Archive for October, 2015

5th Annual Gold Coast Intl Film Festival Brings Award-Winning Films to Long Island, Nov 9-15

October 28, 2015
Academy-award winner Catherine Martin is honored at Gold Coast Arts Center/Gold Coast International Film Festival Gala, Long Island, NY, Nov. 3, 2014

Academy-award winner Catherine Martin is honored at Gold Coast Arts Center/Gold Coast International Film Festival Gala, Long Island, NY, Nov. 3, 2014

The 2015 Gold Coast International Film Festival announces an exciting slate of films for this year’s Festival taking place November 9 – 15, 2015 in venues throughout the north shore of Long Island, and once again – everyone’s invited for an exciting week of films, parties, filmmaker Q&As, and glamour.

The Festival kicks off with an intimate conversation with award-winning writer, director and producer Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me”) being held on the campus of LIU Post on November 9, 2015. This event will include a special screening of Spurlock’s new short film CRAFTED.

The fifth anniversary of the Festival will feature over 60 films and dozens of filmmakers at screenings and events in venues throughout the Town of North Hempstead region, including Soundview Cinemas in Port Washington, the Bow Tie Cinemas in Great Neck/Port Washington/ Manhasset/ Roslyn, the Gold Coast Arts Center in Great Neck and the campus of LIU Post.

Filmmakers scheduled to attend include: award-winning director/producer/screenwriter, Morgan Spurlock; actor Lou Diamond Phillips, star of Showtime’s Homeland, Navid Negahban; Patricia Riggen director of the new Warner Brothers film The 33, starring Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche and Lou Diamond Phillips; award winning filmmakers Michael Cuesta (Exec. Producer Homeland), Rick Goldsmith, Yael Melamede and Andrew Horn; WNBA superstar Chamique Holdsclaw; several members of the band Twisted Sister who will join us for the US premiere of a new film about their rise to fame, Emmy-winning journalist Kristin Thorne – plus many more filmmakers and special guests such as Michael Landers, the Long Island ping-pong champion featured in the film Top Spin.

Films this year showcase Hollywood’s best actors including Richard Gere, Oliver Platt, Rene Russo, Jason Sudeikis, Rebecca Hall, Christopher Walken, Amber Heard and many more industry stars. Award-winning films from the world’s most prestigious festivals (Cannes, Toronto, Sundance, Tribeca) will be screened, plus over 25 incredible short films, with Q&As with visiting shorts filmmakers. Once again we are offering FREE tickets to all screenings for veterans and current military personnel, courtesy of 1-800-Flowers.com.

For tickets visit www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org.

Among the films being showcased at the 5th Annual Gold Coast International Film Festival:

AUTISM IN LOVE

Dir. Matt Fuller | USA | English | 76 min | Documentary

Long Island Premiere With remarkable thoroughness and compassion, director Matthew Fuller examines the everyday realities of autistic adulthood, showing how the members of this often-misunderstood community cope with the challenge of keeping romance alive over the years. “…A relatable and winning celebration of accepting the differences in others and in ourselves.” Q&A with Pat Schissel, Asperger Syndrome & High Functioning Autism Assoc. and Kate Palmer, The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership, Inc. Sat 11/14, 1:00pm, Soundview PW

THE BENEFACTOR

Dir. Andrew Renzi | USA | English | 92 min | Narrative

Long Island Premiere Richard Gere shines as Franny, an eccentric philanthropist trying to reconnect with his deceased best friend’s’ daughter (Dakota Fanning) and her young husband (Theo James). Although impossibly charming, Franny’s motives and lifestyle bring about larger moral questions, in this surprising and engaging debut drama from writer-director Andrew Renzi. Tues 11/10, 7:30pm, Soundview PW

THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946)

Dir. William Wyler | USA | English | 172 min | Narrative

FREE VETERANS DAY SCREENING FOR ALL AUDIENCES We honor our veterans, from all wars, with this screening of one of Hollywood’s greatest films, which tells the stories of three veterans returning home after WWII who have trouble readjusting to civilian life. Winner of seven Academy Awards in 1946, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. Wed 11/11, 1:00pm, Bow Tie Great Neck

THE BIRTH OF SAKE

Dir. Erik Shirai | USA | Japanese with English subtitles | 94 min | Documentary

In a world where most mass-produced goods are heavily

automated, a small group of artisans must brave unusual working conditions to preserve a 2000-year-old tradition that we have come to know as saké. A fascinating, absorbing look into what it takes to make world-class saké at Yoshida Brewery, a 144-year-old family-owned small brewery in northern Japan. Sat 11/14, 6:30pm, Bow Tie Manhasset

THE CHEF’S WIFE

Dir. Anne Le Ny | France | French with English subtitles | 91 min | Narrative

Long Island Premiere A crowd pleasing, screwball tragi-comedy featuring French moviestars and Michelin-starred cuisine. When Marithé, a professional career counselor, meets Carole, a rich ditz living in the shadow of her chef husband, the two form an unexpected bond. While the two both share a desire for something different and greater out of life, their motives end up being at odds with their friendship. Fri 11/13, 6:30pm, Bow Tie Roslyn

(DIS)HONESTY: THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES

Dir. Yael Melamede | USA | English | 90 min | Documentary

Presented in partnership with the Nassau County Bar Association

Lying gets easier the more you do it—that is, until you get caught. This humorous and engaging documentary, inspired by the work of behavioral economist Dan Ariely, interweaves personal stories, expert opinions, behavioral experiments, and archival footage and creates a fascinating and insightful inquiry into why people lie and the very real effects it can have. Q&A with Director Yael Melamede and Ethics law experts Kevin Kearon, Esq., Steven Leventhal, Esq. and Omid Zareh, Esq.

Optional CLE credit will be offered at the event for practicing attorneys.

Thurs 11/12, 6:00pm, Soundview PW

FRANK AND CINDY

Dir. G.J. Echternkamp | USA | English | 101 min | Narrative

Long Island Premiere A delightfully dark comedy about a young aspiring filmmaker who comes back home to his unpredictable mom (Rene Russo) and unexpectedly starts an online documentary about his stepfather (Oliver Platt), an overweight alcoholic who was in an 80s one-hit-wonder band. Ironically, what started as a joke evolves into something else: a brutal, but often hilarious look at a flawed family coming to terms with the past and each other. Sat 11/14, 8:30pm, Soundview PW

HELLOHELLO

Dir. Maria Blom | Sweden | Swedish with English subtitles | 97 min | Narrative

New York Premiere This warm-hearted Swedish comedy follows Disa—40ish, a bit dumpy, and way too accommodating—who is stuck in a rut after her husband leaves her for a twiggy new model, and her mother and work colleague continue to boss her around. With the help of a new man in her life, she learns to take care of herself, but is she up for the challenge? Sun 11/15, 4:00pm, Soundview PW

LANDFILL HARMONIC

Dir. Graham Townsley, Brad Allgood | USA | Spanish/English with Eng. subtitles | 84 min | Documentary

The Recycled Orchestra, a youth group playing instruments made entirely out of garbage, is catapulted into the global spotlight when their story goes viral and is featured on 60 Minutes. This amazing and inspirational doc is a testament to the power of music and the resilience of the human spirit.

