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US: Pawtucket, RI – Dragon Boat Racing & Taiwan Day Festival in Blackstone Valley

Now in its 18th year, the Rhode Island Chinese Dragon Boat Races & Taiwan Day Festival is an extraordinary event for the whole family to enjoy.  Join the thousands of people who attend each year for exciting competition, family-fun, and a great opportunity to learn more about Chinese culture.RI Dragon Boat 2017-07-31_11-03-41

Racers continue to use the fiberglass Taiwanese-style dragon boats gifted to them from the Republic of China (Taiwan)  and incorporate the skill of flag-catching in each race.

The course length is 1,000 feet long up the Pawtucket River, with three boats racing at a time. A unique element to the races is the larger Taiwanese-style dragon boats, wood paddles, and the flag-catching in each race. If the flag is missed a penalty is added to their time.RI Dragon Boat- crowd2017-07-31_11-05-27

Sanctioned by the Eastern Regional Dragon Boat Association, the RI Chinese Dragon Boat Races consist of two divisions: the Mixed Division, which requires a minimum of 6 female paddlers, and the Open Division that has no gender restrictions.

In addition to the exciting boat races, under the giant tent you will find Taiwan Day festivities with some top notch entertainment including  cultural performances, many art & crafts tables, and the ever-popular dumpling eating contest. The festival also has a great selection of vendors, interactive activities, and food trucks.RI Dragon Boat dancers2017-07-31_11-08-34

Don’t miss the great entertainment throughout the day including:

  • The popular Chinese dumpling eating contest
  • Taiwanese arts & crafts tables
  • Lion dancers
  • Yo-yo performances
  • Interactive games and activities
  • A fun (and messy) watermelon eating contest
  • Food trucks
  • Vendors

With so much to see and do…the Taiwan Day Festival is truly a great opportunity to witness some wonderful traditional Chinese and Taiwanese entertainment.

Parking and shuttle buses: Parking and shuttles for teams and attendees will be located at the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center‘s lot, 175 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI. Shuttle buses will start at 7:00 am and run until the awards ceremony has been completed.

Photo credit: James Toomey/Blackstone Valley Tourism Council

Location: Festival Pier, Pawtucket River, Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Date: Sat, September 9, 2017
Time: 8am – 5pm
Tel: 401-724-2200
dragonboatri.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: tourblackstone.com

US: Mystic, CT – Go Green for Year Fourteen of the Mystic Irish Parade

Each year, a sliver of Ireland is brought to the small town of Mystic, Connecticut when friends and family from near and far celebrate Celtic and Gaelic customs and traditions.

The 14th Annual Mystic Irish Parade is Mystic’s largest single day event; 30,000 plus spectators and 2,000 plus marchers will march from the Mystic Seaport to downtown Mystic. Kicking off promptly at 1pm, the parade, extends from the Mystic Seaport Museum to the Mystic Art Association.

About 2,200 local community participants will march alongside creatively designed floats and dance to the Celtic music echoing throughout the village while over 32,000 people will fill the streets of Mystic to  cheer  and commemorate the Irish holiday of St. Patrick’s Day.  Fun for the whole family, the parade will be hosting Celtic cultural events, outstanding pipe bands,  fife & drum ensembles, and marching bands.Mystic Irish Parade- Marshall

Better yet, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers are back! The Red Hot Chilli Pipers are a famous bagpipe band known internationally, with an ensemble of pipers, guitarists, keyboards and drummers. With groundbreaking fusion of traditional Irish music and rock anthems, they are sure to make this year’s parade the best yet.

On March 20th we can all be a little Irish! Try to arrive early as police will be closing off Mystic Irish Parade - Crowdsome of the routes to the marching area. The Mystic parade starts at Mystic Seaport’s South Lot and heads into Historic Downtown Mystic where the parade’s “marquis act” will perform. (photo credit: George Tazzini and Larry St. Pierre)

Location: Downtown Mystic, Mystic, CT 06355
Date: Sun, March 19, 2017
Time: Parade Kicks off at 1pm
Tel: 860-572-9578
mysticirishparade.org
For Regional Accommodations: thisismystic.com

US: Walterboro, SC – “Butts Only” Contest at Smoke in the ‘Boro BBQ Cookoff

The third annual Smoke in the ‘Boro promises to be a mouth watering event, loaded with fun, live music, kids’ activities, an Anything Butt BBQ Smke in the 'Boro - postercompetition and a Butts Only contest.

The weekend will consist of two separate events. “Anything Butt” will be held on Friday night from 5:30-8 pm.  Cooking teams will prepare anything of their choice, from chicken wings to seafood — anything but barbecue. Local judges from Colleton County will evaluate the entries, and the winner will be revealed and prizes awarded.

The teams will then cook their Boston butts and ribs during the night for “Butts Only” , which means Pork only, as required by the SC Barbeque Association and judged by certified, sanctioned judges from around the Southeast.

The teams  present their entries to the judges on Saturday morning. At 11am the gates will be open to the public for tastings and to  partake until 2 pm.

On both Friday and Saturday, tasting tickets for $1.00 each will be available so that you can sample some heavenly food.  There will be great music both days from The Back Road and Going to the Dogs Bands. Free Admission.

Location: Coastal Electric Outback Building, 2269 N Jefferies HWY, Walterboro, SC 29488
Date: Fri March 17 – Sat March 18, 2017
Time: Fri 5:30 – 8pm, Sat 11 – 2pm
Tel: 843-539-1133
thecolletoncenter.org/events/
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: walterborosc.org/visitingus

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