RV Camping to Special Events—Two Southern Festivals in May

What could be more fun than coming together for a weekend of good food, good music and outdoor festival camaraderie? RV camping at festivals adds an additional layer of enjoyment to multi-day festivities. Whether you’re camping right in the heart of festival action or at a comfortable campground nearby, the convenience and affordability of festival camping make it a favorite activity of RV travelers.

We’ve picked two special festivals for you to consider for this year’s camping itinerary—and both take place the first week in May! From smokin’ hot blues in Memphis to a luscious celebration of South Carolina strawberries, they’re both good reasons to reserve an RV rental and plan your own Southern festival weekend.

South Carolina Strawberry Festival, Fort Mill, South Carolina, May 5-6, 2017

If you love the experience of small-town festivals, where local elementary school choirs take the same stage as regional country-rock bands and well-known blues artists, you’ll want to turn your RV toward Fort Mill, SC this May.

Fort Mill, a four-hour drive from Roanoke, VA on US-220, and just across the state border from

South Carolina Strawberry Festival

South Carolina Strawberry Festival

Charlotte, NC, is home to the annual South Carolina Strawberry Festival that honors the sweet red fruit that comes ripe right as this festival begins.

There are festival-related events like a pageant and golf tournament the week prior to Festival Weekend, but the action really starts to get sweet on Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6, 2017.

Home-spun fun such as shortcake and hot wing eating contests and a ring-full of professional wrestlers raising funds to fight cancer will keep RVers plenty occupied. That’s even before we mention the musical talent that takes the Strawberry Jam Stage both Friday night and all day Saturday.

There’s even a Strawberry Pancake Breakfast Saturday morning at the local high school. And it’s all within easy reach, as most festival events take place in or near the town’s Walter Elisha Park.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? But you may be wondering where to camp close to the festival. You’ll find plenty of private campgrounds in the area. Here are just a few:

  • Camp Wilderness at Carowinds Amusement Park, fifteen minutes north of the Festival grounds. Why not plan to stay and play at Carowinds to round out your South Carolina family RV camping vacation?
  • Charlotte/Fort Mill KOA, just off I-77 and less than ten minutes from Walter Elisha Park, gets high marks from RV travelers.
  • Crown Cove RV Park on the North Carolina/South Carolina border, minutes from Fort Mill, is another highly-recommended campground close to the Festival.

Our next festival takes us to Memphis, home of blues, barbeque and sassy Southern hospitality.

Beale Street Musical Festival, Memphis, Tennessee, May 5-7, 2017

Each May, more than one hundred thousand music lovers congregate on the banks of the Mississippi at Tom Lee Park in Memphis to enjoy musicians as varied as Snoop Dogg to Drive-By Truckers. The 2017 Beale Street Music Festival will be held May 5-7 and promises to be one of the best reasons to travel to Memphis by RV this year.

Bring your blanket (no coolers, outside beverages or lawn chairs, please) and your love of good music to this three-day festival in a city world-renowned for its musical offerings. The eclectic mix of artists on four stages will ensure everyone in your camping crew has a stellar festival experience. And what could be more exciting than a festival with the South’s most iconic river as a backdrop? (By the way, you’ll need to buy your tickets now, as Tier I and II passes have already sold out!)

Where to camp close to the Beale Street Music Festival? Try these campgrounds for RV camping within thirty miles of the Festival:

  • Memphis Jellystone Park, Horn Lake, MS
  • Graceland RV Park & Campground on Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis
  • Memphis KOA, twenty minutes away, across the state line in Marion, Arkansas
  • Tom Sawyer RV Campground in West Memphis, Arkansas

Bonus Memphis RV camping idea: While RV camping in Memphis to attend the Beale Street Music Festival, while not schedule a longer stay to enjoy the other Memphis in May International Festival events? Kicking off with the Beale Street Music Festival the first weekend in May and stretching to the 901Fest in late May that celebrates all the 901 (Memphis) area code has to offer, this quartet of Memphis festivals in May will tempt RVers to linger longer.

It’s time to start planning your festival RV camping experiences! Use these ideas as a springboard to make your 2017 festival camping plans, and don’t forget—we’re here to help you have your best RV travel experience yet.

