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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

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Home for World Ice Art Championships

Fairbanks, Alaska is home to one of the world's largest annual ice sculpting competitions and exhibitions. Held every year since 1988, the World Ice Art Championship has grown to a month-long event featuring more than 100 teams from around the world.

Some 45,000 visitors come to the Ice Park in Fairbanks to see these intricately carved masterpieces. The theme for the 24th annual World Ice Art Championships is "Future in Ice" and promises to deliver over two hundred larger-than-life sized sculptures.

The 2013 event (open daily 10am to 10pm) will be held from February 26 through March 24 in its new home at the George Horner Ice Park at 3050 Phillips Field Road. The new locale features "O'Grady Pond Too", a large on-site pond which will produce over four million pounds of "Arctic Diamond" ice – exceptionally clear, thick ice used by the sculptors.

The surrounding trees set the perfect backdrop for the competitions' ice sculptures, and there is plenty of room between the pond and the trees for a Kids Park, ice mazes, a skating rink and concession area. Competitions will include the Single Block Classic, the Multi-Block Classic, the Amateur Open Exhibition for novices to try out their skills and the Youth Classic for high school students.

To learn more about the World Ice Art Championships call (907) 451-8250, or go to www.icealaska.com. To see the full schedule of winter events and activities in Fairbanks visit www.explorefairbanks.com.

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

Monday, December 24, 2012

Port Clinton’s Novel New Year’s Eve Celebration

Don’t drop the ball, drop the fish with one of the most unique New Year’s celebrations in the nation – on December 31 Port Clinton, Ohio will reel in the New Year with the annual Walleye Drop, where visitors and locals come together to watch a 20-foot, 600-pound fish plummet from the sky. 
Festivities commence at 4pm with a variety of free children’s games and an early, kid-friendly rendition of the midnight moment dubbed the “Minnow Drop”.  Shortly after the music on the street starts with professional DJ Rock & Roll Express, who encourages you to dance the night away while you check out the local walleye themed street vendors. Whether it’s a fresh perch or walleye sandwich from the Port Clinton Fish Company or a glass of “Walleye White” wine from the local winery, there’s something for everyone’s palate.
Of course the party goes on well after midnight with main stage entertainment and a  plethora of fireworks. And if all this isn’t enough, The Listening Room adds to this unique event with live, original music. 
Listening Room favorites Mike Willis, Mickey Kelley, Matt Rodgers and fiddle phenom Forest Miller roar into town for an incredible two-night extravaganza to help ring in the New Year.
For more information about Lake Erie Shores & Islands visit www.shoresandislands.com
For more information about top events in Ohio take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Ohio. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mardi Gras Season in Shreveport-Bossier

Located in the northwest corner of Louisiana, Shreveport-Bossier has established itself as a popular regional Mardi Gras destination for locals and visitors alike.

Over the course of Shreveport-Bossier's Mardi Gras season – which officially begins with the annual 12th Night Celebration on Saturday, January 5, and closes following the Fat Tuesday Bridge Closing Ceremony at midnight on Tuesday, February 12 – an estimated 400,000 people from throughout the region will experience Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier.

The two largest evening parades in Shreveport-Bossier are the Krewe of Centaur, 4:30pm Saturday, February 2, and the Krewe of Gemini, 5pm Saturday, February 9. Both parades will begin at the corner of Clyde Fant Parkway and Lake Street in downtown Shreveport, proceed down Clyde Fant Parkway and turn onto Shreveport-Barksdale Highway, ending at the intersection of Preston Avenue and East Kings Highway near Duck Pond Park.

The Krewe of Centaur parade, "Centaur's Parade of Festivals”, will feature 31 floats, 10 marching bands and 600 krewe members throwing more than 2-milllion beads, cups, stuffed animals, doubloons, and toys.

The Krewe of Gemini parade theme for 2013 is "Gemini Loves Television". Individual float themes will include "The Simpsons", "Cheers", and "Happy Days". The Krewe of Gemini Den is also home to the Krewe of Gemini Mardi Gras Museum, which houses the world's second-largest collection of Mardi Gras royalty costumes.

Shreveport-Bossier's annual Mardi Gras celebrations also include a number of smaller, quirkier parades and events. For instance, the Krewe of Barkus and Meoux's Pet Contest and Mardi Paw Pet Parade provides a chance for festive pets to celebrate Mardi Gras in their own parade on Sunday, February 3 at Riverview Park in downtown Shreveport.

For more information about Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier visit www.shreveport-bossier.org/mardi-gras or for more details select the Mardi Gras page at www.shreveportbossierfunguide.com.