Sat 11/7, 7:30pm, Gold Coast Cinema at LIU Post
Presented in partnership with LIU Post Department of Music of the College of Arts, Communications, and Design

Sat 11/14, 2:00pm, Soundview PW Presented in partnership with Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington. **Nov. 11 screening includes Interactive Q&A with Dr. Dale Stuckenbruck and the ECO Orchestra from the Waldorf School of Garden City

LISTEN TO ME MARLON

Dir. Stevan Riley | USA | English | 102 min | Documentary

“The definitive Brando. In his own words.” Marlon Brando was one of the most acclaimed and influential actors of all time. Featuring exclusive access to Brando’s previously unseen and unheard personal archive, including hundreds of hours of audio, this film sheds light on the artist and the man. “The greatest, most searching documentary of an actor ever put on film.” Sat 11/14, 3:30pm, Bow Tie Manhasset

MAFIA AND RED TOMATOES

Dir. Giulio Manfredonia | Italy | Italian with English subtitles | 100 min | Narrative

New York Premiere A unique mix of comedy and drama in the story of an unlikely group of volunteers in the South of Italy who form a farm collective on land confiscated from a jailed Mafioso, who unexpectedly returns and is not pleased with what’s become of his property. Q&A with Fabio Troisi of the Italian Cultural Institute. Sat 11/14, 8:00pm, Soundview PW

MIND/GAME: THE UNQUIET JOURNEY OF CHAMIQUE HOLDSCLAW

Dir. Rick Goldsmith | USA | English | 57 min | Documentary

Sponsored by the Katz Institute for Women’s Health of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.
New York Premiere Two-time Academy Award nominee Rick Goldsmith crafts an intimate profile of Chamique Holdsclaw, who became the best and most famous women’s basketball player on the planet until her career was derailed by depression and near-suicide. Since leaving the WNBA, she has become a powerful mental health advocate and role model. Q&A with Director Rick Goldsmith, WNBA superstar and subject of the film Chamique Holdsclaw and North Shore-LIJ Health System distinguished experts in psychiatry, sports medicine and women’s health.

Sat 11/14, 3:30pm, Soundview PW

MODERN RUIN: A WORLD’S FAIR PAVILION

Dir. Matthew Silva | USA | English | 78 min | Documentary

Sponsored by the Amsterdam at Harborside

Long Island Premiere The New York State Pavilion, once the shining symbol of the 1964/65 World’s Fair, now sits as a haunting reminder of what became of the age of optimism. Through surprising and informative interviews, we learn the story of the Fair, from its glory days to its brief iterations as a 60s concert venue and 70s roller rink, to the years of neglect and the recent grass-roots restoration advocacy efforts. Q&A with Director Matthew Silva and Joseph Tirella, author of Tomorrow-Land: The 1964-65 World’s Fair and the Transformation of America. Thurs 11/12, 2:00pm, Bow Tie Great Neck Includes lunch before film at the Gold Coast Arts Center

THE MUSES OF BASHEVIS SINGER

Dir. Asaf Galay, Shaul Bester | Israel | English and Hebrew with English subtitles | 72 min | Documentary

Long Island Premiere An entertaining and compelling film that looks at the women who inspired the Nobel Prize-winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer, a leading figure in the Yiddish literary movement. Featuring interviews and recollections of high art and gossip from these smart, beautiful and unforgettable “muses.” Q&A with Leah Napolin, playwright featured in film (Yentl). Sun 11/15, 1:30pm, Bow Tie Great Neck

MUSTANG

Dir. Deniz Gamze Ergüven | France/Turkey | Turkish with English subtitles | 95 min | Narrative

Long Island Premiere In this poignant, eloquent drama, five sisters in a Turkish village play with boys while walking home from school. The perceived immorality of their play has unexpected consequences, and when the girls’ parents begin to turn their home into a prison, they must band together to fight back against the limits imposed on them. Direct from the Cannes Film Festival, and France’s official submission to the Academy Awards. Sat 11/14, 6:00pm, Soundview PW

MY FRIEND VICTORIA

Dir. Jean-Paul Civeyrac | France | French with English subtitles | 95 min | Narrative

Long Island Premiere Adapted from a story by Nobel-laureate Doris Lessing, My Friend Victoria is a complex, poignant portrait of a black woman in contemporary Paris whose destiny is shaped by France’s attitudes on class and privilege. This superbly acted, distinctly fresh take on racial identity is an acutely intelligent achievement by a director whose time has surely come. Sun 11/15, 1:30pm, Soundview PW

PARTNER WITH THE ENEMY

Dir. Duki Dror, Chen Shelach | Israel | Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles | 60 min | Documentary

Long Island Premiere In the midst of the ever-fraught Israeli-

Palestinian political landscape, two women—one Israeli and one Palestinian—attempt the seemingly impossible: to build a business together. Suspenseful, moving, and not without humor, this is the story of a very special bond facing challenges of all shapes and sizes. Q&A with film subjects Anat Shelach and Rola Srouji Thurs 11/12, 7:30pm, Bow Tie Great Neck Followed by dessert reception at LOLA

SON OF SAUL

Dir. László Nemes | Hungary | Hungarian, Yiddish, German, Russian and Polish with English subtitles | 107 min | Narrative

Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes and lauded at festivals worldwide, Son of Saul tells the story of Saul Ausländer, a Hungarian prisoner at Auschwitz. While working in one of the crematoriums, Saul discovers the body of a boy he takes for his son, and decides to carry out an impossible task: save the child’s body from the flames, find a rabbi, and offer the boy a proper burial. Wed, 11/11, 7:00pm, Bow Tie Great Neck

TOP SPIN

Dir. Mina T. Son, Sara Newens | USA | English and Mandarin with English subtitles | 81 min | Documentary

