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Top Events USA news blog where we hope to keep you up to date with the news about top events across the USA

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fort Fisher Presents “The Lights of the Great Armada”

The year 2012 marks the 147th Anniversary of the end of the Civil War. As part of North Carolina's observance of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, the  Fort Fisher State Historic Site at Kure Beach, North Carolina, will host "The Lights of the Great Armada: The 147th Anniversary of the Battle of Fort Fisher" on January 21 and 22. 
The event also commemorates the Second Battle of Fort Fisher, the largest land-sea battle of the Civil War. 
Saturday’s events begin at 10am until 4pm and continue on Sunday from 11am until 4pm.  The event will highlight the war's largest amphibious assault with a Navy and Marine living history program that includes small arms and artillery demonstrations, a period torpedo/steam engine exhibit, as well as special presentations focusing on the Union and Confederate sailors and marines who fought at Fort Fisher in January 1865.   

There are a number of guest speakers. Re-enactors in period costume will bring history to life throughout the day with Confederate artillery demonstrations, cannon and small arms firings. The program is free and open to the public. “The Lights of the Great Armada” affords visitors a wonderful opportunity to learn more about local history and Fort Fisher's role in the Civil War. Visitors, residents, and motorists are advised of loud explosions during cannon firings and artillery demonstrations. Contact Fort Fisher State Historic Site for more details: 910-458-5538 or visit www.fortfisher.nchistoricsites.org

For a free Official Visitors Guide to Wilmington, North Carolina and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach, please call 1-866-266-9690. For a complete event calendar, attraction listings, featured experiences and specials, visit www.gowilmingtonandbeaches.com.
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

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Winter Adventures on the Oregon Coast


Winter means that the Oregon Coast whale watching and storm watching season has officially begun - but it’s also the season for paddling quiet water trails, finding agates and glass balls on the beach, sampling beers and shopping for antiques. 
Winter’s crashing waves bring the best storm watching, and also expose the rocks along the beach, making January a great month for finding agates. The oceanside village of Yachats celebrates this local gem with the first ever Yachats Agate Festival and Gem-Mineral-Fossil Show on January 21 and 22. This weekend festival will feature spectacular displays as well as family friendly learning opportunities for all ages. And a walk along Yachat’s basalt headlands promises beautiful tidepools, breathtaking churns and blow holes, and some of the most dramatic surf action in the world.
“Pouring at the Coast” (March 16 and 17 in Seaside) embraces winter with an intimate 5-course Brewer’s Dinner on Friday evening and a Craft Beer tasting and food pairing festival on Saturday. Sample more than 30 handcrafted beers by 14 of Oregon’s lauded brewers.  The Confluence Wine Beer Seafood and Music Festival in Reedsport and Newport Seafood & Wine Festival roll out each February.
Now through Memorial Day, it’s “Finders Keepers” on Lincoln City beaches, where colorful hand-blown glass floats are placed on the beach every day (weather and ocean conditions permitting). Look for a special drop of antique Japanese glass floats during the Antique Week in Lincoln City from February 10 to 20. 
The 10-day event includes a scavenger hunt at antique stores, a geocache challenge, special drop of antique Japanese glass floats along the beach, historical tours, and special events hosted by Harry Rinker, star of the HGTV series Collector Inspector. 
For more details on The People’s Coast and events there click on visittheoregoncoast.com
For more information about top events in Oregon take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Oregon

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Watch Out for Sauk Prairie’s Wintering Eagles

Each year, from late November to the end of February, roughly 100 to 200 bald eagles fish, loaf, and court their mates among the bluffs and along the river in southern Sauk County, Wisconsin.
The 2012 Bald Eagle Watching Days will celebrate its 25th Year in Sauk Prairie throughout Sauk City and Prairie du Sac on Saturday January 14. The festivities start on Friday evening (January 13) with the Live Birds of Prey Show at The Raptor Center.
The Bald Eagle Release on the banks of the Wisconsin River, presented by Marge Gibson of the Raptor Education Group, Inc., will return to the program for the 25th Anniversary.
This annual event draws hundreds of people to see these majestic and symbolic birds in their natural habitat. The Eagle Days programs also  include eagle watching tours, children’s activities, wine tasting, a wildlife photography seminar and exhibits and shows presented by groups such as the Raptor Center from the University of Minnesota and humorist David Stokes. 
In 1988, a small group of eagle enthusiasts formed the Ferry Bluff Eagle Council (FBEC) in order to work with the local community to protect area habitat for wintering eagles.  A not-for-profit, grass-roots organization of volunteers, FBEC built and maintains the Overlook on Water Street in Prairie du Sac from which one can often view eagles on “Eagle Island”. Council members are stationed there for several hours each weekend in January and February to assist viewers with telescopes and answer questions.
Guided eagle watching tours are available for a small fee Saturdays at 10am in January and February. For a donation, guided tours and power point presentations on the life of the bald eagle can be arranged for groups. Call 800-683-2453 for reservations.
For more information on the Bald Eagle Watching Days visit www.ferrybluffeaglecouncil.org/eagledays/index.html  or visit Sauk Prairie at www.saukprairie.com
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.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Scottsdale Celebrates the Arts

