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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 31, 2010

Kerrville, Texas Hosts Folk Festival

Eighteen great days of musical events are awaiting you in Kerrville, Texas, at the Kerrville Folk Festival from May 27 to June 13.

This Texas Hill Country-based international songwriters’ festival features over 100 songwriters and their bands. The Festival is held annually at the outdoor theater at the Quiet Valley Ranch, 9 miles south of Kerrville on Texas Hwy 16, starting on the Thursday before Memorial Day at the end of May.

Interspersed between weekends are workshops in songwriting, blues guitar, and harmonica. The annual Kerrville New Folk songwriting competition is held on the first weekend and draws 32 of the best of America's emerging songwriters

It’s a family affair with concerts, arts & crafts, kid’s concerts, food & camping. A variety of food items ranging from bar-b-que to vegetarian selections are available in the theater at the festival food service pavilion during main stage performance nights. Beer, wine, smoothies, soft drinks and gourmet coffee drinks are also available.

The Kerr-Cafe is located in the Quiet Valley Ranch campgrounds and is open daily for breakfast, lunch and evening snacks. Ice, beer, and soft drinks are also available at the Kerr-try store in the campgrounds.

For more information about top events in Texas, take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Texas at www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-texas.html

For more information on the Kerrville Folk Festival visit http://www.kerrvilletexascvb.com

Monday, March 29, 2010

Conch Republic to Celebrate Independence in April

The Conch Republic, more commonly known as Key West and the Florida Keys, is to salute the 28th anniversary of its founding Friday, April 16, through Sunday, April 25.

Traditionally irreverent highlights of the annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration include a "drag" race between female impersonators in startlingly high heels and a lighthearted sea skirmish featuring tall ships in Key West Harbor.

As well as showcasing the independent and eccentric spirit that characterizes the Florida Keys, the celebration benefits a variety of local charitable organizations.

The birth of the Conch Republic was prompted by a 1982 U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint set up at the head of the Florida Keys so agents could search cars for drugs and illegal aliens. It virtually halted traffic on the only road to the mainland.

Realizing that the island chain was being treated as a foreign country, local officials protested by staging a secession from the U.S. and proclaiming the independent Conch Republic. They waged "war" on the mother country by pelting federal agents with stale Cuban bread, surrendered almost immediately and requested $1 billion in foreign aid.

The Border Patrol checkpoint was removed, but not before the Conch Republic had captured the popular imagination.

As well as the drag race and sea battle, highlights of the 2010 Conch Republic Independence Celebration include the World's Longest Parade, named because its route down Key West's Duval Street proceeds from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, and the Conch Republic Red Ribbon Bed Race, billed as "the most fun you can have in bed with your clothes on."

Among the other scheduled events are a reception aboard a World War II ship turned floating museum, open-air crafts show and food fest, fiddlers' contest at the Green Parrot Bar, sailing race commemorating the Keys' salvaging history and rebirth of a Key West tradition featuring a 7-foot Key lime pie.

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 at www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-florida.html

For more information and a complete festival schedule visit www.conchrepublic.com

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Elvis Fashion Style Showcased at Graceland

The year-long celebration of Elvis Presley’s 75th Birthday continues with the “Elvis Presley: Fashion King” exhibit at Graceland. The exhibit is the first of its kind at Elvis’ home in Memphis, and explores fashion trends ushered in by the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

“Elvis Presley: Fashion King” showcases everything from the king’s handmade shirts and casual suits to his flashy jewelry and shoes. Visitors will see the evolution of Elvis’ outfits, from an artist’s sketch to the final product, and how these custom creations were made.

The exhibit provides visitors with the feeling that they are peeking into Elvis’ personal closet. There are casual suits, top coats, hats, scarves, more than 50 shirts and many accessories, including a custom necklace featuring more than 220 diamonds and a 11.5-carat diamond solitaire ring.

“Elvis Presley: Fashion King” will be open through March of 2012. It is one of three new exhibits to open at Graceland in 2010. A special exhibit opened on Elvis’ 75th birthday on January 8, 2010, chronicling key portions of Elvis’ life before he became an international singing sensation. Also opening as part of the year-long birthday celebration is a special exhibit featuring Elvis’ iconic stage costumes from 1969-1977.

In addition to these new exhibits, visitors can tour the Graceland mansion and 14-acre property, where they can follow in Elvis’ footsteps as they enjoy an audio-guided tour featuring commentary and stories by Elvis and his daughter Lisa Marie.

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 at www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-tennessee.html

For more information about making travel plans for Memphis & Graceland visit http://www.elvis.com/.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Vermont Hosts Annual Maple Open House Weekend

The Ninth Annual Vermont Maple Open House Weekend will be held at sugarhouses throughout Vermont from March 26 to 28.

The Open House Weekend is the public celebration of the maple syrup season in Vermont and is an opportunity for the public to visit one or more “sugarhouses” throughout the state to learn about Vermont’s first agricultural crop of the year.

Activities during Open House Weekend will be different at each sugarhouse but will include the opportunity to watch maple syrup being made (weather permitting) and sample syrup and other maple products.

“Maple sugaring is a rich part of Vermont’s identity and heritage,” said Governor Jim Douglas. “The Maple Open House Weekend is a quintessential Vermont event that celebrates this timeless tradition.”

Some sugarhouses offer tours of their “sugarbushes” and some have special activities for children. No two sugarhouses are the same so people are encouraged to visit more than one.

Vermont is the largest U.S. producer of maple syrup and produced 920,000 gallons of syrup in 2009. There are approximately 2,000 maple producers in Vermont.

Information about all of the participating maple syrup producers including which of the three days they will be open and directions to their sugarhouses can be found in the “2010 Vermont Ski & Year-round Maple Syrup Guide” which can be picked up at any Vermont Welcome Center, or by calling the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing at 800-837-6668.

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 at www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-vermont.html

For more information on the Vermont Maple Open House Weekend information visit www.vermontmaple.org

Friday, March 19, 2010

Year of Small Towns and Downtowns in Alabama

Alabama is hosting one big yearlong party, and everyone is invited to the the celebration. More than 200 towns and cities are staging “Great Alabama Homecoming” events and unveil historic markers this year as part of the Year of Small Towns & Downtowns.

The homecomings will continue through mid-December with a majority of the events taking place in the summer.

“Communities will welcome former residents to participate in food, crafts and music events that celebrate each town’s unique characteristics,” Governor Bob Riley says. Historic markers written by local historians and provided by the Alabama Tourism Department are being unveiled.

A total of 215 communities, ranging in size from Mooresville, population 54, to Birmingham, population 300,000, have scheduled events throughout the calendar.

The celebrations will be staged under a variety of names. Events such as Demopolis’ Christmas on the River, Hartselle’s Depot Days and Ozark’s Claybank Jamboree are well established, while Jacksonville, Ashland, Gulf Shores and York – among others – will host events organized specifically for this year’s homecoming theme. Natives of Ensley, long absorbed by Birmingham, will have a function at Tuxedo Junction.

Some towns have convenient anniversaries. Huntsville will recognize the 50th anniversary of the NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center, Talladega, its 175th birthday, and Lincoln’s centennial.

“Having grown up in a small town, I know that many people who moved away will enjoy coming back home to see neighbors and classmates they went to school with,” Governor Riley said.

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 at www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-alabama.html

For more information visit the “Great Alabama Homecoming” web site at http://www.alabamahomecoming.com

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Celebration of the Arts Festival in Maui

“E ia ka Manawa” (Here, Now is the Time) is the theme for the 18th Annual Celebration of the Arts, April 2 to 4 at the The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui. Every Easter weekend, Celebration of the Arts is presented complimentary to the public to reconnect the “host to the hosted”.

“This year’s theme will inspire intellectual conversation to shape and align the future of Native Hawaiians,” said Clifford Nae`ole, event chairperson and hotel cultural advisor. “In prior years, we have focused on bringing the past to the present, while this year the concentration will initiate thoughts from the present to the future.”

A recipient of the prestigious Kahili Award from the Hawai`i Tourism Authority in 2005, Celebration of the Arts is Hawai`i’s premiere hands-on arts and cultural festival. Kama`aina (local residents) and malihini (visitors) are invited to experience the “Hawaiian heart and soul” through interaction with artists, cultural practitioners, workshops, films, food and music.

The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua overlooks one of the most significant sites to native Hawaiians, the Honokahua Preservation Site, and is a gathering place for Hawaii’s well-known and best loved artists, educators, cultural art masters and healers. Maui visitors blend with island kupuna (elders) and keiki (children) in a rich tapestry with a common thread to learn about Hawai`i’s past, present and future. Each event features a timely topic with emphasis on education, cultural awareness and sharing so that it can be perpetuated.

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 at www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-hawaii.html

For more information on the Celebration of the Arts visit www.celebrationofthearts.org

Monday, March 15, 2010

Oklahoma City Celebrates the Arts

Since 1967, the Arts Council of Oklahoma City’s annual Festival of the Arts has been the city’s “rite of spring.”

The 44th annual Festival of the Arts, from April 20 to 25 in downtown Oklahoma City at the Festival Plaza, Stage Center and the Myriad Botanical Gardens, promises to continue the tradition.

