Archive for the ‘festivals’ Category

Iconic 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Kicks off Holiday Season in NYC; Here’s What to Expect

November 9, 2017
NYC-MacysThanksgvParade 112410_128e2(c) Karen Rubin

Macy’s iconic Thanksgiving Parade that kicks off the winter holiday season actually starts the night before, with a gigantic blow-up event that has become a major festival experience, drawing tens of thousands of onlookers on the streets around the American Museum of Natural History and Central Park West © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK –This Thanksgiving, a magical march returns to the streets of New York City and to homes across the U.S. as the 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® kicks off the holiday season with its signature spectacle of wonder. On Thursday, Nov. 23 (9 a.m.-noon in all time zones), the streets of Manhattan will come alive at the sound of “Let’s Have a Parade!” Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker of NBC’s “Today” will host the broadcast. Telemundo will simulcast the parade in Spanish, with the event hosted by Carlos Ponce, Jessica Carrillo and Karim Mendiburu.

Ready to spread holiday cheer, the annual procession is sure to delight more than 3.5 million spectators and more than 50 million viewers nationwide with its traditional merriment. Since the first march in 1924, the Macy’s Parade has captivated audiences and become synonymous with the start of the holiday season. For the 91st edition, the line-up will feature 17 giant character balloons; 28 legacy balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 26 floats; 1,100 cheerleaders and dancers; more than 1,000 clowns; 12 marching bands; and 6 performance groups.

The star power on parade will once again feature some of the nation’s most riveting performers. Taking to the streets of New York City on board one of Macy’s signature floating stages and thrilling the nation with their performances at Herald Square will be 98 Degrees, Lauren Alaina, Cam, Sabrina Carpenter, Andra Day & Common, Sara Evans, Jimmy Fallon & The Roots, Flo Rida, Goo Goo Dolls, Kat Graham, Andy Grammer, Angelica Hale, Olivia Holt, Nicky Jam, Wyclef Jean, Bravo’s Top Chef stars Padma Lakshmi & Tom Colicchio, Dustin Lynch, Miss America 2018 Cara Mund, Leslie Odom Jr. and the cast & Muppets of Sesame Street, Bebe Rexha, Smokey Robinson, Jojo Siwa and more.

On 34th Street, Broadway’s best shows will take a star turn in front of Macy’s famed flagship with special performances from the casts of “Anastasia,” “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Once On This Island” and “SpongeBob SquarePants – The Broadway Musical.” In addition, the show-stopping Radio City Rockettes®  will bring their signature high-kicking magic to Herald Square.

“The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of our great holiday traditions and we’re thrilled to be able to once again bring the pageantry and spectacle to viewers across the country,” said Doug Vaughan, Executive Vice President, Special Programs and Late Night, NBC Entertainment. “We can’t wait to see all the balloons, floats and high-end entertainment that have become such an integral part of this wonderful event.”

“For more than 90 years, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has signaled the start of the holiday season for millions of families. We are thrilled to once again come together as a nation to give this gift of joy and wonder to all,” said Susan Tercero, group vice-president of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She added, “Our incredible team has planned a fantastic spectacle featuring an amazing line-up of giant character balloons, floats of fantasy, the nation’s best marching bands and performance groups, a dazzling array of musical artists, all coming together to herald the arrival of the one-and-only Santa Claus.”

The Macy’s Parade is always a unique multi-level, magical march that provides spectators with different experiences, whether they watch it on television with friends and family or scout the perfect spot on the route to watch it unfold live. To give fans another unique viewing opportunity, Macy’s, along with NBCUniversal and Verizon will once again take viewers closer to the magic via up close and personal views of the event through a 360-degree livestream of the parade on Verizon’s YouTube page. The stream, found at www.youtube.com/verizon, will be synced with the start of the Parade.

Flying Icons

Taking flight on Turkey Day will be the Parade’s signature giant character helium balloons. Since their introduction in 1927, these giants of the sky have featured some of the world’s most beloved characters. This year four giant characters will debut, including Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen,” Illumination presents Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, Jett from Super Wings™ and PAW Patrol®.