From intimate dinners to large-scale exhibitions, Scottsdale's arts offerings vary in scope and size and cater to a wide variety of visitors. 
Back for its 22nd year, the January 14 to March 25, 2012 Celebration of Fine Art is one of Scottsdale's most notable art shows, featuring 100 artists sprawled across 40,000 square feet of space. Visitors can meet the artists and watch them working in the full spectrum of art media, including oil, watercolor, pastels, sculpture and assemblages to glass, ceramics, stone, furniture, jewelry and more. Works range from realistic to impressionistic, western realism to contemporary, landscapes to still life. In 2012, the event will be held at its new location, on the Southwest corner of Hayden Rd. and Loop 101, just south of the Loop 101 off Exit 35, in the Big White Tents, just one mile from where it was previously staged. 
Enjoy Scottsdale's pristine winter weather and boundless creativity during the 42nd annual Scottsdale Arts Festival March 9 to 11 at Scottsdale Civic Center Park. Brought to you by the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, the award-winning event features 200 jury-selected artists from throughout the United States, top-notch live music and entertainment, delicious fare from the Valley's gourmet specialty food trucks and fun activities for families.
Explore Scottsdale's art culture in a more intimate setting during the Artist in Residence series at The Hermosa Inn, a boutique hideaway . Featuring one artist a month through March 2012, the series pairs a four-course dinner at LON's, the inn's signature restaurant, with a meet-and-greet with an acclaimed artist. 
Visit www.scottsdalecvb.com/ for more information on Scottsdale.
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

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

January Events in the Arkansas Delta

Kick off the New Year at Cane Creek State Park in Star City by learning more about our animal friends. During Feed the Critters, offered on Jan. 7, 14, 21 and 28, participants learn what alligators and turtles like to eat. Fashion a Fish is a chance for visitors to discover more about our water-dwelling friends. Learn about different species and how they live and eat on January 8, 15, 22 and 29. 
Want to learn more about our feathered buddies? Check out Birding for Beginners on January 8. Join the park interpreter to discover some of the flying wildlife that call Cane Creek State Park home. 
On January 21, the park offers A Geocaching Adventure. Participants learn about one of the fastest-growing outdoor hobbies and then take a caching trek through the park. To learn more about any of these events, contact Cane Creek State Park at 870-628-4714.

Join artisan Genny Saddler for a Navajo Loom Weaving Workshop at Parkin Archeological State Park in Parkin on January 14. Workshop participants make their own loom and learn to weave wall hangings and covers. Class size is limited and advance reservations are required. Phone 870-755-2500 for details.

Head to Piggott on January 28 for the 4th annual Indoor Yard Sale. Held at the Piggott Community Center, the event features more than 85 booths, ranging in offerings from antiques to furniture to crafts. Food and drink concessions are also available. Contact 870-598-5884 for more information.

Cane Creek State Park in Star City offers the Flapjack 20 All-Night Hike on January 28 and 29. The Flapjack 20 is a nighttime 20-mile hike on the Cane Creek Lake Trail. After a night of hiking, participants enjoy a pancake breakfast with all the trimmings. The event is free. For more details or to sign up for the event, contact Cane Creek State Park at 870-628-4714.
Visit www.arkansas.com/ for information and news on Arkansas events and festivals.
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

Monday, December 19, 2011

Yoga & Songwriter Festivals in Colorado

The inaugural Crested Butte Songwriters Festival from January 12 to 16 will feature performances by several of the best performing songwriters from the world of country music.  
The festival will revolve around two nights of performances staged at Crested Butte hot spots, where live music bliss will introduce crowds to the faces, voices and stories behind hit songs. Signature in-the-round acoustic performances and rowdy, dance-inducing sets will dominate the schedule, and a benefit concert will be held on January 14. 
On February 10 to 12 Yoga Rocks the Butte will feature a weekend of inspiring yoga classes, live outdoor music, organic food, a yoga marketplace and more at multiple venues throughout Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. This new event taps into the area’s health and wellness philosophy and brings in experts from around the globe. 
Bundle up and head to Blue Mesa Reservoir near Gunnison for the first-ever 3 Stage Ice Fishing Contest, featuring prizes for overall champion and for each of the three tournaments to be held on the first Saturdays in January, February and March. 
Gunnison-Crested Butte is nestled among almost two million acres of pristine wilderness in southwest Colorado.  Winter sports enthusiasts know the area for its world-class alpine skiing and snowboarding at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing.  Gunnison-Crested Butte is also a haven for outdoor summer activities.
To find out more about Gunnison County or to book personalized vacation packages, call (800) 814-8893, or visit www.GunnisonCrestedButte.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 .