The Festival features 144 fine artists on Hudson Avenue and the kinetic art in Windscapes. The Stage Center lawn will be filled with large-scale works of art in the Sculpture Park.

Take a break from the art and enjoy all of the fine food Festival has to offer. The International Food Row will feature old favorites like Indian Tacos, Craig and Carter’s Fish Tacos Strawberries Newport and Bodacious Burritos. Each food vendor is partnered with a local non-profit agency, so each bite goes to support the arts in central Oklahoma.

The Festival of the Arts has four stages of non-stop performing arts entertainment ranging in scope from the youngest elementary school performers to professional musicians. More than 300 performers donate their time and talent to entertain Festival crowds, which reach up to 750,000 in six days.

The Youth Plaza, located on the east side of the Crystal Bridge, will include many great activities for children and families. At Children’s Art Field, children can create their own art for just $2. Children can also purchase art created by Festival artists for $5 or less at the Young-At-Art Mart, where it’s kids-only shopping. There will also be kid-friendly food vendors, Student Arts After School Gallery and performances at the Children’s Stage.

For more information about top events in Oklahoma, take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Oklahoma at http://www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-oklahoma.html

Or, take a look at the official web site for Oklahoma City at http://www.okccvb.org/

Friday, March 12, 2010

Brownville Celebrates Wine, Writers and Song

Every year, Brownville, Nemaha County, Nebraska, spends the last weekend in April celebrating wine, literature, food, music and history with a program of fun events for all ages. This year the dates for its Wine, Writers and Song Festival are April 23, 24 and 25.

As part of the celebration Brownville is offering a Weekend Writers' Workshop, including 2 nights' lodging at the Brownville Village Theatre Residence.

Visitors can celebrate Brownville’s standing as an International Book Town by visiting one of its four bookstores (or its 7 museums); stroll the banks of the Missouri River or along any of its safe, beautiful nature trails; or cruise the river on the Spirit of Brownville. Three period houses are open to the public. Galleries and boutiques offer everything from handmade brooms to fine art.

Brownville has received the prestigious Preserve America designation which recognises the Village’s commitment to protecting and celebrating its heritage and historic

Brownville is easily accessible from major cities such as Omaha, Lincoln, Kansas City and St. Joseph.

For more information about top events in Nebraska, take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Nebraska at www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-nebraska.html

For more information on the Brownville Wine, Writers and Song Festival visit www.brownville-ne.com/

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Colorado - Wines with Altitude

Colorado is known for its mountains, but the fertile valleys and vineyards are equally enticing. Colorado’s abundant sunshine, warm days, cool nights and low humidity provide the perfect conditions for wine grapes that feature the complex character and chemistry required to craft award-winning wines.

From rich Chardonnays to robust Merlots to wines made from cherries, peaches, plums and honey, Colorado wines enjoy a well deserved reputation for top quality. Colorado’s grape growing regions range in elevation from 4,000 to 7,000 feet and are amongst the highest vineyards in the world.

Colorado's wineries are spread all over the state. You can plan a trip to almost every part of Colorado and find a wine trail to follow. Just look for the blue information signs with the “Colorado Wine Trails” logo. The wine routes will bring travellers along some of the most scenic and spectacular roads in Colorado.

The largest concentrations of vineyards are found in the Grand Junction region, along the Colorado River and in the West Elks region (Delta County), along the Gunnison River. The federal government has designated these two regions as American Viticultural Areas (AVA).

Some of the wine festivals taking place in Colorado in 2010 are:

June 5: Manitou Springs Colorado Wine Festival
July 24: Castle Rock Wine Festival
August 7: Vino and Notes Wine Festival, Woodland Park )
August 27 - 28: Mesa Verde Country Wine & Art Festival September 16 - 19: Colorado Mountain Wine Fest, Palisade
November 3 - 7: Denver International Wine Festival

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 at www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-colorado.html

For more information on Colorado Wines visit www.coloradowine.org

Monday, March 8, 2010

Kentucky Horse Park Hosts Famous Equestrian Event

Being held for the first time outside of Europe, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010 are coming to the Bluegrass State for 16 days from September 25.

Founded in 1975, the eight events (which are unrelated to Kentucky’s world-famous thoroughbreds) are together in one event which includes feats that are as challenging for the rider as they are for the horse. For the first time, para-dressage is included.

The Games will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Held every four years, the competition takes place two years prior to the Olympics.

The World Equestrian Games represent many of the world's top riders and most skilled horses. Riders competing here will have gone through a rigorous selection process during the preceding 4 years. Each participating country sends teams composed of the very best equestrians in their discipline.

