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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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sweden Honored at Month-Long Memphis Festival

Memphis, Tennessee is the undisputed legendary home of rock & roll and the birthplace of the blues, so it’s not hard to understand why the Beale Street Music Festival (from May 3 to 5) is chosen as the lead event for the Memphis in May International Festival.

The Festival is a showcase of Memphis’ visual and performing arts and a celebration of local and international color, customs, cuisines and culture, this year honoring the Scandinavian country of Sweden.

The Beale Street Music Festival annually attracts over 100,000 music fans from throughout the United States and around the world. Five stages of rock & roll, blues, R&B/soul, alternative and new rock, the Beale Street Music Festival hosts the legends and the leaders in the industry.

While Sweden is honored throughout the month at the many Festival events, the International Week from May 6 to 12 is a Salute to Sweden with special events and breathtaking exhibits and exciting programs bringing to life Sweden’s history and heritage.

In the third week in May, the aroma of wood burning flames and barbecue fills the Memphis air. The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (from May 16 to 18) is a serious celebration of Memphis’ claim as the Barbecue Capital of the Free World. Over 250 teams compete for over $110,000 in a three day cook-off that crowns the King (or Queen) of Barbecue. The event itself is a spectacle. Teams packed in Tom Lee Park along the Mississippi River, their booths adorned with elaborate decoration, trophies attesting to their bragging rights, and as one can imagine, clever and creative team names. 

The finale event of the Memphis in May International Festival is appropriately its oldest event. The Sunset Symphony featuring the Memphis Symphony Orchestra on May 25 offers the perfect close to a famous month in Memphis. The popular event draws thousands who come to picnic, party, play and partake of great music. Primarily a pops program, the orchestra also features musical scores from Sweden. 

Visit www.memphisinmay.org for details of this month-long festival of music and culture.

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

Monday, February 25, 2013

Jackson, Mississippi Hosts Inaugural Festival

The inaugural Cinco de Mayo Mississippi Festival 2013, commemorating the historic battle of Puebla, Mexico, will be held in Jackson on Saturday, May 4 from 11am to 11pm including a parade and street festival at the center of downtown Jackson encompassing an area from Capitol Street to Smith Park  to Congress Street.

The 2013 Cinco de Mayo Festival celebrates the diversity in central Mississippi and throughout the state featuring activities for the entire family.  The celebration begins with a parade at 11am that includes real Charro Mexican Rodeo cowboys and multi-cultural American Cowboys.

A Mexican Council representative will open the daytime festivities at noon followed by short speeches from a Mexican Embassy spokesperson, and a Cinco de Mayo proclamation.  

Numerous vendors will offer authentic Mexican food and variety of ethnic foods from Mexico, South America, and the United States, as well as beverages, jewelry, crafts, and many other items.  

A children’s area will be located at Smith Park and will offer activities including pony rides, piƱatas, and a children’s arts and crafts area with traditional Mexican crafts.

The festival will include concerts on two stages with local and national artists including musical headliners ranging from Mexican to country, and blues.  

Other festival activities include a 5K run, a car show, and the presentation of this year’s “La Reina (the queen) de Cinco de Mayo” of Mississippi. The La Reina de Cinco de Mayo Mississippi Pageant will begin 5 weeks before the festival, and pageant constants will be announced weekly on WLBT Channel 3 and US 96.3 FM (country station).

Discover more about Jackson, Mississippi at www.visitjackson.com.

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.

Friday, February 22, 2013

U.S. Archaeological Center Hosts Indian Arts Festival

The renowned Indian Arts and Culture Festival will take place May 25 to June 2 in southwest Colorado’s Mesa Verde Country® amid ancient cliff dwellings, pinion pines, and sandstone canyon walls.

The Festival is featured as a “must-attend festival” in Patricia Schultz's best-seller, 1000 Places to See Before You Die.

The festival begins on Memorial Day Weekend, during Colorado’s Archaeology Month, with events in Mesa Verde National Park. A juried Indian art market, featuring artists from Pueblo, Zuni, Hopi, Navajo, Ute and Apache tribes, and a Navajo rug seminar and auction highlight the weekend. This year’s featured artist is award-winning Navajo painter Clifford Brycelea.

