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US: Daytona Beach, FL – Pan American Masters Championships – Open Water Events

Love ocean sports? Why not soak up the beach vibe as Daytona Beach hosts the Pan American Masters Championship – the largest ocean swim competition to be held in Daytona Beach to date. Pan-Am-Championships-Open-Water-Challenge-1_8a8bde9b-97e6-67db-10c308eb7b1a5a2a

Swimmers from all over the world – from youth to adult and novice to Olympian – will descend upon the white sand beaches and the inviting waters of Daytona Beach to compete in the Open Water (1.5K and 5K).

Daytona-Beach_DSC_5744_ed9e0590-dde5-1a24-64c733d78b8f286eStarting and finishing at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort, check out the map and schedule for the best vantage points along the coast to watch the event. Admission FREE.

Discover Daytona Beach, where you have a 500-foot sandy backdrop to unplug, unwind and reconnect with one another.Daytona-Beach_DSC_5749_ed9e2371-c31c-69de-213487206811633b

Location: Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort, 100 North Atlantic Avenue Daytona Beach, FL 32118
Date: Sun, Aug 5, 2018
Time: Starting at 7am
2018panammasters.com
For Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: daytonabeach.com

US: Smithfield, NC – Eat Like Pigs at Smithfield’s Ham and Yam Country Festival

Downtown Smithfield is the place to be on Saturday, May 5th for the much anticipated 34th annual Ham & Yam Festival,  which occupies several blocks and attracts thousands of people.FredDeesHam

With pig races, inflatables, vendors, entertainment, and ham and yam foods, it’s a fun day for the entire family.  Craft and commercial vendors line the streets, food vendors offer a variety of fair foods and menu items featuring country ham and sweet potatoes, and local bands and dance groups perform on the festival’s three stages throughout the day.

Ham&YamPigRacesThe festival features a barbecue cook-off, rubber duck race, 5k,  a petting zoo and the always popular “What’s That Yam Thing?” contest; where children are encouraged to play with their food by turning sweet potatoes into works of art.  As well as the Sweet Potato Pie Eating Contest where 10 participants will eat like pigs, competing to be the fastest person to eat their sweet potato pie without using their hands.Mikayla-SPCheesecakePie

Get to Smithfield and enjoy the Ham & Yam Festival,  packed with delicious homemade ham biscuits, barbeque pork, and sweet potato pie.

Location: Neuse River Amphitheatre, 200 S. Front Street, Smithfield, NC 27577
Date: Sat,  May 5, 2018
Time: 9am – 9pm
Tel: 919-934-0887
hamandyam.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: johnstoncountync.org

US: Walterboro, SC – A Fun-Filled Family Weekend in the Lowcountry of South Carolina

The 43rd annual Colleton County Rice Festival is a celebration of the rice planting heritage that helped found Colleton County.Rice Run 5KIMG_9990-Custom-1030x686

Enjoy a fun-filled week of family activities in the warm Carolina sun that includes a fireworks display, live musical entertainment, arts and crafts, 5k run, food concessions, corn-hole tournament, a BMX bike show with riders performing tricks and acrobatics, a crowd favorite DockDogs® a sport in which dogs compete in distance or height while jumping from a 40 foot dock into water, as well as cultural displays and performances depicting their local heritage.Rice Fest Car Showimage-03-10-18-08-52-49

Rice Festival 718-Large

They also claim to show off the worlds largest pot of rice along with a rice cooking contest.  Best of all Admission is FREE.

BMX Bike Shows – 3 shows daily

Rice Festival Parade  – Saturday, April 28 @11am

Rice Festival Dog Show– Saturday, April 28 @2pm

Palmetto Dock Dogs –April 27 & 28: Competition all day and finals on Saturday afternoonDock Dogs IMG_4499-Large

Rice Run/Walk– April 28 @ 8am

Chad Gainey Sculpture –Chainsaw Art by Chad Gainey -April 27 & 28: Hampton Street

Biggest Pot of Rice -April 27 & 28

Corn Hole Tournament
– Saturday, April 28 @4pm

Live Entertainment – throughout the 2 days

Fireworks – Saturday, April 28, 2017 8:45pm: Rice Festival finale

Location: Downtown Walterboro, Walterboro, SC 29488
Dates: Fri, Apr 27 – Sat, Apr 28, 2018
Times: Fri 10am -10pm, Sat 10-7pm
Tel: 843.549.1079
ricefestival.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: walterborosc.org

