Archive for the ‘festivals’ Category

Halloween Happenings 2022

September 30, 2022
The Headless Horseman rides from Sleepy Hollow to Old Bethpage Village Restoration, Long Island, for The Great Jack o’ Lantern Pumpkin Blaze © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

How lucky are we on Long Island that Historic Hudson Valley has brought its enormously popular “The Great Jack o’ Lantern Pumpkin Blaze” extravaganza to Long Island to our most fabulous living history destination, Old Bethpage Restoration Village, for the second year! They have brought the extraordinary artistry, charm and delight, and kept the Sleepy Hollow and Headless Horseman, but they have tailored it around Long Island’s history and heritage and amazingly, the notes they provide at each of the exhibits are utterly fascinating.

The historic Hewlett House, which some have said is haunted, is a great backdrop for The Great Jack o’ Lantern Pumpkin Blaze at Old Bethpage Village Restoration, Long Island © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Did you know that “Jaws” was inspired by the capture of a 4500 lb white shark off Long Island? And of course, there’s the Amityville Horror (an Old Bethpage house has similar architecture, so serves as a stand-in). The cemetery is peopled by the Hewlett family, outside their actual house, which is said (actually) to be haunted. The scarecrows that are around the barn and the barn animals are all made of pumpkins, as are the skeletons, ghosts.

Long Island’s iconic Montauk lighthouse and seashore is depicted with artistically crafted pumpkins and sound and light effects at Old Bethpage Village Restoration, Long Island © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

You walk the pumpkin trail through this 19th century village and see more than 7,000 hand-carved jack o’lanterns, all carved by its team of artisans, each one unique. Find your favorite legendary local icon in our Hall of Fame, gaze in wonder at the Pumpkin Planetarium, see larger-than-life sea creatures and watch your head as an animated Headless Horseman rides into the night.

The circus train at The Great Jack o’ Lantern Pumpkin Blaze at Old Bethpage commemorates the 1972 arrival of the Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey circus to the newly opened Nassau Veterans Coliseum © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The structures – all built with carved and lighted pumpkins – are absolutely incredible – a tall pendulum clock, a windmill, a Statue of Liberty, a lighthouse with a working light (Montauk is Long Island’s most famous), an 80-foot long circus train (the LIRR!) with animal skeletons as passengers, a working carousel with horse skeletons.

An actual working carousel of pumpkins with horse skeletons revolving is one of the stunning exhibits at The Great Jack o’ Lantern Pumpkin Blaze at Old Bethpage Village Restoration © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The mood is enhanced by an all-original soundtrack and synchronized lighting and smoke effects.

The ticket sales help support Old Bethpage Village Restoration and Historic Hudson Valley.

Select nights September 30 through November 6 at Old Bethpage Village Restoration. Timed ticket entry only, https://pumpkinblaze.org/blaze-long-island.html. Old Bethpage Village Restoration, 1303 Round Swamp Road, Old Bethpage, New York, 11804, oldbethpagevillagerestoration@nassaucountyny.gov, 516-572-8409, https://www.oldbethpagevillagerestoration.org/

You will absolutely want more, so you can visit Historic Hudson Valley’s other iconic fall events:

Blaze: The Hudson Valley’s most electrifying fall happening: Meander through an 18th-century landscape and discover a breathtaking display of more than 7,000 illuminated jack o’ lanterns—all designed and hand-carved on site by its team of artisans. New for 2022, watch our animated “Jack” Smith Shop in action and keep an eye out for glowing bees. Complete with synchronized lighting and an original soundtrack. Select nights, September 16 – November 20. Advance timed-tickets tickets only. No tickets sold on site. Van Cortlandt Manor, 525 S Riverside, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.

Halloween in Historic Hudson Valley: Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor, Croton-on-Hudson © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Explore “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”: At this family-friendly happening, visitors can tour Washington Irving’s house—decorated for the season—watch an original shadow puppet short film, and enjoy games on the lawn. A special exhibit highlights how the Legend has lived in the imagination of popular culture through the centuries since its publication. Fridays – Sundays, plus Columbus Day + Halloween, September 16-November 13. Advance tickets required. No tickets will be sold on site. Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, 3 W Sunnyside Lane, Irvington, NY 10533.

Washington Irving’s Legend is performed outdoors under the stars at the author’s Sunnyside by master storyteller Jonathan Kruk© Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Irving’s ‘Legend’ returns reimagined this fall. Performed for the first time ever outdoors under the stars at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, master storyteller Jonathan Kruk will cast a spell with dramatic performances of the classic tale. Live music and an appearance from the Headless Horseman himself make this a spooky spectacular experience for all ages. This experience is outdoors and requires walking. Fridays – Sundays, plus Columbus Day + Halloween, September 30 – October 3. Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, 3 W Sunnyside Lane, Irvington, NY 10533.

Historic Hudson Valley, 639 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, NY 10591,  914-366-6900, hudsonvalley.org.

Join the Village Halloween Parade to Celebrate Freedom!

New York’s famed 49th Annual Village Halloween Parade takes place on Monday, October 31. The 2022 Parade Theme is FREEDOM! “It’s a move! It’s a moment! Feel it!!! Join us in some ecstatic joy! Lift the spirits!” The Grand Marshal for 2022 is The Brooklyn United Marching Band with special surprise guests who will play Jon Batiste’s song Freedom! where you can join in.

You can join a Special Section of the Parade and dance along with The Brooklyn United Marching Band as they play Freedom! along the route or just join in the open participation part of the parade.

“We are encouraging glittery costumes, your best dance moves and anything that allows you to feel light, joyful, free and colorful! We’re gonna lift the spirits of the whole world!” says Jeanne Fleming, Artistic and Producing Director. “However you do it, feel the joy and freedom of expression in one of New York’s most iconic and wildly creative events!

New York City’s famed Annual Village Halloween Parade is themed “Freedom!” for 2022 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Only those in costume and masks are welcome to join the hundreds of puppets, 53 bands, dancers and artists, and thousands New Yorkers in costumes of their own creation in NYC’s special brand of Carnivale! 