The festival will celebrate the official grand opening of the new Mesa Verde National Park Visitor and Research Center on May 23. The park, the Nation’s seventh-oldest, is home to the artifacts and intricately built cliff dwellings of the area’s original inhabitants, the Ancestral Puebloans. Mesa Verde National Park will offer their regular tours of the cliff dwellings throughout the Indian Arts and Culture Festival.

Guides from Ute Mountain Tribal Park will offer special archaeological tours, available only during the festival, featuring pictographs and petroglyphs and archaeological sites not visited during regular tours. Ute tour guides interpret Ute Indian history, pictographs, geological land formations, and ancestral Pueblo petroglyphs, artifacts, and dwellings.

“The Indian Arts and Culture Festival provides an extraordinary opportunity to discover time-honored traditions, explore native cultures and witness first-hand the artistic continuum of America’s indigenous peoples,” says Lynn Dyer, executive director of Mesa Verde Country, the southwest Colorado travel destination surrounding Mesa Verde National Park. “It is a rare chance to go behind the scenes and off-the-beaten path to experience the traditions of the region’s first inhabitants.”

The Indian Arts and Culture Festival is hosted by the southwest Colorado communities of Cortez, Dolores, Mancos, and Towaoc, and their partners at Mesa Verde National Park – the entire area comprising the archaeological center of America.

For a full schedule of Festival events, see www.mesaverdecountry.com.

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

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

San Diego Event Draws Thousands of Rowers

More than 4,400 collegiate, junior and master-level rowers converge each spring in San Diego for the San Diego Crew Classic. Held this year April 6-7 on the waters of picturesque Mission Bay, this thrilling competition draws rowers and spectators from throughout the United States.

With the excitement of rowing races complemented by sunny skies and warm temperatures, the San Diego Crew Classic provides a perfect backdrop for a spring getaway to San Diego. During spring, guests can experience a wide variety of seasonal events, discounted hotel rates and the region's popular attractions.

Over 4,400 athletes from more than 126 universities, clubs and high school programs from across the United States, participate in this premier rowing event, with rowers ranging in age from 14 to 84 years old. For many rowers, the San Diego Crew Classic is the highlight of their competitive rowing careers and also tests the competitive skills of potential future Olympians.

In addition to the race, the San Diego Crew Classic offers a festival with music, art exhibit, trade show, alumni and corporate tents, food vendors and the popular Karl Strauss Beer Garden. The San Diego Zoo and Safari Park Family Festival area caters to families with kids, and a massive Jumbotron offers a perfect view for the start of the races.

Practice for the races occurs on Friday, April 5. The racing tentatively begins at 7:30am on Saturday and Sunday and continues until 6pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday.

Ticket prices for the San Diego Crew Classic and Family Festival are $12 in advance (order online at crewclassic.org) and $15 on the day of the event; admission is free for active military with ID and children under 12 years old.

For a complete schedule of the races and more information about the San Diego Crew Classic, visit www.crewclassic.org.

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.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Life is Sweet with Vermont Maple

The dates are set for the 47th annual Vermont Maple Festival! From April 26 to 28 visitors will flock from throughout the United States (and some from other countries as well) to downtown St. Albans for maple treats, maple learning, and maple fun at the end of Maple Time in Vermont.

Much of the event is free, and handicapped accessible. Among the many attractions are the Exhibit Hall, Sugarhouse Tours, Main Street Entertainment Stage, Crafts, Specialty Foods, Youth Talent , Antique, and Fiddlers’ Variety Shows, Carnival, Pancake Breakfasts, a Sap Run Road Race, Cooking Demonstrations, Contests, Face Painting, a Giant Parade, Maple Creemees, Sugar-on-Snow, Maple Cotton Candy, and much more.

From the very beginning, the Festival has been organized and run by a volunteer Board of Trustees, assisted by additional volunteers – a feature somewhat unique among events as large as the Festival.

Over the years the Festival has grown to include a wide variety of events under the theme of Vermont Maple. The events have appeal for diverse ages and interests.

The timing of the Festival is perfect for a celebration: Winter has pretty much lost its grip, the Green Mountains are “greening”, the hard work of sugaring is mostly over, there is new syrup to sample, sell and enjoy. Three days are set aside from farm chores to celebrate with family, friends and visitors.

