Fun Fall Festivals in the N.C. Mountains


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The N.C. mountains offer something special any time of year, but when fall approaches they really shine. What better way to enjoy the region’s beauty and fun than by enjoying a family-friendly festival or event? Here are a handful of top picks for October.

Maggie Valley Oktoberfest
Maggie Valley Festival Grounds
3374 Soco Rd., Maggie Valley
Friday, Oct. 4, 4-11 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 5, noon-11 p.m.
maggievalleyoktoberfest.com
Honoring the many German traditions associated with Oktoberfest, this inaugural Maggie Valley event will feature customary German foods, such as bratwursts, Bavarian soft pretzels and, of course, beer. There will also be live music, arts and craft vendors, games, dancing, and a children’s stage and play area.

Brushy Mountain Apple Festival
Main and 9th streets, North Wilkesboro
Saturday, Oct. 5, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
applefestival.net
The Apple Festival highlights Appalachian heritage through arts, crafts and entertainment. Festival organizers are expecting 425 arts and crafts vendors, 100 food concessions, and four stages featuring bluegrass, country, folk and gospel music. Cloggers, folk dancers, rope skippers and square dancers provide additional entertainment.

Mars Hill Heritage Festival
Main Street, Mars Hill
Saturday, Oct. 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
marshillheritagefestival.org
Explore 75 local arts and crafts vendors, including locally made jams, jellies and other tasty treats. Families can enjoy craft demonstrations and traditional mountain music. Now in its 18th year, the Heritage Festival is held in downtown Mars Hill and nearby at Mars Hill College.

Farm City Day
Jackson Park, Hendersonville
Saturday, Oct. 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
historichendersonville.org/farm_city_day.htm
Step back in time and learn how people once worked North Carolina’s land. Farm City Day features antique farm equipment (alongside modern tools), as well as free family-focused activities. Enjoy live music, clogging or square dancing, arts and crafts, kids’ games and diverse food offerings.

Creatures of the Night and Bonfire Delight
2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville
Saturday, Oct. 5, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
$18 adults; $12 ages 8-12; space is limited
grandfather.com
Make your reservation now to experience the mountains after dark and get in the Halloween spirit. Families with children age 8 and older can enjoy stories told by firelight and rare after-dark tours of Grandfather Mountain, including a visit to a bear habitat and an owl prowl. Learn historical facts about the area as you meet the mountain’s nocturnal residents.

Peanuts Pumpkin Patch Express
226 Everett St., Bryson City
Oct. 5-6, Oct. 11-13, Oct. 18-20 and Oct. 25-27
Departures at 3 p.m. Fridays; 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
$55 adults; $31 ages 2-12
gsmr.com
Prepare for the “Great Pumpkin’s” visit by buying a ticket to this kid-focused Great Smoky Mountains Railroad event. Listen to a narration of Charles Schultz’s classic story “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” while riding a train around the pumpkin patch. Kids can wear Halloween costumes and have their photo made with Charlie Brown, Lucy and Snoopy, as well as enjoy campfire marshmallows, a coloring station, temporary tattoos, trick-or-treating, a bounce house, hayrides and live music.

Cashiers Leaf Festival
Frank Allen Road, Cashiers
Friday, Oct.11, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 12 and Sunday Oct. 13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
visitcashiersvalley.com
This three-day event celebrates autumn mountain beauty. The centerpiece of the leaf season, the Cashiers Leaf Festival highlights arts and crafts from local and regional artisans, food from area restaurants, music from a variety of bands on two stages and activities for all ages at various locations throughout Cashiers Valley.

Boone Heritage Festival
Daniel Boone Park, 591 Horn in the West Drive
Saturday, Oct. 12, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
booneheritagefestival.com
Enjoy 18th-century re-enactors, historical demonstrations, craft vendors, kids’ activities, music, a flatfoot dance workshop and showcase, storytelling and more.

Oktoberfest
1009 Sugar Mountain Drive, Sugar Mountain
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12-13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
oktoberfest.skisugar.com
Break out the beer stein and put on your dirndl for the 23rd Annual Oktoberfest at Sugar Mountain Resort. Kids can enjoy hayrides, inflatables, an 18-hole mini-golf course and a climbing wall, and meet Sugar Bear and Sweetie Bear. Mom and Dad can peruse the work of local artisans and craftsmen and enjoy Bavarian (and American) cuisine.

36th Annual Woolly Worm Festival
N.C. 184/N.C. 105, Banner Elk
Saturday, Oct. 19, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 20, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
$5 adults; $2 ages 5-12
woollyworm.com
Help celebrate the coming winter season at the Woolly Worm Festival. Where else can your woolly worm participate in a race up a string for the honor of predicting the severity of the coming winter? In addition to the races, there will be crafts, food vendors and live entertainment. A portion of the proceeds from the event goes to support children’s charities throughout the county.

Ginny Gaylor is a freelance writer and editor based in Greensboro and mom of one. Visit her website at ginnygaylor.com.

Visit our Things to Do, Family Fun, Seasonal and Fall Fun guides for more family-friendly events.

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Calendar

July 2019

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Cost: Free

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Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Cost: Free

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Join Mindful Families of Durham, a Buddhist-inspired spiritual community that supports area parents, caregivers, and their children in the practice of mindfulness and the understanding of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
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Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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Cary’s popular food truck rally also features music from local performers.

