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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, March 27, 2013

Florida's Historic Coast Celebrates 500 Years of History

On April 3 Spanish Explorer Ponce de Leon will step foot on Florida's shore 500 years to the day of his original discovery of La Florida.

St. Augustine, Florida will mark the day with a full-fledged colorful re-enactment of the landing of Ponce de Leon and his crew, heralded with cannon fire, musket drills, a commemorative mass and the unveiling of the U.S. Postal Service's La Florida stamp recognizing Florida's 500th anniversary.

The festivities, at St. Augustine's bay front and historic downtown area, are from 9am to 1pm.

Florida's Historic Coast – St. Augustine and Ponce Vedra – remains the only documented location for Juan Ponce de Leon's 1513 voyage – a navigational fix north of today's St. Augustine and just south of Ponte Vedra Beach.

On Tuesday, April 2, at noon at the North Beach Access parking lot for Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve on AIA in Ponte Vedra Beach, a 15-foot statue of Ponce de Leon, a state historical marker and interpretive signage will be unveiled.

Five hundred years of history are being celebrated with a series of commemorative events along Florida’s Historic Coast, home to the oldest continuous European settlement in the United States. These events and activities will not only mark Florida’s 500 birthday, they will continue through 2015 when the 450th anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city, will take place. 

Among the events this year is the Maritime Heritage Festival from November 30 to December 8. This event will begin as Stanley Paris, the founding president and chairman of the University of St. Augustine, launches his high-tech sailing vessel on a voyage around the world. On this voyage, Paris will attempt to break the world record by sailing around the world unassisted in 150 days or less. He will also be the oldest skipper to attempt this mission at the age of 76. The festival will include new and historical boats and vessels, educational components, food, music and other entertainment.

For more information on events, activities, holiday getaways and vacation opportunities in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches, visit 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.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Big Year for Signature San Diego Events

Visitors to San Diego can discover a wealth of historical journeys throughout the year as a number of signature San Diego special events celebrate their anniversary years in 2013, kicking off with Old Town San Diego which marks 45 years since being designated a state historic park.

One of the most popular attractions in the region, visitors can witness the living legacy of California's birthplace at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, San Diego's first "downtown." 

Old Town was the site of the first Spanish settlement on the U.S. West Coast and represents San Diego's Hispanic heritage from 1821 to 1872, when Mexico gained independence from Spain and took over the area. Today, the six-block park features 12 acres of Mexican lore and historical sites, colorful shops, early California-style restaurants, museums, a theater, carefully preserved hotels and buildings and so much more. 

Meanwhile, rowers from across the country come to Crown Point Shores on Mission Bay to participate in the annual San Diego Crew Classic Regatta on April 6 and 7. Celebrating its 40th year, the Crew Classic is one of the most distinguished rowing competitions in the nation.

On May 19, 2013, San Diego's Sicilian-American community invites everyone to "Eat, Drink & Be Sicilian" for a day at the annual Sicilian Festival in downtown San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood. The 20th anniversary of this family event features authentic Sicilian food and entertainment while surrounded by the colorful ambiance of historic Little Italy.

One of San Diego's most infamous events, the World Championship Over-the-Line Tournament marks its 60th annual tournament on July 13 and 14 and on July 20-21. A San Diego original, this boisterous, fast-paced beach softball event is played at Fiesta Island on Mission Bay.

During November 20 to 24, the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival returns for its 10th anniversary year. Wine and food enthusiasts gather for this five-day event, the region's largest wine and culinary extravaganza, held at several venues throughout downtown San Diego.

Visit www.sandiego.org for more information on San Diego's offerings.

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.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Camden, South Carolina’s Rite of Spring Steeplechase

Over 60,000 people are expected to converge on the Springdale Race Course in Camden on Saturday March 30 for the 81st running of The Carolina Cup.

This annual rite of spring steeplechase race day brings together horses, history and hospitality in order to raise money for local charities.

