Archive for the ‘festivals and events’ Category

Jones Beach Magic of Lights Show on Long Island is One of Dozens of Holiday-Themed Events Across NYS

December 1, 2021
Magic of Lights Show at Jones Beach State Park, Long Island, is one of dozens of seasonal events and programs at New York state parks and historic sites.

New York State is inviting visitors from near and far to celebrate the holidays at dozens of seasonal events and programs at State Parks and Historic Sites across the state through the end of the year, starting with the annual Jones Beach Magic of Lights show underway through Jan. 2, 2022, on Long Island.

The Magic of Lights Show at Jones Beach State Park is a drive-through placed along 2.5 miles of park roadway, lit with the latest LED technology, including a 200-foot light tunnel, 40 different lighted holiday scenes, and LED decorated holiday trees. Hours are dusk to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and dusk to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.  

More details are available here. Ticket proceeds support charitable causes, with last year’s show raising more than $150,000 for local organizations, in addition to collecting non-perishable food items, toys, books, coats and more. 

Highlights of other holiday-themed events include a Gilded Age Christmas celebration at the decorated Staatsburgh State Historic Site in the Hudson Valley, a Black Friday hike through a rare Lake Erie sand dune environment at Woodlawn Beach State Park, a post-Thanksgiving “Turkey Trot” run at Shirley Chisholm State Park in Brooklyn, a visit by Santa Claus at the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, and the 47th annual Christmas Bird Count at Letchworth State Park in western New York.  

For those wishing to head outside instead of a crowded shopping center, take a hike. Visit the State Parks website for a trail near you.  

For a complete listing of holiday events, please visit the NYS Parks calendar of events here. The list will be updated as further events are added. Some events may require pre-registration or an admission fee. 

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, recreational trails, and boat launches, which were visited by a record 78 million people in 2020. A recent university study found that spending by State Parks and its visitors supports $5 billion in output and sales, 54,000 private-sector jobs and more than $2.8 billion in additional state GDP. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518.474.0456. Also, connect with the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

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Greater Williamsburg, Virginia is Aglow With Holiday Experiences

November 16, 2021
From dazzling light events to festive concerts to seasonal celebrations of colonial history, Kingsmill Resort and Greater Williamsburg come alive during the holidays with the spirit of the season.

KINGSMILL RESORT, WILLIAMSBURG, VA, — From dazzling light events to festive concerts to seasonal celebrations of colonial history, Kingsmill Resort and Greater Williamsburg come alive during the holidays with the spirit of the season. The area is packed with special events. Here are holiday highlights:

So much festivity, so little time

Williamsburg’s only AAA Four Diamond Condominium Golf Resort, Kingsmill Resort, is offering guests a winter wonderland of activities during the month of December including Christmas eve and Christmas day horse and carriage rides, holiday mixology classes, breakfast and photos with Santa, glow golf, ugly sweater supper, gingerbread making competition, Christmas cookie decorating, wreath making, petting zoo, magic show, scavenger hunts, letters to Santa and lots more! The Christmas Tree lighting takes place December 1 at 6 p.m.

Have a Blast at Busch Gardens Christmas Town

Be wowed by one of the largest Christmas light displays in North America with more than 8 million twinkling lights when Busch Gardens Christmas Town returns for select dates Nov. 12-Jan. 2. Pay a visit to Randolph and Santa, watch a holiday show, and enjoy festive food and drink to help you get into the spirit of the season.

Have a Christmas-Themed Walk

Need to walk into the Christmas season? Williamsburg Walking Tours offers its Christmas Past and Present Walking Tour Dec. 1-31. Stroll through the colonial streets of the historic area and learn how early Americans celebrated Christmas. Discover the sources of modern-day celebrations in Williamsburg and how a Christmas decoration sparked a battle on Duke of Gloucester Street between a rooster and a Dalmatian.

Enjoy a guided look at Colonial Williamsburg’s historic building exteriors and streets decked out in holiday splendor during the Dec. 1 Christmas Decorations Walking Tour. Learn about the materials and construction techniques of these traditional holiday decorations. 

