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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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Viking Horns, Frying Pans, Loads of Snow and Snow Sculpture

Each year, snow-worshipers dust off their Viking horns and line the streets of Breckenridge, Colorado, to pay homage to Ullr, the mythical Norse god of snow. Join the 48th annual celebrations from January 9 to 15, 2011 to give thanks for Breckenridge’s bountiful early-season snowfall, over 130 inches in the first four weeks of the season.

This annual week-long celebration of Ullr (pronounced Ooh-ler), brings to Breckenridge a legendary Main Street parade along with live entertainment, the Ullr Dating Game, Ullympics and a family ice skating party.

On the heels of the Ullr Fest comes the 21st International Snow Sculpture Championships from January 25 to 30. Sixteen teams from around the globe have been invited to compete from nine countries
New is an eco-friendly, LED lighting system that will add to the artistry with color washes during viewing week, January 30 through February 6, weather permitting.

At the event, attended annually by more than 30,000 people, four-person teams are assigned 12-foot-tall, 20-ton blocks of machine-made Colorado snow. Artists achieve finished pieces after a total of 65 intense hours of work without the use of power tools, internal support structures or colorants.

Sculpting begins with a shotgun start and finishes with teams working through the night to hand-carve anything from enormous pieces of whimsy to powerful social commentary. Judging commences with awards presented to first, second and third places, along with designations of People’s Choice, Kids’ Choice and Artists’ Choice.

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 Colorado.

For more information on the 2011 Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships and lodging packages in Breckenridge visit www.gobreck.com

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

‘Tis the Season for a Lancaster County Christmas

“Home for the holidays” is a heartwarming tradition for folks this time of year, so be sure to make time for Lancaster County this holiday season.  After all, it’s “home” to American Christmastime traditions like the first Christmas tree, delicious springerle holiday “picture cookies,” and the mischievous Belsnickle – the Pennsylvania Dutch version of Santa Claus who gives coal to kids who’ve been naughty rather than nice.

Of course, there’s more than just history that makes a Lancaster County Christmas something truly special.  There are fantastic holiday shows, great shopping deals, unique seasonal attractions, and restaurants serving delicious PA Dutch dishes – all packaged up in ready-made itineraries, or for including in your own personalized exploration.

After the more muted colors of harvest time, there’s a festive beauty to the spirited colors of red, green, silver, and gold splashed across the Lancaster countryside, its towns and villages, and the city of Lancaster.

Colorfully-lit shops twinkle in the crisp air, full of holiday treasures and hand-crafted presents.  Get good deals and great memories with an old-fashioned Christmas shopping trip to our artisans and Amish craftsmen, town and village Main Streets, brand-name outlet stores, and fresh country markets.

Decorated visitor attractions celebrate the sheer fun of Christmastime, as well as our Pennsylvania German and Amish seasonal heritage.  Amuse yourself with great rides, entertainment, and other seasonal festivities at Dutch Winter Wonderland (now through December 30), explore 15 different scenes from Yuletide days past and present at the National Christmas Center.

For more information about top events in Pennsylvania take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Pennsylvania.       

Come “home” this year, to a Lancaster County Christmas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Native American Culture Comes to Life through Song and Dance

Experience traditional and contemporary Native American song and dance as local performers bring this ancient culture to life on stage during the ninth season of Native Trails, presented by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nations the and produced by the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

The Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau invites visitors and locals to these noontime festivals January 20 through April 2, 2011 where members of various Native American nations join together for rare, collaborative performances incorporating traditional instruments, colorful dances, and customary attire, showcasing their culture and encouraging respect, cooperation, and appreciation.

From noon to 1:30 p.m. most Thursdays and Saturdays, the outdoor amphitheater at Scottsdale Civic Center Mall in downtown will be immersed with the unique culture that continues to shape the state of Arizona today.

“Native Trails is an incredible opportunity to provide insight into our rich and ancient traditions,” said Derrick Suwaima Davis (Hopi/Choctaw), artistic director for Native Trails and five-time world-champion hoop dancer. “Arizona is home to more than 20 tribal nations, and Native Trails is an outlet for them to come together and collaborate to create new dances and songs. It’s an educational exploration for us and for the audience.”

The festival grounds also play host to Native artisans who showcase their fine artwork and skills in the form of jewelry, textiles, pottery and food.

Native Trails performances began in January 2003 as part of the City of Scottsdale’s cultural tourism initiative, Culture Quest Scottsdale.

For more information about top events in Arizona take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Arizona.

For more information on Native Trails (including black-out dates), visit www.ScottsdaleNativeTrails.com or contact the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau at (480) 421-1004 or toll-free at (800) 782-1117.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Your Favorite Childhood Stories in Massachusetts

Experience Christmas from the pages of your favorite, classic children’s storybooks! From Dr. Seuss books recreated in dazzling lights to reliving Louisa May Alcott’s “LItle Women” in her childhood home, Massachusetts offers a wealth of holiday delights to tempt families during the Christmas season.  Here are just a few highlights and possible itinerary stops in Massachusetts.

Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas, Stockbridge: Nestled in the beautiful Berkshires, the town made famous by Norman Rockwell becomes an enchanting New England storybook setting decorated with holiday wreaths and festive lights. Experience Christmas of long-ago as the town recreates Rockwell’s evocative Stockbridge at Christmas painting, complete with vintage automobiles and stunning holiday decorations. Fun-filled family activities include holiday house tours, horse drawn carriage rides, caroling, concerts and visits with Santa.

Bright Nights at Forest Park, Springfield: One of New England's most popular holiday destinations and largest holiday lighting display, historic Forest Park is illuminated with hundreds of spectacular Christmas lights. The park pays tribute to hometown children’s author Theodore Seuss Geisel with Seuss Land, a glittering panoramic light display featuring Cat in the Hat, Horton and other beloved characters. 

Higgins Armory Museum, Worcester: Celebrate the season with the revelry of the Middle Ages and recreate the fantasy world of Chronicles of Narnia! Featuring arms and armor ranging from ancient Greek Corinthian helmets to suits of armor crafted during the Renaissance, this one-of-a-kind museum displays artifacts and more than 35 suits of armor amidst tapestries, stained glass and soaring ceilings. 

Orchard House, Concord:  This authentically-preserved historic house was home to Louisa May Alcott and her family. See Louisa’s bedroom where she wrote Little Women and other stories that would captivate children. The Orchard House features a Christmas shop brimming with terrific gift ideas.
For more information about top events in Massachusetts take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Massachusetts.

For more information visit: www.massvacation.com.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

10 Days of Winter Fun in Santa Fe

The first annual Santa Fe Winter Fiesta takes place throughout Santa Fe's historic streets and in the nearby Rocky Mountains from February 18 to 27, 2011. Each day will be a celebration of the season with daily special events focusing on Santa Fe's bountiful outdoor opportunities, Native American and Spanish cultures, diverse cuisine, the city's performing arts, and Santa Fe's endless visual arts. At night the city will be alive with parties throughout town.

Winter Fiesta events include guided cross-country skiing excursions into the Santa Fe National Forest and Trails to Treats snowshoe scavenger hunts using GPS, a guided Native American cultural tour to the ancient Puye Cliff Dwellings, and special, behind the scenes tours of some of the city's outstanding museums.

Value-priced alpine skiing at Ski Santa Fe, specially priced cooking classes and cuisine tours from Santa Fe School of Cooking, and a gallery walk along Canyon Road are all planned for the week. In addition, there will be musical events each evening during fiesta.

