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Festival Abingdon, Va.

Celebrate cultural heritage of Virginia Highlands

The Virginia Highlands Festival, celebrating its 60th anniversary with the theme “Reflections of the Past, Visions of the Future,” will be held Saturday through Aug. 10 in Abingdon, Va.

Before the festival officially begins, lovers of roots and bluegrass music can catch “A Crooked Road Doubleheader: Music from Virginia's Heritage Music Trail,” 7:30-10 p.m. Friday in the festival tent at Stonewall Square. Featured acts include the Dixie Bee-Liners and selected performers from the project “Music of Coal: Mining Songs from the Appalachian Coalfields.” Cost: $5; 12 and younger, free.

The festival's events include an antiques market show and sale; juried arts and crafts show; art and photography exhibits; living-history events; home and garden events; and agriculture and ecological activities. For details on prices and event locations: 276-676-2282,; www.vahighlandsfestival.org.

Lecture Blowing Rock

Seafaring lecture explores mysteries of the deep

Mike Daniel, a naval historian, underwater adventurer and marine coordinator for the film industry, will present the lecture “Pirates, Shipwrecks and Treasures,” 7 p.m. July 29 at the Miriam and Robert Hayes Performing Arts Center's Wilson Theater in Blowing Rock. The lecture is being presented in conjunction with the Blowing Rock Stage Company's production of “Peter Pan,” which runs through Aug. 3 on the center's stage.

The lecture, appropriate for ages 6 and older, includes true stories of some of Daniel's most renowned discoveries and “bone-rattling information” on the nefarious Blackbeard, upon whom the “Peter Pan” character of Captain Hook is based on. Daniel discovered Blackbeard's flagship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, in 1996; a Spanish galleon – the 1656 Nuestra Senora de la Maravilla (the richest treasure ship found to date in the Western Hemisphere) – in 1972; and a 1838 Seminole Indian War battle site in Jupiter, Fla. The center is at 152 Jamie Fort Road (off U.S. 321). Tickets: $10; $5 for students. Details: 828-295-9627; www.HayesCenter. org.

Sand sculpting Wrightsville Beach

Sandcastles and scoops on the Cape Fear Coast

Ever wanted to build an award-winning sandcastle? Individuals, families, businesses and civic groups are invited to give it their best shot at the 10th annual “Castles and Scoops” event, Aug. 9 at the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort, 1706 N. Lumina Ave.

Registration for the sand sculpting competition will be 9-10 a.m. To guarantee a space, register online at www.playwilmington.org. The competition – 10 a.m. to noon – is followed by lunch, an ice cream social and activities led by the Children's Museum of Wilmington. Noon to 12:45 p.m. judges will choose the winning sandcastles based on originality, artistic execution and use of natural resources. Winners will be announced at 1 p.m. Details: 910-254-3534; www.gocapefearcoast.com. Rochelle Reynoldson

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