Archive for the ‘DC’ Category

Take a Journey through Colombia at 2011 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC

June 24, 2011

“Journey” to Colombia at this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival, located in Washington D.C. July 1-4 and July 7-11, from 11 am.-5:30 p.m. Beginning with the opening ceremony at 11 am on Thursday, June 30. the festival gives visitors the chance to indulge in the traditions, diversity and culture of Colombia.

This is the festival’s 45th year celebrating culture from all around the world, with this year focusing on Colombia, Peace Corps and Rhythm & Blues.

This year’s program will allow visitors to see, taste and feel the true colors and passion of Colombia. Visitors will be able to move beyond perceptions and discover the offering and experience Colombia has to offer as a booming travel destination.

“For many decades, Colombia was plagued by violence and insecurity fueled by illegal armed groups; but today, we have turned a corner and emerged from the shadows of our past to become a stronger democracy, an economic force in the region and a leader in international affairs,” said Colombian Ambassador to the United States Gabriel Silva.

“As a new day has dawned in Colombia, we now have an opportunity to shed light on the many positive steps our nation continues to make. With this new day comes the opportunity to open people’s eyes not only to the new Colombia of today, but also to the roots and richness of our cultural heritage. The Folklife Festival is by far the largest stage in the United States to showcase our culture, and we invite all to come to the National Mall to behold firsthand the profound beauty of our country, the warmth of our people, the richness of our traditions and the foundation of our cultural heritage.”

The Nature of Colombian Culture program at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival will showcase the real Colombia through lifestyles and traditions from all over Colombia. It will highlight the bio-cultural diversity of the country, along with how the environment is linked to their culture.

“Visitors will be able to see the biodiversity of Colombia in the Folklife Festival; however, the richness of the country is fully experienced when visiting the country, traveling its forests, mountains, savannas, beaches and enjoying the coffee triangle, parties, cities, and numerous possibilities of varied tourism available throughout the country,” said Maria Claudia Lacouture, President of Proexport.

Festival goers will have the opportunity to take a journey to South America and meet those individuals representing Colombia from nine different regions of the country.

To view the day by day schedule of the Colombia program at the 2011 Smithsonian Folklife Festival,visit: http://www.festival.si.edu/2011/schedule_06_30.aspx

 

See more travel features:

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

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Gaylord Hotels Package Benefits Wounded Warrior Project

April 20, 2011

Gaylord National Resort just outside Washington DC. Guests who stay at any of the Gaylord Hotels this May now have the opportunity to help Wounded Warrior Project honor and empower America’s injured service men and women © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

Guests who stay at Gaylord Hotels this May now have the opportunity to help Wounded Warrior Project honor and empower America’s injured service men and women.

Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is the featured charity for Gaylord Hotels’ Rooms for Good co-operative marketing and fundraising program for the month of May. The organization will receive 10 percent of the Rooms for Good package rate booked at all four of the brand’s resorts.

“Our goal is to provide unique programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members,” said Wounded Warrior Project Chief Development Officer Adam Silva. “It’s through the help of organizations like Gaylord Hotels and their Rooms for Good campaign that we’re able to continue this important work and support those who have given so much in defense of our country.”

Rooms for Good packages start at $179* per couple and include one-night accommodations and breakfast for two. A discounted package rate of $139* per couple is available for active and retired military.

The Rooms for Good program will feature a different charity each month. In addition to raising money for non-profit organizations, Gaylord Hotels will also raise awareness of the cause through its advertising, public relations and social media platforms.

“Our Rooms for Good program gives guests a chance to get away while giving back to an important cause,” said Amy Atkinson, Gaylord Hotels’ vice president of leisure marketing and public relations. “We are honored to support Wounded Warrior Project as they work to positively impact the lives of those who have sacrificed so much for our country.”

Over 40,000 troops have been physically wounded during the current military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands more are estimated to be recovering from invisible wounds of war, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Whether through caregiver retreats, combat stress programs, career and education services, or adaptive sporting opportunities, WWP empowers warriors with the tools essential to not just survive their injuries but to thrive and achieve personal and professional success.

 *The rate varies per resort and excludes tax, parking and resort fee. More information is available at www.RoomsForGood.com

About Gaylord Hotels®
Owned and operated by Nashville, Tenn.-based Gaylord Entertainment, Gaylord Hotels® is a collection of four upscale resorts: Gaylord Opryland® in Nashville, Tenn.; Gaylord Palms® in Kissimmee, Fla., near Orlando; Gaylord Texan® on Lake Grapevine near Dallas, Texas, and Gaylord National® on the Potomac in National Harbor, Md. The brand’s hallmark— “everything in one place”— provides diverse dining options, quality spa and fitness center services, top-notch entertainment, on-site shopping and endless activities—all within each resort. For additional information, visit www.gaylordhotels.com.

About Wounded Warrior Project

Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) raises awareness and enlists the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, helps injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and provides unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. To get involved and learn more, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

See also:

Gaylord National Resort turns family trip to Nation’s Capital into true vacation and slideshow

On the Town in Nashville, Music City U.S.A.