The parade – the nation’s largest public Halloween celebration – starts at Greenwich Village, on 6th Avenue between Spring and 16th Street at 7 pm and goes up 6th Avenue to about 26th Street.

Tickets are available, for preferred viewing, riding on a float, riding in the parade in your own pedicab, even leading the parade with the Artistic Director which helps support the parade: https://halloween-nyc.com/tickets/

Further afield:

Haunted Happenings in Salem

Salem Haunted Happenings is a festive celebration of Halloween and fall in New England running annually, October 1-31. Events include a Grand Parade, the Haunted Biz Baz Street Fair, Family Film Nights, costume balls, ghost tours, haunted houses, live music, and chilling theatrical presentations.

Salem Haunted Happenings Festival has been happening since 1982, and steadily grown over the years. Today, members of the modern Pagan and Witch communities have a home in Salem, where Samhain is celebrated each October recognizing the end of the harvest season and the coming of winter. The City’s modern witches have the opportunity to share their beliefs and celebrations with both locals and out of town guests who come to celebrate the Halloween season in Salem.

Classic experiences include:

Cry Innocent: The People vs. Bridget Bishop, Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, daily thru October. The year is 1692. Bridget Bishop has been accused of witchcraft and you are on the Puritan jury. Hear the historical testimonies, cross-examine the witnesses and decide the verdict. Is Bridget Bishop capable of witchcraft? The outdoor arrest scene begins approximately 15 minutes before show time.

Hawthorne’s House of the Seven Gables in Salem, Massachusetts, which has Haunted Happenings all October © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Hawthorne’s House of the Seven Gables: Discover 330 years of Salem’s history as you experience the museum and collection of historic buildings. Built in 1668, this is the oldest surviving 17th century wooden mansion in New England. The House of the Seven Gables inspired author Nathaniel Hawthorne to write his legendary novel of the same name. (House Of Seven Gables, 115 Derby St. 978-744-0991)

The Witch House, home of Judge Jonathan Corwin, is the only structure still standing in Salem with direct ties to the Witchcraft Trials of 1692. Corwin was called upon to investigate the claims of diabolical activity when a surge of witchcraft accusations arose. He served on the court which ultimately sent nineteen to the gallows. 310 1/2 Essex St. 978-744-8815.

Witch Dungeon Museum. Experience the acclaimed performance of a Witch trial adapted from the 1692 historical transcripts. Most chilling is that it is real. 16 Lynde St. 978-741-3570.

Halloween Museum: Experience Halloween through interactive and family-friendly exhibits on fortune-telling, vintage Halloween artifacts, Halloween-themed movies, costumes, Salem’s witchcraft at the Halloween Museum (open every day, reservations required).

Haunted Witch Village, Salem’s longest-running haunted house.

Maison Vampyre: Visit the only elegant and uniquely themed Vampyre House in New England! Experience psychic readings, group events and magick.

Salem Witch Museum offers two historical presentations focused on the tragic events of the Salem witch trials of 1692.

Salem Witch Trials Memorial, symbolically located behind the Old Burying Point, is a place of reflection and remembrance for visitors and descendants of those who perished.

Salem Witch Village offers a mystical journey by practicing witches, separating myths and reality of witchcraft.

Salem Witch Walk, led by true Salem Witches, let’s you discover your own magic as you’re blessed in a magic circle (11 am, 3 pm, 7 pm, and 9 pm. Apr-Nov.)  

The Annual Psychic Fair & Witchcraft Expo: Get a true psychic reading at Salem’s largest psychic fair with gifted psychics offering tarot cards, palmistry, mediumship.

The Lost Museum (at Gallows Hill): Explore Salem’s newest, longest, largest, UNDERGROUND haunted attraction.

There are so many events, activities and attractions, you have to visit www.hauntedhappenings.org to plan.

The hotels, motels, and inns/B&Bs listed on salem.org are walking distance to Haunted Happenings events. Regional accommodations are also available in nearby towns, including Beverly, Danvers and Peabody, which border Salem. You can also stay in Boston or north of Salem on the Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail line and Salem Haunted Happenings is a short (commuter) train ride away.

California

San Francisco  www.sftravel.com 

Crawloween: San Francisco Halloween Pub Crawl 2022: The San Francisco Halloween Pub Crawl is a massive celebration of the best holiday of the year. Join thousands of locals and tourists as they head from bar to bar along the pub crawl path. There will be pub crawls from October 28-31. With more than 8,000 participants, Crawloween brings together thousands of fun, costumed people to drink and dance the night away as you enjoy awesome drink specials at over 25 of the best bars in San Francisco. 

Halloween Hoopla: The Halloween Hoopla returns for its 22nd year, now featuring fun performances and activities for kids under 10 and for adults. The Hoopla grand finale is the annual Halloween Costume Parade where all kids are welcome to join in their best Halloween costumes.  

Into the Dark at the SF Mint: This interactive haunted experience is part haunted house and part theater. You will be immersed in a story that includes 4D effects, haunted mazes, and more. The actors will take you through the experience including walking, climbing steps, and breaking through the 4th wall.   

Ghost Tours in San Francisco 

Haunted SF: Ghosts, Murder and Mystery: San Francisco is a place of mystery as much as it is a place of beauty. On this tour, you will see sights where a brutal murder took place as well as several places where ghosts have been reported. You will also walk by buildings that once housed SF’s most visited brothels and learn about their secret past. This tour takes you to the dark side of San Francisco and runs most days after dark through Union Square. 

Nob Hill Vampire Tour: Walk through one of SF’s first and most famous districts, Nob Hill. Here, one will learn more about the dark events that occurred over time in places such as the Fairmont Hotel, the Pacific Union Club, Grace Cathedral, and the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel. 

Alcatraz Night Tour: A trip to San Francisco is not complete without a visit to Alcatraz and a visit to Alcatraz is better during Halloween. This former federal prison housed some of the most notorious criminals in the U.S and before that was a U.S. Military Prison. Many prisoners died on the island and now there are reports of mysterious noises and occurrences. This isn’t technically a ghost tour in San Francisco but heading over at night is the best way to get a thrilling experience. 