Revel in the Yorktown Christmas Tree Lighting

Delight at the Yorktown Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 3, a tradition that began in 1945. The tree is a 20-foot artificial commercial Giant Everest Fir placed in Riverwalk Landing. Tap along to a performance by the Fifes and Drums of Yorktown at the Victory Monument, listen to festive music at Riverwalk Landing, follow the procession of lights through the historic village, and welcome the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Thrill to the Grand Illumination

Grab a blanket and pack a picnic basket or just a thermos, and head to Colonial Williamsburg for the Grand Illumination, the finest fireworks in Williamsburg. Special events take place over three weekends, Dec. 3-5, 10-12 and 17-19. On Friday evenings, join the new Procession of the Yule Log and enjoy holiday songs and stories on Market Square. Saturday evenings will include a dramatic presentation of an original holiday story, yuletide music, and a joyful appearance by Father Christmas, culminating in simultaneous Grand Illumination fireworks over the Governor’s Palace and Capitol building.

Enjoy Holiday Music

A seasonal tradition for the entire family, The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra presents its annual Holiday Pops Concert during the first Grand Illumination weekend, Dec. 4-5. Share in joyful holiday classics and beloved carols with family and friends at the Kimball Theatre.

Watch Lights Dancing on the River

Join in the 25th annual Yorktown Lighted Boat Parade on Dec. 4 at the Yorktown Waterfront. Start by caroling around the beach bonfire, listening to the Fifes & Drums of York Town, and sipping complimentary hot cider before the decorated motorboats, sailboats, and Chesapeake workboats begin their lighted parade on the York River as they compete for best in show.

March in a Parade

Bundle up to join the Williamsburg Christmas Parade on Dec. 4. For the first time, the parade, which kicks off the holiday season with themed floats, live performances, and of course Santa himself, will be held at night.

Munch Cookies with Santa

Bring the whole family to the Gallery at York Hall on Dec. 5 for Cookies with Santa — a complimentary event to make the season bright. After enjoying the refreshments, find unique Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers among the work of hundreds of local artists, including ornaments, paintings, quilts, pottery, and many other one-of-a-kind pieces.

Shop for Christmas Gifts

Looking for the perfect gift for a friend or family member? You’re sure to find it at the Christmas Market on Main Street, Dec. 4 and 5. This is one of the most anticipated Yorktown events every holiday season. Close to 100 vendors line the street selling everything from nautical paintings to handmade soaps to Christmas ornaments and wreaths. On Saturday, enjoy a performance from the Fifes and Drums of York Town, after which Santa Claus himself will greet families. Expect strolling musical entertainment throughout the day and an ice carver set up in front of York Hall on Sunday.

More Yorktown shopping opportunities await at Mistletoe Market on Dec. 11. Browse for chowders and soups; baked goods; jams, jellies, and honey; holiday wreaths; candles and soaps; and local seasonal art. March in the annual Toyland Parade and hop aboard the Riverwalk Landing Polar Express for a loop around the festivities. Marvel at a fascinating live demonstration by a professional ice carver set up in front of the Riverwalk Landing fountain.

Sing Carols of Yesteryear

Ring in the holidays on Dec. 16 with musicians Brian Forsman and Bill Weldon as they trace the roots of seasonal tunes and popular carols to the music that our ancestors sang and danced to in colonial times. During Now Christmas Comes!, sing along with carols from Christmases past before the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree on Market Square. 

Watch the Colonial Williamsburg Christmas Tree Lighting

Gather in Colonial Williamsburg on Dec. 16 for the annual Community Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Listen to a special reading of The Night Before Christmas in front of the Courthouse steps and learn about the first Christmas tree in the United States. Sing along to classic Christmas carols and watch as the 40-foot spruce tree on Market Square is illuminated with 7,500 twinkling lights. 

Live an Authentic Colonial Christmas

Christmastide in Virginia returns Dec. 18-31 at Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, offering a glimpse of 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions through interpretative programs and demonstrations and period musical entertainment. At Jamestown Settlement, special programs will compare English Christmas customs of the time with how they were observed in the difficult early years of the first permanent English settlement. At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, learn about winter camp life and hear accounts of Christmas during the war. Observe open-hearth cooking and watch as period dishes are made in the farm kitchen. Interpreters will also demonstrate a variety of holiday activities, including setting a farmhouse table for a holiday feast and decorating with greenery.