Long Island Premiere An inside look at an offbeat sport, Top Spin turns one of America’s favorite pastimes on its head and reveals a coming-of-age story where success and failure come down to mere millimeters. The film follows three fiercely committed teenagers as they battle their way through the world of elite, competitive table tennis and trade dreams of the prom and graduation for the Olympics and winning Gold. Q&A with film subject Michael Landers – who is from Long Island. Sun 11/15, 4:30pm, Soundview PW

TUMBLEDOWN

Dir. Sean Mewshaw | USA | English | 103 min | Narrative

Long Island Premiere A delightful rom-com anchored by charming lead performances. In friendly yet frosty Maine, Hannah (Rebecca Hall) is trying to get over the death of her beloved folk-singer husband. When New York professor Andrew (Jason

Sudeikis) starts poking around with questions about her husband, she reluctantly agrees to partner with him on a book, opening up new chapters for both. Fri 11/13, 8:45pm, Bow Tie Roslyn

THE VANISHED ELEPHANT

Dir. Javier Fuentes-León | Peru | Spanish with English subtitles | 109 min | Narrative

A crime novelist receives a vital clue to the whereabouts of his long-missing fiancée, in this original, mind-bending mystery that pays homage to Hollywood film noir and the reality-twisting fictions of Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortázar. Sat 11/14, 8:30pm, Bow Tie Manhasset

WE ARE TWISTED F*CKING SISTER

Dir. Andrew Horn | USA | English | 139 min | Documentary

US Premiere The mesmerizing, wickedly appealing, and never-before-told story of the first ten grueling years leading up to Twisted Sister’s legendary career, as they cross-dressed their way to headlining every club from Long Island beach bars to New Jersey bowling alleys, recounted by the band themselves, their managers and some of their most devout fans. Q&A with Director Andrew Horn and Twisted Sister members Jay Jay French, Mark “The Animal” Mendoza & Co-Manager Joe Gerber

Fri 11/13, 7:30pm, Bow Tie Port Washington

WHEN I LIVE MY LIFE OVER AGAIN

Dir. Robert Edwards | USA | English | 98 min. | Narrative

In this warm comedy of music, career comebacks and family dysfunction, aspiring artist Jude (Amber Heard) heads to the Hamptons home of her father (Christopher Walken), an over-the-hill crooner desperately charting his musical comeback.
Sat 11/14, 5:00pm, Soundview PW

SHORT FILM SCREENINGS on Tues 11/10, 1:00pm, Roslyn Library (FREE) and Sat. 11/14, 1:00pm, Bow Tie Manhasset

FAMILY FILM DAY An afternoon of short films, curated especially for kids, and hands-on movie related art activities at the Gold Coast Arts Center on Veteran’s Day. A great day of fun for kids and caregivers when schools are closed. Includes pizza courtesy of Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza! Wed 11/11, 12:00 – 3:00pm, Gold Coast Arts Center

NEW YORK LOVES FILM ROADSHOW – FILMMAKERS ROUNDTABLE
Meet the team from the New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development for a roundtable discussion re: producing in New York State – tax credits, location scouting, finding stages and crew, and more. An invaluable opportunity for first time filmmakers and veteran producers. Tues 11/10, 2:00pm, Gold Coast Arts Center (FREE)

Gold Coast International Film Festival

Over the past five years, the festival has brought the latest Hollywood hits and Indie favorites to standing room only audiences throughout the fabled Gold Coast of Long Island. Add A-list celebrities and unforgettable events to the mix and it’s easy to see why GCIFF has become the “go to” Festival for film buffs and the public (it is also the last major film festival on the East Coast before Awards season). The Festival is produced by the Gold Coast Arts Center.

Previous honorees and special guests of the festival and the Gold Coast Arts Center include film industry VIPs Francis Ford Coppola, Hugh Grant, Baz Luhrmann, Brian Dennehy, Paul Sorvino, Ed Burns, Bruce Dern, Isabella Rossellini, Eli Wallach, Gabriel Byrne, Bill Plympton, Phil Donahue, Phylicia Rashaad, Joan Allen, Jay McInerney and Michael Cuesta, as well as composer Morton Gould, artists James Rosenquist, Oleg Cassini, Edwina Sandys and Bob Gruen, comedian Susie Essman, Broadway stars Kelli O’Hara, Melissa Errico and Savion Glover, and 4-time Oscar winner for production and costume design Catherine Martin.

Sponsors and partners of this year’s GCIFF include founding partners the Town of North Hempstead and Douglas Elliman Real Estate, longstanding major partners LIU Post and Nassau County IDA as well as AMC Networks, Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, Panavision, A.L. Sarroff Fund, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, J.M. Kaplan Fund, The Katz Center of North Shore –LIJ Health System, LVR Rental, Samar Hospitality, The Andrew Hotel, Stella Artois and The Amsterdam at Harborside as well as 1-800-Flowers, WLIW21, New York Women in Film & Television, Anton Publications, Blank Slate Media, Care Connect and many others.

The Gold Coast Arts Center is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts through education, exhibition, performance and outreach. For over 20 years the center has brought the arts and arts in education experiences to tens of thousands of people throughout our region through 1) School for the Arts, which offers year-round classes in all visual and performing arts to students of all ages and abilities, (2) Free public art gallery, (3) Concert and lecture series, (4) Outreach programs, which each year bring artist residencies, after-school programs, school assemblies, teacher training workshops and parent-child workshops to students, senior citizens, teachers and others in underserved communities throughout our region, (5) Year round film screening and discussion series and (6) Gold Coast International Film Festival, now in its 5th year. The Arts Center is an affiliate of the John F Kennedy Center for the for the Performing Arts: Partners in Education Program, and National Gallery of Art, both located in Washington DC.

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New Orleans, Savannah, Pensacola are Winners of First-Ever CheapOair ‘Owards’

October 28, 2015
With New York's Empire State Building in the background, Chris Cuddy, Fareportal Chief Commercial Officer (left), Werner Kunz, Fareportal Chief Operating Officer (center), and Sam Jain, Founder and CEO of CheapOair (right) present the Owards to representatives from Savannah, New Orleans and Pensacola at the Inaugural Owards Ceremony at The Strand in NYC © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

With New York’s Empire State Building in the background, Chris Cuddy, Fareportal Chief Commercial Officer (left), Werner Kunz, Fareportal Chief Operating Officer (center), and Sam Jain, Founder and CEO of CheapOair (right) present the Owards to representatives from Savannah, New Orleans and Pensacola at the Inaugural Owards Ceremony at The Strand in NYC © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

New York– CheapOair®, a leading hybrid travel agency (both online and traditional), announced the Gold Winners for the Most Effortless, Most Affordable and Most Enjoyable Cities of the Year in the inaugural CheapOair OwardsTM.

