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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Top 20 ranking for Wilmington, North Carolina Events

Two annual events held in Wilmington, North Carolina have been selected as Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events for the months of January through March, 2012.  

This year’s 32nd Annual North Carolina Jazz Festival (February 2 to 4) kicks off on Thursday night with a concert featuring a “Styles of Jazz” performance. The festival features 15 world-renowned musicians. Cabaret-style seating and all-star musicians distinguish this event as one of the largest traditional jazz festivals in the Southeast. Thursday, Friday and Saturday night concerts take place at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside (301 N. Water Street, Wilmington). On Saturday morning patrons will enjoy an all-star jazz brunch. Special hotel rates are available to festival attendees. 

The 4th Annual Cape Fear Wildlife Expo (March 16 to 18) is a family event that features wildlife art and decoy displays; book signings by regional outdoor writers; hunting and fishing products; boats and accessories; truck and ATV displays; fly-fishing and decoy-carving demonstrations; conservation exhibits; outdoor sports guides and outfitters. 


The expo’s mission is to encourage youth to enjoy the great outdoors through hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports and to heighten public awareness of the region’s natural resources and to encourage conservation of these natural resources. Kids will enjoy interactive activities such as Sensory Safari, Aquatic Trailer, Mallard Madness Laser Shoot, Muzzy 200 Club Monster Buck display, and Kids Gone Wild academic workshops. Admission charge: Adult $10, Seniors (65 and over) $7, Children 10 years and under are free.  

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

Monday, January 30, 2012

Grand County Colorado Celebrates Carnival Centenary

The Grand Winter Sports Carnival, the largest and longest winter carnival in the Rockies, ends on February 11 with a bang.
The festival marks the 100th anniversary of the first winter carnival west of the Mississippi. The six-week celebration highlights historic and modern winter sports. 
Presented by the Grand County Historical Association, the festival celebrates the prominent role of Grand County in the heritage of Colorado skiing. The final Winter Carnival events take place throughout Grand County, centering in Hot Sulphur Springs and Sol Vista Basin on February 11.
The Grand Nordic Club and Headwaters Trails Alliance will host an 8-mile Mailbag Trek Coulter to Hot Sulphur Springs over Cottonwood Pass from 9am to 1pm. It’s available for all ages and abilities. Men must carry a 15 pound pack and women a 10 pound pack. Prizes will be given for best costumes. Individuals finishing before 1pm can participant in the (Horace) Button Parade – a celebration of Ski Hall of Fame inductee Horace Button.
Free admission to the Pioneer Village Museum in Hot Sulphur Springs on February 11 includes the special winter carnival exhibit.   
Other events in Hot Sulphur Springs include a snowshoe softball tournament, a 3-Legged Ski Race, and a snow sculpture contest.
The Grand Snow Ball at Sol Vista Base Camp Lodge at Granby Ranch finishes the six-week event in style.
Located 67 miles west of Denver, Grand County is home to wide-open spaces, breathtaking mountain scenery and authentic old-west towns. Outdoor recreational activities include golf, boating, fishing, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting and horseback riding.
Visit Grand Winter Sports Carnival for details on all events.
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, January 26, 2012

Corinth, Mississippi Commemorates Battle of Shiloh

150 years ago, more than 200 generals and 300,000 soldiers gathered in the Corinth area during the Civil War. Centered around the critical railroad junction in Corinth, the two-day Battle of Shiloh focused on the small southern town; the Siege of Corinth would mark the Union's move to capture the city; and later the Battle of Corinth strengthened the Union Army's hold on Mississippi. 
The Civil War Sesquicentennial commemorates the 150th anniversary of the War in March by sanctioning events, encouraging research and education programs related to Civil War Mississippi, and preserving the sites that witnessed the Civil War in Corinth. 
On March 28 and 29, you can follow the March to Shiloh at the Civil War Interpretive Center and watch as a group of re-enactors follow the footsteps of history. Admission is free and the camp is open to the public 6-8pm, Wednesday, March 28. Then, 7-7:45am, Thursday, March 29, with a donation to the Crossroads Museum, have breakfast with the troops before they embark on the march. The meal will be representative of what soldiers had to eat back in 1862. At 8am on Thursday, March 29, witness the pageantry of the Confederate soldiers beginning their trek toward the Battle of Shiloh. 
On March 30 and April 1 commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh near the actual National Park Service Military Park just a few miles across the Mississippi/Tennessee state line. 
For more information visit the Corinth and Sesquicentennial events website or check out other events in the Corinth Area
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, January 25, 2012

