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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: 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: Manassas, VA – Runners Shake Tail Feathers at Prince William 5k Turkey Trot

The Prince William 5k Turkey Trot and 1 Mile Fun Run is a family friendly and festive celebration of Thanksgiving Day.  The race theme  being: “Trot, Eat, Sleep!” These high energy amusing races highlight Prince William County as a healthy, fun, and active community.prince-william-turkey-trot

Participants are encouraged to wear their best Thanksgiving themed gear: Pilgrim, Pocahontas, Turkey, Pie, Native American and Colonial. This event will be full of festivities and most importantly tons of fun including music, best costume awards, and a chance to win a Golden Ticket: All runners receive a FRR finish line envelope, the random Golden Ticket awards – “Willy Wonka” style–  featuring a mystery gift.
Top 5 men and women receive Running Store Gift Cards – $100/$75/$50/$25/$25.
100 pumpkin pie Duck Donuts are randomly given to 100 lucky race finishers.

1 Mile Fun Run/Walk: The one mile fun run-walk is a low key non-timed event. The 1 mile race is geared toward the youth, however, runners of all ages and abilities are welcome and beginners are encourage to attend.prince-william-turkey-run2

Stay Warm! The Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center has graciously opened its facility so participants and spectators can stay ‘warm’ both pre and post-race. A DJ will play music from 8:00-10:30.

Location: Freedom Aquatics & Fitness Center, 9100 Freedom Center Blvd., Manassas, VA 20110
Date: Sat,  Nov 26, 2016
Time: 8:30 a.m. Prince William Turkey Trot 5K , 9:30 a.m. 1 Mile Run/Walk
funrunracing.com/the-pw-5k-turkey-trot
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: discoverpwm.com

US: New Smyrna Beach, FL – Calling All Harmonica Lovers…if You Love Great Blues Harp…Don’t Miss This Show!

Looking for something different?  If you love blues harp, haemonica-compthis show is for definitely for you. Harmonica players from throughout the state will battle at the 11th Annual Florida Harmonica Championships. Every October the Florida Harmonica Championships combines performances from more than 20 great harp players with internationally known guest stars. Each year, music lovers from all over the country travel to beautiful New Smyrna Beach to witness what has become a signature Florida music happening.

This combination of raw new talent, a show oriented format, great backing band and internationally renowned guest stars has made the Florida Harmonica Championships and New Smyrna a music destination for fans from Florida, the US and the world. Anyone can compete.harmonica-competition

Other activities include a master class, a harmonica repair harmonica-competition-2clinic and a “harmonica orchestra” performance open to all spectators with a harmonica.

Location: Beachside Tavern, 690 E. 3rd. Ave, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169
Date: Sun Oct 16, 2016
Time: Noon – 9PM
Tel: 386-314-5718
floridaharmonicachampionships.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: nsbfla.com