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Weather Withstanding, Weekend Offers a Variety of Festivals, Shows

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RALEIGH — The forecast looks gloomy this weekend, but you can get out of the house and have some fun at shows and festivals around the area.

Home Improvement in RaleighHome-improvement ideas are on display at the State Fairgrounds through Sunday. The Southern Ideal Home Show includes exhibits for in-home furnishings and outdoor landscaping.

The show has grown over the years, now filling three buildings at the State Fairgrounds, including Dorton Arena, where visitors can see a new feature.

"We have a progressive garden," says show manager C.B. Tyson. "We're building a garden here where people can come and see every step -- from start to finish -- of a landscape garden."

The show is open Saturday from 10 a.m until 5 p.m. It ends Sunday afternoon. Admission is $6 for adults, kids 12 and under get in free. Hoof Down to Benson for Mule DaysThe 51st AnnualBenson Mule Daysbegan in earnest Friday. At the races Friday afternoon, hundreds of people cheered on the riders and laughed at the mules. The event is expected to bring 70,000 people to Benson this weekend.

Saturday promises to be a big day, with a parade featuring 2,500 mules and horses scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. A downtown arts-and-crafts show begins at 9 a.m, followed by all kinds of musical entertainment in the afternoon. Rodeos begin at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Mule Days ends Sunday at 2:30 p.m. with a rodeo. Everything is free, except for the rodeos, which costs $8 to see. A Taste of the World in FayettevilleFayetteville's Hay Street plays host to the International Folk Festival on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. The festival was named one of the top 20 events by the Southeastern Tourism Society. About 50,000 people are expected to attend. Gobble Up the Fun in RaefordPlenty of healthy food is waiting for you in downtown Raeford this weekend. The 16th AnnualNorth Carolina Turkey Festivalis underway.

The Turkey Olympics begin Saturday, along with entertainment from bands all night. Sunday's performances will feature gospel singers from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The festival is free, but tickets for Saturday night's Embers concert cost $12 at the gate.

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Brian Shrader, Web Editor

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