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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

Monday, December 23, 2013

Vermont’s Final Top 10 Winter Events

Winter carnivals, a magical Mardi Gras weekend, hot chilis and the non-stop 24 Hours of Stratton bring to an exciting head the Vermont Chamber of Commerce’s Top Ten Winter Events.

Celebrate in Stowe with the 40th annual Winter Carnival from January 18 to February 2, 2014. Chill out with ice carving demonstrations and competitions, or jump into to ski races, snow golf and snow volleyball, as a spectator or a challenger. Young smiles abound at the zany Kids Carnival Kaos; the evening brings Carnival “meltdown” parties for adults. More than 15 competitive sporting events dominate the snowscape. Free to the public; participant entry fee for sporting events. 

The town of Chester opens its heart in mid February. True community spirit in classic Vermont plays out with sled races, dog sled rides, outdoor skating, broom hockey, and more at the Chester Winter Carnival on February 15 and 16, 2014. A biathlon sled race and laser shooting match is followed by a bonfire to light up Saturday, and Sunday’s highlight is the snowmobile club poker run and a broom hockey tournament. Free.

The 18TH annual Magic Hat Mardi Gras Weekend in Burlington on Friday February 28 and Saturday March 1, 2014 thaws the icy spirits of the Northeast with a unique celebration that could be dubbed New Orleans North. Friday night, kick up your feet and boogie down at Higher Ground. On Saturday, downtown Burlington turns up the heat with pre-parade musical performances, a costume contest, and family-friendly activities. Join the inspired audience; grab your share of beads, MoonPies, and Lake Champlain Chocolates as the parade kicks off with dozens of floats in grand style. Enjoy live and local music on the Church Street Stage after the parade.

Warm up with the 6th annual Vermont Chili Festival in Middlebury on March 8 from 1.30-8pm. Taste the best of the best from over 50 restaurants and caterers around the state, flocking to historic downtown Middlebury. Check out this beautiful downtown, home of Middlebury College, and cast your vote for the award-winning chilis! The event includes entertainment for all ages, face painting, street performers, live music and a beverage tent with local cider and brews. Admission $5.

The chair lifts run through the night on Stratton Mountain’s 24 Hours of Stratton on March 15-16, 2014 noon to noon with hundreds of skiers and riders passing the bib to teammates as they rack up runs in an event with a heart for the Stratton Foundation, helping families and supporting programs providing food, housing, and heat. Live music, games, a midnight NASTAR race and more keep the party going, building to a noon finish line frenzy on Sunday. 

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

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Gunfighters Gather in Yuma, Arizona

More than a dozen Old West re-enactment groups from across the region will ride into town for a old-fashioned showdown at the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park on January 11-12, 2014.

But what will fly at the 16th annual Gathering of the Gunfighters isn't really hot lead - it's fightin' words and old-school acting from folks portraying outlaws, lawmen, cowboys, saloon gals, townfolk and a veritable cornucopia of disreputable characters.

For spectators, the fun is seeing Western lore unfold in live-action skits with lots of shoutin' and shootin' – and no doubt, some prolonged and dramatic "deaths".

And while there weren't regular gun battles at the fearsome Territorial Prison, the authentic setting overlooking the Colorado River, the still-active rail line and the Ocean-to-Ocean bridge just adds to the atmosphere.

"What better place to have a 'Gathering of the Gunfighters' than at the notorious lockup that struck fear in their hearts?" said Charles Flynn, executive director of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, which now operates the park. "There's a reason Ben Wade didn't want to get on board the '3:10 to Yuma'."

The special admission price – $8 for those 14 and older, $3 for kids age 7-13, free for ages 6 and younger – includes the re-enactment competition and full access to the prison and its exhibits, along with vendors of vittles, libations and Western wares and wear. Tickets are only available at the gate the days of the event. Hours are 9am to 5pm both days, with groups taking turns presenting 20-minute skits.

