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Events: August

Elvis' and Hamlet's Stamping Grounds


Elvis fans will throng to Graceland to commemorate the King's life and death 25 years ago. Elvis Week, Aug. 10 to 18 in Memphis, will be packed with candlelight vigils, concerts, karaoke, bowling, a gospel lunch with the Jordanaires and a Hawaiian-style dance party. Fans can sign up for all-day bus excursions to Elvis' birthplace in Tupelo, Miss.

Information: Elvis Presley Enterprises, P.O. Box 16508, Memphis, TN 38186; (800) 238-2000 or (901) 332-3322,


Competitions include categories such as biggest bunny and largest pigeon. The butter sculptures will include a life-sized cow. For sustenance: 20 foods-on-a-stick.

It's the Iowa State Fair, Aug. 8 to 18 in Des Moines, and it's the state's largest tourist attraction. The event dates to 1854 (1886 at its current location), and its grounds are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This year's fair will have the traditional livestock shows, a Heritage Village exploring Iowa's pioneer past, and grandstand entertainers such as Alicia Keys.

Information: Iowa State Fair, P.O. Box 57130, Des Moines, IA 50317; (800) 545-3247 or (515) 262-3111,


The National Folk Festival, a traveling celebration of musicians and craftspeople that dates to 1934, will be held Aug. 23 to 25 this year along the Penobscot River in Bangor.

This year's festivities will include the Cajun band BeauSoleil, a hula dance troupe, puppets, break dancers, a New Orleans brass band, Franco-Canadian step dancers and what's described as a Texas-Polish polka band. Also planned: ethnic food booths, storytelling, parades and crafts exhibits and demonstrations.

Each year the host city celebrates regional heritage too. In Bangor, the focus will be on the Abenaki tribes of northern New England and Quebec, as well as Maine's fishing and logging traditions.

For more information, contact the National Folk Festival, 115 Main St., Bangor, ME 04401; (207) 947-5205,

North Carolina

The Mountain Dance & Folk Festival, a lineup of concerts Aug. 1 to 3 in Asheville, is considered the granddaddy of Southern folk festivals.

Begun in the 1920s, it has grown to showcase the best mountain musicians, balladeers, cloggers and storytellers. All are focused on keeping alive 18th and 19th century traditions of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky mountains. All concerts will be held at the Diana Wortham Theatre.

Information: Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 1010, Asheville, NC 28802; (800) 280-0005,


The city of Fall River is home to a large Portuguese and Azorean population. So it makes sense that Fall River Celebrates America, an event Aug. 8 to 11 along the historic waterfront, will kick off with a Portuguese Night featuring dancing, music, traditional dress and food. Think chourico (sausage), fava beans and malassadas (doughnuts).

A parade on Aug. 11, carnival and fireworks are also part of the celebration. Year-round attractions on the waterfront include the destroyer Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. and the submarine Lionfish.

Information: Fall River Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry, 200 Pocasset St., Fall River, MA 02721; (508) 676-8226,


National Mustard Day, Aug. 3, is celebrated in a big way at the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum. Main Street in this town, about 20 miles southwest of Madison, is blocked off for the gala: free hot dogs with a variety of mustards, mustard painting, mustard bowling, mascots from the big mustard manufacturers, plus clowns and a band. The museum displays more than 3,800 varieties of the condiment, and more than 500 flavors (chocolate fudge, peanut, espresso) are available in the gift shop.

Information: Mount Horeb Mustard Museum, 100 W. Main St., Mount Horeb, WI 53572; (800) 438-6878,


The highlight of the Hamlet Sommer program in the seaport of Helsingor will be an innovative production of the Shakespeare classic in the playwright's setting of choice, Kronborg Castle. In "Search: Hamlet," the twists include Japanese costumes; dancers from Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia; and rock music. Performances are Aug. 16, 17, 20, 21 and 22.

Other festival events, to be held July 31 to Aug. 26, include street theater, a jazz festival and concerts at the castle. Information: Tourist Board of Denmark, 655 3rd Ave. 18th floor, New York, NY 10017-5617; (212) 885-9700,


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