US: Lumberton, NC – Chili, Music & Exercise: Two Days of Fun in Lumberton

Rumba on the Lumber 2018, a festival of food, movement, music and the arts, consisting of two days of events in historic downtown Lumberton with over 4000 people in  attendance.Rumba cookoff DSCF2416 (2)

Many wonderful annual events will once again be front and center, including: The Rumba on the Lumber Festival with live music, vendors, Rumba Cross fit Games Exhibition, and the Lumbee River EMC Free Kidzone, 5K, 10K, fun run/walk, 100K ride, 20-Mile adventure ride,  Chili Cookoff and a bicycle rodeo.Rumba Run

Many festival-goers agree, it’s all about the chili. More than two dozen teams bring their most coveted recipes. Teams prepare a minimum of 10 gallons of chili and dole out free samples of their creations. The teams will be competing for prizes including the best tasting, Spiciest Chili, Strangest ingredient and Best chili cooking outfits. Don’t miss the fun!

Saturday- Downtown Plaza/ 3rd Street:

9am Southeastern Health 5K and 10K

10-5 Lumbee River EMC KidZone activities at the Plaza

10-5 Business, Craft and Food Vendors

11am Southeastern Health Family Fun Run/Walk

11- 2 Chili Cook-Off ‘80’s music by Cassette Rewind

2- 5 Concert at the Plaza with The Carolina Soul Band

Sunday (starting site- Northeast Park):

Noon The Yamaha of Lumberton Metric Century (100K cycling ride)

1:30  The Cruzbike 20-Mile Adventure Ride

3:30  The Bicycle Shop of Fayetteville Bicycle Rodeo

Location:Downtown Lumberton,Lumberton, NC 28358
Date: March 3 -4, 2018
Times: 9 – 5
Tel: 919-889-2514
robesonroadrunners.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: lumberton-nc.com

US: Brunswick, GA – Bring Your Appetite to Sample at the Birthplace of Brunswick Stew

Brunswick Rockin’ Stewbilee takes place annually at Mary Ross Waterfront Park, recognizing Brunswick, Georgia as the birthplace of the original Brunswick Stew. As the oft-told tale goes, a slave cook named Jimmy Matthews created the concoction in 1828. Nearly two centuries later, the original meat – squirrel – is out and, today, chicken, is in.

Each year, cooking teams from near and far compete to see who has the best stew, in a cook-off where the culinary skills and secret recipes are challenged by amateur and professional chefs, vying for the coveted Peoples’ Choice and Judges’ Award.

In addition to stew tasting there will be loads of other fun family activities. The day long event begins with the 5k Road Race followed by the Pet Supplies Plus Pooch Parade, Live Entertainment, The Kid’s Junior Stewbilee Central Fun Zone, Classic and Antique Car Show, Arts & Crafts displays and of course, sampling of the Best Brunswick Stew in the nation. stewbilee-logo

Schedule:
9am – Motor Cycle Ride
10am – Live Music – Pier Pressure
10:15am – Pooch Parade
12:15pm – Live Music – 3 Day Weekend
11am – 2pm – Brunswick Rockin’ Stew Tasting

Location: Mary Ross Waterfront Park, Bay & Gloucester Street, Brunswick, GA 31520
Date: Sat, Jan 27th, 2018
Time: 9am – 2pm
Tel:  912-996-4593
stewbilee.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goldenisles.com

US: Daytona Beach, FL – Rolex 24 at Daytona – Grueling 24 Hour Endurance Race

Since 1962, racing legends from around the world have come to Daytona to compete in a grueling 24-hour marathon.  The Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona is infamously relentless on both driver and machine as sleep-deprived crews perform mechanical phenomenons. From sunrise to sunset to sunrise again, witness as both man and machine are pushed to the limit in this twice-around-the-clock marathon.

Car MotorsportsThe Rolex 24 at DAYTONA, a 24-hour sports car endurance race executed on the track’s 3.56-mile road course, is a perfect battle between machine, driver and time.