In its first year, the CheapOair Owards recognized 15 American cities that best embody the brand’s mission and vision of making travel effortless, affordable and enjoyable. The finalist cities were chosen by a panel of internal travel experts with years of collective travel and travel booking experience. The finalist cities were then narrowed down to three Gold winners based on independent online travelers’ voting over a two month period.

The 2015 CheapOair Owards Gold Winners are:

  • New Orleans, Louisiana named the Most Effortless City of the Year
  • Savannah, Georgia named the Most Affordable City of the Year
  • Pensacola, Florida named the Most Enjoyable City of the Year

“The winners of the popular vote truly make travel effortless, affordable and enjoyable – just like we strive to do every day at CheapOair,” said Sam Jain, CEO and founder of Fareportal, the company that operates CheapOair. “Travelers booking their next trip to the winning cities of New Orleans, La.., Savannah, Ga., or Pensacola, Fla. can rest assured they’ll enjoy an effortless, budget-friendly and enjoyable travel experience. ”

For more information on each Gold Oward Winner and the city finalists, visit www.CheapOair.com/Owards/ or follow CheapOair on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

CheapOair, as a hybrid (online/traditional) travel agency, enables consumers to book travel online, on mobile apps, by phone or live chat. CheapOair (http://www.cheapoair.com, 1-800-566-2345) bridges the gap between an online and traditional travel agency with certified travel agents available 24/7 to help find deals and offers to destinations worldwide on over 450 airlines, 150,000 hotels, and 100s of car rentals. Partner airlines benefit from access to CheapOair’s broad customer base that books high yield international travel and add-on ancillaries at above the industry average. Follow CheapOair on Facebook and Twitter to learn how to travel the world for less.

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Frightfully Elegant Halloween Experience Awaits in the ‘Transylvania Suite’ at The Hay-Adams, Washington DC

October 28, 2015
Washington DC at night. The Hay Adams has a very special Halloween planned for anyone intrepid enough to book "The Transylvania Suite." © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Washington DC at night. The Hay Adams has a very special Halloween planned for anyone intrepid enough to book “The Transylvania Suite.” © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Washington, D.C. – This Halloween no creaking coffins are needed for a night or two of haunting retiring at The Hay-Adams, located at 800 16th Street NW in Washington, DC. Count Dracula and ghost-loving guests who book the “Transylvania Suite” for one or two nights, (available Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31) will find the expansive canopy bed dressed in custom designed Italian linens, frightfully embellished with cobwebs and creepily embroidered personalized pillows. This luxurious suite overlooks Lafayette Park towards the White House.

The Hay-Adams Halloween package affords a unique chance to enjoy the legendary elegance of this historic hotel while experiencing a number of creative twists all evening: from a frighteningly outfitted butler to escort guests to the skull- adorned suite, to a gift collection of old and new horror film DVDs, along with more eye-popping surprises. This Halloween experience is priced at $2,995 per night (excluding tax and gratuity).

The “Transylvania Suite” will be fiendishly decorated by designer Barbara Hamilton of the Ociana Group, with all the trappings of a gentrified haunted house. Those brave enough to take the plunge will be treated to a spirited welcome amenity from Pastry Chef Josh Short, tricked with blood-curdling cocktails for two delivered to the Halloween lair, followed by a three-course dinner paired with wines which includes a spidery-inspired dessert, served in the suite’s dining room. A diabolically concocted turn-down surprise will be delivered prior to retiring for the night. The following morning guests can celebrate daybreak with a lavish breakfast in bed at their leisure, and who can resist a spicy Bloody Scary to complete the morning feast.

The award-winning Hay-Adams hotel is located at 800 16th Street NW, Washington DC, 20006, across Lafayette Square from the White House. The historic Hay-Adams offers guests Washington’s most prestigious address with views overlooking the White House, Lafayette Square and St. John’s Church, the “Church of the Presidents.”   The hotel is just minutes from the Smithsonian, the Museums, the Washington Monument, the Capitol Building, the Mall, as well as convenient to Metro stations and the convention center.

For reservations or more information call (202) 638-6600 or visit www.hayadams.com.

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New York City’s 42nd Annual Village Halloween Parade Themed ‘Shine a Light’

October 28, 2015
The 42nd Annual Village Halloween Parade in New York City, the largest public Halloween event in the world, kicks off at 7 pm © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The 42nd Annual Village Halloween Parade in New York City, the largest public Halloween event in the world, kicks off at 7 pm © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The theme for the 42nd Annual Village Halloween Parade, which kicks off at 7 pm on Saturday, October 31, is “Shine a Light! In times of darkness, we bring the Light!”  There will be a special Grand Marshall Float in the Parade this year featuring The Most Interesting Man in the World from Dos Equis.
Official Village Halloween Parade Puppeteers, featuring master puppeteers Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles, have created the Shine a Light theme, featuring dancing chandeliers and Light Masters offering small lights to the crowds.

This year’s parade will also feature several large contingents paying tribute to the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition:.

Look for the Day of the Dead commemoration float from the Las Calacas Festival from San Miguel, Mexico.  “This is a serious endeavor involving well-known artists who have a story to tell paying tribute to those creatures and humans who died this past year.”

Joining Las Calacas will be 100 teens from the Casita Maria Center in the South Bronx also exhibiting Day of the Dead costumes and puppets.  It is their first time at the Parade.

Also, the Mexican Tourism Board has sent us 30 beautiful Day of the Dead Catrinas in full costume and make-up for the march!

The Parade steps off promptly at 7 p.m. from Spring Street and 6th Avenue in Greenvich Village and makes it way up 6th Avenue to about 28th Street.

The hastag for the night is #ny1boo.

See highlights from the 2014 New York City Halloween Parade

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Snow Conditions Prime at Vail’s 4 Colorado Resorts in Time for Season Opening

October 25, 2015

Tubing at the Adventure Center at family-friendly Keystone Resort in the Colorado Rockies Snow Conditions Prime at Vail's 4 Colorado Resorts in Time for Season  Opening

Tubing at the Adventure Center at Vail Resorts’ family-friendly Keystone Resort in the Colorado Rockies © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Summit County / Eagle County, Colo. – The official arrival of winter weather has blanketed Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone Resorts with seven to 12 inches of fresh snow.  Additional snow and cold temperatures are forecast for the approaching week, which offer conditions suitable for snowmaking at Vail Resorts’ four major Colorado resorts.

