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US: Daytona Beach, FL – New 1.5-mile Digital Animation Magic of Lights at Daytona International Speedway

During this year’s holiday season, families will be able to enjoy a festive drive through experience at Daytona International Speedway. The “World Center of Racing” will be transformed with hundreds of light displays into a holiday spectacle, an all new 1.5 mile long Magic of Lights, using the latest in LED and digital animation technologies specifically designed for this iconic venue.Magic of Lights Car81

Experience the holiday spirit at The Magic of Lights™ running every day through the holidays from dusk to 10 p.m. The experience will include a drive behind the Ticket and Tours Building, through the world’s only motor sports stadium and conclude in the Midway display area outside the facility.

For a fun and memorable family entertainment, head to the Daytona International Speedway. To commemorate the season of giving a portion of every ticket to Magic of Lights benefits the Florida Hospital Foundation.Magic of Lights Reindeer1

Location: Daytona International Speedway, 1801 West International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Dates: until Dec 31st, 2017
Hours: every night from 5 – 10 pm
Tel: 330-441-4255
magicoflights.com/daytona
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: Annapolis, MD – Celebrate and Bring Awareness to Clean Up Efforts in Spa Creek

The 2nd annual Clean Water PaddleFEST in Annapolis is to celebrate and bring awareness to clean up efforts in Spa Creek while enjoying a day full of fun.paddleFest2016_paddlers

Paddle at your own pace or take a guided on-water tour of Spa Creek. Guided tours available at 2pm. See educational stops along Spa Creek detailing conservation efforts which aim to make it again fishable and swimmable. Afterwards attend the Eco-Fest with informative exhibits from area environment groups with plenty of activities for kids.

All human powered paddlers and vessels are welcome to attend. Bring your own craft or use a stand up paddle board or kayak from Capital SUP. There will be a mass paddle and foot show of support for clean water in Spa Creek at 12 noon, on and in the water around the Spa Creek bridge.

Fun activities and prizes for all ages. Kid and dog friendly. All proceeds benefit Spa Creek Conservancy.paddleFESTposter

Your ticket includes:

On-water guided or self tour
Food BBQ beverages
Wine and beer
Event tee shirt
Admission to EcoFEST
Dry Bags to first 200 ticket holders
Live Music from 1-3pm

Location:Capital SUP on Spa Creek, 808 Boucher Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21403
Date: Sat, Sept 16, 2017
Time:  11  – 4pm
spacreek.net/index.php/events/special-events
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitannapolis.org

US: Selma, NC – From Pumpkin Patch to Shopping Destination

DeWayne’s – Would you believe this amazing gift, clothes and garden decor shop started out as a pumpkin stand? DeWayne persevered with his produce stand after having to move it 3 times. What began as DeWayne’s Country Garden in 1991 has transitioned through the years to become known as simply… DeWayne’s.DeWaynes - Pumpkin Patch

Nowadays it has grown and grown beyond the trolls, birdbaths, gargoyles, trellises, fountains, bears and benches outside. It is a destination for shoppers to experience the gift shop, garden center, ladies clothing boutique, menswear and Christmas Land.

DeWayne’s is celebrating the completion of a two-year construction project, a 23,500 sq ft expansion and 9,000 sq ft renovation. The final phase is the redesign and expansion of existing space into a larger women’s clothing Boutique along with a new customer service / checkout area.

The new space allows for the amplification of The Boutique to incorporate more complimenting brands and product trends to the existing lines, including ladies clothing, footwear, jewelry, handbags & accessories. With an outstanding knack of seeking out the hottest and most desired brands, shoppers will love their assortment, including: Alex and Ani, Brighton, Jack Rogers, Dansko, Hobo, Joseph Ribkoff, Hatley, Escapada and Clara Son Woo . You can also buy paper goods, soap, candles and flags.

DeWayne’s family owned business provides customers with a unique shopping experience in over 40,000 sq ft of specialty retailing. Exceptional Customer Service, amazing selection and an unforgettable experience await you.