Yuma Visitors Bureau markets the Yuma area within the travel and tourism industry and to the general public. Yuma's population nearly doubles in the winter months, thanks to more than 23,000 spots in RV parks and resorts. The community also offers nearly 4,300 hotel rooms, conference and meeting facilities, and three casinos. Recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's sunniest spot, Yuma offered free meals to hotel guests "every day the sun doesn't shine" from August 1, 2011 until July 31, 2012 as part of Arizona's Centennial celebration. Yuma's final score? Sunshine 365, Gloom 0. Visit www.visityuma.com for more information.

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

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Foodie Fun on Florida's Historic Coast

St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & the Beaches is fast becoming known as a place to visit not just for its history, luxurious resorts, beautiful beaches and world-class golf, but for its flavorful events, outstanding restaurants and talented chefs.

The local heritage on Florida’s Historic Coast has inspired many of its local restaurants to incorporate the culinary culture into their menus.  Spanish, Greek, Minorcan, British, French and traditional southern cuisine are all flavors that diners here can expect to find in the restaurants.  

Throughout the year epicurean events celebrate the culinary influences, making Florida’s Historic Coast a tasty destination. Highlighted events include:

Learn about the Menorcan heritage and the 17th century settlers through singing, dancing, displays and storytelling on March 8 at the St. Augustine Menorcan Heritage Celebration at the Llambias House, 31 St. Francis St. in St. Augustine.

The 33rd St. Augustine Lions Seafood Festival on March 21 to 23 in downtown St. Augustine features tons of delicious seafood, affordable arts & crafts, outstanding live bluegrass, country and folk music. All net proceeds go to benefit Lions Club charities.

There is non-stop music and award-winning scrumptious barbecue all weekend long from April 4 to 6 at the annual Rhythm  & Ribs Festival at St. Augustine’s Francis Field.  

The signature A Taste of St. Augustine food festival on April 26 serves up exciting “tastes” from over 20 of St. Augustine’s famous restaurants. Restaurants will compete for the prestigious TOStA (Taste of St. Augustine) awards, with categories including Best Family Dining, Best Ethnic, Best Upscale and Best Dessert, as well as the ever popular “People’s Choice”. The event features live music all day, special children's area and a culinary marketplace. 

The northeast Florida region is surrounded by rich agricultural resources. The availability of farm-fresh produce is available year-round for residents and visitors at several weekly open markets.

For details of the epicurean events and the markets click on www.floridashistoriccoast.com

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

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Highlights in San Francisco

San Francisco embraces the holiday season in its own vibrant way with events and activities that embody the city’s spirit of tradition, surprise and innovation.

On the traditional side, there’s the San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol at American Conservatory Theater, the vocal virtuosity of Chanticleer plus outdoor ice skating, holiday teas and shopping galore.

For the offbeat, catch Beach Blanket Babylon, Kung Pao Kosher Comedy and Dance-Along Nutcracker® Goes Hollywood! Or see the city’s holiday finery on a guided bicycle tour.

San Francisco is also celebrating light as art with truly brilliant, eco-friendly light art exhibits. This convergence is being called Illuminate SF and consists of six temporary and/or permanent installations.

From skyscrapers lined with lights to glimmering trees to sparkling decorations throughout the city’s neighborhoods, San Francisco becomes a city aglow during these shortest days of the year.

Among San Francisco’s many, many holiday events and festivals is the world-renowned Great Dickens Christmas Fair, the only event of its kind – anywhere.  The winding lanes of Victorian London come to life at the Cow Palace in 120,000-plus square feet of theatrically lit music halls, pubs, dance parties and charming shops overflowing with handmade holiday treasures.

It's a lamp-lit city brimming with lively and colorful characters from the pages of history and the imagination of Charles Dickens, Jules Verne and Lewis Carroll. New entertainment this year includes Richardson's Empire of Wonders, a Victorian sideshow filled with whimsical wonders and curious conundrums; a sprightly production of the perennial favorite Pinocchio; and a new “Christmas Carol” environmental theater. The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is open weekends only through December 22 from 10am to 7pm at the Cow Palace.

