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US: Connecticut – June 21- Connecticut is Joining Make Music Day Around the World

The first annual Make Music Connecticut, a free, wild and wonderful mix of over 250 free outdoor musical events, will make its debut on Thursday, June 21.# Women - Ukulele 26201732312_bf1e5567e3_b

Modeled after a Parisian tradition (Fête de la Musique) that began in 1982 as a tribute to the Summer Solstice.  Each June 21st Paris is filled with musicians of all kinds performing on sidewalks, lawns, balconies, in parks, etc. for anyone to enjoy at no cost.

Drums 13914042290_1e8733da4a_bMake Music Connecticut is part of Make Music Day, a global music celebration that takes place on the summer solstice each year and brings people of all ages and skill levels together to make music. This year, more than 70 U.S. cities and the entire state of Connecticut will host thousands of Make Music performances across the country as part of the world’s largest annual music event.Guitars 14100592595_92d013c9e4_b

Featuring musicians of all abilities and music from any genre.  Sidewalks, parks, front porches, and public spaces throughout the region will become stages for local musicians to perform and for all to enjoy. Each region will have its own ambiance. This will be a day packed with more than 250 free musical events happening with concerts on streets, sidewalks, and parks around the state.

Keyboards 13914058319_70760e6e56_bCommunity Jam Sessions, Dueling Drums, Battle of the Bands are some of the featured events. For a full schedule of events: MakeMusicCT.org

Location: Numerous locations throughout Southeastern CT
Date: June 21, 2018
Time: Various – see schedule
Tel: 860-460-5236
makemusicday.org/southeasternct

US: St Simons Island, GA – African American Musical Traditions (even Gullah Geechee), Crafts and Food

For over 40 years the Georgia Sea Islands Festival on St. Simons Island, Georgia has celebrated the African American musical traditions, crafts, and food of the coastal barrier islands.Women gsif5_a094edcd-5056-a36a-0b4d02effe6ba3a5

Each year the highlight of the festival are the musicians – young, old, and some “with an old heart” — who perform traditional spirituals, work songs, and plays handed down by their ancestors. Live entertainment includes The Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters.

There will be cuisine such as  smoked mullet, fried fish, sweet potato pone, homemade ice cream, and demonstrations of traditional Gullah Geechee knitting cast net and sweet grass baskets.

Men Singing gsif4_a0952c76-5056-a36a-0ba9ac6ed479ebd0The Georgia Sea Islands Festival is FREE and filled with fun and entertainment for the whole family.Crowd gsif3_a0953f8a-5056-a36a-0b44dfd584862c30

Location: Gascoigne Bluff Park, 1000 Arthur J Moore Dr, St Simons Island, GA 31522
Date: Sat, June 2, 2018
Time: 11am – 6pm
Tel: 912- 634-0330
ssiheritagecoalition.org/2018/02/16/georgia-sea-islands-festival-2018
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goldenisles.com

US: Smithfield, NC – Eat Like Pigs at Smithfield’s Ham and Yam Country Festival

Downtown Smithfield is the place to be on Saturday, May 5th for the much anticipated 34th annual Ham & Yam Festival,  which occupies several blocks and attracts thousands of people.FredDeesHam

With pig races, inflatables, vendors, entertainment, and ham and yam foods, it’s a fun day for the entire family.  Craft and commercial vendors line the streets, food vendors offer a variety of fair foods and menu items featuring country ham and sweet potatoes, and local bands and dance groups perform on the festival’s three stages throughout the day.

Ham&YamPigRacesThe festival features a barbecue cook-off, rubber duck race, 5k,  a petting zoo and the always popular “What’s That Yam Thing?” contest; where children are encouraged to play with their food by turning sweet potatoes into works of art.  As well as the Sweet Potato Pie Eating Contest where 10 participants will eat like pigs, competing to be the fastest person to eat their sweet potato pie without using their hands.Mikayla-SPCheesecakePie

Get to Smithfield and enjoy the Ham & Yam Festival,  packed with delicious homemade ham biscuits, barbeque pork, and sweet potato pie.

Location: Neuse River Amphitheatre, 200 S. Front Street, Smithfield, NC 27577
Date: Sat,  May 5, 2018
Time: 9am – 9pm
Tel: 919-934-0887
hamandyam.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: johnstoncountync.org

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: Daytona Beach, FL – Rolex 24 at Daytona – Grueling 24 Hour Endurance Race

Since 1962, racing legends from around the world have come to Daytona to compete in a grueling 24-hour marathon.  The Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona is infamously relentless on both driver and machine as sleep-deprived crews perform mechanical phenomenons. From sunrise to sunset to sunrise again, witness as both man and machine are pushed to the limit in this twice-around-the-clock marathon.

