Put Dover in the rear view mirror this weekend and check out a couple of other regional locales and events that are more than worth the drive.

Headed North...


WHERE Home Depot, 350 Auto Park Drive, Middletown

WHEN 5 to 11 p.m., Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

COST $5 each day; $3 senior citizens; $10 three-day wristband

INFO middletownareachamber.com or 378-7545

You can bet your sweet keister the first weekend in October is going to be a rockin' one, thanks to the second RocktoberFest in Middletown, which will be held Friday through Sunday in the parking lot of Middletown's Home Depot.

The event is three days of live music, with nine local and regional acts duking it out in a battle of the bands.

Opening day will feature performances by up-and-coming country singer Payton Taylor and the band It Is What It Is.

Saturday plays host to round one of the battle of the bands competition, which will be entirely judged by the audience. Bands are required to play three songs and allotted a maximum of 20 minutes.

The top three bands will advance to the second and final round on Sunday. During the same day of round one, the Stone's Throw Band and Due West will also grace the stage.

On the day of the final round, each competing band will be given a maximum of 45 minutes to perform. After the final band performs, reigning RocktoberFest winner Chasing Thea will perform while the event committee tallies the votes. After Chasing Thea's set, the reigning band will then crown this year's champ.

The first place winner will earn a grand prize package that includes $1,000, the

the opportunity to play in the fourth annual Middletown Delaware State BBQ Cook-off in 2013, the 20th annual Middletown Old-TymePeach Festival in 2013 and the opportunity to close out the third annual RocktoberFest in 2013.

In addition, the winner will have a conference call with Eugene Foley, founder and president of Foley Entertainment, Inc., a New York-based music industry consulting firm and licensed entertainment agency. The firm provides a variety of professional services, including artist development and publicity.

Headed South...


WHERE The Jefferson School, 22051 Wilson Road, Georgetown

WHEN 6 p.m., Saturday

COST $35 to $75

INFO www.jeffersonschoolcom.ticketleap.com/jack-hanna

Anyone who has seen the late-night talk show appearances or the Saturday morning show of Jack Hanna knows there's no way to predict what kind of animal shenanigans will ensue when Hanna introduces wild animals to his fans.

And this weekend, southern Delaware fans will have the opportunity to see a menagerie of wild animals when Hanna and a few four-legged friends stop by The Jefferson School in Georgetown for a fundraising show.

Only 500 tickets are being sold for the show, meaning there's a better chance everyone will get a good spot. "The show will be under a big tent and there's just not a bad seat in the house," said Head of School Connie Hendrick.

There are three general admission ticket options: $35, $55 and $75. The $75 tickets sold out quickly but there are still plenty available at the less-expensive price points.

Hanna is also slated for a meet-and-greet with fans of all ages after the show. Having a pen for autographs and a camera for pictures may not be a bad idea. Also, bring some extra cash because there will be food from Moe's, Kick n' Chicken, Charlie's Hot Dogs, Sweet Serenity and Grandma's Kettle Corn.