Friday, December 16, 2011

‘Railroad that Went to Sea’ Honored

A celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of the completion of Henry Flagler’s Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad is to culminate January 14 to 23, with Keyswide events marking the centennial of the first train’s journey from the Florida mainland through the island chain to Key West. 
When the inaugural train steamed through the Keys Jan. 22, 1912, it connected the previously isolated islands with each other and the mainland for the first time and ushered in a new era for travelers and residents. Stretching more than 100 miles out over open water, the Over-Sea Railroad was lauded as the world’s most unique rail line. 
Highlights of the centennial celebration include a themed community parade, a one-man performance by a re-enactor portraying railroad founder Henry Flagler, a “family fun” day at the former railroad workers’ camp on the tiny island of Pigeon Key, museum and memorabilia exhibitions, hobbyist train displays and a re-enactment at Bahia Honda State Park. 
History lovers can explore Pigeon Key, one of the Keys’ landmark railroad heritage sites, from 10am to 4pm Saturday, January 14, during a free-admission day of family fun. Nestled beneath the original Seven Mile Bridge in the Middle Keys, the 5-acre island features Flagler-era restored buildings and a unique railroad museum. The day’s other attractions include snorkeling, historic and contemporary foods, period games, live music and entertainment. 
Meanwhile, before the centennial kicks off, New Year’s Eve partiers tired of cold-weather festivities such as the traditional “ball drop” in New York’s Times Square can find exuberant celebrations and much warmer temperatures in the Florida Keys. 
For Over-Sea Railroad centennial information visit www.FlaglerKeys100.com . For Florida Keys visitor information visit  www.fla-keys.com or 1-800-FLA-KEYS (1-800-352-5397) 
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.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Happenings in the True South

The True South is buzzing with the holiday spirit. Events, festivals, parties and a unique holiday atmosphere make December one of the best months of the year to visit Mississippi.
Here are some of the festive holiday happenings in Mississippi.
Canton: Victorian Christmas Festival, now through December 23, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. The festivities in Canton all take place around the Historic Courthouse Square, decorated with over 200,000 glittering lights. In addition to the Canton Animation Museums and the glittering decorations of the Square, Canton offers holiday visitors many other attractions. 
Southaven: 13th Annual Southern Lights, now through December 31, 6-10 p.m. Drive through the 116-acre Central Park with 100,000 twinkling lights. Cars can tune to five FM radio stations playing Christmas music as they ride through the park. Don’t miss the Christmas Tree Farm. Closed Christmas Day. 
Natchez: Christmas in Natchez, now through January 1, 5 p.m. In Natchez, the winter holidays begin the Friday after Thanksgiving with the annual Lighting of the Tree and continue through city-wide New Year's celebrations, including tours of beautifully lit and decorated historic homes, holiday concerts, candlelight carriage rides and more.  
Tylertown: Christmas in the Park, now through December 31, 6:00 p.m. Christmas in the Park is a colorful Christmas display of millions of lights staged at Holmes Water Park. More than 32,000 visitors enjoy the display each year. The park is open seven days a week from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., weather permitting.  
Collins: Christmas in the Park, now through December 31, 5-9 p.m. Throughout the Christmas season, travel along a winding path through Collins City Park, marvel at the beautiful light displays and enjoy holiday music at Christmas in the Park. The attraction is open Thursday through Saturday nights only. 
Check out www.VisitMississippi.org for more information.
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.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Honoring Ullr, the Norse God of Snow

