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FOCUS SWIMSUIT & SUMMER GUIDE 2017

We Hope You Have A Happy Summer!

NORTH CAROLINA | SOUTH CAROLINA | TENNESSEE | VIRGINIA |

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NORTH CAROLINA

ARTS

Downtown Hickory Art Crawl 9/21/17, 5:30-8pm. The Art Crawl is held twice a year & features local artists showcasing their talents in downtown businesses. Over 20 businesses hosted artists last year. A map is provided & participants are welcome to browse the artwork, enjoy refreshments & meet with the artists. Artwork is available for sale. (828)322-1121


Asheville Downtown Gallery Association Invites you to visit the downtown galleries and the 2017 Art Walks. Explore more than 25 downtown galleries, studios and museums, all located within a half mile radius of historic downtown Asheville. First Friday Art Walk, 5-8 pm, every month April-December. www.ashevi2.fatcow.com

CAR SHOWS

Corvette Auto Show 5/27/17 10am-6pm, Dobson, NC. Free admission. Come join us for a day of fun at the annual Corvette Auto Show. Food will be available for purchase at the Harvest Grill Express, or you may bring a picnic while you enjoy the beautiful Shelton Vineyards grounds, as well as the Corvettes on display. We will be honoring our Veterans with a free tour and tastings upon presentation of Military ID Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Memorial Day Weekend.www.sheltonvineyards.com

Maggie Valley Swap Meet & Car Show, 6/22-6/24/17 Maggie Valley, NC. $5 Admission Daily; Open 8am to 6pm; This is a swap meet and car show with crafts & car parts! For more info, visit www.visitncsmokies.com/event/maggie-valley-fall-swap-meet-car-show

FAIRS

Annual Summer Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands 7/21-7/23/17; 10/20-10/22/17; US Cellular Center, 87 Haywood St, Asheville, NC. Thursday - Saturday: 10am to 6pm; Sunday: 10am to 5pm. Admission: $8; Two day pass: $12; Children under 12 free
Info: (828)298-7928 http://www.southernhighlandguild.org/shops-and-fairs/craft-fair-of-the-southern-highlands/

Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair 8/4-8/5/17 9am-5pm. Burnsville, NC. People who have a true appreciation for traditional crafts know this fair. Historic downtown Burnsville. Beautiful handmade quilts, pottery, woven baskets, or most any other handmade craft. (828)682-7413 www.yanceychamber.com/craft-fair/

Hickory American Legion Fair 8/30-9/4/17 Hickory, NC. www.hickoryfair.com (828)464-5433

Mountain State Fair 9/8-17/17 Fletcher, NC. Tickets: $9 Adult, $5 Children 6 - 12 years of age. $5 Senior 65 years and older. Children 5 years & under Free. www.wncagcenter.org

Cabarrus County Fair 9/8-16/17 Concord, NC (704) 786-7221. Cabarrus Arena & Events Center. www.cabarruscounty.us/government/departments/Fair/Pages/General-Info.aspx

Dixie Classic Fair 9/29-10/8/17 The second largest agricultural Fair in NC, owned & operated by the City of Winston-Salem, NC. More info at: www.dcfair.com

FAMILY

Oconaluftee Indian Village Cherokee, NC - Cherokee history isn’t musty and mothball covered. In Oconaluftee Indian Village, it’s alive, well, and amazing. As you enter the soft trails of the village, it’s no longer the 21st century: you’re immediately transported to the 1760s. You won’t need your robotic-voiced GPS here. The faint tang of wood smoke wafts by as you are led by a Cherokee cultural expert on an interactive journey through Cherokee lifestyle and history. Your guide will show you the way through the winding paths, flanked with traditional Cherokee dwellings, work areas, and sacred ritual sites. Delight in cultural dances amid the swaying oaks and sycamores. As you wander, interact with villagers as they hull canoes, sculpt pottery and masks, weave baskets, and fashion beadwork. Watch as a village prepares for war. Be amazed by a blowgun demonstration. Oconaluftee Indian Village is much more than just a place; it’s living history. Hours of Operation: Open from April 18, 2017 until November 11, 2017. Open Monday through Saturday from 10am–4pm with tours every 15 minutes except from 11:30am–12:30pm & 2:30am–3:30pm. Oconaluftee Indian Village is closed on Sunday. Arts and crafts classes for children are held daily Monday through Saturday. Check with the box office for times and prices. Oconaluftee Indian Village is located at 218 Drama Road, Cherokee, NC. (828)497-2111 www.visitcherokeenc.com/play/attractions/oconaluftee-indian-village/

Salisbury Historic Trolley Tours Downtown Salisbury, NC. Experience Authentic Salisbury-Rowan County by taking the Salisbury Historic Trolley Tour. Learn about what makes Salisbury-Rowan County historically significant. Tours are every Saturday at 11am, running through October. Historic Salisbury Trolley Tour tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for children 5-10 and free for children under five. Historic Salisbury Combination tickets are $16 for adults, $11 for children ages 5-10 and free for children under five. Tickets are purchased the Convention & Visitors Bureau. For more info, (800)332-2343 www.visitsalisburync.com/meetings-reunions/salisbury-trolley

15th Annual Piedmont Pottery Festival 6/3/17 9am-4pm. The finest in hand-crafted pottery from the Triad & southern Virginia. Over 100 potters. Demonstrations & door prizes. Kingsway Plaza on Kings Highway, 220 W. Kings Hwy Eden, NC. Free admission. 336-612-8049 www.exploreedennc.com/potteryfestival

FESTIVALS

Food Lion Speed Street May 25-27, 2017 Charlotte, NC - Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola is rolling out the red carpet in 2017 for country music stars Jake Owen and Billy Currington; hip hop and R&B disc jockey DJ Jazzy Jeff; and funk band, Lakeside, as headliners for the three-day festival May 25-27 in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Thanks to our great partners, Circle K and Coca-Cola, the Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola music lineup keeps getting better year after year,” said Jacqueline Gafrarar, executive director of the 600 Festival Association. “The four headliners plus 18 additional live performances should satisfy the fans in town for the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway as well as Charlotte’s appetite for affordable concerts along with a great event experience.” For more info & tickets: (704) 455-5555 www.600festival.com or www.facebook.com/FoodLionSpeedStreet

2017 Gears & Guitars 5/26-5/29/17 Weekend Concludes with Free Concert on Memorial Day at Bailey Park, Winston Salem – This spring’s Gears & Guitars music festival – a series of concerts performed in conjunction with the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic – will take place May 26-29. All the concerts will be at Bailey Park in downtown Winston-Salem and will conclude with a free Memorial Day performance on Monday, May 29. Gears & Guitars kicks off on Friday, May 26 featuring three country music performances: Eric Dodd, Muscadine Bloodline (noted by Rolling Stone as one of the “New Country Artists to Watch”) and Corey Smith. Gates open at 6pm on May 26. Opening performers for the Saturday, May 27, concert will be announced at a later date. Following the conclusion of the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic on May 27, national recording artist Collective Soul will take the stage Bailey Park as the evening headliner. Gates open at 5pm. On Sunday, May 28, Gear & Guitars will continue with headliner Barenaked Ladies. An additional opening artist will be announced at a later date. Gates open at 6 pm on May 28. The Gears & Guitars music festival will conclude on Monday, May 29 with free Memorial Day performances featuring a number of local bands, food trucks and other family activities. The Memorial Day celebration at Bailey Park is from 1 to 7pm. “Gears and Guitars is shaping up to be a wonderful event again this year, and we are thrilled with the already confirmed performers. Last year, we had more than 12,000 people at the concerts,” Gears and Guitars Producer Ray Boden said. “With the level of talent and the great value of the tickets, people will have a good reason to make sure they stay in Winston-Salem over the Memorial Day holiday,” he added. Detailed information about Gears & Guitars is available at gearsandguitarsfest.com. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.ticketmaster.com