Ice Carvers from China Create Gaylord National’s ICE! featuring How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

November 3, 2010

ICE! at Gaylord National Resort

The welcoming portal to ICE! How the Grinch Stole Christmas! at the Gaylord National Resort in Washington DC © 2010 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

You can easily imagine what it’s like for the elves at the North Pole when you peak inside the massive tents where 40 artisans from Harbin, China are at work in a 9-degree environment, creating all-new interactive ice sculpture world, “ICE! featuring How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” on view at Gaylord National Resort just outside Washington D.C. from Nov. 18, 2010 through Jan.  9, 2011.

Working with 5,000, 400-pound blocks of colored ice, custom manufactured at an Ohio plant and shipped to the 15,000-square foot structure, over a six-week period the artisans create 10 life-sized scenes straight out of the pages of the original storybook, all sculpted into full-color, with amazing detail that bring the Grinch story about how he learns the true meaning of Christmas into three-dimensions.

Chinese ice carvers work to create ICE! How the Grinch Stole Christmas! at the Gaylord National Resort in Washington DC © 2010 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

The climax is a room with four two-story slides, entirely created of ice, which adults and children alike will delight in sliding down.

I watched as they worked – some with chain saws, some with chisels, and some with fine tools – the designs laid out in a 250-page book. When they are done, they will have craeted these famous scenes: The Grich’s frozen lair Christmas Eve in Who-ville; The Grinch creating his “ramshackle” sleigh, complete with “reindeer” Max; Mount Crumpit – where visitors can climb to the mountaintop and zip down ice slides to Who-ville; The Grinch stealing Christmas from the Who houses; and Christmas morning in Who-ville and the famous Roast-Beast Feast!

A work in progress: Chinese ice carvers work to create 10 life-sized scenes from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, this year's ICE! event at the Gaylord National Resort © 2010 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

Some of the sculptures are illuminated internally by some of the exhibit’s specially designed LED tube lights, evoking the ice lanters of old Others are engineered to support thousands of visitors over the exhibit’s 50-day lifespan, such as the ice bridge in the snow forest, the towering Christmas Castle ice slides and the full-sized ice horse and sleigh.

A sneak peak at ICE! How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which will be on view at the Gaylord National Resort during its "Christmas on the Potomac" festival © 2010 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

A few of the artisans remain behind in order to touch up their sculptures nightly – a spritz of water here, and chisel there.

A master ice carver from Harbin, China, works on the Nativity scene in crystal clear ice that concludes ICE! at the Gaylord National Resort © 2010 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

ICE! visitors will also enjoy:

  • “The Art of Seuss” Exhibit – a renowned, museum-quality exhibit that features artifacts and memorabilia celebrating the art of Theodore “Dr. Seuss” Geisel.  Highlights include lithographs, serigraphs and sculptures reproduced from Geisel’s original drawings and paintings. (Included with ICE! admission)
  • “From Harbin to WHO-ville” Display – learn about the making of ICE! and the artists who traveled halfway around the world – from Harbin, China – to create our amazing ICE! attraction. (Included with ICE! admission)
  • Meet the Grinch – in this special experience, visitors can meet the hairy, green guy himself and even pose for a photo with him! (Additional purchase required)

Some 185,000 people visited ICE! last year – 8,000 people a day – and more are expected this year.

All four of the Gaylord Resorts have ICE! but they all have different shows – in Nashville, Gaylord Opryland’s ICE! event is themed Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town®; the theme for the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando ICE! event is Twas the Night Before Christmas,and the Gaylord Texas Resort, in Dallas, has A Charlie Brown Christmas. And while there are other ICE! events in the world, these are the only ones in North America.

ICE! is open daily (hours vary), and is priced at $24-29/Adults, $13-18 for Children 4m $18-23 for Seniors (ages 62+), $21/Military Adults  and $13/Military Children. Tickets should be purchased in advance (since many popular days sell out) and can be purchased  online at www.wefrozethegrinch.com; via phone at 301-965-4000; at the Gaylord Concierge Desk (Hotel Lobby) or ICE! Box Office (inside attraction).

But why not make it a real holiday, and stay over?

The Gaylord National is offering value packages for the Christmas Holidays which incorporate a visit to ICE!

The “Christmas Memories” Package provides for one night deluxe room accommodations, one ticket to ICE! and a Souvenir ICE! photo (one per room), daily self-parking and resort fee (a $40 value), for $99 per person, double occupancy (extra adult and child rates are available) The package is available for select dates between November 2010 through January 2011.

The “Grandparent Getaway” Package (because there is no better time than the holidays for grandparents to create lasting memories with their grandchildren),  provides two nights deluxe room accommodations at Gaylord National Resort, one ticket to ICE! and a Souvenir ICE! photo (one photo per room), one ticket to Breakfast with The Grinch, daily self-parking and resort fee for $203 per person, double (with extra adult and child rates available).

There are loads of other activities and entertainment that are all part of the Christmas On the Potomac festivities, and most are open to both resort guests and day visitors.

For more information, to purchase tickets, or make dining reservations, visit www.ChristmasOnThePotomac.com; call 301-965-4000 or 866-9-GRINCH (866-947-4624).

See more about Gaylord National’s “Christmas On the Potomac” at www.examiner.com/eclectic-traveler-in-long-island/karen-rubin.

–Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate

http://www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate