STS Top 20 Events - the best events in the southeast

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JULY 2010

July 1-4  62nd Annual Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo,  Gulfport, Miss.  228-896-6699 (  YEEHAW!  Fireworks, fishing, fellowship and fun are all here at this family-friendly rodeo!  Contestants fish the Gulf in hopes of winning prizes or breaking a new record!

July 2-4  Independence Day in the Pinehurst Area, Pinehurst, N.C.  800.346.5362 (  Parades, fireworks, and street fairs can be found during this Independence Day Fest!  Relive the childhood fun of pick-your-own farms then sample some homemade ice cream!

July 2-5  City of Jacksonville Fourth of July Celebration, Jacksonville, Fla. 904-630-3690 ( Everything from motorcycle rides to ice skating is being offered at this year’s gala!  Fireworks over St. Johns River choreographed to a patriotic soundtrack round out the fun!

July 3-4  Spirit of American Festival, Decatur, Ala. 800-232-5449 ( Those who have put the needs of their country first are honored during this festival that promotes patriotism among all Americans!  An amazing fireworks show promises to wow!

July 4 Red, White and Blue You Festival, Lake Charles, La. 800-456-SWLA (  Live music, a powered parachute flyover and a citywide prayer service are just a few of the activities that unite the community through patriotism and excitement in this free party!

July 4  CLAMerica Celebration,  Cedar Key, Fla.  352-543-5057 ( It’s “clamania!” Clams anyway you like ‘em as well as something for the landlubbers during this patriotic tribute by way of its beloved home-grown mollusk! 

July 4  Operation Celebrate Freedom,  Fayetteville, N.C.  910-396-9126 ( What better way to celebrate the 4th than with the brave men and women who fight for our freedom?  Music, rides, food and parachutists all help commemorate our nation’s independence!

July 4 Sertoma’s 4th of July Celebration,  Pensacola, Fla.  850-434-1234 ( Bring the kids to the largest 4th of July extravaganza on the Gulf Coast!  A patriotic parade and live entertainment lead up to a huge fireworks display over Pensacola Bay.

July 5-10 Lexington Junior League Horse Show,  Lexington, Ky.  859-971-7416 ( The world’s largest saddle-bred horse show promises to offer something for the whole family.  From pony-rides for the kids to dancing for the folks, each evening offers something new.

July 6-8  Wild Horse Days, Corolla, N.C.  252.453.8002  ( Take part in the preservation and protection of the endangered wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs that roam free on the Outer Banks during this three-day party.

July 9-11  The Forecastle Festival,  Louisville, Ky.  502-472-7555  (  Music, Art, and Activism are equally showcased in this symposium on the Louisville Riverfront for three days.  Come experience this new cultural entertainment medium!

July 9-11  33rd Annual Uncle Dave Macon Days Old-Time Music and Dance Festival, Murfreesboro, Tenn.  615-893-2369  ( This year’s traditional old time music and dance festival will include a gospel music showcase, historic photo exhibit and “Motorless” parade to name a few!

July 10  Battle of Huck’s Defeat,  McConnells, S.C.  803-684-2327  ( See the Carolina backcountry as it was during the days of the Revolutionary War through demonstrations, period music, camp life and talks by experts.

July 10  Classy Chassis Car Show and Country Flea Market  Wilmington, N.C.  910-686-9518  (  He can peruse the vintage cars, trucks and tractors on display while she can shop the flea market under the shade trees of an old southern peanut plantation! 

July 15 – Aug. 15  Shakespeare on the Square,  Knoxville, Tenn.  865-546-4280  (   “All the world’s a stage,” in this month long event that brings the Globe Theatre down south.  Put down a blanket and enjoy a play in the open air of Market Square!

July 15-17  Virginia Lake Festival,  Clarksville, Va.  434-374-2436  ( “Virginia’s Only Lakeside Town” comes alive with hot air balloons, sand sculptures, live entertainment and much more fun for young and old alike during this free event.

July 15-18  Keeneland Concours d’Elegance, Lexington, Ky.  859-422-3329  (  In this “Showplace of Thoroughbred Horsepower,” vintage and modern cars, trucks and motorcycles are showcased along with automotive art, a silent auction and more!

July 16-24  Fun Fest,  Kingsport, Tenn.  423-392-8806 ( You’ll find yourself wanting to come back in the fall after this nine-day fest that includes an old-fashioned Cornhole Tournament where you can test your corn bag tossing skills!

July 22- Aug. 1  FOLKMOOT USA,  Waynesville, N.C. 828-452-2997 ( In the spirit of European Festivals, the Smokey Mountains become a world bazaar as over 300 dancers and musicians from all over the world perform in authentic costumes.

July 24-25  12th Annual Butternut Creek Festival, Blairsville, Ga.  706-835-1948  ( The very best artistic talents have their work carefully juried during this two-day free festival nestled along the shady banks of Butternut Creek in beautiful Blairsville.

The deadline to apply to be a Fall (October, November, December) 2010 event is April 9, 2010. For an application, visit the STS Top 20 web page.