Immerse Yourself in Christmas Stories

Gather the entire family together for 12 Days and Night Before Christmas on Dec. 24 at the Hennage Auditorium in Colonial Williamsburg. Watch two classic Christmas stories come to life.

Participate in a 19th-Century Christmas

Spend an hour with the Colonial Singers for a re-creation of a 19th-Century Williamsburg Christmas in the “living room” of the famous Tucker family home in the Hennage Auditorium in Colonial Williamsburg on Dec. 26. Clad in beautiful 19th-century costumes, they share stories and songs centered around the Civil War, the college town of Williamsburg, circa 1850, and tales of Charles Dickens. Enjoy decorating the Tucker family Christmas tree.

Re-Live Four Centuries of Virginia Christmases

Enjoy early hymns, English songs of roast beef and revelry, Irish and Scots dance tunes, poetry, prose, and stories galore during Four Centuries of Virginia Christmases at the Hennage Auditorium in Colonial Williamsburg on Dec. 28. Sing, clap, toe-tap, and share the fun of beloved holiday traditions as veteran Williamsburg musicians Kelly Kennedy, David Gardner, Cliff Williams, and Doug Austin celebrate Christmases past in the Old Dominion. 

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Palm Beach Zoo’s Holiday Spectacular Returns Starting Nov 19; Tickets Now on Sale

November 5, 2021
While the animals slumber, Palm Beach Zoo is illuminated for the holidays with over one million eco-friendly lights, with the return of the “Zoo Lights“ festival taking place Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Nov. 19-Jan. 2, 2022.

WEST PALM BEACH – While the animals slumber, Palm Beach Zoo is illuminated for the holidays with over one million eco-friendly lights, with the return of the “Zoo Lights“ festival taking place Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Nov. 19-Jan. 2, 2022.

Each evening of Zoo Lights, the Zoo reopens from 6-9 pm, aglow with themed displays throughout its 23 acres. The festive holiday fun also features photos with Santa (until Dec. 23rd), a DJ holiday dance party, and seasonal treats.

Advanced ticket purchase is recommended, and Zoo Lights attendees can select from two specific times for entry; 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Tickets are limited each evening to allow for plenty of room to move about the Zoo.

Tickets for the event are available at http://www.palmbeachzoo.org/zoolights. Palm Beach Zoo Annual Members receive special pricing. Ride sharing is encouraged.

Palm Beach Zoo, 1301 Summit Boulevard, West Palm Beach, Florida 33405-3035, 561-547-9453 (WILD) www.palmbeachzoo.org.

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Winter Village With Free Skating, Holiday Market Returns to NYC’s Bryant Park

November 4, 2021
NYC’s celebrated Bank of America winter Village at Bryant Park, featuring the city’s only free-admission skating rink, holiday market and delicious food offerings, has returned for its 20th season,Friday, October 29, 2021 – Sunday, March 6, 2022 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NYC’s celebrated Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, featuring the city’s only free-admission skating rink, holiday market and delicious food offerings, has returned for its 20th season, Friday, October 29, 2021 – Sunday, March 6, 2022.  While still proceeding with an abundance of caution for the safety of its guests, Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is thrilled to be welcoming back its most popular attractions this winter season:

  • The Rink: the only free-admission ice skating rink in NYC is open daily. The Rink is completely outdoors, and skate time and rentals can be reserved in advance online. New skate reservation dates will be released on a rolling basis throughout the season. Masks are encouraged, and Bryant Park is continuing to implement additional cleaning protocols throughout the day to ensure high-touch surfaces and shared rental equipment are sanitized and safe for use.
  • Holiday Shops: the open-air holiday market are open daily through January 2, 2022, and features more than 170 new and returning merchants. 
  • Small Business Spotlight presented by Bank of America: fourNew York City minority-owned small businesses with annual revenue of $1 million or less will have the chance to showcase their products in a rent-free booth, made possible by Bank of America, as part of this season’s Holiday Shops. 