Car MotorsportsThe Rolex 24 at DAYTONA, a 24-hour sports car endurance race executed on the track’s 3.56-mile road course, is a perfect battle between machine, driver and time.

The four-day event begins with qualifying races on January 25, a BMW Endurance race January 26 and the Rolex 24 January 27-28. Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso brings the driver star power to this most challenging race.Motorsports(1)

Schedule of Events:

Thursday, January 25th
9:00 AM
Stadium & UNOH Fanzone opens
9:20 AM – 10:20 AM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #1
10:40 AM – 11:25 AM
Ferrari Challenge practice session #3
11:40 AM – 11:55 AM
IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge practice session #3
12:05 PM – 12:20 PM
IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge ST qualifying
12:25 PM – 12:40 PM
IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge GS / TCR qualifying
1:40 PM – 2:40 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #2
3:00 PM – 3:15 PM
Ferrari Challenge qualifying #1 group 1
3:20 PM – 3:35 PM
Ferrari Challenge qualifying #1 group 2
3:55 PM – 4:10 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD qualifying
4:20 PM – 4:35 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM qualifying
4:45 PM – 5:00 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship P qualifying
5:00 PM – 5:20 PM
IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge practice session #4
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #3

 Friday, January 26th
8:30 AM
Stadium & UNOH Fanzone opens
8:45 AM – 9:00 AM
Ferrari Challenge qualifying #2 group 1
9:05 AM – 9:20 AM
Ferrari Challenge qualifying #2 group 2
9:40 AM – 10:40 AM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #4
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM
Ferrari Challenge race #1
11:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Carnival Rides at the Boardwalk Experience
12:00 PM – 12:45 PM
Grid opens for fan access to pre-race ceremonies on Pit Road
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
BMW Endurance Challenge At DAYTONA

Saturday, January 27th
6:30 AM
Stadium & UNOH Fanzone opens
7:00 AM
DAYTONA 5K Run & Fun Walk
8:00 AM
Rolex 24 Heritage Exhibition Display at the FPL Solar Patio inside UNOH Fanzone
9:00 AM
Stadium open
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
UNOH Fanzone Kids Zone open
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Motorsports Hall of Fame open in Daytona Ticket and Tours building
9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Daytona Rewards stations open in stadium & UNOH Fanzone
9:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Grassroots Motorsports Experience located at the Grassroots Motorsports tent along Lake Lloyd
9:30 AM – 10:45 AM
Ferrari Challenge race #2
10:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Carnival Rides at the Boardwalk Experience
10:30 AM
Rolex 24 Heritage Exhibition laps
11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Photos with the 56th Rolex 24 At Daytona trophy inside Gatorade Victory Lane
12:00 PM – 12:45 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driver autograph session inside UNOH Fanzone
1:05 PM – 2:20 PM
Grid opens for fan access to pre-race ceremonies on Pit Road
1:05 PM – 2:20 PM
Crossover gates open
2:40 PM
START – 56th Rolex 24 At Daytona
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Wine & Cheese Party – Café 24 Activity Zone
6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Taste of the 24 in Stadium Midway Suites
8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Live band on the Main Stage inside UNOH Fanzone
10:30 PM – 12:00 AM
Karaoke on the Main Stage inside UNOH Fanzone

 Sunday, January 28th
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Café 24 Breakfast Garage inside the Café 24 Activity Zone
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Photos with the 56th Rolex 24 At Daytona trophy inside Gatorade Victory Lane
9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
UNOH Fanzone Kids Zone open
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Fanatics merchandise store open in Stadium
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Grassroots Motorsports Experience located at the Grassroots Motorsports tent along Lake Lloyd
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Motorsports Hall of Fame open in Daytona Ticket and Tours building
10:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Carnival Rides at the Boardwalk Experience
2:00 PM
Rolex 24 Heritage Exhibition parade begins in UNOH Fanzone
2:40 PM
FINISH – 56th Rolex 24 At Daytona

Photo Credit: Daytona International Speedway

Location: Daytona International Speedway, 1801 W. International Speedway Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32118
Date: Jan 25 – 28, 2018
Time: Various – See Schedule Above
Tel: 386-253-7223
daytonainternationalspeedway.com/Events/2018/Rolex-24-At-DAYTONA/Rolex-24-At-Daytona.aspx
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: daytonabeach.com

US: Fayetteville, NC- The Fayette Symphony Orchestra’s French Connection Concert

Francophiles and Lafayette enthusiasts, this concert is for you.  On Jan. 11, the Fayetteville Symphony will explore the area’s heritage with the concert “The French Connection.” The first chamber concert of the season at St. John’s Episcopal Church will feature the Fayetteville Symphony String Quartet as they perform Ravel’s String Quartet, a piece that is a cornerstone composition of French Impressionism. String Quartet 2018-01-03_13-25-51

Founded in 1956, the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously-funded community orchestra in North Carolina. Fifty-one years later, their mission remains: To Educate. To Entertain. To Inspire.

