What a Melon!
The 33rd annual N.C. Watermelon Festival in Murfreesboro (two hours from Raleigh) takes place Aug. 1-4.


This year's salute to summertime includes an agricultural parade, fireworks, watermelon and seed-spitting contests, a food fair, a craft show and amusement rides.


Featured entertainment includes: Aug. 1 – Jim Quick & Coastline; Aug. 2 – Mikele Buck Band; Aug. 3 – The Janitors; and Aug. 4 – Pizazz Band.


Visit ncwatermelonfest.com for more information.



Oh, the Places You'll Go
In its annual survey, the U.S. Tour Operators Association forecasts:


The most popular domestic destinations in 2018 will be: California; Florida and Hawaii (tied for second); New York; Alaska and Nevada (tied for fourth); and Washington DC.


Hot international destinations will be: Australia; Spain; Iceland and Italy (tied for third); France; and Japan.


Travelers may want to see these sites before they change too much: Antarctica; Cuba; and Australia's Great Barrier Reef.





Dancing Under the Stars
The street-dance tradition in Hendersonville began as a way for residents to welcome soldiers home from World War I. A hundred years later, people still take to Main Street on Monday nights in summer for live bluegrass and square dancing.


Those who've never do-si-do'd come early to learn basic steps from caller Walt Puckett.


More lively action comes as area clogging teams show off their fancy doubles and rockin' chairs. The 2018 dances run July 9-Aug. 13.


For more, go to visithendersonvillenc.org.


Want to keep dancing? You'll have the time of your life at the annual Dirty Dancing Festival, Aug. 24-25, in Lake Lure.


The first night features a lakeside showing of the 1987 Oscar-winning film "Dirty Dancing" on a jumbo screen. The romantic drama was shot in Lake Lure, which served as a stand-in for New York's Catskill mountains. You don't know what you've been missing until you're among 2,000 fans who're shouting the best lines of dialogue into the night air!


The festival excitement also includes live music, watermelon games, dance lessons, shag contests, food, vendors and a lift competition in the lake.


See dirtydancingfestival.com for tickets.