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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, November 27, 2013

Quirky Winter Festivals in Colorado

The Stagecoach Classic on January 25 kicks off the wild and wacky winter festival season in Winter Park as Colorado’s Favorite Playground hosts events featuring dogs, beaches, Nordic and downhill skiing, a ‘legendary lady’ and much else.

The Stagecoach Classic (Tabernash & Winter Park) on January 25 is a 30km/15km classic cross country ski race and tour. It starts at Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa, traverses through the former Idlewild Ski Area, and finishes with a post-race BBQ and live music at Hideaway Park in downtown Winter Park. This race follows the Idlewild Trail System, which used to link Tabernash, Fraser and Winter Park and offers a rare chance to ski a beautiful “off the map” course.

The Winter Park Carnival – Mary Jane’s Birthday Bash (Winter Park Resort & Winter Park) on January 25 and 26 pays homage to Mary Jane Mountain’s namesake, a well-known madam and local lady of the evening who lived in the area in the late 1800s. The 38th birthday bash kicks off at the Yager House at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, then the party continues in Winter Park. Highlights of the weekend include an ice and snow sculpture contest, a “Mary Jane and The Miner” look-alike contest, a pancake and birthday cake breakfast, free ski clinics, a Mary Jane sticker contest, a night parade in downtown Winter Park, and fireworks.

During the weekend of February 15 and 16 the Winter Park area goes to the dogs (literally!) with the Grand Park Dog Days of Winter (Fraser) and guests are in for a “howling” good time. The International Sled Dog Racing-sanctioned event features a number of different categories of teams.

The 39th annual Wells Fargo Ski Cup (Winter Park Resort) on February 21 to 23 is the longest-running professional ski race in the country, and it’s the only race in the world where disabled skiers compete head-to-head on parallel courses, in the same format used in professional events.

March events include the Beach Bash, Ski Granby Ranch (Granby)on March 22, a fun-filled event for the whole family which features activities, games and beach music, followed by night skiing, and on March 29 the Winter Park Wipe Out, part urban scavenger hunt, part adventure race.

Winter Park-Fraser Chamber is a non-profit Colorado corporation created to help further and maintain responsible growth in the Winter Park-Fraser Valley area, located in the Rocky Mountains just 65 miles west of Denver.

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

Monday, November 25, 2013

Utah Canyonlands National Park 50th Anniversary

The Friends of Arches and Canyonlands Parks and the National Park Service have been working with community officials from Grand and San Juan County, retired park rangers, and Canyonlands Natural History Association to plan the celebration, for the 50 year anniversary of Canyonlands National Park.

In the coming year there will be a series of events including lectures, exhibits and programs culminating with the re-dedication ceremony of the park on Friday September 12, 2014 in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.  More information on upcoming events and programs will be available on the anniversary website at www.canyonlands50.org.

The Friends of Arches and Canyonlands Parks was founded by family members of Bates Wilson, who was instrumental in the establishment of Canyonlands and served as its first superintendent from 1964 until his retirement in 1972.  Bates dedicated countless hours exploring and mapping Canyonlands diverse geology.  His famous camping trips and cowboy cookouts helped persuade the country’s decision makers that Canyonlands was worthy of national park status.  On September 12, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation creating Canyonlands National Park.

For more information on the Friends of Arches and Canyonlands Parks, please go to www.bateswilson.org  For information on Canyonlands National Park, go to http://www.nps.gov/cany/index.htm 

Moab is the #1 adventure resort town in the Four Corners area of Utah. It is the gateway to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, two of Utah's five National Parks, Dead Horse Point State Park, the Colorado River and the beautiful La Sal Mountains. There are more National Parks, State Parks and other major attractions within a 200 mile radius of Moab than any other location in Utah. 

It has a vibrant downtown that will attract your clients that like to shop, browse, eat and enjoy the charm and hospitality of a small resort town. Moab is an "outdoor wonderland" for hikers, bikers, rafters, golfers, four wheelers, hunters and fishers, sightseers, photo buffs, historians, heritage culture seekers and so much more.

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

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Impossible to Hibernate in Santa Barbara, California

The impending winter months don’t mean hibernation is necessary in Santa Barbara, California – if anything, they mean getting out to experience the many events and activities on offer.

