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US: Brunswick, GA – Bring Your Appetite to Sample at the Birthplace of Brunswick Stew

Brunswick Rockin’ Stewbilee takes place annually at Mary Ross Waterfront Park, recognizing Brunswick, Georgia as the birthplace of the original Brunswick Stew. As the oft-told tale goes, a slave cook named Jimmy Matthews created the concoction in 1828. Nearly two centuries later, the original meat – squirrel – is out and, today, chicken, is in.

Each year, cooking teams from near and far compete to see who has the best stew, in a cook-off where the culinary skills and secret recipes are challenged by amateur and professional chefs, vying for the coveted Peoples’ Choice and Judges’ Award.

In addition to stew tasting there will be loads of other fun family activities. The day long event begins with the 5k Road Race followed by the Pet Supplies Plus Pooch Parade, Live Entertainment, The Kid’s Junior Stewbilee Central Fun Zone, Classic and Antique Car Show, Arts & Crafts displays and of course, sampling of the Best Brunswick Stew in the nation. stewbilee-logo

Schedule:
9am – Motor Cycle Ride
10am – Live Music – Pier Pressure
10:15am – Pooch Parade
12:15pm – Live Music – 3 Day Weekend
11am – 2pm – Brunswick Rockin’ Stew Tasting

Location: Mary Ross Waterfront Park, Bay & Gloucester Street, Brunswick, GA 31520
Date: Sat, Jan 27th, 2018
Time: 9am – 2pm
Tel:  912-996-4593
stewbilee.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goldenisles.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: Beaufort, SC – Dragon Boat Race For a Worthy Cause

Don’t miss one of the Lowcountry’s signature events, the annual DragonBoat Beaufort Race Day. The exciting dragon boat races will take place Saturday, June 24, 2017 at at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park on the river from 8-4.DragonBoat Beaufort (1)

Witness the fierce competition and camaraderie as teams of paddlers race on the Beaufort river to win trophies and raise money for local cancer patients. Among the fun and festivities will be an opening ceremony, three heats of races, the moving Carnation Ceremony for cancer survivors and their families and the closing medal ceremony.

DragonBoat Race Day will include many local businesses, community groups and teams of friends and family racing against each other. The mixed Cancer Survivor Division will be the showcase for the heroes and heroines, honoring the spirit of DragonBoat Race Day.DragonBoat Beaufort (4)
Twenty paddlers
sitting side-by-side in a dragon-headed 42 foot-long vessel, paddling furiously to the beat of an emphatic drummer. The goal: physical wellness and psychological well-being through this thrilling, team-oriented support program that even offers opportunities to travel to competitions worldwide.

There will be 35 teams each racing three times. There will be two divisions – Mixed Community and Cancer Survivor teams. All teams race together. Cancer Survivor teams must have at least 8 cancer survivors in the boat during each race. After the first and second heats, teams will be placed in racing categories based upon their time; the third heat will decide the medals. Cancer Survivor placings decided by accumulating the two best times from each team. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded for the top three finishers in each racing categories during the Awards Ceremony at the end of the day.DragonBoat Beaufort (5)

Location: Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, downtown on the Beaufort River,  SC
Date: Sat, June 24, 2017
Time: 8am – 4pm
Tel: 843-473-4477
dragonboat-raceday.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: southcarolinalowcountry.com

 

US: Providence, RI – Spend Quality Time with Dad on Scenic Boat Tour Around Providence

How about visiting Providence this Father’s Day and partaking in it from a new angle; by getting out on the water. This year, treat dad to a gift that will leave a lasting impression: a fun, family-friendly boat tour of  picturesque Providence waterways.Providence River Boat - guide

Forget the necktie this year and give Dad a gift that he’ll truly appreciate…a chore-free, relaxing Sunday with the family.  Spend quality time with dad on a tranquil boat ride narrated daytime tour or sunset cruise with the Providence River Boat Company’s Father’s Day Tours.Providence Riverboat Scenery86878

Enjoy this 45-50 minute entertaining and informative tour while friendly Captains expertly guide you throughout the waterways and cruise throughout the Providence River, Riverwalk, Waterplace Park and the Providence Harbor. Experience  unparalleled views  of the capital city while getting an overview of the city’s history.  A unique gift that the entire family will enjoy. BYOB or pick up a cold beer for Dad at the dock bar.Providence River Boat Hot Club

Tours depart at the top of each hour. The boats are uncovered, so dress appropriately. Hats, sunglasses & sunscreen are all recommended. Space is limited and reservations are required – 401-580-BOAT.