Slated to open Friday, Nov. 6, Keystone Resort will be the first among Colorado’s ‘ major resorts to open.  Winter has officially arrived at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone,” said President of Vail Resorts Mountain Division, Pat Campbell.  Now is the time to plan for an unforgettable winter.  Epic Passes offer unlimited, unrestricted access to the slopes – and thanks to early-season snowfall and snowmaking, the resorts anticipate great conditions for opening day.”

With cold temperatures predicted, Vail Mountain expects to begin making snow as early as today and into the weekend and the resort’s opening day is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 20.  Opening day for Breckenridge is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 13; Beaver Creek’s opening day is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Epic Pass Offers Unlimited, Unrestricted Skiing for $809
The Epic Pass offers guests access to unrestricted, unlimited skiing for the 2015-16 winter season to the premier ski resorts in the U.S. Available for just $809 for adults and $419 for children (ages five to 12), pass holders gain unlimited, unrestricted access to more than 32,000 acres at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Perisher in Australia for the 2016 season there; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and up to five free consecutive days when staying at in-resort accommodations at Verbier, Switzerland.

Save Up to 30 Percent on Lodging
Guests who reserve lodging accommodations by opening day receive up to 30 percent savings.  From family-friendly accommodations at Keystone and ski-in, ski-out lodging at the foot of Breck’s famed Peak 8, to award-winning, luxury accommodations in the heart of Vail and Beaver Creek, guests are invited to customize a vacation experience of a lifetime at Colorado’s four major resorts by visiting Snow.com.

Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone collectively offer the winter enthusiasts the best of Colorado’s skiing and riding, accommodations, dining, shopping, entertainment, and activities .  With more than 13,000 acres of combined skiable terrain across more than 650 trails, the four resorts offer unprecedented access to the slopes.  For current snow and weather conditions, additional information or to plan a vacation, visit Vail.comBeaverCreek.comBreckenridge.com and KeystoneResort.com.

Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. The Company’s subsidiaries operate nine world-class mountain resorts and two urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Perisher, Australia; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. The Company owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.

See also:

Keystone, Colorado is Perfect Destination Mountain Resort For Families

Breckenridge Mountain Resort Is Worth The Hike
It is common practice among locals to hike to peaks higher than the chairlifts can travel

BEAVER CREEK: PENULTIMATE IN ROCKY MOUNTAIN SKIING
Colorado Mountain Resort Offers all the Best of the West

NIGHT & DAY IN HEAVENLY: Your inner angel & devil both get time to play at mountain resort

A Mancation to Heavenly Mountain, Lake Tahoe

Northstar California scores with new programs: Tost, 4Her, Mountain Table Dinner

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Top 5 Reasons to Visit Breckenridge This Winter

October 17, 2015
Breckenridge, a Vail resort in Colorado (photo by Pete Iskyan)

Snow has begun to blanket Breckenridge, a Vail resort in Colorado, in time for opening day for the 2015-16 season  (photo by Pete Iskyan)

Snow has already begun to blanket Breckenridge Ski Resort as white peaks shined bright against pink clouds and blue skies in Colorado’s high country. Opening day is Friday, Nov. 13, and along with the numerous reasons to visit Breckenridge this 2015-2016 ski and ride season, the top five reasons will have you taking advantage of lodging deals, waxing your skis and dusting off your boots.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Breckenridge for the 2015-2016 Winter Season

  1. Snow My Gosh!
    Averaging nearly 30 feet of snow, Breckenridge has been one of the snowiest resorts in North America for the last two years. Snow has started to fall on Breckenridge’s five huge peaks and there will be skiing soon  from the highest chairlift in North America all the way into the hip mountain town of Breckenridge. And while Mother Nature has always been good to Breck, the resort has installed a mile of new snowmaking over the summer on Peak 6 insuring a holiday opening date for the lower part of the peak.
  2. Breck for Less
    Breckenridge offers a couple of ways to save on ski vacations throughout the season, but booking before opening day is the best way to save on lodging. Book now through opening day (Nov. 13) to save up to 30 percent on lodging at Breckenridge.com/deals. Breckenridge is one of the hottest spots to ski in the Western Hemisphere, so don’t wait!
  3. Tricks, Flips and Guitar Picks
    As host to top ski and snowboard events, Breckenridge sets the lineup for the winter with favorite events including the Winter Dew Tour, returning for the 8thconsecutive year to Breckenridge Dec. 10-13, 2015.  The winter Dew Tour features four amazing days of world-class snowboard and freeski competitions, live concerts, athlete meet-and-greets, events in town and the interactive Dew Tour Experience. January is all about celebrating snow and brings the quirky Ullr Festivaland awe-inspiring International Snow Sculpture Championships to downtownn Breck. Finally, spring flings forward with Spring Fever, the largest spring skiing festival in Colorado, March 18 through April 17. The month-long festival incorporates on and off-mountain events, live concerts on the snow and more.
  4. New School
    The Breckenridge Ski & Snowboard School enhances its offerings with more advanced, specialized instructions for faster learning; a new family-friendly slow zone with skill zone specific features; and instructors who focus on personalized instruction while providing the inside scoop to the mountain. Women specifically will benefit during Women’s Ski Week this February with women-only classes for all levels, first tracks, Women & Wine and more. Classes and guides are available for all ages and levels – find the perfect option for you and your group at www.breckenridge.com
  5. One pass to ski the world
    The Epic Pass continues to be the best value and most popular lift product in the industry offering guests access to 13 resorts in three countries and a savings of up to 35 percent as compared to single-day lift ticket pricing. The Epic Pass provides skiers and riders with unlimited and unrestricted access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe, Afton Alps in Minnesota, Mt. Brighton in Michigan and now Perisher in Australia. Purchase by Oct. 11 for the lowest price guaranteed at $789 for adults and $409 for children, on EpicPass.com.

With snow now on the ground, Breckenridge is ramping up for its best ski season yet. Stay connected on Breckenridge.com for terrain updates, snow reports, lodging deals, event details and the lowest priced lift tickets guaranteed. Stay connected all year long at www.facebook.com/Breckenridge, watch official resort videos at www.YouTube.com/Breckenridge and follow @Breckenridgemtn on Instagram and Twitter.