With its close proximity to Los Angeles, Santa Barbara serves as an escape for Hollywood types in the film industry. However, the hype of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival from January 30 through February 9 reaches far – to industry professionals, students, celebrities, and fans from all over the world. 

These film fanatics flock to Santa Barbara each winter with one passion in common. Taking place during an ideal time slot between Sundance and the Academy Awards, the 11-day festival utilizes all Santa Barbara cinema has to offer with events and film screenings held in the historic and beautiful theaters up and down State Street. Downtown becomes a mecca for the creative minds of the film industry, drawing in 75,000 eager cinephiles to attend the festival.

Coinciding with the Film Festival each year, Film Feast ensures there will be plenty of good eats for all in between film festival happenings. Local restaurants offer prix fixe menus that are guaranteed to please an array of palates.

Head over to La Cumbre Plaza on December 4 from 5 to 7pm for Santa Paws. Don’t miss the chance to get the whole family in on the fun and dress up the pets to pose with Santa for pet photo night. Santa will set up his Winter Wonderland near Macy’s and Pottery Barn.  

The annual Parade of Lights celebrates the holiday season with a lighted boat parade off the coastline of Santa Barbara. This year’s parade is Sunday, December 8 and the boats will be decorated to the theme “Rock’n Roll’n Holiday.” Festivities begin on Stearns Wharf and end with a fireworks show following the boat parade. 

For travel and accommodation information and to request a free copy of the official Santa Barbara County Visitors Magazine, contact Visit Santa Barbara at 800.676.1266, 805.966.9222, tourism@santabarbaraca.com or visit SantaBarbaraCA.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

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Celebrate Christmas Like it's 1899 in Virginia City, Nevada

Step back in time this holiday season and celebrate Christmas as it was in the 19th century. Historic Virginia City, Nevada hosts its annual Christmas on the Comstock this December, offering a Victorian-style holiday celebration.

Located just 25 miles from Reno, the town boasts hand-crafted boutique holiday shopping at local merchants, the Parade of Lights and a country Christmas concert.

Create holiday memories aboard the Virginia & Truckee Railroad Candy Cane Express Trains on November 29-30 and December 7-8, 14-15. There are two departures daily, noon and 2pm. Delight with visits from the Candy Cane Sisters while sipping hot chocolate, spiced apple cider and enjoying delicious cookies and candy canes. Price: $14 adults, $7 children, ages 2 and under free. Purchase tickets online.

Enjoy breakfast and have your photo taken with Father Christmas. Take the kids to watch a classic Christmas movie at the historic Piper’s Opera House on the afternoon of December 7 held just prior to the Christmas on the Comstock Parade of Lights at 5pm. Bundle up and gather along C Street for Virginia City’s only evening parade and watch as the town lights up with Christmas cheer.

Bring your cowboy boots and Santa hat to the boot-stomping Christmas in the Sierra concert at Piper's Opera House with David John & The Comstock Cowboys on December 7 at 8pm. Buy your tickets in advance online. Price:  $25.

To purchase tickets and for more information on Christmas on the Comstock events taking place in Virginia City, Nevada, visit online or call the Virginia City Tourism Commission at 775-847-7500.

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

Thursday, November 14, 2013

San Francisco’s Union Street Lights up the Holidays

San Francisco’s historic Union Street will kick off its holiday celebration on December 7 (rain or shine) with the annual Union Street Fantasy of Lights.

Each year, the Fantasy of Lights brings young and old together to celebrate the season viewing thousands of twinkling white lights illuminating the Victorian houses and shops along Union Street between Van Ness and Steiner and Fillmore Street between Union and Lombard. The Fantasy of Lights kicks off on Saturday, December 7 from 3pm – 7pm with a packed line-up of family friendly activities and events.

Enjoy San Francisco’s Union Street transformed into a magical backdrop of holiday cheer. Kids can meet Santa and the Snow Queen, and enjoy jugglers and live ponies dressed up like reindeer. Each block will also feature face painters, balloon artists, costumed characters, singers and live entertainment. And, to celebrate the season of giving, all guests are encouraged to bring new toys for the San Francisco Firefighters’ Toy Program.

The Union Street Fantasy of Lights celebration continues throughout the month of December with Union Street stores offering open houses and special events featuring trunk shows, entertainment and much more, including validated parking and extended evening shopping hours. Many merchants will have extended hours until 9:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays. 

