival in the Park 9/20-9/22/19 – Fri: 4pm – 9pm, Sat: 10am – 9pm, Sun.: 10am – 5pm. Freedom Park, 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

36th Annual Church Street Art & Craft Show 10/12 – Main Street, Waynesville, NC. 10 am – 5 pm; One of the finest one-day juried art shows in the region. Premier art & craft marketplace; food & drink; two stages of live mountain music, clogging teams; entertainment. Sponsored by Downtown Waynesville Association and Town of Waynesville. downtownwaynesville.com

CAR SHOWS

30th Annual Piedmont Classic Chevy Club Car 5/25/19 – Lake Wheeler Park, 6404 Lake Wheeler Road, Raleigh, NC.

This year we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the 1969 Chevy. The Show will be at Open Show to Cars & Trucks USA Makes 1993 or Older ONLY (Sorry No vehicles displayed newer than 1993 ). NEW Best of Award for Best Rat Rod or Modified with American Engine. Bring out the Hot Rod Ford Anglia or and other make that now has a American Engine installed. Photo Plaques – Door Prizes –Music -50/50 – Food. Registration: 8 am to 12 noon -$20 (No pre-registration -no rain date) -Awards presented at 3 pm. www.facebook.com/events/lake-wheeler-park/30th-annual-piedmont-classic-chevy-club-car-show/358926494898328/

8th Annual Corvette Auto Show 5/25/19 – 10am-3pm, 286 Cabernet Lane, Dobson, NC 27017. Free admission. Come join us for our 9th annual Corvette Auto Show. To pre-register please send your name, car year, type, and club affiliation to Frank Sancinato at caravan25th@aol.com. Registration is FREE! We will be honoring our Veterans with free tours and tastings upon presentation of Military ID Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Memorial Day Weekend. New this year – We will be hosting a variety of Food Trucks to enjoy during car show hours. Be sure to come hungry and visit each of our food vendors. www.sheltonvineyards.com

Memorial Day Car Show 5/25 – Main Street, Marion, NC. 10 am – 3 pm. For more info, call 828-652-9159.

12th Annual Highlands Motoring Festival 6/6 – 6/9/19 – 68 Highlands Plaza, Highlands, NC. A Festival With An Altitude! The name says it all…what better place to be in the middle of June than in the cool, crisp Blue Ridge Mountains at an altitude of 4118 feet? The Highlands Motoring Festival has been recognized as THE motoring festival event in June in the Southeast. Enjoy the mountain town with a casual and sophisticated atmosphere and cool climate. Improve your Attitude by improving your Altitude (4118 ft). The focus, of course, is the field of over 125 classic cars. Owners of their collector pieces have gone to considerable effort and expense to put these cars on the show field for all to enjoy. An eclectic field of entries will ensure that there is something for everyone. Dennis Gage will be filming an episode of his TV show “My Classic Car” at the 2019 HMF. The show is in its 24th season and has been viewed worldwide by tens of millions of households on various automotive oriented networks. highlandsmotoringfestival.com

Annual Mountain High BBQ Festival & Car Show 8/9 & 8/10/19 – 1436 Georgia Road, Franklin, NC. Opens Saturday at 9am. KCBS sanctioned, NC State Championship BBQ Contest. Enjoy crafters, car show, and the food vendors on site with delicious BBQ and festival foods. KidZone with games and inflatables. The Tastin’ Tent will be open Saturday at 3 pm where participants can taste the cooker’s competition pork. Tasting Tent tickets are available at the gate while supplies last. (828) 524-3161 www.MountainHighBBQFestival.com

EAT/DRINK

19th Annual NC Wine Festival 5/25/19 – Tanglewood Park, 4061 Clemmons Rd, Clemmons, NC. Noon – 6pm. The 19th annual North Carolina Wine Festival 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 with Chairmen of the Board, The Finns, Sons of Paradise and Patrick Rock! 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! This event is rain or shine and tickets are non-refundable. (919)882-3733 www.ncwinefestival.com

Beer City Festival 10th Anniversary Celebration 6/1/19 – 12pm-5pm. Located in Roger McGuire Park — designated by the city as Asheville’s Front Porch — this beer festival is the capstone event of Asheville Beer Week, an annual celebration of all things WNC craft beer. To commemorate the 10th year, BCF is taking a fresh, new approach to the average beer fest. Beer City Festival is partnering with Asheville Van Life – who host the largest van rally on the continent – to throw Asheville’s largest lawn party. The vans will serve as “tour-able” pouring stations, with breweries partnering with attending van lifers. Expect light, refreshing summer seasonals to complement the unofficial kick-off to summer party. Beer City Festival is proud to support Asheville Brewers Alliance as their nonprofit partner. Online tickets: General Admission: $45, VIP: Sold out, Designated Driver $25. At door: General $55, www.beercityfestival.com

Taste Of Charlotte 6/7 – 6/9/19 – 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

Woodmill Winery Grape Stomp, 8/24 & 8/25/19 – 1350 Woodmill Winery Lane, Vale, NC. 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. 80-100 Vendors. Fun for all ages, kids to adults! Discounts on wines available at festival. Vendors so far include; Blue Goat Dairy, Delightful Dips, Scentsy, Betty Hovis Wood Work & Cork Spoon Holders, Bloomin’ Plates by Phyllis Lambert, Frostbite Ridge Farm Ice Cream, Paradise Home Improvement, Leisa’s Kettle Corn & 9 Hole Mini Golf, Silly Willy Caricatures, Walnut Creek Leather, Walnut Creek Pottery, Cazbu Pugante Handmade Jewelry, Tupperware, Helping Hands Health Center, Victory Grill, Whimsies & Whatnots Gemstone Jewelry & More to Come! (704)276-9911 www.woodmillwinery.com

Asheville Wine & Food Festival 8/24 – U.S. Cellular Center, 87 Haywood St., Asheville, NC

For more information, visit www.ashevillewineandfood.com

Smoking In The Foothills Barbecue Competition & Festival NC State Championship Event 10/18 & 10/19/19 – 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. www.smokinginthefoothills.com