 

Location: Providence River Boat Company, 575 South Water Street, Providence, RI 02903
Dates: June 18, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Tel: 401-580-2628
providenceriverboat.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goprovidence.com

 

US: Milford, CT – Search for Cap’n Kidd’s Treasure on Pirates Day

Ahoy Mateys! For over 300 years, people of all ages have searched for Captain Kidd’s treasure.  Sunday, June 11th, 2017 is Pirates Day in MilfordJoin Captain Kidd and his crew as they sail into Milford Harbor, ‘kidnap’ Mayor Blake and “take over” downtown Milford.Pirates Day 2 2017-05-15_11-03-05

For the 13th annual Cap’n Kidd Treasure Hunt, participants will pick up a downtown treasure map, a strand of pirate beads, and a booty bag at Lisman Landing or by the Gazebo on the Green. Take part in the scavenger hunt by following the clues listed on the map, decipher the clue that matches the stop, and fill up your booty bags with treasures galore at the participating Pirate Stops.  Don’t forget to get your map stamped for a chance to win a treasure chest of prizes. Here’s a clue…Only the places displaying Pirate Flags will have the loot you seek.

There will be pirate-themed activities for children on the Green by the Gazebo, and  live, local bands for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to keep a look out for more crew members for great photo ops and  join Cap’n Kidd and his motley crew for a spectacular pirate parade. Pirates Day image

So put on your best pirate garb, learn how to talk like a pirate, and search for Cap’n Kidd’s treasure. Matey, don’t miss this fun, family-friendly adventure, brimming with special treasures and pirate bustle all day long … or be prepared to walk the Plank!  AAARRRGGGG…

Cap’n Kidd Pirates Day Treasure Hunt:
SUNDAY, JUNE 11th, 2017 Noon to 5:00 PM
(subject to change)
Pirates Day

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM Map Distribution Lisman Landing (can also be picked up at the Gazebo – after 1 pm pick up at Gazebo on the Green only)
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM  Tim Payson & Friends
12:00 PM  Cap’n Kidd, Captain Jack, colorful pirates and pirate ship arrive at Harbor/Lisman Landing
12:15 PM   Mayor Benjamin G. Blake greets crowd, kicks off event
12:00 PM –  2:00 PM  Map Distribution continues by the Gazebo on the Green
12:30 – 2:00 PM  Pirate Rock Painting with Rock On Pirate Girls By the Gazebo on the Green  * Proceeds benefit the Get In Touch Foundation
1:00 PM  Milford Volunteers Ancient Fife and Drum Corps – Park by Café Atlantique
1:30 – 2:00 PM  Katie Gillick, musician/composer – Gazebo on the Green
2:30 – 3:00 PM  Pirates Parade on the Green by the Gazebo – everyone invited to join in
2:00 – 3:00 PM  The Elwoods (Classic Rock/Blues) Gazebo on the Green
2:30 – 3:30 PM  Pirate-related Kiddie Activities by the Gazebo on the Green and story-time by Friends of the Milford Library
3:00 – 4:00 PM  The Elwoods (Classic Rock/Blues) Gazebo on the Green
4:00 – 5:00 PM  Drop off completed maps at the DMBA Exhibit by the Gazebo on the Green, for a chance to win a Treasure Chest of prizes (one adult winner & one child winner will be chosen); event closes promptly at 5:00 PM

Location: Lisman Landing or Gazebo on the Green, Downtown Milford, CT 06460
Date: Sun, June 11th, 2017
Hours: noon – 5pm
Tel:  203-745-4946
downtownmilfordct.com/copy-of-wine-trail
For Regional Accommodation, Restaurants & Attractions: milfordct.com

US: Wilmington, DE – Lush Brandywine Valley Cycling Grand Prix and Street Fair

Named among the Top 10 criterium bike races in the country by USA Cycling, the Wilmington Grand Prix will celebrate its 11th anniversary May 19-21, 2017. Grand Prix - Closeup-Men's Pro WGP 2014-9577

This international cycling event includes a free six-block street festival, a parade, a bucket-list recreational ride through a dozen world-class cultural attractions, sidewalk cafes, live music, demonstrations and a variety of free family rides and attractions.

