A WORLD OF SPUDS
N.C. Potato Festival chips in on Saturday
The N.C. Potato Festival will serve ample helpings of potatoes, races, games and fun on Saturday.
The daylong event, a tribute to the region's potato farmers, features the National Potato Peeling Contest, an Anything But Fries restaurant cook-off and the Little Miss Tater Tot pageant. You can compete in potato-sack races and a corn hole tournament.
You can also browse and dine among nearly 75 food and craft vendors, and watch the N.C. Governor's Cup moth boat races on the Pasquotank River. U.S. Coast Guard Air Station at Elizabeth City will stage a flyover, and search-and-rescue demonstrations on the river.
There will be swashbuckling re-enactors at a Pirate Encampment, Saturday and Sunday at the Museum of the Albemarle. Details: 866-324-8948; www.discoverelizabethcity.com.
LIVE MUSIC Selma
It's country music every Friday
Got a thing for country music? Next time you're in Selma - near Smithfield, about midway between Raleigh and Goldsboro - check out the Country Tonight Music Show.
It offers a stage of live entertainment every Friday evening at The Ice House, on Webb and Waddell streets. It draws fans from across Eastern North Carolina, as well as motorists on nearby Interstate 95.
Doors open at 7, and music starts at 7:45. There's an intermission at 8:45; music continues to 10 p.m. Admission: $10.
The schedule (through Aug. 13 30) and reservation info are at www.countrytonightmusicshow.com.
PREHISTORIC STAMPEDE Durham
A herd of leptoceratops has arrived in Durham on the Museum of Life and Science's popular Dinosaur Trail.
The addition of the fiery red-eyed, spiky frilled and beaked dinosaurs brings the facility's dino count to 17. (Another, a baby Edmontonia, is expected to be added later this year.)
On the trail, visitors can see life-size reproductions of dinosaurs positioned in a way they likely behaved. The attraction also includes a Fossil Dig Site where you can sift through fossil dirt that was once on the ocean floor to find and keep fossils 23 million years old to 5 million years old.
Plant enthusiasts will enjoy seeing a variety of plant life that is representative of the Late Cretaceous Period, including Southern magnolias, ferns and ginkgo.
Attractions at the Museum of Life and Science, an 84-acre science park, also include the Magic Wings Butterfly House, one of the largest butterfly conservatories in the Southeast, and a range of live animals. They include rescued black bears, endangered red wolves and lemurs.
There's also a farmyard, Ellerbe Creek Railway, a sailboat pond and a 65,000-square-foot science center.
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday; closed Mondays mid-September through mid-December. Admission: $12.50; $10.50 for 65 and older and for active military (with ID), $9.50 for ages 3-12; 2 and younger, free. Details: 919-220-5429; www.lifeandscience.org.
MEET THE WALK MAN Charlotte
Guidebook author to be at Jesse Brown's
N.C. author Randy Johnson will be in Charlotte for a book signing at 7 p.m. Wednesday, at Jesse Brown's, 4732 Sharon Road (Sharon Corners shopping center).
His appearance at the outfitter's is apt: Johnson is the author of "Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway," "Best Easy Day Hikes: Blue Ridge Parkway," "Best Easy Day Hikes: Great Smoky Mountains National Park" and "Hiking North Carolina."
Johnson, who lives in Boone, occasionally writes for The Charlotte Observer Travel section, and was tapped to write "Best Short Hikes on the BRP" for the Observer's recent "Road Trips" guide to traveling in the Carolinas.
Details: 704-556-0020; www.randyjohnsonbooks.com.
FRESH-AIR ART Summerville, S.C.
Art show-sale attracts noted sculptors
Summerville, northwest of Charleston and just off Interstate 26, will stage the 12th Annual Sculpture in the South Show & Sale Saturday and next Sunday.
The event draws more than 35 world-class sculptors who present their artworks in the historic town's Azalea Park nestled in the historic town. Many of the sculptors create pieces in clay throughout the weekend; you can watch them work and get acquainted with them.
Artworks ranging from gift-size to life-size, in several different mediums and subjects, will be displayed throughout the weekend for sale.
Other activities include mini-lectures, an exhibit of photography and sculpture created by area students, arts-related activities for kids, mini-tours of the Summerville Permanent Public Sculpture Collection (20 works) and food from Smokin' Cole's Barbecue.
Show and sale admission: $5 per day; $7 for a weekend pass; students (any age) free when with an adult paying admission. Details: 843-851-7800; www.sculptureinthesouth.com.
'KING KONG' ON DECK! Wilmington
Battleship launches film series
The Fabulous Fantail Film Festival returns for its warm-weather run aboard the Battleship North Carolina, on the Cape Fear River in Wilmington.
Movies will be screened at 8:30 p.m. Friday ("King Kong," 1933), May 21 ("Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," 1971) and 28 ("The Wizard of Oz," 1939).
Admission is $2 per person; ticket sales start at 7:30; fresh popcorn and soft drinks are available ($1).
For details, call 910-251-5797 or go to www.battleshipnc.com.