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.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Food Festivals in Hawaii

While travelers may be heading to the Hawaiian Islands for different adventures, such as eco-tourism, culture, arts, golf/sports, or health/wellness pursuits, there is one common denominator critical to anyone on vacation ..... FOOD!
Hawaii offers the best of both worlds for visitors looking for a little fun in the sun, while tempting culinary taste buds with a number of food festivals throughout the year. If your travel plans typically include great eating experiences, here are a few upcoming events you won’t want to miss:
On February 23 chocolate lovers can learn the steps that go into making this sweet treat from start to finish, taste different chocolates, watch live entertainment, and listen to industry professional speakers at the Hawaii Chocolate Festival (Oahu) Held at Dole Cannery, the festival was created to raise awareness about Hawaii’s growing cacao industry and to solidify chocolate as the state’s newest ‘ambassador of aloha’.
Oahu’s top chefs come together at the Hawaii Convention Center on March 1 for the Honolulu Festival Friendship Gala, serving up creative regional cuisine featuring the abundance of Hawaii’s ocean, farms, and ranches. The event takes place from 6:30-8:30pm and is part of Oahu’s premier Honolulu Festival cultural event, promoting understanding and ethnic harmony between people of Hawaii and the Pacific Rim region. 
The Kona Brewers Festival on Hawaii Island on March 9 began as a birthday celebration for Kona Brewing Co. in 1996 and has grown to be one of the premiere festivals on the island and in the state. The festival features 60 types of ales and lagers served alongside island-style cuisine from some of Hawaii’s top chefs.
Satisfy all your chocolate cravings and more at the Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii on March 23. The highlight of the decidedly decadent festival is the colorful and tasty 5:30-10pm gala with tempting sweet and savory chocolate creations prepared by top island chefs, chocolatiers, and confectioners. 
The all day East Maui Taro Festival on April 20 and 21 features non-stop Hawaiian entertainment and hula, food booths and arts and crafts booths, not to mention hands-on cultural demos such as poi-pounding, kapa cloth making, creating Hawaiian musical instruments and lauhala weaving.
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

Thursday, December 13, 2012

City of Festivals Summer Lineup

Heralded as the "City of Festivals," Milwaukee showcases its rich heritage with a procession of ethnic and cultural celebrations throughout the summer 2013. 
The Henry W. Maier Festival Park along the shores of Lake Michigan becomes a portal to the world as guests explore the arts, cuisine, history and entertainment of a new culture nearly every weekend.
The festival season kicks off with color during Pridefest, the largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender pride festival in Wisconsin. Join the festivities June 7-9, 2013 with food, entertainment and shopping in the marketplace.
The parade of world cultures begins with America's largest Polish Festival, Polish Fest, June 14-16, 2013. See historic exhibits, folk art demonstrations and old-world crafts. Enjoy enchanting legends coming to life, traditional dance troupes swirling and twirling, and  scrumptious dishes.
Celebrate the 45th anniversary of the world's largest music festival, June 26-30 and July 2-7, 2013 (closed on July 1). Summerfest is an eleven-day event offering the best in regional and national entertainment on 10 different ground stages and an amphitheater featuring a diverse array of music. A smorgasbord of the area's finest restaurants serve mouth-watering fare and entertainment abounds with world-renowned comedians, a children's play area and daily demonstrations and activities.
Romance, nostalgia, and rich Italian delicacies fill the air at Festa Italiana, America's premier Italian cultural event from July 18-21, 2013. A few days later grab a stein and cool off with your favorite brew at North America's largest annually held German festival German Fest on July 25-28, 2013.
These events are followed by a celebration of African-American heritage and culture at the African World Festival (August 4 and 5); Irish Fest, the world's largest Irish cultural festival on August 15-18, 2013; the south-of-the-border Mexican Fiesta extravaganza on August 23-25, 2013; and the Indian Summer Festival of both traditional and contemporary American Indian culture from September 6-8, 2013. 
For other festivals and events taking place around Milwaukee in different locations Visit Milwaukee.
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

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jackson MS Hosts First Rhythm and Blues Festival

The first annual Jackson Rhythm and Blues Festival will premiere on the grounds of the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum on September 20 and 21, 2013.

The event will be a two-day music festival and will feature one of the largest collections of blues and rhythm and blues artists anywhere in the Southeast.

Headlining the two-day festival will be Five Time Grammy Winner Buddy Guy.

Musical artists appearing Friday, September 20 include: Mint Condition, Leela James, Urban Mystic, Dorothy Moore, Memphis Icebreakers, Jeff Floyd, The Jarekus Singleton Band, Mark “Muleman” Massey, Dexter Allen, Vasti Jackson, Lacee, Pat Brown and Eden Brent.