Each winter, snow-worshipers don Viking horns and line the streets of Breckenridge, Colorado, to pay homage to Ullr (pronounced Ooo-ler), the Norse god of snow. 
The 49th annual Ullr Fest from January 8 to 14, 2012, gives thanks for snow with a notorious Main Street parade, wacky Ullympic competitions, an ice skating party, town bonfire and more. Key events are as follows:
  • Monday, Jan. 9 – Crowning of the Ullr King and Queen: Toast to 49 years of fun and hang with royalty of Ullrs past at the coronation’s new location – Main Street Station.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 10 – The Ullympics: Watch (or participate in) wild events such as the frying pan toss, group ski racing and retro relay. Awards and a party follow.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 11 – Ullr Dating Game: Calling all bachelors and bachelorettes! Join local radio station KSMT and all the great singles in town for Breckenridge’s version of the Dating Game. Ullr himself will be on hand looking for love. 
  • Thursday, Jan. 12 – Ullr Fest Parade: Join Breckenridge locals as they show off notoriously creative floats in – unofficially – the world’s craziest parade, which honors the Norse god of snow. More than 12,000 fill the streets to see floats showcasing ski jumps, hot tubs and ski waxing stations. A town bonfire follows.
The Ullr Fest tradition started in 1963, when locals wanted to thank Ullr for Breckenridge’s average of 300 inches of snow. The first few years of “Ullr Dag” (Ullr Day in Norwegian), townsfolk honored Ullr with gold coins, parties and skiing. Some Ullr traditions grew into signature town events, including snow sculpting. What began during the early days of Ullr is today the International Snow Sculpture Championships.
Visit www.gobreck.com/ for more information about Breckenridge.
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 .

Thursday, December 8, 2011

New York’s New Year’s Eve Celebration

On December 31, approximately 1 million revelers, celebrating the start of the new year, will fill New York City's Times Square to enjoy performances by Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber and to watch the famous New Year's Eve Ball descend from One Times Square. 

In the days and hours before the Ball drops, events and activities related to the New Year's celebration will be held across New York City.

Located at the Times Square Visitor Center, the New Year's Eve Wishing Wall is quickly filling with visitors' wishes for 2012. Everyone is welcome to stop by and record their wishes on pieces of paper. Individuals can also submit their wishes online at timessquarenyc.org/index.aspx . All of the wishes from the wall and those submitted online will be collected and added to the confetti that flutters down onto the streets of Times Square at midnight on New Year's Eve.
  
From 1 to 3pm on December 31, join Patrick and Family at Staten Island Children's Museum for a Rocking New Year's Eve daytime celebration for the whole family, with music, dancing, party hats, make your own maracas, snacks and a special countdown. 

On New Year's Eve, New York Road Runners hosts the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run, a 4-mile race in Central Park. Before the race starts at midnight, enjoy a laser light show and fireworks, dancing and a costume parade at the Central Park Bandshell. 

New Year's Eve celebrations in Brooklyn kick off around 11pm with entertainment and hot refreshments at Grand Army Plaza and fireworks from midnight to 12:15am at the Long Meadow. 

For more information about New Year's Eve events happening in New York City, visit www.nycgo.com/holidays  .
For more information about top events in New York take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in New York.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Stage Set for Mardi Gras and Bassmaster

With Mardi Gras season fast approaching, preparations are being made for countless parades, parties, balls, festivals, and neighborhood celebrations in Shreveport-Bossier: Louisiana's Other Side
Carnival festivities begin with the 12th Night Celebration Saturday, January 7, and continue until the midnight Texas Street Bridge Closing Ceremony on Fat Tuesday, February 21. 
Shreveport-Bossier's major parade weekends will feature the Krewe of Centaur which will roll on Febuary 11, and the Krewe of Gemini which will roll on Febuary 18. These two parades typically draw some 400,000 people to experience the fun and pageantry of Mardi Gras. Both parades commence at 4pm starting at East King's Highway Park in the Broadmoor neighborhood and ending on Clyde Fant Parkway in downtown Shreveport.

One aspect of Shreveport-Bossier's Mardi Gras season which sets it apart from many is the variety of parades and celebrations held annually.
On the weekend following one of Shreveport-Bossier's major Mardi Gras parades, the Bassmaster Classic returns to the Red River in Shreveport-Bossier, February 24 to 26. This event, billed as "the Super Bowl of bass fishing," will be one of the largest sporting events ever held in the region. 
The Bassmaster Classic is the ultimate competition in professional bass fishing. This spectacular three-day event - complete with a theatrical presentation of the weigh-ins and hours of television coverage - delights fans of all ages. The 2012 Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo, featuring more than 150 vendors, will be held at the Shreveport Convention Center.
For a directory of local resources, including maps to key Bassmaster Classic locations and more, visit www.bassmasterclassic2012.com .   

For more information about Mardi Gras in Shreveport-Bossier: Louisiana's Other Side, visit www.shreveport-bossier.org.
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

Monday, December 5, 2011

Escape to a Merrymaking Jubilee in Hill County

The whimsical town of Hillsboro, Texas, invites visitors and residents of all ages to partake in a fun-filled weekend at the Holiday on the Square, December 9 to 10. Hot chocolate, parade floats and lights galore are some of the things guests will catch sight of upon arriving at this jolly holiday spectacular.