Tuolumne Country (www.visittuolumne.com), 2 ½ hours from San Francisco:

Tales of the Roundhouse at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park: Presented by the California State Parks, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park (SHP) and the California State Railroad Museum Foundation, this thrilling tour offers its visitors a one-of-a-kind experience by boarding a nighttime steam train ride behind a historic steam locomotive while learning about railroad superstitions and hearing the real life and death tales of past railroad workers and passengers who lost their lives in ghastly accidents, gruesome train wrecks and sometimes by cold-blooded murder. 

Stories in Stone: Held every Saturday and Sunday evenings from September 23 to October 31, this tour allows visitors to learn about Columbia’s historic cemetery by living history docents carrying lanterns were they will visit 10 gravesites. The dead come to life as interpreters tell about their lives, how they died, and how they came to lie in Columbia’s cemetery. 

San Luis Obispo, CA: Located along California’s Central Coast, halfway between Los Angeles and San Franciso: Join the Ghost & True Crime Tour in San Luis Obispo and get to know more about the city’s past. Reaching into the past, 1772 to be exact, visitors will learn some of the not-so-well-known mysteries and long-forgotten tales of SLO’s early residents. Family-friendly tour options offered as well..

Redding, CA: Situated in the shadow of Mt. Shasta just below the Oregon border: The Dreams of Darkness Haunted House is one of the longest haunted attractions in America and the only professional haunted house in Redding. Open Friday and Saturday during October, this 40-minute tour of terror takes visitors on an unguided path from the ghost towns and mines of the Wild West and the bayous and swamps of the Deep South through the home of “The Clown” where the only thing to expect is the unexpected.

Redding is filled with creatures big and small, from butterflies and hummingbirds to coyotes. Join Sharon Clay, guest educator for the Turtle Bay Exploration Park, for Spooky Creatures of the Night at the Shasta Land Trust’s Daniell Beaver Banks Preserve. Under a veil of darkness, illuminated only by stars and the moon, visitors will be escorted on a guided through these creatures’ habitat where bats are aflutter, and owls keep watch on their prey. It’s an opportunity to learn about these species and the ecosystem in which they dwell.

Chattanooga, TN

You’d expect a city founded in 1839 to be filled with spirit – or make that spirits. While Chattanooga is known for producing award-winning whiskey, it’s also filled with other type of spirits from decades past. Embark on a ghost tour this Halloween (or any time of year) as the apparitions in this town rarely seem to rest.

The Read House, in the midst of its 150th anniversary celebration, is an historic and longest continuously operating hotel in the southeast and recently completed a multi-million-dollar renovation. Since 1872, it has hosted everyone from Elvis Presley to Winston Churchill as well as the infamous Al Capone who stayed in Room 311. But this room isn’t as well known for the gangster’s visit as it is for a what happened beyond its threshold in 1927. Annalisa Netherly was nearly beheaded in the suite’s bathtub in 1927 after her husband allegedly caught her with another man. Throughout the years a number of guests and staff have reported paranormal activity, from unexplained noises and flickering lights to running water and shadowy figures. Furniture is moved without explanation and people who stay in the room (or tour it) have reported being scratched and touched while being alone in the room. While all the other rooms have been updated to 21st century standards, Room 311 looks as it did when Annalisa “checked out” nearly 100 years ago. The room is available to modern-day guests starting at $666 a night. Free tours are available. 

The Painted Lady Tattoo Parlor is on the site of the very first Coca Cola bottling plant (before operations were moved to Atlanta). It is believed that a nine-year-old girl haunts the space. Down the street at what is now the Tomorrow Building was a brothel. The Coca Cola executives lived in the apartments above the bottling plant. It’s believed that the little girl witnessed her mother’s murder and voices are heard saying “Mommy was squeezed on the neck by a man using his arm.” Aside from hearing a little girl’s voice, things often go flying across the room. Glass and mirrors are often shattered, too.

Ruby Falls, which offers underground tours to a spectacular waterfall, offers lantern tours coupled with ghost stories during October. As guests make their way to the waterfall past magnificent rock formations 250 feet below the earth’s surface, tales of peculiar encounters, mischievous mayhem and tragedy are told by expert guides.

The historic Chattanooga Choo Choo depot is reportedly haunted. You can also stay in its train cars, which have been turned into a hotel © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Other places reportedly haunted in Chattanooga include the Chattanooga Choo Choo (former train depot) and the Hunter Museum (the home of the Coca Cola founder). Chattanooga Ghost Tours offers a number of guided outings to many of these haunted places as well as century-old cemeteries. For more information, visit the Chattanooga Tourism Co. at visitchattanooga.com.

Loudoun County, VA

Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience: Following a massively successful UK run, Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience will make its US debut this year, beginning in Washington DC’s metropolitan area. The breathtaking light trail will be open from October 2022 for Harry Potter fans of all ages to enjoy on the estate of Morven Park in Leesburg. Inspired by the iconic Forbidden Forest and featuring creatures from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts series, mesmerizing lights will transform the landscape into a magical outdoor trail. Visitors will encounter mystical creatures such as Hippogriffs, centaurs, unicorns, and Nifflers, and practice casting their very own spells. Visitors will also find a themed village at the end of the trail where they can enjoy delicious food and drink, as well as a gift shop with merchandise from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts movies.

End your spooky day at Zephaniah Farm Vineyard, that co-owner Bonnie Archer calls “pleasantly” haunted with over 35 confirmed spirits. The most frequent spirit is Mattie Nixon, who comes out when people who are about to get married visit the property. That happens because Mattie didn’t have a good experience with her marriage to Dr. William Casilear, a British veterinarian who murdered his farmer for letting the cows out.

Louisville, KY

Louisville’s Jack O’lantern Spectacular (Oct 4-31, 2022) has become the must-see event of the spooky season and will return for the tenth consecutive year to South Louisville’s Iroquois Park. With over 5,000 carved pumpkins illuminated as a night-time art show, this family-friendly celebration of fall is the perfect ending to a day of exploration. 