With five huge peaks, 2,908 acres, four terrain parks, a 22ft Superpipe, 11 bowls, the highest chairlift in North America, family-friendly terrain and a world-class ski school, all situated above an authentic, hip mountain town with awe-inspiring views, there are good reasons why “Breck” is one of the most popular ski resorts in the Western Hemisphere. Renowned for the welcoming spirit and friendly character of its locals, with over 200 restaurants, bars, and shops, and numerous year-round activities and events, Breck embodies more than just a destination, it inspires a way of life.  www.breckenridge.com.

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New MAX Pass Gives Access to 22 Premier Ski Destinations in North America

October 17, 2015
  • 5 Days at Each Resort with a Total of 110 Days on the Slopes for $719 USD
  • Perfect for Weekends at Resorts near Home and Destination Trips—All on One Pass
  • The M.A.X. Pass Pays for Itself in as Little as Seven Days
  • Buy Now Prices Increase on November 1st
Copper Mountain Resort in Summit County, Colorado, one of the Powdr resorts, is one of 22 North American ski/snowboard destinations included in the MAX Skicard program © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Copper Mountain Resort in Summit County, Colorado, one of the Powdr resorts, is one of 22 North American ski/snowboard destinations included in the MAX Skicard program © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Last spring, Intrawest, Powdr and Boyne Resorts jointly launched the new and revolutionary M.A.X. Pass and it’s available now for the 2015-2016 winter season. This “Multi-Alpine Experience” ski pass gives skiers and snowboarders access to 22 unique and legendary mountains across North America for the 2015-2016 season. M.A.X. Passholders can experience five days at each of the 22 participating resorts with a total of 110 days on the slopes and no blackout dates for $719 for adults, $519 for teens (ages 13–17), $269 for youth (ages 6-12), and US$29 for children (5 and under). These fall prices are available only until October 31, 2015.

Participating resorts by region include:

Northeast/East
Killington, Vt.
Loon Mountain, N.H.
Pico Mountain, Vt.
Snowshoe, W. Va.
Stratton, Vt.
Sugarloaf, Maine
Sunday River, Maine

Rockies
Big Sky, Mont.
Brighton, Utah
Copper Mountain, Colo.
Steamboat, Colo.
Winter Park, Colo.

Midwest
Boyne Highlands, Mich.
Boyne Mountain, Mich.

West
Boreal Mountain, Calif.
Crystal Mountain, Wash.

Lee Canyon, Nev
Mt. Bachelor, Ore.
The Summit at Snoqualmie, Wash.

Canada
Blue Mountain, Ont.
Cypress Mountain, B.C.
Mont Tremblant, Quebec

“Skiers and riders are always looking for new resorts to explore, terrain to master and experiences with friends and family to remember. The new M.A.X. Pass gives winter sports enthusiasts the opportunity to get the most value out of their winter season while experiencing unique mountains and a variety of incredible terrain throughout North America. The M.A.X. Pass gives skiers and riders the flexibility to ski where they want and when they want and The M.A.X. Pass pays for itself in as little as seven days,” the company said.

“Boyne Resorts is proud to align with two companies who share our true passion for creating unique destinations and resorts across North America to offer the best multi-mountain pass on the market,” said Stephen Kircher, President of Boyne Resorts’ Eastern Operations. “M.A.X. Passholders have the freedom to use the pass however they choose—from single day visits and long weekends to longer ski trips over the holidays.”

“Our three companies, Powdr, Intrawest, and Boyne, have always focused on creating a great experience at our resorts,” said John Cumming, CEO of Powdr. “Now, with the M.A.X. Pass, guests can have amazing experiences both close to home and at destination resorts around the country, with premier resorts in the Northeast, Mountain West, Pacific Northwest and Canada.”

“We joined forces with Boyne Resorts and Powdr to develop an innovative product that provides access to more incredible mountains in North America than any other pass in the market. Our goal is to provide our guests with a pass that provides maximum choice on when, where, and how long they ski at a great value. The M.A.X. Pass is a great way for skiers that have never owned a season pass to enjoy the flexibility they crave and the ability to save money versus buying day passes at several resorts,” said Tom Marano, CEO of Intrawest.

No Blackout Dates
The M.A.X. Pass is valid for the entire 2015-2016 ski season at all 22 mountains with no blackout dates, meaning all holidays are includedDays do not need to be used consecutively and days are not transferrable from one mountain to another.

Buy Now for Lowest Price
The M.A.X. Pass is on sale now at theMAXpass.com and is available at the current fall rate through October 31, 2015.

2015-16 Season Pass Holder Add-on Benefit for only $269
Skiers that have purchased a qualifying season pass at their favorite participating resort are eligible to purchase the M.A.X. Pass Add-on for only US$269 for adults, $219 for teens (ages 13–17), $169 for kids (ages 6-12), and $29 for children (5 and under). The M.A.X. Pass Add-on provides five days of skiing/riding at each participating resort, except those accessible with the qualifying season pass. That’s up to an additional 21 mountains for $269 for an adult pass. For more information visit www.theMAXpass.com

Purchase M.A.X. Pass ONLINE ONLY at theMAXpass.com. For additional info, email info@theMAXpass.com.

Follow on social media at FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest. #themaxpass

Intrawest is a North American mountain resort and adventure company, delivering distinctive vacation and travel experiences to its customers for over three decades. The Company owns interests in seven four-season mountain resorts with more than 11,000 skiable acres and over 1,140 acres of land available for real estate development. Intrawest’s mountain resorts are geographically diversified across most of North America’s major ski regions, including the Eastern United States, the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Southwest and Canada. The Company also operates an adventure travel business, the cornerstone of which is Canadian Mountain Holidays, the leading heli-skiing adventure company in North America. Additionally, the Company operates a comprehensive real estate business through which it manages, markets and sells vacation club properties; manages condominium hotel properties; and sells and markets residential real estate. Intrawest Resorts Holdings, Inc. common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: SNOW). For more information, visit www.intrawest.com.

Boyne Resorts is the largest family owned four-season resort company in North America; founded in 1947 by Everett Kircher.  A Michigan-based corporation, Boyne Resorts owns and/or operates award-winning mountain and golf resorts and attractions throughout the United States and Canada including Cypress Mountain near Vancouver, British Columbia, official freestyle skiing and snowboard venue of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Sugarloaf and Sunday River Resort in Maine,  Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, The Inn at Bay Harbor – A Renaissance Golf Resort and Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark in Michigan, Big Sky Resort in Montana, Loon Mountain in New Hampshire, Gatlinburg Sky Lift in Tennessee, Brighton in Utah, Crystal Mountain and The Summit at Snoqualmie in Washington.  For more information on Boyne Resorts, visit www.boyneresorts.com.