For details of San Francisco’s holiday events, itineraries & hotel deals and much else visit www.sanfrancisco.travel

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.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Winter Events in Wyoming’s Good Times Valley

Those who live in Southeastern Wyoming's Upper North Platte River Valley – Saratoga, Encampment, Riverside, Ryan Park and Snowy Range – and enjoy the good times there know how lucky they are .... they also know it is a magnificent place to visit for the many great events and festivals.

Three mid-winter events to enjoy:

The annual Ice Fishing Derby on January 18 and 19 attracts ice anglers from several states to Saratoga Lake hoping to make “the catch of the day”.  Cash prizes are awarded, including $2,000 cash for the largest game fish caught during the derby and $100 cash for the largest fish caught each hour.  The weekend (always the third in January) includes a special Small Fry Derby for children under age 14. (The Derby is sponsored by the Saratoga/Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce.)

Enjoy the annual winter fun in Encampment at the Sierra Madre Winter Carnival on January 24 to 26. Lots of family-friendly activities are planned, including a treasure hunt, "Build Your Own" sled race, a snow sculpture contest, chili and bread cook-offs, a "Sixth Street Sprint" snowmobile race, and a brand new event - Human Saucer Bowling. Saturday night is "Casino Night" at the Grand Encampment Opera House with door prizes, silent auction, Chicken Bingo, cash bar, and more. (The Winter Carnival is sponsored by the Town of Encampment.)

Held every Presidents Day weekend (February 15 and 16 in 2014), the Don E. Erickson Memorial Chariot Races are among the most exciting events in Saratoga (sponsored by the Saratoga Lions Club). The races feature two-horse teams pulling chariots at top speed down a quarter-mile track. The weekend's activities include Calcutta betting and a banquet.  Races are held on Saturday and Sunday at Buck Springs Rodeo Arena.  

Click on Upper North Platte River Valley or call the Chamber of Commerce 307-326-8855 for more details.

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

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ring in the New Year in Classic Coastal Setting

Why fight big city crowds when you can ring in the new year in a classic coastal setting – complete with waterfront celebrations? This year, welcome 2014 with a fun, laid-back getaway to Wilmington, North Carolina’s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach

From the river to the sea, there are many ways to celebrate. On New Year’s Eve there is a countdown at the Children’s Museum of Wilmington. Celebration begins at 11am with crafts (streamers, noisemakers), singing and dancing. Kids and their families count down the New Year at 12pm (noon) with streamers, noise makers, a confetti toss and juice toast. Museum admission is required. Then at 9pm join the street dance/countdown party at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk featuring a deejay and a giant lighted beach ball drop, followed by midnight fireworks. 

Or sail into 2014 with a champagne toast aboard a riverboat cruise or party boat. There are also theatrical galas, cabaret-style dinner theatre productions, and a wide array of restaurant and nightlife options. Spend the weekend exploring the area’s island beaches and a 230-plus block National Register Historic District. Shop after-Christmas sales at beach boutiques and downtown specialty shops, and dine at outstanding restaurants. 

Visit www.GoWilmingtonAndBeaches.com for more information.

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.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Top Stars for Grand Rapids, Michigan LaughFest

If it has to do with funny, you will find it at Gilda’s LaughFest – a 10-day festival of stand-up comedy, improv, live shows, films, authors, community showcases and a variety of other seriously funny stuff in Grand Rapids, Michigan from March 6 to 16, 2014.

Now in its fourth year, the headliners for the nation's first-ever community-wide festival of laughter include Lily Tomlin, making a special appearance in partnership with Broadway Grand Rapids; Chris Tucker; and LaughFest veterans, Jim Gaffigan and Sinbad. This year's Signature Event will feature Emmy award winning comedian, longtime TV personality and late-night talk show host Jay Leno.

LaughFest 2014 will also feature  Tenderloins, Jen Kirkman, Judah Fiedlander, Maria Bamford, Todd Barry, Rory Scovel, Nick Thune and many more. Check LaughFestgr.org to see the complete schedule and to purchase tickets.