Other events include Pumpkins at Kentucky Kingdom (weekends in October), new for 2022, where visitors will discover more than 1,000 illuminated pumpkins at Kentucky Kingdom amusement park, including towering pumpkin sculptures (some more than 12 feet high) expertly carved that light up the night with special effects and pops of color, and Boo at the Zoo (Oct. 1-2; 6-9; 13-16; 20-23; 27-30), a Louisville tradition for over 40 years, that transforms the Zoo into a living storybook, complete with favorite characters brought to life, fun music, and a safe place for trick-or-treating for kids 11 and under.

For those looking for the spookiest experience ever, Louisville offers a bunch of haunted tours, such as Louisville Ghost Tours (nightly through November) in of the most haunted neighborhoods in America, Old Louisville,the Tour of Waverly Hills Sanatorium, a defunct Tuberculosis hospital said to have seen nearly 50,000 deaths and named one of the Most Haunted Destinations in the U.S., and the tour of Hillcrest Avenue (nightly in October), fondly known as Louisville’s “Halloween Street,” where locals on Hillcrest avenue go above and beyond with their annual Halloween decorations.

During your time in Louisville, consider staying at The Seelbach Hilton Hotel, Louisville’s oldest operating hotel, opened in 1905. The most common ghost sighting at the Seelbach is that of the “Lady in Blue.” It’s rumored that in the late 1930s, a woman plunged to her death in an elevator shaft after learning that her husband was killed on his way to the hotel. She was said to be wearing a long blue chiffon dress and had long, dark hair. More recent investigation seems to think that maybe the Lady in Blue didn’t jump down the elevator shaft, but was actually pushed, and haunts the hotel to this day to try and get the story straight.

BELIZE | www.travelbelize.org   

Chaa Creek’s “Creatures of the Night”: Everything gets a little more interesting at night, especially during Halloween. This includes adding thrill to your usual hiking experience and going for a night tour with Chaa Creek’s “Creatures of the Night” package –allowing you to explore the dark side of Belize’s jungles. Belize’s rainforest is known to be home to a wide array of creepy crawlies and night critters that will surely get you goosebumps! Join a tour with Chaa Creek’s guides as you learn and get to see Belize’s finest ocelots, howler monkeys, tarantulas, patoos, jaguarundis and many more intriguing rainforest residents. 

Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) CaveThis archaeological site is home to numerous skeletons –some of which belong to sacrificed children, whose bones are completely calcified in the cave. One of the cave’s most notable features is the skeleton of a teenage girl, also known as Tthe Crystal Maiden”, whose bones have been calcified into a crystallized appearance. If adventure and spooky history are your things, this cave exploration is definitely something that will call your attention.  

Belize Great Blue HoleWe all have different fears –one of which includes being easily spooked by what lies beneath the deep dark oceans. Lucky for you, Belize has the Great Blue Hole –probably the most beautiful yet spine-chilling spot to explore the Caribbean underwater, which is home to some interesting sea creatures and aquatic mysteries that are yet to be uncovered. Spice up your Halloween and discover a new fear, whether it be on land or underwater, Belize has every spooky adventure prepared for you! 

BARBADOS (www.visitbarbados.org)  

Christ Church Cemetery and Chase Crypt: If you’re looking for a thrilling story hidden beneath the beauty of the Caribbean, you’ve probably heard of Christ Church Cemetery and the eerie Chase Vault located in the southern parish of Christ Church. The Chase folklore began in 1812 when they found the coffins of the family members have been moved from their original locations and were scattered in the small crypt as they were opening the vault for the interment of the landowner Colonel Thomas Chase. To this day, the mystery still lives and onlookers hope that the family is now put to rest after years of thrilling stories about the vault. 

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New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks Return June 14-17

June 8, 2022
Music Director Jaap van Zweden conducts the New York Philharmonic in Central Park. The beloved concert series, presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer, returns after a two-year COVID-hiatus, for four free concerts in the parks plus one in Staten Island, June 14-17 and June 19, 2022 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The 2022 New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer, will take place June 14–17, 2022, marking the return of the beloved series following two years of cancellations due to the pandemic. Music Director Jaap van Zweden conducts four free outdoor concerts, which take place at Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx (June 14); the Great Lawn in Central Park, Manhattan (June 15); Cunningham Park, Queens (June 16); and Prospect Park, Brooklyn (June 17). All four outdoor performances will begin at 8:00 p.m. and conclude with fireworks.

The program will include Wagner’s Prelude to Act I of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with Bomsori Kim as soloist, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7, and works by New York Philharmonic Very Young Composers: 14- year-old Naama Rolnick’s Keep Walking, and 17-year-old Alexander Rothschild Douaihy’s A Human Rhapsody.

In addition, Musicians from the New York Philharmonic will perform a Free Indoor Concert, on Sunday, June 19, 2022, at 4:00 p.m., at St. George Theatre in Staten Island. Program to be announced. Tickets are free but required and will be available at a later date.

“Like so many New Yorkers, Didi and I missed tremendously the Concerts in the Parks these past two summers,” said Philharmonic Chairman Emeritus Oscar S. Schafer. “We love the parks, and we love this orchestra, so we’ve been eagerly awaiting their return. We look forward to seeing people come together in these beautiful parks across the boroughs to enjoy magnificent music performed by this virtuosic orchestra. It will truly mean that New York City is back!”

“What a joy to be returning to the Parks of New York after two years of not being able to perform for the Parks’ audiences,” said Music Director Jaap van Zweden. “Music speaks to our hearts better than any language, and the New York Philharmonic players and I cannot wait to reconnect with the thousands and thousands of people throughout the Boroughs of New York who come to the Parks to hear us.”

“We are so excited to welcome back the New York Philharmonic for the iconic Concerts in the Parks series!” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “This series brings together people from all backgrounds to enjoy world class music for free, in some of our most picturesque parks — this is summer in New York at its best!”

The New York Philharmonic’s free parks concerts have become an iconic New York summer experience since they began in 1965, transforming parks throughout the New York area into a patchwork of picnickers, and providing music lovers with an opportunity to hear classical music under the stars. More than 15 million listeners have been delighted by the performances since their inception. All programs are subject to change.