17th Annual Mountain Sports Festival 5/26-5/28/17 Amboy Rd in Asheville, NC. Free. The Mountain Sports Festival is a weekend music and sports festival that celebrates community, athletics and local business. The free festival showcases the terrain, environment and unique culture of Asheville, NC and the surrounding mountains. The Mountain Sports Festival is organized by a volunteer group of community oriented citizens dedicated to the presenting of a well balanced series of events that encourages participation on all levels. Held annually on Memorial Day Weekend. www.mountainsportsfestival.com

Annual Aurora Fossil Festival 5/26-5/28/17 10am-5pm. 400 Main Street, Aurora, NC. Expanded food vendors, games for kids, amusement rides, classic car show, street vendors, local live entertainment, helicopter rides, Sunday gospel service/ singing, & a street dance. Festivities include the ever-famous Fossil parade featuring local marching bands & the crowd favorite, Shriner units of Eastern NC, along with floats & fun. 252-322-4238 www.aurorafossilfestival.net

White Squirrel Festival 5/26-5/28/17 Heart of Brevard Historic District in Brevard, NC. Running of the popular Squirrel Box Derby. Free musical acts over two days. Headliner bands: Town Mountain, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, Sarah Siskind & Sunliner With Travis Book Of The Infamous Stringdusters (828) 884-3278 www.whitesquirrelfestival.com

17th Annual NC Wine Festival 5/27/17 at Tanglewood Park. 4061 Clemmons Rd, Clemmons, NC. The largest wine festival in North Carolina. Ticket provides tasting from all wineries, artist & crafter displays, great food choices & music all day. Purchase wine by glass & case. Tickets now online. (919)882-3733 www.ncwinefestival.com

Annual Garden Jubilee Festival 5/27-5/28/17 9am-5pm. Main Street from 6th Ave - Caswell St in Hendersonville, NC. The Garden Jubilee Festival offers over 200 vendors selling thousands of plants, arts & crafts, garden talks & clinics, garden accessories & food. The festival covers 8 blocks of Main Street from Sixth Avenue-Caswell Street. Downtown from 10am-6pm, both days. Memorial Day weekend. 800.828.4244 www.historichendersonville.org

Beer City Festival 5/27/17, 12pm-5pm. Roger McGuire Green, Asheville, NC. Tickets: $45 each (in advance), Ages: 21+ (Must have valid government issued ID) Asheville’s premier downtown craft beer festival will take place on May 27th on Roger McGuire Green in downtown Asheville, NC. Beer City Festival brings the best local and regional breweries from Asheville and surrounding areas together for a great day of beer and music. Event features over 30+ breweries. Live music schedule to be announced soon. A portion of this year’s proceeds will go to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina. BBBS-WNC is a wonderful organization that seeks to change the lives of children facing adversity between 6 and 18 years of age. The WNC chapter benefits the lives of people daily, and Beer City Festival and AVL Brewers Alliance are proud to be a part of this organization. www.beercityfestival.com

Livermush Festival 6/2/17 6:30-9pm. The Annual Liver Mush Festival celebrates livermush and its heritage in Marion and western North Carolina. The event includes free Hunter’s Liver Mush sandwiches! It is held 6:30-9 PM in downtown Marion, just 35 miles from downtown Asheville. It’s one of the Top 50 Summer Fesitvals & Events in and near Asheville. Our favorite event is the Best Dressed Pig contest! Bring your most beautiful or your ugliest pig in a spectacular costume. A farmer pig, a princess pig or a Harley pig. The Best Dressed Pig gets the $25 grand prize. Other highlights include a Corn Hole Tournament and Liver Mush Sandwich Eating Contest. Enjoy live music by the Roadrunnerzs, and bring your dancing shoes! Free. Main St, Historic Downtown Marion, NC. (828) 652-2215 www.mcdowellnc.org

NC Gold Festival 6/3/17 9am-6pm, Old Fort, NC. Free. Annual event, featuring gold exhibits, gold mining techniques & demonstrations, treasure & scavenger hunts, geo-caching, gold panning, numerous vendors including arts & crafts, raffles. (800)959-9033 http://www.ncgold.org/info.htm

32nd Annual Carolina Beach Music Festival, 6/3/17, Gates open at 10am. The Beach Music Festival hosted by the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce is billed as the biggest & only beach music festival actually held on the beach on the NC coast. No carry-in alcohol or pets permitted. Beverages, including beer, are available. Ocean Front Beach Stage, Cape Fear Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC. (910) 458-8434 www.pleasureislandnc.org

Washington Summer Festival 6/9-6/10/17 Washington, NC. Annual summer festival on the beautiful Pamlico River in Downtown Washington features music, arts & crafts, children’s entertainment, food & amusement rides! (252)946-9168 www.wbcchamber.com/our-events/summer-festival

19th Annual Edenton Music & Water Festival 6/2-6/3/17 Colonial Park - Edenton Bay Free! Friday evening will begin with a Guided Sunset Paddle 6:30 - 7pm launching time from Queen Anne Park. There are kayaks and canoes available from the Town Dock by advance reservation along with bringing your own for participation. Entertainment from 7-10 pm for listening and dancing under the stars and a Beverage Garden all at the foot of South Broad along the water. Saturday, this festival promises to delight with Coast Guard participation, entertainment beyond compare both on the waterfront stage and along Broad with roving musicians as well as many more activities for children off and on the water. Free Boat Rides, Eco-Paddles with the Eastern 4-H Center, Food and Beverage Vendors/Arts and Crafts Vendors/Educational Vendors- something for everyone(800)775-0111 http://visitedenton.com/calendar-event.php?id=188

NC Blueberry Festival 6/16-6/17/17 At the Pender County Courthouse Square, Burgaw, NC. 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. Come join us! (910) 259-2007 www.ncblueberryfestival.com

71st NC Rhododendron Festival 6/16-6/17/17 10am-5pm (or until crowd has left). Long running festival celebrating the native rhododendron on Roan Mountain, NC. Featuring street festival, 10K run, street dance, fishing tournament, Miss Rhododendron Pageant, Car Show, Ducky Derby & more. Downtown Bakersville, NC. Contact Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce (828) 688-3456. www.ncrhododendronfestival.org

51st Season of Shindig on the Green. 7/1, 7/8, 7/15, 7/22, 8/12, 8/19, 8/26 & 9/2/17. A joyously spontaneous celebration of traditional and old-time string bands, bluegrass, ballad singers, big circle mountain dancers and cloggers on summer Saturday evenings in downtown Asheville, NC. Stage show and informal jam sessions. Pack Square Park on the Bascom Lamar Lunsford stage. Bring your instruments, lawn chairs or blankets, family and friends. Free. Info: (828)258-6101 x345. www.folkheritage.org/shindigonthegreen.htm

Fun Fourth Festival Events, Greensboro: 7/3-7/4/17 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. A patriotic symphony experience brings the Fireworks to life as they celebrate the Fourth in song. Inspired by the annual Boston Pops concert, the program of music and readings will be broadcast throughout Downtown Greensboro for all to enjoy together. (336)379-0060 www.funfourthfestival.org

NC 4th of July Festival - 7/1-7/2/17 in Southport, NC. Arts, crafts, parade, 5K run, food, entertainment, children’s games, naturalization ceremony and more. See “Events & Activities” page for more information and link to the preliminary schedule. Check out the festival’s new website www.nc4thofjuly.com Downtown Southport. Contact: Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce, 4433 Long Beach Road, SE Southport, NC. (910) 457-5578 http://www.nc4thofjuly.com/events-calendar/

