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US: Fredericksburg, VA – Bourbon Barrel Regatta at Distillery’s Father’s Day Fest

Father’s Day is a special day, so why not treat Dad to a fun-filled day at A. Smith Bowman Distillery, the home of World’s Best Bourbon 2016 & 2017, for their 7th Annual Father’s Day Festival.Bourbon Father's Day Festival

Admission is FREE to the festival and entertaining for the whole family.  Highlights include: Distillery tours on the half hour, tastings & cocktails, local beer & wine, Live music, mouthwatering food, vendors, games, and the much anticipated Annual Barrel Regatta.

Bourbon Barrel Regatta FB Deep Run Regatta CoverThe Annual Barrel Regatta is an amusing watery tradition. Taking place from  noon – 1pm, individuals or teams from around the create their own boats made from used bourbon barrels and race them in Deep Run. There will be prizes and awards for the two fastest finishes, most spirited and best sinking. You don’t want to miss the race.

No pets with the exception of service animals are allowed in the festival areas.

Location: A. Smith Bowman Distillery, One Bowman Drive, At Deep Run, Fredericksburg, VA 22408
Date: Sat,  June 16th, 2018
Time: 11am – 5pm
Tel: 540-373-4555
asmithbowman.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfred.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: Columbia, MD – More Sheep and Wool Than You Can Imagine!

Discover the beauty of sheep, the warmth of wool and the delicious taste of lamb during a fun-filled weekend at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, 45 years of celebrating all things sheep, from hoof to handwoven.

Sheep1-1jyf79sWith over 275 vendors, more than 800 sheep, and workshops, food, and entertainment, there is something for everyone. Check out the working sheep dogs or sheep shearing demonstrations, learn how to prepare lamb, cheese making, take a spinning class, or shop for a variety of fleece, yarn and roving.

The Parade of Breeds will introduce you to a large variety of sheep breeds, and the Sheep to Shawl Contest will demonstrate shearing, carding, spinning, and weaving a final product in just a few hours.face_wool_sheep_75916_1920x1200

There are auctions and sales for sheep equipment, fiber equipment, and fleeces. You can get many new ideas from the beautiful products on display from the many competitions.

Wool 8de3421d679f6b2f85cecd8e89c80b05With workshops and seminars galore, special activities for kids, cooking demonstrations, food booths, musical entertainment, this festival is going to be a hit with the whole family.

Location: Howard County Fairgrounds, 2210 Fairgrounds Rd, West Friendship, MD 21794-9604
Date: May 5 & 6, 2018
Time: Sat 8:30am – 6pm, Sun 8:30am – 5pm
Tel: 410- 531-3647
sheepandwool.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visithowardcounty.com

US: Lumberton, NC – Chili, Music & Exercise: Two Days of Fun in Lumberton

Rumba on the Lumber 2018, a festival of food, movement, music and the arts, consisting of two days of events in historic downtown Lumberton with over 4000 people in  attendance.Rumba cookoff DSCF2416 (2)

Many wonderful annual events will once again be front and center, including: The Rumba on the Lumber Festival with live music, vendors, Rumba Cross fit Games Exhibition, and the Lumbee River EMC Free Kidzone, 5K, 10K, fun run/walk, 100K ride, 20-Mile adventure ride,  Chili Cookoff and a bicycle rodeo.Rumba Run

Many festival-goers agree, it’s all about the chili. More than two dozen teams bring their most coveted recipes. Teams prepare a minimum of 10 gallons of chili and dole out free samples of their creations. The teams will be competing for prizes including the best tasting, Spiciest Chili, Strangest ingredient and Best chili cooking outfits. Don’t miss the fun!

Saturday- Downtown Plaza/ 3rd Street:

9am Southeastern Health 5K and 10K

10-5 Lumbee River EMC KidZone activities at the Plaza

10-5 Business, Craft and Food Vendors

11am Southeastern Health Family Fun Run/Walk

11- 2 Chili Cook-Off ‘80’s music by Cassette Rewind

2- 5 Concert at the Plaza with The Carolina Soul Band

Sunday (starting site- Northeast Park):

Noon The Yamaha of Lumberton Metric Century (100K cycling ride)

1:30  The Cruzbike 20-Mile Adventure Ride

3:30  The Bicycle Shop of Fayetteville Bicycle Rodeo

Location:Downtown Lumberton,Lumberton, NC 28358
Date: March 3 -4, 2018
Times: 9 – 5
Tel: 919-889-2514
robesonroadrunners.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: lumberton-nc.com

US: Fayetteville, NC – Fayetteville Rolls Back the Clock for “A Dickens Holiday”

The holiday season would not be complete stepping back into the Victorian era in Fayetteville Christmas tradition. Ever wish for a simpler time, when the pace of life wasn’t hectic and families still enjoyed spending evenings together? Roll back the clock with Fayetteville for A Dickens Holiday.Scrooge 2017-10-09_12-14-27

Horse drawn carriages roll up and down Hay Street, carrying shoppers the old fashioned way by merchants, artisans and vendors of all sorts of delightful treats. Joyful children pose with Father Christmas for memory laden pictures. Savor the inviting aroma of cider and gingerbread permeating the chilly air.