Aug. 1-8  US Kids Golf Championships, Pinehurst, N.C.  800-346-5362 (  Over 10 courses host over 1,200 junior golfers from 5-18 years old. Festivities include a parade and ice cream socials!

Aug. 5-7  55th Annual Robbins Farmers Day, Robbins, N.C. 910-464-1290 ( One of the largest horse parades on the east coast with more than 400 horses, mules and wagons. Carnival rides, crafts, lumberjack competitions, and more!

Aug. 5-8  Satchmo Summerfest, New Orleans, La. 504-522-5730 ( This 10th annual celebration honors the legacy of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong though music, movies, seminars, and discussions!

Aug. 5-8 41st Annual Street Rod Nationals,  Louisville, Ky.  502-367-5150 ( For the first time ever, the event will be open to vehicles 30 years old and older!  In addition to the over 11,000 street rods on display, activities include a vintage parts swap meet and tradeshow.

Aug. 6-7  Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair, Burnsville, N.C.  828-682-7413
( Stroll down “Norman Rockwell” streets lined with artist booths featuring handmade art while having an abundance of authentic Southern food to choose from at this 54th annual fair! 

Aug. 6-7 White Water River Carnival, Batesville, Ark. 870-793-2378 (  Help try to break the Guinness World Record for a Water Balloon fight during this two-day family festival on the banks of the White River!

Aug. 6-8  Craftsmen's Summer Classic Arts and Crafts Festival, Myrtle Beach, S.C.  336-282-5550  ( The very best of “Made in America”!  Artists and craftsmen present thousands of original works in pottery, wood, jewelry, glass, photography, and more!

Aug. 7-8  31st Annual Revolutionary War Battle Reenactment, Sanford, N.C.  910-947-2051 ( In addition to one of America’s most authentic Revolutionary War battle reenactments, visitors will see blacksmithing and contests between enthusiasts that include a tomahawk throw!

Aug. 13  14th Annual Duncan Hines Festival, Bowling Green, Ky.  800-326-7465
( Sweet treats and family fun are the ingredients of this free culinary festival honoring cake-mix king, Duncan Hines

Aug. 13-21  State Fair of West Virginia, Fairlea, W. Va.  304-645-1090 ( “Genuine Homegrown Fun” is the theme this year as exhibits and special events focus on the agriculture of West Virginia!

Aug. 14  Bon Festival,  Delray Beach, Fla.  561-495-0233 ( At sunset, Morikami Pond is transformed into a tranquil sea of lanterns which guide the ancestors’ souls away after a visit with the living.  A fireworks display caps the enchanting evening.

Aug. 14 Bright Lights, Belhaven Nights, Jackson, Miss. 601-960-1891 ( “Small Town in the Big City” artists and musicians are showcased through various art forms and venues.  A children’s area features various 'artsy' activities including an outdoor mural.

Aug. 16-27  International Mystery Writers Festival,  Owensboro, Ky. 270-687-2770 (  Take part in voting for the next winner of The Angie Award, named for Angela Lansbury, in this annual love-letter to the “Whodunit.” Discover plays, and short stories showcased for the first time!

Aug. 21-22 AFB Art Fair @ Woodland Park, Lexington, Ky.  859-254-70274 ( 200 of the nation’s finest juried artists showcase 11 categories of media from 2D mixed media to woodwork in the largest, free outdoor cultural event in central Kentucky.

Aug. 25- Sept. 4  72nd Annual Tennessee Walking Horse, Shelbyville, Tenn.  931-684-5915 ( A large Trade Fair, Tennessee Barbeque Cookout and Dog Show are just some of the events scheduled along with the championship show of Tennessee’s native breed of show horse!

Aug. 26-28  Winterville Watermelon Festival,  Winterville, N.C.  252-756-1068 ( Summer fun from watermelon carving to a watermelon roll contest is showcased at this two-day festival dedicated to this fun fruit.  The town’s slogan: “Winterville-A Slice of the Good Life,” promises just that!

Aug. 27-28 Frisco Festival, Rogers, Ark. 479-936-5487 (  Free rides and entertainment for the whole family!  The train heritage of Rogers, Arkansas is paid tribute to during this two-day gala.

Aug. 28  Summerfest, York, S.C. 803-684-2950 ( This ode to summer bash has placed a special emphasis on multicultural entertainment blended with traditional southern tastes in music and dance. 

Aug. 28-29 Big Haynes Creek Wildlife Festival,  Conyers, Ga. 770-850-4190 ( Reptile and Birds of Preys Shows, a Living History section and hands-on demonstrations celebrate the outdoors and the natural world.

Aug. 29  Festival Peachtree Latino,  Atlanta, Ga.  404-321-0663 ( Come enjoy food, music and exhibits from South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the USA in the 10th anniversary celebration of this large multicultural event!

Need a place to stay while visiting these events? Visit to help plan your weekend getaway.