All proceeds will benefit the cancer, grief and support programs offered through Gilda's Club Grand Rapids.

LaughFest is more than just a barrel of laughs. It also provides a way to raise awareness and funds for a very important cause. Gilda's Club Grand Rapids provides free emotional healthcare to children, adults, families and friends on any kind of cancer journey or those grieving the death of someone in their life due to any cause. The comprehensive program, delivered by licensed healthcare professionals includes education, structured sharing times, networking, lectures, workshops and social activities.

Gilda's Club Grand Rapids is one of the largest and busiest of the 52 affiliates in North America. The organization runs entirely on charitable donations and currently serves more than 10,000 individuals each year at its clubhouses in Grand Rapids and Lowell, Mich., in various schools and in five community centers. For more information, visit www.gildasclubgr.org.

Grand Rapids is an award-winning city with many grand events as ArtPrize, Restaurant Week, the Grand Rapids LipDub, Beer City USA and of course LaughFest.

Visiting Grand Rapids and want to know what shows you can see? Check out all the great line-ups and other LaughFest events.

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

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Quirky Winter Festivals in Colorado

The Stagecoach Classic on January 25 kicks off the wild and wacky winter festival season in Winter Park as Colorado’s Favorite Playground hosts events featuring dogs, beaches, Nordic and downhill skiing, a ‘legendary lady’ and much else.

The Stagecoach Classic (Tabernash & Winter Park) on January 25 is a 30km/15km classic cross country ski race and tour. It starts at Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa, traverses through the former Idlewild Ski Area, and finishes with a post-race BBQ and live music at Hideaway Park in downtown Winter Park. This race follows the Idlewild Trail System, which used to link Tabernash, Fraser and Winter Park and offers a rare chance to ski a beautiful “off the map” course.

The Winter Park Carnival – Mary Jane’s Birthday Bash (Winter Park Resort & Winter Park) on January 25 and 26 pays homage to Mary Jane Mountain’s namesake, a well-known madam and local lady of the evening who lived in the area in the late 1800s. The 38th birthday bash kicks off at the Yager House at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, then the party continues in Winter Park. Highlights of the weekend include an ice and snow sculpture contest, a “Mary Jane and The Miner” look-alike contest, a pancake and birthday cake breakfast, free ski clinics, a Mary Jane sticker contest, a night parade in downtown Winter Park, and fireworks.

During the weekend of February 15 and 16 the Winter Park area goes to the dogs (literally!) with the Grand Park Dog Days of Winter (Fraser) and guests are in for a “howling” good time. The International Sled Dog Racing-sanctioned event features a number of different categories of teams.

The 39th annual Wells Fargo Ski Cup (Winter Park Resort) on February 21 to 23 is the longest-running professional ski race in the country, and it’s the only race in the world where disabled skiers compete head-to-head on parallel courses, in the same format used in professional events.

March events include the Beach Bash, Ski Granby Ranch (Granby)on March 22, a fun-filled event for the whole family which features activities, games and beach music, followed by night skiing, and on March 29 the Winter Park Wipe Out, part urban scavenger hunt, part adventure race.

Winter Park-Fraser Chamber is a non-profit Colorado corporation created to help further and maintain responsible growth in the Winter Park-Fraser Valley area, located in the Rocky Mountains just 65 miles west of Denver.

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

Monday, November 25, 2013

Utah Canyonlands National Park 50th Anniversary

The Friends of Arches and Canyonlands Parks and the National Park Service have been working with community officials from Grand and San Juan County, retired park rangers, and Canyonlands Natural History Association to plan the celebration, for the 50 year anniversary of Canyonlands National Park.

In the coming year there will be a series of events including lectures, exhibits and programs culminating with the re-dedication ceremony of the park on Friday September 12, 2014 in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.  More information on upcoming events and programs will be available on the anniversary website at www.canyonlands50.org.