Appalachian Summer Festival 6/25-8/5/17 Boone, NC. Now celebrating its 33rd season, the festival has emerged as one of the nation’s leading regional arts festivals, featuring the best in music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film. See full schedule at www.appsummer.org. Tickets for festival events range in price & may be purchased by calling (800) 841-2787

Blowing Rock Independence Day Festival & Parade 7/1/17 Games, music, and fun! Plus the best small-town Main Street parade! 10am-9:30pm: Activities include park games, airwalks, watermelon eating contests, music, and dancing! The parade will take place on Main St, and will be followed by fireworks on Saturday! Catch the Park Dance on Sunday! For more information, call (828)295-5222 www.blowingrock.com/calendar/events/?id=190

14th Annual RED, WHITE AND BLUEGRASS Festival 7/1-7/3/17 Morganton, NC. Call or go online for schedules and tickets (800) 939-SHOW 12 & under get in FREE with paid admission. www.redwhiteandbluegrassfestival.com

Christmas In July Festival 7/1/17 9am-7pm West Jefferson, NC. Arts & Crafts, Live Music, Adventure & Fun for the whole family! (336) 846-9196 http://www.christmasinjuly.info/index.html

Carrboro July 4th Celebration 7/4/17 Carrboro, NC. Enjoy a small town tradition with big time fun! The 2017 Carrboro July 4th Celebration will be held at Carrboro Town Hall on Tuesday, July 4. Help us kick off the event at Weaver Street Market Lawn beginning at 9:30am! A parade from Weaver Street Market to Town Hall, starting at 10:50am, will bring the Weaver Street participants together with those in attendance at Carrboro Town Hall. Of course the Kids Fun Zone and Fun Zone Stage will be back and better than ever! Enjoy plenty of activities, games, good food, and live music. (919)942-8541 www.carrborojuly4th.com/308/July-4th-Celebration

Blackberry Festival 7/7-7/8/17 Downtown Lenoir. One of the largest events in Historic Downtown Lenoir, the NC Blackberry Festival brought an estimated 15,000-17,000 visitors to beautiful Caldwell County. We thank everyone that came out and joined in the fun and invite you to join us again this year! On Friday night we heat things up with a PRE-HEAT PARTY...Front Porch Pickin’ and Recipe contests, You will not want to miss the Princess Pageants and Glow Run or the BlackBEERY Garden featuring local brews! www.ncblackberryfestival.com

NC Peach Festival 7/15/17 NC Peach Festival is held every year on the third Saturday in July in the Town of Candor. The parade starts at 10am & the festivities take place in the park. Bring your lawn chairs & sit back & enjoy the local live entertainment. Lots of local peaches, peach ice cream & peach desserts. (910)974-4221 www.townofcandornc.com

Folkmoot USA 7/20-7/30/17 NC’s Official International Festival, is a two-week celebration of the world’s cultural heritage through folk music & dance. The festival is headquartered at the Folkmoot Friendship Center, a former elementary school, in Waynesville, about 25 miles west of Asheville. (828)452-2997 www.folkmoot.org/calendar/2017-07/

Winterville Watermelon Festival 8/24-8/26/17 Winterville, NC. www.watermelonfest.com/index.html

90th Annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. 8/3, 4 & 5/17 The nation’s longest running folk festival. Since 1928, mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, dancers, balladeers and others have come to enjoy themselves “along about sundown” the first weekend in August at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. In 2017, performers at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival will take to the stage for the 90th time at Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place in downtown Asheville. Introductions begin at 6:45 pm and shows begin at 7pm nightly. Tickets on sale now at the Diana Wortham Theatre box office. (828)258-6101 Ext: 345 or www.folkheritage.org/75thannua.htm

Waldensian Festival 8/11 & 8/12/17 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 Town of Valdese continues to improve the Waldensian Festival each year and make it one of the best festivals in the state of North Carolina. The 2017 Waldensian Festival will concentrate on unique crafts, great food, and top-quality entertainment. To achieve this goal, the committee continues to search for wonderful artists, food vendors and entertainers from around the country. Choosing participants that will come together to make an unforgettable festival.(828)879-2120 www.townofvaldese.com/community/downtown-district/waldensian-festival/

40th Annual Sourwood Festival 8/12-8/13/17 Downtown Black Mountain, NC. There’s always plenty to see & do at Black Mountain’s annual festival. Enjoy great music & lots of fun & of course, lots of great mountain cooking. (828) 669-2300 www.sourwoodfestival.com

Annual Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival 8/12 & 8/13/17 Sneads Ferry, NC. Festival begins with a parade followed by two days of fun, fireworks & a street dance on Sat. night, top-notch entertainment, browsing the booths for local crafts & artwork & all the shrimp you can eat. (910)327-3335 www.sneadsferryshrimpfestival.org

Asheville Wine & Food Festival 8/18-8/19/17 In their 9th year, the Asheville Fest Brings you The Asheville Wine & Food Festival to celebrate all that’s worth savoring in the mountains. We recognize Slow Food Asheville as our selected non-profit for their dedication in helping to preserve and enrich our culinary heritage in Asheville and Western North Carolina. Tickets at Ticketmaster, or call (828)239-9400 http://www.ashevillewineandfood.com

8th Annual Dirty Dancing Festival 8/18-8/19/17 Lake Lure, NC. For six years 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! info@dirtydancingfestival.com www.dirtydancingfestival.com

20th Annual Black Mountain Old Depot Art by the Tracks 10/28/17 will be held in the middle of Historic Black Mountain, Saturday, October 28, 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/index.php?page=Art-by-the-Tracks

Woodmill Winery Grape Stomp, 8/26 & 8/27/17. Watch the process of muscadine wine being made from the five acres of vines to the bottling area & wine cellar in the winery’s basement. 1350 Woodmill Winery Lane, Vale, NC. (704)276-9911 www.woodmillwinery.com

North Carolina Apple Festival, 9/1-9/4/17 Hendersonville, NC. The North Carolina Apple Festival is held annually over Labor Day Weekend in Hendersonville, North Carolina. 4 days of fun including one of the most best known Street Fairs in the Carolinas with freshly picked apples, arts & crafts, festival food and FREE entertainment at the Historic Courthouse on Hendersonville’s beautiful Main Street. Labor Day features the King Apple Parade! Please leave your pets comfortably at home, the City of Hendersonville’s ordinance prohibits animals in the event. www.ncapplefestival.org

Annual Carolina Mountains Literary Festival 9/7-9/17 Burnsville, NC. Novelists, poets, historians, playwrights, journalists & storytellers gather to read from & discuss their works. Multiple events happening simultaneously in venues throughout the town (all within walking distance). Events for kids on Saturday. FREE and OPEN to the public. Ticketed workshops for writers. (828) 682-4476 www.cmlitfest.org

Historic Morganton Festival 9/8-9/9/17 Morganton, NC. The festival generally brings in 40,000 to 50,000 attendees throughout the weekend from across the state as well as South Carolina & Virginia. Two major music stages. City Stage performers are national acts featuring country & oldies. Stage II features local & regional bands & two “Zones” are designed for kids from infants to high school! Plus two more stages feature children’s entertainment & demonstrations from local performance groups. (828)438-5252 www.morgantonfest.org

Bush Hill Heritage Festival 9/9/17 9am-4pm Archdale, NC. This festival was born in 1986 as the bicentennial celebration of the Quaker settling known as Bush Hill. (336)434-2073 www.bushhillfestival.com