The 10 day festival ends with ARTfeast, a weekend of fine arts, fine food, fine homes, and fine fashion benefiting art education in the public schools. The weekend starts off with a Fashion Show & Auction followed by a Gentlemen's Lunch on Friday. The day ends with one of the city's favorite events, the Edible Art tour on Friday evening; an art and food tour of 30 Santa Fe galleries, each featuring food from one of the city's finest restaurants.

On both Saturday and Sunday tours of eight outstanding Santa Fe homes filled with art will be held. Finally, an Artists' Champagne Brunch & Auction will take place on Sunday.

For more information about top events in New Mexico take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in New Mexico.

Special savings at city businesses, restaurants, and lodgers will be available during Winter Fiesta. For additional event and savings information, check in at www.santafewinterfiesta.com

Monday, December 6, 2010

Magical Merriment Trail Spans Six Cities and Two States

Running until New Year’s Day, the Holiday Trail of Lights – the only holiday tour of its kind – spans six cities across two states and provides all kinds of memorable experiences such as ice skating, fireworks, parades, and toy workshops on the way.

For more than two decades Natchitoches, Shreveport-Bossier (Louisiana) and Marshall, Jefferson, and Kilgore (Texas) have been delivering an amazing holiday experience. Dining, shopping, and sight-seeing await visitors in each city that is an easy one-hour drive along Interstates 20 and 49.

Shreveport-Bossier shares the Red River and close proximity in northwest Louisiana. The riverfront offers fun with shopping and programmed activities at the Louisiana Boardwalk. Bigger and better to this year’s event lineup is a laser show at Barnwell Garden and Art Center and toy-making workshops at Sci-port: Louisiana’s Science Center to complement holiday home tours, fireworks festival, and other events.

Head south of the sister cities to Natchitoches.  This city has the oldest festival in Louisiana dating back to 1927 when city employees at the utility department decided to give their customers a Christmas present – an eight-foot star made of white lights and placed downtown for everyone to enjoy. The festival has grown quite a bit since 1927 and now includes shopping, entertainment, carolers, fireworks and snow. Carriage tours will be available in the evening through the National Landmark Historic District.

Cross the Louisiana state line to Texas for exciting holiday displays in Marshall, Jefferson and Kilgore.                                                                                    

For more information about top events in Louisiana take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Louisiana.

For more information on the Holiday Trail of Lights visit www.holidaytrailoflights.com.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday and Winter Events Highlight the City of Arts and Innovations

Winston-Salem, conveniently located in the heart of North Carolina, has always been known for its heritage – rich in traditions, legacies and cultures. But many pundits agree that there’s just something extraordinary about Winston-Salem during these festive times.

Traditional holiday-goers put Old Salem Museum & Gardens on their “must-do” list. As charming as any scene from a classic Dickens novel, a trip to Old Salem during the holidays is so magical it could transform any Scrooge into the happiest Christmas kid. Founded in 1766, this historic Moravian village hosts several traditional Moravian ceremonies including Candle Tea, candlelight tours and a Christmas Eve Lovefeast. Shopping in historic hamlet’s quaint shops is incredible. Wreaths, hand-dipped candles and the Moravian Advent stars and hand-crafted tin angels are the well-known ornaments made there by Old Salem artisans.

And of course, a holiday trip to Old Salem must include a sampling of the wafer-thin Moravian cookies and the sugarcake from Winkler Bakery located on Main Street.

A historic holiday tour of Winston-Salem wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the opulent Reynolda House. Candlelight tours on December 9-11 offer visitors a step-back into Winston-Salem in the original heydays of the 1920’s and a glimpse into the holiday traditions of the owners of this breathtaking estate.  

Just 15 minutes west of Winston-Salem is Tanglewood Park’s Festival of Lights, the largest holiday lighting display show in the Southeast.  

For more information about top events in North Carolina take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in North Carolina.

For a complete listing of all the holiday events and performances in Winston-Salem, go to www.visitwinstonsalem.com

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Month-long Festive Events in Durham, North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina is home to great events to kick off the holiday season.

The City of Durham is offering a Holiday Fun Fest featuring a parade with Santa Claus and bands, snow sledding, a petting zoo, food vendors and a tree-lighting ceremony. This event takes place on Saturday, December 4 at CCB Plaza from 1pm to 6pm.

American Tobacco’s Annual Tower Lighting is Friday, December 3 at 7pm. Ring in the season with performances by the Durham Public School Choral Groups as countless water tower lights fill the sky.

Take in a holiday show at DPAC-Durham Performing Arts Center or experience a historical Christmas at one of Durham’s historical sites. On December 3, see Duke Homestead by candlelight. Celebrate an 1870 Christmas during the evening candlelight tours showcasing period decorations, caroling, hot apple cider, and other goodies.

On December 4, experience “Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters” at Stagville. During the day, see the Bennehan house decorated for the holidays, listen to music, and shop the local vendors from all over North Carolina with everything from pottery, to jewelry. At night, step into the antebellum period and see how enslaved people celebrated the holidays.

The Durham Museum of Life and Science also has a highly popular Santa Train that runs from December 1–5, 8–12, and 15–20 which features a train ride to the North Pole to see Santa, free hot chocolate, free make n’ take crafts, and free face painting. 

For more information about top events in North Carolina take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in North Carolina.

Visit www.durhameventcalendar.com to search for other events happening through the New Year in Durham.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

84th Annual Christmas Festival in Natchitoches, Louisiana

Christmas is a high traffic season in Natchitoches, Louisiana .... quickly followed in March with Louisiana's favorite holiday, Mardi Gras. The small city of  23,000 officially “turned on the holidays” on November 20 with thousands of Christmas lights illuminating the downtown Historic District.

The lights are on nightly and will remain on until January 6, 2011. If you are looking for kid-friendly fun, Natchitoches has an entire list of free or low-cost events for the entire family. From Christmas galas and art and craft shows to tours of historic homes and reenactments, Natchitoches has something for everyone. Don’t forget that on every Saturday in December there is live entertainment and fireworks on the downtown riverbank.

The main event of the Festival of Lights celebration is the 84th Annual Christmas Festival to take place December 4 on the downtown riverbank in Natchitoches. Festival activities include two parades, live entertainment, food vendors, arts and crafts and fireworks. 

Things tend to slow down in Natchitoches throughout January and pick up again with the celebrating of Mardi Gras in March. Natchitoches wouldn't be a typical Louisiana town if it didn't throw a Mardi Gras Parade. Unlike what you tend to see in some of the bigger cities, Natchitoches hosts a kid-friendly Mardi Gras celebration.  "Throw me something, Mister" will be the yell heard throughout the town as the local Krewe of Dionysus parade rolls through on March 5.

For more information about top events in Louisiana take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Louisiana.

For more festival listings in Natchitoches Parish, please visit online at www.natchitoches.net and check out the online calendar of events.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Drum Corps World Championships for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County 2012

Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay will be alive with the sound of music when Drum Corps Associates (DCA) holds its 48th Annual World Championship competitions at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Labor Day Weekend 2012.

AAACCVB Chairman of the Board James LoBosco said the DCA World Championships is believed to be the largest single event ever booked by the AAACCVB. “After 13 months of negotiations with the CVB’s sales team, DCA has elected to bring the World Championships south of the Mason-Dixon line for the first time in the event’s 48-year history.”

The August 31-September 2, 2012 event is expected to attract 13-thousand performers and fans. Some 30 drum corps from throughout North America will converge in Annapolis for the event. Each corps is comprised of up to 128 performers and travels with an extensive support crew.  