Last year’s featured small businesses were sustainable candle and soap company TREE*STAR, Brooklyn-based bakeshop Annie Mae’s Bakery, custom-designed hat shop Harlem’s Heaven Hats, and Tibet Tree of Life, a business selling incense, shawls, and other products made in the Himalayan region.

The Lodge by Prime Video: a covered, outdoor après skate escape is where visitors can cozy up with a festive cocktail, enjoy delicious food, watch the ice skaters or admire the tree.

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Vermont’s Woodstock Inn & Resort Transforms into a Magical Holiday Destination

November 4, 2021
The Woodstock Inn & Resort in the quintessential Vermont town transforms into a magical destination for the winter holidays.

WOODSTOCK, VT– As the town of Woodstock, VT, prepares for its annual Wassail Weekend celebrations, the Woodstock Inn & Resort joins the festivities by decking its halls with handmade decorations, including a life-sized gingerbread house, while offering luxuriously cozy nooks for its guests.

The tradition of Wassail Weekend, taking place from December 10-12, features an Equestrian Parade showcasing holiday costumes and period dress from the early 19th century, decorated historic homes, and streets full of twinkling lights amid the distinctive shops.  The resort’s annual Wassail Dinner on Saturday, December 11, is available for guests of the Inn, which includes an a la carte menu as well as a three-course meal of holiday favorites and traditional desserts.

Throughout the winter holidays, the Inn is transformed by the Master Gardener, Benjamin Pauly, who harvests natural materials to handcraft traditional décor. This year’s decorations include 25 wreaths, 13 grapevine trees, a live tree in the lobby with dried flowers from the on-site Kelly Way Gardens, five Charlie Brown-style Christmas trees, 1,000-plus garlands, 1,000-plus white lights, homemade ornaments, and more. A life-size gingerbread house and winter vignette will be constructed in the Inn’s lobby, continuing the resort’s Christmas tradition. The house will stand six feet tall for kids to explore.

The resort’s 10,000 square-foot LEED-designed Spa offers nature-inspired ambiance that features nourishing, seasonal treatments and organic products. This winter, guests can enjoy the Signature Experience, a customizable 100-minute body treatment that utilizes an infrared sauna blanket made of 96 smooth Jade and Tourmaline stones, and includes a full-body exfoliation, as well as a scalp, foot, and body massage.

The nearby Billings Farm & Museum celebrates Wassail Weekend from December 10-12 with cider donuts, Wassail Punch, a gingerbread recreation of the historic 1890 Farm Manager’s House, horse-drawn sleigh or wagon rides on Sunday, and holiday stories. Travelers can warm up by an outdoor fire and take photos in front of Christmas trees in the decorated barn.

From December 4-5 and December 18 – January 2 (closed Christmas Day), visitors to the farm can try candle dipping, make s’mores, and go snowshoeing. Guests can enjoy daily horse drawn wagon or sleigh rides from December 27-January 2. Wassail and holiday horse-drawn rides and snowshoeing are available weather permitting.

Outdoor activities at the Woodstock Inn include downhill skiing at the resort’s historic Suicide Six Ski Area along with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing from the Nordic Center. The family-favorite retro Game Room is draped in Vermont flannel and fully equipped with a giant Scrabble board, foosball table, vintage pinball machines, board games, and more.

Guests of the Woodstock Inn & Resort will find cozy dining at the Red Rooster, the award-winning fine dining restaurant, which emphasizes fresh, local ingredients sourced from the best purveyors in New England. The woodburning fireplace in the lobby is a legendary spot to unwind with a drink or book, while the library nearby offers a place for quiet relaxation. 