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Great San Diego Winter Festivals to Visit on an RV Vacation

Winter in San Diego is a mild affair and an ideal time for a vacation to this southern California city. All during the winter months you’ll discover fun festivals and events that will keep everyone in the family happy and entertained. RV campgrounds in and around San Diego offer numerous amenities to make your visit extraordinary. Below are some of the favorite festivals of San Diego locals and of folks from all over the country.

Downtown San Diego

Downtown San Diego

From November 18 through November 24, the 10th San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival will have wine and food enthusiasts enjoying one of the biggest events of the year, with some top-name celebrity chefs and some of the best wines around. With more than 200 wineries and breweries and seventy fine restaurants joining in, this certainly should be on your list of must-dos!

Music may be your “thing,” and if so the San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival is going to have to go to the top of your list. From 27 November through 1 December, this celebration features amazing bands in all different styles, including Dixieland, jazz, ragtime and swing. Hey, don’t forget rockabilly! No matter your taste in jazz, you’ll find it here. Just head to Mission Valley and start your music adventure at the Town & Country Hotel.

Stick around until December 6th and visit Balboa Park for Balboa Park December Nights. This has everything a festival should have, from foods and music to crafts and museum events. Best of all, this community festival is free, with museums opening their doors to visitors to celebrate the holidays. Dance performances are something to see, and as you experience the diversity of cultures in this once-a-year event, you will surely decide to come again next year to see what other treasured moments you may have. Every year the Santa Lucia Procession takes place at the Plaza de California which is a thrill.

Each year a parade happens on San Diego Bay, the Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. This year it is the 42nd year of colorful celebrations and you should be there on December 8th or 15th, or both dates! The boats float by all decked out with holiday lights, sparkling reminders of the season. This is delightful for adults and children alike and not to be missed!

After you celebrate your personal Christmas together with family and friends, take to the road again in San Diego and enjoy the festivities around town. Attend the San Diego Black Film Festival on January 30 through February 2 to enjoy the 11th year of amazing films, from shorts and feature films to comedies, drama and documentaries. With a spotlight on African American and African cinema, this festival is a unique and intriguing event.

Welcome in the Lunar New Year in a spectacular way at the Kearny Mesa Lunar New Year Festival. At Qualcomm Stadium from January 31st through February 2nd, this “Tet” Festival has so many activities that you may not be able to choose between them. Perhaps you can fit them all in. Thrill to martial arts exhibitions, live music, performing arts, and cultural games and shows. Watch the talent competition and cast your own votes.

From 21 to 23 February, you will love to see the Nations of San Diego International Dance Festival. Head over to Coronado High School and experience culture from around the world in one short period of three days. There will be more than 200 dancers and musicians at the Coronado Performing Arts Center and all will welcome you to visit and be thoroughly entertained.

However, you really need to take time out on the 22nd of February to go to the San Diego Brew Fest at the San Diego Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. Lots of live music and delicious food as well as amazing brews from California and beyond!

Last but certainly not least is the San Diego Bird Festival taking place in Marina Village on February 27th and running through to March 2nd. Go on some exciting birding expeditions, led by experts in their fields. It is a special experience to get out in nature and see Mother Nature’s wonders of the bird world.

San Diego is a marvelous place to be any time of year, but wintertime is particularly fun with all the festivities going on the entire time. This is a southern California adventure you won’t want to pass up this year.

Picture credits: The picture of downtown San Diego  is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
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Travel Kentucky in an RV to Enjoy Special Winter Events

Kentucky offers a lot for those who have a spirit of adventure. One adventure you may enjoy is taking a winter RV trip through Kentucky to enjoy some of the events going on around the state. This winter is forecast to be drier than normal with below-normal snowfall, so this is an ideal time to bundle up and make this winter something to remember.

November

The season is still young and it is time to get out there and prepare for the upcoming holidays. In Louisville, you can enjoy a wonderful art show and take part in a worthwhile fundraiser besides. On the 7th of November, take the family over to Lexington for the US Dressage Finals which runs through the 10th. Competitors from around the country come to appear on the national stage and go head to head with others in all divisions. Kentucky Horse Park will be alive with horse lovers and all sorts of enthusiastic fans for this event.