The event will include preliminary and final competitions, individual and ensemble events, and an Alumni Spectacular at Navy Marine Corps Stadium. While Annapolis is the host location, the group’s impact will be felt across Anne Arundel County. The drum corps will be practicing on thirty fields around the county throughout the weekend. The practices will be open to the public, and area residents, students, and local band directors will be invited to attend the free performances.

Since the Rhode Island-based Drum Corps Associates was formed in 1964, only four states have hosted the World Championships: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. The 2011 championships are being held at the 13,500-seat Rhinos Stadium in Rochester, New York.

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.

For more information on Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay visit www.visitannapolis.org

Monday, November 22, 2010

Carlsbad’s Holiday Light Show Floats into 19th Season

The dark river, usually illuminated by only the stars and moon, reflects each December what has become one of New Mexico’s grandest holiday light shows, Christmas on the Pecos in Carlsbad. The 19th season runs November 26 to December 31 (excluding December 24).

Bundled up against the winter chill, you stare in fascination as your boat glides through a fairyland of twinkling lights created by more than 100 Pecos River homeowners and corporate sponsors who spend hours creatively decorating backyards and boat docks with millions of lights.
Christmas on the Pecos River Boat tours are 40 minutes long. Boats set sail 12-15 times each night between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tours depart from the Pecos River Village, a quaint, turn-of-the-century park, located at 711 Muscatel, that is transformed into a wonderland of sparkling lights and delights.

Christmas on the Pecos continues to grow each year with attendance topping 15,000 passengers in 2009. Tickets are sold in advance and at the ticket office on days of departure. Space is limited and reservations are strongly suggested especially on the weekends and nearer Christmas. Complimentary "lap" passes are given for passengers under the age of 2. Be sure to wear warm clothing (layers are best). Blankets are provided by Washington Tru Solutions and are available prior to boarding at the docks.

Christmas on the Pecos River has been awarded one of the top 100 "must see" events in North America by the American Bus Association 14 years in a row since 1996

For more information about top events in New Mexico take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in New Mexico.

For more information on Carlsbad's Christmas on the Pecos visit www.christmasonthepecos.com

Maine Windjammer Fleet Gatherings for 2011

The Schooner Isaac H Evans
Off all the exciting events taking place across the USA each year, those that take place on the water are amongst the most popular.  And the events when the sailing ships of The Maine Windjammer Association get together are no exception.

The "gathering of the fleet” as these events are referred to take place from June through September, and the Maine Windjammer Association has just announced the line-up for 2011.

It is a rare thrill to see all these beauties together.

The line up for 2011 gatherings includes:

• Schooner Gam – Week of June 13th, 2011
The summer season kicks off with a windjammer gathering of the entire fleet! Relive the age of sail during this quiet rendezvous of more than a dozen 19th-century-style sailing ships. Location is determined by the weather of the day!

• Windjammer Days – Week of June 20th, 2011
Participate in a grand sail parade through picturesque Boothbay Harbor. Majestic windjammers come from up and down the coast to participate in this exciting early-season event. Shoreside activities include music and fireworks.

• Great Schooner Race – Week of July 4th, 2011
More than two dozen tall ships gather for an exciting all-day race in which guests may participate. This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the Great Schooner Race, North America’s largest annual gathering of tall ships!

• Maine Windjammer Parade – Friday, July 15th, 2011
The entire windjammer fleet participates in an afternoon Parade of Sail past the mile-long Rockland Breakwater, providing spectators with stunning, close-up views of Maine’s fleet of tall ships. Festivities also include tours of the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, free trolley rides to satellite parking areas and Owls Head Transportation Museum flyover.

• Music Festival – Week of August 1st, 2011
Many of the windjammers gather midweek for the Sweet Chariot Music Festival on Swans Island where more than a dozen groups perform traditional music of the sea. Fleet also gathers on Friday night for live shipboard performances ranging from sea chanteys and blues to story-telling and folk.

• Camden Windjammer Weekend – September 2nd & 3rd, 2011
The fleet gathers in picturesque Camden Harbor for festivities reminiscent of the days when hundreds of coastal schooners lined the waterfront. Festivities include a parade of sail, flag-raising ceremonies, live music, dancing and fireworks. 

• WoodenBoat Sail-In – Week of September 12th, 2011 (Tues. Sep. 13th)
The fall gathering of the fleet takes place in Brooklin, Maine, headquarters of WoodenBoat Magazine and WoodenBoat School. Now in its 25th year, the event includes refreshments, live music, tours and a harbor full of historic schooners.

For an overview of the ships of the Maine Windjammer Association, take a look at the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine profile at http://www.prowsedge.com/cruise-lines-maine-windjammer-cruises.html or for more information about the Maine Windjammer Association visit the web site at http://www.sailmainecoast.com

For more information about other top events and festivals in Maine, visit the TOP EVENTS USA - TOP EVENTS IN MAINE

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lights on the River Festival

It’s a holiday celebration! All are invited to come to downtown Owego on Friday evening, December 3, from 5:30-8:30 pm. Owego will sparkle with holiday lighting and a family festive atmosphere. Christmas lights reflecting on the river, children’s choirs, ballet dancers, barbershop quartet singers, a juggler, hot air balloon ride, alpacas to pet, an ice sculptor, horse and wagon rides, and a visit with Santa; all the sights and sounds of Christmas.

Join the Historic Owego Marketplace as it kicks off the 4th Annual “Lights on the River Festival.”

The festivities begin at 5:30 pm in downtown Owego. Enjoy plenty of shopping, warm free refreshments all around town, cookies, hot cocoa, and lots of goodies to get you in the mood for the holidays. Don’t forget to stop in the Tioga County Historical Museum for “O’Tannenbaum” and check out over 100 decorated Christmas trees and wreaths on display. Salvation Army kettles will be placed throughout the town as well.  The evening is capped off with an exciting riverside fireworks show off Draper Park near the bridge.

A shuttle bus and parking will be available from the Tioga County Fairgrounds/Marvin Park from 5:00-9:00 pm.

Owego is part of Tioga County, New York, an historic, rural county in the southeastern corner of the Finger Lakes Region.  Rolling hillsides, historic homes, quaint country shops, riverside restaurants, unique farm tours, fabulous festivals and a beautiful river make a trip to this part of New York state a memorable visit.

For more information about top events in New York state take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in New York.

For more information visit www.lightsontheriver.com/

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hillsboro Creates a Winter Wonderland with Holiday Celebration

Chocolate, parade floats and lights galore are what guests will catch sight of upon arriving at this jolly spectacular. Hillsboro, the close-knit and lively Texas town, invites those near and far to come enjoy its annual Holiday on the Square celebration in downtown Hillsboro on Saturday, December 11, with proceeds benefiting Christmas for Kids and Food for Families.

This year, Holiday on the Square has acquired a ‘Victorian Chocolate’ theme with each participating store opening its doors at 10 a.m. to offer a different type of chocolate treat to customers as they shop. In addition to these sweet giveaways, patrons are invited to vote for their favorite chocolaty delight in a competition among Hillsboro’s vendors.
If free chocolate, a parade and a way to help those who need it most are not enough reasons to come down to Hillsboro, the entire town will be dressed in lights and decorations to fit the holiday theme for guests to enjoy. This includes Hillsboro’s famous landmark, The Hill County Courthouse.