17th Annual Great Grapes! Wine, Arts & Food Festival 10/5/19 – Symphony Park, SouthPark Mall, Charlotte, NC General Admission: $35 – 12pm – 6pm, VIP Admission: $50 – 11am – 6pm. Wine & Food Festivals offer you a fun, exciting, ALL YOU CARE TO TASTE wine experience that is unique for each location. 200+ Wines from 22+ North Carolina Wineries, Great Live Music, Fun Festival Eats, Arts and Crafts and Gourmet Items, and FREE Kids Area. www.uncorkthefun.com/charlotte-nc/show-info

NC Spot Festival 11/2 – 11/3/19 – Hampstead, NC. The Annual Spot Festival 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, and entertainment from area schools, arts and crafts, and a fireworks show on Saturday at dark. Admission- $3.00 Children 12 and under free. No pets! No coolers! Bring your lawn chairs! www.ncspotfestival.com

FAIRS

Hickory American Legion Fair  8/28-9/2/19 – Hickory, NC. www.hickoryfair.com (828)464-5433

NC Mountain State Fair 9/6 – 9/15/19 – 1301 Fanning Bridge Rd., Fletcher, NC. Cash only. ATM’s available. Tickets: $10 Adult, $6 Children 6 – 12 years of age. $6 Senior 65 years & older. Children 5 years & under Free. Ride Tickets (21 tickets) $20. Hours vary, check website: www.wncagcenter.org

Cabarrus County Fair 9/6 – 9/14/19 – 4759 NC-49, Cabarrus Arena & Events Center, Concord, NC 28025. Cash only- ATM’s available. Tickets: Ages 5 and Under: FREE, Ages 6-11: $5.00, Ages 12 and Over: $8.00, With Military ID & Ages 55 and Better: $5.00. Ride ticket prices vary. Parking is free! (704) 786-7221. www.cabarruscountyfair.com

Dixie Classic Fair 10/4 – 10/13/19 – 421 27th St NW, Winston-Salem, NC 27105. The second largest agricultural Fair in NC, owned & operated by the City of Winston-Salem, NC. Hours vary. www.dcfair.com

FESTIVALS

Food Lion Speed Street  5/23 – 5/25/19 – 300 S Church Street, Charlotte, NC – 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. For a complete lineup of appearances, please visit:  http://600festival.com/speed-street-schedule. Don’t miss these great headliners:  5/23 – Corey Smith, 8:45pm; 5/24 – Brothers Osborne; 5/26 Styx.  Each night will also feature two additional opening acts to include Kameron Marlowe, Abby Anderson, Caylee Hammack, Tyler Rich, Charity Case and Sugarcreek.  There’s music for everyone at the 25th annual Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola in Uptown Charlotte. All concerts are held in Romare Bearden Park. Free tickets for Corey Smith are available at participating Circle K Stores in NC, SC and GA. You can purchase 3 day passes at Circle K Stores too.  Friday and Saturday night concerts are $20, inclusive of all fees.  Don’t wait, tickets are $25 on the day of the show. This is a Rain or Shine Event, No Refunds will be given. Gates open at 6 p.m., daily. Other than these great concerts, there’s event more to do from noon to 8 p.m., including live entertainment, access to NASCAR racing’s brightest stars, giveaways and interactive displays.  All of this and more on Tryon Street in Uptown Charlotte.  Check out www.600festival.com to learn more. For a complete list of entertainment & live music on both the Coca-Cola and Mello Yello stages, visit 600festival.com/speed-street-schedule

2018 Gears & Guitars 5/23-5/26/19 – 6th St. and Church Street intersection, Winston-Salem, NC. We’ll be lighting up Bailey Park again this year in conjunction with the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic races, and will feature three days of family-friendly entertainment on Friday, May 24 through Sunday, May 26, including Stone Temple Pilots Drive-By Truckers Trampled By Turtles and many more! Tickets can be purchased through Etix or in person at the gate the day of the event.  All concerts are general admission and will be held at Bailey Park in downtown Winston-Salem.  Children under 10 are admitted free. Also this year, on Thursday, May 23, Gears and Guitars will feature live music at the Winston-Salem Dash baseball game at BB&T Ballpark! Watchtower, a Dave Matthews tribute band, will perform in the Left Field Knoll.  Music is free with a ticket for the game that night. www.gearsandguitarsfest.com

26th Annual Aurora Fossil Festival 5/24 & 5/25/19 – Aurora, NC Fri (6 pm-10:30 pm) – Sat (8 am-10:45 pm). Friday: Opening Ceremony, 2019 Fossil Master Announcement, and Digging for FOSSILS! Saturday: Digging for FOSSILS! 5K Fossil Run, Veterans Breakfast & Ceremony, Parade, Displays and Activities by partner nonprofit organizations, Food/Craft/Fossil Vendors, Kiddie Rides & Games, Fossil Auction, Live Music in our Concert Series, and much, much more! Sunday: Local Community Church Service on Main Festival Field. 252-322-4238 www.aurorafossilfestival.net

White Squirrel Festival 5/24 – 5/26/19 – Downtown Brevard, NC. Free. Featuring two-and-a-half days of great live music, the White Squirrel Festival in 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

Annual Garden Jubilee Festival 5/25 – 5/26/19 – 9am-5pm. Main Street from 6th Ave – Caswell St in Hendersonville, NC. The 26th Annual Garden Jubilee Festival has been the place for one-stop shopping for garden lovers. Garden Jubilee is Hendersonville’s premier lawn & garden show, and one of the largest gardening shows in the Western North Carolina. The two-day Festival is held in Downtown Hendersonville, on Saturday, May 25 & Sunday, May 26, 2019 from 9am-5pm both days of Memorial Day weekend. 800.828.4244 www.historichendersonville.org

City Walk Summer Celebration 6/1/19 – 4pm – 9pm, Located in the parking lot beside Lowes Foods City Park, 326 Main Ave. NW, Hickory, NC 28601. Free and fun for all ages. Live music featuring: Sycamore Bones with Patrick Crouch, The Tony Eltora Band, Coddle Creek, Scott Moss & The Hundred Dollar Handshake. Fast Pitch with Hickory Crawdads, food & beverages for sale – cash only. Barbecue with all the fixin’s, Beer Garden, and Bourbon Tasting with Local Distilleries. 828-322-1121 www.downtownhickory.com.