The balloon line-up will also feature the return of Harold the Baseball Player, a legacy Macy’s character prominently featured in Twentieth Century Fox’s iconic holiday film classic “Miracle on 34th Street.” In celebration of the film’s 70th anniversary, the Harold heritage balloon has been recreated for this year’s Parade, painted in hues of black, white and grey, to look exactly as it did on-screen during a memorable scene in the 1947 film. In addition to Harold, the famed spokesduck, the Aflac Duck, will debut as an all-new balloonicle (a Macy’s Parade innovation of hybrid cold-air balloon and vehicle) and is sure to have fans quacking with joy and laughter down the route.

Returning giant balloon characters include Angry Birds’ Red; Charlie Brown; Diary of a Wimpy Kid®;  Sinclair’s Dino®; the Elf on the Shelf®; Hello Kitty®; Ice Age’s Scrat and His Acorn; Pikachu™; Pillsbury Doughboy™; Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger; Ronald McDonald®; SpongeBob SquarePants; and DreamWorks’ Trolls.

Parade Floats

Floating down the route this Thanksgiving, the Parade’s signature floats transport spectators to worlds of wonder. Designed and created by the incredible artists of Macy’s Parade Studio, which include carpenters, painters, animators, sculptors, metal fabricators, scenic/costume designers and electricians, this year’s line-up of floats sets an unparalleled stage for entertainment. The painstaking process of creating a Macy’s Parade float is both a creative and technical endeavor. Macy’s Parade floats are often three-stories tall and several lanes of traffic wide, but must collapse to no more than 12½-feet tall and 8-feet wide in order to travel safely from the New Jersey home of the Parade Studio, to the Manhattan starting line via the Lincoln Tunnel each Thanksgiving eve. These creations are not only works of art, but also engineering marvels.

This year five new floats will debut including Everyone’s Favorite Bake Shop by Entenmann’s® (Sara Evans), Harvest in the Valley by Green Giant® (Lauren Alaina), Parade Day Mischief by Sour Patch Kids® Candy (Nicky Jam), Shimmer and Shine by Nickelodeon (Jojo Siwa) and Universal Playground by Sprout® (Angelica Hale). A special float by Delta Air Lines will also debut to commemorate the season of togetherness with the perfect gift of song, as more than 125 Macy’s employees gather to form a one-of-a-kind cross-generational choir aboard the Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree.

The returning float roster includes 1-2-3 Sesame Street by Sesame Street (Leslie Odom Jr. and the cast and Muppets of “Sesame Street“); The Aloha Spirit by King’s Hawaiian (Goo Goo Dolls), Big Apple by N.Y. Daily News (Bebe Rexha); Big City Cheer! by Spirit of America Productions (Miss America 2018 Cara Mund); Building a Better World by Girl Scouts of the USA (Andra Day and Common); The Colonel’s Road Trip to NYC by Kentucky Fried Chicken (Dustin Lynch); The Cranberry Cooperative by Ocean Spray®; Deck the Halls by Balsam Hill® (Olivia Holt); Discover Adventure! by Build-A-Bear (Sabrina Carpenter); Frozen Fall Fun by Discover®/NHL (Wyclef Jean) and NHL Hockey Hall of Famers Ray Bourque & Bryan Trottier); Fun House by Krazy Glue® (Flo Rida); Heartwarming Holiday Countdown by Hallmark Channel (98 Degrees); It’s All Rock & Roll by Gibson Brands (Jimmy Fallon & The Roots); Mount Rushmore’s American Pride by South Dakota Department of Tourism (Smokey Robinson); On The Roll Again by Homewood Suites by Hilton® (Andy Grammer); Santa’s Sleigh; Snoopy’s Doghouse by Peanuts Worldwide; Stirrin’ Up Sweet Sensations by Domino® Sugar (Cam); Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Nickelodeon (Kat Graham); and Tom Turkey featuring Bravo’s Top Chef (Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio).

Drum Roll, Please…

Marching bands are a central piece of the Thanksgiving delights, bringing national excitement and hometown pride to the streets of the Big Apple, not to mention the musical beat to the holiday revelry. Twelve performance ensembles will take up the call of the baton and march down the streets of Manhattan. This year’s bands include Colony High School (Palmer, Alaska), Davis High School (Kaysville, Utah), Rosemount High School (Rosemount, Minn.), West Harrison High School (Gulfport, Miss.), Rockford High School (Rockford, Mich.), Ohio University (Athens, Ohio), Nation Ford High School (Fort Mill, S.C.), Trumbull High School (Trumbull, Conn.), Prairie View A&M University (Prairie View, Texas), the United States Air Force Band and Honor Guard, Macy’s Great American Marching Band (United States) and the NYPD Marching Band (New York, NY).