The action starts Friday night (May 19) with the Monkey Hill Time Trial, a 3.2-mile race against the clock through Wilmington’s Brandywine Park. Saturday (May 20) will feature two amateur races in the morning, culminating with the Women’s Pro and Men’s Pro races in the afternoon. Sunday (May 21) will see the return of the Seventh Annual Governor’s Ride and the Sixth Annual Delaware Gran Fondo. Last year’s Gran Fondo attracted cyclists from 15 states and three countries by offering them a scenic tour through the Brandywine Valley and some of Delaware’s most-prized cultural attractions. Grand Prix -Men's Pro WGP 2014-9556

You do not have to be a cycling fan to enjoy Downtown Wilmington’s largest outdoor event. Visit website for more information and schedule. Enjoy lunch and watch the races with a table right on the course. This event is held rain or shine.

Location: Downtown Wilmington, 818 Market Street, Wilmington, DE 19801
Dates: May 19-21, 2017
Hours: May 19 – 5 pm—8 pm, May 20 – 11 am —5 pm, May 21 – 8 am —5 pm
Tel: 302-655-6483
wilmgrandprix.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitwilmingtonde.com

US: Florence, SC – Play Me, I’m Yours – Brings Pianos and Music to Florence Streets

Florence - Play Me I'm Yours

Florence, SC Exit 160: No, you’re not seeing things, those randomly placed pianos throughout Florence are part of Play Me, I’m Yours, an initiative of a worldwide street piano project, geared to interconnect people in the community by “expressing themselves”  by bringing pianos to the people and music to the streets.Play Me, I'm Yours -Man

Dozens of Pianos will be located all over Florence and Lake City, and will remain available until May 7, positioned for everyone to play and enjoy on streets, in parks, squares, markets and other public places. Play Me, I’m Yours invites the public to engage with, participate and take ownership of their urban environment. Decorated and personalized by local artists and community groups, the street pianos create a place of exchange and an opportunity for people to connect.Play Me, I'm Yours - Woman

Touring internationally since 2008, Play Me, I’m Yours was created by British artist Luke Jerram. More than 1500 pianos have now been installed in over 50 cities across the globe, from London to Lima, bearing the simple invitation Play Me, I’m Yours. The project has already reached more than ten million people worldwide.

An opening-night festival will be held April 21 in the Willcox Plaza on West Evans Street. The event will include a dueling pianist team and a “Paint a Piano” tent for young artists. Don’t miss the featured noon concerts on various instruments by local pianists.Play Me, I'm Yours -Crowd

Location: Florence, SC
Date: Fri, April 21 – Sun, May 7, 2017
Tel: 843-260-6210
streetpianos.com/florence2017
For Regional accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitflo.com

 

US: Baltimore, MD – Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show

Light City is a FREE festival that transforms Baltimore with large-scale light installations, performances, music and innovation. Central to Light City is the BGE Light Art Walk along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, featuring more than 50 attractions including visual arts such as illuminated sculptures, projections, interactive technologies, performances, concerts, food vendors and a children’s area.

Baltimore Light City Skyline

Performance artists bring Light City to life with entertaining acts including fire (a showcase of fire and LED performances utilizing dance, flow arts, circus arts, and music), illuminated puppets, projections, stilt walkers, dance, musical entertainment at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater and along the BGE Light Art Walk.

Inner Harbor Skyline Photo Courtesy of Baltimore Office of Promotion and Arts

Music is a major attraction at Light City. The festival features a full schedule of FREE concerts including local, regional and renowned DJs, bands and musicians across every genre.Light City Baltimore Congregation KMA

Families can visit Mini Light City in Pierce’s Park for hands-on, illuminated craft activities in a youth makers’ tent, children’s entertainers and whimsical snacks such as lighted cotton candy. The park is home to a sound garden by artist David Hess.