Travelers can ring in the holiday season by booking the resort’s Pre-Holiday Bed & Breakfast Package, which includes:

  • One night of luxury accommodations
  • Vermont gourmet breakfast for two
  • Available Sunday, October 31 through Thursday, December 23, 2021
  • Rates starting at $302 per night on weekdays and $446 per night on weekends

Located in idyllic Woodstock, Vermont, the Woodstock Inn & Resort defines country sophistication in one of New England’s most charming and popular year-round vacation destinations.  The 142-room, AAA Four Diamond Resort and a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts LVX Collection, offers award-winning dining in two restaurants, ranked among the finest in New England.  The Woodstock Inn & Resort is owned and operated by The Woodstock Foundation, Inc.  Proceeds from Resort operations support The Woodstock Foundation and Billings Farm & Museum education and conservation programs.

For more information about the resort visit www.woodstockinn.com

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Iconic New Orleans Music Venues Unite for Historic ‘NOLAxNOLA’ Live Events Series OCT 7 – 17

October 5, 2021
Maison is one of the venues participating in an unprecedented coalition of New Orleans’ iconic nightclubs and music venues, in partnership with New Orleans & Company, to create NOLAxNOLA, a branded series of live music events throughout the city during the dates of the city’s lost New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, October 7-17, 2021 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW ORLEANS – An unprecedented coalition of New Orleans’ iconic nightclubs and music venues, in partnership with New Orleans & Company, have proactively combined to create NOLAxNOLA, a branded series of live music events throughout the city during the dates of our lost New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, October 7-17, 2021. The goal of NOLAxNOLA is to keep New Orleans’ music venues, musicians and culture bearers strong and supported during this difficult time, while following all safety guidelines. 

NOLAxNOLA strives to illustrate that we can create a national model of promoting and supporting live music in a safe way that calls for proof of COVID vaccine or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours for entrance into the venue. We are asking locals and visitors to join our musicians and employees in getting vaccinated and continuing our way of life. We want locals to have safe venues to attend shows and we will promote to travelers that they keep their travel plans, while following all vaccination and safety guidelines, because the shows must go on. 

NOLAxNOLA will feature over 170 events across over 20 music venues in 10 days. More shows are being added by the day. 

NOLAxNOLA Music Venues: 
– Buffa’s Bar 
– Café Istanbul 
– Café Negril 
– Carnaval Lounge 
– Civic Theatre 
– d.b.a. 
– Gasa Gasa 
– Hi-Ho Lounge 
– Howlin’ Wolf 
– Joy Theater 
– Mid City Lanes Rock ‘n’ Bowl 
– NOLA Brewing Company 
– Preservation Hall 
– Republic NOLA 
– Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro 
– The Broadside 
– The Maison 
– The Metropolitan 
– The Starlight 
– Three Keys 
– Tipitina’s 
– Voodoo Two Lounge 
– Zony Mash Beer Project 

NOLAxNOLA Supporters: 
– 7S Management 
– BackBeat / Hypersoul 
– Fandiem 
– Fox Pocket 
– Hotel St. Vincent 
– MaCCNO 
– New Orleans & Company 
– Red Light Management 
– Sigfest Events 
– Them People Productions 
– WWOZ 

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on New Orleans’ critical cultural economy for locals and visitors, despite months of optimism and a resurgence of leisure travelers earlier this year. Spring 2021 festivals rescheduled for the fall such as French Quarter Fest and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival have been cancelled due to the delta surge, as well as Buku Planet B, Beignet Fest, Fried Chicken Fest and Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. 

NOLAxNOLA, designed to safely and immediately support clubs, musicians and culture bearers in a time of financial peril, could become an annual tradition, created in 2021, but lasting and growing for many years beyond. 

New Orleans maintains the highest vaccination rate of any Louisiana parish with nearly 80 percent of eligible adults receiving at least their first vaccine. New Orleans & Company has been a strong advocate for COVID vaccines for the safety of all residents, employees and guests of the city. 

Sig Greenebaum, Co-Founder of NOLAxNOLA and President of Sigfest Events said, “New Orleans festival seasons mean so much to the city. It is essential that we all band together to support the city and our vibrant artistic community in our time of need. Shows will go on and we will turn this challenging moment into a historic celebration!” 