Hillsboro is located in North Central Texas and is the county seat of Hill County. A town just off Interstate 35, Hillsboro is the primary center for trade and commerce in Hill County and is the midway point between the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Waco. Hillsboro is home to the popular Outlets at Hillsboro as well as many antique stores, museums, restaurants, and historic bed and breakfasts that unite the city’s small town atmosphere with modern convenience. Also serving as the gateway to Lake Whitney, Hillsboro offers both visitors and residents “everything within reach”.

For more information about top events in Texas take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Texas.

For more information on Hillsboro visit www.hillsborochamber.org

Piratical Escapades in Key West

The spiritual descendants of Blackbeard, Calico Jack Rackham, pirate queen Anne Bonny and even Captain Jack Sparrow are to descend on Key West Friday, November 26, through Sunday, December 5, for the 11th annual Pirates in Paradise Festival.

Designed to appeal to children and adults alike, the colorful gathering typically brings hundreds of buccaneer aficionados and re-enactors to celebrate the island city's adventurous seafaring history.

The festival schedule features tall ship sailing adventures, a plank-walking championship, living history pirate encampments, swashbuckling soirees and parties, a "village thieves' market" and pirate pub, pirate tours of Key West, an educational tall ship sailing seminar and the staged re-creation of the trial of Anne Bonny and Mary Read, real-life female buccaneers who were captured in Caribbean waters in the early 1700s.

Throughout the 2010 Pirates in Paradise Festival, aspiring seafarers can experience tall ship pirate sailing excursions aboard the Schooner Wolf, the flagship of the Keys' Conch Republic including sunset sails, and join Captain Finbar in lighthearted attacks on "land forces" and unsuspecting vessels in the harbor.

Nonstop entertainment is to be provided by strolling minstrels and combative stuntmen. Little buccaneers can enjoy games and treasure hunts in a special kids' area, and vendors plan to offer period arts and crafts. A homemade brew competition is "on tap" as well.

In addition, living-history pirate encampments, "invasions" and demonstrations by military re-enactors are scheduled at Fort Zachary Taylor, an authentic Civil War fortification adjacent to Truman Waterfront Commons. Fort Taylor events are planned for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 3-5.

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.

For more information about the Pirates in Paradise Festival visit www.piratesinparadise.com

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bald Eagle Days in Rock Island, Illinois

Each year from mid-December through February, the Quad Cities area serves as host to a large majority of bald eagles making their annual southern migration from Canada to the unfrozen waters of the Mississippi River. The Quad Cities celebrates over 40 years of bald eagle education in the area.

Bald Eagle Days is the feature celebration from January 7 to 9, 2011, at the QCCA Expo Center located at 2621 4th Avenue in Rock Island, Illinois. It is the largest event in the Midwest dedicated to the United States’ national symbol of freedom.  Hours: Friday 4-8 pm, Saturday 10 am-8 pm, and Sunday 10 am-5 pm.  Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for kids.

Thousands of residents and visitors turn out for the annual event which includes live eagle programs and live bird of prey demonstrations. In addition, some of the Midwest’s finest artists exhibit in the wildlife art show and sale. Also included is the Pella Wildlife Company accompanied by their wolves. There will also be spotting scopes set up and manned by the Quad City Audubon Society at Sunset Marina in Rock Island for a great eagle watching opportunity with free shuttle bus service from the Expo Center. 
Located on the Mississippi River in the Midwest, the Quad Cities is comprised of Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa; Rock Island and Moline/East Moline, Illinois; and surrounding communities. The population of the area is nearly a half-million people. The Quad Cities is an easy 2½-hour drive west from Chicago, Illinois.

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.

For more information visit the Expo Center at www.qccaexpocenter.com

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Plenty of Aloha for Everyone at Kauai Festivals

There are many free cultural events year-round in Kauai, in parks, public places, and resorts including concerts of traditional (and contemporary) music, lei-making contests, and hula dancing (photo courtesy Kauai Visitors Bureau). There you can meet the revered Hawaiian elders of the community, affectionately known as kupuna, hear their stories, learn about the ways of the ancients, and watch cultural demonstrations.

Get a taste of it in December.

On Friday December 3 there is a craft fair in Lihue on the grounds of the Kaua'i Museum from 10am to 8pm including a bake sale, craft-making tent and Christmas display with free entertainment by choirs, halau and kupuna from 11am to 5pm. On the same day, after the lighting ceremony of the Festival of Lights at 6pm on the front steps of the Historic County Building with the Kauai Chorale and Santa leading a spectacular "Lighting Countdown", some 40 lighted parade entries from all over the island will take part in the popular Lights on Rice Parade from 6:30 to 9pm.

The Holiday Hula Christmas Celebration is on December 12 – a Hawaiian Christmas performance by Nah Hula O Kaohikukapulani (dance troupe), chants, hula and Christmas melodies. The night includes a silent auction and finger foods.

Waimea Town will be decked-out with holiday cheer in December. A brilliant wonderland of color and the spirit of fellowship are the hallmark of the annual Waimea Lighted Christmas Parade starting at 6pm, Saturday, December 18. Visit Waimea's parks, beaches and hiking trails; browse through Waimea's shops, eat dinner and enjoy the entertainment following the parade at Hofgaard Park. The event is free and visitors are welcome to join in this colorful community event.

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.

For more information on Kauai Festivals visit http://www.kauaifestivals.com/

Friday, November 5, 2010

Winter Means Major Events in Breckenridge, Colorado

Winter brings unique events to the Victorian town of Breckenridge, which bustles with an independent dining scene, a thriving arts district and plenty of snow. A season-long lineup features signature events and adventures of all speeds.

The Lighting of Breckenridge on December 4 transforms the town into a wintry village complete with two weekends of a Holiday Market. Think roasted chestnuts, hot spiced cider, mulled wine, visits with Santa and unique shopping opportunities. Check out the 3rd annual Winter Dew Tour, December 16 to 19, and New Year's celebrations that include fireworks, a concert and a torchlight parade down the slopes of Breckenridge mountain.

Bring the Viking Horns for Ullr Fest, January 9 to 15. This annual week-long celebration of Ullr (pronounced Ooh-ler), the mythical Norse god of snow, brings to Breckenridge a legendary Main Street parade along with live entertainment, the Ullr Dating Game, Ullympics and a family ice skating party.

Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships – the week of January 25 to 30, teams from around the globe descend on Breckenridge to hand carve 20-ton blocks of snow into works of art.

Not enticed by white stuff? Explore Breckenridge's diverse, independent restaurant scene. Or, try a workshop in the Arts District, shop the boutiques, indulge in spa treatments and re-live history with museum tours.

In addition to ski and ride lessons, winter family activities abound. Explore miles of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails, experience a dogsled tour in Breckenridge's backcountry or hear the sleigh bells jingle on a starlit dinner sleigh ride.

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 Colorado.

For more information visit Breckenridge at www.gobreck.com

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It’s Girls Getaway Month on the Oregon Coast

November is Girls Getaway month on The People’s Coast .... and there’s plenty to lure any Cinderella away from the dustbuster and out into Oregon Coast’s wild blue yonder: special Girls Getaway packages, wine samplings and art walks, gift fairs and birding tours, bright lights and small cities, big rocks and surging waves.

Walk on the wild side .... what happens in Neskowin stays in Neskowin! Unless of course you Share Your Stories of coastal adventure, marine biology and quality face time on Facebook, Twitter or, better yet, The People's Coast website. You could win a one-night stay in a Whale Watch room with a Girl's Getaway Spa Package at Overleaf Lodge & Spa in Yachats. Perhaps escape to Lincoln City for a Girls Only Weekend Getaway of surfing, gaming, partying or pampering.