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Cary
, NC  27511


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Enjoy food trucks and live music in Downtown Park.

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Park
319 S. Academy St.
Cary, NC  27511
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Cost: Free

Where:
Borden Building and Grounds
820 Clay Street
Raleigh, NC  27605
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Sponsor: Historic Resources and Museum Programs
Telephone: 919-996-4364
Contact Name: Borden Building at Fletcher Park
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Cost: $44/resident, $57/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
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Drop by the cybrary for storytime with a librarian. Activity Room 4. Preschool and kindergarten ages. No registration necessary. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Carrboro Cybrary
100 N Greensboro St
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-918-7387
Contact Name: Cybrary
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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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The world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra brings timeless classics like In the Mood, Moonlight Serenade, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Pennsylvania 6-5000, String of Pearls and Tuxedo Junction back to the...

Cost: $50-$70/person

Where:
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 East South Street
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Telephone: 919-996-8700
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Enjoy storytime with Amy Godfrey. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Locopops Dessert Cafe
2618 Hillsborough St.
Durham, NC  27705
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Website »

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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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Preschoolers (ages 3-5 with accompanying adult) meet a real turtle and hike to see others.  Play turtle games and bring home a rock 'turtle' in a terrarium you design. Preregister online using...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Marti Kane
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More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
IngenuiTea Kombucha Coffee & Tea
514 E Williams St
APEX, NC  27502
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Sponsor: IngenuiTea Brews
Telephone: 919-438-3684
Contact Name: Mark Poole
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Cost: Free

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Immanuel
1017 Sunset Ave
Clinton, NC  28328
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Telephone: 910-592-3854
Contact Name: Will Matthews
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Cost: $9/resident, $11/nonresident

Where:
Bond Park Community Center
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
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Join park staff for an informal fishing experience for the whole family. Bring your own poles or borrow one of ours through the Tackle Loaner Program. Bait and basic instruction are provided. All...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
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Kids ages 6-9 discover the creatures that live in the pond and streams at the Preserve.  The focus will be hands-on outdoor investigation and the study of living things in their habitat. ...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Marti Kane
Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Parent and child ages 2-5 water plants in the native wildflower gardens. Register online. Choose course #124907.

Cost: Free

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

Ages 11 and older with special needs learn the basics of archery. Register online. Choose course #124599.

Cost: $15/resident, $20/nonresident

Where:
Bond Park Community Center
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: General Admission

Where:
TreeRunner Raleigh
12804 Norwood Rd
Raleigh, NC  27613
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Sponsor: N/A
Telephone: 919-410-7347
Contact Name: Jami Sowers

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Cost: $40

Where:
The Poe Center for Health Education
224 Sunnybrook Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 11 and older with special needs stroll through the woods. Register online. Choose course #124384.

Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

Take the fast track to nature in this hands-on study of ecology. Ages 8-12. Register online. Choose course #124971.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

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Cost: $7/nonmember. Free for members and ages 6 and younger.

Where:
North Carolina Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $5/person

Where:
Renaissance Centre for the Arts
405 Brooks St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Support local artists as they perform in Wake Forest.

Cost: $5/person

Where:
Renaissance Centre for the Arts
405 Brooks St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate World Jump Day on July 19th at Sky Zone Durham with Buy 1 Get 1 Free offer on Open jump and GLOW jump.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
1720 Guess Road
Durham, NC  27701


Website »

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Shop for local handmade arts and crafts from local vendors. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Durham Central Park
501 Foster St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

More information

"In every flower, every stem, every leaf, a world to discover that's beyond belief!" In the Dr. Suess story, Horton the elephant finds a tiny world on a clover flower. Just like "whos", insects...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

North Carolina's food history and heritage take center stage for the day with barbecue and pie competitions, live music, arts and crafts vendors, kids' games, living history reenactors,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Duke Homestead
2828 Duke Homestead Rd.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

Step back in time with our 19th-century costumed interpreters and watch the millstones at work grinding corn into meal. Tour fee: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60 & over), $3/Child (ages 7-16),...

Cost: $5/Adult, 4$/Senior (60+), $3/Child (7-16), 6&Younger Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Preschoolers (ages 3-5 accompanied by an adult) meet a real turtle and hike to see others.  Play turtle games and bring home a rock 'turtle' in a terrarium you design. Preregister online using...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Marti Kane
Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy a fun, festive and family-friendly event featuring a replica of the space suit worn by Neil Armstrong (step inside! perfect for photo ops!), educational activities, complimentary refreshments...

Cost: Free

Where:
Morgan Imports
113 S. Gregson St.
Durham, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with kids programs, a bungee jump station, demos, food trucks and much more.  p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px...

Cost: Free

Where:
North Carolina Museum of History
5 E. Edenton Street
Raleigh, NC  27502
View map »


Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

Create your own apron and bake your own individual cake. Register online. Choose course #124900.

Cost: $35/resident, $45/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

For almost 200 years, farmers brought their wheat and corn to what is now Yates Mill to have their grains ground into flour and meal. Today, you can stop by the Yates Mill visitor center to see a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Enjoy a summer movie under the stars to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Purchase advance tickets online. 

Cost: $7/nonmember. Free for members and ages 6 and younger.

Where:
North Carolina Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

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