Lincoln County Apple Festival 9/16/17 The Lincoln County Apple Festival is held annually in downtown Lincolnton the third Saturday in September. 9am- 4pm. The festival provides the community with a family friendly event that serves as an annual reunion for many folks. Entertainment, food, crafts, and much more. (704)530-4636 www.lincolncountyapplefestival.com

53rd Annual Festival in the Park 9/22-9/24/17 Charlotte, NC. A fun-filled event designed to promote & stimulate interest in the arts. It provides the opportunity for all to see, hear & learn from over 150 artists & crafts people who actively demonstrate & display their art. Nearly a thousand entertainers provide free ongoing performances at the main band shell & many stages surrounding it. (704)338-1060 www.festivalinthepark.org

NC Spot Festival 9/23-9/24/17 Hampstead, NC. The Annual Spot Festival in Hampstead, NC, offers an opportunity to enjoy a dinner of spot, one of the area’s best-tasting and most popular fish, along with generous helpings of cole slaw and hush puppies. The festival also has amusement rides, a variety of bands, entertainment from area schools, arts and crafts, and a fireworks show on Saturday at dark. Free to attend, but there is a charge for food and amusement rides. www.ncspotfestival.com

Annual NC Seafood Festival 10/6-10/8/17 Morehead City, NC. (252)726-6273 www.ncseafoodfestival.org

Autumn Jubilee 10/7-10/8/17 Salisbury, NC. Plan to join in on all the fun and activities on Bringle Ferry Road at Dan Nicholas Park in Salisbury, NC. The festival will be on Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 6pm. Some 45,000 plus visitors enjoy the family fun festival. (704)216-7803 www.dannicholas.net

Carolina Renaissance Festival Weekends, Sat & Sun, Sep 30-Nov 19, 2017, rain or shine, Huntersville, NC. The festival is a medieval amusement park with staged theater, arts & crafts, & jousting. Open rain or shine, no pets, please. Call or go online for more info and dates and tickets. (877)896-5555.www.carolina.renfestinfo.com/

Annual Great Grapes! Wine, Arts & Food Festival 9/30/17 Charlotte, NC. Bring friends, family & picnic blankets to Symphony Park & enjoy a day on the lawn listening to favorite tunes while enjoying tasting hundreds of wines from NC. If you enjoy great food & the gourmet lifestyle, then you’ll really enjoy strolling the exhibits or taking in one of the wine & food seminars. Hundreds of Wines, over 50 exhibits! For more info & to purchase tickets: www.uncorkthefun.com/charlotte-north-carolina/site-info

Oktoberfest 2017 10/13-10/15/17 Downtown Hickory, a three-day, outdoor festival on the second weekend of October, in Hickory, North Carolina, featuring three stages of non-stop live entertainment ranging from traditional polka to rock & roll, two beer gardens, amusement rides and carnival games, a juried arts and crafts show, and hundreds of food and commercial vendors. The Hickory Oktoberfest festival started in 1985, and has grown to become one of the premiere festivals in Western North Carolina. Free (828)322-1121 www.hickoryoktoberfest.com

Smoking In The Foothills Barbecue Competition and Festival North Carolina State Championship Event 10/20-10/21/17 In Historic Downtown Lenoir, NC. Come to the beautiful foothills of North Carolina and find out what real barbecue is all about. This is a family friendly world class barbecue competition and festival. Sanctioned by The Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS). So come to Historic Downtown Lenoir, NC and get your smoker going. If you are not a Pitmaster that’s OK too, we have plenty to do for the whole family. http://www.smokinginthefoothills.com/

Woolly Worm Festival 10/21-10/22/17 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. Doggie day care is available outside of the gates at the main entrance. There are no ATMs on festival grounds so be sure to stop at one of the bank ATM machines on your way. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 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! www.woollyworm.com

Taylorsville Hometown Apple Festival 10/21/17 Taylorsville, NC. The streets of Taylorsville fill to overflowing for the Annual Taylorsville Apple Festival which draws an estimated 35,000 attendees and hosts over 250 exhibit booths. The festival provides a fantastic assortment of entertainment, food and vendors. The festival boasts 3 entertainment stages. The Kid’s Korner has hosted in the past, pony rides, mechanical bucking bull rides, pitching booths, numerous professional inflatables, puppet shows, music and much more. Food vendors surround the courthouse emitting some of the most wonderful smells and best tasting food you’ll find in the Carolinas. One can find chopped barbeque, egg rolls, hamburgers and hotdogs, barbeque chicken, Italian sausages, and the list goes on. And don’t forget dessert. Items here include: homemade ice cream, cakes, cookies, and of course fried apple pies. Hundreds of craft vendors lining many blocks of town that day. (828)632-2999 www.alexandercountyonline.com/applefestival/index.htm

LEAF Lake Eden Arts Fall Festival 10/19-10/22/17 Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain, NC. LEAF takes you around the cultural globe through music & you can zipline, trapeze, do yoga, SLAM, costume, camp, take workshops, kayak, shop & more. (828)686-8742 https://www.romanticasheville.com/leaf.htm

Carolina Balloon Fest, 10/20-10/22/17 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! http://www.carolinaballoonfest.com

MOTORCYCLES

Hog Happenin’ 6/2-6/3/17 Lincolnton, NC. From bike shows to competitions – this is where the rubber meets the road. Bar-B-Que: the area’s best grillers compete to put the “hog” in Hog Happenin’! Two days of local, regional and national acts bringing their best to downtown Lincolnton. Get ready, because Hog Happenin’ 2017 is proud to announce their headliner, 80’s heavy metal icons Quiet Riot. Famously described as the first heavy metal band to top the pop chart at #1 on Billboard magazine, the Los Angeles quartet became an overnight sensation thanks to their monster 1983 smash album Metal Health. With the announcement of Quiet Riot, Hog Happenin’ 2017 promises to be one of the biggest ever… and we’re just getting started. Keep checking website for regular updates. www.hoghappenin.org

Asheville Ride for Kids 8/26/17 Registration: 9am-11am. Start Location: Mr Motorcycle, 774 Hendersonville Rd, Asheville, NC. Long Ride, First Group Out: 10am. Approx. 2-Hour Ride) Short Ride, Second Group Out: 11am. (Approx. 1-Hour Ride) End Location: Oskar Blues Brewery, 342 Mountain Industrial Dr. Brevard, NC. Both rides will be led by volunteer road captains with small groups of 25 or fewer bikes. These groups will leave 10-15 minutes apart. Enjoy breakfast, coffee, vendors and entertainment before your group leaves! *Brain tumor kids – our Stars, their family members and all VIP escorts will go on the short ride at 11am. Enjoy a fun destination ride, food and entertainment! Cheer our Stars, local children fighting brain tumors. Fundraise to earn incentives like T-shirts, jackets and more. Get a chance to win a new Honda motorcycle and other great prizes (see rules below) Connect with other enthusiasts for a great cause. Come join us with any make or model of street legal motorcycle, or just enjoy the day with family and friends! http://pbtf.convio.net/site/TR?fr_id=2803&pg=entry

Thunder in the Smokies Fall Motorcycle Rally 9/8-9/10/17 Maggie Valley, NC. Join us at the Handlebar Corral for a rumbling weekend in the Great Smoky Mountains every September for a weekend of fun. Thousands of bikers roll into Maggie Valley, North Carolina for the busiest motorcycle weekend in town. Maggie Valley is a biker friendly town and a great place for bikers to gather for a motorcycle rally surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery and enjoy riding the Blue Ridge Parkway. Event includes tour rides, bike games, bike show, vendors, music & more. www.handlebarcorral.com

