ALL POSTS IN [Festivals and Celebrations]

 

Scarborough Renaissance Festival

Photography By Scarborough Renaissance Festival

For more than 30 years, Waxahachie, TX, located just south of Dallas, has been home to the Scarborough Renaissance Festival — a Renaissance-themed festival that will take place 8 consecutive weekends and Memorial Day Monday between April 5 and May 26 this spring.  

Spread out across a 35-acre “village,” the festival’s 3 areas — Crown Meadow, Pecan Grove and Holly Field — offer a variety of attractions for attendees of all ages to experience the spirit of the Renaissance. READ MORE

Taiwan Lantern Festival

Photography by Reuters

Today marks the 25th year of the Taiwan Lantern Festival, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the first lunar month, and marks the tail end of the celebration of the Chinese New Year. This year’s festival will take place in Zhongxing New Village, Nantou County – the second largest county in Taiwan. 

The main theme for the festival is determined by the Chinese zodiac animal for the new year. This year’s lantern theme is representative of the Year of the Horse. The lantern – a 75-foot-tall “Prancing Horse” — will be lit up with more than 200,000 LED lights, and will be on display at the festival’s center stage, positioned facing Taiwan’s highest peak, Yushan, which means “Jade Mountain.”

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Art Deco Weekend, Napier, New Zealand

Photography By catspyjamasnz, Flickr

Located in the Hawkes Bay region on the eastern coast of New Zealand, Napier is a popular destination that is chock-full of Art Deco buildings, shopping and events — so much so that its locals and tourists often refer to it as the “Art Deco Capital of the World.”

The city’s largest annual event, the TREMAINS Art Deco Weekend, will take place Feb. 19-23 this year and will include more than 200 events, various displays of 1920s and ’30s cars, trains and planes, and a Gatsby-inspired picnic. Festival-goers from all over the world will fill the streets dressed in era-appropriate attire to wine, dine, dance and celebrate all things Art Deco.

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Festival International de Ballons, Château-d’Oex, Switzerland

Photography By Christophe Dayer, Flickr

For the last 36 years, Château-d’Oex, located in the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland, has been home to the Festival International de Ballons (International Balloon Festival), which will take place Jan. 25 to Feb. 2 this year. 

A fun and affordable event for all ages, this year’s football-themed festival, chosen for the impending World Cup in Brazil, is expected to attract 40,000 to 50,000 attendees. Entry fees — charged on Saturdays and Sundays only — cost CHF (Swiss Franc) 15 for adults, which equals approximately $17, and is free for children under the age of 14. If you plan on attending the festival more than one day, a pin can be purchased for CHF 20 ($22).

Hot air balloons varying in size, shape and color will be on display, and spectators can experience a variety of activities including air shows with hot air balloons, F1s and hang gliders, hot air balloon competitions, and even take flight on a tether ride or, a much pricier option, their very own passenger flight.

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Sundance Film Festival

It’s a big year for Sundance Film Festival as it celebrates its 30th birthday in Park City, UT, this week. For the last 3 decades, the next big moviemakers, critics, celebrities and film buffs  have attended this annual event every January to be wowed by the best of independent films from all over the world.

The largest independent film festival in the US, Sundance was launched in 1978 with the help of Robert Redford’s company, Sterling Van Wagenen. Over the last 30 years, Redford has played an integral part in building the festival’s momentum and his mark is seen all over town, from his famed Sundance Resort, 5,000 acres on the slopes of Mount Timpanogos in Utah’s Wasatch Range to Zoom, his cozy restaurant located on Park City’s Main Street.

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Winter solstice at Stonehenge

Winter solstice at Stonehenge (Photo: Getty Images)

Welcome to the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The winter solstice kicks off this Saturday, and with it, thousands of visitors from around the world have gathered at Stonehenge — the mysterious standing set of stones dating between 3000 B.C. and 2000 B.C., in Wiltshire, England — to mark the grand astronomical event when the monument aligns on a sight-line pointing to the winter solstice sunset.

Of course, who are we fooling? On Saturday morning, most of us would probably prefer to snuggle up under the covers than brave the gathering crowds at Stonehenge (even if the new $44 million visitors center, which opened this past Wednesday, sounds interesting, with an exhibition that includes a forensic reconstruction of a Neolithic man). We’ll leave it to the druids, pagans and astronomical diehards currently gathered at Stonehenge to fill us in on the grand event, which, on the flip side, ushers in the longest night of the year.

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The “Day of the Dead,” or Dia de los Muertos in Spanish, is often compared to Halloween due to its celebration the day trick-or-treaters hit the streets. But it has a much different purpose. The occasion is a national holiday on Nov. 1 and 2 in Mexico and centers on the gathering of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is held in connection with the Catholic All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

If it seems to you like the holiday often goes uncelebrated in the United States, you might just not be in the right place. Below are 5 “Day of the Dead” events that honor those who have died. Find a complete list of the nation’s events here.

1. Dia de Los Muertos in Los Angeles, CA 
When: Nov. 2 from noon to midnight
The celebration is held at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and is the largest of its kind in California. The festival features an altar-decorating competition as well as live music and costume contests for the best Calaca (skull or skeleton) costume.

2. Bare Hands Dia de Los Muertos, Numero Once Festival in Birmingham, AL 
When: Nov. 2 from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Bring a small altar or memento of remembrance and dress up in bones for this energetic cultural celebration. The festival attracts thousands of visitors and is sponsored by Bare Hands, a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for community involvement and promotes cultural dialogue.

3. All Souls Procession in Tucson, AZ 
When: Nov. 3 at 4 p.m.
The All Souls Procession brings more than 35,000 people together to the streets of downtown Tucson for a 2-mile-long walk that culminates with the burning of a large urn filled with hopes and offerings from the public for those who have passed. The procession is organized by non-profit arts collective Many Mouths One Stomach.