Throughout the day, sounds of the season fill the air as carolers and musicians stroll among the crowd. There is Ebenezer Scrooge himself, pursued by the ghost of Jacob Marley. Perhaps you will be greeted by Tiny Tim and his family.Carolers 2017-10-09_12-16-12

As darkness approaches and the clock reaches 5pm,  join the townspeople for the candlelight procession to the Market House, followed by fireworks. After the fireworks, the festivities continue until 9pm. Enjoy this truly unique experience and create some lasting memories with your loved ones.

Photo Credit: Wick Smith

Location: Historic Downtown Fayetteville, Hay Street – Fayetteville, NC 28301
Date: Fri,  Nov 24, 2017
Time: 1pm – 9pm
Tel: 910-323-1776
theartscouncil.com/dickensmain
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfayettevillenc.com

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
whirligigfestivalnc.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: wilson-nc.com

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: Rocky Mount, NC – 10th Annual Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown

The 10th Annual Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown is a professional cooking competition based on KCBS categories (chicken, pork ribs, pork & beef brisket). Awards include Grand Champion, Reserved Grand Champion, and People’s Choice Award. Cash awards, trophies and plaques awarded up to 10th place in each category. There will be 58 opportunities to win. BBQ Throwdown Meat

The Friday night Kick Off Party includes a Kick Off Concert featuring Who’s Bad- The Ultimate Michael Jackson tribute band  held in downtown Rocky Mount. KCBS representatives will be present and competition judging starts at noon on Saturday, October 14, using the blind judging technique. This is a party you don’t want to miss, with plenty of delicious food, beverages, and great entertainment. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and come have some fun.BBQ THrowdown Stage

Schedule of Events:

Friday & Saturday, October 13-14, 2017

  • 10th annual Eastern Carolina BBQ Throw Down (Competition)
  • Includes: People Choice

Friday, October 13th (12pm – 8:30 pm)

  • BBQ Kick Off Party (Train Station Lawn) 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm
  • Who’s Bad Michael Jackson tribute band 6:30 pm (Train Station Lawn)

Saturday, October 14th (10:00 am – 6 pm)

  • Food Vendors, Commercial Vendors, Exhibitors, Live Music

Location: 101 Coastline St, Downtown Rocky Mount,NC  27804 – in front of the Helen P. Gay Historic Rocky Mount Train Station
Date & Time: Fri, Oct. 13 – Sat, Oct. 14, 2017
Time: Fri 12 pm – 8 pm, Sat 10 am – 6 pm
Tel: 252-972-1159
downtownrockymount.com/events/eastern-carolina-bbq-throwdown
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: rockymounttravel.com

US: DeLand, FL – Bacon-lovers Won’t Want to miss this Sizzling Event

The word is out pig lovers won’t want to miss this one: the  DeLand Bacon and Brew Fest. Who does not like Bacon or Beer, a match made in heaven. There will be approximately 125 food and beverage vendors, variety of live music, and the event will play homage to all things bacon with a wide variety of bacon dishes, along with bacon-related and bacon inspired contests.DeLand Bacon Fest Bacon Costume

Imagine bacon, craft beer, wineries, and lots of vendors with their products. Indulge in mouth watering bacon-y deliciousness. You could buy bacon or beer jam, bacon-stuffed pretzels, sample bacon cupcakes, and purchase chocolate covered bacon—that’s just for starters. Many of the regular market vendors spiked their production line to include bacon in some way, whether in fudge, a cheese dip, or a cinnamon roll—or in one of 14 different varieties of bacon itself. Bacon Eating Contest at 2pm.Deland Bacon Fest Bacon Eating ContestDeLand Bacon Fest Group

A portion of the proceeds will go to The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia, so bring on the bacon!

 

 

Location: Earl Brown Park, 750 S Alabama Ave, DeLand, FL 32724
Date: Sat, Sept 30
Time: 1 – 7pm
Tel: 386-316-2959
baconandbrewfestdeland.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions:daytonabeach.com
visitnsbfl.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