Grand Rapids, Michigan LaughFest

Gilda’s LaughFest is fast becoming one of the nation's "must attend" festivals. This major 10-day Mid-West Festival, centrally located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, celebrates laughter for the health of it from March 8 to 18.  
Now in its second year, LaughFest features national touring artists and acts. The festival celebrates laughter for the health of it through stand-up, improv, speakers, film, dance, theatre, pets and variety of other seriously funny stuff.   
The 2012 LaughFest will include the Greater West Michigan region, with the hub of the festival centered in over 40 venues in downtown Grand Rapids and additional events in the Lowell and Lakeshore communities.   
They're serious about their "funny" in Michigan. LaughFest brings together a diverse audience of children and adults once a year to honor laughter as an essential part of emotional health and wellbeing.  And what better time for a laughter festival than when it's cold and icy and distinctly un-funny outside!
Laughfest is more than just a barrel of laughs.  It also provides a way to raise awareness and funds for a very important cause - supporting families on a cancer or grief journey in finding their smile and laughter in the midst of these life changing incidents.
All proceeds of LaughFest support the cancer, grief and support programs offered through Gilda's Club Grand Rapids and 100% of those funds remain local. It is named for Gilda Radner, original cast member of Saturday Night Live. Gilda died of ovarian cancer in 1989. 
While affiliated with the Gilda's Club network nationally, Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids is a local, independent non-profit. Its two clubhouses (one located in the city of Grand Rapids and the second in the nearby community of Lowell) are the busiest in North America.
Visit Experience Grand Rapids for more details.
For more information about top events in Michigan take a look at 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fort Walton Beach Celebrates Mardi Gras

A little bit of New Orleans is coming to Fort Walton Beach at its very own Mardi Gras 2012 celebrations on Saturday, February 11.  The theme this year is “Carnival”.   
“Mardi Gras on the Island” is an afternoon of family-friendly activities, starting with the Mardi Gras Parade on Okaloosa Island at 11am.
Mardi Gras on the Island has been chosen as a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society. There will be beads, treats, and even more beads as the colorful floats make their way down Santa Rosa Blvd. Join the parade! Come and watch – or be a part of the action by entering your own Mardi Gras-themed float.  There is plenty of time to register a float – contact the Chamber at 850-244-8191. 
Stick around after the parade and enjoy a festive Block Party sponsored by Helen Back on Amberjack Drive. There will be games for the kids, vendors with exotic items, and food galore.  It’s a family-friendly way to make a day of it.
“Mardi Gras 2012 – Carnival on the Island” is sponsored by the Emerald Coast Tourism Development Council along with the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce and its annual sponsors, the City of Fort Walton Beach, Cox, Cumulus Broadcasting, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, Helen Back, Image Printing and Digital Services, Northwest Florida Daily News, Northwest Florida Regional Airport, Qantum, ResortQuest, and White-Wilson Medical Center. 
Please note:  There will be no shuttle buses provided for the parade route this year. 
For more information, contact Marcia Bunge at the Fort Walton Beach Chamber, at 244-8191. Parade applications are available on-line at www.fwbchamber.com/mardigras 
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

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Muddy Paw Sled Dogs to Summit Mount Washington