13th Livermush Festival 6/1/19 – 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

16th NC Gold Festival 5/31 – 6/1/19 – Free. 251 Lucky Strike Lane, Marion, NC, 78752. exhibits, demonstrations and activities relating to our gold mining heritage. (800)959-9033. http://www.ncgold.org/festival.php

35th Annual Washington Summer Festival 6/7 – 6/8/19 – Washington, NC. 5-10pm Fri, 10am-9pm Sat., 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

16th NC Blueberry Festival 6/14 – 6/15/19 – Pender County Courthouse Square, Burgaw, NC. Free. Fri: 6am – 10pm, Sat.: 7am – 10pm. 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! Restrooms, ATMs, & First Aid are available. No Coolers, Tents, Outside Alcohol, or Loud Speakers are allowed. No pets, please, except ADA trained service dogs. (910) 259-2007 www.ncblueberryfestival.com

73rd NC Rhododendron Festival 6/21 – 6/23/19 – Downtown Bakersville, NC (on the border of TN.) 10am-5pm (or until crowd has left). The NC Rhododendron Festival draws hundreds of visitors from all over the region and features the Rhododendron Festival Pageant, the Craft Fair with food vendors, children’s activities, and live music throughout the day, as well as a classic car show, a 10K run, 2 nights of street dancing.  Come discover our Small Town Mountain Paradise!. Contact Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce (828) 688-3456. www.ncrhododendronfestival.org

53rd Season of Shindig on the Green. 7/6, 7/13, 7/20, 7/27, 8/10, 8/17, 8/24 & 8/31/19 – Free. Bring your instruments, families, friends, lawn chairs and blankets and join us for good times at the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Stage. In 2019 Shindig on the Green, which features a stage show and informal jam sessions around the park, continues at its original location — formerly known as City County Plaza, now transformed into the new Pack Square Park. Locals and visitors alike come together downtown “along about sundown,” or at 7:00pm for those who wear a watch, until 10:00p.m. Concessions are available. Come experience the beautiful music and dance traditions of Southern Appalachia on a summer evening in the mountains. Info: (828)258-6101 x345. folkheritage.org/asheville-events/shindig-on-the-green

Appalachian Summer Festival 6/29 – 8/3/19 – Boone, NC. This annual celebration of the performing and visual arts is held every July in venues across the university campus, and features an eclectic, diverse mix of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film programming. An Appalachian Summer Festival began in 1984 as a chamber music series, and retains strong roots in classical music, combined with a variety of other programming geared to almost every artistic taste and preference. Celebrating its 35th season in 2019, the festival has risen in stature to become one of the nation’s most highly respected summer festivals, acclaimed for the breadth and quality of its artistic programming. In recent years, the festival has been selected as one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society. For many years, The New York Times has included An Appalachian Summer Festival in its “Summer Stages” issue, which profiles the nation’s most prominent and interesting summer arts festivals. See full schedule at www.appsummer.org. Tickets for festival events range in price & may be purchased by calling (800) 841-2787. www.appsummer.org.

Blowing Rock Independence Day Festival: 7/5-7/6/19 – Blowing Rock, NC. Join the town of Blowing Rock for games, music, and fun! Free entertainment all day, plus the best small-town Main Street parade you’ll find anywhere.  All events take place in downtown Blowing Rock, except the fireworks which will be held at the Blowing Rock Country Club. The public is welcome at the Club for the special event. Find the games and music in Memorial Park on Main Street. Schedule for the 2019 celebration (times subject to change): Friday: 6-8pm: Park Dance in Memorial Park with Summer Daze Band. Saturday: 9am-until: Adult Horse Shoe Tournament (18 years & up, prizes awarded); Noon – 1:30 pm: Live music; 2pm: Independence Day Parade; 3 pm – 4 pm: Live Music with the Cockman Family; 3:30-4:30: Park Games (prizes awarded for 1st and 2nd place in all games!) At dark: Fireworks show set off from the Blowing Rock Country Club. Visible from many places in town, good viewing is available along Goforth Road. Roadside parking is allowed for this event. Please note that parking is not permitted on the golf course. 828-295-5222 blowingrock.com/july4th

16th Annual RED, WHITE AND BLUEGRASS Festival 7/4-7/6/19 – Catawba Meadows Park in Morganton, NC. 3 Days, 12 Bands! Tickets: Daily Admission: $15; Full Event Pass w/ Reserved Seating: $50; 3-12 years old: $10; 2 years old and under: FREE; Camping: $10 (No hook-ups). Call or go online for schedules and tickets (800) 939-SHOW. www.redwhiteandbluegrassfestival.com

Christmas In July Festival 7/5 & 7/6/19 – West Jefferson, NC. Arts & Crafts, Live Music, Adventure & Fun for the whole family! July 5, live music only, 3-10pm. Music plus all other events, Sat., July 6, 9am-7pm (336) 846-9196 www.christmasinjuly.info/index.html

Blackberry Festival 7/11-7/13/19 – Downtown Lenoir, NC. 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. Full info: www.ncblackberryfestival.com

23rd Annual NC Peach Festival 7/19 & 7/20/19 – NC Peach Festival is held every year on the third Friday & Saturday in July in the Town of Candor. 4-9pm Friday, 10am-4pm, Satruday. 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 7/18-7/28/19 – 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

Maggie Valley Hillbilly Jam 7/26-7/27/19 – 10am – 10pm, Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, 3374 Soco Road, Maggie Valley, NC, 28751. Hillbilly Jam features loads of live Music, Food, Crafts, Cornhole, Car & Bike Show, TV Celebrities and Moonshiners. Free Parking. Admission is just $10 per person, per day. Kids 10 and under are free, so bring the whole family! Visit: thehillbillyjam.com