6th Annual Biker Blues BBQ Rally & BBQ Classic 9/15-9/16/17 Salisbury, NC, held at Tilley Harley-Davidson, This family oriented event is a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned event. This event will bring together sponsors, vendors, first class entertainment, the general public, and motorcycle enthusiasts for an admission-free event. Free to the general public, the goal is to have proceeds going to event charities. (704) 638-6044 http://www.bikerbluesbbqrally.com/event-information/about/

MUSIC

2017 Valdese Family Friday Nights Local nostalgic, beach, classic rock, Americana, variety and country music performers are sure to get your toes tapping. The music starts at 7pm at the Town of Valdese parking lot beside Wells Fargo Bank on Main Street. Sponsored by the Town of Valdese. Friday Night Cruise-ins at Myra’s continue throughout the year. Vintage cars and trucks fill up the block around Myra’s Restaurant. Designated Fridays host a car show on Main Street. http://townofvaldese.com/pages/family-friday-nights-free-summer-concert-series/

Conover Alive! The 2017 Conover Alive season starts Friday, June 2nd and will continue every Friday night in June & July at Conover City Park, 7pm-11pm, Conover Station, downtown Conover. Free! Food & beverages for sale, all shows rain or shine. For more information about the Hickory Jaycees, contact us on Facebook or e-mail hickoryjaycee@yahoo.com

Alive After Five Free Outdoor Concert Series Shelby, NC Each year Uptown Shelby Association offers outdoor concerts to showcase the heart of our city and to bring people together to meet friends, enjoy music, relax and have some fun. The concerts are held on the fourth Thursday of each month. More great music and more good times in Uptown Shelby. 2017 Concert Schedule: May 25, June 22, July 27 and August 24, all at 6-9 pm. For more information on Alive After Five or other great events going on in uptown Shelby please visit www.facebook.com/uptownshelby or call 704-484-3100.

Free Gospel Concert, Summer Praise Fest, 6/3/17, 12:30-4pm @Ranlo Church Of God, 1825 Spencer Mountain Rd, Gastonia. The Griggs, Don Herbert, Adam Beard, Tony Burchette, Jordan Tipton Smith, Mc- NC’s #1 Cubs Fan Bill Ward. Concert, Hot Dogs, Snacks And Drinks Available For Purchase. This is not a fund raiser, just a Free Community Gospel Concert. Sponsored By Ranlo Church Of God. Over the past several years we have had as many as 800+ people in attendance. willyace@twave.net

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

Annual Singing on the Mountain Sunday, 6/25/17, 12am-12am. Grandfather Mountain, MacRae Meadows. The all-day gospel sing and fellowship returns to MacRae Meadows at Grandfather Mountain for its 93rd year. A dozen top gospel groups will perform, and audiences can expect a sermon from a well-known speaker. Free admission. Camping (without hookups) is available on the field. 800-468-7325 www.grandfather.com/events/singing-on-the-mountain/

SPECIAL EVENTS

Biltmore’s 21st annual Concert Series heats up the summer Celebrate summer at Biltmore when the estate’s 21st annual Concert Series begins Thursday, July 27. Kool & The Gang kicks off the series on July 27 on the South Terrace of Biltmore House. The South Terrace venue features expansive sunset views of the 250-room Biltmore House in one direction, and Mount Pisgah and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the other. All shows begin at 7:30pm. The 2017 Biltmore Concert Series line-up: July 27 Kool & The Gang and The Commodores; July 30 The Beach Boys; Aug. 18 Newsboys with Special Guest Mandisa; Aug. 19 Tony Bennett; Aug 24 REO Speedwagon; Aug 26 Goo Goo Dolls: Long Way Home Summer Tour 2017 with Special Guest Phillip Phillips. All 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. A variety of ticket, dining and lodging packages will be available for the concerts. Tickets do not include or require estate admission. Performers and dates are subject to change.

Taste Of Charlotte 6/9-6/11/17
, 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 (704)262-9847 www.tasteofcharlotte.com

59th Annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament 6/9-6/17/17 The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament is fished by around 100 competitors in substantial cash categories. This event produces revenue for charities. Big Rock Landing, Morehead City, NC. Contact Crystal Watters (252) 247-3575 www.thebigrock.com

Animals’ Birthday Party 6/14/17 Grandfather Mountain, Linville, NC, 10:30am-3:30pm. Grandfather Mountain will host a birthday celebration for all of the animals in the park. Grandfather’s habitat staff has prepared a fun-filled day for guests as well as programming to honor & treat its furry inhabitants. (800)468-7325 https://grandfather.com/events/animal-birthday-party-2/

C & E Gun Shows June 17-18, 2017 & Sep 16-17, 2017 Sat: 9am-5pm, Sun: 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults: $9, Tickets can only be purchased day of the show at the door. Tickets can only be purchased with Cash ONLY. Saturday Admission good for Sunday with Hand-stamp. Children under 12 years of age admitted FREE with Adult. Hickory Metro Convention Center 1960 13th Ave. Dr. SE, Hickory. www.cegunshows.com/hickory--nc.html

4th of July Celebration 7/4/17 Downtown Asheville. Join in the fun in Park Square Park starting at 2pm on July 4th at the Ingles Independence Day Celebration. The free festival includes performances by the Ultimate Air Dogs again at 2, 4, 6 & 7:30pm. Children’s activities and bouncy house 2-6pm. Splashville Fountain will be on 2-6pm. Live music starts at 5pm. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. Fireworks at 9:30pm can be best seen from the park. Bring your chair or blanket to picnic. Buy from food trucks or nearby restaurants. Parking is available in nearby parking decks, on the street or in private lots. No outside alcohol, coolers or pets in the park. www.romanticasheville.com/fourth.htm

July 4th Celebration 7/4/17 Brevard, NC. Celebration begins with the 5K/10K Firecracker Run at 8am. Downtown streets close for the Fine Arts & Craft Festival 9am-5pm. The Classic Auto Show stretches for blocks. The Courthouse Gazebo is center stage for day-long musical entertainment. Evening fun moves a few blocks to Brevard College starting at 6 PM, with fireworks at 9:30 PM. Bicycle parade, hot dog eating contest and much more. http://brevardnc.com/businesses/annual-festivals-events/

July 4th Celebration 7/4/17 Waynesville: Stars & Stripes Celebration Shops & Restaurants open all day, live music & entertainment, 11-3pm. Patriotic Kid’s Parade on Main Street 11am; Haywood Community Band Patriotic Concert on Courthouse lawn, 2pm. www.waynesvillenc.gov/2017-event-calendar

Great Smoky Mountains offering Clingmans Dome eclipse event 8/21/17 Knoxville, TN Great Smoky Mountain National Park is planning an event to view the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse from Clingmans Dome. Tickets will be available for $30 each beginning Wednesday at http://www.recreation.gov A ticket is necessary to attend, and participants will be shuttled in on buses from Gatlinburg and Cherokee, North Carolina. The sun is expected to be partially obscured by the moon over a three-hour period that afternoon and totally obscured for a shorter time. The park will also have viewing sites at Cades Cove and Oconaluftee. Clingmans Dome will be closed to vehicle traffic, and the parking lot will be turned into a special events site with a Jumbotron screen for a national NASA TV broadcast. More information is available at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/2017-solar-eclipse.htm or by calling (865) 436-1585.