Merrymakers will line the streets for the Hill County Christmas Parade. This year’s theme is A Modern Christmas and will be the largest parade to date.  
Following the parade, Santa Claus will be available for Christmas list wishes and free photos in front of the Chamber of Commerce, located at 115 North Covington Street. Out-of-towners and residents alike can enjoy the sites and sounds of the elementary-aged children’s choir, Rhythm Rascals and the Hillsboro band and cheerleaders, while getting their fill of free popcorn and hot chocolate. Arts and crafts vendors will be on-site, along with bounce houses and other fun and games for the entire family.
   
A special event will also take place during the holiday weekend in Hillsboro. The Texas Old Time Fiddlers will be performing Christmas favorites at the Burson Art Gallery on 207 East Elm Street, Friday at 7:30pm. The pickin’ will continue Saturday from 1 – 6 p.m. at the Hill College in the Vera Martin Daniel Performing Arts Center Auditorium.

Hillsboro is located in North Central Texas and is the county seat of Hill County. A town just off Interstate 35, Hillsboro is the primary center for trade and commerce in Hill County and is the midway point between the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Waco. Hillsboro is home to the popular Outlets at Hillsboro as well as many antique stores, museums, restaurants, and historic bed and breakfasts that unite the city’s small town atmosphere with modern convenience. Also serving as the gateway to Lake Whitney, Hillsboro offers both visitors and residents “everything within reach”.
For more information on Hillsboro visit www.hillsborochamber.org
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.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Warm Holiday Traditions on Oregon Coast

You may think of yourself as a Dancer, a Prancer, a Comet or even a bit of a Cupid, but the Oregon Coast has the holiday lights, the sights, the festivities, the special deals and, yes, the glorious weather to dash away all your winter doldrums.
Enjoy the annual Newport Lighted Boat Parade at dusk on December 3 from 5pm to 7pm. Proceeds from this event benefit the Pacific Communities Hospital Foundation and is one of the kick-off events for the Festival of Trees. On shore, you can find great places to view the parade along Newport’s Historic Bayfront and throughout South Beach. 
Earlier on December 3 (from 10am to 4pm), at the north end of Newport, the Bureau of Land Management’s Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area will host a Victorian Holiday Celebration. Relive the 19th century holiday traditions that were celebrated by the families of Yaquina Head lighthouse keepers; games, music, ornament making, historical crafts, tree decorating and refreshments. Admission to the park is free and a 15 percent discount will be given at the Yaquina Head Interpretive Center Store.
The Holiday Bazaar in Reedsport celebrates 50 Years of Homespun Fun on December 2 and 3. Quality gifts, homemade treats, handcrafted folk art, clothing, jewelry and more will fill the tables just as they have for 50 years. Located at the Reedsport Community Bldg. 495 Fir Ave.
The Christmas in Waldport and the annual Bridge Walk there begins with Santa arriving by fire truck at 5pm on December 10 at the Waldport Visitors’ Center/Alsea Bay Bridge Interpretative Center, milepost 156 on the central Oregon coast. Festivities include a “decorated Christmas dog contest”; hot dogs, chips, cookies & hot chocolate; Coast Wind Ensemble and the annual “Bridge Walk” from about 6:30 to7:00pm.
For more details on The People’s Coast and its events click on visittheoregoncoast.com
For more information about top events in Oregon take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Oregon

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Greater Fort Lauderdale Lights up Holiday Season

One of the most magical times of the year is the holidays, and Greater Fort Lauderdale offers up seasonal festivities with a decidedly unique flare befitting its American Riviera reputation and image. 
 Starting with the “Rockin’ Boats and Holiday Floats” theme of the annual Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade which celebrates its 40th Anniversary on December 10, the Parade will feature a light show extravaganza with hundreds of brightly lit boats and yachts as they cruise from the downtown New River and 10 miles up the Intracoastal Waterway. 
Light Up Lauderdale showcases the Riverwalk and Arts & Entertainment District, featuring the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, Broward Center for the Performing Arts, historic Stranahan House and New River promenade, with thousands of lighted displays and festive décor. Light Up Lauderdale will run through January 14, 2012. 

For those who like their holiday celebrations with a chance to shop, dine and stroll, Las Olas Boulevard is the place to be. LOB’s fashionable boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, sidewalk cafes and trendy lounges will be decked out in holiday décor with the tree-lined thoroughfare featuring an ice staking rink, open through January 1, and Snow Mountain, an interactive children’s attraction and the only mountain of snow in South Florida.
  
Other Greater Fort Lauderdale holiday happenings include:
  • The Hollywood Beach Candy Cane Parade on December 3 at the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk. 
  • The Pompano Beach Boat Paradeon on December 11 along the Intracoastal Waterway in Pompano Beach
  • Sounds of the Season: A Holiday Extravaganza is a classical holiday concert at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on December 12.
  • Those visitors wishing to bring in the holidays with a spiritually staged event, First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale hosts the iconic annual Fort Lauderdale Christmas Pageant through to December 18.  
For more information on the above events and a complete list of holiday events in Greater Fort Lauderdale, please visit www.sunny.org.
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, November 28, 2011

Christmas Past Comes to Life in St. Charles

The streets of historic St. Charles, Missouri, are alive with excitement through to December 24 as cries of "Merry Christmas," "Good Yule," & "Humbug" fill the air. Carolers stroll the streets, the smell of roasting chestnuts fill the air and jingle bells can be heard. Christmas characters and Santas have come from around the world to celebrate the season.
The Christmas Traditions Festival has entertainment for the young and young at heart with a variety of festivities. Don’t  miss out on some of the fun events like Santa’s North Pole Dash (5K Run or 1 Mile Fun Walk) on December 10. Join other kids as they run here, there and all around the square saying “Catch me if you can!”  during the Snowman Shuffle (Kids Run in Frontier Park) on the same day.
Santa has taken time out of his busy schedule so you can have your picture taken with him. Don’t miss breakfast with Santa where you can enjoy an up-close-and-personal visit at the beautiful Mother-In-Law House Restaurant.
And when Santa has to leave on Christmas Eve, join St. Charles for the Santa Send-Off at 1:30pm to bid Santa goodbye during this last parade of the season and wish him the best as he heads back to the North Pole.
If you’re looking to experience the spirit of an old-fashioned ‘Norman Rockwell-feeling' Christmas, you'll find it in historic Augusta, Missouri during the Candlelight Christmas Walk from December 2 to 9 from 5pm to 10pm.
Learn more about Christmas Traditions and plan your visit by browsing the entire 2011 Festival Guide now. 
To learn more about St. Charles, visit the Greater Saint Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau homepage or City of St. Charles official website.
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

Friday, November 25, 2011

Branson: Ozark Mountain Christmas

Just like the ending of a fantastic live music show, this nationally acclaimed Missouri holiday destination, with its broad and unexpected mix of world-class entertainment, lakes area recreation and Christmas spirit, creates a grand finale for the year. 
Ozark Mountain Christmas will bring your family together for holiday entertainment, great shopping and elaborate decorative light displays. This seasonal festival features the Branson Area Festival of Lights (through January 1) which illuminates the night sky with millions of twinkling lights and Christmas shows at dozens of theatres. 
Christmas on the Trail show and Trail of Lights at Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead are also Christmas traditions in Branson. 
Silver Dollar City, the award-winning 1880's theme park, has their Old Time Christmas finery all aglow on nearly every tree and building. And With a 5-story special effects Christmas tree, The Living Nativity, the grand production show of A Dickens' Christmas Carol and legendary holiday dining options throughout the park, you will make new Christmas memories. 
Sight & Sound Theatres’ production of The Miracle of Christmas will warm the hearts and bless the souls of everyone that sees it. You won’t want to miss the Adoration Parade held the first Sunday in December. This festive nighttime parade through Historic Downtown Branson and Adoration Scene lighting ceremony celebrates the birth of Christ and features floats, marching bands, and thousands of Christmas lights. 
Branson is a holiday shopper’s paradise with Branson Landing, Historic Downtown Branson and three major outlet malls featuring more than 300 name-brand shops. Hundreds of boutique, arts, crafts and specialty stores throughout the town offer one-of-a-kind handmade heirloom-quality gift items. 
Visit www.explorebranson.com for information about Branson and the Lakes area.
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

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It’s Time to Visit Tavares

Tavares, America's Seaplane City, splashes down with its Christmas celebrations on December 3 with its City Christmas Light-up and parade.
This year's theme is Twas the Flight Before Christmas. The parade starts down Main Street at 5:30pm. Activities at nearby Wooton Park will follow and include Santa arriving by seaplane (of course!), falling snow, ice skating, horse drawn wagon rides, S'mores Pit, photo booth, face painting, a bounce house, Kids DJ, Library Book Giveaway, rock climbing wall, great food and more food, as well as a variety of seasonal entertainment. 
Some 7,000 take-offs and landings from the Tavares Seaplane Base & Marina in its first year of operation and 16 major community events at Wooton Park each year brings in thousands of visitors to Tavares. Soon waterfront entertainment offerings will be expanded to include an event pavilion and pier, which is expected to be under construction by mid-2012. The Tavares Pavilion on the Lake will host community events, business conferences, weddings and formal events.
Tavares will host the season-opening stop for the BASS Bassmaster Open Southern Division from January 19 to 21 at Wooton Park, Lake Dora. It will be the Bassmaster Open's only stop in Florida. Weigh-ins are open to the public, with a variety of food and vendors throughout the park. 
The annual African-American Heritage Parade & Festival on February 4
begins at 10am with a parade down Main Street. Festivities continue at Wooton Park on the waterfront with ethnic foods, history and cultural learning, arts & crafts, rides for kids.


