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Top Events USA news blog where we hope to keep you up to date with the news about top events across the USA

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


They know how to enjoy winter in Wisconsin. In fact, that's why they say Old Man Winter is hotter here than anywhere else. His influence is certainly unmistakable when you look at the line-up of winter events, world-class sporting options and just plain unconventional activities that can be categorized as "only-in-Wisconsin."

The Fish Creek Winter Festival is anything but typical and is the perfect antidote to winter time cabin fever. Nestled in the heart of picturesque Door County, the town of Fish Creek, Wisconsin, sets its sight on the "weird and hysterical" in the annual event scheduled for February 2-14, 2010. The event is highlighted by one of the funniest collections of winter "sports" found anywhere in the country.

Perhaps the main attraction is the Costumed Bed Racing Competition in which teams race down the street in their luxury sleepers. Or, watch as toilet seats and bikes take to the air for the toilet seat throw and bike toss. And few things bring more laughs than the hijinxs during the snowshoe dance contest. Children can get into the fun of the Winter Festival too, with the kid's obstacle course, treasure hunt, tube toss and more. Other events for the whole family include crazy golf, sleigh rides, the arctic basketball toss, raffles and the Sock Hop at the Parkway Supper Club.

Another uniquely popular winter event is Winter Festival in Bayfield, Wisconsin, scheduled for March 5-7. Activities are scheduled all weekend long, including "Run on Water," a family race across the frozen "ice road" to Madeline Island, the "Polar Bear Plunge," where brave volunteers don festive costumes and jump into the icy waters of Lake Superior, and the Egg Toss "Pajama" Breakfast Buffet. These are just a couple of the happenings rounding out this fun-filled family adventure.

With winter temperatures at or well below freezing and an average of 45 inches of annual snowfall in Wisconsin, it comes as no surprise that the art of snow sculpting is so popular. The 25th annual Waukesha JanBoree in Waukesha, Wisconsin, will be held January 22-24, 2010, and features, among other things, professionally-carved ice sculptures on display throughout downtown Waukesha.

Winterfest on Broadway in Green Bay, Wisconsin, January 30, 2010, welcomes internationally-renowned sculptors to the historic Broadway District. At night, each masterpiece is lit and event-goers are encouraged to take a walking and hayride tour. After looking at all of the magnificent snow sculptures, enjoy cookie decorating, Eskimo games, beer barrel racing, a celebrity dunk tank, and hot chili from the Chili Cook-Off.

Among the world-class sporting events in Wisconsin are the 47th annual World Championship Snowmobile Derby on January 8-17 in Eagle River (the "Snowmobile Capital of the World") and the World Ice Fishing Championship in Rhinelander on March 12-14.

For more information about top events in Wisconsin, take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Wisconsin at http://www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-wisconsin.html

Or, take a look at the official web site for Wisconsin at http://www.travelwisconsin.com/

Monday, December 21, 2009


Celebrate the season in Illinois and discover a wonderland of holiday events and wintertime festivals across the state. Here are some of them.

Get close to Santa Claus with a visit to Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul in Central Illinois to see the famous herd of Alaskan reindeer. The ranch plays host every year to visitors from across the nation who come to see the beautiful relatives of Santa’s eight legendary friends. The 100-year-old barns, which have been recently restored, house the animals and five acres of fertile farm grounds produce more than five thousand Christmas trees. Take your family for a day in the country to see the reindeer and pick out a magnificent tree to cut down and bring home to decorate.

The Northern Illinois sky will light up in festive colors throughout the 21st Annual Holiday Festival of Lights display in Rockford through to December 31. More than 50 lighted displays are featured throughout Sinnissippi Park. Drive through the scenic park to view breathtaking seasonal exhibits and see why this festive drive hosts more than 120,000 spectators each year.

Peoria in Western Illinois welcomes the spirit of the holidays with the East Peoria Festival of Lights holiday light show through to December 31. Some 30 floats are showcased throughout the city at various holiday festivals including Filipe’s Wonderland, where cars can drive through to marvel at the floats from their cars.

Celebrate 20 years of holiday magic and whimsical lights in Kewanee at the 21st Annual Windmont Park Lighting/Drive of Lights through to January 1.