34th Annual Winterville Watermelon Festival 8/22-8/25/19 – 324 Sylvania Street, Winterville, NC. Hours: Thursday & Friday: 6:00pm – 11:00pm; Saturday: 8:00am – 11:00pm; Sunday: 1:00pm – 6:00pm. The legendary Winterville Watermelon Festival is a multi-day event featuring activities the whole family can enjoy. You can hear local and nationally known music acts throughout the event. One of the biggest events of the festival is the Watermelon Parade through town. The watermelon-eating contest is always a favorite. Festival-goers young and old can enjoy carnival rides and midway games all weekend. In addition, visitors can checkout the flea market and commercial vendors setup through the festival grounds. Food vendors serve both watermelon treats and classic fair food such as funnel cakes, turkey legs, and corn dogs. The Winterville Watermelon Festival has so much to offer. You don’t want to miss it! See website for music lineup: www.watermelonfest.com

92nd Annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival  8/1 – 8/3/19  -6:30pm–9:30pm. Tickets: Advanced Purchase Through July 31, 2019 – Adult $20, Students/Children 6-12 $5, 3-night package $50, Group (10 or more) $15 each. At the Door: Adults $25, Students $10, Children 6-12 $5, 3-night package $50, Group (10 or more) $2. Founded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford as a means for people to share and understand the beauty and dignity of the Southern Appalachian music and dance traditions that have been handed down through generations in western North Carolina. Since 1928, the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival has served a crucial role in raising awareness and understanding of the vitality and importance of Southern Appalachian culture throughout the region, nation and world. Bascom Lunsford’s mission was to present the finest of the Appalachian ballad singers, string bands and square dance teams for education and entertainment. The songs and dances shared at this event echo centuries of Scottish, English, Irish, Cherokee and African heritage found in the valleys and coves between the Great Smokies and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lunsford’s was the first dubbed a folk festival, and he later consulted with many communities across the country interested in organizing similar festivals. folkheritage.org/asheville-events/mountain-dance-and-folk-festival

Waldensian Festival 8/9 – 8/10/19 – 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. Music Line-up: Friday Night Music Headliners: 7pm – Cassette Rewind 80’s Variety| 9pm – Gump Fiction 90’s Variety; Saturday Night Music Headliner: 7pm – Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot; Saturday Entertainment: Greg Mastin & The Druthers @ 10am | The Band 28690 @ 1:30pm | Chad Triplett & 2 Lane Blacktop @ 3:30pm. (828)879-2120 www.townofvaldese.com/community/downtown-district/waldensian-festival

42nd Annual Sourwood Festival 8/10-8/11/19 – Downtown Black Mountain, NC. Free. Sourwood Idol Contest is 8/9/19, 7-10pm. Hours -Sat.: 9am – 8pm, Sun.: 9am – 5pm. 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

11th Annual Mountain High BBQ Festival & Car Show 8/9 & 8/10/19 – 1436 Georgia Road, Franklin, NC. Opens Saturday at 9am. KCBS sanctioned, NC State Championship BBQ Contest. Enjoy crafters, car show, and the food vendors on site with delicious BBQ and festival foods. KidZone with games and inflatables. The Tastin’ Tent will be open Saturday at 3 pm where participants can taste the cooker’s competition pork. Tasting Tent tickets are available at the gate while supplies last. (828) 524-3161 www.MountainHighBBQFestival.com

Annual Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival 8/9 – 8/11/19 – 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

Brews, Blues and BBQ  8/17/19 – Downtown Marion, NC – North Block and City Stage. 5pm – 9pm For information, contact Cody Andrews 828-442-1115. Hometownmarion.com

North Carolina Apple Festival 8/30 – 9/2/19 – Hendersonville, NC. Hours: Friday 10am – 10pm, Saturday 9am – 10pm, Sunday 10am – 10 pm, Monday 10am – after the parade. 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 at 2:30pm! Please leave your pets comfortably at home, the City of Hendersonville’s ordinance prohibits animals at the event. www.ncapplefestival.org

Historic Morganton Festival 9/6 -9/7/19 – 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

10th Annual Dirty Dancing Festival 9/13 & 9/14/19 – Lake Lure, NC. 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! Relive the moments of our all-time favorite movie!

The September weekend begins with a ticketed “Kick-Off Party” at 5 p.m. on Sept. 13th featuring live music and entertainment plus a 10th anniversary tribute, followed by FREE public admission to the film screening of “Dirty Dancing.” The Festival continues from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 14th with a loaded schedule of live music, watermelon races and activities, fun competitions and contests, and amazing dance performances by the Asheville Ballet. The day’s events conclude with the hilariously renowned Lake Lift Competition where audacious couples re-enact Baby & Johnny’s iconic water scene.  info@dirtydancingfestival.com www.dirtydancingfestival.com

Bush Hill Heritage Festival 9/14/19 – Archdale, NC. 9am-4pm.This festival was born in 1986 as the bicentennial celebration of the Quaker settling known as Bush Hill. The fun-filled free family fair festival event in North Carolina. Can’t you just smell those hot dogs smothered in onions, barbecue dipped in some hot Southern sauce or just taste the homemade ice cream? Music, events, crafts, out of town accommodations, barbecue, homemade ice cream all southern style! (336)434-2073 www.bushhillfestival.com

Mayberry Days 9/23 – 9/29/19  – 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 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. www.surryarts.org/mayberrydays/index.html

Annual NC Seafood Festival 10/4-10/6/19 – Morehead City, NC. (252)726-6273 www.ncseafoodfestival.org

Autumn Jubilee 10/5 & 10/6/19 – Hours:10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Dan Nicholas Park, 6800 Bringle Ferry Road, Salisbury, NC 28146. Some 45,000 plus visitors enjoy the family fun festival. (704)216-7803 www.dannicholas.net

Carolina Renaissance Festival – Saturday’s & Sunday’s 10/5 – 11/24/19 – 16445 Poplar Tent Rd, Huntersville, NC, 28078. Hours: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm. The festival is a medieval amusement park with staged theater, arts  & crafts, &  jousting. Free parking. 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

