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US: Dunn, NC – Celebrating Cotton and Importantly, the Cotton Farmers

The 19th annual North Carolina Cotton Festival  takes place in Downtown Dunn on November 4, 2017. This family-fun event draws more than 10,000 people each year and is a celebration of the farmer and in particular the cotton farmer and their contributions as well as the cotton farming and harvesting heritage that plays an important role in the Dunn area.car show

November is peak season for cotton farmers and downtown Dunn was once known as the largest wagon cotton yard in the country. During the festival, the local cotton gin, that until recent years was located in downtown, offers free tours through the gin, allowing you to see cotton production up close and personal. Shuttles are offered from the festival site to the gin every half hour.Quality Equipment

The event covers over 16 city blocks and offers entertainment on 2 stage featuring a variety of music, carnival rides and games, a classic car show -where over 100 antique and custom cars compete for best in show, petting zoo, Kiddie Land, Antique Tractor Show, over 125 vendors showcasing commodities like cotton, needle work, fabric, food and crafts.wilson avenue

FREE admission, lots of downtown shopping at some interesting shops, freebies and family fun for all ages.

Location: Downtown Dunn
Date: November 4, 2017
Time:10am – 4pm
Tel: 910-892-3282
nccottonfestival.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: dunntourism.org

US: Pooler, GA – Get Ready to Get Dirty: Mud, Obstacles and Fun

This is more than just a mud run it’s the biggest, baddest, muddiest party in town. This year’s  MudFest race will be 5 miles or 5 kilometers of mud and obstacles, each year is bigger and better, runners will face some new challenges, more surprises, twists, turns and of course more MUD than ever.Mud Fest SlideLO RES

The JCB MudFest is designed for and geared toward having fun, getting muddy, and getting your heartbeat up. There will be some serious mud pits to slosh through, some other man-made, and natural obstacles to conquer. Parts of the lake may be over 6 feet deep. There will be ropes and other tricky ways to get across and there’s always ways to go around any obstacle including the lake.

The Mud Run race starts in waves. Approximately 25 teams go at a time, with a 3 minute lag between each wave. Parking is free so come out and support the participants and the cause. When you’re running with an extra 10 pounds of mud on your shoes it’s appreciated to have people cheering you on from the sidelines. Mudfest WaterJCB 7 Lo

The Post Race Party begins as soon as the first teams finish in the Party Pit, where you can watch the finish and enjoy food and drinks that are included for race participants as part of the registration fee. If you’re planning on just watching all of the action, you can partake in the frosty beverages and delectable food for a $10 donation to The Lady Bamford Center.

Highlights include: Each participant receives a custom t-shirt, Over 30+ epic obstacles, access into the Party Pit, professional race photos, live chip timed results, Free Beer for those 21+, overall & age division awards, live music following the event, Free post-race food and drink.Mudfest MudJCB 9 lo re

Schedule:  (Subject to Change)
6:30AM: Packet Pickup & Late Registration Opens
7:15AM: Costume Contest @ JCB Events Trailer
7:50AM: Kiddie Muddobbers Mud Run @ Finish line (FREE)
8:00AM-8:20AM: Mudfest 5k & 5 Mile Competitive Waves #1-#5 Start (5 minute increments)
8:25AM-9:30AM: Mudfest 5k & 5 Mile Recreational Waves #6-#19 Start (5 minute increments)
8:05AM: Party Pit Music Starts
8:30AM: Food and Beverage Vendors Open
12:00PM: Awards Ceremony

Location: JCB North American Headquarters, 2000 Bamford Blvd, Pooler, GA 31322
Date: Sat, June 17, 2017
Hours: 7:15am – 12:30pm
Tel: 912-447-2000
jcbmudfest.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitsavannah.com

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: 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: Dunn, NC – Watch a Working Cotton Gin

November is peak season for cotton farmers and downtown Dunn was once known as the largest wagon cotton yard in the country. During the festival, the local cotton gin, that until recent years was located in downtown, offers free tours through the gin so that everyone can see cotton production unfolding before them. Shuttles are offered from the festival site to the gin and back every half hour. nc-cotton-festival

The Festival has two stages for entertainment: featured bands take the Main Stage throughout the day and festival goers also enjoy dancing and karaoke on the second stage. Highlights also include food and craft vendors, Kiddie Land, Petting Zoo and Antique Tractor Show . The event also coincides each year with the Dunn Shriner’s Car Show, where over 100 antique and custom cars compete for best in show.

Location: Downtown Dunn , NC 28334
Date: Sat Nov 5, 2016
Time: 10 – 4 pm
Tel: 910-892-3282
nccottonfestival.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions:
dunntourism.org

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

US: Easy and Inexpensive Flying Allegiant Air

Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to flashback to calm and pleasant airline travel of the 1970’s? Well you can! We just drove from Montreal to tiny Plattsburgh Airport to take Allegiant Air to hot sunny Florida. Easily, we turned off the main road, and drove right up to the airport door. I stepped out with the luggage, and Stan just parked the car across the street.

There was NO line at the Allegiant Air desk and friendly helpful service, I was done in under two minutes. There was NO lineup at security. Since you already drove through the border, there was NO customs and immigration to deal with. In probably about 5 minutes we were going up the elevator to the waiting room.

The room had a retro counter with a man selling candy, snacks, sandwiches and drinks. When I asked him the prices, He said, “What do you want, they’re all in my head?”

There weren’t overhead screens to keep track of the flight. They send any changes to you to your cellphone – and call if necessary, too. The building is going through a renovation so things might be a bit more twenty-first century when you fly.

Allegiant1115big

Those of you already planning your winter sunny getaways will be happy to know that Allegiant Air flying out of Plattsburgh offers low prices with just a short drive away for Montrealers who want a nonstop flight to sunshine. Just be advised that there are extra charges for luggage (even carry-on), choosing seats, and such things as printed boarding passes for you (you can do it at home for free).

Travelers who shop around will find substantial savings when flying with Allegiant, as well as good deals on hotels, rental cars and attractions. Montrealers wishing to spend their hard-earned dollars at their destination, rather than on transportation, can fly to sunny Las Vegas and Florida.

www.allegiantair.com