As a kickoff awareness event and fundraiser for the new non-profit New Hampshire Sled Dog Rescue, History and Education Center (NHSDRHEC), three Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel teams will attempt to summit Mount Washington via the auto road between March 7 and 9 (the most appropriate date based on weather conditions will be chosen).
Sponsors will be sought for canine athletes and mushers. In an exciting twist, two guest seats will be auctioned for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accompany the teams to the summit. 
A dog team has not attempted to summit Mount Washington since 1932 so this event is not to be missed. NHSDRHEC is dedicated to sled rescue, northern breed education and preservation of New Hampshire dogsledding history. 
Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel focuses on rescuing alaskan huskies in need of a home, giving them a "job for life" with the kennel. It offers a variety of dogsled rides in NH ranging from 2 to 50 miles, including dogsledding overnight trips. Guests of all ages and abilities are welcome to meet the Kennel’s rescue and second chance sled dogs, pet them, help to harness/hitch the teams and even help drive.
Located in the heart of the White Mountains in Jefferson, New Hampshire, Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel is just minutes by dog team (or car) to Santa's Village, 2 hours from Burlington, VT, and 45 minutes from North Conway, NH. 
For more information visit Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel or email info@dogslednh.com or phone 1-603-545-4533.
For more information about top events in New Hampshire take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in New Hampshire 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Kirkland, Washington comes “uncorked”

The City of Kirkland uncorks its signature summer festival, Kirkland Uncorked, from July 20 to 22 in Marina Park on the shores of Lake Washington. The event celebrates the best of Washington’s art, food and wine with activities and exhibits throughout Kirkland’s picturesque waterfront and downtown.
The Tasting Garden (21+ with valid ID, admission required) offers guests the opportunity to taste from more than 80 Washington wines, sample regional cuisine from Kirkland-area restaurants and be entertained by the Northwest’s favorite bands on the main stage. 
Grilling demonstrations and the anticipated annual grill-off with Washington’s top chefs take place on the beach throughout the weekend. Winemakers will be on hand to answer questions and provide tasting tips to guide guests through the collection of regional wines.
Kirkland Uncorked guests can also wander the Promenade, free and open to all ages, to shop Artist Lane, curated by the Kirkland Arts Center and featuring art from local and regional artists in a variety of mediums. 
The Arts for All Experience invites attendees to participate in art activities from clay throwing to sketching the landscape. Also in the Kirkland Uncorked Promenade are the Boat Show and CityDog Magazine’s Cover Dog Model Contest on Sunday at noon.
Kirkland Uncorked is a benefit for the Hope Heart Institute. For over 50 years, the Hope Heart Institute has made heart disease more treatable, beatable and preventable. A portion of all admission fees collected in the Tasting Garden will directly fund local research and education to fight heart disease.
To learn more about Kirkland Uncorked and plan your stay in Kirkland visit www.kirklanduncorked.com. Advance tickets for the Tasting Garden are $25 ($30 at the door) and go on sale June 4.
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

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Spring Blossoms in San Diego

Springtime in San Diego makes a colorful entrance every year as warm weather sweeps through the county and brilliant flowers bloom. There are also spring celebrations at the region's major attractions, popular sporting events, cultural festivals and St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo festivities to keep visitors entertained throughout the season.
At the Flower Fields of Carlsbad, California, a vibrant sea of giant ranunculus flowers transforms 50 acres of hills into rows of brilliant color. During March through May, guests can stroll past oceans of flowers and through beautiful gardens.
Lads and lassies celebrate all things Irish at the Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival, held March 17 at the corner of 6th Avenue and Juniper Street near Balboa Park. The day includes a 10:30am parade, an all-day Irish festival featuring food, beer gardens, musical entertainment and more. From noon to midnight on March 17, venture to downtown San Diego's historic Gaslamp Quarter for ShamROCK 2012. This St. Patrick's Day party includes Irish rock bands, pints of green beer and 30,000 square feet of Astroturf representing the green hills of Ireland; guests must be 21 years or older to attend the ticketed event.
Art takes over the streets of downtown San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood during the Mission Federal ArtWalk, April 28-29. The free event showcases fine art in many media alongside live musical performances, food and beverage booths and activities for kids and families. 
On May 5-6, the 29th Annual Old Town Fiesta Cinco de Mayo is held in Old Town State Historic Park along the area's main thoroughfare, San Diego Avenue. The free festival features Mexican dancers, musicians, food and historical reenactments. 
For more information on San Diego's offerings visit the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau's Web site at www.sandiego.org or call 619-236-1212. 
For more information about top events in California take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in California

