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US: Wilson, NC – Whirligig Festival for Art in Motion, Touch-a-Truck and a Dive Into a Cake

Wilson, NC Exit 121: The North Carolina Whirligig Festival is a 2-day hometown annual arts and crafts festival features arts of the region, including the giant Whirligigs created by late local artist, Vollis Simpson. Like the whimsical outsider art, the Wilson Whirligig Festival,  in Historic Downtown Wilson, is a community celebration of people and art in motion.V. Simpson 2017-10-10_10-52-15

The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park is hosting their Grand Opening the Thursday before the festival weekend, Nov. 2nd starting at 4 pm.

With Over 200+ vendors, 3 stages of live entertainment, a showcase of local and interactive art,  delicious food, beer gardens, Non-Profit organizations, free Whirli-Kidz Zone, Special events, 5K Whirli-Run, Whirli-Kidz Stage & Choir, Cup Cake Challenge, Photo Contest. New this year is a Ninja Whirligig Warrior Zone where you can meet local American Ninja Warriors, watch them compete and get a chance to test out the course yourself.

Kids Stage2017-10-10_11-00-39

The ever popular cake dive is back, Sun @4pm: witness the festival’s messiest event, a “dive” into a large 10 ft x 10 ft anniversary cake for a variety of prizes.

Touch-A-Truck is a fun event for the whole family, allowing children three + an all access pass to explore, climb and touch city of Wilson trucks and emergency response vehicles. Kids can sit in vehicles, honk the horn and talk with the equipment operators. Horn free hours will be offered throughout the day for kids with noise sensitivity.Police Vehicles2017-10-10_10-59-06

Douglas Street will transform into a space to build, create, and envision. With Brick Scholars, Greenlight, and Imagination Station Science & History Museum. Kids five + will be able to make Lego creations, even a whirligig! Showcase your creation with the onsite photo booth.

It’s a colorful 2-day celebration that sparks creativity in the people of Wilson, so get inspired and take part in the community’s largest celebration. (rain or shine)Logo 2017-10-10_8-27-06

Location: Historic Downtown Wilson,NC 27893
Dates: Nov 4 – 5, 2017
Times:  Sat, Nov 4 -10 am – 5 pm , Sun, Nov 5  noon – 5 pm
Tel: 252-289-9650
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: wilson-nc.com

US: Lumberton, NC – Buy a Book and Stop a Crook

Book 'Em Book

If you love to read, then this event is definitely for you. Want to meet authors and learn of the inspiration for their works? Book ‘Em North Carolina is national event that brings together brings together more than 75 authors, publishers, literary agents and publicists under one roof for one common cause; to promote literacy.

Book ‘Em NC Writers Conference and Book Fair is open to readers of all ages. There are book readings and events scheduled for children from pre-school to teens, panel discussions and talks for writers trying to break into the field and  lectures and events for readers of various genres, including mysteries, romance, true adventure, historical, biographical, …

Authors will sell and sign their books, participate in panel discussions and talks, network and interact with fans one-on-one. Headlining authors include: poet LeJuane Bowen and fictional author Jill McCorkle.

A series of talks occur between 10 – 3 pm and include:

  • Writers Conference – for aspiring or published authors of all ages and levels
  • The Children’s Corner – readings for younger children, arts and crafts and special activities
  • Panel Discussions and Talks – for readers of various fiction and nonfiction genres, including autobiographical, biographical, historical, mystery/suspense, romance, fantasy, paranormal, science fiction, horror, true crime and others

Each talk begins on the hour and feel free to attend one or all of the talks throughout the day.

The purpose of The Book ‘Em Foundation and this event is to raise public awareness of the link between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. The Book ‘Em Foundation was co-founded by suspense author P.M. Terrell. Proceeds from the Book ‘Em North Carolina book fair will go directly to increasing literacy in Robeson County, North Carolina and to reducing crime in the area.

 This event is FREE and open to the public.

Location: Robeson Community College, 5160 Fayetteville Rd, Lumberton, NC
Date: Sat, Sept 23, 2017
Time: 9:30 – 4pm
Tel: 910-272-3362
For Regional Accommodations. Restaurants & Attractions: lumberton-nc.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
For Regional Accommodation, Restaurants & Attractions: milfordct.com

Canada – Montreal – Bakerfield Mist: Artsy Fartsy Tryst at Centaur

It is really hard to take the boring authenticity-proving side of the modern art world and make it into a delightful audience loving (2 standing ovations on opening night) theatre piece.

Stephen Sachs, the playwright, took on the true story of Terry Horton, a former truck driver who scavenged a painting for $5 at a second-hand shop as a gift for a friend who needed cheering up. Maude Gutman, as she is called in this play, is a lover of kitsch – her trailer is overwhelmed by it (A congratulatory shout out here for the jam-packed shelves created by set and costume designer Pam Johnson, who really needed my Smart Shopping Montreal book to find all that stuff!). At a yard sale, the local art teacher noticed the painting and mentioned it might be a Jackson Pollock; and so begins the tale. Somehow Gutman managed to get a major art house in NYC to send an expert over to check out her claim.

And therein lies this sparring pied-a-deux. A foul-mouthed bourbon drinking trailer park madam vs. the snooty elitist artsy gentleman. Human authenticity versus art authenticity is set to be proven. Nicola Cavendish walks the walk and talks the talk. Her sneaker grounded stalking moves her around the trailer while her expert verbal comedic timing keeps the pace going. She even manages to give the garbage pail “a line”.