53rd Annual Autumn Leaves Festival 10/11 – 10/13/19 – Main Street, Mount Airy, NC. In historic downtown Mount Airy, the festival showcases the area’s cultural and musical heritage, featuring old time, bluegrass and gospel music plus unique arts & crafts of more than 250 craftsmen. Don’t forget to enjoy “Food for the Soul” – ham biscuits, collard green sandwiches, barbecue, turkey legs, hamburgers & hot dogs, ground steak sandwiches, Amish doughnuts, and so more! This year’s Autumn Leaves Festival marks the 53rd anniversary of one of North Carolina’s longest running and most successful events. It has been consistently ranked as one of the “Top 20 Events” in the Southeast. www.autumnleavesfestival.com

34th Annual Oktoberfest 10/12 – 10/14/19 – Downtown Hickory, NC Hours: Friday: 5 pm to 11 pm, Food service begins at 12 Noon with the full festival opening at 5pm; Saturday: 10 am – 11 pm; Sunday: 12 Noon – 5 pm. 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

Apple Harvest Festival 10/19 – Downtown Waynesville, NC. 10 am – 5 pm; Crafts, music, apples, apples & more apples. Sponsored by Haywood County Chamber of Commerce. downtownwaynesville.com

Lincoln County Apple Festival 10/19/19 – Lincolnton,NC. Intersection of Aspen and Main St.(GPS use 115 W Main St.) 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

42nd Annual Woolly Worm Festival 10/19 & 10/20/19 – 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 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 10/19/19 – Taylorsville, NC. 9am – 5pm. 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.htm

49th LEAF Festival (Lake Eden Arts Fall) 10/17 – 10/20/19 – Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain, NC. EAF Festival is an inter-generational celebration of world culture that uses music, arts, and creativity to champion artistic expression, instill cultural competency, and build a diverse & welcoming community. LEAF takes you around the cultural globe through music & you can zipline, trapeze, do yoga, SLAM, costume, camp, take workshops, kayak, shop & more. Tickets go on sale June 1st. (828)686-8742 www.theleaf.org/the-festival

Carolina Balloon Fest, 10/18 – 10/20/19 – Statesville, NC. 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! Ticket prices range. Single day tickets, weekend passes, and balloon rides available to purchase. Kids 12 years and younger are free. www.carolinaballoonfest.com

MOTORCYCLES

Hog Happenin’ Bikes & BBQ 11/2/19 – Hickory Motor Speedway, Hickory, NC. Keep checking website for regular updates. www.hoghappenin.org

Asheville Ride for Kids 8/24/19 – Event Check-in: Cane Creek Middle School, 570 Lower Brush Creek Rd, Fletcher, NC 28732.Registration: 9-10:30 a.m. Kickstands Up: 11 a.m., Rain or Shine. Ending Location: Transylvania Parks & Recreation, 1078 Ecusta Rd, Brevard, NC 28712. Join us for a scenic, motorcycle ride from Cane Creek Middle School and ending up in Brevard. Local pediatric brain tumor survivors will accompany motorcyclists on their ride. Any make or model of street legal motorcycle is welcome, and food and entertainment are available for all registered attendees. Pre-register and save! Online Registration: $40, Day-of Registration: $45. One registration per person. Registration fee includes 2019 Ride for Kids T-shirt, ride pin, light breakfast and lunch at event. Online registration will close the Friday before the event at noon local time. Website: team.curethekids.org

Thunder in the Smokies Motorcycle Rallies 6/28 – 6/30/19, & 9/6 – 9/8/19  – 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. Concerts Friday and Saturday evening. www.handlebarcorral.com

Annual Biker Blues BBQ Rally & BBQ Classic 9/20 & 9/21/19 –  Salisbury, NC, held at Tilley Harley-Davidson, This family oriented event is a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned event. Charity Poker Run 9/21. 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. www.bikerbluesbbqrally.com

MUSIC

Hard Hat Happy Hours – Every Friday night in May & June. 6:30pm. Free. Olde Hickory Station, 232 Government Ave. SW, Hickory, NC 28602. Bring a chair listen to live music. Refreshments for purchase. Music line-up: May 24th – The Moon And You; May 31st – JJ Hipps and The Hideaway, June 7th – Bob Sinclair and The Big Deals; June 14th – Moon Pie; June 21st – JackTown Ramblers; June 28th – Alexa Rose.

Shelby Alive! Free Outdoor Concert Series 5/23, 6/27, 7/25, & 8/22/19 – City Pavilion, 126 W. Marion St., Shelby, NC, 6-9pm. 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. Music line-up: May 23rd- Scott Moss & the &100 Handshake; June 27th- The Java Band; July 25th- The Grassabillies; August 22nd- Dirty Grass Soul. www.uptownshelby.com/events/216-alive-after-five, 704-484-3100.

Alive After Five Summer Concert Series 5/30, 6/27, 7/25, 8/29, & 9/26/19 – Downtown Lincolnton, NC –  100 & 200 blocks of East Main Street. 6 PM – 10 PM Last Thursday of the month May-September. Each concert features a different Beach Music Band and a car show where we welcome any car or bike that you’d like to show off! The concert and car show are free and open to the public, food and beverages are available for purchase. Rain location at the Lincoln County Farmer’s Market. For music lineup visit www.facebook.com/lincolntonaliveafterfive/

Valdese Family Friday Nights 5/24 – 8/30/19 – 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.  888-VALDESE,  Full list of bands and more info: www.townofvaldese.com/community/downtown-district/family-friday-nights/

34th Annual Carolina Beach Music Festival  6/1/19 – Gates open at 10am. On the beach strand at the historic Carolina Beach Boardwalk in Carolina Beach. On Saturday, June 1st, ‘shaggers’ of all ages can enjoy a day of live entertainment with the hottest beach music bands in the South.  All three bands offer that laid-back style of rhythm and blues with deep roots in the Carolina Coast.  The gates will open at 10:00 am with the first band hitting the stage at 11:00 am.  This year’s line-up: Band of Oz – 11:00 – 12:30; Black Water Rhythm & Blues Band – 1:00 – 2:30; Jim Quick and Coastline – 3:00 – 4:30.  (910) 458-8434 www.pleasureislandnc.org

The Sails Original Music Series 6/15/19 & Every Friday in September – Downtown Hickory, NC. Free. Join us in Downtown Hickory for Tunes in Trade Alley as the Sails Original Music Series presents an entire afternoon of music and three great bands. Music Line-up: 2:30 p.m. – Arcadian Wild; 5:00 p.m. – The Rahm Squad; 7:30 p.m. – Selwyn Birchwood. Audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Olde Hickory Brewery and Silver Fork Winery will sell beer and wine in designated areas, and there are a variety of close-by restaurants to patronize. For more information about the Sails Original Music Series and upcoming bands, please visit the Sails Music Series Facebook page – www.facebook.com/SailsMusic.