The Friends of Arches and Canyonlands Parks was founded by family members of Bates Wilson, who was instrumental in the establishment of Canyonlands and served as its first superintendent from 1964 until his retirement in 1972.  Bates dedicated countless hours exploring and mapping Canyonlands diverse geology.  His famous camping trips and cowboy cookouts helped persuade the country’s decision makers that Canyonlands was worthy of national park status.  On September 12, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation creating Canyonlands National Park.

For more information on the Friends of Arches and Canyonlands Parks, please go to www.bateswilson.org  For information on Canyonlands National Park, go to http://www.nps.gov/cany/index.htm 

Moab is the #1 adventure resort town in the Four Corners area of Utah. It is the gateway to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, two of Utah's five National Parks, Dead Horse Point State Park, the Colorado River and the beautiful La Sal Mountains. There are more National Parks, State Parks and other major attractions within a 200 mile radius of Moab than any other location in Utah. 

It has a vibrant downtown that will attract your clients that like to shop, browse, eat and enjoy the charm and hospitality of a small resort town. Moab is an "outdoor wonderland" for hikers, bikers, rafters, golfers, four wheelers, hunters and fishers, sightseers, photo buffs, historians, heritage culture seekers and so much more.

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

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Impossible to Hibernate in Santa Barbara, California

The impending winter months don’t mean hibernation is necessary in Santa Barbara, California – if anything, they mean getting out to experience the many events and activities on offer.

With its close proximity to Los Angeles, Santa Barbara serves as an escape for Hollywood types in the film industry. However, the hype of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival from January 30 through February 9 reaches far – to industry professionals, students, celebrities, and fans from all over the world. 

These film fanatics flock to Santa Barbara each winter with one passion in common. Taking place during an ideal time slot between Sundance and the Academy Awards, the 11-day festival utilizes all Santa Barbara cinema has to offer with events and film screenings held in the historic and beautiful theaters up and down State Street. Downtown becomes a mecca for the creative minds of the film industry, drawing in 75,000 eager cinephiles to attend the festival.

Coinciding with the Film Festival each year, Film Feast ensures there will be plenty of good eats for all in between film festival happenings. Local restaurants offer prix fixe menus that are guaranteed to please an array of palates.

Head over to La Cumbre Plaza on December 4 from 5 to 7pm for Santa Paws. Don’t miss the chance to get the whole family in on the fun and dress up the pets to pose with Santa for pet photo night. Santa will set up his Winter Wonderland near Macy’s and Pottery Barn.  

The annual Parade of Lights celebrates the holiday season with a lighted boat parade off the coastline of Santa Barbara. This year’s parade is Sunday, December 8 and the boats will be decorated to the theme “Rock’n Roll’n Holiday.” Festivities begin on Stearns Wharf and end with a fireworks show following the boat parade. 

For travel and accommodation information and to request a free copy of the official Santa Barbara County Visitors Magazine, contact Visit Santa Barbara at 800.676.1266, 805.966.9222, tourism@santabarbaraca.com or visit SantaBarbaraCA.com

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

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Celebrate Christmas Like it's 1899 in Virginia City, Nevada

Step back in time this holiday season and celebrate Christmas as it was in the 19th century. Historic Virginia City, Nevada hosts its annual Christmas on the Comstock this December, offering a Victorian-style holiday celebration.

Located just 25 miles from Reno, the town boasts hand-crafted boutique holiday shopping at local merchants, the Parade of Lights and a country Christmas concert.

Create holiday memories aboard the Virginia & Truckee Railroad Candy Cane Express Trains on November 29-30 and December 7-8, 14-15. There are two departures daily, noon and 2pm. Delight with visits from the Candy Cane Sisters while sipping hot chocolate, spiced apple cider and enjoying delicious cookies and candy canes. Price: $14 adults, $7 children, ages 2 and under free. Purchase tickets online.

Enjoy breakfast and have your photo taken with Father Christmas. Take the kids to watch a classic Christmas movie at the historic Piper’s Opera House on the afternoon of December 7 held just prior to the Christmas on the Comstock Parade of Lights at 5pm. Bundle up and gather along C Street for Virginia City’s only evening parade and watch as the town lights up with Christmas cheer.