Get up close and personal to beautiful eagles in Southwest Illinois as they take flight at the Locks & Dam Eagle Meet and Greet, Jan. 17, 24, 31 and Feb. 7. Visitors will have an opportunity to see, learn and ask questions about the eagles and their habitats at the National Great Rivers Museum. Afterwards, enjoy eagle viewing in the area by taking a 75-minute trolley tour where you can watch eagles in their natural habitat.

The city of Belleville in Southwest Illinois honors everyone’s favorite holiday cookie with the annual Gingerbread Walk through to January 4. Take a leisurely stroll along East Main Street where dozens of edible gingerbread creations are displayed in shop windows.

For more information about top events in Illinois, take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Illinois at http://www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-illinois.html

Or, take a look at the official web site for Illinois at http://www.enjoyillinois.com

Friday, December 18, 2009


Join the Pacific Whale Foundation in Maui for a monthlong celebration honoring Hawai‘i’s beloved visitors, the humpback whales. The Maui Whale Festival celebrates its 30th Anniversary this coming February with lots of classes, activities, and guided whale watching tours for the entire family. Some of the notable events include the Whale Photo Safari on the 13th, A Laugh At the Park, a dinner and comedy show fundraiser featuring Augie T. on the 19th, and Maui’s Whale Day Celebration, the signature event on the 20th.

Here are a few other events to attract you to the lovely Hawaiian islands in the first few months of 2010.

The popular Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival (February 6) showcases the blooming of Waimea’s historic cherry trees and hanami, the Japanese tradition of viewing them. A host of activities sprawl from Church Row Park to the Parker Ranch Historic Homes. Visiting performers and artisans from Japan demonstrate the arts of bonsai, origami, sumie, calligraphy, and tea ceremonies. The giant craft fair and mochi pounding demonstrations take place at Parker Ranch Center.

Check out rodeo Hawaiian-style at 2010 Panaewa Stampede Rodeo (February 13-14) which features an amateur competition between cowboys, cowgirls, keiki and kupuna. Enjoy local entertainment, food and craft booths. Panaewa Equestrian Center (next to Panewa Zoo - off the Hilo Keaau Hwy) in Hilo, noon – 5 p.m. both days. Admission: Adults $6.

There will be two days of continuous entertainment, food-craft-game booths, lots of sporting events and more at the 32nd Waimea Town Celebration at Waimea, Kauai (February 19 and 20).

The 16th Annual Honolulu Festival (March 12-14) is a three-day celebration, highlighting the people and diversity of the Pacific and Asia through an impressive showcase of the arts and culture. More than 5,000 participants and visitors from Japan and other Pacific Rim countries will come to Honolulu specifically to take part in the Festival.

The Festival will be open to the public on March 13 and 14 at various locations including the Hawaii Convention Center, Ala Moana Center and Waikiki Beach Walk. It will conclude with a spectacular Grand Parade through Waikiki along Kalakaua Avenue on Sunday, March 14. The Honolulu Festival is Hawaii's premier cultural event, promoting understanding, economic cooperation and ethnic harmony between the people of Hawaii and the Asia-Pacific region.

The three-day Celebration of the Arts (April 2-4) at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua celebrates the rich heritage and culture of native Hawaiians from the past, through present and into the future. It's a unique opportunity to experience the authenticity of "Hawaiian heart and soul" through seminars, art, music and special shows.

For more information about top events in Hawaii take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Hawaii at http://www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-hawaii.html

Or, take a look at the official web site for Hawaii at http://www.gohawaii.com/

Thursday, December 17, 2009


New Year's Eve partiers unwilling to endure cold-weather festivities, such as the traditional "ball drop" in New York's Times Square, can find exuberant celebrations and far warmer temperatures in the Florida Keys.

In Key West, revelers can choose from three very different – though equally lighthearted – takeoffs on the Times Square gala as midnight approaches Thursday, Dec. 31.