The event is free and open to the public. Participating merchants will offer validated parking at 2001 Union Plaza Garage, 1910 Union Street Garage (Wells Fargo) and the Lombard Street Garage (enter on Moulton Alley at Webster). Subject to availability.

For more information visit www.unionstreetsf.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

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Plan a Yuma Trip Around a Fun Event

It's that time of year! As the chill creeps in up north, Yuma, Arizona, is enjoying spectacular sunsets and fresh mornings as the world's sunniest destination. Make your travel plans now around one of Yuma’s upcoming favorite events.

Yuma is one of the world's leading producers of the gourmet  Medjool date, shipped worldwide, even to the Middle East. Enjoy a full day of fun, with food, entertainment, recipe contests, displays of specialized machinery, farm tours and more at the Yuma Medjool Date Festival in Historic Downtown Yuma on November 16.

The invitational 23rd annual Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival on November 22-24 (various locations) is sponsored by the nonprofit Caballeros de Yuma and draws balloonists from as far away as England. The festival features flights on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and a "balloon glow" Saturday night. 

Leading junior college football teams clash in the post-season El Toro Bowl at the Veterans Memorial Stadium, Arizona Western College on December 7, while their fans enjoy a weekend of festivities in the sunshine.

The December 7 evening Dorothy Young Memorial Electric Light Parade in Yuma’s Historic North End features marching bands and lots of decorated and illuminated floats. The theme this year is "Your Favorite Christmas Song".

The Somerton Tamale Festival on December 21 in Main Street, Somerton is your chance to sample tamales in varieties you didn't even know existed, all made with care by proud home cooks to raise scholarship funds for local ASU students.

With a history dating back to Fort Yuma and the Yuma Quartermaster Depot, Yuma has always been a "military-friendly" town. The Spirit of Yuma Military Festival January 10-12 in Historic Downtown Yuma honors vets and active-duty service members and celebrates its modern-day bases, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground.

Old West re-enactment groups from around the Southwest ride into town for the annual Gathering of the Gunfighters showdown on January 11-12 at the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park. But instead of hot lead, what's flying is fightin' words – and acting! Groups are judged on skits and whether their get-ups, gear and firearms are authentic to the 1876-1909 era. And though they didn't have shootouts in the prison, the historic setting adds flavor. 

To plan your Yuma visit, head to www.visityuma.com.

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, November 7, 2013

Cajun Christmas Festival in Shreveport-Bossier Holiday Line-up

The holiday season is in sight, and the sister Louisiana cities Shreveport-Bossier are gearing up for a fantastic celebration. The holidays officially get under way at 6pm on November 21 with the tallest Christmas tree lighting in north Louisiana standing at 40-feet-tall at the Outlets at Louisiana Boardwalk in Bossier City. 
This is a time when the community and visitors gather together for special performances, an appearance from Santa and other holiday activities such as shopping, dining or watching a movie.
The 30th Annual Christmas in Roseland at the Gardens of the American Rose Center, one of the area’s longest running holiday events, will happen Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, November 29 to December 22. This signature event is marked by more than one million lights, Christmas community cards made by area students and live music entertainment. 
New this year is the first-ever Cajun Christmas Festival at Cash Point the Party Place. The event includes a gumbo cook-off, beer tasting, Cajun band and other special performances.  Craft vendors will be set up for the kids to enjoy and holiday shopping for the adults. Admission is $5 per person.  
Additional holiday events and performances include, “The Nutcracker” presented by the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet on December 7. Shop for a cause at Les Boutiques de Noël, November 21-23. For an off-the-beaten-path holiday experience, make plans to attend the Country Christmas Festival and the Christmas on Caddo Fireworks Festival, both in Vivian on December 7. Take a short drive to Benton to enjoy a whimsical Christmas festival and parade at the 14th Annual Benton Christmas on the Square on December 14.  
Stay up-to-date by visiting www.HolidayTrailOfLights.com or www.facebook.com/HolidayTrailOfLights for new holiday events. Also visit www.ShreveportBossierFunGuide.org for all event happenings in Shreveport-Bossier.
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.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Stuttgart Hosts World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest

The 78th annual World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest and Wings Over the Prairie Festival in Stuttgart is one of the biggest and best festivals in the Arkansas Delta. Thousands from across the country flock to the event to celebrate the town’s moniker as the “Duck Capital of the World”, (writes Kim Williams). The festival is scheduled for Nov. 23-30.