Recent scientific information indicates that pure maple syrup contains health benefits that are not present in other sweeteners. The 2012 Vermont Maple Festival will feature the latest information.

For the sixth year in a row, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce has chosen the Vermont Maple Festival as a “Top Ten Spring/Summer Event”.

Find details at www.vtmaplefestival.org.

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, February 14, 2013

Fur Rondy: Nation's Premiere Winter Festival

The snow has fallen and Fur Rondy’s most popular events are right around the corner in Anchorage, Alaska!

The Alaska Sled Dog & Racing Association has announced that the Rondy World Championship Sled Dog Races will take place as scheduled on February 22, 23 and 24. 

The possibility of cancelling the races due to lack of snow had kept all eyes on the weather forecast this month, but with enough snow on the racing trails, the show will go on. 

The race, which pits sprint mushing teams against each other over three days of the same 25-mile route for a total of 75 miles, starts at the corner of 4th Avenue and D Street in downtown Anchorage and winds through the city’s forests, across major roads and back downtown.

The trail is lined with thousands of spectators in this cornerstone event of Fur Rondy, now in its 78th year. Stop in the Fur Rondy Shop featuring Caffe D’arte at 4th & D when you come down to watch the dog races.

Now is the time to register for Rondy events like Running of the Reindeer, Snowshoe Softball, Yukigassen, Outhouse Races, Frostbite Footrace & Costume Fun Run, adult and youth hockey tournaments and even a Vintage Snowmachine Exhibition. Participants can go to www.furrondy.net to sign up for any of these ever-popular Rondy events.

It’s also time to buy your tickets to Rondy shows and parties such as the Melodrama (this year’s title is “Turnagain Temptations”), Rondy on Ice, the Miners & Trappers Charity Ball and the Rondy kick-off party – the Jim Beam Jam. Buy tickets at the online Rondy Shop or at CenterTix for the Melodrama only.

Also on tap is the Rondy Brew First Tap shindig happening this Friday, February 15, from 5pm-7pm at Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse.

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.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Midwest’s Premier Arts Festival

Revelers young and old gather each June in shaded, historic Oakdale Park, Salina, Kansas, near the banks of the river, to enjoy the Smoky Hill River Festival

Now in its 37th year, the River Festival spans three-and-a-half days in early June ..... this year scheduled for Thursday through Sunday, June 6 to 9. The Festival is best known nationally for its excellent art and cultural programming, its relaxed, family-friend atmosphere, and the organic way in which many vibrant art installations and other key elements mingle, to challenge returning and new visitors in surprising and delightful ways. 

Featuring a rainbow of artistic offerings for the senses, the River Festival offers a veritable symphony of fine art and crafts, children's activities, food from more than 30 outstanding Festival vendors, and more. 

Four stages of top-notch musical and roving entertainment round out the menu for this 'create your own' event that officially kicks off the summer season for thousands of residents and out-of-town guests. 

The Smoky Hill River Festival begins on Thursday evening with the Festival Jam concert on June 6, at 6 p.m. Festival gates open that night at 4, be there early to stake out your spot and enjoy supper on the grounds from more than 30 outstanding Festival food vendors. 

That's just the beginning, as the Festival evolves over the weekend with special events including a fun run, Big Band Dance, children's art activities, artisan craft demonstrations and more, highlighted by time to browse each fine art and craft booth and enjoy entertainment on the hour on the Festival stages. 

Visit www.riverfestival.com for admission and other details.

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

Monday, February 11, 2013

Dothan, Alabama Hosts Major BBQ Festival

Clouds of sweet hickory-tainted smoke will again descend on the city of Dothan, Alabama this spring at the 8th annual Tri-State BBQ Festival.

Held the second weekend of April at the Houston County Farm Center, April 12 to 13 will be a fine weekend for enjoying the southern delicacy known as barbecue. Last year, teams from around the Southeast competed for over $10,000 in prize money, trophies and bragging rights. The competition was featured on the hit TV show, BBQ Pitmasters

The event offers more than barbecue, showcasing regional and local music, arts and crafts vendors, children’s activities and loads of family fun the entire weekend. 