Monday, January 16, 2012

Beloit International Film Festival BIFF

Beloit and surrounding communities will celebrate “The Power of Film” from February 16 to 19 when the Beloit International Film Festival marks its seventh season.The four-day festival will include 140 films shown in 15 venues in Beloit and reaching out to Janesville and, for the first time, Rockford.

“This year, BIFF will screen a new level of quality of films. The venues we have selected for this festival will highlight the community and present the filmmakers stories in ways that BIFF audiences have not experienced before,” notes founding Executive Director Roddie Beaudoin. “We will also be presenting several unique film programs this year that will draw international attention.”
  
An exciting addition to the 2012 festival will be the expansion into two venues in Rockford, at the Sullivan Theatre and Francesco’s Ristorante, and two venues in Janesville, at The Speakeasy and the Janesville Woman’s Club. There will be limited showings at these venues on Friday and Saturday, February 17 and 18. 

BIFF will emphasize its international dimension with the premier presentation of “BIFF Latino,” a full day celebration of Spanish culture including film, food and music at La Casa Grande on Saturday, February 18. Films, filmmakers, and musicians will come from throughout Latin America.  
  
Many of the favorite features of BIFF will be back such as the Blackhawk Bank Launch & Laurels Event that initiates the festival on Thursday evening when the coveted BIFFY Awards are presented. BIFF’s signature event, the M&I Bank and M&I Wealth Management Silent Film Showcase featuring Robert Tomaro and the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra, will fill up the Eclipse Center on Saturday night with Harold Lloyd’s “Kid Brother.”

The full schedule of events and films will be presented in a series of “Sneak Peeks,” January 17 to 19 in Beloit, Rockford and Janesville, and tickets for BIFF films will go on sale January 20 on www.beloitfilmfest.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

Friday, January 13, 2012

Arizona Gold Rush Days & Rodeo  

The 64th annual Gold Rush Days & Rodeo celebrates Wickenburg's ranching and mining heritage with three action-filled days from February 17 to 19.
Recognized as a “special event” by the Arizona Centennial Commission, Wickenburg’s signature heritage event brings thousands of people to the event each year.  
Festivities begin with a shoot-out on Frontier Street that kicks off a wild rootin’-tootin’ western weekend. Spectators line the streets on Saturday as one of the largest parades in Arizona passes by. Cowboys from all over the country gather on Saturday and Sunday afternoon to participate in the NSPRA rodeo. 
Other activities sponsored by the Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce and  pard’ners include a three-day arts/crafts faire, a family fun carnival, western barbeque, gold panning, food booths, free stage entertainment, western dance, old fashioned melodrama nightly and much more. 
On March 25 you can celebrate Arizona's colorful mining history at the fabled Vulture Gold Mine discovered by Henry Wickenburg in 1863. Learn about early day mining, experience 1800’s arts and crafts, see “characters” from the mine’s heydays, and enjoy live entertainment on the 1881 schoolhouse grounds adjacent to the mine at the Vulture Mine Living History Day from 9am to 4pm. 
One of the official Arizona Centennial/ events, the 100 Years, 100 Ranchers exhibit, will be on show at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum, Wickenburg from May 17 through October 7. The exhibit portraits are of Arizona ranchers whose families have been ranching in the state since 1912 or earlier. 
An annual event for over 60 years,  the Gold Rush Days & Rodeo always takes place the second full weekend in February. On sale now are rodeo, dance, and discount carnival tickets. For more information visit Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce/ or call (928) 684-5479
For more information about top events in Arizona take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Arizona