The events start on Nov. 23 at 8 a.m. with the Ducks Widows Tennis Tournament at John Cain Park. Later that evening, it’s the Queen Mallard and Junior Queen Mallard pageants at the Grand Prairie Center.

Sunday, Nov. 24, is the Wings Over the Prairie Festival open house at businesses throughout the downtown shopping district from 1-4 p.m.

On Wednesday, Nov. 27, it’s the opening of the festival carnival and midway. The fun kicks off at 3:30 p.m. along Main Street and it’s Armband Day! The youth duck calling contest, featuring Butch Richenback, begins at 6 p.m. on the Stuttgart Stage, located on Main Street.

On Thanksgiving Day, the carnival and midway opens at 1 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m. on Main Street.

Friday, Nov. 29, registration opens for all the festival contests at 8 a.m. The children’s duck calling classes (for youngsters ages 4-8) begin at 10 a.m., which is also the time the carnival and midway, the arts and crafts fair, the commercial exhibits, the sports collectibles show and the outdoor exhibits open to the public. The Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest, open to any high school senior, starts at 11 a.m. The other duck calling contests begin at 1 p.m. and are held throughout the day. The sportsman’s party begins at 8 p.m. at the Grand Prairie Center and features the Big Stack Band.

The annual Great 10K Duck Race begins Saturday’s activities at 8 a.m. Events and exhibits, such as the carnival, arts and crafts fair, sports collectibles show, outdoor exhibits, and commercial exhibits, open at 9 a.m. 

The Junior World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest begins at 9 a.m., followed by the Senior World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m., it’s the start of the World Championship Duck Gumbo Cook-off on Park Avenue and the Women’s World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest on Main Street. The Main Street Stage is the site for the 78th annual World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest at 2 p.m.

To find out more and to see a detailed event listing, click here.

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.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Gettysburg Celebrates Lincoln’s Famous Address

President Abraham Lincoln's famous "Gettysburg Address" will take center stage this November as the nation commemorates the 150th Anniversary of his immortal speech as well as the dedication of the country's first national cemetery.
On November 19, this small Pennsylvania town will pay tribute to Lincoln's "few appropriate remarks" with a ceremony in the Soldiers' National Cemetery, a place the 16th president came to dedicate; a place where more than 3,500 Union dead were buried following the American Civil War's most tragic battle.
"The soldiers at Gettysburg suffered greatly after the battle, as did the townspeople, and the dedication ceremony in 1863 gave them hope and reminded them to never forget the legacy of those who lost their lives here, just as our Dedication Day does today," said Norris Flowers, president of the Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau
Dedication Day will be held at Soldiers' National Cemetery and will include a Wreath Laying Ceremony at 10am, followed by a formal ceremony. Speaking will be Pulitzer Prize-winning author and noted American Civil War historian James McPherson. The formal ceremony will feature candidates taking the United States Oath of Citizenship and a $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to a Pennsylvania student as part of the "In Lincoln's Footsteps" speech competition. Music will be provided by the U.S. Marine Corps Band and nationally renowned Lincoln portrayer James Getty will deliver a recitation of the Gettysburg Address.
The night prior, November 18, the Gettysburg community is planning several events throughout town, including musical performances, programs, tours and living history.
Coinciding with Dedication Day and the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address is Remembrance Day, to be held this year on Saturday, November 23. Gettysburg residents and visitors annually commemorate the sacrifices made during and after the battle. Remembrance Day will begin with a Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Service at the Woolson Monument in Zeigler's Grove in the Gettysburg National Military Park at 11am. The service will be followed by the 57th Annual Remembrance Day Parade, which will step off downtown at 1pm in remembrance of the soldiers who served during the Civil War.
The 11th Annual Remembrance Illumination will take place on Nov. 23 at Soldiers' National Cemetery from 5:30-9:30pm. Luminary candles will be lit on the graves of each of the Civil War soldiers to commemorate the sacrifices made at Gettysburg.
"Both Dedication Day and Remembrance Day are a chance for us to commemorate and pay tribute to those who in the past that served our country and gave the ultimate sacrifice here at Gettysburg," Flowers said. "November will commemorate a very important time in history this year, and will certainly be a special time to be in Gettysburg."
For more information on Dedication Day and Remembrance Day events, visit www.gettysburgcivilwar150.com.
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.