Or follow your flight of fancy to Charleston for a guided birding tour of the South Slough Estuarine Reserve, and while you’re there take in the display of miniature replicas of coastal villages. March over to Florence for the annual Veterans' Day Parade featuring floats, music and vintage cars. Brew up some fresh memories with an old gal-pal in Pacific City, where the Pelican Pub & Brewery will serve up a five-course dinner for two paired with six Pelican beers.

It's never too soon to shop for the holidays, and the Holiday Gift Fair in Seaside is a great venue for latching onto some unique handcrafted toys, jewelry and fashions. Make a note to drop in at Newport's Oregon Coast Aquarium in early December to catch the Sea of Lights while fishing around for unusual holiday gifts.
For more information about top events in Oregon take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Oregon

For more information on The People’s Coast, Oregon, go to visittheoregoncoast.com/

Friday, October 29, 2010

Celebrate Dickens on The Strand in Galveston

Dickens on The Strand is Galveston’s 37th annual Victorian-style street festival filled with costumes, music, food and wares straight from the streets of 19th-century London.

During the weekend of December 4th and 5th, hundreds of costumed vendors and performers will provide a look at the pomp and pageantry of the British Empire at a time when commercial and cultural ties provided a strong connection between London and Texas’ largest and richest city.

Centered in Galveston’s The Strand National Historic Landmark District, located approximately one hour south of downtown Houston, the family festival will include parades, non-stop entertainment on the festival’s stages, plus strolling carolers and roving street musicians, bagpipers and entertainers. Additionally, costumed vendors peddle their wares from street stalls and rolling carts laden with tasty culinary delights and Victorian-inspired crafts, clothing, jewelry, holiday decorations and gift items.

This year the Festival will feature a wide array of new events – including Airship Isabella, an alternative Victorian “Steampunk” group of performers who will host an edgy bazaar, a circus and a street ball.

Besides the Steampunk performances, other new festival offerings include Albert’s Whimsical Whisker Revue – a facial hair contest with various categories.

Her Majesty’s Royal Romp, A Race Fit for a Queen, is a new event inspired by an old Monty Python video. In the Galveston version, contestants dressed as Queen Victoria will race down Mechanic Street through an obstacle course.

The popular Victorian Bed Race features teams of contestants wearing Victorian sleeping attire pushing Victorian-dressed beds on wheels down Galveston’s Mechanic Street as onlookers cheer.

For more information about top events in Texas take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Texas.

For more information visit the Galveston Historical Foundation at www.galvestonhistory.org.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wine Lovers and Foodies head for Annapolis

The Annapolis Food and Wine Festival, the premier event in historic downtown Annapolis, Maryland, combining the cuisine of the city’s best restaurants with award-winning wines, will be held during the weekend of November 6 and 7 in the Downtown City Dock Area of Annapolis.

It is centered around three of Annapolis' prime attractions: fine dining and gourmet food; premier wine and spirit purveyors; and the natural setting of the Chesapeake Bay. Here you can enjoy food and wine pairings; gourmet chef cooking demos; and wine tasting flights – all add up to a fun-filled weekend for wine lovers and foodies alike.

Special events include a selection of "Vintner Dinner Parties" at award-winning downtown Annapolis restaurants as well as tastings of "Champagne and Oysters on the Half-Shell." For a romantic afternoon, perhaps "Wine, Dine, and Cruise the Chesapeake Bay."

Known as the “sailing capital of the world,” Annapolis and its city dock waterfront provide a natural setting for the two day event.  With a great view of Ego Ally and its parade of sailing vessels, this historic seaport is an inviting, romantic, and fun-filled city.

As a premier travel destination on the east coast, Annapolis boasts over seventy-five restaurants in its downtown Main Street-Maryland Avenue-West Street-Dock Street-Eastport area. Many restaurants create menus that highlight local seafood cuisine but one can also dine on authentic Sicilian pasta or simply sip a cocktail on a deck overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. 

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.

For a complete listing of all activities for the two-day Annapolis Food and Wine Festival visit www.annapolisfoodandwinefestival.com

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Costuming 'Insanity' to Characterize Fantasy Fest Events

With more than 40 masquerade contests, themed parties, parades and other spectacles during its 10-day schedule, Key West's Fantasy Fest is to push the skills and imaginations of costume creators and mask makers to the limit. The 2010 masking and costuming celebration, themed Habitat for Insanity, is scheduled Friday October 22 through Sunday October 31.

The most elaborate costume competition, Pretenders in Paradise, features huge and vividly colored entries adorned with feathers, thousands of sequins, unexpected elements and even moving parts. As well as designing their costumes, entrants put on performances to entertain the standing-room-only audience.

Pretenders 2010, themed Predators and Prey Come Out to Play, is set for 9 pm Thursday, October 28, on an oceanfront stage at the Pier House Resort & Caribbean Spa, 1 Duval St. Cash prizes totaling $10,000 await the winning amateur, professional and group entries.

Fantasy Fest "insanity" is to take center stage at the 28th annual Headdress Ball, themed Diagnosis: Psychosis, an Assembly at the Asylum. Asylum inmates are to costume their craniums in exotic headdresses, towering masks, mysterious cowls and other "head-turning" haberdashery in this flamboyant festival favorite.

The glittering Headdress Ball is takes place on Tuesday October 26, at Southernmost on the Beach. Fantasy Fest also provides many other opportunities for attendees to indulge their taste for delicious or devilish garb. Costumed characters are to star in a vampires' ball, toga party, masquerade contest for pets and their people, sexy sports soiree, buccaneer bash, glamorous pajama party and much more.

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.

For more information about Fantasy Fest visit www.fantasyfest.net or visit the Keys at www.fla-keys.com.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Springfield, Missouri, Pets and Pumpkins Fun

Pets and Pumpkins makes a return to historic Commercial Street, Springfield, Missouri, for the 3rd year in a row on Saturday October 23 from 1pm to 5pm – rain or shine. Each year thousands of people and pets fill the street for an afternoon of Halloween fun.

The street between Robberson and Campbell will be closed to safely accommodate this popular event.

In addition to the area’s largest costume parade and contest for kids, adults and pets, activities include food, music, marshmallow roasting, trick or treating at the shops & vendors, inflatables, games, hay maze, cake walk and much much more.

Pets and Pumpkins was created to help animal rescue efforts. Money raised from the day of the event is donated to local shelters that are dedicated to saving homeless dogs and working to educate the public about the problems of pet over population. This year armbands and tags will be sold at the admission gates.  The cost is $2 per child and $2 per pet (Adults are free).

For more information about top events in Missouri take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Missouri.

Visit www.petsandpumpkins.com for additional information, including vendor entry and volunteer forms.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Flavorful Fall Arrives on Florida's Historic Coast

A streetscape redesigned just for outdoor dining, events celebrating a rich heritage and flavorful foods, and special fixed-price dining menus at dozens of area restaurants is greeting October visitors to Florida's Historic Coast. This October, the spotlight is shining on the area's outstanding dining and culinary traditions.

Located mid-way between Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, Florida's Historic Coast features 42 miles of unspoiled Atlantic beaches; the nations' oldest city, St. Augustine; the elegant seaside resorts of Ponte Vedra; and some of the world's best golfing opportunities.