Asheville Quilt Guild 9/29-10/1/17 Fri & Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-4:30pm. Demonstrations, Silent auction, Opportunity quilt, Kids sewing station, Vendors, Gift shop, Lunch available, Multi-day passes Admission $7 – Free parking, Handicap accessible WNC Agriculture Center, 1301 Fanning Bridge Rd Fletcher, NC. (Just off I-26 across from the airport.) http://ashevillequiltguild.org/quilt-show/

THINGS TO DO

Top Places to See Along the Parkway in the Asheville area, beginning north and traveling south: Rough Ridge: (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. http://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. http://www.romanticasheville.com/linn_cove_viaduct.htm

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

Crabtree Falls: (Milepost 339.5) Take a 2.5 mile roundtrip woodland hike to this beautiful 70 foot waterfall. You’ll also find a store, picnic area and camping. http://www.romanticasheville.com/crabtree_falls.htm

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

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

Skinny Dip Falls: (Milepost 417) Take a short hike from the Looking Glass Rock overlook to this refreshing swimming spot in the summer with a series of cascades and pools. And it’s a beautiful spot to enjoy year-round. http://www.romanticasheville.com/skinny_dip_falls.htm

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

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

Tweetsie Railroad is back for its 60th Anniversary Season! Blowing Rock, NC. The 60th Anniversary season at North Carolina¹s first theme park will include annual events such as the July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza, Day Out With Thomas, K-9¹s In Flight Frisbee® Dogs, the award-winning Ghost Train® and more. Daytime operations for Tweetsie Railroad will continue through October 29. For the first time, the theme park will extend its nighttime operations, every Friday and Saturday night, November 24 through December 30 to debut Tweetsie Christmas, a special holiday event. Tweetsie Railroad offers plenty of fun for the entire family. Whether it¹s hopping aboard a train pulled by a historic steam locomotive to experience an exciting three-mile Wild West adventure through the Blue Ridge Mountains, panning for gold, meeting cowboys and Can-Can girls, or strolling through an authentic Western town, the theme park has something for everyone. Families looking for even more delights can explore amusement rides, gem mining, and the Deer Park Zoo - home to more than 90 animals including deer, emus, goats, llamas and miniature horses. Tweetsie Railroad also offers plenty of live entertainment including the Country Clogging Jamboree, Diamond Lil¹s Can-Can Review, and Tweetsie Railroad¹s own Hopper and Porter show. Miner¹s Mountain will soon be home to two new shops for guests to enjoy: Miner¹s Mountain Ice Cream Shop and Face Paint Parlor. Miner¹s Mountain Theater, home to popular live shows including Hopper and Porter and the Magic Show, has also been renovated and expanded. The 2017 season will feature a variety of events that will provide many opportunities for exciting and memorable trips to Tweetsie Railroad: David Holt and the Lightning Bolts in Concert, Saturday, May 27; Day Out With Thomas: The Friendship Tour 2017, June 9-18; Fireworks Extravaganza, July 4; Cool Summer Nights, July 8, 15, 22 and 29; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, July 7-9; K-9s In Flight Frisbee® Dogs, July 22-29; The Backyardigans August 4-6; Riders In The Sky, August 12-13; Railroad Heritage Weekend, August 26-27; Ghost Train®, Friday and Saturday nights, September 22 - October 28; Tweetsie Christmas, Friday and Saturday evenings, November 24 - December 30. Daytime admission is $45 for adults, $30 for children (ages 3 to 12) and free for children 2 and under. Admission prices for Ghost Train and Tweetsie Christmas are $38 for adults and children. Tweetsie Railroad is located on U.S. Highway 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina. For more information about the 2017 season at Tweetsie Railroad, visit www.Tweetsie.com or call 877.TWEETSIE (877.898.3874

Antique Vending Company 30 South Main Street, Granite Falls NC; open by appointment only, free admission. Antique vending showcases one of the world’s largest vintage soda machine collections. This expanding museum has over 1,000 soda machines dating back to the 1920s, including one of the original 1925 Coca-Cola vending machines (even Coke headquarters in Atlanta doesn’t have this machine). Visitors can browse the museum while listening to the jukebox & enjoying a cold glass bottle soda dispensed free from one of the machines on display. Adjoining the museum facility is Club Cola, a banquet hall that can be rented for parties with all the old-fashioned bottle soda you can drink. Phone: (828) 962-9783 www.antiquevending.com

Granite Falls History & Transportation Museum 107 Falls Ave, Granite Falls, NC. Operated by the Town of Granite Falls, this museum is housed in the historic home of Andrew Baird, one of the town’s original founders. The restored house dates back to the 1790s & is the oldest structure in Granite Falls. The museum features local transportation memorabilia & Granite Falls history. Free admission. Hours: Sat 12-4pm & Sun 2-4pm. (828) 396-3131 www.granitefallsnc.com/transportationmuseum.html

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 http://www.ashevilleguidebook.com/wnc/cultural-attractions/hudson_railroad_depot_museum.htm

Carolina Aviation Museum Charlotte, NC. Spread your wings & soar! Collections of aircraft, helicopters, equipment, gadgets & printed material cover years of aviation history & accomplishments. Located adjacent to Charlotte Douglas International Airport. For hours and 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 & 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. 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, 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. Battleship North Carolina Present: Mr. Roberts-Thalian Association Community Theatre and the Friends of the Battleship NC are pleased to announce a partnership that will bring a month of live theatre to the fantail of the Battleship during July 2017. Comedy play Mister Roberts will open on July 4 with fireworks following, and performances will be held Thursday through Sunday for the next 3 weekends. “This patriotic play takes place aboard a ship in the Pacific Theater during WWII, and the fantail of the Battleship is the most perfect venue imaginable on which to stage it”, said Susan Habas, Executive Director of Thalian Association Community Theatre. “We operate the Hannah Block Historic USO/ Community Arts Center, so honoring WWII is always on our minds, and we are privileged to be partnering with the most decorated battleship of that time.” “This exciting community partnership is a unique way to support local theater while highlighting Historic Wilmington’s scenic riverfront,” said Captain Terry Bragg, Executive Director. “We look forward to providing a memorable experience for all guests aboard the Battleship NC.” Mister Roberts is the classic play based on the 1946 Thomas Heggen novel of the same name. The novel began as a collection of short stories about Heggen’s experiences aboard the cargos ships USS Virgo and USS Rotanin in the South Pacific during World War II. Mister Roberts is the recipient of five Tony Awards including Best Play and is still considered one of the most successful plays today with a total of 1,157 shows performed over a three year run on Broadway. The play was then adapted into the 1955 smash hit film starring legendary actors Henry Fonda as Lieutenant Roberts and James Cagney as Lt. Commander Morton. Mister Roberts went on to be an Academy Award nominee for Best Picture and Jack Lemmon received the 1955 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his work on the film. Tickets for all shows are now on sale at www.etix.com. Special ticket pricing for Opening Night, July 4th, are $50 adults/$25 children and include a grand view of Downtown Wilmington’s Fireworks display. Regular show prices range from $30 for adults, $25 for seniors, $15 for children and $15 for retired and active military. Special group rates apply for parties of 12 or more Admission Prices: 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) (910)251-5797 www.battleshipnc.com

NC Aquariums - Located on Roanoke Island Pine Knoll Shores & Fort Fisher, the Aquariums were established in 1976 to promote an awareness, understanding, appreciation, & conservation of the diverse natural & cultural resources associated with NC’s ocean, estuaries, rivers, streams, & other aquatic environments. www.ncaquariums.com

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

Lineberger’s Berry Hill Farm Pick your own strawberries, blueberries, or Christmas tree. Juicy strawberries or blackberry & strawberry cider available. Iron Station, NC.(704)748-1488. Sweet blueberries or Christmas trees available at Helms Christmas Tree Farm (704)276-1835 http://www.ncfarmfresh.com/FarmMarketDisplay.asp?FarmID=1205