While each of the disciplines on display at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will be enough to keep riders and spectators busy, there will not be a shortage of other entertainment. For instance, the Kentucky Experience will allow visitors to explore the entire state of Kentucky without ever leaving the Kentucky Horse Park The interactive experience will provide them with all the sights, smells and tastes of Kentucky.

The Equine Pavilion will be the main site housing both exhibits from various equine organizations and numerous equine demonstrations and special events from the leaders in the world of equestrian.

For more information about top events in Kentucky, take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Kentucky at www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-kentucky.html

Or, for more information visit www.kyhorsepark.com

Friday, March 5, 2010

Olympia Hosts "Procession of the Species"

Every April the City of Olympia, Washington State’s capital, hosts the unique Procession of the Species – drawing both folks from around the region and further afield.

This year the Procession of the Species begins at 4:30pm on Saturday April 24 – the 15th annual parade of people celebrating nature in the community. This is a joyous, artistic pageant embracing the languages of art, music and dance to inspire learning, appreciation and protection of the natural world. Children and adults both parade in a colorful kaleidoscope of imaginative costumes, creative masks, banners and giant puppets. The Procession is now Puget Sound's largest annual Earth Day event.

Since its inception, the Procession has grown from 800 participants and 3,000 spectators to over 2,700 participants and 28,000 onlookers last year. It is the highlight of Olympia’s annual Spring Arts Walk (from April 23 to 24) – one of the largest arts walks in the Pacific Northwest. Nearly 100 galleries and businesses display the work of more than 300 artists during the two days, plus there are hands-on family activities, performance stages, demonstrations and street corner performers.

The Procession of the Species Celebration was born in January, 1995, when a group of Olympia residents wanted to organize an event both to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Earth Day and to support Congressional renewal of the Endangered Species Act. The group decided on a positive statement of support in the form of a community celebration.

For more information about top events in Washington State, take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Washington at www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-washington.html

For schedules and information on Procession of the Species visit www.procession.org

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Missouri Marks 150th Anniversary of the Pony Express

No event In American history has captured the imagination of young and old alike more than the Pony Express.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Pony Express. On April 3, 1860, a lone rider, Johnny Fry, left on horseback from the gates of one of the nation’s most historic landmarks, the Pikes Peak Stables in St. Joseph, Missouri. Today the stables continue to stand as a tribute to the legend and legacy of the Pony Express and its enduring era. Carrying saddlebags filled with nation’s hopes and dreams, the riders traveled 2,000 miles to Sacramento, California. The Central Overland and California Pikes Peak Express Company carried letters and telegrams for 19 months proving the train and pony with riders could make the trip over 1,966 miles in 10 to 14 days.

St. Joseph will recapture the excitement of those days when it celebrates that first ride on April 1, 2 and 3. Among the celebrations will be a Buffalo Bill Look-Alike Contest, a Chuck Wagon Dinner, a Pony Express Bridle and Saddle Parade and the Sesquicentennial Banquet, 6:30 p.m. There will be various events throughout the year.

The Pony Express National Museum in St. Joseph will be at the core of the celebrations. Its state-of-the-art exhibits illustrate the need, creation, operation and termination of the Pony Express. Whatever your age, you’re sure to be captivated by the stories and images on an era long passed.

For more information about top events in Missouri, take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Missouri at www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-missouri.html

Or, for more details and information take a look at the official web site for St. Joseph at www.stjomo.com/

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Best Way to See the Cherry Blossoms

Bike and Roll Alexandria, located in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, will for the first time offer their Blossoms by Bike River Ride during the 2010 National Cherry Blossom Festival from March 27 to April 11).

Celebrate the arrival of spring with this three-hour ride and see the natural beauty of the Nation’s Capital at its peak. The tour will take you along the scenic Mount Vernon Trail where you will take in stunning views of the blossoms from across the Potomac River. It continues into DC and around the Tidal Basin where you will see the blossoms up close and learn the history of these beautiful gifts before heading back to Alexandria.

Blossoms by Bike River Ride is a moderate level ride and is recommended for those 13 years or above. The cost is $42 for adults and includes bike rental, helmet, water and guide.

Blossoms by Bike and Blossoms by Bike River Ride are Official Programs of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Add ImageThe National Cherry Blossom Festival is Washington DC's and the Nation's greatest springtime celebration. The 2010 Festival features signature events, daily cultural performances, art exhibits, sport competitions and more. The National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the 98th anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees and the enduring friendship between the citizens of the United States and Japan.

For more information about The National Cherry Blossom Festival, take a look at the feature article at www.topeventsusa.com/national-cherry-blossom-festival-dc.html

For more information about top events in Washington DC, take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Washington DC at www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-dc.html

For schedules and information visit www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org