4. Dia de Los Muertos Street Festival in Corpus Christi, Texas
When: Nov. 1 and 2
This festival brings a large art exhibition, artist workshops, and entire day-long dancing and concert events to celebrate the “Day of the Dead.” The event promotes cultural tourism by drawing artists, musicians and vendors to the area each year.

5. Dia de Los Muertos 2013 in Albuquerque, New Mexico 
When: Nov. 1 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
This annual celebration is held at San Jose de Armijo Cemetery and features sugar skull painting, costumes and music organized by the Atrisco Heritage Foundation. The foundation works through the event to promote and preserve the ancestral and cultural heritage of Albuquerque.

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Photo by James Coletta

A DJ spins in the corner as neon lights reflect off hundreds of different wines. Young people dressed to the nines mingle in locations like the “Bubbly Bar” (which showcases 6 sparkling wines), a photo booth holding up signs like “I Spit” and “I Swallow,” and booths separated by regions pouring everything from Vinho Verde to shiraz; Sancerre to Carménère. If there’s one thing immediately apparent — this isn’t your average wine event.

The brainchild of Tyler Balliet, founder and president of Second Glass, Wine Riot’s mission is to make wine tasting as unpretentious and unintimidating as possible.

“I started Wine Riot because I was frustrated that there wasn’t a fun way to learn about wine,” Balliet says. “The books, the classes, and even other wine events were so academic and time-consuming. What about the people who just wanted a little bit of wine info? How do they learn?”

Unsurprisingly this relaxed attitude about a drink often associated with snobbery has been widely embraced by a younger demographic than one would normally see at a wine event. Now the event that started in the basement of a wine shop overtakes swank venues in cities like Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

While the red wine-stained teeth may hint that this is nothing more than a mere booze-fest, wine knowledge does floweth here. Every hour there are “Crash Courses” – 20-minute informative sit-downs with producers who talk about everything from Old World vs. New World wines, to South American wines and the way the terroir affects the grapes. While the crowd may become more boisterous as the night progresses, the dialogue remains on-point and all about the wine.

Popular with wineries that know that 21 to 35 year olds are the fastest growing consumers of wine, most of the tastings are of affordable, everyday drinking wines with labels that captivate the eye.

“The wine industry still operates in an older style,” Balliet says, “but we’re the generation that is going to push them forward, regardless of whether the industry comes along for the ride.”

Part of the push? The heavy implementation of social media and the utilization of apps. With the free Wine Riot app, guests can keep track of all the wines they tasted and mark the ones they especially loved — which makes buying a case of something that much easier … even if the night itself becomes a little hazy.

Don’t miss these upcoming Wine Riots:

Boston
When: Friday, Oct. 25| 7-11 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 26 | 1-5 p.m. and 7-11 p.m.
Tickets: $60

Los Angeles
Saturday, Nov. 9 | 1-5 p.m. and 7-11 p.m.
Tickets: $60

For tickets and information go to: www.secondglass.com/wineriot

 

– By Ashley Hardaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

Austin City Limits is here. The annual 3-day music fest kicked off Friday morning in Austin’s Zilker Park, and will draw an anticipated crowd of 6,500 music fans over the coming days.

Just in case you can’t make it to the Lone Star State capital this weekend, though, the event has something new in store for attendees this year: For the first time ever, Austin City Limits will unfold over 2 consecutive weekends. That means if Oct. 4-6 doesn’t work for you, you still have Oct. 11-13 to head on down to Austin. Between now and then, there’s a whole lot in store — here’s a roundup of highlights of Austin City Limits 2013.

The beer alone makes a trip to Austin worth it. This year, Austin City Limits has opened a beer lover’s dream — the brand new, 20,000-square-foot Barton Springs Beer Hall. This playground for beer lovers features 15 brews, from local drinks like Hill Country’s own Real Ale, to brews from around the country. Kick back, drink up and enjoy a game of football on big screen TVs in the hall.

And, of course, there’s food, lots and lots of food. Austin Eats Food Tours will be on-hand, featuring local restaurant delicacies, as well as plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options. Expect to find foodie favorites such as chef Tim Love’s Love Shack, Austin’s Pizza and Second Bar + Kitchen by chef David Bull, alongside new culinary favorites such as La Condesa, Frank and mmmpanadas.

The good part about the money you spend: A portion of funds raised will go toward supporting the Hill Country’s Conservancy’s Violet Crown Trail, a 30-mile hike and bike trail in Austin; additional support will go toward a carbon offset project spearheaded by the Texas Climate & Carbon Exchange.

For tips on staying in and getting around the city that keeps it weird, check out our Austin City Guide. Plus, if you love music as much as food, you’ll want to take an Austin Foodie Foray. And once you pack up and leave, send us a postcard from Austin — we’ll want to know how it goes!

Considered one of the biggest and best music festivals in the country, Bonnaroo has become a pilgrimage that any music fan must make. Featuring musicians from all genres, including indie rock, hip hop, jazz and more, Bonnaroo’s activities don’t stop at the music — which starts around noon and doesn’t end until … about 4 a.m. Here, you’ll find well-known comedians, film screenings, a silent disco and waterslides, just to name a few highlights.

Tonight at 9|8c on Fandemonium, Adam finds out first-hand that the fun never stops at Bonnaroo and gets a taste of the festival’s food truck goodness.

It’s not too early to start planning your trip to Bonnaroo — June will be here before you know it! Let us help with our Bonnaroo travel guide, full of tips on how to get to Manchester, TN, where to stay when you arrive and what to eat if food trucks aren’t your thing.

Tune in tonight for a glimpse inside this revolutionary music festival!

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