Location: St. John’s Episcopal Church, 302 Green Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Date: Thurs, Jan 11, 2018
Time: 7:30 – 9:30 pm
Tel: 910-433-4690
www.fayettevillesymphony.org/2017-2018-concerts
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfayettevillenc.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: Daytona Beach, FL – Grueling 24 Hour Marathon – Rolex 24 at Daytona, a Premier Endurance Race

This year marks the 55th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The competitive 24-hour continuous sports car race executed on the track’s 3.56-mile road course is a perfect battle between machine, driver and time. This race inaugurates the three weeks of race action for Budweiser Speedweeks with great racing, carnivals, car show and live bands and other entertainment.

Since 1962, racing legends from around the world have come to Daytona to compete in a grueling 24-hour marathon. The Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona is infamously relentless on both driver and machine as sleep-deprived crews perform mechanical phenomenons. From sunrise to sunset, fans will watch drivers compete against a brigade of  adversaries that span the auto racing universe in the first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race of the season.2013 Rolex 24 At Daytona

Each team is comprised of four drivers and no drivers are allowed to be in a car for more than four hours during a six-hour time frame. However, each driver must drive for at least four hours and 30 minutes throughout the 24-hour period. Crew chiefs and crew members will also rotate throughout the event.

When the 24-hour time span concludes, the team that has wheeled the most miles in each class of cars – Prototype, Prototype Challenge, GT Daytona, GT Le Mans – will win their respective divisions. The race begins at 2:40 pm on Saturday, Jan 28 and concludes on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 2:40 pm, giving it the name “24 Hours of Daytona.”

For Schedule and Tickets: daytonainternationalspeedway.com/Events/2017/Rolex-24-At-DAYTONA/Schedule.aspx
Photo Credit:  Barberstock

Location: Daytona International Speedway, 1801 W. International Speedway Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32118
Date: Sat, Jan 28 – Sun,  Jan 29, 2017
Time:  Jan 28th -6:30AM Fanzone Opens – Jan 29th 2:40PM FINISH – 55th Rolex 24
Tel: 386-253-7223
daytonainternationalspeedway.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: daytonabeach.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: Portsmouth, NH- Meet Ghosts, See an Equestrian Ballet and Join the Halloween Parade

Brave attendees meet the Ghosts on the Banke at Strawbery Banke’s famous family-friendly Halloween celebration. Long-dead sea captains, 17th century shopkeepers and wayward pirates haunt the streets of Portsmouth’s oldest neighborhood as you trick or treat safely from house to historic house. ghosts-on-the-banke

Trick-or-Treat safely as Jack-O-Lanterns light the way to step over the threshold of time and meet the “Ghosts on the Banke.” Discover pirate treasure, visit with the wacky witch, look into the future with guidance from the gypsy fortune teller. Catch a Ghostly Tale when Community members bring history back to life with spooky plays, skits, and interactive improvisation throughout the evening. Light up the Night and warm weary bones by the bonfire.

Masques on the Banke (Sunday Oct 30 only – 5:30 – 7pm) – Step “Behind the Mask” at this 90 minute event, as the majestic black Friesian horses of Runnymede Farm perform their equestrian ballet. US Premiere of a choreographed equestrian dressage seen only in Europe.  Meet the horses and enjoy a mask-making craft for Halloween.  Special guests include: Wick’d Fire and the Skeleton Crew Theater.
Show off Your Costume (Oct 31st at 7 pm) – March in a New Orleans-style parade, past haunted houses of old, through ghostly lanes full of things that go bump in the night. The Portsmouth Halloween Parade starts at Peirce Island by Prescott Park. It is an all-inclusive celebration of community, creativity and free expression that walks, stalks, dances, trumpets and drums its way through downtown Portsmouth each year – for more info:  portsmouthhalloweenparade.org

Location:  Strawbery Banke Museum, 14 Hancock St., Portsmouth NH 03801
Date: Fri Oct 28 – Sat Oct 29, 2016
Hours: 5:30pm – 8pm
Tel: 603-433-1100
strawberybanke.org/events/ghosts-on-the-banke.cfm
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goportsmouthnh.com