“We want to send a clear message to all travelers, regionals and locals who previously had planned to attend New Orleans music festivals or club concerts this fall: Visitors, please keep your travel plans and get vaccinated, locals…. get vaccinated and retain and buy other tickets to safe music venues this fall. Our live music shows and performances must survive, must go on and flourish,” said Stephen Perry, President and CEO of New Orleans & Company, the official destination sales and marketing organization for New Orleans’ tourism industry. “New Orleanians and our critical visitor economy deserve a rich array of music, delivered in wonderful safe club environments, instead of mass-attended festival events right now. Our music clubs are the lifeblood of the most authentic live music scene in America, and they and our musicians are in peril. This unprecedented coalition of venues, artists and New Orleans & Company has come together to plant a flag in the ground, book scores of concerts throughout venues and neighborhoods all over the city and drive the message that the music continues, and does so

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit neworleans.com/nolaxnola.

See also:

New Orleans: ‘It’s Not All About The Jazz,’ Guest at Destination Wedding in NOLA Discovers

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The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze Returns to Long Island’s Old Bethpage Village Restoration

September 23, 2021
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran at the 2020 Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze Long Island. The event returns Sept. 22-Nov. 7 for those with pre-purchased timed tickets.

Nassau County, Long Island, NY – The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze®, a highlight of the Halloween festival season, is returning to Old Bethpage Village Restoration (OBVR) on Long Island for a second time, after a successful launch last year. The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze® Long Island will run for 36 selected nights from September 22 through November 7.  Timed tickets, which must be purchased in advance, are now on sale at www.pumpkinblaze.org.

A small team of local artists hand-carved more than 7,000 jack o’lanterns and created elaborate pumpkin sculptures at this walk-through experience on the grounds of the 19th-century village. New displays this year include an 80-foot circus train–a nod to the 146-year run of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the nearby Nassau Coliseum, a sea monster and many new creative creatures from under the ocean.

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze® is also returning for its 17th year to its original location in the Hudson Valley at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson. That location will be open 59 nights from September 17 through November 21 and will feature new displays such as an immersive river walk-through experience and a New York City streetscape.

The health and safety of our visitors is the highest priority. At both locations, the experience is outdoors and touch-free, and capacity has been reduced to ensure social distancing. Visitors who are not vaccinated are required to wear masks at all times. Masks are not required for vaccinated visitors while on the grounds, but will be required when entering buildings, such as restrooms.

“We’re thrilled to bring back this extraordinary experience for the second consecutive year and provide a safe and spooky way to celebrate the Halloween season right here in Nassau County,”said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.  “The County’s Old Bethpage Village provides a perfect backdrop for this spectacular event which is expected to attract thousands and give our local economy a boost.  Whether you’re a local or visitor, encouraging all to check out this unique event and explore one of our vibrant downtowns.  Thank you to Historic Hudson Valley for working with the County to host your iconic event once again.”

“We were thrilled to partner with Nassau County to bring The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze® to Old Bethpage Village Restoration. After a successful run in 2020, when were we able to safely entertain thousands of visitors and help support the local economy, we are delighted to partner again to make this second year even more exciting. We’ve added more nights and more displays and can’t wait to welcome visitors through the pumpkin arch,” said Historic Hudson Valley’s VP of Communications and Commerce, Rob Schweitzer. 

Blaze: Hudson Valley’s Founding Sponsor is Entergy; Presenting Sponsor is Westchester Medical Center; and Contributing Sponsors are J.P. Morgan Chase and Edge-on-Hudson. Blaze: Long Island’s Exclusive Financial Services Sponsor is JPMorgan; Contributing Sponsor is National Grid.

All events are held rain or shine. Proceeds support Historic Hudson Valley, the Tarrytown-based private, non-profit educational organization, and Old Bethpage Village Restoration.

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze Long Island features illuminated, individually hand-carved jack o’ lanterns in more than two dozen elaborate displays professionally lit throughout the landscape of Old Bethpage Village Restoration in various themed areas.

Favorite installations appear along with site-specific displays including a sea monster and sea creatures, as well as a lighthouse, in a nod to the location’s proximity to the ocean.

Creative Director Michael Natiello leads a small team of local artists who carve all the jack o’lanterns. The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze Shop offers a selection Blaze-specific merchandise including T-shirts and hats.