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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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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37th Annual Salem Haunted Happenings Features Hundreds of Special Events, New Halloween Museum

October 16, 2019

salemMA-0705-126e2-cryinnocent (c) Karen Rubin

Cry Innocent: The People vs. Bridget Bishop, puts you in the year 1692 when Bridget Bishop has been accused of witchcraft and you are on the Puritan jury. Hear the historical testimonies, cross-examine the witnesses and decide the verdict. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Salem, MA – Celebrating its 37th year, Salem Haunted Happenings returns this October with a full month of programming that celebrates Halloween and fall in New England. The festival features hundreds of special events -costume parties, film nights, ghost stories, harbor tours, haunted houses, live music, magic shows, museums, psychic fairs, reenactments, and walking tours – in addition to attractions, museums and tours that are in Salem throughout the year.

Recognized internationally as one of the best places to celebrate Halloween drawing thousands of visitors from around the world, Salem Haunted Happenings began in 1982 and has evolved into a festive celebration for all ages. Most businesses get into the spirit with extended hours, special programs, pumpkin-themed menu items, and souvenirs infused with a touch of Salem magic.

While some programming, including the Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival and Vampfangs’ Endless Night Vampire Ball, is scheduled for the final weekend of September, Salem Haunted Happenings officially steps off with the Grand Parade on Thursday, October 3 at 6:30 PM. After that, weekends will be chock full of activities for all ages and interests.

New and notable in 2019, the Fountain Stage that spent nearly 20 years on Essex Street will begin a new chapter at the City’s new Charlotte Forten Park at 289 Derby Street. Live music, free family films, and a beer garden will be among the featured programs at this beautiful new public space along the South River.

Also new for 2019 is the Salem Halloween Museum at 131 Essex Street. This 3-D experience will take visitors on a fun trip down memory lane to learn the history of Halloween and some of its favorite traditions.

The Creative Collective Merchant Marketplace returns to Salem Haunted Happenings on October weekends, and will feature a Night Market on Fridays.

The 2nd annual Great Salem Pumpkin Walk on October 17, 2019, will feature jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin displays and activities at locations between The Witch House and The House of the Seven Gables.

Derby Wharf will go to the dogs (and cats!) on October 12 when Salem Main Streets’ Howl-o-ween returns to Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

Salem Horror Fest is featuring so many screenings and celebrity interactions it has expanded its schedule to run from October 3 – 27.

Family Halloween Fun

If you’re looking to take to the water with the kids, be sure to check out Mahi Cruises’ Haunted Happenings Harbor Cruise. This cruise is filled to the brim with family-friendly fun including story-telling, Halloween party music, complimentary tarot card readings, photo ops, and a full bar for the adults and face-painting for the kids. Tickets may be purchased in advance at MahiCruises.com.

Get on the water this October with Essex Heritage for Eerie Stories on Salem Sound. During this cruise aboard the landing vessel Naumkeag, you’ll hear about the local folklore of Salem Sound. This evening boat tour is the perfect way to get some spooky stories in and see a different side of Salem from the water. Tickets will be available online in advance.

Looking for the ultimate Halloween dinner experience? Check out Haunted Dinner Theater’s latest production, “Clue! Live”. This interactive crime-solving dinner show features audience participation, family-friendly entertainment, and more all based on the classic board game. An all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet covers the dinner portion of the show, which takes place at the Hawthorne Hotel. For the complete schedule of dates and to purchase tickets visit the Haunted Dinner Theater’s website.

For spookier family-fun, get your tickets for the Salem Haunted Magic Show‘s latest performance, HYSTERIA: Ghost Stories! Suitable for kids ages seven and up, this event features inconceivable magic, bizarre demonstrations of mind reading, wild comedy, and interactive audience participation! Tickets are $20-42 and may be purchased online in advance.

Traffic and parking during Salem Haunted Happenings can be scary, so visitors are encouraged to use public transportation, especially on weekends and Halloween. Salem is just 5 stops and 30 minutes from Boston’s North Station, making October a great time to take advantage of the MBTA Commuter Rail’s special $10 weekend fare. Boston Harbor Cruises’ high-speed Salem Ferry will transport passengers from Long Wharf, Boston, to Blaney Street, Salem, in under an hour.

Complete information on all the events, activities, restaurants, shopping, and accommodations for Salem Haunted Happenings, as well as parking, traffic, and safety advisories, can be found at HauntedHappenings.org.

Classic Salem Experiences

Classic experiences include:

Cry Innocent: The People vs. Bridget Bishop, Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, daily thru October. The year is 1692. Bridget Bishop has been accused of witchcraft and you are on the Puritan jury. Hear the historical testimonies, cross-examine the witnesses and decide the verdict. Is Bridget Bishop capable of witchcraft? The outdoor arrest scene begins approximately 15 minutes before show time.

October Nights At The Gables, include:

Spirits of the Gables: Get swept into Hawthorne’s tale of guilt, greed and revenge as the characters from The House of the Seven Gables (1851), come to life and recount their stories while you walk through the very house that inspired Hawthorne’s timeless novel.

Legacy of the Hanging Judge takes visitors back through Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birth home to the events of the infamous Salem Witch Trials, through the eyes of the author, whose own ancestor, Judge John Hathorne had a hand to play in the tragic events of 1692. The 35-minute performances begin every 10 minutes in The Nathaniel Hawthorne birth house. Combination tickets available. Reservations highly recommended.

The House of the Seven Gables: Discover 350 years of Salem’s history as you experience the museum and collection of historic buildings. Built in 1668, this is the oldest surviving 17th century wooden mansion in New England. The House of the Seven Gables inspired author Nathaniel Hawthorne to write his legendary novel of the same name. (The House of the Seven Gables, 115 Derby St. 978-744-0991)

The Witch House, home of Judge Jonathan Corwin, is the only structure still standing in Salem with direct ties to the Witchcraft Trials of 1692. Corwin was called upon to investigate the claims of diabolical activity when a surge of witchcraft accusations arose. He served on the court which ultimately sent nineteen to the gallows. 310 1/2 Essex St.  (978) 744-8815

Witch Dungeon Museum. Experience the acclaimed performance of a Witch trial adapted from the 1692 historical transcripts. Most chilling is that it is real. 16 Lynde St.  (978) 741-3570

There’s so much to do, you have to visit http://hauntedhappenings.org/ to plan.