Later in the year, in September, don’t miss the PorktoberQue – a combination of a Bar-B-Que competition and Oktoberfest. The world-renouned Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) will again have an Alabama State Championship competition in Dothan, Alabama on September 27-28. Teams will be competing for over $5,000 in prize money as well as a free entry into the American Royal Championship in Kansas City for the Grand Champion. While the teams are competing for the best Pitmaster award, spectators will enjoy the BBQ samples, live music, shopping and other activities at the Houston County Farm Center. 

Admission to the event is free both days, and there are lots of activities for all to enjoy. 

The annual Downtown Christmas will take place on North Foster Street in Historic Downtown Dothan on Saturday December 7. There will be snow activities and traditional Christmas elements such as caroling, visits with Santa and cookie decorating.

Visit The City of Dothan web site at www.dothan.org and Dothan Chamber of Commerce at www.dothan.com

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.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Scottsdale’s Family Friendly Arts Festival

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts will present the 43rd annual Scottsdale Arts Festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 8–10, in Scottsdale Civic Center Park.

Named one of the top arts festivals in the nation by the readers of AmericanStyle Magazine and “Best Arts Festival” by Phoenix New Times, the Scottsdale Arts Festival showcases nearly 200 jury-selected artists from throughout the United States and Canada who work in painting, sculpture, glass and ceramics, jewelry, photography and more. Works of art are available for purchase directly from the artists and through the Festival’s online art auction.

More than 20 Arizona bands and performers will provide continuous live music and entertainment on two stages throughout the weekend. Returning by popular demand, a dozen gourmet food trucks from the Phoenix Street Food Coalition will serve delicious world cuisine. Also on the menu will be tastings of fine wines, beers and spirits.

In collaboration with the Festival, Scottsdale Public Art will present Pink and Blue Dilemma: The Foam Incident by Baltimore artist Scott Pennington. Wildly fun for kids and adults, this interactive work of art invites visitors to play with imagined ‘industrial waste’ made from non-toxic, water-based soap suds as Pennington’s pink-and-blue-clad ‘technicians’ attempt to contain it. Thirty-minute-long ‘foam incidents’ will occur five times a day throughout the Festival.

Exploring the theme of “The Art of Being a Kid,” Imagine Nation, the Festival’s family area, will offer participants of all ages the opportunity to connect with their inner child and engage their creativity through free arts activities, storytelling, dancing and more.

Throughout the Festival’s three days, admission will be free to Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA).

One of the premier performing-arts halls in the western United States, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts showcases a diverse season of dance, jazz, classical and world music, theater and film from around the world.

Visit www.scottsdaleartsfestival.org for details.

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.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Pays Tribute to 150th Anniversary

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – a town that nearly 150 years ago found itself in the crosshairs of the American Civil War's most famous battle – will mark the of those pivotal days throughout 2013 with battle re-enactments, new exhibits and programs, tributes and soldier encampments along with special tours and the opening of the newest Civil War experience.

In July 1863, Union and Confederate soldiers clashed on the fields and in the streets of this small town in what would become the most tragic battle of the four-year war. When the smoke cleared after the three-day battle, there were more than 50,000 casualties, and a town that would never be the same.

Four months later, President Lincoln made the train ride to this same community to deliver "a few appropriate remarks," known as the Gettysburg Address. His short, 10-sentence speech is long-remembered and secured his legacy as one of America's most famous presidents.

Throughout 2013, Gettysburg – along with neighboring communities in both Pennsylvania and Maryland – will commemorate the 150th Anniversary of this battle and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

Four million people from around the world are predicted to visit this region this year to learn, to pay their respects and to reflect on the nation's course of history.

At the heart of this year-long commemoration are 10 days – from June 28 through July 7, known as "Gettysburg 150: Reflections of History" – that will feature two large battle re-enactments, Gettysburg National Military Park's Official Commemorative Ceremony – "A New Birth of Freedom”, military and medical encampments, lectures and programs, special tours of the town and battlefield. There will also be the grand opening of the Seminary Ridge Museum, an experience dedicated to the first day's battle and Civil War medicine, as well as faith and race issues during the war.