Kentucky Dressage Finals

Kentucky Dressage Finals

Back in Louisville, on the 9th of November, one fun activity is to join with Chancey Elementary for the Chancey 2013 Community Fair. Arts and crafts, a fabulous chili cook-off and plenty of entertainment will highlight your day. Kids love to watch other kids compete in the Kids’ Bakeoff. This event is free! Don’t pass it up!

On November 14, get ready for a musical extravaganza in Lexington. The Bluegrass Burlexpo Kentucky Burlesque and Variety Festival will present some comedy, dance, classic burlesque and much more. This is some entertainment which makes quite a joyful event. All sorts of styles and methods of madness and fun!

Then again in Lexington on the 22nd through the 31st, the 20th Annual Southern Lights will occur, with a journey like you have never experienced. The light displays and other unique displays will take your breath away. You simply drive the route to take in all the lights. It is all happening at the Kentucky Horse Park Campground! Train rides and the petting zoo are really popular with the younger set, but adults love them too. Live reindeer are present to be seen right up close.

December

The Lexington Christmas Parade on December 3 is a wonderful affair for the family to attend. This is downtown in Lexington, providing food and drink for the family and many activities. The parade itself is a treat. Afterwards, go ice skating on the rink at Triangle Park.

In Versailles, Kentucky on December 14 and 15, take the Santa Claus Train! The kids will all meet personally with the famous man and his wife, Mrs. Claus. The Bluegrass Scenic Railroad is one exciting time, with carols being sung, lovely scenery and much more.

January

Last but not least is the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater in Richmond on 18 January. Watch this unique show of Gregory Popovich’s performing pets. Fifteen cats and ten dogs show off and do all sorts of wild antics.

Treat yourself to a Kentucky RV trip this winter and take in at least one or two fun events around the state.

Picture credits: The picture of the Kentucky Dressage Finals is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
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An RV Trip to Tour Texas Festivals for November

Texas is a great place to travel in an RV this November! The festivals held throughout the state offer a wide variety of fun for all ages, and there’s nothing like making a tour of all the best ones for a vacation of a lifetime.

In Terlingua, Texas you can visit the Terlingua International Chili Championship on the 2nd of November if you would like to taste some amazing chili. Every year folks come from all over to enjoy this celebration of delicious chili. And this is not just a day of eating, but a four-day festival which is known as the “granddaddy of all chili cook-offs.” The scenery is worth the trip alone.

If you would rather avoid a feasting celebration, you might prefer music. The Pearl Bluegrass Festival in Pearl, Texas is held on 2 November, and here you will discover a whole “menu” of bluegrass to stimulate your musical appetite. RV sites are available too! No admission fees are an additional bonus, and you can listen to music the whole day through and enjoy some home cooking.

If you can’t make it to either of the above events, you can at least try to go to George West, Texas to hear storytellers entertain with wonderful cowboy tales, legends and fables. The George West Storyfest occurs on 2 November and celebrates 25 years of this western storytelling tradition. The Texas State Liars’ Contest is also held so you can try out your ability to tell a whopper!

You may have time to head to Austin for the Austin Celtic Festival that occurs on the 2nd and 3rd of November. There are more than 200 musicians, artists and more that provide a huge amount of music and dance for those of all ages. This happens at Fiesta Gardens downtown. You really shouldn’t miss this one.

Then another festival that is simply a must-see is the Wurstfest in New Braunfels, Texas. This lasts from 1 November to the 10th, so you have plenty of time to make it there on your Texas festival tour. If you love beer, you are in luck! Texan and German beer flow freely, and the special events will have you entertained to the nth degree. This is Bavarian style entertainment at its best. Dance the polka until the stars come out!

From 6 to 10 November, the RGV Birding Festival in Harlingen is a wonderful option for nature lovers. This is a real educational festival with guided field trips and youth activities. Then head to Fredericksburg for the Art Past Dark that is happening from November 12 through the 14th. With gallery shows and artists welcoming you in the celebration of fine art, this is an inspirational experience.

Welcoming in the holidays does not just occur in December. Texas has holiday celebrations that everyone can enjoy early in the year. The HEB Holiday Parade takes place in Houston in November as well as the Chuy’s Christmas Parade on 30 November in Austin. Kids love seeing Santa, who is sure to make an appearance.

Yes, Texas is the place to go on a thrilling RV trip to November festivals. Enjoy yourself and travel the Lone Star State this coming month.