Thursday, January 12, 2012

2012 BP World Ice Art Championships

Fairbanks, Alaska is home to the BP World Ice Art Championships, one of the largest ice sculpting competitions and exhibitions on earth. Held every year since 1988, the BP World Ice Art Championships has grown to a month-long event featuring more than 70 teams from around the world. 
This year the 2012 BP World Ice Art Championships, presented by Ice Alaska, will be open daily 10am-10pm from February 28 through March 25.
Some 45,000 visitors come to the Ice Park to see these intricately carved masterpieces. The theme for the 23rd Annual BP World Ice Art Championships is “Dreams Come True” and promises to deliver over one- hundred, larger-than-life sized sculptures.
This year, the event is moving to its new home at the George Horner Ice Art Park. The new 27-acre park is centrally located and contains a large on-site pond which will produce over four million pounds of "Arctic Diamond" ice—exceptionally clear, thick ice used by the sculptors. 
Near the pond there is a large designated Kid’s Park which features a whimsical set of slides and sculptures. In addition, there are ice mazes, a skating rink, an “ice stage” for various performances and a concession area. 
Ice carving competitions include the Single Block Classic, the Multi-Block Classic, the Amateur Open Exhibition for novices to try out their skills, and the Youth Classic for high school students.
For details visit BP World Ice Art Championship
For more information about top events in Alaska take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Alaska. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Richmond’s Rich African-American Heritage

The African-American story in the Richmond Region is one of struggle, strength, courage and determination. From the slave markets in Shockoe Bottom to the battlefields of the Civil War, and from arts and entrepreneurship in the Jackson Ward neighborhood to Civil Rights protests downtown, African-Americans have made their mark in all corners of the Richmond Region. 
Visitors are invited to learn about the African-American experience in Central Virginia at a number of special Black History Month events, exhibits and tours throughout February.
For an authentic experience like no other, visitors can take part in a guided tour of the Richmond Slave Trail that chronicles Richmond’s role in the slave trade as the largest exporter of enslaved Africans on the East Coast in pre-Civil War America. 
Led by The Elegba Folklore Society, the walk takes participants past significant landmarks such as the Manchester Docks, a major port in the massive downriver slave trade; the site of the former slave markets of Richmond; the Richmond Slavery Reconciliation Statue commemorating the international triangular slave trade; Lumpkin's Jail; the Negro Burial Ground; and the First African Baptist Church, a center of African-American life in pre-Civil War Richmond. New interpretive signage along the trail offers a self-guided option. Call (804) 646-8911 to arrange a guided tour.
From February 6 to 24, Richmond Region’s Henrico County will host an extraordinary quilt exhibit “Each Quilt, A Story” by the Sisters of the Yam African-American Quilters Guild. Guests will enjoy the art and craftsmanship of beautiful quilts and learn about their history and culture with demonstrations and displays at Walkerton Tavern. Call (804) 501-5134 or (804) 261-6898.
The Virginia Historical Society (VHS) is presenting a number of events for Black History Month. Call (804) 358-4901 for details and registration. 
Visit VisitRichmondVA.com/Packages for information about special rates and packages.
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


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Events Mark Civil War Arrival in North Carolina



The 150th anniversary of the year when the Civil War came home to North Carolina in 1862 will be reviewed in a series of programs at historic sites and museums statewide.
The Lights of the Great Armada:  The 147th Anniversary of the Battle of Fort Fisher on January 21 and 22 will focus on the Navy and Marines and the maritime war. (See Fort Fisher on Top Events )
  
Two lectures in Durham focusing on the enslaved are scheduled for February at Historic Stagville on February 12 and at Bennett Place on February 16.

A symposium, Thunder in the East: The Civil War in Eastern North Carolina will be presented by Tryon Palace and the New Bern Historical Society on March 10. It is one of the events in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration (see Civil War 150).  

