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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, 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/