Enhance your paranormal experience with a stay at the Hawthorne Hotel, one of Historic Hotels of America’s most haunted member hotels. Built in 1925, in the city notorious for the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the hotel has ghost stories of its own, mostly attributed to the sea captains who were returning to their gathering place. In particular, rooms 621 and 325 have had reports of lights turning off and on and a general uneasy feeling throughout the rooms (www.hawthornehotel.com).

 

Families will also appreciate the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites on Pickering Wharf, which has an indoor pool and restaurant on site.  https://www.salemwaterfronthotel.com/ 

 

And look for the new Hampton Inn to open in summer of 2020. https://www.facebook.com/Hampton-Inn-Salem-215100039190054/

 

Salem, Massachusetts, is a destination recognized around the world for its rich history, which includes the tragic Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the glorious maritime era that left its indelible mark on Salem through architecture, museums, and artifacts, and for its month-long celebration of Halloween. Located on the Massachusetts coast just 15 miles north of Boston, Salem is accessible by car, train, and seasonal ferry. For more information, visit Salem.org.

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Halloween is Happening in Sleepy Hollow: New Musical Experience Joins Horseman’s Hollow, Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in Historic Hudson Valley

October 16, 2019

Halloween in Historic Hudson Valley

Back for a spine-tingling tenth year, Horseman’s Hollow, takes inspiration from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, transforming historic Philipsburg Manor into 18th-century village driven mad by the Headless Horseman. A crew of award-winning makeup and costume designers and a 40-member-strong cast create an immersive, interactive, pleasantly terrifying experience, with state-of-the-spooky-art special effects. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

SLEEPY HOLLOW, NY  — Halloween season in Sleepy Hollow Country, a legendary time that draws hundreds of thousands to the area, now features more frightful fun than ever before! Historic Hudson Valley’s fall events, the largest in the tri-state area, kicked off Friday, Sept. 20, and take place on selected evenings through Saturday, Nov. 30. Historic Hudson Valley expects to draw more than 250,000 visitors to Sleepy Hollow Country this fall.

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze®, widely acclaimed as one of the country’s best fall extravaganza, is celebrating its fifteenth year and will run for a record 49 select evenings from late September through Thanksgiving weekend. This all-ages friendly walk-through experience lights up the wooded pathways, orchards, and gardens of historic Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., where a small team of artists hand-carve more than 7,000 jacks and elaborate pumpkin sculptures. Visitors will love seeing Blaze favorites, such as a giant spider web and mammoth sea serpent, and be awed by more pumpkin power than ever before! New additions include a Museum of Pumpkin Art and the Sleepy Hollow Bridge.

Horseman’s Hollow takes visitors back in time to a cursed Sleepy Hollow, an 18th-century village driven mad by the Headless Horseman. Professional actors, award-winning feature-film makeup artists, and state-of-the-art special effects make the Horseman’s Hollow experience all too real. This 16-night haunted attraction at Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., is recommended for ages 10 and up.

Also at Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow is The Unsilent Picture. This theatrical experience features a black and white film starring Tony Award-winning actor Bill Irwin and will screen with a special effects Foley artist and original score. This event runs for 17 select dates in October and November and is recommended for ages 10 and up and contains scenes of drinking alcohol, smoking and snuff tobacco use, implied violence, and mature themes.

Brand new for 2019 is The Sleepy Hollow Experience, an interactive musical theater production at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside. This critically-acclaimed show, created and produced by Brian Clowdus, features live, professional musicians and singers who perform the scenes in various locations around the estate and engage with audience members. The Sleepy Hollow Experience is suitable for all ages. The event runs for 19 evenings at Washington Irving’s home, Sunnyside, in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Home of the ‘Legend’ is a daytime experience at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside. Visitors can tour the author’s home, embark on a literary-themed scavenger hunt, hear storytellers spin spooky tales, and take part in historic games and Halloween-themed art activities. Home of the ‘Legend’ is an all-ages event.

At Irving’s ‘Legend,’ master storytellers Jonathan Kruk and Jim Keyes, accompanied by live music, bring to life The Legend of Sleepy Hollow during afternoon and evening performances at Sleepy Hollow’s circa-1685 Old Dutch Church. Irving’s ‘Legend’ runs for 17 select dates and is recommended for ages 10 and up.

All events are held rain or shine. Proceeds support Historic Hudson Valley, the Tarrytown-based private, non-profit educational organization that owns and operates the historic sites that host these events.

Pre-Purchase Timed Tickets

These events have limited capacity and sell out. All admissions are by advance purchase timed ticket.

Blaze dates are September 20-22; 26-29; October 3-31; November 1-3; 8-10; 15-17; 22-23; 29-30. Online tickets start at $23 for adults and $17 for children 3-17, and free for children 2 and under and Historic Hudson Valley members.

Horseman’s Hollow dates are October 4-6; 11-13; 18-20; 25-27; 31; November 1- 3. Online tickets are $22 ($28 on Saturdays). Fast Track, a $15 per ticket upgrade, lets visitors skip the line in their time slot. Historic Hudson Valley members receive a $5 per ticket discount.

The Unsilent Picture dates are October 4-6; 11-14; 18-20; 25-27; 31; November 1- 3. Online tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. Historic Hudson Valley members receive a $5 per ticket discount.

The Sleepy Hollow Experience dates are October 4-6, 11-13, 18-20, 25-27, 31; Nov 1-3. Performances times are at 6:30pm and 8:30pm. On November 3, performance times are at 5:30pm and 7:30pm. Online tickets start at $45 for adults and $25 for children. Historic Hudson Valley members receive a 10% per ticket discount.

Home of the ‘Legend’ dates are September 28-29; October 5-6; 12-14; 19-20; 26-27; November 2- 3. Online tickets are $16 for adults, $12 for seniors, $8 for children 3-17, and free for those 2 and under and Historic Hudson Valley members.

Irving’s ‘Legend’ dates are October 4-6; 11-14; 18-20; 25-27; 31; November 1-3. Seating is very limited and there are three performances on weekday evenings and six performances on weekends. Online tickets are $28 for adults, $22 for children under 18. Historic Hudson Valley members receive a $5 per ticket discount.