Founded by the Spanish in 1565, St. Augustine continues to celebrate daily the flavors of Spain that were a rich part of the everyday life here for nearly 250 years. Combined with the Mediterranean culinary traditions brought to Florida's Historic Coast by Minorcan and Greek colonists in the 18th century, the area offers both time-tested Old World favorites and cutting-edge culinary creations. The tantalizing tastes of these flavorful influences are made even more exciting by the variety of dining atmospheres found here – oceanfront seafood restaurants, old Florida riverfront hideaways, quaint bistros and trendy eateries. "Foodies" ranging from epicurean experts to folks who just want a delicious, flavorful meal can easily satisfy their culinary cravings on Florida's Historic Coast.

October is dedicated to Flavors of Florida's Historic Coast, a month-long dining experience that offers visitors an opportunity to experience the wide-range of local culinary diversity. Each of the participating restaurants is presenting a "Chef's Choice" prix fixe (fixed price) three-course meal reflecting its unique flavor and style.

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.

To learn more about the October 2010 Flavors of Florida's Historic Coast Prix Fixe dining celebration visit www.HistoricCoastFlavors.com

Monday, October 11, 2010

Inaugural Delaware Wine and Beer Festival near Dover

Advance tickets for the Inaugural Delaware Wine and Beer Festival on Sunday, October 17 can be purchased online at Dover’s homepage (see end of this blog and start clicking).

The Festival will be held from 12 noon to 5 pm at Pizzadili Vineyard and Winery located at 1683 Peach Basket Road near Felton, just minutes south of Dover off Route 13. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

General admission to the festival is $5. To sample beer and wine, attendees must be 21 years of age and purchase a sampling package at $20 per person, which includes general admission and five tasting tickets.

Additional tokens for full pours will be sold onsite at $4 for a glass of wine and $3 for a glass of beer.  Barbecue and pizza, along with non-alcoholic beverages, will be available for purchase. The event will be held rain or shine under a covered pavilion. 

Attendees will have an opportunity to meet Delaware’s vintners and brewers, and sample more than 30 Delaware-made wines and craft beers.

Festival-goers will also have an opportunity to take tours of the winery. Fun activities will include horseshoes, volleyball, and there will even be a "grape stomp" and "keg tossing" contest. Live music for the event will be provided by Celtic Harvest's Woodyword Trio. In addition, a select number of Delaware artisans will be participating.

For more information about top events in Delaware take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Delaware.

Click on the Wine and Beer Festival on Dover’s homepage www.visitdover.com to begin your ticket purchase. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 800-233-5368.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Red River Revel Arts Festival Celebrates 35th Year

For 35 years the Red River Revel Arts Festival has attracted thousands of people who love art, food, music, and fun. This year’s event is now taking place through Saturday October 9.  This eight-day festival is held at downtown Shreveport’s Festival Plaza on the banks of the Red River.

The featured attraction at the Revel is the variety of art on display and for sale by more than one hundred juried artists. It’s the perfect place to find unique jewelry, paintings, acrylics, clothing, pottery, photography, wood work and much more. This year will offer 40 new artists.

Another popular activity at the Revel is eating. Many festival-goers count down to the event in anticipation of eating their Revel favorites, most of which are prepared by local non-profit organizations. From the Muffaletta pizza and turkey legs to the Italian ice and funnel cakes.

This year the 50-foot Ferris Wheel is back and will be in a new location overlooking the Children’s Arts Education Area and the Red River. Children’s events include Artist for a Day, “Twister” Tot Tent, Architecture Alive, Salto Trampoline and the Rock Climb.

Revelers can enjoy local bands and regional Revel favorites throughout the eight-day festival. The eight-day Reveler Pass allows unlimited admission throughout the festival for one low price.

Shreveport-Bossier is Louisiana's Other Side – a mix of wide-open Texas spirit and spicy Cajun attitude. They took the best of big Texas and the tastiest of Louisiana and blended it into their own brand of entertainment and fun.

For more information about top events in Louisiana take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Louisiana.

To learn more about all there is to see and do in Shreveport-Bossier, visit www.shreveportbossierfunguide.com.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ancient Way Fall Festival Features Creativity, Tradition of Northwest New Mexico

Discover one of New Mexico's best-kept secrets - the celebration of community, culture and scenic beauty of the Ancient Way Arts Trail in the Zuni Mountains - during two Ancient Way Fall Festival weekends, October 2, 2010, and October 9, 2010.October 2 at El Morro includes a combined Ancient Way Arts Festival, as well as the Ramah Farmers Market & Harvest Festival that features local arts, food, crafts, music, traditional dances and the opportunity to meet artists directly.

October 9 at Zuni Pueblo features a Fall Arts Market with traditional dances, along with the annual Human/Horse Relay and the Ansele:mo Run. Also on October 9, at El Malpais Information Center (18 miles east of El Morro National Monument), visitors have the opportunity to see Ramah Navajo Weavers Association members demonstrate the traditional wool processes that go into making a beautiful Navajo weaving; see the rare ancestral Navajo-churro sheep that grow the wool for Ramah Navajo weavings; and purchase quality, one-of-a-kind weavings. The weavers' demonstration will be held in conjunction with the Center's annual open house and book sale.

“Fall is when the pine-covered sandstone mesa country of west central New Mexico is most beautiful - the days are cool and sunny and the flowers are at their peak,” said Michael Cerletti, Secretary of the New Mexico Tourism Department. “The folks along State Road 53, from Grants to Zuni, open their doors for an 80-mile-long party. I cannot think of a more fascinating and fun-filled way to spend a couple of fall weekends.”

Cultures as varied as Navajo, Zuni, Hispanic, Anglo and Mormon create works of world-class reputation. The route itself in the southern link of the state's most recently designated scenic byway, the Trail of the Ancients Byway.
In recognition of this region’s uniqueness, the New Mexico Arts Division (a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs) has designated the Ancient Way Arts Trail from Gallup to Zuni to Grants as the state's first multi-art trail, with some 30 participating sites representing more than 650 artists. The trail also serves as a portal to the thousands of active artists and dozens of art businesses and trading posts.

For more information about top events in New Mexico take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in New Mexico.

For more information on the Ancient Way Fall Festival visit www.ancientwayartstrail.com

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Silver Jubilee for Historic Helena’s Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival

Listen closely and you can hear it .... the soulful sounds of a guitar and the brusque voice of the bluesman, proclaiming all the wrongs he has faced. It’s the blues and it has become the heartbeat of the Arkansas Delta, a region that is no stranger to hardship. You hear that adversity in the music .... and it reaches into the depths of the listener’s soul. It’s the blues – a powerful, lyrical lullaby for anyone who has faced pain or tragedy or just had a really bad day.

Each October, thousands from throughout the world flock to historic downtown Helena as the music takes over – giving visitors a three-day, down-home, soul-baring musical history lesson. The Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival (formerly known as the King Biscuit Blues Festival) has become one of the largest blues festivals in the world. This year (from October 7 to 9) the world-renowned event celebrates its 25th anniversary.

The festival is adding a special event this year, Warm-Up Wednesday. In the past, activities and music have always started on Thursday afternoon. According to Munnie Jordan, festival director: “We want our visitors to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the festival comes together.” So Wednesday, October 6, the festival area will have a “test run”.

The festival encompasses the majority of the historic town’s Cherry Street, the same street that blues legends Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert “Junior” Lockwood and Robert Johnson once strolled on their way to becoming musical legends.

For more information about top events in Arkansas take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Arkansas.