Events in surrounding communities such as Cashtown, Hanover, Hunterstown and Union Mills, Md., will also be held during this 10-day commemoration to bring further understanding to the events that led up to the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

In November, to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address and the dedication of the country's first national cemetery, a ceremony will be held in Gettysburg to highlight Lincoln's famous speech and to honor those same soldiers that the 16th president did nearly 150 years ago.
Remembrance Weekend – a time when Gettysburg pays tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of those 160,000 soldiers – will be held November 22-24 and will include a large-scale military parade on November 23, Civil War balls and a variety of events for both re-enactors and the public.

For more information about Gettysburg's 150th Anniversary Commemoration, visit www.gettysburgcivilwar150.com or call (800) 337-5015.

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

Monday, February 4, 2013

Jazz Giants at Rochester Festival

One of the nation’s most popular and most respected music festivals, the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, New York, has lined up some dazzling performers for the 2013 Festival from June 21 to 29.
Five of the headliners this year are Willie Nelson & Family, David Byrne & St. Vincent, Bob James & David Sanborn with special guest Steve Gadd, Pink Martini and Roger Hodgson, the Voice of Supertramp. And there’s one more to come.
There are many unique reasons why the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival has become so popular. From legendary performers and familiar favorites to rising stars and new discoveries, this is a festival that navigates all genres of creative music from all corners of the world.
The diversity of venues, all located within walking distance in and around Rochester’s east end cultural district ranges from elegant concert halls to intimate clubs to vibrant outdoor stages. Each offers a comfortable setting in which to appreciate and savor the many genres of creative improvised music, all under the auspices of jazz.
Another festival highlight is the nightly jam sessions at the Rochester Plaza Hotel since there’s no telling who will drop in to play.
A kids’ jam session is held each year on the last day of the festival. More than 20 high school jazz bands, the best in the region, are invited to perform each year on the Jazz Street stage.
The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival presented by M&T Bank was founded in 2002 and is produced by John Nugent, Artistic Director and Marc Iacona, Executive Director. The 11th Edition 2012 Festival drew more than 185,000 music lovers to hear some of the finest artists in the world perform. Nugent, a noted tenor sax player, has traveled the world with many jazz artists including Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney, Clark Terry, The Woody Herman Orchestra and The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Iacona, a Rochester native, business and community leader, avid trumpeter and supporter of the arts, is President of Simcona Electronics.

For tickets and more details visit www.rochesterjazz.com

For a complete list of events in New York State visit the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in New York

Friday, February 1, 2013

Bluegrass Festival in Northeastern Wisconsin

If you’re looking for the most affordable music festival in Wisconsin in late June – with great music, vendors and a lot of fun – look no further than the 13th annual Flatrock Bluegrass Jamboree.

Hosted by Thornton’s Rafting Resort in Northeastern Wisconsin, the Flatrock Bluegrass Jamboree (from June 27 to 29) features eight bands in a large outdoor tent.

The bands – The Chapmans,  Art Stevenson & High Water, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, Sloppy Joe, The Tillers, Sawdust Symphony, Back Alley Blossoms, and Mountain Feist – move from the ourtdoor tent to the bar on Friday and Saturday at midnight. 

Brats and burgers are served daily during the event and Saturday’s special is Indian Tacos, made with homemade flatbread. There is an outdoor bar set up near the tent and raffles are held on Saturday. 

The event is a great event for family and friends. There are wooded campsites, some with electric and water, all sites have firepits and picnic tables. Firewood is delivered over the weekend. There are modern shower/restroom facilities and the new bar that serves bar food, pizzas. 

The Flatrock Bluegrass Jamboree is easy to reach. Thornton's Rafting Resort & Campgrounds is located in Northeastern Wisconsin, just 70 miles north of Green Bay. Take Hwy 43 North out of Milwaukee to 41 N in Green Bay. Stay on 41 until you see Hwy 141 N and continue into Crivitz. In Crivitz, turn left and follow Cty A to Cty X. Turn left on Cty X, follow the signs to Parkway Road, turn right on and follow Parkway Road for five miles till you see Thornton's Rafting Resort & Campgrounds.

Visit Flatrock Bluegrass Jamboree for more details.

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