Buy tickets online at http://www.hudsonvalley.org or by calling 914-366-6900 ($2 per ticket surcharge for phone orders and for tickets purchased onsite, if available).

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

Halloween in Historic Hudson Valley

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze features over 7,000 illuminated, individually hand-carved jack o’ lanterns. Elaborate single-pumpkin carvings and huge multi-jack o’lantern constructions are professionally lit throughout the landscape of Van Cortlandt Manor in various themed areas © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze features over 7,000 illuminated, individually hand-carved jack o’ lanterns. Elaborate single-pumpkin carvings and huge multi-jack o’lantern constructions are professionally lit throughout the landscape of Van Cortlandt Manor in various themed areas.

Favorite installations, such as the Pumpkin Planetarium and Jurassic Park, are joined this year by new creations such as a Museum of Pumpkin Art and the Sleepy Hollow Bridge … all made of jack o’lanterns!

Creative Director Michael Natiello leads a small team of Historic Hudson Valley staff and local artists who carve. In addition, more than 1,000 volunteers help scoop and light the pumpkins. The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze Shop offers a full bounty of Blaze-specific merchandise including candles, hats, T-shirts, magnets, caps, mugs, and jewelry.

Café Blazé, by Geordane’s of Irvington, will offer culinary treats including soup, veggie chili, muffins, pumpkin cookies, and cider. Adult beverages available include wine by the glass, hard cider from 1911 and beer by the Elmsford-based Captain Lawrence Brewing Company.

Professional musician, radio personality, and Halloween fanatic Richard Christy created the soundtrack accompanying the experience. All new tracks for 2019 plus tracks from Blaze: The Soundtrack Volume I & II play throughout the event, making it a multisensory experience. Both soundtracks are available as digital downloads and streams from iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

Van Cortlandt Manor is at 525 South Riverside Avenue, just off Route 9 in Croton-on-Hudson.

Horseman’s Hollow

Headless Horseman, Sleepy Hollow

During Horseman’s Hollow, historic Philipsburg Manor transforms into 18th-century village driven mad by the Headless Horseman © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Back for a spine-tingling tenth year, Horseman’s Hollow, which welcomed more than 37,000 visitors last year, is a haunted experience in the heart of Sleepy Hollow that takes inspiration from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Historic Philipsburg Manor transforms into 18th-century village driven mad by the Headless Horseman.

A crew of award-winning makeup and costume designers and a 40-member-strong cast of experienced actors work to create an immersive, interactive, pleasantly terrifying experience, with state-of-the-spooky-art special effects.

Custom built set pieces and period-correct costumes help orient the experience in Philipsburg Manor’s traditional time period of the mid-1700s.

Philipsburg Manor is at 381 North Broadway (Route 9) in Sleepy Hollow.

The Unsilent Picture

The Unsilent Picture is a theater experience in Sleepy Hollow at Philipsburg Manor. The original black and white film, based on the Washington Irving story “The Adventure of the Mysterious Picture,” was shot on location at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson. It stars Tony Award winner Bill Irwin and each screening features a live Foley artist.

Philipsburg Manor is at 381 North Broadway (Route 9) in Sleepy Hollow.

The Sleepy Hollow Experience

The Sleepy Hollow Experience is an interactive performance at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, created and produced by Brian Clowdus, founder & Executive/Artistic Director of Serenbe Playhouse, the nation’s premier outdoor site-specific theatre company, which was recently named one of the Top 20 Theaters in the Nation by Playbill. The production features live, professional musicians and singers, who will perform the scenes in various locations around the estate and engage with audience members. Theater-goers will be guided by storytellers from scene to scene, meeting Ichabod Crane and Katrina Van Tassel, imbibing in drinks and snacks during the famous party scene at the Van Tassel’s, and, in a thrilling climax, encountering the Headless Horseman himself.

Beverages, including a signature cocktail, and snacks will be available to purchase and there is also a gift shop.

Sunnyside is on West Sunnyside Lane, off Route 9 in Tarrytown.

Home of the ‘Legend’

Sunnyside celebrates its connection to Washington Irving’s classic tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, at this family friendly daytime event. Home of the ‘Legend’ includes a spooky tour of both floors Irving’s home, a literary-themed scavenger hunt, storytellers, and historic games.

Sunnyside is on West Sunnyside Lane, off Route 9 in Tarrytown.

Details: Irving’s ‘Legend’

sleepyhollow-102007 179e2-story-kruk (c) Karen Rubin

Master storyteller Jonathan Kruk offers dramatic re-tellings of Washington Irving’s classic tale © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Master storytellers Jonathan Kruk and Jim Keyes offer dramatic re-tellings of Washington Irving’s classic tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Flavored with live spooky music, the event takes place in the historic setting of the Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow. The circa-1685 stone church is across the street from Philipsburg Manor, where visitors will park. These performances last about 45 minutes. Weekend afternoon performances are by Jim Keyes and weekday and weekend evening performances are by Jonathan Kruk.

Historic Hudson Valley, Westchester County’s largest cultural organization, educates and entertains more than 325,000 visitors a year through school programs, tours of five National Historic Landmarks, and large-scale events like this roster of Halloween themed experiences, which have earned a national reputation as among the best in the country.

Information: www.hudsonvalley.org, 914-366-6900.

 

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Ben Vereen to Receive Gold Coast Arts Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award

October 8, 2019

GCIFF-Ben Vereen

Ben Vereen, Tony Award-winning entertainer, will be on-hand to receive the award at Gold Coast’s International Film Festival opening night reception on Monday, November 4, 2019, at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts in Brookville, Long Island

LONG ISLAND, NY —Internationally acclaimed actor Ben Vereen will receive the Gold Coast Arts Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award at an opening night reception of the Gold Coast International Film Festival on Monday, November 4, 2019 at 6 p.m. at the Krasnoff Theater at Tilles Center in Brookville, Long Island.