Cup day itself has become a tradition in South Carolina and is arguably the most popular event on the NSA calendar. It is Camden’s biggest picnic and the rite of spring for college students throughout the South.

(The Marion du Pont Scott Colonial Cup is also a perennial favorite in South Carolina – but in the fall at Springdale Race Course. As the final race on the US Steeplechase racing circuit, the Colonial Cup often decides which horse, owner, trainer and rider wins the coveted Eclipse Award.)

Staff and volunteers at The Carolina Cup Racing Association have a big goal this year – to make charitable contributions that exceed last year’s mark of more than a quarter million dollars.

The fundraising begins with the The Carolina Cup.

“Everybody knows that, in Camden, we tailgate with style, but a lot of folks don’t know that we also tailgate with a heart!”  said Teri Leigh Teed, Assistant  Director of the CCRA. “When you look at money given to KershawHealth, the Jaycees, the Junior Welfare League along with tickets donated to military families, it comes to more than $250,000.”

The Carolina Cup Racing Association, a non-profit organization, relies on the Carolina Cup and the Colonial Cup races to fulfill its mission of operating Springdale Race Course as both an equestrian and tourism center. Springdale Race Course is a world-renowned, 600-acre European style Thoroughbred racehorse training center that operates year-round and is home to Hall of Fame trainers Jonathan Sheppard and Janet Elliot. Famous equine residents have included Flat Top, Storm Cat, Forever Together, Zaccio and Ruffian.

Learn more at www.carolina-cup.org

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

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Native American Flute, Art and Cultural Festival

Musical Echoes 2013, a celebration of Native American culture, art and music, highlighting the extraordinary Native American flute, will be held at Fort Walton Landing, 139 Brooks Street, Fort Walton Beach, FL, beginning on Friday, April 19 at noon and continuing through Sunday, April 21 at 3:30pm.

Musical Echoes has become a world class event recognized as the best American Indian flute festival, with attendance over 15,000 enjoying a full schedule of performances from internationally acclaimed Native American musicians and dancers including return favorites such as Johnny Lipford, Autumns Child, and dancer Nikki Crisp.

Kevin Locke, known throughout the world as the preeminent player of the indigenous Northern Plains flute, traditional storyteller, and educator, will make his first appearance at Musical Echoes this year.

Along with the full schedule of concerts, you can interact with Native American craftsmen who will be displaying their arts and selling their wares. Learn to play a Native American style flute in the free beginners’ class; shop the outdoor market for Native American art, jewelry, beadwork, clothing, food and much more; and take part in the annual Torchlight Remembrance Ceremony.

The goal of Musical Echoes is to create a quality Native American Music and Arts celebration. Take the family to enjoy this alcohol-free, fun event that is always free of charge, providing an opportunity to experience this nation’s rich Native American culture through music and art. Musical Echoes is co-presented by Musical Echoes Flute Festival Inc. and the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Visit www.musicalechoes.org for more information on the event.

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

Monday, March 18, 2013

Major Spring Events in Richmond, Virginia

More than 25 museums and attractions in Richmond, Virginia will honor Civil War & Emancipation Day on April 6 by waiving admission and offering an array of informative walking tours and presentations.

A free shuttle service will operate between all the sites, so park once and visit as many sites as possible during the day. Hear discussions with leading Civil War scholars, watch cannon making demonstrations (and firings!), enjoy song and dance performances, and take a free Canal Boat ride. The day offers expanded opportunities to learn more about Richmond’s history and its role in the Civil War and Emancipation.

Or join walking tours and attend programs to learn more, for instance, about the 1863 Bread Riot in Richmond, where thousands of Richmonders protested lack of food and supplies during the war years and stormed area stores; or follow the path President Lincoln took when he visited Richmond in 1865.

The Walking Tour of Jackson Ward showcases the remarkable development of businesses, entertainment, churches, and cultural institutions; or learn more about the “The Secrets of Mary Bowser”, a free black woman and her work as a spy on the Confederacy.