Andy Griffith Museum Andy Griffith’s hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina, is home to the new Andy Griffith Museum. Come see the largest collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia collected by his friend Emmett Forrest. New items are donated and archived pieces are brought out for display, so your visit to the museum will always have something new to see. The collection features hundreds of items from the life and career of Andy Griffith in movies, television and music as well as a variety of memorabilia. There are even actual props from The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock given by Andy Griffith himself. The collection also includes items donated by cast members and actors from The Andy Griffith Show as well as a special section on the career of actress and current Mount Airy resident Betty Lynn. Admission to the Andy Griffith Museum also includes other Surry Arts Council exhibits including the Siamese Twins, Old-Time Music Heritage Hall at the Historic Earle Theatre and the “Mayberry to Mount Airy” Photo Exhibit, all within walking distance of the museum. The Andy Griffith Museum is open 7 days a week all year except on Thanksgiving and Christmas. For Tickets & more info: http://www.andygriffithmuseum.com/

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. Open for tour: Mon, Tues, Wed & Fri. 7am-5pm. Sat 7am–3pm, Sometimes on Thurs, but never on Sunday! (336) 786-2346 Floyd’s City Barbershop-Free admission-but a hair cut will cost you! Location: Historic Downtown, 129 N. Main St, Mount Airy, NC. http://www.visitmayberry.com/category/attractions/mayberry/

Pilot Mountain State Park 1792 Pilot Knob Park Rd, Pinnacle, NC. (336) 325-2355. Approach from any direction & see Pilot Mountain rising more than 1,400 feet above the rolling countryside of the upper Piedmont plateau. Dedicated as a National Natural Landmark in 1976, this solitary peak is the centerpiece of Pilot Mountain State Park. Park Hours: Nov-Feb, 8am-6pm, Mar & Oct, 8am-7pm, Apr, May, Sep, 8am-8pm, Jun-Aug, 8am-9pm. Closed Christmas Day, Park Office Hours 8am-4:30pm weekdays. Closed state holidays http://www.ncparks.gov/pilot-mountain-state-park

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

The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC Providing innovative educational experiences is at the core of The Mint Museum’s mission. Experience Art through Programs & Events! Having two locations provides visitors with twice as much to see & do. The Mint Museum & their affiliate groups organize a variety of programs & events throughout the year. Education programs are designed to enhance the permanent collections & temporary exhibitions at both locations, while events mix social interaction with informal art appreciation. The Mint Museum welcomes families, children, adults & seniors, offering gallery guides, touchable objects, hands-on workshops & Family Days that enable participants to connect to art & to each other. (704)337-2000 or by mail at: Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Rd., Charlotte, NC. Mint Museum Uptown, 500 S. Tryon, Charlotte, 28202. Call or go online for ticket prices. www.mintmuseum.org

Discovery Place Charlotte, NC From bears to beakers, there’s something for everyone at Discovery Place & Charlotte Nature Museum. Step into a world where science is brought to life through interactive exhibits and explosive experiments during daily programs. Connect with the past and visit the future with ground-breaking exhibitions, larger-than-life IMAX Dome films and hands on activities that let you explore more. For tickets and more info: (800)935-0553 www.discoveryplace.org

Hickory Crawdads LP Frans Stadium 2500 Clement Blvd NW Hickory, NC (828) 211-3000 http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t448

U.S. National Whitewater Center Charlotte. The USNWC is only 10 minutes from downtown Charlotte & provides over 300 acres of woodlands along the scenic Catawba River. Olympic-caliber athletes, weekend warriors & casual observers share this world-class sports & training center. USNWC is the world’s only multi-channel recirculating whitewater river. The USOC has designated the USNWC an official U.S. Olympic Training Site. The USNWC hosts World Cup competitions & Olympic Trials, & serves as the home of international Olympic athletes. www.usnwc.org

Schiele Museum, Gastonia, NC Spectacular lifelike dioramas filled with live animals, mounted specimens, vegetation and land formations showcase an impressive collection of North American birds, mammals and reptiles as well as installations and interpretations of the history and present day lifestyles of peoples of the region and North America. Mon-Sat 9-5; Sun, 1-5pm. Call for ticket prices, or go online. Prices for special events and festivals vary. Please call 704-866-6908 in advance to verify fees. 1500 East Garrison Blvd, Gastonia,NC.(704)866-6900 www.schielemuseum.org

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

Hickory Museum of Art Daily admission to the Hickory Museum of Art is FREE. Group tours may be arranged in advance. For information on group tours and school field trip opportunities, call HMA Educator Ginny Zellmer at 828-327-8576. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10am-4pm; Sunday 1- 4 pm. Closed Mondays and Holidays. 243 3rd Avenue Northeast, Hickory, NC, 28601. (828) 327-8576 www.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. Exhibits, planetarium/laser show schedules and field trip information on our website. 243 3rd Avenue Northeast Hickory, NC 28601 (828) 322-8169 www.catawbascience.org

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

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

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

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

Old Jail Museum, Taylorsville, NC. The Old Jail was built in 1913. Today the Old Jail houses a small museum concerning the former jailers and their families who lived in the jail supervising the prisoners. Located in Downtown Taylorsville, across from Town Hall, 205 Main Ave Drive, SE. Open to the Public: Tuesdays 9am-3pm. 828-635-0064 http://www.taylorsvillenc.com/museumsOldJail.htm


SOUTH CAROLINA

FESTIVALS

The Party In The Pines 6/8-10/17 Whitmire SC. A 3-day festival held in Whitmire, SC. For three days the Whitmire Jaycees will close Main Street for fun & frolic for the young & young-at-heart. The festival attracts thousands of people from surrounding counties to this small town of less than 2000. One thing that sets this festival apart from others is that it is strictly an evening event. Hours: Thurs: 6-11pm. Fri: 6pm-11pm. Sat: 4pm-11pm. Street dances, parade on Sat, 12pm. Lots of food, arts & crafts, live entertainment each night. http://www.angelfire.com/sc/pinp/

Mighty Moo Festival 6/14-17/17 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 26th Anniversary of the USS Cowpens CG63 Aegis Guided Missile Cruiser – Commissioned March 9th, 1991. All CG63 Plank Owners and past crew members & their families are invited to come attend and catch up with long-time no see buddies and meet some of the WWII CVL25 crewmen that remain in attendance. http://cowpensmightymoo.com/

47th Annual Ridge Peach Festival 6/17/17 9am-4pm. Trenton, SC. The Fort Gordon Military Band will lead the parade again this year & kick off the festival with a wonderful park concert. One hundred arts & crafts, antiques, carnival rides & inflatables, fresh Titan Farm peaches, homemade peach preserves, jams, & jellies at the Country Store. Parade comes through at 10:30am. Hands-on demonstrations, such as spoon carving & blacksmiths, Softball Tournament too. Peaches, unique crafts, an awesome Parade, vendors, delicious homemade preserves & jellies. The event is on level ground & shuttles will run all day from the parking area to the park. Bring your family, but leave your pets at home. www.ridgepeachfestival.com

Hampton County Watermelon Festival 6/17-6/25/17 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

Pageland Watermelon Festival 7/21-7/22/17 Downtown Pageland, SC. Large Saturday morning parade. Savor the delicious variety of foods as the beautiful wares of the crafters lure you. A variety of events throughout the day at the Children’s Stage located in Moore’s Park. Old fashioned seed spittin’ & watermelon eatin’ contests for all ages. Pageants will be held the weekend before the festival, with divisions for adults, teens, youth & children. Classic car & motorcycle show & a rodeo. At the end of each day take in the music & entertainment of live bands. www.pagelandwatermelonfestival.com

