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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

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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: 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: Folkston, GA – Canoe, Kayak, or Boat the Black Waters of the Okefenokee Swamp

Nature enthusiasts will relish the natural unspoiled and virtually unmarked by man Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge that was established in 1937 to preserve the Okefenokee Swamp. The refuge encompasses over 400,000 acres of canals, moss draped cypress trees and lily pads which provide sanctuaries for hundreds of species of birds and wildlife.Kayakers on canal

Okefenokee has the great distinction of not only being a part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, but also the National Wilderness Preservation System. Swamp habitats comprise open wet “prairies,” cypress forests, scrub-shrub vegetation, upland islands, and open lakes. Wildlife species include wading birds, ducks, alligators and other reptiles, a variety of amphibians, bobcats, raptors, white-tailed deer, black bears, and songbirds.

To assist you on your exploration, Okefenokee Adventures offers a full range of tour options and is located inside the refuge on the historic Suwannee Canal.  Canoe, kayak, or boat the mirrored black waters of the Okefenokee Swamp: You can join a regularly scheduled 90 minute guided boat tours, or reserve a 2 hour sunset tour or arrange a half or full day private excursion with an expert, professional guide. Their staff includes well-known authorities on alligator biology, wetland ecology, and Okefenokee cultural history. gator on log

Experience canoe camping in the back-country wilderness of the Swamp interior, or head out on your own in a canoe or kayak. You can bike or drive the Swamp Island Drive, visit an authentic Swamp homestead or walk the nature trails and boardwalk and  get bird’s eye views of the swamp from atop the observation tower.

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Location: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, 2700 Suwanee Canal Rd, Folkston, GA 31537 , Tel: 912-496-7836 or 877-860-6787

Location: Okefenokee Adventures, 4159 Suwannee Canal Rd., Folkston, GA 31537
Hours: Open: ½-hour before sunrise every day,
Closed: 7:30pm – March 1 through Oct 31, Closed: 5:30pm – Nov 1 through end of Feb
Tel: 912-496-7156, 866-843-7926
okefenokeeadventures.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitkingsland.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: Norwalk, CT – Growing Up in Korea – Heart and Seoul

Last chance to see Heart and Seoul: Growing Up in Korea is a new, cultural exhibit in which five modern-day Korean kids will open their hearts and invite you to take an intimate look into their lives through their diverse interests, customs and ambitions. The traveling exhibition will be in town only until end December at Stepping Stones Museum for Children.stepping-stones-heart-seoul

The exhibit, both fun and educational, will use traditional folktales as well as current day personal stories told by Korean children to engage visitors in learning about time-honored cultural values and life in South Korea’s highly urbanized and technologically-advanced country.

Children and visitors will be able to explore gallery areas that recreate the settings that characterize the lives of typical South Korean children in Seoul, such as an apartment, classroom, taekwondo studio, and K-pop stage. Throughout the exhibit, these spaces will be embedded with traditional folktales and games to show how values like respect for parents and elders; the importance of scholarship; loyalty to family, friends and community; and hospitality are still an integral facet of 21st century Korean life. stepping-stones-museum-heart-seoul

Hands-on experiences include:  an animation studio where visitors can try their hand at stop-motion animation. (The popular television series The Simpsons and Family Guy were created in Korean studios, as was the film Avatar.) Musically inclined kids will take the stage at K-Pop Stars Studio, where they can get on camera and “perform” with popular K-Pop singers. There’s a Taekwondo studio, where kids can practice their moves and learn this martial art based on 2,000-year-old ancient techniques.The exhibit also includes a plaza, a restaurant, an apartment, a classroom and a Hanok guest house.

Location: Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Mathews Park,
303 West Ave, Norwalk, CT 06850 |
Dates: til the end of Dec.
Hours: Mon – Sun, 10 – 5 pm
Tel: 203-899-0606
steppingstonesmuseum.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfairfieldcountyct.com

US: St Marys, GA – Wild Horses Graze on Georgia’s Cumberland Island

A short ferry ride transports you to the treasured, pristine Cumberland Island National Seashore, the largest and southernmost barrier island in Georgia, offering visitors over 17 miles of secluded, white, sandy beaches.

Preserved and protected for future generations, Cumberland Island National Seashore includes a designated wilderness area, undeveloped beaches, historic sites, cultural ruins, critical habitat and nesting areas. Walk on the footsteps of early natives, explorers, and wealthy industrialists.wild-horses-cumberland-island

You can’t explain Cumberland, you experience it. Time moves to the rhythm of nature. On this National Seashore, it is the animals that are the inhabitants and people are only visitors. The majestic sweep of deserted sandy beach is dotted with shells and usually deserted, except for the wild horses roaming at will. The dramatic slope of the dunes is a constant work in progress, sculptured by the wind and sea. The inland’s, majestic live oak and palmetto forests provide shelter for the horses, deer, turkey, alligator, armadillo, mink and a tremendous variety of coastal birds.

You’ll find campsites, hiking trails and first-come-first-serve bike rentals on the island. There are no amenities on the island beyond the restrooms and water fountains. You should bring lunch and water bottles to refill.

The visitor’s center in St. Mary’s, Georgia is the gateway to Cumberland Island. Here you can get tickets for the ferry over to the Island, as well as information about camping permits on the Island.

Location:Mainland Visitor Center, 113 Saint Marys St, GA 31558
Hours: Visitor Center  8 – 4 pm
Tel: 912-882-4335
nps.gov/cuis/index.htm
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions:
visitkingsland.com

US: St. Marys, GA – Wild Horses Graze on Georgia’s Cumberland Island

A short ferry ride (passengers only) transports you to the treasured, pristine Cumberland Island National Seashore, the largest and southernmost barrier island in Georgia, offering visitors over 17 miles of secluded, white, sandy beaches.

Preserved and protected for future generations, Cumberland Island National Seashore includes a designated wilderness area, undeveloped beaches, historic sites, cultural ruins, critical habitat and nesting areas. Walk on the footsteps of early natives, explorers, and wealthy industrialists.

You can’t explain Cumberland, you experience it. Time moves to the rhythm of nature. On this National Seashore, it is the animals that are the inhabitants and people are only visitors. The majestic sweep of deserted sandy beach is dotted with shells and usually deserted, except for the wild horses roaming at will. The dramatic slope of the dunes is a constant work in progress, sculptured by the wind and sea. The inland’s, majestic live oak and palmetto forests provide shelter for the horses, deer, turkey, alligator, armadillo, mink and a tremendous variety of coastal birds.

You’ll find campsites, hiking trails and first-come-first-serve bike rentals on the island. There are no amenities on the island beyond the restrooms and water fountains. You should bring lunch and water bottles to refill.

The visitor’s center in St. Mary’s, Georgia is the gateway to Cumberland Island. Here you can get tickets for the ferry over to the Island, as well as information about camping permits on the Island. Wild Horses - Cumberland Island

Location:Mainland Visitor Center, 113 Saint Marys St, GA 31558
Hours: Visitor Center  8 – 4 pm
Tel: 912-882-4335
nps.gov/cuis/index.htm
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions:
visitkingsland.com