Dewayne's

Location: DeWayne’s – 1575 Outlet Center Dr, Selma, NC 27576
Hours: Mon – Fri 9:30– 7pm, Sat 9 – 7:30pm, Sun 10 – 6pm
Tel: 919-202-8471
dewaynes.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: johnstoncountync.org

US: New Haven, CT – Welcome Spring at New Haven’s Cherry Blossom Festival

The 44th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival is a celebration of spring commemorating the planting of 72 Yoshino Japanese Cherry Blossom trees in 1973.  Hanami (cherry blossom) viewing, has been a Japanese custom since the 7th century when the aristocrats enjoyed the transient beauty of  looking at sakura (cherry trees). Sakura is a symbol of Japan, and it’s said that there are over 400 varieties of cherry trees in Japan.CherryTrees

The longstanding tradition of the Cherry Blossom Festival,  takes place  in New Haven’s Historic Wooster Square, and offers something for everyone in the family, including your 4 -legged family member.

Enjoy free entertainment including music, dancing, shop a flea market, food, a children and family area that includes puppet shows, arts and crafts, face painting and activities from the Peabody Museum, New Haven Free Public Library’s Readmobile and a raptor-rescue organization  -Horizon Wings.CBFestival_15 (1)

There is a Pet Friendly area, with New Haven Animal Shelter, Greater New Haven Cat Project, Little Shop of Howlers, Pups Without Partners and Veterinary Wellness Center.

With so much to do don’t forget the main attraction, enjoying the scenic view of the early blooming cherry blossoms. This family-friendly festival is a great and inexpensive way to bring in spring.

Location: Wooster Square, New Haven, CT 06511
Date: Sun., April 23, 2017
Time: 12 – 5pm
Tel: 203-777-1371
historicwoostersquare.org/cherryblossomfestival.html
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitnewhaven.com

US: Manassas, VA – A History Lesson Given in a Cemetery – Manassas City Cemetery Tour

What better place to learn a piece of Manassas history than with a Cemetery Tour. Learn about “Important Citizens who Influenced Prince William County History”. The Manassas City Cemetery tour is a biographical tour of our predecessors which allows you to discover their contributions to society.  Manassas City Cemetery Tour

The Ladies Memorial Association of Manassas (later to become the United Daughters of the Confederacy) created the Confederate Cemetery in 1867 on one acre of donated land. The land was given to hold the remains of Confederate soldiers “scattered over the Plains.”

Although the Bull Run Ladies Association reburied the remains of soldiers found on the battlefield in the Groveton Cemetery, there were many other remains recovered throughout Manassas. In 1911, the Association placed a bronze statue of a Confederate Soldier “At Rest” on the brownstone monument that had been dedicated in 1889. Legend has it that the soldier faces east to guard against attack from Washington.  Manassas City Cemetery Tour 2

Each year for the cemetery tour a different theme is used. Tragic deaths (murders or accidents), women, cemetery architecture are just a few from the past. This year focuses on County and Community leaders: Sheriffs, politicians, school administrators,… This tour is done with the greatest respect to the cemetery and its “inhabitants”.

To purchase tickets visit: manassasechoes.com, or call 703-368-1873

Location: Manassas Confederate Cemetery, 9317 Center St., Manassas, VA 20110
Date: Fri, March 17, 2017
Time: 8pm – 9:30 PM
Tel: 703-257-8265
manassasmuseum.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: manassascity.org

US: Eulonia, GA – Buffalo Steaks Grilled to Perfection at Clay’s Sapelo Station

If you are looking for fresh local seafood near Coastal Georgia, head to Clay’s Sapelo Station, where the locals eat. Though this place is small in size they say its big in service and taste. Stop in the heart of historic McIntosh County and enjoy dinner in charming, rustic coastal ambiance.sapalo-station-ga

Your experience starts with the owner greeting you at the door. Treat your taste buds to the local seafood, including sweet Georgia shrimp, scallops, Sapelo Clams, oysters and a variety of fish. Or you can devour steam fresh crabs, freshly caught and steamed to order. The celebrated McIntosh County Buffalo Steaks are grilled to perfection, taking the South’s flavor and the North’s flair: Treat yourself to a tender buffalo steak and you’ll see why this is a house favorite.buffalo-steak-sapalo-station

Standouts are Boom Boom Shrimp, Pecan Crusted Fish, Shrimp and Grit Cake, Crab Stew, Fish Tacos and the LCB (low country boil). Eat in the dining room, the bar area or one of the porches. Often you can enjoy live music and that’s when the place gets packed with lots of dancing – and fun. Why not take a break from the road and savor their authentic warm Southern hospitality.sapalo-station-ga-shrimps

Location: Clay’s Sapelo Station – 15600 US Highway 17, Townsend, Georgia 31331
Hours: Wed – Sat 5pm – 10pm,
Sun 12pm – 10pm
Tel: 912-832-2013
clayssapelostation.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitdarien.com
mcintoshcountyga.com

US: Fayetteville, NC – Fascinate-U Where Children Can Be Judges, Respond to 911 Calls, Bag Groceries And Build Their Way To A Good Time

Need a fun place to entertain the little ones for a few hours? Take them to Fascinate U Children’s Museum and Amusement Center.