Conover Alive! 6/14, 6/21, 7/19, 8/10, 8/16/19 – Conover City Park, 7pm-11pm (unless noted), Conover Station, downtown Conover. Free & Family Friendly! Food & beverages for sale, all shows rain or shine. Music line-up: 6/14 – Bad Romeo; 6/21 – Tuesday’s Gone & Dreams; 7/19 – Departure – A Journey Tribute; 8/10 – 5pm – 11pm, Normfest with 20 Ride; 8/16 – The Night Move Band. For more information about the Hickory Jaycees, contact us on Facebook or e-mail hickoryjaycee@yahoo.com

Summer Music Madness Series 6/7 – 8/16/19 – Downtown Lenoir, NC (use 801 West Ave., Lenoir, NC 28645 for GPS.) Begins at 7 PM except where noted. A festival environment with outdoor concerts on the square in Downtown Lenoir celebrating the joy of music and the musical heritage of Caldwell County. Brought to you by the City of Lenoir Parks and Recreation department, this music event is free to the public. Bring a chair and a friend! Music Lineup Schedule: June 7 – Swingin’ Wingin’ Moon in June! Festival & Summer Music Madness Kick-Off! – Featuring Chad Triplett & Two Lane Blacktop (Country) and Official Throwdown Jones (Rock) 6pm; June 28 – All 80s, All Night, All Downtown! – Featuring Cassette Rewind (80s Pop); July 12 & 13 – NC Blackberry Festival, Lenoir; July 26 – Dance the Night Away! – Featuring: Lucky Pocket (Pop); August 04 – Harambee Festival (at Lenoir MLK Center) – Featuring: Luther Barnes (Gospel) 4pm; August 09 – Harambee Festival (at Lenoir MLK Center) – Featuring: Adrian Crutchfield (Jazz); August 16 – Don’t Worry Be HOPPY! End of Summer Bash – Featuring: Crawford & Power (Country) 6pm. www.facebook.com/LenoirParksandRecreation

95th Annual Singing on the Mountain Sunday, 6/24/19 – 9am-2pm. Grandfather Mountain, MacRae Meadows, Linville, NC. Free admission. In a spirit of faith and community, all are welcome to enjoy picnics and musical performances together. Admission to the Singing on the Mountain is free. This event will be a special one as its founder, Joseph Larkin Hartley, lived 95 years; the Hartley family is proud to have kept the festival alive for at least the duration of his life. We invite you to the 95th Annual Singing on the Mountain as “whosoever will may come!” 336-261-8386. www.grandfather.com/events/singing-on-the-mountain/

Biltmore’s 23rd Annual Concert Series 7/25 – 8/10/19 – Concerts are staged on the South Terrace of Biltmore House, with breathtaking twilight views of Mount Pisgah and the Blue Ridge Mountains. 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. The 2019 Biltmore Concert Series line-up: July 25 – The Beach Boys; July 26 – The B-52s; Aug. 3 – The Charlie Daniels Band and The Marshall Tucker Band; Aug. 6 – Chicago;  Aug. 9 –  The O’Jays and Kool & The Gang; Aug. 10 – Amy Grant and Steven Curtis Chapman. www.biltmore.com/concerts

Monday Night Concert Series 7/1, 7/8, 7/15, 7/22, & 7/29/19 – Broyhill Park, Blowing Rock,  7:00PM – 8:15PM. Concerts are free and open to the public. Come join us at the Broyhill Park Gazebo by Broyhill Lake off of Clark Street. The alternative inclement rain location is in the American Legion. blowingrock.com/calendar/events

SPECIAL EVENTS

NC Trail Days Festival 5/31 – 6/2/19 – 399 US Highway 268 W, Elkin, NC 28621 Friday: 8am – 10pm; Saturday: 8am – 10pm; Sunday: 8am – 5pm. Elkin sits at the confluence of three major trails: NC Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Over mountain Victory National Historic Trail and Yadkin River Paddle Trail. The inaugural NC Trail Days Festival ties all that outdoor recreation together with three days of celebrating trails and the people who enjoy them.. Festivities begin Friday with several activities during the day, followed by an evening gathering at Elkin Municipal Park with live music and a low country boil. Later that night is Five Point Adventure Film Night at the Reeves Theater on Main Street. Saturday starts with a 5k hill climb trail race to the top of Stone Mountain and concludes with a bonfire and live music at the Foothills Arts Council and many more activities. Sunday includes a family paddle flotilla on the Yadkin River and exploring the Surry County Wine Trail. (336) 526-1111 www.yadkinvalleync.com

61st Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament 6/7-6/15/19 – Big Rock Landing, Morehead City, NC. The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament is fished by around 100 competitors in substantial cash categories. This event produces revenue for charities. Visit us on the web for daily up to the minute standings during tournament week. Listen to the live hook-ups via the audio and view the weigh-ins live, all starting on Monday, June 10, 2019 Contact Crystal Hesmer (252) 247-3575 www.thebigrock.com

Animals’ Birthday Party 6/12/19 – Grandfather Mountain, 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, 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. (800) 468-7325 Visit website for more information: grandfather.com/event/animal-birthday-party

C & E Gun Shows 6/15 – 6/16 & 9/14 – 9/15/19 – Hickory Metro Convention Center 1960 13th Ave. Dr. SE, Hickory. Sat: 9am-5pm, Sun:  10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults: $10. 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. www.cegunshows.com/hickory–nc.html