Powdr is an active entertainment company, headquartered in Park City, Utah. Powdr has a network of businesses including eight mountain resorts (Copper Mountain Resort in Summit County, Colorado; Killington Resort and Pico Mountain in Killington, Vermont; Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon; Boreal Resort and Soda Springs Resort in Donner Summit, California; Lee Canyon Resort near Las Vegas, Nevada; and Gorgoza Park in Park City, Utah); Woodward, world-class action sports camps and progression centers with four locations (Camp Woodward in Woodward, Pennsylvania; Woodward West in Tehachapi, California; Woodward Tahoe at Boreal Resort in California; and Woodward Copper in Summit County, Colorado); Outside Television, a national television network dedicated to the active lifestyle; Human Movement Management, an event production company; and Powdr Enterprises, launched to activate and integrate the Powdr platform and build new, complementary businesses, partnerships and programming. For additional information on Powdr, visit www.powdr.com.

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Accuweather US Winter Forecast: Northeast to Dodge Winter’s Brutal Cold; Rain, Snow to Dent California Drought

October 9, 2015

Accuweather-Winter15

Where will the skiing be best this winter? Where will it be brutally cold? According to AccuWeather’s 2015-16 U.S. Winter Forecast, winter will kick off with mild weather in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic as an intensifying El Niño influences the weather pattern across the country.

El Niño will drive heavy rain and mountain snow to California, helping to replenish reservoirs but also threatening to cause flooding and mudslides. Meanwhile, a rain deficit will continue to build in the Northwest.

Here is a regional breakdown of the AccuWeather.com 2015-2016 U.S. Winter Forecast:

Brutal Cold Won’t Return to Northeast, Mid-Atlantic; Weak Lake-Effect Season in Store for Great Lakes

After the winter of 2014-2015 brought brutal cold to the northeastern United States, this season is set to be milder overall, but particularly during the early part of the season.

“We just don’t know exactly yet whether or not we’re going to see the pattern turn cold and snowy,” AccuWeather Expert Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said. “…There is an opportunity that [the weather] could change on us as we get into February and early March.”

Regardless, the Northeast and mid-Atlantic can expect fewer days of subzero temperatures than last year. February of 2015 went down in the record books as the second-coldest February on record for both the region and for eight states individually, including Pennsylvania, New York and all six New England states.

Farther west, in the Great Lakes region, a lack of arctic air for much of the early and midwinter will lead to a weak lake-effect season, causing snowfall and precipitation totals to fall below normal.

Upstate New York and northern New England are not in the clear, however, as rain events along the coast early in the season can translate to snow in the higher elevations.

Severe Weather to Grip Southeast, Gulf Coast States

As one of the strongest El Niños in the last 50 to 60 years continues to develop, it’s likely that heavy rainfall and severe weather will take aim at the Southeast and Gulf Coast.

El Niño patterns often result in severe weather outbreaks for this region as bigger, stronger systems are able to take a southern storm track.

Florida, in particular, may have a higher risk for tornadoes this season. Southern Georgia and South Carolina are also at a higher risk for severe weather events.

Overall, heavy rain will be widespread for the South. As the season progresses, additional rain on an already saturated ground will increase the chances for flooding.

“As far as the biggest impacts go, I would look at Shreveport and New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama. I think those areas are going to get hit with a lot of rain,” Pastelok said.

Springlike Highs to Visit Northern Plains on Occasion; Below-Normal Temperatures to Grip Southern Plains

Wintry weather will become active early on in the northern Plains, with the potential for a few snowstorms as early as November and December.

As is typical for this region, however, the weather pattern will be a roller coaster, causing wintry weather to back off in the middle of the season and return again just before spring.

“There will be a good portion of the middle part of the season where [the weather] doesn’t do a lot, but the bookends can get pretty active,” Pastelok said.

At times, temperatures in the north-central Plains could soar into the 50s or even the 60s F for a couple of days as mild weather is pushed out from the Northwest and northern Rockies.

In the southern Plains, the building El Niño will dictate an active southern storm track, meaning the region could end up with above-normal precipitation.

Below-Normal Snowfall to Exacerbate Drought Woes in Northwest, Northern Rockies

Below-normal precipitation, in the form of both rain and snow, and above-normal temperatures will define the season across the Northwest and northern and eastern Rockies.

For the season as a whole, the region is likely to end up with snowfall totals much below normal.

“Ski areas in the northern Rockies may be missing out on significant fresh snowpack. They’re going to have to make most of their snow at night,” Pastelok said.

The dryness across the area could eventually translate to building drought conditions if spring rain is not abundant.

Wet, Snowy Conditions to Frequent the Southwest

Wet and snowy conditions will frequent the southwestern United States this winter.

“It may not happen early on, but by the middle of the season, I think they’re going to get hit very hard and frequently,” Pastelok said. “That’s going to put a lot of snow in the mountains and cause a lot of rain in the valley and desert areas.”

“Phoenix, Arizona, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, should prepare for significant precipitation this season. “These cities are not going to miss out this year,” according to Pastelok.

Across the region, a few precipitation events will occur during November and December, but things will pick up deeper into the season.

“January and February will bring more frequent heavy events,” he said.

El Niño to Send Rain, Snow to Parched California

“There’s good news and bad news for California,” according to Pastelok.

El Niño will help to set up a pattern of rain and snow for California, which is still dealing with devastating drought conditions and rampant wildfires.

Copious amounts of rain from systems over the same area, a theme which occurs often during this type of weather pattern, can lead to problems for California.

The state is dealing with more than 9 million acres of wildfire-charred land, more than 2.5 million acres more than the 10-year average.

“[The heavy rain] is going to lead to patterns in the mud where water will travel rapidly and lead to flooding,” Pastelok said. “It’s going to lead to developing streams and rivers that are not supposed to be there, and you’re going to get localized street flooding in the cities.”

Mudslides and basement flooding may also prove devastating for homeowners.

However, there’s a silver lining: The 2015-2016 season may yield triple the amount of snow than that which fell last year in the central and northern mountains.

“This is what fills the reservoirs in the spring and early summer,” Pastelok said.

Central California will finally experience the feast that follows famine. Pastelok believes his forecast may even be conservative for this area.

While the rain and snow will put a dent in the water crisis, it won’t result in the be-all and end-all residents are hoping for.

“Will it be enough? I think we need a couple of these kinds of years and I’m not sure we’re going to get that,” Pastelok said.