A Civil War medical program, "War So Terrible," at Bentonville Battlefield in Four Oaks on March 17 and 18, will compare and contrast medical practices of the Civil War to 21st century treatment in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
The exhibit, "Watched by Sound and Sea: Occupied Beaufort, 1862" continues at the N.C. Maritime Musem in Beaufort through September 2012. 
The April 26 to 28 Flags Over Hattersea Symposium will feature historians  and others, speaking at the Hatteras Village Civic Center.  A Civil War Trails marker will be unveiled during the weekend, and the "Flags Over Hatteras" exhibit will continue through July at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum.

Other lectures and programs will occur during the year, and through April 2015.  A traveling photography exhibit "Freedom, Sacrifice, Memory:  The Civil War Sesquicentennial Photography Exhibit" is visiting libraries and museums in the state through May 2013.
  
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

Monday, January 9, 2012

Major Global Events in Chicago

Chicago will enjoy unprecedented global attention this spring when it hosts several major events: the G-8 and NATO summits and the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates – and in September the City of Chicago transforms into a global center for the best of today’s international music when the annual World Music Festival: Chicago 2012 returns.
And here’s just a sampling of other major fairs and festivals in Chicago this year.
One of the most important visual art events in the Midwest, NEXT Art Chicago 2012, provides collectors, curators and art enthusiasts with an opportunity to experience the most compelling art of our day from April 27 to 29. Next Art Chicago 2012 is a merger of Art Chicago, the longest running contemporary art fair in the United States, and NEXT – The Invitational Exhibition of Emerging Art.
From June 21 to 24, the 2012 Chicago Gospel Music Festival takes a cue from the Chicago Jazz Festival by providing free entertainment in several different locations, including Chicago’s Bronzeville, the south side neighborhood where the genre finds many of its roots. 
The free admission Taste of Chicago festival from July 11 to 15
in Grant Park on Chicago’s lakefront will emphasize Chicago’s status as a “foodie” destination and feature classic Chicago favorites as well as offerings from Chicago’s new and emerging culinary scene, entertainment such as cooking demonstrations from noted chefs, and local and national musical acts.
The inaugural EXPO CHICAGO, the International Exposition of Contemporary/Modern Art and Design,  brings art dealers, collectors and curators to the Navy Pier from across the country and the world for a four-day event (September 20 to 23) featuring 100 leading international galleries and a curated blend of contemporary/modern art and design. 
For more information please visit www.ExploreChicago.org.
For more information about top events in Illinois take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Illinois

Friday, January 6, 2012

One of the World’s Top Winter Carnivals

Celebrated as one of the world’s top 10, the 126th Saint Paul Winter Carnival will take place January 26 through February 5. 
As it has done since 1886, the “Coolest Celebration on Earth™” will celebrate all things winter in and around downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota and the Capital City’s surrounding areas, bringing family-friendly events and community pride to Saint Paul and the Twin Cities metro area.
All events are free, open to the public and held in the City of Saint Paul, unless otherwise noted. 
Highlights of this year’s 11-day Saint Paul Winter Carnival include:
on Thursday, January 26 – the Ice Carving Competitions starts at 9am in Rice Park and the Moon Glow Pedestrian Parade will march through downtown Saint Paul beginning at 5:30pm.
on Friday, January 27 – the Snow Sculpture Contest starts at 9am at the State Fairgrounds and at 8pm the Royal Coronation program takes place at RiverCentre.
on Saturday, January 28 – the King Boreas Grande Day Parade is at 2pm in downtown Saint Paul.
on Saturday, February 4 – the Vulcan Victory Torchlight Parade will make its way through downtown Saint Paul beginning at 5:30pm with the Winter Carnival Fireworks immediately following.
The Winter Carnival in Saint Paul is the fourth best in the world, according to National Geographic Traveler magazine earning the No. 4 spot on its list of the top 10 winter carnivals.
The magazine recalls that the hometown event was “allegedly irked by a reporter’s dismissal of Saint Paul as ‘another Siberia’” and that “more than a century later, locals and visitors still gather at the Winter Carnival to march in torch-lit parades, run half-marathons, and admire detailed ice sculptures”.
Visit the Saint Paul Winter Carnival at www.winter-carnival.com for the most up-to-date information.
For more information about top events in Minnesota take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Minnesota 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Treasure Chest of Fun in Tampa