Blaze: Long Island has limited capacity and all admissions are by advance purchase timed ticket. To further reduce staff/visitor touchpoints, no tickets are sold on site even if not sold out.

Blaze: Long Island dates are September 22-26; 29-October 3; October 6-11; 20-24; 27-31; November 3-7. Online tickets start at $32 for adults and $24 for children 3-17 and are free for children 2 and under.

Old Bethpage Village Restoration is a living history museum owned and operated by Nassau County that provides guests the opportunity to step back in time to the island’s agrarian past. The Village consists of homes, barns and other buildings dating back to 1765. Costumed interpreters describe life as it was in the 19th century and historic trade smiths demonstrate various trades.

Also on the grounds of Old Bethpage Village Restoration is a Co-Op Farm and farmers market, which brings organic and local food to Long Islanders and the Museum of American Armor which is home to armored vehicles dedicated to remembering our servicemen and women who have fought bravely for our country.

Old Bethpage Village Restoration is also the home of the Long Island Fair.

Old Bethpage Village Restoration is at 1303 Round Swamp Road in Old Bethpage.

More information about The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is available at pumpkinblaze.org.

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Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival Sept. 16-19

September 9, 2021
The Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, Sept. 16-19, 2021, features a series of specially designed culinary experiences paired with chosen wines and cocktails. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEWPORT, R.I. – For the second year in a row, the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival will expand into the local restaurant scene with a series of specially designed culinary experiences paired with chosen wines and cocktails.

These unique dining experiences will be hosted by participating restaurants on select dates from Sept. 16-19, 2021.

Participating establishments include The Grill at 41° North, Nomi Park Restaurant at the Wayfinder Hotel, Midtown Oyster Bar, Cara at The Chanler, The Dining Room at The Vanderbilt, Giusto at Hammetts Hotel, 22 Bowen’s, the Hotel Viking’s Garden Room and Gurney’s Newport.

“Our Wine & Food Festival Restaurant Program is a great way to celebrate the return of dining out,” said Trudy Coxe, CEO and Executive Director of The Preservation Society of Newport County, which has hosted the festival in the Newport Mansions every year since 2006. “Newport is fortunate that its restaurant scene has survived the COVID crisis, and we hope food and wine lovers will come out and support these wonderful establishments.”

The presenting sponsor of the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival Restaurant Program is BankNewport, one of the Preservation Society’s longtime Partners in Preservation.

“We are pleased to be partnering with the Newport Mansions to present the 2021 Wine & Food Festival with a world-class restaurant program,” said Wendy Kagan, BankNewport Executive Vice President/Director of Employee and Community Engagement. “Helping to promote restaurant events that recognize their chefs and the festival’s spirits and wine sponsors maintains the bank’s continued commitment to our community.”

For details including dates, times and how to make reservations for these events, visit the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival Restaurant Program webpage at www.newportmansions.org/events/wine-and-food-festival/restaurant-program-2021.

Other events in the 16th annual Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival are sold out, including two wine dinners and a Sunday brunch at Rosecliff, along with a series of 23 tasting seminars at Rosecliff and The Breakers Stable, Sept. 17-19.

The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island, is a nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes, decorative arts and social history. Its 11 historic properties – seven of them National Historic Landmarks – span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.

For more information, visit NewportMansions.org.

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Registration for Sunday’s NYC TD 5 Boro Bike Tour Extended to Friday, Aug 27

August 26, 2021
Registration for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour through New York City taking place on the new date of Sunday, August 29 has been extended AGAIN and will now close at noon on Friday, August 27 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Registration for New York City’s TD Five Boro Bike Tour taking place on the new date of Sunday, August 29 has been extended AGAIN and will now close at noon on Friday, August 27.

Out of towners, new #TDFBBT registrants, and others have another opportunity to pick up their rider packet at Packet Pickup this Saturday from 12 to 5 PM. Bike New York will be conveniently located on the north side of Battery Park near Battery Place and Greenwich St.

Can’t make it on Saturday or assign a Proxy to pickup your packet for you? You can stop by Packet Pickup before you head to the start line on the morning of the Tour between 6 and 9 AM.

