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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

Friday, July 30, 2010

Some 25 Maine Lighthouses Open to the Public

Maine's second annual Open Lighthouse Day will take place on September 18, 2010, when the Coast Guard, in partnership with the Maine Office of Tourism and the American Lighthouse Foundation, will open some 25 lighthouses for the public to visit and tour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Open Lighthouse Day is the largest event of its kind to take place across the country. Since 1791 with the opening of Portland Head Light, lighthouses have greatly contributed to Maine's proud history and have helped make its picturesque coastline legendary.

While all Maine lighthouses cannot be opened to the public for safety and accessibility reasons, those that are opened will provide Maine and its coastal communities the chance to showcase the long lasting and proud partnerships that they have shared with the Coast Guard for over 200 years. The Coast Guard has owned and operated Maine's lighthouses for many years until recently when many of them were transferred to organizations such as the American Lighthouse Foundation and other private owners who take great pride in preserving some of Maine's most iconic structures.

The public is invited to take part in this unique opportunity to experience a piece of Maine's maritime history.

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

Additional information on all of Maine's lighthouses and a detailed list of the lighthouses that will be open on September 18 can be found at www.lighthouseday.com.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Morikami Bon Festival Honors Ancestors

For the 33rd year, the Morikami will host the uber-popular Bon Festival. The event, on August 14, inspired by Japan’s three-day Obon holiday honoring the spirits, packs all of the celebration’s excitement into one fun-filled evening.

Bon follows the Obon holiday’s tradition of remembering ancestors and thanking them for the living’s quality of life with cultural activities, entertainment and food, as well as a sea of illuminated lanterns and fireworks.

When night falls, patrons pay homage to those who have passed on by floating individually decorated candlelit lanterns on Morikami Pond, a traditional Japanese ceremony known as Toro Nagashi. The myriad of lights created by the floating lanterns signifies the guidance of departed souls back to where they came candlelit lanterns on after their brief visit. There will be limited lanterns available for $10 each, and they will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens has been a center for Japanese arts and culture in South Florida since its opening in 1977. The Morikami invites guests to discover South Florida’s heritage and its connection with Japan, and explore a series of six diverse gardens inspired by a different historical period and style of Japanese gardening. Experience traditional and contemporary Japanese culture through world-class exhibits, varied educational programs and seasonal events, bonsai display, pan-Asian cuisine and a distinctive museum store. 

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is at 4000 Morikami Park Road in Delray Beach, Florida.

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 on Morikami’s Bon Festival visit http://www.morikami.org

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Betty Boop Celebrates Her 80th Birthday

If you’re a Betty Boop fan, don’t miss the official Betty Boop Festival Wisconsin to be held in Wisconsin Rapids on August 5 to 8. The festival will mark the anniversary of Betty Boop’s animation debut on August 9, 1930, and honors Grim Natwick, a Wisconsin Rapids native and Betty’s original top animator at Fleischer Studios, for his lifelong achievements. The event will showcase an expanded Grim Natwick animation exhibit, scenic motorcycle tours, an animated film festival, visual art gallery and an animation art collectors show.

Green Bay is one of only six ports in North America (and the only port in Wisconsin) to be honored as a host for the 2010 Tall Ship Festival when 12 vintage vessels will sail into the Port of Green Bay and dock on the shores of the Fox River on August 13 to15. Visitors can experience the history and romance of maritime life during ship tours and sails on these sailing vessels, including Wisconsin’s own flagship schooner the S/V Denis Sullivan. Entertainment and food round out this unique festival. The ships race to five ports on the Great Lakes.

Indulge in America’s Dairyland at the second annual Wisconsin Original Cheese Festival at Madison’s Monona Terrace on November 5 to 7. Taste hundreds of unique cow, goat and sheep milk cheeses at the Cheesemaker’s Gala. New this year is a Festival Marketplace that will showcase the state’s cheesemakers, dairies, wineries, microbrews, authors and artists in a farmer’s marketplace setting.

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 Wisconsin events visit http://tourism.state.wi.us/

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Variety of Special Events in San Diego

Throughout the year, San Diego plays host to a variety of annual special events, ranging from the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition, the largest event of its kind in the world, to Comic-Con International, the largest comics and pop culture event in the United States.

Here are some unique and colorful special events that visitors to San Diego can enjoy in the upcoming months.

Visitors can be Super Man or Wonder Woman for a day at Comic-Con International this week, July 22 to 25, at the San Diego Convention Center. Comic-Con is a signature summertime event for San Diego, attracting thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books, movie memorabilia and all things related to pop culture.

Guests can wiggle their toes in the sand and view hundreds of sand sculptors at work during the Annual U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition, August 6 to 8, at Imperial Beach Pier.

The San Diego International Film Festival returns September 29 to October 3 to downtown San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter with a full slate of films showcasing the best in American and international full-length features, documentaries and shorts. Extra activities include Q&A sessions with the directors, workshops, panel discussions, guest appearances by film and video artists and more.