Artists performing on Saturday, September 21 include: Buddy Guy, Bobby Rush, Denise LaSalle, Tab Benoit, Ruthie Foster, Mud Morganfield, Shakura S’Aida, John Primer, Johnny Rawls, Zac Harmon, Reba Russell, Homemade Jamz, Eden Brent, Vickie Baker, Patrice Moncel, Kenny Brown, Terry “Harmonica” Bean and Ben Payton.

“The festival line-up includes Grammy winners, blues challenge winners, national and international recording artists and many local music icons,” Wanda Wilson, President and CEO of the JCVB, says. “Jackson, with the most Mississippi Blues Trail Markers and our deep seeded history of blues culture and blues music, it just made sense for Jackson to finally have a blues festival.”

Friday general admission tickets are $25 and gates will open at 5pm. Saturday general admission tickets are $35 and gates will open at 1pm. A weekend pass good for both days is $55. All tickets are available through Ticketmaster and the Mississippi Coliseum Box Office.
Visit www.JacksonRhythmandBluesFestival.com for details. For more information on the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau click www.visitjackson.com or call 601-960-1891.

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

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Football Hall of Fame Celebrates 50 Years

As 2013 quickly approaches, football fans everywhere are looking forward with great anticipation to the collaborative celebration of 50 years of success since the Pro Football Hall of Fame first opened its doors in Canton, Ohio on September 7, 1963 when the first Enshrinement Festival events were held.

The 2013 Enshrinement Festival events will take place from July 19 through August 6. Fans are also marking their calendars for Saturday, September 7, 2013 for the 50-Year Community Celebration Day to be held at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Enshrinement Festival events have grown from the original four in 1963 to a total of 19 over two and half weeks, enjoyed by nearly 700,000 people and producing an economic impact of nearly $32 million for Canton/Stark County, and $56 million for the State of Ohio. 

A team of 4,200 extraordinary community volunteers annually joins with the professional staffs at the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and Pro Football Hall of Fame to plan and stage the events that surround the central focus of the entire celebration – the Enshrinement of football players, coaches, and contributors into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which has earned its reputation as “America’s Premier Sports Museum and Showplace!”

Stay tuned for details about the Community Celebration Day on September 7, 2013, and other activities being planned to appropriately mark this important milestone by checking out www.profootballhofef.com or www.profootballhof.com

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

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Birmingham, Alabama Commemorates Civil Rights Era

An afternoon at a lunch counter.  A thousand arms linked at the elbow. A firing line of water hoses. A pack of German Shepherds.  A letter from a Birmingham jail. A devastating explosion.  A world that would never be the same.
The year was 1963, and as the world watched, events in Birmingham sparked an unstoppable surge toward equal rights for people of all races. 

In the year leading up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Birmingham's bravest men, women and children risked their lives to abolish segregation and gain equal footing in a society of inequality. Not all the Birmingham stories leading up to 1963 are grim; stories of heroism and triumph also have their place in the history of the movement.

As Birmingham enters 2013, the city will mark the 50th anniversary of pivotal events of the 1963 campaign. Plans for the commemoration call for a yearlong multi-city promotion to include a Civil Rights Trail linking cities with significant ties to the movement. Other cities participating in the salute to 1963 include Jackson, MS, Selma and Montgomery, AL, Columbia SC, Memphis, TN, and Washington, DC. 

Large numbers of group tours as well as individual travelers are expected to visit Birmingham's historic Civil Rights District along with other trail cities during 2013. 

Richly detailed exhibits in the Civil Rights Institute reveal slices of black and white life in Alabama from the late 1800s to the present. A series of galleries tells the stories of daily life for African-Americans in the state and the nation and how dramatically different it was from the lives white people of the era took for granted.

One of the most compelling sites in the Civil Rights District is historic Kelly Ingram Park, across the street from the Civil Rights Institute. The park served as a gathering place for demonstrations in the early 1960s, including the ones in which police dogs and fire hoses were turned on marchers, many of them children. A new park audio tour, accessible by cell phone, will be rolled out for the 2013 commemoration.

Catercornered to the park is Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Birmingham's most famous civil rights landmark. On a bright September morning in 1963, a dynamite bomb set by Ku Klux Klansmen exploded at the church, killing four little girls. For nearly five decades since that time, visitors have come from all over the world to honor the victims, Carole Robertson, Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley and Addie Mae Collins. Now a new marker has been placed on the east side of the church where the girls were killed in the ladies' lounge as they prepared for morning worship.

Major special events also are being planned for the commemorative year. For more information and details visit the website 50 Years Forward.

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