Jonathan Monro (Lionel Percy), himself a renaissance man (competitive swimmer, piano prodigy, singer, director, lyricist, actor), glides around her, expertly dodging her verbal and physical attacks. My take-away forever (as a former NYC art teacher) is the exuberant and sexually suggestive way in which Monro teaches us the how and why a Jackson Pollock painting is important – and not just a bunch of paint splashes on a canvas.

Though Percy always trusts his “first blink”, it is Nicola Cavendish who summed it up brilliantly when she observed Pollock’s paintings, “You can see that what emerges is layers and layers and layers. I think it’s a lesson on how we can learn to look more closely, whether we are talking about a piece of art or whether we’re talking about the woman who lives across the street who’s offensive.” Modern art is beyond the understanding of the ordinary citizen, and this play opens the door a crack as to what it is all about, how it works and doesn’t work. The show makes it all fun and drives Maude’s trailer expertly to the end to find out if she goes from rags to riches.

Location: 453 St-Francois Xavier
corner: Notre-Dame
Tel: 514-288-3161
Dates: Jan 31-Feb 26, 2017
Prices $28- $51
Metro: Place d’Armes



US: Concord, MA – Good Things Come in Small Packages at Dollhouse Exhibit

 Four centuries of dollhouses are on display in Concord at The Art & Mystery of the Dollhouse exhibit featuring many of the finest representations in both public and private collections. Admirers young and old will appreciate the chance to step into that intriguing miniature universe at the new presentation at the Concord Museum, on view until Jan. 15. art-of-the-dollhouse

Explore tiny worlds that capture life’s detail and the imagination through dollhouses and miniatures from the 17th through early 20th centuries show the evolution of dollhouses from treasures for wealthy adults to colorful playthings for children. This captivating exhibition explores the tiny worlds that capture life’s detail and stimulate the imagination.

Highlights include an extremely rare dollhouse from 1695, and an array of 19th- and 20th-century doll homes from The Strong National Museum of Play,  View “room dollhouses” that celebrate interior design history and play with a hands-on Hape dollhouse. There is even a celebrity doll in attendance — Melissa Shakespeare, the doll of children’s author and illustrator Tasha Tudor. art-of-the-dollhouse2

The Concord Museum will be hosting an array of special programs throughout the exhibition months includes a hands-on room box building workshop, story times with dollhouse-inspired crafts and gallery talks led by specialists in the world of miniatures.

Location: Concord Museum, 200 Lexington Road, Concord, MA 01742
Dates: Until  January 15, 2017
Hours: til December Mon–Sat, 9–5pm; Sun., 12–5pm
January Mon–Sat 11–4pm, Sun. 1–4pm                         Tel: 978-369-9763
concordmuseum.org/art-and-mystery-of-the- dollhouse.php
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions:

Photo Credit: Photos by Gavin Ashworth
picture 1 – Camden House; England, dated 1838; Private Collection: This house includes all its original furnishings, including a copy of T. Goode’s miniature edition of The History of England (1837). Camden, now part of London proper, was in 1838 a suburb with housing developed for working people. The Cratchet family of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol (1843) lived in Camden. The house first came to America in 1964.

picture 2 -Georgian House; England, 1720-1730; Private Collection: This oak dollhouse on stand is in the form of an early Georgian country house. When it was owned by pioneering dollhouse collector Vivien Greene, the house included a clockwork (wind-up) ghost. The ghost intrigued the young Prince Charles when he saw the house in the first (1955) major exhibition on the subject of early dollhouses.

US: Darien, GA – Car Show, Water Race, Doggie Parade and Battle Re-enactment in Darien

Fall is in the air and the Darien Fall Festival is the place to be.  Enjoy the Coastal scenery at this family- friendly event, offering tons to do; food, arts, and entertainment and taking place in the picturesque setting of  downtown Darien.

The Classic Coastal Cruisers of Darien Car Show will be on display in Vernon Square, The rescue group, HART of McIntosh, will hold its Doggie Day Parade along Broad Street where you’ll find costumed participants and their owners, kayakers, canoeists, and paddle boarders will compete along a 2.4-mile course from the Darien River Bridge to Fort King George Historic Site Be entertained by the McIntosh County Line Dancers and musical performances while Fine Arts vendors, Craft and Antique Vendors, and  Food and Drink vendors will be set up along the streets.darien-fall-fest2

Spend the day strolling the streets of historic Darien while enjoying the arts, antiques, food, and music or watching a battle re-enactment at FortKingGeorge , the Trailhead Center -Burning of Darien;  Museum will be open and there will be horseback rides for children. Ashantilly Mansion and Print Shop will be open. There will be a Lime Burn with a talk on the history of Ashantilly, and then  a historian led walking tour through historic St. Andrews Cemetery.

Diverse outdoor demonstrations including: yard and garden art, furniture and home decor, jewelry and clothing will take place on the grounds of the Old Jail Art Center during Fall Fest. Come out and celebrate the rich history and heritage of Darien.

Location: Downtown – Darien, GA 31305
Date: Nov 5, 2016
Hours: 8am – 5pm
Tel: 912-617-7299
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitdarien.com