On the island city's renowned Duval Street, thousands of people are expected to ring in the New Year by watching a gigantic conch shell, the symbol of the Florida Keys, descend from its supports to the flat roof of Sloppy Joe's Bar, 201 Duval St. Festivities are emceed by a rooftop host and, as a huge clock counts down the seconds to midnight, the manmade shell begins to descend. Sloppy Joe's live music rounds out the revelry.

A few blocks away at the Bourbon Street Pub/New Orleans House complex, 724 Duval St., renowned female impersonator Sushi is slated to take the celebration's center stage for the 13th consecutive year. Seconds before midnight, a lavishly gowned and coiffed Sushi – riding in a super-sized red high heel that glitters as glowingly as the ball in Times Square – is to be lowered from the balcony of the complex to the accompaniment of cheers and applause from the crowd below. Performances by renowned female impersonators kick off the merrymaking.

In Key West's Historic Seaport, New Year's Eve revelry combines with a salute to the island city's colorful seafaring heritage. Just before midnight, a pirate wench is to begin her descent from the top of the mast of a tall ship, to the accompaniment of cannon blasts and the liftoff of biodegradable balloons. She will complete her earthward journey as the clock strikes and 2010 officially begins. Live music, dancing and festivities at the Schooner Wharf Bar are to round out the seaport gala.

Blackwater Sound in Key Largo is to be the setting for the Upper Keys' leading New Year's Eve fireworks extravaganza. The sparkling sky display is hosted by bayside restaurants Sundowners, Señor Frijoles, Cactus Jack's, Gus' Grille at the Marriott Key Largo Beach Resort and the Caribbean Club, all located around mile markers (MM) 103-104. Tables fill up fast, so partiers are advised to arrive early.

Visitors and residents who want to start the New Year with a focus on fitness can do so beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 1, when the annual 5k Run, Walk and Crawl is to depart from Islamorada's Founders Park, MM 87 bayside.

A day of festivities is to follow, highlighted by a blessing of the fleet at Whale Harbor Bridge, MM 84 oceanside.

For more information about top events in Florida, take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Florida at http://www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-florida.html

Or, take a look at the official web site for Florida Keys at http://www.fla-keys.com/

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


The Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley, located in southwest Colorado, has emerged as a Nordic skiing and snowshoeing hot spot with routes and events that sizzle. Groomed Nordic trails now number more than 95K, backcountry routes are plentiful, and a jam-packed calendar of events, tours and races offer opportunities to have fun and stay in shape. The Crested Butte Nordic Center and Crested Butte Mountain Resort are open for the season and are kicking off Nordic skiing and snowshoeing activities.

The Crested Butte Nordic Center is a full-service cross-country ski center providing lessons and complete rental packages for skate and classical skiing, as well as ice skating, snowshoeing and sledding. The Nordic Center maintains more than 50 kilometers of groomed trails that meander around the outskirts of Crested Butte and offers tours, races, events and ski programs.

In addition to premiere alpine skiing and snowboarding, Crested Butte Mountain Resort offers daily snowshoe tours on ski area trails with a guide at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Snowshoes, poles, water, a light snack and a lift ride are included in the cost for the two-mile outing. New this year is a daily snowshoe tour of Snodgrass Mountain from 1- 4 p.m. that includes transportation.


There also is outstanding Nordic skiing and snowshoeing along backcountry routes and groomed trails at Hartman Rocks Multi-Use Recreation Area west of Gunnison, which offers a desert-like setting that is very unique for Nordic skiing. This combined with VanTuyl Ranch, the Western State College practice field on campus and Jorgensen Park encompasses approximately 45K of trails groomed by the Gunnison Nordic Club.


Gunnison-Crested Butte is nestled among almost two million acres of pristine wilderness in southwest Colorado. Winter sports enthusiasts know the area for its world-class alpine skiing and snowboarding at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing. Gunnison-Crested Butte is also a haven for outdoor summer activities. In the warmer months, visitors can choose from recreational activities such as hiking, climbing, mountain biking, boating, whitewater rafting, kayaking, fly-fishing, camping and horseback riding. Year-round visitors enjoy distinctive restaurants, unique shops and stimulating cultural opportunities, and have a wide range of lodging options — from rustic inns to guest cabins and bed-and-breakfasts to full-service resort hotels.