Part of San Diego’s annual Fleet Week celebration, the annual MCAS Miramar Air Show, October 1 to 3, showcases several types of aircraft, including vintage biplanes, Air Force Thunderbirds, a Navy Super Hornet and numerous stealth fighter jets. The event includes simulated combat demonstrations, a Twilight Show with the Great Wall of Fire and a firework grand finale.

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

For more information on events in San Diego visit www.sandiego.org

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Florida Scallop & Music Festival Rolls into Port St. Joe

A long-standing Florida tradition returns for the 14th year this August in a celebration of the Gulf region and Florida’s beautiful “Forgotten Coast”.

The Gulf County Chamber of Commerce hosts the Florida Scallop & Music Festival, formerly known as the St. Joseph Bay Scallop Festival, which brings arts and crafts, music, and the ocean’s bounty to the Waterfront at Shipyard Cove on Friday August 6 through Sunday August 8.

A weekend of fun for the whole family with attractions from local businesses and regional food at an inexpensive price gives the Southeast an easy way to experience the best of the Port St. Joe area in Florida’s Northwestern Panhandle, approximately 35 miles southeast of Panama City.

The kickoff on Friday features an all-day merchant sidewalk sale, where local vendors and artists will showcase their best, and will include a Patron Dinner featuring many award-winning chefs.

General festivities begin on Saturday with the traditional opening ceremony. A variety of vendors will serve scallops to festival-goers and other vendors will also be serving refreshing snacks and meals. While feasting on the festival’s namesake, guests can also peruse the merchandise of many artists and craft vendors throughout the day, and enjoy live music.

The fun continues on Sunday with the returning vendors and activities. Scallops and snacks will be served by various vendors until Sunday evening.

Admission for children ages 10 and younger is free, as is for those 65 years and older and military personnel with valid I.D. General admission to the festival is $5 per person on Saturday, and $5 per person on Sunday.

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 on the Florida Scallop & Music Festival visit http://www.gulfchamber.org/scallopfestival

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Culinary and Wine Events, Seminars and Outdoor Adventures at Steamboat Wine Festival

The Steamboat Wine Festival combines fine food and exceptional wines with the rugged and ski village vibe of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, from August 5 to 8.

One of the country’s top wine events, the Steamboat Wine Festival brings together hundreds of artisan growers, vintners and culinary stars in a series of events that showcase the breadth and diversity of domestic and international wine regions while raising much-needed funds for Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports (STARS).

Throughout the festival, guests can take part in a number of wine tastings and pairings, gourmet dinners, educational seminars and culinary competitions. The festival also provides the rare chance to meet with owners, winemakers, Master Sommeliers, and senior representatives from wineries around the globe.

Outdoor events include mountain biking, hiking, and fishing, all of which include wine and gourmet lunches.

Events include:

Grand Tasting Kickoff Celebration: Wine on the Mountain at Thunderhead Lodge – The Kickoff provides patrons with access to great wines, wonderful views from the top of the gondola, gourmet delicacies and entertainment.

Grand Tasting: Steamboat Stroll – The Stroll route takes attendees down to the beautiful Yampa River to mingle and share great wine. Each Stroll stop offers a different variety of wines and delicious culinary samples.

Grand Tasting: A Toast of Steamboat – An impressive gathering of domestic and international vineyards, gourmet food purveyors, live entertainment, and an array of luxury-related vendors are featured at this annual event.

Other highlights are sessions including Winemaker for a Day, Chocolate and Wine, Secrets of Wine and Food Pairing, and many more.

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 Steamboat Wine Festival visit

Friday, July 16, 2010

Freedom Trail Foundation Brings British Back to Boston

The Freedom Trail Foundation will host the Second British Encampment where more than 20 companies of 18th century British army re-enactors will create an exact replica of the original camp on Boston Common’s Trayning Ground during the Siege of Boston in 1776.

The Foundation expects more than 80 tents to be pitched, housing re-enactors who will sleep overnight during the weekend of August 13, 14 and 15. While these encampments took place in various Massachusetts towns, the largest contingent of Red Coats were stationed in Boston.

The campsite will become a living history site where children and families can participate in the daily life of an 18th-century British soldier. There will be activities and demonstrations scheduled throughout the weekend which will include: drills, cooking, clothes-making, shoes and equipment, surgeon’s tent, musket firings, suttler tents (tradespeople who traveled with the army), skirmish with Colonists, music, dancing, and a chance to meet and greet re-enactor soldiers.

This is a unique opportunity for interpretive educational activities for children and families, exactly at the spot where the British held Bostonians in a vice-like blockade from 1775 through 1776.

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile path that leads to 16 of the country’s most significant historical landmarks. Each played a pivotal role in America’s rebellious beginning – familiar events such as the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere’s role in the first battle, the Battle of Bunker Hill. The Trail weaves its way through Boston marked by a red brick path or a painted red line.