This children’s museum was designed to be a hands-on experifacinate-u-museumence, all scaled to the size of children,  in which they try to connect young minds to their future through interactive experiences. Children can explore their world the way they learn best-through creative role-playing, and interaction with each other and their environment.

The museum is arranged as a “mini-city” where children can pretend while learning about jobs in the community. Some of their exhibits include: the Farm, the Army Fort, the Fire Station, the Post Office, the Grocery Store and a Stage Area.

In addition, they have a toddler room specially designed for children four and under , constructed as a mini-house, where little ones can develop their cognitive skills.

This is a special place that makes learning fun.grocery-store-facinate-u-museum

Location: Fascinate U Children’s Museum, 116 Green St, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Hours: Mon: CLOSED, Tues: 9- 5, Wed: 9- 7, Thur: 9- 5, Fri: 9- 5, Sat: 10- 5, Sun: 12- 5
Tel: 910-829-9171
fascinate-u.com
For Regional Information, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfayettevillenc.com

US: St. Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Illuminated with Holiday Magic from Ground to Rooftops

The  23rd Annual Nights of Lights festival turns the city of St. Augustine into a dazzling holiday display, glowing with holiday magic – from the ground to the rooftops. Selected by National Geographic in 2011 and 2012 as one of the ten best holiday lighting displays in the world, St. Augustine’s Night of Lights features three millions tiny white lights that create a magical atmosphere in the Nation’s oldest city.

Tracing its origins to the Spanish tradition of displaying a white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays, the spectacular lighting reflects the city’s 450-year history and illuminates the beautiful setting for lasting holiday memories.nights-of-lights-lightner-museum

Many historic landmarks and locations are beautifully ablaze during Nights of Lights. The waters of Matanzas Bay glow from the nightly reflections of lights strewn along the bay walk and displayed on the Bridge of Lions. The Plaza de la Constitucion shines from the top of trees and throughout the famous center of St. Augustine’s historic district. The Guilded-Age Hotel Ponce de Leon, now the campus of Flagler College, is outlined in lights. And the Lightner Museum, once a resort hotel also built by Flagler, is lit so brilliantly that it is a favorite among visitors.nights-of-lights-bridge-of-lions

The trains and trolleys offer special seasonal tours that take you through the best areas of Nights of Lights, and there are also a variety of specialty tours; everything from walking to horse-and-carriage tours, and even tours to see the lights from the water and from the air. This holiday season don’t miss St Augustine’s Night of Lights.

Photos Courtesy of FloridasHistoricCoast.com

Location: Plaza de la Constitucion, 106 King Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Dates: Daily until Jan. 31, 2017
Tel: 800-653-2489
floridashistoriccoast.com/nights-lights
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: floridashistoriccoast.com

US: Portland, ME – Take in the Beauty of Autumn With a Ride Aboard the Pumpkin Train

Autumn is a beautiful time of year on the coast of Maine. Enjoy the season with a visit to the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum and a ride aboard the Pumpkin Train.

Children can explore the museum , which offers a children’s play area with train tables, coloring activities, dress-up like a conductor, and child-size train station and train to climb in and the featured activity where you can paint a miniature pumpkin to bring home as a souvenir to commemorate the day.

All visitors are treated to complimentary hot cider and cookies as they travel along Portland’s waterfront. The train ride lasts approximately 40 minutes and travels 1.5 miles (3 miles round trip).  Train crew and/or museum docents are  aboard with historical and site information and providing a narrative throughout the ride. Both open air cars and enclosed cars are available.pumpkin-train-ride

Celebrate the beauty of autumn with a ride aboard the Pumpkin Train. It’s fun for the whole family and even family-friendly pets on a leash are welcome to this leisurely way to enjoy the scenic Eastern Promenade of Casco Bay. Trains operates rain or shine.

Location: Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum,
58 Fore Street, Portland, ME 04101
Dates: Oct 22nd & 23rd, Oct 29th & 30th
Time: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm, Trains on the hour 10am-3pm
Tel: 207-828-0814
mainenarrowgauge.org/pumpkin-train
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitportland.com