MOTORCYCLES

Atlantic Beach Bike Festival 5/26-5/29/17 Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach & Atlantic Beach, SC. The event will be headquartered at Town Center, 30th Ave & South Ocean Blvd. in Atlantic Beach but various activities will take place around the Myrtle Beach Grand Stand area. Activities will include drag racing, organized rides, custom bike show, poker runs, music & more. Trophies & awards will go to the bike show winners. There are also awards for winners in the drag races. The event is open to all types of riders, & all races. www.blackbikeweek.us

Myrtle Beach Bike Week Fall Rally 10/2-10/8/17 Murrells Inlet, SC. The event headquarters at a welcome tent at Cooter’s Backyard Bar & Grill, 3264 S. Highway 17 in Murrells Inlet. Activities will take place at various locations in & around Murrells Inlet. The event includes bike shows, poker runs, tours, vendors, entertainment & more. (336) 643-1367 http://www.myrtlebeachbikeweek.com/events/fall-rally/

THINGS TO DO

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

Barefoot Landing 4898 Hwy. 17 S., North Myrtle Beach, SC. Shopping, dining, & entertainment along the Intracoastal Waterway in a relaxed, boardwalk atmosphere surrounding a 27-acre lake. Over 100 shops, 15 restaurants, The Alabama Theatre, Alligator Adventure, Carolina Vineyards Winery, Ghosts & Legends Theater, House of Blues & MirrorMaze. (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, Carmike’s Broadway Cinema 16, the Pavilion Nostalgia Park (featuring nine rides from the former Pavilion Amusement Park), and Celebrity Square, a New Orleans-inspired nightclub district. (800)386-4662 www.broadwayatthebeach.com

Family Kingdom Amusement Park & Oceanfront Water Park 300 S Ocean Blvd, Myrtle Beach, SC. Family Kingdom features more than 30 rides including a thrilling wooden roller coaster & South Carolina’s largest ferris wheel with one-of-a-kind views of the ocean. Crank up the fun without breaking the bank. (843)916-0400 www.familykingdomfun.com

Fun After Dark at the South Carolina Aquarium After Hours Returns Until 10 p.m. on Third Thursdays, Charleston, SC — Aquarium After Hours series, designed for adults. 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. As part of the Aquarium After Hours series, the Aquarium will sell tickets until 9pm and remain open until 10pm.  For added entertainment, this year’s Aquarium After Hours feature a monthly theme. June 15: Tacos with Salsa-Enjoy a red-hot sunset over the water, complete with a dance floor and salsa lessons on the Harbor Overlook. Cool off with margaritas from a cash bar, and enjoy tacos and small bites for purchase from Dashi and fun animal encounters with our educators. July 20: Southern Block Party-Grab your neighbors head on down to the best block party of the summer. Complete with classic yard games, rocking chairs and cold brews from the cash bar, this evening will be a perfect way to escape the summer heat and relax with friends or someone special. The Aquarium’s education staff will provide unique animal shows curated exclusively for Aquarium After Hours. A local food vendor will be on site to satisfy your taste buds. August 17: Endless Summer-Cool off at the Aquarium during the After Hours series finale. Swig & Swine will have small plates for purchase, along with dessert from Scoops – Wheely Good Ice Cream. The Aquarium will also offer musical entertainment to provide the sweet beats, and its education staff has crafted unique experiences with fun animal encounters. During the series, made-to-order food selections, as well as beer and wine options, will be available for purchase. General Aquarium admission rates apply; free for Aquarium members. 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 http://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 http://www.clemson.edu/public/scbg/

Shipwreck Cove 119 S Spencer St., Duncan, SC. One of the region’s most exciting, family-friendly water parks & destinations for families & kids of all ages! Open May 27, 2017!(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 http://lakemurraycruises.com/The_Spirit_of_Lake_Murray_Cruises_Charters.html

TENNESSEE

FESTIVALS

Uncle Dave Macon Days 7/7-8/17 Murfreesboro, TN. Old time music & dance competitions. National championships buck dance, clogging, old time banjo. Juried arts & crafts. Uncle Dave Macon Days held at Cannonsburgh Village in Murfreesboro. Tickets are $10 for adults. Children under the age of 12 are permitted free. Sunday is free to all attendees. 615-893-4953 http://uncledavemacondays.com/

Oktoberfest 10/20-21/17 Crossville, TN. Annual Oktoberfest at Knights of Columbus Activity Park, German/Polka music from 3 Bands, Great German Food. (615)893-2369 www.crossvilleoktoberfest.com

MOTORCYCLES

NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals 6/16-18/17 Bristol, TN. Extreme machines roar into Bristol Dragway June 16-18 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! http://www.bristoldragway.com/get_tickets/nhra_thunder_valley_nationals/

THINGS TO DO

Chattanooga Zoo The mission of the Chattanooga Zoo is to provide an educational & recreational opportunity for all. The Chattanooga Zoo also seeks to provide a dignified & esthetically pleasing environment for the animals. Open daily, 9-5. www.chattzoo.org

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

Ruby Falls Chattanooga, TN America’s highest underground waterfall open to the public, is located on historic Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Take a guided tour of the caves & the spectacular 145-foot waterfall. Ruby Falls - a memorable experience for all ages. Ruby Falls, 1720 South Scenic Highway, Chattanooga, TN. Open 8am-8pm, all year. Paid admission. (423)821-2544 www.rubyfalls.com

Tennessee Aquarium World’s largest freshwater aquarium. Journey through a spectacular 60-foot canyon & two living forests, with over 9,000 animals that swim, fly, & crawl in natural habitats. Open daily, 10am-6pm. Paid admission. One Broad Street, Chattanooga TN. (800)262-0695 www.tnaqua.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Stone Tower Renaissance Faire 6/24-6/25/17, Natural Chimneys Park 94 Natural Chimneys Lane Mt. Solon, VA, at the Natural Chimneys Park. Sat 10am-6pm; Masquerade Ball 5pm; & Sun 10am-5pm. Emerging from the mist ascending from the Glenn, rise the spires of the Ancient Castle that gives unto this magical place its name, Stone Tower Glenn. Festive music complements the festive sounds of laughter & merriment that abounds here. While the aromas of delicious foods drift through the Merchant tents filled with wondrous wares, & Knights of Olde clash their swords for Honour & Glory. Amazing performers, & games to test your skills, & more. Admission Fee: $7 per car load. (540) 337-6324 http://www.medievalfantasiesco.com/StoneTowerGlenn.htm

Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival 6/4/17 10am-3pm. Free. Experience Manassas at its best this June and come out to the 21st Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival. This family celebration of rich railroad history features train memorabilia, specialty vendors, and live performances. http://visitmanassas.org/

SPECIAL EVENTS

Flying Circus Balloon Festival 2017 8/19-8/20/17 This is the oldest continuing hot air balloon festival in VA. It takes place on the third weekend in August every year in Bealton, Virginia. Contact Star Ballooning directly for availability on flights. Airshows on both Saturday and Sunday! Hot Air Balloon Launches Both Days. Early Morning 7-9 a.m. & Late Afternoon/Evenings 6-8 p.m. Note:Hot Air Balloons cannot fly in windy conditions, so most balloon activities will take place during the early mornings and late in the afternoon/evenings when the air is the calm. http://www.flyingcircusairshow.com/schedule.html

THINGS TO DO

Busch Gardens Williamsburg One Busch Gardens Blvd. Williamsburg, VA. Sensational family attractions and the return of exciting seasonal events. For more information on Busch Gardens’ exciting offerings, tickets & more info visit http://seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardens-williamsburg/ (800) 343-7946.

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 http://www.visitskylinedrive.org/Home.aspx

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

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