Bring your cowboy boots and Santa hat to the boot-stomping Christmas in the Sierra concert at Piper's Opera House with David John & The Comstock Cowboys on December 7 at 8pm. Buy your tickets in advance online. Price:  $25.

To purchase tickets and for more information on Christmas on the Comstock events taking place in Virginia City, Nevada, visit online or call the Virginia City Tourism Commission at 775-847-7500.

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

Thursday, November 14, 2013

San Francisco’s Union Street Lights up the Holidays

San Francisco’s historic Union Street will kick off its holiday celebration on December 7 (rain or shine) with the annual Union Street Fantasy of Lights.

Each year, the Fantasy of Lights brings young and old together to celebrate the season viewing thousands of twinkling white lights illuminating the Victorian houses and shops along Union Street between Van Ness and Steiner and Fillmore Street between Union and Lombard. The Fantasy of Lights kicks off on Saturday, December 7 from 3pm – 7pm with a packed line-up of family friendly activities and events.

Enjoy San Francisco’s Union Street transformed into a magical backdrop of holiday cheer. Kids can meet Santa and the Snow Queen, and enjoy jugglers and live ponies dressed up like reindeer. Each block will also feature face painters, balloon artists, costumed characters, singers and live entertainment. And, to celebrate the season of giving, all guests are encouraged to bring new toys for the San Francisco Firefighters’ Toy Program.

The Union Street Fantasy of Lights celebration continues throughout the month of December with Union Street stores offering open houses and special events featuring trunk shows, entertainment and much more, including validated parking and extended evening shopping hours. Many merchants will have extended hours until 9:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays. 

The event is free and open to the public. Participating merchants will offer validated parking at 2001 Union Plaza Garage, 1910 Union Street Garage (Wells Fargo) and the Lombard Street Garage (enter on Moulton Alley at Webster). Subject to availability.

For more information visit www.unionstreetsf.com.

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

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Plan a Yuma Trip Around a Fun Event

It's that time of year! As the chill creeps in up north, Yuma, Arizona, is enjoying spectacular sunsets and fresh mornings as the world's sunniest destination. Make your travel plans now around one of Yuma’s upcoming favorite events.

Yuma is one of the world's leading producers of the gourmet  Medjool date, shipped worldwide, even to the Middle East. Enjoy a full day of fun, with food, entertainment, recipe contests, displays of specialized machinery, farm tours and more at the Yuma Medjool Date Festival in Historic Downtown Yuma on November 16.

The invitational 23rd annual Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival on November 22-24 (various locations) is sponsored by the nonprofit Caballeros de Yuma and draws balloonists from as far away as England. The festival features flights on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and a "balloon glow" Saturday night. 

Leading junior college football teams clash in the post-season El Toro Bowl at the Veterans Memorial Stadium, Arizona Western College on December 7, while their fans enjoy a weekend of festivities in the sunshine.

The December 7 evening Dorothy Young Memorial Electric Light Parade in Yuma’s Historic North End features marching bands and lots of decorated and illuminated floats. The theme this year is "Your Favorite Christmas Song".

The Somerton Tamale Festival on December 21 in Main Street, Somerton is your chance to sample tamales in varieties you didn't even know existed, all made with care by proud home cooks to raise scholarship funds for local ASU students.

With a history dating back to Fort Yuma and the Yuma Quartermaster Depot, Yuma has always been a "military-friendly" town. The Spirit of Yuma Military Festival January 10-12 in Historic Downtown Yuma honors vets and active-duty service members and celebrates its modern-day bases, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground.

Old West re-enactment groups from around the Southwest ride into town for the annual Gathering of the Gunfighters showdown on January 11-12 at the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park. But instead of hot lead, what's flying is fightin' words – and acting! Groups are judged on skits and whether their get-ups, gear and firearms are authentic to the 1876-1909 era. And though they didn't have shootouts in the prison, the historic setting adds flavor. 