As part of the evening’s festivities, there will be a VIP cocktail reception with Ben Vereen; performances by the award-winning Uniondale (NY) High School show choir, Rhythm of the Knight; and the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award followed by a special, intimate conversation with Mr. Vereen, led by Frank DiLella, the Emmy Award-winning host of “On Stage” seen on Spectrum News’ NY1. The evening will conclude with a dessert reception. For information and tickets, please call 516-829-2570, or visit the Gold Coast Art Center’s website www.goldcoastarts.org.

“Ben Vereen’s talent and versatility as a singer/dancer actor/performer, coupled with his ardent advocacy for the arts, made him the ideal choice to receive the Gold Coast Arts Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award,” stated Regina Gil, founder and executive director of the multi-cultural, nonprofit arts organization. “From his Tony Award-winning role in ‘Pippin,’ stellar performance in such musicals as ‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ ‘Fosse,’ ‘Chicago,’ and ‘Wicked’ to his brilliant performances in films like ‘Sweet Charity’ and ‘All That Jazz,’ there are few entertainers as accomplished and recognized as Mr. Vereen. And, let’s not forget his memorable role as Chicken George in the groundbreaking television series ‘Roots’ that made Ben Vereen a household name.”

Vereen has spoken before Congress in defense of the National Endowment for the Arts against proposed budget cuts. For his humanitarian efforts, he has received several awards including Israel’s Cultural and Humanitarian Award, three NAACP Image Awards, and an Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award. Ben Vereen has also been inducted into The Theatre Hall of Fame and the Dance Hall of Fame, and he has received the Broadwayworld.com’s Cabaret Award for Best Celebrity Male Vocalist.

Among Ben Vereen’s recent projects include the television series “Bull” and “Magnum P.I.,” both on CBS; FOX’s “Star” produced by Lee Daniels; “Sneaky Pete” with Bryan Cranston (Amazon), “Rocky Horror Picture Show” (20th Century Fox); “Time Out of Mind” with Richard Gere and “Top Five” with Chris Rock.  He is currently working on his new Broadway musical, “Reflections,” written by Joe Calarco, to be directed by Tony-nominee Josh Bergasse with music by Stephen Schwartz.

Performing at the tribute to Ben Vereen will be the award-winning Uniondale High School’s show choir, Rhythm of the Knight, the 2018 Fame Show Choir National Champions. Known for their vibrant energetic style, Rhythm of the Knight has performed at numerous venues, competitions, and events in the greater New York Tri-State area and beyond, and has been featured on NBC’s “Today,” CNN, “FOX and Friends,” FOX 5’s “Good Day NY,” ABC’s “Here and Now,” FiOS1 News, News12 Long Island, and in Newsday and the New York Times.

Uniondale Schools are a partner with the Gold Coast Art Center’s Kennedy Center Partners in Education initiative that assists underserved communities in developing a plan for expanded arts education, ensuring access to the arts for all students in grades K-8.

Sponsors and partners of this year’s Gold Coast International Film Festival include: Founding Partners, the Town of North Hempstead and Douglas Elliman Real Estate; Major Partners, Hofstra University and the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency; as well as the Long Island Community Foundation; Neiman Marcus Garden City; Atria Senior Living; AARP Long Island; A.L. Sarroff Fund; Peter & Jeri DeJana Family Foundation; TD Charitable Foundation; Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; Samar Hospitality; The Katz Institute for Women’s Health at Northwell Health; Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock; Goidel Law Group PLLC; The Bristal Assisted Living; Jet Blue; El Al; Liman Video Rental; The Inn at Great Neck; Operation Democracy; WLIW21; Altice; Anton Publications; Blank Slate Media; Long Island Parent; Science on Screen; and many local businesses including LOLA, American Brasserie and Rothchilds Coffee and Kitchen.

For information about upcoming films in the Festival’s year-round film screening program plus the latest news on the 2019 Festival visit www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org.

The Gold Coast Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting the arts through education, exhibition, performance, and outreach. Located on the North Shore of Long Island, it has brought the arts to tens of thousands of people throughout the region for 25 years. Among the Center’s offerings are its School for the Arts, which holds year-round classes in visual and performing arts for students of all ages and abilities; a free public art gallery; a concert and lecture series; film screenings and discussions; the annual Gold Coast International Film Festival; and initiatives that focus on senior citizens and underserved communities. These initiatives include artist residencies, after-school programs, school assemblies, teacher-training workshops, and parent-child workshops. The Gold Coast Arts Center is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Partners in Education program, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. More information can be found at www.goldcoastarts.org.

 

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6th Annual Saratoga Balloon and BBQ Festival, Ballston Spa, NY June 21-23

June 18, 2019

The 6th Annual Saratoga Balloon and BBQ Festival is back again at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa, NY, June 21-23, 2019, with 30 balloons at each launch.

Ballston Spa, NY – The 6th Annual Saratoga Balloon and BBQ Festival is back again at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa, NY,  June 21-23, 2019. Due to the success of the BBQ last year, two new BBQ vendors have been added. There will be bountiful balloons, 30 of them at each launch.

Last year, after four successful years, the event organizers realized that they  wanted to create a bigger and better event, one that was less dependant on the weather. So the barbecue component was added as a protection against the weather. Festival organizer Tim Cianciola says, “The BBQ vendors and music alone are worth the price of admission.” He points out,  “With  all the  great entertainment, our audience can have an enjoyable day.  And let’s not dismiss the balloons; they are a spectacular sight. They ascend as a parade of skyward seeking colorful flying ships, actually, an  amazing happening.”

This year’s Festival schedule is filled with, kids activities,  bountiful BBQ, craft beer, wine slushies, bands, street performers, a trained dog show,  a marketplace with 100 booths including arts, crafts, specialty foods, pony rides, games, and the balloons. During the three days the Festival expects to launch up to 100 balloons. Perhaps, the most exciting  single event is the Friday evening Balloon Glow at dusk. Cianciola  says, “It’s magic, just pure magic.”

The show opens on Friday at 3PM and closes after the Balloon Glow at dusk. Saturday runs from 11 until 8PM. Sunday hours are 11-5.

Admission: Adult admission is $12 at the gate, kids $5.  Discounted Advance sales tickets are available on the the Festival website www.balloonandbbq.com. On Sunday, Family Day, all tickets are just $5 each for adults or children.

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