Recognized as the “Official Wildflower Capital of Colorado” , Crested Butte is the site of rich mining, ranching and skiing heritage and home to the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. Only three miles up the road is the resort village of Mt. Crested Butte, home to the ski area, an active base area, the area’s conference center, and outstanding hiking and biking trails.

Gunnison, a real western town located 28 miles from Crested Butte, is home to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, Gunnison Whitewater Park, Gunnison Valley Observatory, Pioneer Museum and Western State College, a four-year institution offering majors in the liberal arts and sciences and professional fields. Both Crested Butte and Gunnison have thriving historic central business districts packed with shopping and dining opportunities.

In Gunnison County, visitors will find the Curecanti National Recreation Area, where dinosaur fossils were recently discovered; the Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado’s largest body of water and home to the largest Kokanee salmon fishery in the United States; and The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, one of our country’s newest national parks. Gunnison County includes the quaint and historic towns of Pitkin, Gothic, Tin Cup, Marble, Powderhorn, Almont and Crystal, plus the better-known communities of Gunnison, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. Gunnison County is part of the West Elk Loop and Silver Thread Scenic & Historic Byways.

For more information about top events in Colorado, take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Coloreado at http://www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-colorado.html

Or, take a look at the official web site for Gunnison-Crested Butte at http://www.gunnisoncrestedbutte.com/

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Illinois offers a flurry of festive happenings as popular attractions showcase the spirit of the season – with Chicago leading the way.

One of the most anticipated and visited markets in the city, Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza, through to Dec. 24, has already kicked off. Visit this seasonally delightful German heritage festival and bazaar and witness the plaza transformed into a holiday wonderland where you can procure German trinkets and taste delicious holiday fare such as savory sausages and sweet waffles. Be sure to grab a glass of Gluhwein, a traditional German holiday hot spiced wine to please your palate and warm your heart, in a take-home souvenir mug.

Visit the Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier, through to January 3. Navy Pier turns into a magnificent winter spectacle of attractions, food and more. The Winter Wonderfest transports patrons to a land of beautiful, ornate winter scenes and brings the magic of the holidays to life. It’s a great family destination.

Lace up your skates and glide through an ice rink in the heart of the city at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park, open for the winter season until March 14. The scenic rink has been a staple of winter festivities in Chicago for nine years. Afterwards, warm up with some hot chocolate, browse the surrounding shops or stroll through Millennium Park to see how it transforms in the winter months.

Visit the Chicago Botanic Garden as the Wonderland Express returns to the Garden, until January 3. Take a trip through a wonderland of twinkling lights and holiday beauty where 750,000 lights sparkle outside, while inside, a 10,000 square-foot exhibition of miniature trains winds over bridges, past waterfalls and through more than 80 mini-replicas of Chicago?s favorite landmarks. A brand new ice skating rink will be on the Esplanade, or you can snowshoe on the paths of the McDonald Woods.

Nearly 1 million twinkling lights illuminate the zoo’s walkways during Brookfield Zoo’s 28th Annual Holiday Magic, every weekend in December. After visiting Santa at the Candy Cane Corner, enjoy ice-carving demonstrations, magicians and live musical performances, sample holiday treats and browse the gift shops with hundreds of unique items. New this year is the Wild Lights Spectacular light show at Roosevelt Fountain.

Enter a world of exquisite Christmas extravagance at “A Glimpse of Christmas Past” at the Cuneo Museum until December 31. The stunning mansion will be decorated in holiday finery; lights, garland, decorated trees and poinsettias add festive beauty to an already breathtaking backdrop. And the Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show at the museum, until January 2, is a Lake County tradition.

For more information about top events in Illinois, take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Illinois at http://www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-illinois.html

Or, take a look at the official web site for Illinois at http://www.enjoyillinois.com

Monday, December 14, 2009


Bethel claims with some justification that it is Maine’s most beautiful mountain village – a four season recreational destination in the Androscoggin River valley and the Mahoosuc Mountains.

It has celebrated its annual WinterFest in January in some unusual ways ..... in 1999 it created the World’s Tallest Snowman (113’7” tall) and in 2008 the community set another world record: the World's Tallest SnowWoman at 122'1".