For more detailed information and a complete lineup for the 25th annual Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival, visit www.bluesandheritagefest.com.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fairs, festivals and other special events promise fall fun

West Virginia offers a wide variety of fall events all across the state. Whether you want to enjoy the state’s fall foliage atop (or jumping off!) the country’s largest steel arch bridge, attending the richest night of horse racing in the state, visiting the many fall fairs and festivals, now is the time to plan for an autumn adventure in the Mountain State.

Celebrating its 31st anniversary, Bridge Day offers plenty of thrills on the New River Gorge Bridge, Fayetteville, on October 16. Around 400 BASE jumpers participate each year in the largest extreme sports event in the world. Estimates have as many as 100,000 people attending the overall event. There is no charge for spectators to attend the festival.

The richest night of racing in West Virginia is scheduled for Saturday, October 16 in Charles Town when the West Virginia Breeders Classic showcases the West Virginia thoroughbred racing and breeding industry. The Classic is a day of nine races featuring horses bred or sired in West Virginia.

Many communities and counties celebrate the fall harvests with popular festivals. Here are a few examples.

The Kingwood community has its annual buckwheat festival from September 30 to October 3; the Mountain State Forest Festival at Elkins from October 2 to 10 promotes the beauty and utility of West Virginia’s forest land; Milton hosts the family-fun West Virginia Pumpkin Festival from October 7 to 10; and the West Virginia Black Walnut Festival at Spencer from October 14 to 17 is a celebration of the black walnut.

A list of festivals and celebrations can be seen online at www.wvtourism.com/

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Haven Celebrates Contemporary Art

City-Wide Open Studios is a series of weekends in late September (24 to 26) and early October in New Haven, Connecticut, when the artists welcome the public into their studios to witness the creative process. Each weekend the event focuses on a different part of the city and includes an eclectic assortment of events and demonstrations.

With over 250 participating artists, the entire spectrum of the arts is well-represented. There are painters, sculptors, photographers, printmakers, potters and mixed media artists; there are also bike tours and a parade.

One of the newest exhibits in the 2010 CWOS event is Project Storefront. With available space in the downtown area, artists are displaying their creations in vacant storefronts. This is a new layer in the integration of art and creativity into the day-to-day lives of New Haven residents and visitors.

An added bonus this year is the ability to experience Square with four circles by Felice Varini. Commissioned by Site Projects, Inc., this public art piece is a 110 ft tall, multi-dimensional painting installed in Temple Plaza. This is Varini's first outdoor public artwork in the United States. From a precise location, one does literally see the square with four circles contained in it. But as the viewer moves through the piece, he sees the piece from a unique perspective. The installation will be in place until June 2011.

If you ever wanted to see the artistic side of New Haven, City-Wide Open Studios is an event not to be missed. A list of participating artists, map and calendar of events is available on www.cwos.org.

Photo credit: Derek Dudek/www.visitNewHaven.com

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall Colors Peak in Northern Wisconsin for Cable Area’s Fall Fest

Record crowds are expected to descend on northern Wisconsin this upcoming weekend September 24 and 25 for the Cable Area’s annual Fall Festival.

The event draws thousands of spectators over the 2-day event but near peak fall colors and an excellent weather forecast, partnered with some new events should boost traffic to record numbers.

Sharon Haney with the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce says inquiries about lodging and travel have been extremely high. “Everyone loves the northland in fall. Warm sunshine and roads lined with trees that look like a painter’s canvas coupled with a lot of fantastic events at our festival make this one of the best weekends to be in Northern Wisconsin.”

Data from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism backs up her statements. Fall colors are the driving influence for fall travel within Northern Wisconsin from mid September through mid October. This year fall color looks to peek sometime later this week or early next week, just in time for the Cable Area’s Fall Festival.

James Bolen, Executive Director of the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce, credits both the fall colors and opportunities for fun experiences as the draw for travelers to his area this week. “We offer an authentic fish boil, lots of craft vendors, a harvest dessert bake off, pumpkin pecan pancake breakfast, wine and cheese event, almost non-stop live music all weekend long, kids games, a sportsman’s alley for the outdoor enthusiast, chainsaw carving demonstrations, lots of festival food and much more!” he said.

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.

For more information on the Cable Area Fall Festival contact the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce at 800-533-7454 or online at www.cable4fun.com

Monday, September 20, 2010

Six Days of Crafts, Arts, and Innovation in November

Winston-Salem’s fall festival – Six Days in November – is one of the south’s premier pre-holiday destinations for arts and crafts devotees. While billed as “Six Days” running from Tuesday November 16 to Sunday November 21, early birds can catch a Garrison Keillor performance at the vintage Stevens Center the Sunday before and also have a full day of activities on Monday.

Now in its third year, “Six Days in November” is chock-a-block arts and cultural activities clustered around Piedmont Craftsmen’s Fair, the Southeast’s premier fine crafts show.

During “Six Days”, Winston-Salem, the City of the Arts and innovation, is abuzz with activities, including symphony and jazz concerts, theater, art exhibitions, dance, films, food events and innovative experiences that apply computer and digital technology to the arts world. One huge crowd pleaser is a cutting edge light show in the heart of downtown presented by UNC School of the Arts lighting students.

A popular coffee house will present short documentaries on southern food and foodways with topics as diverse as red hotdogs, soft shell crabs, tamales and oysters. Many activities will be in the downtown Restaurant and Entertainment District. It is anchored by the new Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts. There will be opportunities to view an exhibition by renowned Penland School craftspeople and catch a show in the Hanesbrands black-box theatre.

Winston-Salem’s Art District is within easy walking distance with its galleries, shops, and restaurants. Winston-Salem attractions include Old Salem Museum and Gardens; Reynolda House Museum of American Art; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA); Delta Fine Arts; Children’s Museum; and Sci-Works, the Science and Environmental Park of Forsyth County.

For more information about top events in North Carolina take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in North Carolina.

For more information on Winston-Salem’s Six Days in November, visit www.cityofthearts.com.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kentucky Hosts World Equestrian Championships

The equestrian world will convene in Lexington, Kentucky for 16 days from September 25 to take part in the pageantry and splendor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

The World Equestrian Games will decide the world championships in eight equestrian sports (which are unrelated to the Bluegrass State’s world-famous thoroughbreds) – dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, para dressage, reining and vaulting. Some 800 athletes and 900 horses representing more than 60 countries will be there for the largest equestrian event ever held in the U.S.

The opening ceremonies on the evening of September 25 will include many equine entertainers, over 200 horses, a symphony orchestra, dancers, headline musicians, movement corps as well as local and international celebrities and dignitaries.

Every day of the Games will be jam-packed with activities, entertainment, attractions and competitions. Visitors to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington during this time will get not only a generous dose of horsemanship at the Games, but a generous dose of the state's unbridled spirit and Southern hospitality at the Kentucky Experience, a massive interactive facility on the grounds of the Horse Park.

A Bluegrass version of Disneyworld's Epcot Center, the 25,000-square-foot space will utilize five distinctive areas - connected by a promenade - to give visitors a tutorial on all things Kentucky. So, there you have it - a trip through Kentucky's nine distinctive regions - and the opportunity to taste its food, hear its music and buy its products - without having to leave the Kentucky Horse Park.

A concert series, the Alltech Fortnight Festival, will take place at various venues across Kentucky over the 16-days.

For more information about top events in Kentucky take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Kentucky.