To plan your Yuma visit, head to www.visityuma.com.

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.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cajun Christmas Festival in Shreveport-Bossier Holiday Line-up

The holiday season is in sight, and the sister Louisiana cities Shreveport-Bossier are gearing up for a fantastic celebration. The holidays officially get under way at 6pm on November 21 with the tallest Christmas tree lighting in north Louisiana standing at 40-feet-tall at the Outlets at Louisiana Boardwalk in Bossier City. 
This is a time when the community and visitors gather together for special performances, an appearance from Santa and other holiday activities such as shopping, dining or watching a movie.
The 30th Annual Christmas in Roseland at the Gardens of the American Rose Center, one of the area’s longest running holiday events, will happen Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, November 29 to December 22. This signature event is marked by more than one million lights, Christmas community cards made by area students and live music entertainment. 
New this year is the first-ever Cajun Christmas Festival at Cash Point the Party Place. The event includes a gumbo cook-off, beer tasting, Cajun band and other special performances.  Craft vendors will be set up for the kids to enjoy and holiday shopping for the adults. Admission is $5 per person.  
Additional holiday events and performances include, “The Nutcracker” presented by the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet on December 7. Shop for a cause at Les Boutiques de Noël, November 21-23. For an off-the-beaten-path holiday experience, make plans to attend the Country Christmas Festival and the Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival, both in Vivian on December 7. Take a short drive to Benton to enjoy a whimsical Christmas festival and parade at the 14th Annual Benton Christmas on the Square on December 14.  
Stay up-to-date by visiting www.HolidayTrailOfLights.com or www.facebook.com/HolidayTrailOfLights for new holiday events. Also visit www.ShreveportBossierFunGuide.org for all event happenings in Shreveport-Bossier.
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, November 5, 2013

Stuttgart Hosts World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest

The 78th annual World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest and Wings Over the Prairie Festival in Stuttgart is one of the biggest and best festivals in the Arkansas Delta. Thousands from across the country flock to the event to celebrate the town’s moniker as the “Duck Capital of the World”, (writes Kim Williams). The festival is scheduled for Nov. 23-30.

The events start on Nov. 23 at 8 a.m. with the Ducks Widows Tennis Tournament at John Cain Park. Later that evening, it’s the Queen Mallard and Junior Queen Mallard pageants at the Grand Prairie Center.

Sunday, Nov. 24, is the Wings Over the Prairie Festival open house at businesses throughout the downtown shopping district from 1-4 p.m.

On Wednesday, Nov. 27, it’s the opening of the festival carnival and midway. The fun kicks off at 3:30 p.m. along Main Street and it’s Armband Day! The youth duck calling contest, featuring Butch Richenback, begins at 6 p.m. on the Stuttgart Stage, located on Main Street.

On Thanksgiving Day, the carnival and midway opens at 1 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m. on Main Street.

Friday, Nov. 29, registration opens for all the festival contests at 8 a.m. The children’s duck calling classes (for youngsters ages 4-8) begin at 10 a.m., which is also the time the carnival and midway, the arts and crafts fair, the commercial exhibits, the sports collectibles show and the outdoor exhibits open to the public. The Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest, open to any high school senior, starts at 11 a.m. The other duck calling contests begin at 1 p.m. and are held throughout the day. The sportsman’s party begins at 8 p.m. at the Grand Prairie Center and features the Big Stack Band.

The annual Great 10K Duck Race begins Saturday’s activities at 8 a.m. Events and exhibits, such as the carnival, arts and crafts fair, sports collectibles show, outdoor exhibits, and commercial exhibits, open at 9 a.m. 

The Junior World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest begins at 9 a.m., followed by the Senior World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m., it’s the start of the World Championship Duck Gumbo Cook-off on Park Avenue and the Women’s World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest on Main Street. The Main Street Stage is the site for the 78th annual World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest at 2 p.m.

To find out more and to see a detailed event listing, click here.

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.