The four-day event begins with qualifying races on January 25, a BMW Endurance race January 26 and the Rolex 24 January 27-28. Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso brings the driver star power to this most challenging race.Motorsports(1)

Schedule of Events:

Thursday, January 25th
9:00 AM
Stadium & UNOH Fanzone opens
9:20 AM – 10:20 AM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #1
10:40 AM – 11:25 AM
Ferrari Challenge practice session #3
11:40 AM – 11:55 AM
IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge practice session #3
12:05 PM – 12:20 PM
IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge ST qualifying
12:25 PM – 12:40 PM
IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge GS / TCR qualifying
1:40 PM – 2:40 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #2
3:00 PM – 3:15 PM
Ferrari Challenge qualifying #1 group 1
3:20 PM – 3:35 PM
Ferrari Challenge qualifying #1 group 2
3:55 PM – 4:10 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD qualifying
4:20 PM – 4:35 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM qualifying
4:45 PM – 5:00 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship P qualifying
5:00 PM – 5:20 PM
IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge practice session #4
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #3

 Friday, January 26th
8:30 AM
Stadium & UNOH Fanzone opens
8:45 AM – 9:00 AM
Ferrari Challenge qualifying #2 group 1
9:05 AM – 9:20 AM
Ferrari Challenge qualifying #2 group 2
9:40 AM – 10:40 AM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #4
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM
Ferrari Challenge race #1
11:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Carnival Rides at the Boardwalk Experience
12:00 PM – 12:45 PM
Grid opens for fan access to pre-race ceremonies on Pit Road
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
BMW Endurance Challenge At DAYTONA

Saturday, January 27th
6:30 AM
Stadium & UNOH Fanzone opens
7:00 AM
DAYTONA 5K Run & Fun Walk
8:00 AM
Rolex 24 Heritage Exhibition Display at the FPL Solar Patio inside UNOH Fanzone
9:00 AM
Stadium open
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
UNOH Fanzone Kids Zone open
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Motorsports Hall of Fame open in Daytona Ticket and Tours building
9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Daytona Rewards stations open in stadium & UNOH Fanzone
9:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Grassroots Motorsports Experience located at the Grassroots Motorsports tent along Lake Lloyd
9:30 AM – 10:45 AM
Ferrari Challenge race #2
10:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Carnival Rides at the Boardwalk Experience
10:30 AM
Rolex 24 Heritage Exhibition laps
11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Photos with the 56th Rolex 24 At Daytona trophy inside Gatorade Victory Lane
12:00 PM – 12:45 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driver autograph session inside UNOH Fanzone
1:05 PM – 2:20 PM
Grid opens for fan access to pre-race ceremonies on Pit Road
1:05 PM – 2:20 PM
Crossover gates open
2:40 PM
START – 56th Rolex 24 At Daytona
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Wine & Cheese Party – Café 24 Activity Zone
6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Taste of the 24 in Stadium Midway Suites
8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Live band on the Main Stage inside UNOH Fanzone
10:30 PM – 12:00 AM
Karaoke on the Main Stage inside UNOH Fanzone

 Sunday, January 28th
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Café 24 Breakfast Garage inside the Café 24 Activity Zone
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Photos with the 56th Rolex 24 At Daytona trophy inside Gatorade Victory Lane
9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
UNOH Fanzone Kids Zone open
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Fanatics merchandise store open in Stadium
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Grassroots Motorsports Experience located at the Grassroots Motorsports tent along Lake Lloyd
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Motorsports Hall of Fame open in Daytona Ticket and Tours building
10:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Carnival Rides at the Boardwalk Experience
2:00 PM
Rolex 24 Heritage Exhibition parade begins in UNOH Fanzone
2:40 PM
FINISH – 56th Rolex 24 At Daytona

Photo Credit: Daytona International Speedway

Location: Daytona International Speedway, 1801 W. International Speedway Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32118
Date: Jan 25 – 28, 2018
Time: Various – See Schedule Above
Tel: 386-253-7223
daytonainternationalspeedway.com/Events/2018/Rolex-24-At-DAYTONA/Rolex-24-At-Daytona.aspx
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: daytonabeach.com

US: Kingsland, GA – Kingsland for Southern-fried Catfish and Small Town Family Fun

Kingsland, GA Exit 3: Enjoy this down-home festival with crispy Southern-fried catfish and all the fixings,  festival goers can feast on this and much more at Kingsland’s 35th Annual Catfish Festival.

Mascots 2017-09-25_15-59-17The family-fun, outdoor festival kicks off at 9am Saturday, November 18th and lasts throughout the day, concluding with annual Night Parade. Throw in arts & craft booths, a variety of  food booths, antiques and collectibles, magic show, live entertainment, a children’s amusement area, 5K run and you are in for a great time.Food 2017-09-25_16-08-52

Two local bands are in the line-up this year, Milltown Road and The Bluff 5 Band along with Country music artist Keith Anderson. The night parade begins at 6pm and Keith Anderson performs after the parade at 7pm.