Alas, Bethel won't have a tall snowwoman overlooking its WinterFest in 2010, but there will still be plenty to see and do. New at WinterFest, happening January 23-31, will be a large outdoor ice skating rink and a 200-foot square snow maze.

There will be guided snowshoe tours and free snowshoe demos, a free Nordic ski clinic at the Bethel Inn Resort, a giant snow sculpture and ice carving on the Bethel Common, horse drawn sleigh rides, and a winter triathlon with 2.5 kilometer uphill and down hill skiing legs and a 7 kilometer run. Children can build their own snow sculptures, hot air balloon rides will be offered, along with live music and a rail jam competition for skiers and snowboarders ... and not forgetting the Old Timers 10K Ski Tour at Carter's XC Ski Center.

For more information about top events in Maine take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Maine at http://www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-maine.html

Or, take a look at the official web site for Maine at http://www.visitmaine.com/

Photo courtesy Maine Office of Tourism

Friday, December 11, 2009


Enjoy the splendor of this holiday season with a spectacular array of festive celebrations throughout Maryland. Here is just a sampling of Maryland events and festivities.

The Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival has returned to Seneca Creek State Park for its 14th annual winter wonderland display through to January 2, 2010 (Closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1). This is a great outing for all ages, particularly if you’ve got children to entertain! Drive through the 3.5-mile light display, or take the open-air trolley.

The Garden in Lights on December 11-14, 17-21, 26-28 and 31 (closed during inclement weather) at Annmarie Garden Sculpture Park and Arts Center, Solomons, Calvert County, is a delightful holiday light show full of imaginative creations and holiday “I Spy” games for children. Holiday art exhibits, refreshments and activities inside.

The Carroll County Farmers’ Market has all of your holiday needs at the Christmas Market and Handmade Craft Show to December 19 (8am-2pm) at the Agriculture Center, 700 Smith Ave, Westminster, Carroll County. More than 50 vendors with juried crafts, Christmas decorations, fresh-baked goods, gourmet food items, fresh greens and wreaths for sale.

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, 901 West Pratt Street, Baltimore City hosts Holiday Festival of Trains at the B&O through to January 3, 2010. One of the mid-Atlantic’s best holiday celebrations of toy trains and model railroading layouts. Santa will be present for visits with children on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the festival.

Enjoy lively Celtic harp music, shop for unique holiday gifts and enjoy hot wassail at the Celtic Christmas December 12-13, 19-20, 1-5pm at Boordy Vineyards, Hydes, Baltimore County. Wine tastings from Maryland’s oldest winery are also available.

Take a leisurely evening Candlelight Stroll on December 11-12, 18-19 through historic Annapolis, Maryland’s state capital since 1695. Guided tours begin at the City Dock information booth.

Historic Berlin, Worcester County, celebrates Victorian Christmas on Saturdays and Sunday, through to December 25. Berlin celebrates the season with life-size animated storybook displays, horse and carriage rides, visits with Santa, concerts, Victorian fashion show and teas.

Main Street, Quantico, Wicomico County hosts the 20th Annual Candlelight Tour of Historic Homes and Churches December 12-13, 5-8pm.

On various dates in November (now past of course) and December, St. Michaels, Oxford and Easton celebrate the holiday season in Talbot County’s picturesque hamlets with Talbot Twinkles – caroling, storytelling, festival of trees, “olde tyme” holiday parade, “midnight madness,” “moonlight madness” and other special events.

For more information about top events in Maryland take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Maryland at http://www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-maryland.html

Or, take a look at the official web site for Maryland at http://visitmaryland.org

Friday, December 4, 2009

ANNUAL ZO'S HOLIDAY PARTY - More Than 400 Kids in South Florida to Receive Gifts at Annual Holiday Party with Support from Community

Not all events are about self-indulgent fun. Not that there's anything wrong with self-indulgent fun - but sometimes we need to take a break and look at what might be fun for those less fortunate than us. And here is a way to do just that.

On December 7th, Alonzo Mourning Charities are hoping to make the 2009 Holidays especially memorable for children across South Florida with their annual Zo’s Holiday Party.