Specialty Parade entertainment always promises a unique, exciting, and sometimes humorous look at the nation’s finest performance groups. Returning to the line-up this year are the dancers and cheerleaders of Spirit of America Dance Stars and Spirit of America Cheer. These groups combined feature more than 1,000 of the nation’s very best performers recruited from small towns and big cities. Days before Thanksgiving, they will gather for the first time in NYC, ahead of their once-in-a-lifetime national spotlight. Adding to the dance floor revelry will be 34th & Phunk, a special group commissioned and produced by Macy’s with organizers from the United States Tournament of Dance. Choreographed by the legendary artist Willdabeast Adams and acclaimed dancer Janelle Ginestra, 34th & Phunk will be a one-of-a-kind hip-hop dance crew featuring performers of all ages and from all walks of life, who have a passion for dance and precision movement. Bringing a Broadway flair to the spectacle will be the talented kids of Camp Broadway, who this year have auditioned and selected dancers/singers from military bases around the nation, and who will pay tribute to America with their performance. Rounding out the performance group list are the zany Red Hot Mamas (Post Falls, Idaho) who will deliver their signature humorous take on the holiday season, along with the whimsical stars of the Big Apple Circus (New York, NY).

Interactive Fun

This year the magic of Macy’s iconic balloons and Parade artistry will head south for the winter to give fans an up close and personal experience for the holidays. Starting on Saturday, Nov. 18, Universal Orlando Resort’s destination-wide Holidays celebration begins, featuring the all-new “Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s.” This one-of-a-kind experience is where merry and mayhem mesh to create a fantastic treat for park guests that features more than 15 incredibly detailed floats, colorful stilt-walkers and characters, and a specially created cast of all new Macy’s balloons that you can’t see anywhere else. Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s will run daily from Nov. 18 through Jan. 6.

The 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will begin at 9 a.m. from 77th Street and Central Park West. The procession will march to Columbus Circle, turn onto Central Park South and march down 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas. At 34th Street, the Parade will make its final turn west and end at 7th Avenue in front of Macy’s Herald Square. “A Holiday Treat for Children Everywhere” has been the guiding motto of this annual tradition for more than nine decades and is the mandate that continues to this day.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast is produced by the Emmy Award-winning Brad Lachman Productions. Brad Lachman serves as executive producer, Bill Bracken will co-executive produce and Ryan Polito directs.

For more information on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,  visit www.macys.com/parade  or call the Parade hotline at 212-494-4495. Follow @macys on various social networks and join the conversation using #MacysParade.

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Best Places for Halloween: ‘Legend of Sleepy Hollow,’ ‘Blaze’ Halloween Events Return to Historic Hudson Valley

September 25, 2017
Halloween in Historic Hudson Valley

At Horseman’s Hollow, Philipsburg Manor, you may well encounter the Headless Horseman in the shadows. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Washington Irving’s macabre tale, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” is the inspiration for Horseman’s Hollow, a spectacularly produced interactive Halloween haunted attraction at the colonial-era Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow, NY.

It is one of a series of Historic Hudson Valley’s Halloween season spectacular events, the largest Halloween events in the tri-state area, which draw more than 150,000 visitors to Sleepy Hollow Country. They take place in several Historic Hudson Valley venues, each one an important attraction.

Halloween in Historic Hudson Valley

Fanciful figures made of jack o’lanterns are just a few of the 7,000 illuminated jacks on The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze, a hugely popular family-friendly walk-through experience at Van Cortlandt Manor. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze®, Van Cortlandt Manor, 525 South Riverside Avenue, Croton-on-Hudson, (Sept. 29-30, Oct. 1, 5-9, 12-31 and Nov. 2-5, 9-12, 17-18, 24-25)
The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying Halloween event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a breathtaking display — all made of jack o’ lanterns.  In this elaborate, hugely popular walk-through experience, see more than 7,000 illuminated jacks, all designed and individually hand-carved on site by a team of artisans. Wander along the main street Pumpkin Promenade and stroll across the Pumpkin Zee Bridge. You will discover an awe-inspiring jack o’lantern Statue of Liberty.