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Travel through Georgia in an RV and Experience the Festivals and Fairs

Let’s have some good ole downhome fun with some festivals occurring around Georgia this fall. You can drive up from Florida to get some old-fashioned entertainment and meet up with happy folks who love to get out and visit with neighbors and newcomers. An RV is the perfect way to travel this route, as you will be moving along the Georgia highways in style and comfort.

Festival in Georgia

Festival in Georgia

About an hour north of Atlanta, you can join in at the Fall for Chatsworth’s Black Bear Festival in Chatsworth, Georgia. This is a family event which all ages will love. Arts and crafts is one of the favorite treats as there are so many artworks to see and some you may want to take home. Great music, yummy food and plenty of activities will keep you having fun and excitement. Take part in the pumpkin carving contest or put on your costume and try and win the grand prize. Be there from October 19 to the 20th for all festival activities with friendly townsfolk.

During the same time period from the 19th to the 20th of October, there is the Johns Creek Art Festival which may be to your liking. This is another wonderful festival where you can enjoy music from all manner of talented musicians.  The live music will have you tapping your feet. The dancers will entertain you and the jazz and gospel music will intrigue and enliven.  There is nothing quite like a wide variety of music to let you shed those workaday woes.

From October 25 through to November 3 you can take in the Georgia State Fair in Atlanta at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. This is a true Georgia event, with plenty of entertainment, foods, activities and shows. Does sword swallowing thrill you? When you see someone eat fire, do you cringe or do you yell for more? All these events are here for you and your family. Halloween offers more fun with a magic show and much more.  There is even a Sea Lion exhibit, fun for the whole family.

Travel a bit and head for the coast and Savannah, Georgia for the Savannah Food Day Festival. Held in Daffin Park on October 26, this festival is one not to miss if you like to eat your fill of the best food around. Then move on to Kingsland, Georgia where you can experience the Kingsland’s Fall Festival. Before or after the festival you can explore the pine forests and tour the town which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The theme of the festival this year is pirates! Kids will love to get their photos taken with Pirate Cut-Outs.

You can now head home or you can make your way back to Atlanta to attend the 4th Annual Festival and BBQ Competition on November 1st in Jonesboro.  If you are a BBQ master, you can enter the competition and see what kind of prize you can win.

What a fun RV trip this was – with good foods, great entertainment and lots of general fun! Come back again next year!

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Short or Long Term Stay in a Charming Small-Town Atmosphere

Thank you to our friends at Parkway Lakes RV Park for providing us with this…

Parkway Lakes RV Park, nestled among a picturesque grove of cottonwood trees, is located in Morgan Hill, California, a very small city with a charming small-town atmosphere. Morgan Hill is approximately 12 miles south of San Jose, 10 miles north of Gilroy and 15 miles inland from the Pacific Coast. Nearby Gilroy is home to the famous Gilroy Garlic Festival. The annual event attracts over 100,000 people and features gourmet food, entertainment, arts and crafts, and more. For 2009 the Garlic Festival will be held from July 24 through 26.

Entertainment and activities are abundant, including:

Residents and visitors to Morgan Hill enjoy special celebrations such as the Memorial Day weekend Mushroom Mardi Gras, Fourth of July Parade and fireworks, Taste of Morgan Hill Street Fair, and annual Christmas Parade. Sports enthusiast are not forgotten. Morgan Hill has a world-class sporting range, Aquatics Center, Indoor Recreation Center and Outdoor Sports Complex.

For those wishing to stay in their own RV while working, industry such as construction, real estate, technology, health care, wineries and Gavilan College provide a solid employment base.

Parkway Lakes RV Park would like to invite you to stay and enjoy Morgan Hill and all it has to offer. Whether you stay long-term a month or a few days, you will you chose Parkway Lakes RV Park. They offer all the amenities of an extended stay park with rates comparable to the area, and we are a gated community as well. Please check their website www.parkwaylakesrvpark.com for more options and information.

An El Monte RV Rental location that would be close to the Parkway Lakes RV park would include our Santa Cruz RV Rentals location.

Other RV Campgrounds should feel free to share with us the wonders that may be found in and around their campground. Please send your article submissions to monty@elmonterv.com.

Posted in California RV Camping Vacation, Festivals, RV Campgrounds | 1 Comment