It’s all about the kids and this year the community has a chance to get involved in something special and meaningful this holiday season. With more than 400 children invited to attend this year’s event, a toy drive is being held to ensure that each child will receive a present.

The more than 400 kids invited to Zo’s Holiday Party range in ages from 8-18 years old and are selected from partner organizations. The Holiday Party festivities will include a talent show, holiday cookie decorating, face painting, seasonal music, dancing, and a traditional holiday dinner. A goal of Alonzo Mourning Charities’ is that each child will receive their own special gift at the party with the help of local supporters.

The public is encouraged and invited to get involved and spread some holiday cheer this year in a number of ways:

Donate a new, unwrapped toy and deliver or mail it to the Alonzo Mourning Charities office at 2901 Florida Avenue, Suite 806, Coconut Grove, FL 33133;

Purchase a gift online from the Alonzo Mourning Charities wish list registry in-store or online at Toys ‘R’ Us or Target Stores.

Submit a monetary donation via Paypal; or mail check/drop off cash to the Alonzo Mourning Charities office above.

To get involved or for more information, please contact Nile Patrick, Community Relations Coordinator, at (305) 476-0095 x111 or npatrick@amcharities.org.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Plans are underway for the 2010 New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (NOWFE), in the city that ranks number one in ten categories in Travel + Leisure’s “America’s Favorite Cities” survey.

NOWFE, which also garners its own high rankings as a “perennial ‘Top Ten' Wine and Food festival,” as noted in Wine Enthusiast, features over 175 wineries and more than 75 celebrated restaurants.

The 5-day event, which has raised nearly $1,000,000 for local charities, will take place May 25–29, 2010 in various locations throughout historic New Orleans.

“No other city can offer the rich history, beautiful landscape and architecture, eclectic art, and diverse music scene – not to mention some of the best cuisine in the country – along side one-thousand different vintages,” says Octavio Mantilla, NOWFE President. “Our events take place right in the heart of the city, where guests can enjoy the wine and food, while partaking in shopping, live entertainment, French Quarter revelry or just one-of-a-kind people-watching.”

Some of New Orleans most famous landmarks will serve as backdrop to the 2010 event. More than 30 of New Orleans most talked about restaurants will host Wine Dinners on Wednesday, May 26; the popular Royal Street Stroll will take place on Thursday, May 27, while the Louisiana Superdome will serve as the home of the Grand Tastings on Friday, May 28 and Saturday, May 29.

“Each year NOWFE adds new programs, seminars and events to the schedule,” states Joyce Godbold, NOWFE Executive Director. “We try to keep the seminars fresh, relevant and exciting.”

This year’s seminars will include: “The Craft of Curing”, a lesson on the intricacies of curing meats; a look at the bounty of Gulf seafood at “Gone Gulfing”, “Let them Eat Cake” will showcase dessert wines and their accompaniments, “Romancing the Rhone”, will explore Rhone varietals, and a special champagne & sushi seminar.

“New Orleans just gives you a good feeling, and NOWFE really uncorks that sentiment,” adds Mantilla. “We invite everyone to come and be immersed in the feeling that is New Orleans.”

The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience is a non-profit organization. The Board of the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience donates 100% of the events' profit to support their programs and foundations. Proceeds from the 2009 event benefited University of New Orleans School of Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism, the Louisiana Restaurant Association's ProStart Program, The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, Delgado Community College Culinary Arts Program, New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, Girls First, Cancer Crusaders, Animal Rescue of New Orleans, Coach Sean Payton's Play It Forward Foundation and Fore! Kids Foundation.

For more top events in Louisiana take a look at the Top Events USA pages on Louisiana top events and festivals at http://www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-louisiana.html

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival is a one-of-a-kind extravaganza – a national, star-studded, four-day destination event showcasing the talents of the world’s most renowned winemakers, spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities.

The Festival will take place in and around the sun and sand of Miami’s South Beach this February 25-28, 2010, debuting some new events and returning classics.

True to fashion, the ninth annual wine and culinary extravaganza returns with events highlighting the latest trends in the industry. The 2010 Tribute Dinner honoree is world-renowned culinary master Daniel Boulud, a winner of multiple awards from the James Beard Foundation and recipient of the Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur from the French government for his contribution to the advancement of French culinary culture, among several other accolades.

