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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: 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: Benson, NC – A Celebration For Farmer’s Best Friend – the Mule

The small town of Benson, North Carolina, with a population of around 3500, will swell to approximately 30,000 come September 21-24, 2017 when the 68th Annual Benson Mule Days Celebration, which honors the farmer’s best friend, the mule, is Benson Mule Days 2017-09-13_12-54-40sponsored by the Benson Area Chamber of Commerce.

This festival is filled with family fun and activities for everyone young and old. The weekend is packed with rodeos, a mule pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, street dances, carnival rides, camping, parades, bluegrass shows and more.

Friday, visitors can enjoy many events including the Mule Competitions held in the Chamber Park and Arena. They will see mule coon jumping, a mule race, Best of Show and many other events.  If you haven’t seen a mule competition this is a must see for the whole family.Benson_Mule_Days

Saturday is a big day at Benson Mule Days as thousands of spectators grapple for a place to sit or stand to observe the one of the biggest parades in North Carolina. Bands, floats, Shriner units, classic cars, antique tractors, unique entries, beauty queens, and hundreds of horses, mules, buggies, wagons make their way down Main Street of Benson beginning at 10am.

There are three rodeos of which the first begins on Friday night followed by a Saturday night and Sunday afternoon performance. A new event this year are Mule Day Dances. After the rodeos on Friday and Saturday nights, kick up your heels at the Chamber Park.Benson_Mule_Days_ Horses3

Get a complete schedule of events- here

Location: Various – see schedule
Date: Sept 21-24, 2017
Hours: Various – see schedule
Tel: 919-894-3825
bensonmuledays.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: johnstoncountync.org

US: Lumberton, NC – Buy a Book and Stop a Crook

Book 'Em Book

If you love to read, then this event is definitely for you. Want to meet authors and learn of the inspiration for their works? Book ‘Em North Carolina is national event that brings together brings together more than 75 authors, publishers, literary agents and publicists under one roof for one common cause; to promote literacy.

Book ‘Em NC Writers Conference and Book Fair is open to readers of all ages. There are book readings and events scheduled for children from pre-school to teens, panel discussions and talks for writers trying to break into the field and  lectures and events for readers of various genres, including mysteries, romance, true adventure, historical, biographical, …

Authors will sell and sign their books, participate in panel discussions and talks, network and interact with fans one-on-one. Headlining authors include: poet LeJuane Bowen and fictional author Jill McCorkle.

A series of talks occur between 10 – 3 pm and include:

  • Writers Conference – for aspiring or published authors of all ages and levels
  • The Children’s Corner – readings for younger children, arts and crafts and special activities
  • Panel Discussions and Talks – for readers of various fiction and nonfiction genres, including autobiographical, biographical, historical, mystery/suspense, romance, fantasy, paranormal, science fiction, horror, true crime and others

Each talk begins on the hour and feel free to attend one or all of the talks throughout the day.

The purpose of The Book ‘Em Foundation and this event is to raise public awareness of the link between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. The Book ‘Em Foundation was co-founded by suspense author P.M. Terrell. Proceeds from the Book ‘Em North Carolina book fair will go directly to increasing literacy in Robeson County, North Carolina and to reducing crime in the area.

 This event is FREE and open to the public.

Location: Robeson Community College, 5160 Fayetteville Rd, Lumberton, NC
Date: Sat, Sept 23, 2017
Time: 9:30 – 4pm
Tel: 910-272-3362
bookemnc.org
For Regional Accommodations. Restaurants & Attractions: lumberton-nc.com

US: Bowie, MD – Around the World in Just One Day

Travel around the world in just one day at the  Bowie International Festival and learn about traditions and customs that span the globe at this multicultural, FREE fete.

The International Festival will showcase performing arts, visual arts, and cuisine from various regions and cultures throughout the world. Listen to bagpipes and violins, watch Moroccan belly dancing or Irish step dance, and enjoy lots of tasty international food. The event will also feature a wide variety of artists and crafters selling clothing, jewelry, crafts and other items from around the world. Bowie International Fest

The most fun might be for the children, where they are able to pick up a passport at any children’s activity booth and participate in various activities from different cultures, accumulating stamps at each booth. Activities include dance, music, story time and arts and crafts from around the world. At the end of the “trip” children receive an international prize.

Location: Allen Pond Park, 3330 Northview Dr.Bowie, MD 20716
Date: Sat, Oct. 1, 2016
Time: 11 – 5pm
Tel: 301-809-3011
cityofbowie.org/index.aspx?NID=1016
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions:
visitprincegeorgescounty.com

Canadian Museum of Nature Fun for All Ages

If you are heading out to Ottawa to skate on the Rideau Canal and to enjoy Canada’s capitol, leave some time to explore the Canadian Museum of Nature, their first national museum, completed in 1912.

The Beaux Arts building was recently renovated and is now fronted by a towering glass atrium. That’s where we found the arts and crafts action. Perhaps leave that for the end, after you’ve had a chance to watch “Exploding Geology”, the tornado demonstration, walk through the large bird display (and play on the interaction boards),  swoon over the 1200 gorgeous minerals, rocks and meteorites , meet the 10-metre blue whale, enjoy the full size mammal gallery (look for the reindeer), go face to face with a triceratops,  or spy on the tarantula.

Kids of any age and their parents will enjoy their day. If you have time there are two movies, “Nature Unleashed” and “3D Dinosaur” but our gang liked the interactive museum more. Special exhibits coming up will show off Ikebana, Japanese floral design, Flora of the Canadian Arctic and in the summer, the Hidden Lives of Ants.

Trivia buffs should note that this Canadian Museum of Nature  served as home to Canada’s House of Commons and Senate following the fire that destroyed the Centre Block of Parliament in 1916.

Location: 240 McLeod St., Ottawa, Canada
Phone: 613-364-4021
www.nature.ca