NC 4th of July Festival – 6/23-7/4/19 – Southport, NC. Free to attend but some require a vendor/participation application and/or fee. The patriotic parade is one of the most popular festival events and is televised on WECT TV6 “Where News Comes First”. Over 100 handmade arts and crafts are on display and available for purchase  and the delightful aroma of fair food permeates the air. Freedom Run, Arts and Crafts Vendors, Parade Entrants, Beach Day Games, and Shag Contest. Downtown Southport. Contact: Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce, 4433 Long Beach Road, SE Southport, NC. (910) 457-5578 www.nc4thofjuly.com

4th of July Celebration 7/4/19 – Pack Square Park, Downtown Asheville. The free event features family activities throughout the day, with a fireworks extravaganza capping off the event at 9:30pm. Two giant slides, an obstacle course, a toddler bouncy house and a slack-line area will be part of a $3 wristband allowing kids to jump, bounce, balance and race as many times as they’d like. More activities will be announced. The Splashville Fountain will be on until 6pm as well for kids to cool off and splash about. Music kicks off at 5pm, the 2019 lineup will be annouced soon. The fireworks extravaganza will launch just after the national anthem at 9:30pm.Beer and wine will be available for purchase including local, regional and national brews. Water and other drinks will also be available for purchase. No outside alcohol, pets or vending will be permitted. www.ashevilledowntown.org/independenceday

July 4th Celebration 7/4/19 –  Brevard, NC. The street festival runs from 9:00am to 5:00pm downtown. From there the party continues at Brevard College with the Transylvania Community Art Council’s Duck Race for Kreative Kids on King’s Creek at 6:00, as well as food, family time and celebration while awaiting the grand finale of the day – the Fireworks Extravaganza! Kick off the day by running in Brevard Rotary’s Firecracker 5K and 10K Run starting from West Main Street, just past the post office, at 8:00am, and then come to the heart of town to check out our array of vendors and fun. You’ll find many fine arts and craftsmen, as well as non-profits and an array of games and interactive booths. Transylvania Community Arts Council hosts its 47th annual Fine Arts & Crafts Showcase on West Main Street. And where else can you find elected officials reading the “Declaration of Independence” against the back drop of the American Flag? Live Music all day takes place at the Courthouse Gazebo from 10:00am until 5:00pm. We have performances for all ages! A BIG favorite of this festival is The Transylvania Cruisers Club’s 25th annual Auto show of pre-1984 classic vehicles sprawled down South Broad Street. You can’t bring your pets to the festival because of city ordinance, but you CAN enter them in the Humane Society All Star Pet Show being held at Silvermont at 9:00am. If you think you have the nerve, come show off your eating skills at Rocky’s hosts the 9th Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest in the afternoon. www.brevardnc.org/4th-of-july-brevard/

Independence Day Celebration & Fireworks 7/4/19 Downtown Marion, NC – 6.00 pm – 10:00 pm. The parade begins at 6:00 p.m. A special spot is reserved at the beginning of the parade for “Anything That Rolls”. Grand Marshals are McDowell County veterans. hometownmarion.com

July 4th Stars & Stripes Celebration 7/4/19 Downtown, Waynesville, NC.  Live music & entertainment. 11 am – 3 pm.  Shops & restaurants open all day. KIDSPatriotic Parade, 11 am (all Kids Welcome; Show up & Sign-up: 10 am @ Courthouse lawn) Ice cream for parade participants at the end, Waynesville First Baptist Church, S Main downtownwaynesville.com

Fun Fourth Festival Events, Greensboro 7/3-7/4/19 – 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

Carrboro July 4th Celebration 7/4/19 – Carrboro, NC. 9:30am‑4pm, Parade, Arts & Crafts, Kids Zone. At Carrboro Town Hall. (919)942-8541 www.carrborojuly4th.com

American Hobby Horse Competition 7/6, 7/13, 7/20 & final on 7/27/19 – 6:30pm. Tryon Int’l Esquestrian Center, 4066 Pea Ridge Rd. Mill Spring, NC, 28756. Riders participating in competitive hobby horsing – a toy consisting of a stick with a model horse head – perform & mimic the movements & technicality of horseback riding in the disciplines of show jumping & dressage, then translate that to their stick horse, where judges will mark & score their rounds. Show jumping courses are set with tricky combinations & patterns, similar to the show jumping competitions seen at TIEC throughout the year.  Ages 6 & under to age 14 compete. (828) 863-1000. tryon.coth.com/page/what-is-hobby-horse

Annual Carolina Mountains Literary Festival 9/5 – 9/7/19 – 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 See website for all information at www.cmlitfest.org

Asheville Quilt Guild Show 9/27 – 9/29/19 – WNC Agriculture Center, 1301 Fanning Bridge Rd Fletcher, NC. (Just off I-26 across from the airport.) Fri & Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-4:30pm. 350 quilts expected. Demonstrations, Silent auction, Opportunity quilt, Kids’ sewing station, Vendors, Gift shop. Free parking, Handicap accessible. For more information, please visit: 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. www.romanticasheville.com/rough_ridge.htm

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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 welcome. www.greatwolf.com/concord/waterpark/rides

Tweetsie Railroad 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. 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. 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 and Granite Falls history. Free admission. Hours (except holiday weekends): Sat 2-4pm & Sun 2-4pm. (828) 396-3131 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. 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 www.carolinasaviation.org

The NC Zoological Park, Asheboro, NC. – With more than 500 acres in its African & North American continental regions, this is a place of wonder & discovery. The country’s largest and 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 be 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). 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. (704)276-1835. 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: www.surryarts.org/agmuseum/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 barbershop. 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 hair cut 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. visitmayberry.com/category/attractions/mayberry/

Pilot Mountain State Park – 1792 Pilot Knob Park Rd, Pinnacle, NC. 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.  (336) 325-2355. 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.  https://explorebrevard.com/

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 groundbreaking 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. 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,  & 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 present day lifestyles of peoples of the region and North America. Mon-Sat 9-5; Sun, 1-5pm. Call for ticket prices, or go online. Prices for special events and festivals vary, please call 704-866-6900 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. Hickory Regional Airport, just off of Hwy 321, 3101 9th Ave Dr NW, Hickory. Tues-Fri, 10am-3pm. Sat 10am-4pm, Sunday 1pm-4pm.  Veterans’ program open to veterans of all wars the first Sat. of month beginning at 11am. www.hickoryaviationmuseum.org. Schedule group tours. (828)323-1963.