Congregation_KMA_Photo by: Tom Wexler

From the south shore of the Inner Harbor to Harbor East, festival -goers can explore 1.5 miles of world-class installations – all free, accessible and open to the public.Light City The Pool

Attendees of the Light City Baltimore festival are encouraged to download the free app prior to their visit to see all that the festival has to offer including the festival map, schedule and general festival information. lightcity.org/light-city-baltimore-app

The Pool  Photo by Jen Lewin.

Location: Baltimore’s Inner Harbor – lightcity.org/map
Date: Fri, Mar 31 – Sat, Apr 8, 2017
Hours: lightcity.org/schedule
Tel: 410-752-8632
lightcity.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitbaltimore.org

Canada – Winter Break Idea: See Wildlife Up Close in Canadian Safari at Parc Omega

If  you’re in the Montreal or Ottawa area,  you are only 1 1/2 hours away from an exciting safari adventure. Parc Omega is the perfect day outing for kids (and folks) of all ages. It’s an 800 hectare park where the animals roam free and you are “caged” in your car. It’s such an easy drive to be able to come face to face with Canadian wildlife: reindeer, elk, arctic wolf and fox, bison, musk ox, turkey, boar, coyote, black bear, and many kinds of deer.IMG_0362

Along a 12-kilometere safari nature route which takes you past lakes, meadows, small valleys, forests and rocky hills, you meander at your own pace. You can pick up bag of carrots at the visitor center (or bring your own), and as you slowly make your way through, you are allowed to open the windows to feed the wildlife. Kids are thrilled that they do not have to be in their car seats here and can flit from side to side of the vehicle to say hello to the animals.

You tune your radio to a station which fills you in on all sorts of information about the species you will be seeing.

  • We learned which males are good daddies and stay around to raise the youngsters and which ones only show up for mating season.
  • I never knew that the musk oxen’s heads are strong as hammers and they butt and knock everything down. Their quarters are specially built to withstand their strength.IMG_5699
  •  You pass by low slung “condos” for boars designed to keep the big predators out.
  • Coming here in winter gives you the opportunity to see how the arctic fox blends into the snowscape.

About 2/3 through, there’s a place to stop,  get out to stretch legs and visit some wooden buildings for bathrooms, gifts, food and hot cocoa. Friendly deer are in the parking area to get a snack too – those carrots – buy lots.

This is one experience that all Canadian families should take advantage of. It’s not only educational and fun, but will bring lasting memories for the whole family.IMG_0369

Location: Parc Omega is a safari park in Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours, Quebec, Canada
Address: 399 Route 323 North, Montebello, QC J0V 1L0 Click for map Google Map

Phone: (819) 423-5487
www.parcomega.ca

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US: Fredericksburg, VA – Early Countdown for New Year’s and Ping Pong Drop with Prizes

Trying to decide how to bring in the New Year? How about a  family-friendly, FREE celebration “ Downtown 31st” – Finale Event held for kids and adults in Riverfront Park and at Market Square for teens, both  in downtown downtown-31-fredericksburgFredericksburg. This alcohol-free event has an early countdown and is a fun way to culminate the New Year with family and friends of all ages.

With loads of entertainment: Live Music and Dancing, Teen Area, Children’s Area, Games & Interactive Activities, Line Dancers , Entertainers, Crafts, Moon bounce, Food Vendors, Snow Maze, and Burn regrets and share new resolutions. There’s definitely something for everyone at this street party.fredericksburg-xmas

The piece de resistance is the Ping Pong Ball Drop at 9 pm that will be dropping 3,000+ ping pong balls including 100+ winning prize balls. Be sure to check out the selfie holiday cards in Riverfront Park.ping-pong-drop-fredericksburg-instagram

Location: Riverfront Park, 600 Sophia St., Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Date: Sat, Dec 31, 2016
Time: 5 pm – 9 pm
Tel: 540-372-1086
downtown31.com/finale-event
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfred.com