 

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New Hampshire’s RiverFire Festival Transforms Androscoggin River Into A Floating Blaze

October 2, 2015
During the RiverFire Festival, the River Walk Bridge in Berlin is decorated with hundreds of creatively carved jack-o-lanterns. The festival, which takes place at the Northern Forest Heritage Park in Berlin, draws more than 5,000 people, and features a day of family-friendly Halloween fun and food before the dramatic lighting of the Androscoggin River at dusk.

During the RiverFire Festival, the River Walk Bridge in Berlin is decorated with hundreds of creatively carved jack-o-lanterns. The festival, which takes place at the Northern Forest Heritage Park in Berlin, draws more than 5,000 people, and features a day of family-friendly Halloween fun and food before the dramatic lighting of the Androscoggin River at dusk.

Burning brighter and hotter than ever with hundreds of jack-o-lanterns and bonfires illuminating the river, the spectacular annual RiverFire Festival presented by Service Credit Union in Berlin will set the Androscoggin River ablaze at dusk on Saturday, October 17.

Now in its 12th year as one of the Grand North’s most celebrated events, the RiverFire Festival draws more than 5,000 people each year to the Northern Forest Heritage Park, 942 Main Street in Berlin, to take part in a day of family-friendly Halloween fun, food and promotions before the dramatic lighting of the Androscoggin River. RiverFire festivities will kick off at 2 p.m. with free admission.

“The RiverFire Festival presented by Service Credit Union is a perfect way to experience New Hampshire’s Grand North in the fall and it is a fantastic opportunity for families to get a head-start on celebrating the Halloween season,” said Paula Kinney, of the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce, which puts on the RiverFire Festival. “To see the river illuminated by fire is simply breathtaking. The striking contrast between the Androscoggin River’s dark waters with the dramatic bonfires and glowing jack-o-lanterns is truly a visual experience that cannot be missed. Along with the dramatic fires on the river beginning at dusk, RiverFire also boasts a full day of fun for the whole family.”

While the fires appear to be floating on the water, the blazes actually burn on the historic boom piers dotting the river. The piers were used during the height of the logging era, when they separated and guided lumber as it floated down the river to the mills of Berlin. During RiverFire, the boom piers are stacked with skids and set on fire creating a dynamic contrast between the dark waters and the bright orange flames. Along with the bonfires, the River Walk Bridge will be decorated with hundreds of creatively carved jack-o-lanterns.

To go along with the spectacular fires on the water, other family-friendly activities include hay rides, pumpkin carving, a petting zoo, duck races, a bouncy house, a children’s Halloween costume parade, and mouth-watering food. The third annual Zombie ATV Poker Run has become a big hit at the festival. In a new nighttime feature this year, RiverFire will also include laser tag from 5 to 9 p.m. In addition, Duke, one of New England’s best country rock bands, will kick off evening festivities with some great live tunes. Food vendors and the 21-plus Beer Tent will be available throughout the afternoon as well. For more information on the schedule of events and activities, visit: http://www.androscogginvalleychamber.com/riverfire-festival/schedule/.

“The RiverFire Festival has become one of the true marquee events of the Grand North, drawing families from all over the region,” said Karl Stone, Marketing Manager for New Hampshire Grand, the official visitor information source for Coos County and the northern White Mountains. “Incredible ‘floating fires,’ a fun-filled Halloween-themed day for families, and a great opportunity to walk Berlin’s historic Main Street, make the RiverFire Festival the hottest event in the Grand North.”

In the third annual Zombie ATV Poker Run, ATV enthusiasts dress in zombie costumes and decorate their ATVs for a chance to win prizes for best costume and most festive ATV. Register at White Mountain ATV Rental, 299 Main Street in Gorham, and ride to the Northern Forest Heritage Park in Berlin. Registration takes place on October 17th from 9-11 a.m. Parking is free.

The third annual RiverFire 5K Run/Walk, which is hosted by Coos County Family Health Services, begins at 2 p.m. Runners leave from Heritage Park, proceed over the 12th-Street Bridge to the cemeteries and return to Heritage Park. For more information and to register, please visit: http://www.coosfamilyhealth.org/riverfire.pdf.

RiverFire presented by Service Credit Union is hosted by the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce. Sponsors include Service Credit Union, AutoNorth Pre-Owned Superstore, Northeast Credit Union, Brookfield Renewable, Northway Bank, Bank of New Hampshire, Great Northwoods Container Service, ReMax Northern Edge Realty, Capone Iron Corporation and Nordic Construction.

For additional information, call (603) 752-6060, or click on www.riverfirenh.com or www.facebook.com/riverfire.berlinnh.

 

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Vermont, Staking Claim for ‘World’s Best Foliage’ Provides Weekly Foliage Reports

October 2, 2015

After years of watching other states attempt to position themselves as autumn destinations, Vermont has thrown down the gauntlet and declared itself the home of the World’s Best Foliage.

“No one does foliage better than Vermont,” declared Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin. “Three-quarters of our state is forested, and we have the highest percentage of maple trees in the country. With our flaming reds, blazing oranges and glowing yellows, we have the most vibrant fall colors in the world.”

In previous years, states as far away as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Arizona have claimed their fall season was as pretty as Vermont’s. “Clearly, we’re the bar,” said Megan Smith, Commissioner for the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing. “Our fall advertising campaign will articulate the myriad reasons we have the World’s Best Foliage. Our hope is that people will be inspired to come see it for themselves.”

Smith added that Vermont’s fall campaign isn’t just about bragging rights. Visitors spend $460 million during the foliage season, which represents about a quarter of overall visitor spending each year. Nearly 3.5 million people travel to Vermont in the fall to experience its unique working landscape of bucolic villages, pastoral meadows, and forested hillsides.

To help visitors plan their trip during “peak” season, the state’s official tourism website, www.VermontVacation.com, will offer weekly foliage reports, Best Bets for driving tours, and a foliage tracker. The website will rely on information from the state’s Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and its commissioner, Michael Snyder. Snyder is a well-regarded forester, and with over 30 years of professional experience, has earned the title of Vermont’s official Foliage Forecaster.

“Predicting fall’s color changes is part science and part luck,” admitted Snyder. “We know the science of color change and the factors that influence it, but we don’t know exactly how it will unfold in any given year. The good news is, our foliage is like a day on the slopes—when it’s good, it’s great. And even when it’s a bit off, it’s still really good.”  Snyder says Vermont’s abundant spring rain and summer sunshine have created the right conditions for a spectacular fall in 2015.

To see the top reasons why Vermont has the World’s Best Foliage, go to www.VermontVacation.com/worldsbestfoliage.

 

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