The 2012 Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest on Saturday, January 28, in Tampa will feature the historic Gasparilla Invasion and Parade of the Pirates presented by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, and the Gasparilla Pirate Fest Street Festival.
The Gasparilla Invasion Brunch at the Tampa Convention Center provides the best view in town of the historic Gasparilla Invasion, as the pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla sail up Seddon Channel aboard the Jose Gasparilla, and dock tableside at 1pm. The Gasparilla Invasion Brunch, includes live entertainment, a buffet brunch with cash bar and reserved table seating for one of the most unique and colorful spectacles found anywhere in the world. 
Following another successful invasion by the pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, the focus shifts to beautiful Bayshore Boulevard, where a victory parade begins at 2pm at Bay to Bay and Bayshore. The 4.5 mile Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates, which has been presented by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla annually since 1904, winds its way along Hillsboro Bay into downtown Tampa, with over 140 units – featuring some 90 floats, marching bands and over 50 participating social organizations (i.e. krewes).
The Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates will travel from Bayshore into downtown Tampa ending in the new Cultural Arts District in downtown Tampa.
Following the Parade, the Gasparilla Pirate Fest continues Tampa’s “piratical” fun with a variety of live entertainment on stages throughout Downtown Tampa. 
For additional information or to purchase Gasparilla Invasion Brunch, Gasparilla Parade tickets and/or officially licensed Gasparilla merchandise, log onto www.GasparillaTreasures.com. Tickets can also be ordered over the phone by calling EventFest’s Gasparilla Ticket Reservation Line at (813) 251-8844. 
The week before, on  Saturday January 21, the 2012 McDonald’s Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza is scheduled from 11am to 7:30pm. The alcohol-free McDonald’s Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza focuses on family friendly activities along Bayshore Boulevard and will feature the Gasparilla Preschooler’s Stroll, the Gasparilla Air Invasion, the Children’s Gasparilla Parade, and the Gasparilla “Pirathecnic Extravaganza.
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, January 4, 2012

Celebrate Winter at Maine Ski Mountain Events

You may have missed out on a blueberry pie eating contest or other summer events in Maine, but you can redeem yourself by experiencing these and other fun activities at Maine ski mountain events.

White White World Week is the annual winter carnival at Sugarloaf Resort in Carrabassett Valley. The "wackiest week in ski country" happens Jan. 23-26 with nightly themed parties at on- and off-mountain restaurants and bars, concerts, spectator-friendly races, and the crowning of the carnival king and queen.
Bring your ugly ski sweater and appetite for blueberry pie to the 24th Annual Family Fest at Shawnee Peak in Bridgton Feb. 23. Happenings include a snow sculpture contest, ski poker run, snow volleyball tournament, activities for children, a blueberry pie eating contest and the ugliest ski sweater contest. All activities are free.

Free-heeled skiing enthusiasts will gather at Saddleback Maine March 10 for the 8th Annual Telemark Invasion. There will be telemark equipment demonstrations, instruction clinics, group ski runs, and an up and down race using ski climbing skins.

The Mars Hill Winterfest takes place March 10-11 at Bigrock Ski Area in Aroostook County. A human slalom race, Kardboard Klassic sled race, big air terrain park contest, youth ski race, torchlight parade and fireworks, and a hot chicken sandwich supper are planned during the weekend.
Meanwhile, a new 14-mile section of the Maine Hut Trail maintained by the Maine Huts & Trails organization is open to cross country skiers and snowshoers. The free trail now stretches a total of 45 miles from Carrabassett Valley to The Forks, with three staffed lodges that have overnight accommodations, meals and hot running water.

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