The celebration will feature dishes from some of the finest chefs: Eric Ripert, Paul Bartolotta, Claude Troigros, Nobu Matsuhisa, and Festival host hotel Loews Miami Beach executive chef Gordon Maybury.

Exciting new additions to the 2010 Festival include:
The Festival highlights the talents of the hottest new dining destination in Miami, the Miami Design District, with a one-of-a-kind dining opportunity to taste the culinary expertise of chefs from Senora Martinez, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Pacific Time, and Fratelli Lyon – all in one evening!

The Barilla Interactive Lunch series at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables receives a makeover as the Festival debuts a Barilla Interactive Dinner hosted by Lidia Bastianich and her son, wine specialist Joe Bastianich.

Ming Tsai will host a late night Dim Sum & Disco party under the alluring atmosphere of the Setai.

Food Network stars including Guy Fieri (Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives), Paula Deen (Paula’s Best Dishes), Pat and Gina Neely (Down Home with The Neelys), and Sandra Lee (Sandra’s Money Saving Meals) will be on-hand for culinary demonstrations and book signings at the Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village, late night parties, and more!

Enjoy the Wine Spectator wine seminars with executive editor Thomas Matthews and senior editor Bruce Sanderson. Also, wine aficionados Gary Vaynerchuk, Kevin Zraly and Mark Oldman will be on-hand to help navigate both novices and experts thru the finest selections in the Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida portfolio at the Bank of America lifestyle seminars.

Festival favorites return, re-invented with fresh new faces:
The Amstel Light Burger Bash hosted by Rachael Ray presented by Allen Brothers will feature top burger-making gurus, like the Shake Shack, Bobby Flay, Michael Symon, and Laurent Tourondel, along with People’s Choice Award Winner from the 2009 Festival, Spike Mendelsohn.

The Festival’s perfect pairing of barbeque and champagne on the beach will return with a BAM, as the Perrier-Jouët BubbleQ hosted by Emeril Lagasse. Last year’s tribute dinner honoree will play host to some of the finest names on the grill, including John Besh, Dean Fearing, Chris Lilly, Adam Perry Lang, Todd English, Aarón Sánchez, and many more.

Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best sponsored by Bank of America will return at the illustrious Fontainebleau Miami Beach, the picture perfect setting to find some of the world’s best winemakers personally pouring their selections alongside premier chefs serving their delicacies. Among the list of participating wineries for this year is Au Bon Climat, Caymus Vineyards, Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Opus One Winery, Rubicon Estate, and several more additions to come. Culinary participants for Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best in 2010 include David Burke, Scott Conant, Paul Liebrandt, Michael White, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, and others.

The Festival’s family favorite, South Beach Diet presents Fun and Fit as a Family is going into its third year, and will take place again at the tropical grounds of Jungle Island in Miami. Fun and Fit as a Family will again feature the Kellogg’s Kidz Kitchen, plus the wildly popular Food Labs hosted by Food Network and Share Our Strength®, where kids can cook healthy recipes alongside top chefs; plus fitness activities, healthy food tastings and more! Jungle Island is also home all year long to the Children’s Sustainable Food Garden, which features different herbs and vegetables of a completely organic nature and provides an opportunity for children to interact with these items in a way that engages all of the senses. Check out the fun at www.funandfitasafamily.com.

All proceeds of the Festival benefit the students of the Florida International University School of Hospitality and Tourism Management who also assist Festival organizers with sponsorship fulfilment, restaurant and exhibitor recruitment, logistics, and inventory as well as working alongside some of the world’s greatest celebrity chefs and winemakers. In addition to receiving a first-rate education in one of the country’s most diversified hospitality and tourism markets, these students are provided the opportunity to work hands-on with some of the industry’s most experienced leaders.

The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine is produced by Florida International University and Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida with the support of the Miami Beach Visitors & Convention Authority and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information about the Festival, visit www.sobewineandfoodfest.com .

For more information about other top events in Florida, take a look at The Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Florida at http://www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-florida.html