Then from May 17 to 19 Dominion Riverrock, the East Coast's premier outdoor lifestyle festival, brings together athletes, spectators, musicians, and even dogs to Brown’s Island and Historic Tredegar for a three-day festival against the backdrop of downtown Richmond’s urban riverfront. The festival features a variety of outdoor sports including trail running, kayaking, biking, bouldering, stand up paddleboarding, slacklining and dog jumping.
Click on www.visitrichmond for news of the many events and festivals in Richmond, Virginia.
For more information about top events in Virginia take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Virginia

Friday, March 15, 2013

Dive Into the California Good Life

One of the best ways to dive into the “California good life” is to check out one of the state’s diverse and abundant events and festivals which feature everything from whale watching, wine and beer tasting, amazing parades and carnivals, to Gold Rush re-enactments, kinetic sculpture races, film and music festivals, state fairs and major sporting events.

Here’s a round-up of signature annual events this April well worth planning a trip around:

More than just a rodeo,festivities at the annual Red Bluff Round-Up from April 19 to 21 in the Shasta Cascade region of California includes a week of events – a Chili Cook-Off, live entertainment, a car show and food in historic downtown Red Bluff. Watch top cowboys and cowgirls compete from all over the country and check out the Round-Up Parade, a Wild Horse Race and more.

The popular Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival in the Desert region now takes place over two consecutive weekends (April 12 to 14 and April 19 to 21) and features many genres of music over three days, including alternative rock, hip hop, and electronic music as well as large sculptural art.

The first of its kind in the U.S., the Earth Day Festival on the Central Coast (this year on April 20 and 21) features two days of environmentally themed exhibits including a Green Car Show, Eco-Marketplace, Kid’s Corner, Bike World, Solar/Wind/Farm/Garden (including chickens, alpacas, and cows) live entertainment, local food and more.

The largest and most prestigious book festival in the country, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books from April 13 through April 21 attracts more than 130,000 book lovers each year and includes author events, storytelling, cooking demonstrations, poetry readings and almost 300 exhibitor booths representing booksellers, publishers, literacy and cultural organizations.

Sip and savor world-class pinot noirs and chardonnays at the signature Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Festival on the Central Coast from 19 to 22 April promoting the very wine region made famous in the movie Sideways. This much anticipated event attracts wine lovers from near and far for an opportunity to meet more than 100 local vintners, taste their wines and enjoy great food and music over a long spring weekend.

No matter what time of year or what region you find yourself in, there’s an event or festival to let you live like a Californian. For more information go to www.visitcalifornia.com/Events/.

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.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spring Birding Festivals in Maine

When the fish begin biting and migratory birds begin arriving it's a sure sign of spring in Maine, the state with the most spring birding festivals in New England – five birding events taking place from late April to early June.

The 3rd Annual Feathers Over Freeport at Freeport and Pownal on April 27 and 28 is a birdwatching weekend for all ages – one day of activities at Bradbury Mountain State Park and one day at Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park. These are prime places for hawk and osprey watching. It is free with park admission.

Not many festivals cover birding by land, by sea and by art. One that does is the 7th Annual Wings, Waves & Woods Festival from May 17 to 19 at Deer Isle and Stonington. A special festival art exhibit featuring artwork by regional artists related to birds and habitat, including this year’s poster image by photographer Leslie Clapp, and sculpture workshops complement the art workshops, a lineup of birding walks, guided puffin boat trips, birding on Marshall Island and educational presentations. 

Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge and Cobscook Bay provide habitat for nearly 75 percent of Maine's 400 bird species. Morning and evening walks, guided hikes, boat tours, kayak and canoe trips, and presentations led by area experts are part of the 10th Annual Downeast Spring Birding Festival at Baring and Trescott from May 24 to 27.

With more than 40 birding guides from throughout New England and beyond, the 15th Annual Acadia Birding Festival on Mount Desert Island from May 30 to June 2 is the place to meet a lot of people who know a lot about birds. Warblers, flycatchers, migrating sparrows and pelagic birds are festival favorites.