Note: You should plan to attend Packet Pickup on Saturday if you have an issue regarding your registration. #TDFBBT Solutions staff will not be able to troubleshoot registration issues at Sunday Packet Pickup. All riders that need to attend Packet Pickup on Sunday are responsible for picking up their packet before their assigned start wave. Plan for long lines and the possibility that you will miss your start wave time. If you miss your assigned start wave you may start in the following start wave.

This popular event offers an unmatched opportunity to ride 40 miles through New York City’s five boroughs car free, in a festival atmosphere. Though typically the event hosts 32,000 riders, this year, registration is capped at 20,000 (more room to ride).

Here’s a sneak peek 👀 at what you can expect on event day this year:

Fully supported rest areas with bike maintenance and medical care ⚕️

Snow cone trucks at three rest areas: FDR, ConEd, and Commodore Barry 🍧

Numerous cooling stations to help you beat the August heat ☀️

Entertainment stops with local musicians and performers. )Check out one of the performers, Music With a Message, here🎤

Brand new Finish Festival location at Empire Outlets in Staten Island, conveniently located next to the ferry (don’t forget to bring your cycling shoe covers with you to the Finish Fest!) 🎉

Stress-free bike parking located at the Finish Fest 🚲

Celebrate your achievement with an ice-cold beer! Food and New Belgium beer will be sold at the Clinton Hall Beer Garden on Level 4 at the Finish Fest. Make sure to bring your ID and cash or card! 🍺

10-minute post-Tour Guided Stretching Sessions led by Clinical Exercise Physiologist and Sports Health experts at NYU Langone Health, from 11am-3:30pm 🤸

Frozen treats courtesy of our partners at TD Bank 🍨

Fix-a-Flat competition with Trek Bicycle 🔧

Plus activities with partners at Primal WearNesquikChameleon Coffee🤩

REGISTER NOW »

If you have already registered you can visit the Tour website for updates on how the tour is responding to NYC’s COVID-19 mandates, details on Packet Pickup, the 2021 Tour Route map

#TDFBBT

See past coverage:

32,000 CYCLISTS TAKE OVER NYC STREETS FOR 41ST TD FIVE BORO BIKE TOUR

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15th Annual Jazz Age Lawn Party Returns to Governors Island for Encore, August 14-15

July 10, 2021

By Laurie Millman, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

One of the hottest places to be this summer is on Governor’s Island for the hot jazz of Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra, as they return for an encore of the immensely popular Jazz Age Lawn Party on August 14-15, 11am – 5pm. 

The 15th annual festival is a multi-generational, friends and family affair where for a brief time you are transported back to the Roaring 20s.  Attendees dress up to the nines in 1920s lawn party fashion –  dapper linen suits, suspenders and straw hats; sequined and beaded flapper-style dresses, chandelier earrings and feathers in the hair, or lawn party styles with dropped waists and white satin ribbons. Many bring an elegant picnic lunch complete with fine china, silver utensils, flowers in vases, and fluted wine glasses.

Tickets are still available and need to be purchased in advance through eventbrite.com from www.jazzagelawnparty.com or directly at https://www.eventbrite.com/o/jazz-age-lawn-party-18523813336.

Family from both coasts meet up at the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island © Laurie Millman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Governors Island ferry (https://www.govisland.com/plan-your-visit/ferry) runs from Lower Manhattan (in the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street; indoor parking across the street) and from Brooklyn (Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park). Roundtrip fares are $3/adult; free for seniors, children under 12, military. There is currently no additional surcharge for bringing on a bicycle (you can also rent bikes, surreys, pedal cars, and scooters on the island). All passengers ride free on departures before noon on Saturday and Sunday. The ferries, which are wheelchair accessible, now have extended service back to Manhattan until 10pm on Saturday

See also:

ROARING 20S RETURNS WITH JAZZ AGE LAWN PARTY ON GOVERNORS ISLAND

Gatsby-esque Jazz Age Lawn Party is Joyful Escape on Governors Island

Gatsby-esque Jazz Age Lawn Party is Joyful Escape on Governors Island, New York City’s Island Retreat

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