For more information visit: http://www.alltechfeigames.com/

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ponderosa Stomp Festival Now has Fall Date

There is much to celebrate as the 9th Annual Ponderosa Stomp Festival kicks into action in 2010 with a new fall weekend to present another rocket-fueled cavalcade of American music stars. After eight years of spring events, fans are marking their calendars on the 24th & 25th of September in 2010.

An incredible array of performers represents American music’s expansive range of genres, from twangy guitar genius to bold, sassy R&B, Chicano rock, primal garage, truckin’ anthems, Southern soul, blues, Cajun, swamp pop and rockabilly.

Duane Eddy, SugarPie De Santo, Thee Midniters, Red Simpson, The Trashmen, Honeyboy Edwards, Lazy Lester, LaLa Brooks of the Crystals, Roy Head, Barbara Lynn and Cajun genius D.L. Menard will lead the charge.

The Stomp doesn’t just blow minds in the evenings, au contraire, by day there is the American music history conference, presented in partnership with the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame & Museum and the Louisiana State Museum, at the beautiful Cabildo in Jackson Square, in which the great producers, iconoclastic performers, journalists and notable music figures speak on panels and oral histories.

That isn’t all: the wonderful exhibit, curated by The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation, “The Secret History of Louisiana Rock ‘n’ Roll” is on display at the museum as well. This year’s Clandestine Celluloid two-day film series moves to One Eyed Jacks, a few blocks from the Music History Conference.

The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation is a not-for-profit cultural organization whose mission is celebrating the legacy, revitalizing the careers and preserving the history of American musicians.

For more information about top events in Louisiana take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Louisiana.

For more information on the Ponderosa Stomp visit http://www.ponderosastomp.com/

Monday, September 13, 2010

Crested Butte’s Vinotok Honors Eastern European Roots

The autumn equinox, a time of balance between day and night, heralds in the celebration of Vinotok in Crested Butte, Colorado. Meaning “fall wine festival” in Slovenian, Vinotok culminates on September 18 after several days of celebrating and commemorates the bounty of the summer harvest and gathering of the community before the long winter ahead.

It is a time of village feasting, of forgetting the woes of yesterday and honoring traditional Eastern European roots. In the midst of the 25th annual celebration, from September 13 to 18, is a colorful array of medieval characters, a street theatre performance, storytelling, traditional food and music.

The origins of Vinotok began when creator and now “Godmother” of the event, Marcie Telander, sat around the pot belly stove at Tony’s Conoco, now the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum, listening to the “old-timers” of Crested Butte tell stories from their native lands of Austria, Hungary, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Italy and Slovenia.

A common thread emerged. Many of these cultures had a wine festival in the fall when, as they were putting down wine for the upcoming year, the old wine from the previous year had to be drunk.

They roasted a goat, told tales and danced polka. A fire was always present, a vestige of ancient cultures asking the sun to not stay away too long. It was typically on the fall equinox, a time of planetary balance, and in those cold countries, the start of the new year. They celebrated what they harvested – the hay, children and stories of those who had created roots in a new land.

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 Colorado.

For more information on Vinotok and other events in Gunnison-Crested Butte visit http://gunnisoncrestedbutte.com

Thursday, September 9, 2010

W.C. Handy Music Festival in Top 100 for 2011

The American Bus Association (ABA) has announced that the W.C. Handy Music Festival to be held from July 22 to 30, 2011, has been designated as one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2011 by an experienced expert tourism industry selection committee.

Inclusion in the Top 100 list, published as a supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations magazine, indicates that the W.C. Handy Music Festival offers excellent entertainment value to both tour groups and individual travelers from around the world, according to ABA.

With the release of the American Bus Association's 2011 Top 100 Events in North America, ABA celebrates 29 years of the program. What began as a way for motorcoach operators to incorporate new product into their itineraries has grown to one of the most sought-after lists by travel professionals, motorcoach operators and the general public.

"The attractiveness of the W.C. Handy Music Festival as a don't-miss entertainment value is only part of why its selection this year is such a distinction for The Shoals," said Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS, ABA's president and CEO. "The real news here is that the W.C. Handy Music Festival has been recognized as a potential magnet for tourism dollars.”

ABA's 2011 Top 100 Events Selection Committee chose the W.C. Handy Music Festival from among a record number of more than 650 event nominations submitted by ABA members. Judges considered the event's broad appeal, its accessibility to motorcoaches and skill at handling large groups, and a variety of other relevant criteria.

For more information about top events in Alabama take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Alabama.

For more information on the W.C. Handy Music Festival visit www.wchandymusicfestival.org

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

State Fair in Vanguard of Vermont’s September Events

The sunny, crisp days of September in Vermont are an ideal time to get outside and visit a community fair, sample local food at an autumn festival, check out beautiful locally made artwork and handcrafted furniture, and take in some spectacular fall foliage.

Here’s a closer look at just a few Vermont events in September.

The 165th edition of the Vermont State Fair now on in Rutland until Sunday September 12 includes carnival fun, food, demolition derbies and concerts by Charley Pride, Wynonna Judd, Danny Gokey, Rick Springfield and Molly Hatchet.

Tunbridge is where the past, present, and future meet up for four days of the Tunbridge World’s Fair from September 16 to 19. The 139th World’s Fair features working antique displays, horse, pony and oxen pulling, horse racing, exhibits, free shows, a midway and more.

New England's largest all British classic and sports car show plus British cultural activities, shops, crafts and more are part of the British Invasion of Stowe from September 17 to 19. The participants are primarily from the U.S. and Canada with over 600 cars on the field.

The Mount Snow Valley’s annual culinary festival, Vermont Life Wine & Harvest Festival, is at West Dover from September 24 to 26. Enjoy chef cooking demonstrations, wine and food tastings, live music, craft vendors, cheesemakers, art exhibits and more.

Six Vermont villages invite visitors to celebrate rural life against a spectacular backdrop of orange, red and yellow leaves in the Northeast Kingdom’s Fall Foliage Festival from September 27 to October 2. Six unique festivals take place over six different days in six scenic villages in this order: Walden, Cabot, Plainfield, Peacham, Barnet and Groton.

For more information about top events in Vermont take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Vermont.

For a comprehensive listing of events in Vermont visit www.VermontVacation.com

Friday, September 3, 2010

Palette of Vibrant Colors Awaits Artists and Visitors in Beaches of South Walton

Beaches of South Walton is home not only to emerald waters and sugary white sands, but also a vibrant community of artists that have helped to make the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast destination a favorite among those with a love for artistic expression.

The annual Autumn Tides celebration offers wonderful opportunities for travelers, residents, visiting artists and aspiring artists to mingle and even collaborate, with signature upcoming events such as Art Expo and Via Colori.

The Art Expo hosted by The Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin from September 3 to 5 is a weekend “good for the art and soul” with world-class art and live music under the moonlight. Exceptional artists featured in leading galleries across the southeast gather for this three-day festival with events every evening from 5 to 10 p.m.

Via Colori on September 18 offers a more hands-on experience as artists take to the streets for an Italian-style street painting art festival. This unique community project in support of Seaside Neighborhood School brings together volunteers and businesses, and features local and visiting artists using Grand Boulevard’s main street as a giant canvas. This community favorite is open to the public.

The Inspirational Weekend from October 8 to 17 includes events to inspire with food and yoga, and also has an art component. It takes place throughout several locations in the community. There are also a number of musical events as part of the Beaches of South Walton Autumn Tides celebration.

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.

For more information about Beaches of South Walton visit www.BeachesofSouthWalton.com