Headliners 2017-09-25_16-12-19To make this experience more complete, make sure to indulge in the local grub; the famous, heavenly southern-fried catfish with grits, hush puppies, coleslaw and sweet ice tea, you will be so glad you did.

Admission FREE, dogs on leashes welcome.

Location: Downtown Kingsland, 107 South Lee Street, Kingsland, GA 31548
Date: Sat, Nov 18th, 2017
Hours: 9am – 9pm
Tel: 912-729-5999
kingslandcatfishfestival.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitkingsland.com

US: Wilson, NC – Whirligig Festival for Art in Motion, Touch-a-Truck and a Dive Into a Cake

Wilson, NC Exit 121: The North Carolina Whirligig Festival is a 2-day hometown annual arts and crafts festival features arts of the region, including the giant Whirligigs created by late local artist, Vollis Simpson. Like the whimsical outsider art, the Wilson Whirligig Festival,  in Historic Downtown Wilson, is a community celebration of people and art in motion.V. Simpson 2017-10-10_10-52-15

The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park is hosting their Grand Opening the Thursday before the festival weekend, Nov. 2nd starting at 4 pm.

With Over 200+ vendors, 3 stages of live entertainment, a showcase of local and interactive art,  delicious food, beer gardens, Non-Profit organizations, free Whirli-Kidz Zone, Special events, 5K Whirli-Run, Whirli-Kidz Stage & Choir, Cup Cake Challenge, Photo Contest. New this year is a Ninja Whirligig Warrior Zone where you can meet local American Ninja Warriors, watch them compete and get a chance to test out the course yourself.

Kids Stage2017-10-10_11-00-39

The ever popular cake dive is back, Sun @4pm: witness the festival’s messiest event, a “dive” into a large 10 ft x 10 ft anniversary cake for a variety of prizes.

Touch-A-Truck is a fun event for the whole family, allowing children three + an all access pass to explore, climb and touch city of Wilson trucks and emergency response vehicles. Kids can sit in vehicles, honk the horn and talk with the equipment operators. Horn free hours will be offered throughout the day for kids with noise sensitivity.Police Vehicles2017-10-10_10-59-06

Douglas Street will transform into a space to build, create, and envision. With Brick Scholars, Greenlight, and Imagination Station Science & History Museum. Kids five + will be able to make Lego creations, even a whirligig! Showcase your creation with the onsite photo booth.

It’s a colorful 2-day celebration that sparks creativity in the people of Wilson, so get inspired and take part in the community’s largest celebration. (rain or shine)Logo 2017-10-10_8-27-06

Location: Historic Downtown Wilson,NC 27893
Dates: Nov 4 – 5, 2017
Times:  Sat, Nov 4 -10 am – 5 pm , Sun, Nov 5  noon – 5 pm
Tel: 252-289-9650
whirligigfestivalnc.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: wilson-nc.com

US: Manassas, VA – Runners Shake Tail Feathers at Prince William 5k Turkey Trot

The Prince William 5k Turkey Trot and 1 Mile Fun Run is a family friendly and festive celebration of Thanksgiving Day.  The race theme  being: “Trot, Eat, Sleep!” These high energy amusing races highlight Prince William County as a healthy, fun, and active community.prince-william-turkey-trot

Participants are encouraged to wear their best Thanksgiving themed gear: Pilgrim, Pocahontas, Turkey, Pie, Native American and Colonial. This event will be full of festivities and most importantly tons of fun including music, best costume awards, and a chance to win a Golden Ticket: All runners receive a FRR finish line envelope, the random Golden Ticket awards – “Willy Wonka” style–  featuring a mystery gift.
Top 5 men and women receive Running Store Gift Cards – $100/$75/$50/$25/$25.
100 pumpkin pie Duck Donuts are randomly given to 100 lucky race finishers.

1 Mile Fun Run/Walk: The one mile fun run-walk is a low key non-timed event. The 1 mile race is geared toward the youth, however, runners of all ages and abilities are welcome and beginners are encourage to attend.prince-william-turkey-run2

Stay Warm! The Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center has graciously opened its facility so participants and spectators can stay ‘warm’ both pre and post-race. A DJ will play music from 8:00-10:30.

Location: Freedom Aquatics & Fitness Center, 9100 Freedom Center Blvd., Manassas, VA 20110
Date: Sat,  Nov 26, 2016
Time: 8:30 a.m. Prince William Turkey Trot 5K , 9:30 a.m. 1 Mile Run/Walk
funrunracing.com/the-pw-5k-turkey-trot
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: discoverpwm.com