And every Saturday night venture into the haunted, historical world of Tavares with the Floating Ghosts Séance Tour of Downtown Tavares for a hair-raising tour into the haunted past of this historic city. 
Tavares is the hub of Lake County, Florida. A major source for news of events in the region is Time for Tavares 

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Discover Cool Sounds and Fairs at Claremont

While the fall brings Santa Ana winds to Southern California, it also brings students back to the seven world-class colleges in Claremont and a renewed opportunity for visitors and tourists to catch live local music and fairs.

The birthplace of Grammy-winner Ben Harper, Claremont is home to a wide variety of musical performances, ranging from classical at the Pomona College Department of Music, to student choral and orchestra performances. Local pubs and clubs feature Los Angeles County and Inland Empire area bands performing seven nights a week.
The famous Folk Music Center and Museum in Claremont Village is owned by Ben Harper’s family and includes a collection of rare and antique musical instruments and artifacts from around the world. 
On December 4 visitors will receive free admission to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden where they can visit with Santa and make crafts with the kids, and enjoy holiday gift sales, festive live music and prize drawings.
Among the Fall events to look forward to next year is the Village Venture Arts & Crafts Faire which in October fills The Claremont Village with over 450 arts & crafts booths including photography, pottery, jewelry, clothing, and garden knick-knacks – just in time to kick off the holiday shopping season.
  
In early November there is Marley’s Ghost concert at the Folk Music Center. Since forming in the mid-’80s, Marley's Ghost has built a singular reputation among discerning roots-music lovers for its instrumental virtuosity, ultra-tight four-part harmonies and animated live performances.  They blend English folk, Jamaican reggae, Gospel, Country and R&B.


Visitors can find more information about Claremont and local activities at www.DiscoverClaremont.com, www.claremontchamber.org and www.claremontcalendar.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

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Dickens of a Christmas in Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe, in Carbon County, Pennsylvania is celebrated for its picturesque scenery, its mountainous location, its architecture and as the Gateway to the Poconos.
It is also hugely popular at this traditional time for its Olde Time Christmas Celebration when its streets bustle with the sounds and joy of a Christmas of yesteryear, straight out of a Dickens novel. 
Jim Thorpe’s Olde Time Christmas Celebration is spread out over three weekends. Be part of the holiday festivities starting December 2-4th, December 10-11th, and December 17th-18th.
Street carolers sing in chorus while horse-drawn carriages transport riders through Jim Thorpe’s beautifully adorned Victorian streets. Decorated store fronts invite visitors inside to discover unique items and ideal gifts for their loved ones. 
Rub shoulders with Dickens characters. If you bring family and friends dressed in Victorian hats or capes, you could be rewarded for dressing in character with a Scrooge dollar given out by Jim Thorpe’s strolling Ambassadors of Christmas (put Scrooge behind you and spend those Scrooge Dollars which is legal tender in Jim Thorpe during Olde Time Christmas).
There are train rides with Santa, live Nativity plays, historic district ghost walks, a Gingerbread House Contest, expanded shopping hours, and seasonal dinner specials at Jim Thorpe’s many restaurants. Grab a mug designed by a local artist and take around to participating merchants for gifts and treats.
In addition, ticketed entertainment takes place each Saturday night of Olde Time Christmas at the Mauch Chunk Opera House, one of the finest downtown music venues in Pennsylvania. This year the timeless Dickens story has a new adaptation – A Coal Country Christmas Carol with all the elements of the original Scrooge, Marley and Tiny Tim placed inCoal Country. 
It’s easy to get to Jim Thorpe. It’s only an hour-and-a-quarter from Philadelphia, two hours from New York City and 35 minutes from the Lehigh Valley. For more information on Jim Thorpe visit www.jimthorpe.org
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

Friday, November 18, 2011

Arrgh! Pirates to Plunder Key West

The historic seafaring town of Key West is to become a pirate stronghold Thursday, November 24 through Sunday, December 4, when “brethren of the coast” and winsome wenches invade the island for the 12th annual Pirates in Paradise Maritime Heritage & Music Festival.