Ranger-guided trail walks, educational presentations with live owls, viewing opportunities from forest, lake and mountain landscapes, and activities for children are all part of the 5th Annual Aroostook State Park Birding Festival, Presque Isle, on June 8. Free with park admission.

For a sampling of spring season events, activities and destinations visit www.visitmaine.com.

For more information about top events in Maine take a look 

Monday, March 11, 2013

War of 1812 Bicentennial Celebrated in Annapolis, Maryland

Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, offers War of 1812 enthusiasts a host of reasons to visit during Maryland's Star-Spangled 200 celebration.
While no land or sea battles were fought in or near Annapolis, many points of interest here have connections to the War of 1812. The largest of these is the United States Naval Academy.
As part of its ongoing War of 1812 Bicentennial commemoration, the Naval Academy will open a 2,500 square foot exhibition on the War of 1812 in the Hart Room at Mahan Hall on Monday, April 1. The exhibition brings together hundreds of artifacts, historic maritime paintings, and ship models from the Naval Academy Museum and 86 artifacts and pieces of artwork on loan from the collection of William I. Koch. The free exhibition runs through November 3, 2013.
The exhibit is part of a Seas, Lakes & Bay: The Naval War of 1812 walking tour that celebrates the War of 1812's 200th anniversary. Available through October 2014, the tour includes 10 stops, five at the U.S. Naval Academy and five in Annapolis's Historic District.
Copies of the tour map are available at the USNA Visitor Center, USNA Museum, Maryland State House, Historic Annapolis Museum at 99 Main Street, and the Visitors Center at 26 West Street. .
A new exhibit at the Maryland State House, The Enemy Nearly all 'round Us, looks at how the War of 1812 affected the lives of free and enslaved Annapolitans. 
For information about these and other 2013 events, visit the Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau at www.VisitAnnapolis.org.
Star-Spangled 200 is Maryland's three-year commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Events kicked off in June 2012 with Star-Spangled Sailabration in Baltimore and continue in Annapolis with the June 12-16, 2013 From Enemies to Allies: An International Conference on the War of 1812 and its Aftermath and Cross-Tech: Cyber Defense in the 21st Century.
Visit www.starspangled200.org for more information about these and other commemoration events.
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.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Mississippi Celebrates Arts and Literary Arts

You can celebrate spring by discovering the masterful works of accomplished authors, artists and artisans who call Mississippi home.
Mississippi, known as the most Southern of all states, invites visitors to experience the homes, studios, shops and workshops where these artists and writers create and display their work. From the towns in the foothills of the Appalachians in northeast Mississippi to the spectacular Mississippi Gulf Coast, a tour centered on Mississippi’s offerings in the arts and literary arts is one of endless variety and depth.
The 2013 Oxford Conference for the Book is set March 21-23 and is the 20th annual event to celebrate books, reading and writing. It is only fitting that the conference is held each year in the beautiful town of Oxford, Miss., home of Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Faulkner and his beloved residence, Rowan Oak, which is also open to the public.
For those who love fine art as well as artisan crafts, don’t miss the Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival on April 6 and 7, in Renaissance at Colony Park in Ridgeland. This festival (formally Renaissance Fine Arts Festival) was recently named a Top Twenty Event by the Southeast Tourism Society. It is a juried show that features some of America’s finest artists and artisans working in clay, drawing/pastels, fiber, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and wood.
Events like the Columbus Spring Pilgrimage, which is from April 1 to 13 this year, highlights another aspect of the state’s arts culture: architecture.
There are many colorful arts festivals all across the state throughout the year. Highlights include the annual Gum Tree Festival in Tupelo in May and the 36th Chimneyville Crafts Festival in Jackson this November.
Visit www.VisitMississippi.org for more information about these artists, artisans, writers, events and interesting places.
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.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Reliving the Victory on the Third Coast

It’s been 200 years since a southwest wind carried Oliver Hazard Perry’s famous words across the tepid waters of Lake Erie, declaring an American victory over the British.  “We have met the enemy and they are ours.”  A triumphant slogan that can been viewed at Perry’s Monument, the third tallest memorial structure in the world that commemorates the Commodore and his crew.