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 on the Freedom Trail Foundation visit http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Seattle: 4O Ways to Celebrate Bumbershoot’s 40th Year

Seattle is celebrating the 40th Annual Bumbershoot: Seattle’s Music & Arts Festival at Seattle Center from September 4 to 6 with a summer-long series of events, programs, and contests.

The “40 Ways to Celebrate Bumbershoot’s 40th Festival” campaign highlights Seattle’s rich history of creating and supporting music, art, culture and community. These events are meant to inspire Seattle to commemorate Bumbershoot’s longevity and to provide opportunities for the Festival and fans to give back to the community that has supported it for four decades.

Bumbershoot, long recognized for offering a diverse array of programming, continues this tradition for the 2010 Festival with a visually stunning selection of art exhibits and installations.

The 2010 Visual Arts Program features a 30-year look at Seattle alternative cartoonists and comics, a large-scale sculptural installation created from wooden coffee stir sticks, an exploration of the ways developments in art technology have resulted in new expressions of sound, a chance for Festival attendees to take on the Portrait Challenge, and an opportunity to view the work of Seattle’s best street artists in a gallery setting.

The Festival’s art exhibits will be revealed to the public early, in a free public viewing on Friday, September 3 from noon to 7pm, in celebration of the Mayor’s Arts Awards.

Bumbershoot: Seattle’s Music and Arts Festival takes place every year over Labor Day weekend and stretches across the 74-acre Seattle Center beneath the city’s iconic Space Needle. Bumbershoot programs 20 indoor and unique outdoor venues, allowing for a diverse array of arts including live music, comedy, theatre, dance, film, urban crafts, and literary and visual arts.

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

For Festival details and tickets visit http://bumbershoot.org

Monday, July 12, 2010

Butterfly Festival in Springfield, Missouri

Where you find clusters of white, blue, pink or purple flowers, you’ll find nectar-seeking butterflies fluttering about – and one of those places is the botanical gardens and arboretum at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park in Springfield, Missouri.

This is the natural setting for the second annual Friends of the Garden Butterfly Festival July 24 and 25. The free event, a favorite of children and adults, celebrates all things butterfly-related. It will be open to the public from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. July 24 and 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. July 25. The Festival showcases the Dr. Bill Roston Butterfly House.

“At the Butterfly House, you’ll get an up-close look at native butterflies as they lay eggs and transform from egg to caterpillar, from caterpillar to chrysalis and, finally, from chrysalis to butterfly,” said Friends of the Garden member Cindy Willis.

At the nearby butterfly garden, visitors will be able to view and identify host plants. Children’s activities include crafts and a caterpillar petting zoo. Vendors will set up shop selling a variety of plants and garden-related merchandise. On July 24, a series of free classes and activities are being offered. The schedule is:

- 10 a.m. Butterfly photography – How to take great pictures.
- 11 a.m. Butterfly identification – Know your backyard visitors.
- 1 p.m. Gardening for butterflies – How to attract butterflies to your home landscape.
- 2 p.m. Butterfly photography – Another session of picture-taking tips and tricks.

On July 25, the butterfly identification and photography classes will be repeated at 1 p.m. and the gardening for butterflies classes will be at 2:30 p.m.

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.

For more information visit Springfield at www.SpringfieldAdventures.com

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hemingway Days Celebrated in Florida Keys

The legacy of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway, who lived and wrote in Key West throughout the 1930s, is to be celebrated Tuesday through Sunday, July 20–25, during the island's 30th annual Hemingway Days.

Festival standouts include a look-alike contest for Hemingway imitators, a leading American short story competition directed by Ernest's author granddaughter, a one-man play exploring Hemingway's adventures and a three-day marlin tournament recalling his passion for deep-sea angling. Fans of good writing can explore a roster of literary and theatrical events.

More than 125 burly, bearded contestants are expected to compete in the "Papa" Hemingway Look-Alike Contest at Sloppy Joe's Bar, 201 Duval Street, Key West. Preliminary rounds are set for Thursday and Friday evening (July 22 and 23), with finalists facing off on Saturday evening.

Sloppy Joe's also spotlights the bearded brotherhood in the annual "Running of the Bulls," a quirky take-off on Pamplona's famous run, outside the bar at 1pm Saturday (July 24).

Before the bull bash, at noon look-alikes will be on hand for "Photos with Papa." Afterwards, they plan to serve a birthday cake in a slightly belated celebration of Ernest's July 21 birthday.

Other festival fun includes Saturday's Hemingway Days Caribbean Street Fair on Duval Street and Saturday night's 5k sunset run through Old Town Key West.

Sunday's schedule features a sidewalk art show outside the legendary Green Parrot Bar and Sloppy Joe's Arm Wrestling Contest, an annual favorite.

Attendees also can view an exhibition of rare Hemingway memorabilia at the Key West Museum of Art & History, 281 Front St., and tour "Papa's" former Key West home, now the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, 907 Whitehead Street.

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

Additional Hemingway Days details can be found at http://www.hemingwaydays.net