Featuring more than 100 costumed pirate re-enactors, Pirates in Paradise offers a packed roster of revelry for children and adults intrigued by the Florida Keys’ seafaring history and culture. 
The festival includes nautical excursions and pirate sails, the staged re-creation of an actual pirate trial, parties and buccaneer balls with dancing under the stars, walking tours of Old Town Key West led by re-enactors and historians, a lively pirate village and marketplace, swashbuckling film presentations and much more. 
Highlights include the annual National Walk the Plank Championships, set for noon Saturday, December 3. Entrants in this typically hilarious competition are to plunge into the deep from Key West’s “pirate vessel” Schooner Wolf, moored at the Truman Waterfront. Plank-walkers are judged on their costumed attire, overall style, pleas for mercy and splash. 
Seafarers and wannabes can experience tall ship sails and sea battles on the Schooner Wolf, scheduled to weigh anchor at 1:30 and 4:30pm daily. Call 305-296-9694 for reservations.
Festival attendees eager to mingle with costumed pirates and damsels are invited to “invade” the Pirate Village Marketplace, Art Fair & Holiday Bazaar, open daily at Key West’s Truman Waterfront Commons. Attractions include the Pirate Pub & VIP Hospitality Tent with nonstop entertainment, craft beer tastings, period arts and crafts, storytelling competitions, a carnival, daily sea chantey songfests, strolling minstrels and more. 
Adventurous attendees also can enjoy Literature & the Sea sessions with author/historian Robert N. Macomber and other writers, an exuberant re-enactment of the trial of real-life female pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read, and a rich cargo of other events. 
For Key West visitor information visit www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY 
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, November 17, 2011

New England's Favorite Christmas Town

To get into the proper holiday spirit early, the place to be the first weekend in December is the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. Festivals galore start the season right in this region that is always as pretty as a Christmas card, and there are numerous opportunities to check off your holiday shopping list in scenic settings. The only dilemma is where to go first.
One good place to start is Connecticut's own little town of Bethlehem, a quaint village that is transformed each December, when it becomes New England's favorite Christmas Town. 
Thousands of visitors arrive to mail their Christmas cards with a Bethlehem postmark and to enjoy the 30th annual gala Christmas Town Festival, set this year for Friday night December 2 and Saturday, December 3.  The town green is transformed for the occasion with some 70 vendors offering crafts and good food. Bring the family for musical entertainment, hayrides and the chance for a photo with Santa. 
Bethlehem's historic Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden will be festively decorated for the weekend, with themed decorations in each of the first floor rooms. Children will enjoy games, prizes and surprises and refreshments in the Visitor's Center. This house will be open during festival hours, December 2 from 5pm. to 9pm and December 3 from 10am to 4pm. For details, phone (203) 266-7596.
Bethlehem also offers the chance to visit a rare museum-quality 18th century Neapolitan Crèche housed in a barn at the Abbey of Regina Laudis. 
For more information about other December events in the Litchfield Hills visit www.visitwesternct.com
For more information about top events in Connecticut take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Connecticut

Oshkosh Celebrates 10 Years of Magical Lights

The Oshkosh Celebration of Lights has been bringing joy, beauty and wonder throughout the holiday season to thousands of visitors to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, since 2001.  
Set up in Menominee Park on Lake Winnebago, the one-mile, magical journey through more than a half-million lights is a great event for the entire family. Experience the awe of the 100-foot Christmas tree, sculptured scenes, animated lighted displays and more!  Drive your car, walk or take a horse-drawn carriage ride as you relax and enjoy the spirit of the season.  
In addition to the twinkling displays, kids are encouraged to visit Santa’s Workshop and the Elves Hideout for pictures with Santa and several children’s holiday activities and projects.  While you are there, don’t miss out on the live reindeer and Santa’s Gift Shop.  
Celebrating “10 Years of Holiday Magic”, Oshkosh Celebration of Lights kicks off  on November 23, the night before Thanksgiving, and runs nightly from 5 to 9pm through January 1. 
Several special events throughout the span of Celebration of Lights make the event even more appealing.  ‘Patriot Night’ on December 7 will commemorate the 70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor and will honor all service men and women, past and present, allowing their cars free admission on this night. 
A new patriotic display will also be featured. On December 10 and 31, enjoy ‘Nights of the Torches,’ presenting hundreds of torches and Roman candles against a winter’s night sky and dazzling with the thousands of lights.  
A non-profit fundraising event, Oshkosh Celebration of Lights benefits several organizations throughout the Oshkosh area including numerous local food pantries, Toys 4 Tots, the Oshkosh Area Humane Society and more.  Non-perishable food donations are encouraged every night and get you $2 off the admission price.  
To find out more information and for a schedule of special event nights, visit www.OshkoshCelebrationOfLights.org  
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.