One of the most famous sea battles in U.S. naval history surprisingly did not take place on the sea, but on the turbulent waters of Lake Erie between what is now Ontario, Canada and the village of Put-in-Bay, Ohio.

The Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial Celebration in late August through September 10th will bring together hundreds of thousands of people from the U.S., Canada and abroad.

This two-week Celebration will include a large fleet of Tall Ships in a historic reenactment of the Battle of Lake Erie and a grand Parade of Sail and Port Festivals. Visitors will be able to tour the Ships, enlist as Crew Members in the reenactment, or be part of the Bicentennial Fleet or Militia.

Along with Tall Ships activities, surrounding days will include national speakers, marching bands, fireworks, concerts, food, entertainment, arts & crafts, historical activities and an International Freedom Celebration. And for those who want to focus a little less on history, there’s even more reasons to celebrate.

Nestled on the limestone banks of South Bass Island, the quaint village of Put-in-Bay has become legendary amongst midwesterners for it’s rich history and unique location. Situated only miles from I-90/80 coupled with a short twenty-two minute ride on the Miller Ferry, making your way to this closer-to-home-Caribbean is easy. And whether it’s kayaking around the island, parasailing high above the harbor, taking a scenic bike ride or just simply relaxing with a cocktail at a waterfront restaurant, there’s something for everyone once you arrive.

Visit battleoflakeerie-bicentennial.com for more details.

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.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Year-long Harriet Tubman Centennial in Maryland

March 2013 marks the 100-year anniversary of the passing of Harriet Tubman, an enslaved Maryland native who became the legendary “conductor” of the Underground Railroad.

Her homeland on Maryland’s Eastern Shore (Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne's, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties) has launched a year-long celebration of her life and legacy.

Harriet Tubman Centennial events will happen throughout the year to remember this famed American hero who led more than 70 enslaved people to freedom, served as a Civil War spy and nurse, and fought for women’s rights.

The Harriet Tubman Centennial Launch Weekend from March 8 to 10 will include a number of events to commemorate her life and legacy. There will be a groundbreaking for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park near Cambridge (Dorchester County), and a ribbon-cutting for a similarly named Tubman Byway that extends 125 miles in Maryland. The Harriet Tubman Banquet is scheduled for Saturday, March 9. Jazz musician Marcus Shelby presents a Tubman musical tribute with a March 10 concert at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort in Cambridge.

A journey on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway will take you back in time to pre-Civil War America to explore the secret network of trails, waterways and safe houses used by enslaved people fleeing north to escape bondage. 

More information is at Harriet Tubman Centennial.

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

Friday, March 1, 2013

The World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Everybody will be Irish in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas on March 17 to celebrate The First Ever Tenth Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The parade, which has grown to attract more than 30,000 revelers, transverses the legendary 98-foot-long Bridge Street in downtown Hot Springs, known as the “shortest street in the world”. The event was created in 2003 and has always been referred to as “The first ever” each year it has taken place.

Thousands of people flock to the downtown area each March 17 to celebrate the unfettered fun and exuberance the parade generates. There will be leprechauns, floats, marching bands, Irish Wolfhounds, green fireworks, and Irish Elvis impersonators, and much more. Remember to wear green.

2013 Grand Marshals are Bo Derek (known as the actress from the movie “10”) and John Corbett (best known for his work on Northern Exposure). The parade has been recognized worldwide with numerous international awards. Last year, CNN named it #1 among Quirky St. Patrick’s Day Parades.

The Arkansas Blarney Stone, reportedly discovered by a leprechaun in the forests that surround Hot Springs, was placed on display in front of the Hot Springs Convention Center in 2006, and is now the scene of the annual Blarney Stone-kissing contests known as Romancing the Stone.

Visit shorteststpats.com for more details of the Parade festivities or call Hot Springs CVB at 501-321-2027 or hscvb@hotsprings.org.

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.