Sept. 5-7  Marietta Art in the Park,  Marietta, Ga.  770-592-7150 ( Hand-made fine art from over 150 artists is featured in the Artist Market.  The Interactive Art Gallery invites the public to bring art alive through various art stations such as puppet-making!

Sept. 5-12  Tennessee Williams Tribute Weekend and Victorian Home Tour, Columbus, Miss.  662-328-5413 (  Plays, memorabilia exhibits, scholars’ lectures and a tour of his childhood home are just some of the activities at this weeklong tribute to Mississippi’s beloved son, Tennessee Williams.

Sept. 6  Coon Dog Labor Day Celebration, Cherokee, Ala. 800-344-0783 ( Music, dancing and barbequing all take place at the Coon Dog Cemetery!  This bone-a-fide site has been the final resting place for many a mongrel since 1937.

Sept. 10-11  25th Annual Bush Hill Heritage Festival,  Archdale, N.C. 336-434-2073 ( Thou would most enjoy North Carolina’s only Quaker festival now in its 25th year!  Period food and displays, arts, crafts and entertainment are sure to delight!

Sept. 11-12  The Commonwealth Cup of Polo, The Plains, Va. 703-823-1868 ( One of the most prestigious international polo matches in the US is planning a very special Silver Anniversary party that includes bagpipe presentations and champagne divot stomps!

Sept. 11-12  29th Annual Biloxi Seafood Festival, Biloxi, Miss. 228-604-0014 ( Bring the whole hungry gang to this celebration of family, community and seafood heritage in the City of Biloxi!  Extremely family-friendly and guaranteed fun for all!

Sept. 11-12  CelticFest Mississippi,  Jackson,  Miss.  601-960-1891 (  A “Filum,” an Irish film festival, kicks off this weekend of festivities dedicated to Celtic heritage.  A whiskey and scotch tasting, music, dancing, art and culture are all included!

Sept. 14-19  Kentucky Bourbon Festival,  Bardstown, Ky.  1-502-348-3623 ext. 4  (  Experience the history, art and passion of making Kentucky bourbon in this gala dedicated to America’s only native spirit!  Have a taste and a huge dose of southern hospitality!

Sept. 17-19  Jekyll Island Shrimp and Grits Festival: the Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival,  Jekyll Island, Ga. 1-877-4-JEKYLL  ( The ultimate in southern food pairing is glorified in this two-day fest on the Georgia Coast.  The Golden Isles have never tasted so good!  

Sept. 17-19  9th Annual Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour,  Mountain View, Ark.  870-269-4103  ( This free, self-guided tour brings visitors into the private working studios of area artisans all located within 30 miles of the Court House Square.

Sept. 18  18th Annual Marietta Street Fest, Marietta, Ga.  770-794-5710 (  “Georgia Made, Georgia Grown, Georgia Places” close to Home is the focus of this years annual Antique Street Festival.  Shop for a new family heirloom or have an old one appraised!

Sept. 18-19  JapanFest 2010,  Duluth, Ga. 404-926-3020  ( Guests are invited to immerse themselves in Japanese culture by learning about the 10 regions of Japan.  Unique foods, performing arts, language and customs are showcased.

Sept. 18-19  Heritage Days,  Chesapeake, Va.  757-382-8466 (  Take a step back in time into the days of the Civil War through this living history experience that highlights rural skills and crafts passed through the generations.

Sept. 18-19  Ocmulgee Indian Celebration,  Macon, Ga.  478-752-8257 ( Dancers, storytellers, musicians, demonstrators and artists come together to celebrate the Native Americans that inhabited the area before the city was founded.

Sept. 18-19  Riverfest, Decatur, Ala. 800-524-6181 ( “Pitmasters” compete at the Alabama State Championship Barbeque Cook-Off while offering two days of fun for the family including live music and lip-smacking barbeque! 

Sept. 23-26  World Chicken Festival, London, Ky. 606-878-6900  (  Enter the wing eating contest, be a colonel look-alike or see chicken fried in the world’s largest stainless steel skillet in this homage to this southern staple!

Sept. 23 – Oct. 24  34th Annual Fall Tour of Homes and Gardens,  Charleston, S.C.  843-722-4630 (  Visit some of the most enchanting privately owned homes in Charleston!  Self-guided, self-paced evening and afternoon walking tours offer guests a rare opportunity to learn about these properties.

Sept. 25  Wing Dang Doodle Festival,  Forest, Miss.  601-469-4332 (  Grab a basket of hot wings, sit back and enjoy the sounds of the blues in this celebration of all things Mississippi…Chicken and Blues

Sept. 29 – Oct. 2  IdeaFestival,  Louisville, Ky. 859-233-3502 ext223 (  Einstein and Edison would approve of this meeting of the leading creative minds on the planet!  Experts from all disciplines come together to share ideas and innovations.

Sept. 30 – Oct. 2  Seventh Avenue Heritage Festival, Columbus, Miss.  662-549-4314  (  Duke Ellington, Fats Domino and Little Richard have all been hosted by Seventh Avenue’s Queen City Hotel.  The history of this district is honored through cultural events for the whole family.

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