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 naturalsciences.org

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 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. 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 www.taylorsvillenc.com/museumsOldJail.htm

Oconaluftee Indian Village – 218 Drama Road, 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. Tours every 15 minutes, except from 11 am – 12:30 pm. Open Mondays- Saturdays, April 30, 2018 – November 10, 2018. 10 am- 4 pm. Closed on Sundays. Tickets: Adults Age 13+: $20; Children Age 6-12: $12; Children 5 & under: Free; Children’s Craft Class: $10. Check with the box office for times. 866-554-4557 CherokeeHistorical.org or www.cherokeesmokies.com/oconaluftee_village.html

Salisbury Historic Trolley Tours – Downtown Salisbury, NC. Take a ride through Historic Downtown Salisbury and let our narrators guide you by historic sites such as the original Cheerwine building, the Salisbury National Cemetery and the site of the only prison in North Carolina during the Civil War. You will also see film locations of popular movies and TV shows and hear a ghost story or two. Discover shopping, restaurants, theaters and plenty of public art. Enjoy learning about the city’s past and how it has influenced the present on a F&M Bank Trolley every Saturday from April – October. This one hour tour begins at 11 a.m. at the Rowan County Visitors Center. Enjoy more of Salisbury with a combination ticket! The ticket includes admission into three additional locations; the Dr. Josephus Hall House, Old Stone House and Rowan Museum, and $2 off your purchase at Morgan Ridge Railwalk Brewery & Eatery and New Sarum Brewing Company. Historic Salisbury Trolley Tour tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-10 and free for children under 5. Historic Salisbury Combination tickets are $16 for adults, $11 for children ages 5-10 and free for children under 5. Tickets may be purchased at the Rowan County Visitors Center on the day of the tour or in advance by calling 704-638-3100. If the 11 a.m. trolley is full, an extra trolley will run at 1 p.m. if there are 10 or more people interested. Can’t make it this Saturday? Don’t worry! Tours are offered every Saturday from April to October at 11. www.facebook.com/VisitRowanCountyNC

SOUTH CAROLINA

FESTIVALS

The Party In The Pines 6/6-6/8/19 – 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. www.angelfire.com/sc/pinp

Mighty Moo Festival 6/12 – 6/15/19 – 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. cowpensmightymoo.com

49th Annual Ridge Peach Festival 6/15/19 – Trenton, SC.  9am-4pm. 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, and Softball Tournament too. Peaches, unique crafts, an awesome Parade, vendors, and 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 6/14 – 6/23/19 – Hampton, SC. Festival highlights: Lake Warren State Park Family Fun Day, Youth Parade, Pet Show, Mud Run, Watermelon Eating Contest, Watermelon Judging Contest, a Melon Miss pageant for all ages, the big Miss Coastal & Miss Teen Coastal Empire Pageants, arts & crafts displays, a Taste of good Hampton County Food, plus variety of musical entertainment, and one of the largest parades in the state! 803-943-8365. www.hcmelonfest.org

MOTORCYCLES

Atlantic Beach Bike Festival 5/24 – 5/29/19 – 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 9/30 – 10/6/19 – Murrells Inlet, SC. The event headquarters at a welcome tent at Cooter’s Backyard Bar & Grill, 3264 S. Highway 17 in Murrells Inlet. Activities will take place at various locations in & around Murrells Inlet. The event includes bike shows, poker runs, tours, vendors, entertainment & more. (336) 643-1367 www.myrtlebeachbikeweek.com/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: 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 www.alleneasler.com/riley.html

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 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! Opens 5/35/2019 at 10am! (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 lakemurraycruises.com

TENNESSEE

FESTIVALS

Uncle Dave Macon Days 7/12 – 7/13/19 – Murfreesboro, TN. A roots rendezvous which honors traditional American music and the career of the first superstar of the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Famer, Uncle Dave Macon. This year marks the 41st Anniversary of the annual Uncle Dave Macon Days festival starting with small beginnings which attracted only a few old-time music enthusiasts on the lawn of the Courthouse in 1978. Throughout the festival’s national competitions is the best in authentic old-time music and dance with participants here locally, across the nation, and worldwide. Tickets are $10 for adults. Children under the age of 12 are permitted free. 615-893-4953 uncledavemacondays.com

Oktoberfest 10/18 – 10/19/19 – Crossville, TN. 11:30 am – 9:30 pm. 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 6/14 – 6/16/19 – Bristol, TN. Extreme machines roar into Bristol Dragway June 14-16 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. www.bristoldragway.com

THINGS TO DO

Chattanooga Zoo – The mission of the Chattanooga Zoo is to provide an educational & recreational opportunity for all. The Chattanooga Zoo also seeks to provide a dignified & esthetically pleasing environment for the animals. 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 – 129 Showplace Blvd,  Pigeon Forge, TN. The same high-energy, non-stop entertainment that has made its Branson & Las Vegas shows so popular. Repeatedly voted the Best Show in the Smokies! 2019 will deliver a BRAND NEW and EXCITING show that will surpass all expectations. Country Tonite’s spectacular music & entertainment is presented by America’s largest award-winning cast. (800)792-4308 www.countrytonitepf.com

Creative Discovery Museum – 321 Chestnut St, 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. (423)756-2738 www.cdmfun.org

Dollywood & Splash Country – Escape to the unique world of Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain theme park in Pigeon Forge. Enjoy the wholesome fun & entertainment of the music, crafts, attractions & rides at Dollywood. Dolly’s Splash Country offers waterfalls, winding streams & white water adventures for the whole family. 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

25th Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival 6/1/19 – 10am-3pm. Free. Experience Manassas at its best this June and come out to the 25th Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival. This family celebration of rich railroad history features train memorabilia, specialty vendors, and live performances. visitmanassas.org

Flying Circus Balloon Festival 2017 8/17-8/18/19 – 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. 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 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 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. The cabins will undergo renovations in phases beginning Nov. 2019. Read http://vasp.fun/SRcabins for details and to determine how it might affect your stay. www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/staunton-river#general_information

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