See a fully functioning, 20-foot diameter Pumpkin Carousel with a variety of pumpkin creatures along for the ride. (Gourds only, no humans on this one!)

Feel the earth shake as you approach Jurassic Park, where a herd of pint-sized dinosaurs mingles with an enormous T-Rex, brontosaurus, triceratops, and flying pterodactyl. And don’t miss Sleepy Hollow Country’s most iconic inhabitant, the Headless Horseman…yes, all made entirely of jack o’lanterns!

Halloween in Historic Hudson Valley

Look closely and you will see The Headless Horseman himself in jack o’lanterns at The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Complete with sound effects, elaborate synchronized lighting and an all-original soundtrack by recording artist Richard Christy, this not-to-be-missed spectacle is the area’s most innovative fall-inspired happening.

All admissions are by timed ticket only, which MUST be purchased in advance. Buy tickets online at http://www.hudsonvalley.org or call 914-631-8200. Online admission is: Adults $20 ($25 Friday and Saturday); Children $16 ($20 Friday and Saturday); and free for members and children under 3.

Horseman’s Hollow, Philipsburg Manor, 381 N Broadway (Route 9), Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.  (Oct. 6-8, 13-15, 20-22, 26-31)
Taking the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes, Horseman’s Hollow transforms Philipsburg Manor into a terrifying landscape ruled by the undead, the evil, and the insane. Visitors begin walking a haunted trail, stumbling upon scary scenes of a town driven mad by the Headless Horseman. Creatures, human and otherwise, lurk in the shadows, ready to terrify the unsuspecting while incredible special effects disorient and unsettle. Those who survive the trail enter the ruins of Ichabod’s Schoolhouse, where they must endure a twisted maze of horrors, only to end up in the lair of the Horseman.

Halloween in Historic Hudson Valley

Taking the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes, Horseman’s Hollow transforms Philipsburg Manor into a terrifying landscape ruled by the undead, the evil, and the insane. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

This is Sleepy Hollow’s premier haunted attraction, right in the heart of the village. Not suitable for small children or the faint of heart (and they mean it). Enter at your own risk!

All admissions are by timed ticket only, which MUST be purchased in advance. Buy tickets online at http://www.hudsonvalley.org or call 914-631-8200. Online admission is $20 ($25 Saturday); $5 discount for members.

Irving’s ‘Legend’, Old Dutch Church, 430 N. Broadway (Route 9), Sleepy Hollow, (Oct 6-8, 13-15, 20-22, 26-31)
Master storyteller Jonathan Kruk offers a dramatic reading of Washington Irving’s classic tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, featuring the Headless Horseman, Ichabod Crane, Brom Bones, and Katrina Van Tassel. Flavored with live spooky organ music by Jim Keyes, Kruk’s storytelling captivates all audiences.

Admissions for this 45-minute performance are by timed ticket only, which MUST be purchased in advance. Performances are at 6:15, 7:30, and 8:45pm on Fridays and 1:30, 5, 6:15, and 7:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Buy tickets online at http://www.hudsonvalley.org. Online admission is: Adults $25; Children $20; $5 discount for members.

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

Master storyteller Jonathan Kruk offers a dramatic reading of Washington Irving’s classic tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, at the Old Dutch Church © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Sunnyside: Home of the ‘Legend’, Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, 3 W Sunnyside Lane, Tarrytown, (October 6-9, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28)

What better way to spend a haunt-filled weekend than at the homestead of Washington Irving, creator of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow? Irving’s fascinating home — a colorful blend of architectural styles — showcases numerous, previously unseen objects from HHV’s collection related to Irving’s famous story. Visitors can enjoy a shadow puppet performance of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and create Headless Horseman-themed art.

Timed tours every half hour starting at 10am. Last tour is at 3pm. Buy tickets online at http://www.hudsonvalley.org. Online admission is: Adults $16; Seniors $12; Children $8; and free for members and children under 3.

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.

Because of the popularity of these events, it is essential to purchase tickets in advance.

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

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Barbados Crop Over Festival June 4-Aug 1 is Ideal Time to Visit Mango Bay Barbados All-Inclusive Resort

May 11, 2016
Mango Bay Barbados

The 76-room all-inclusive Mango Bay Hotel in Barbados is inviting visitors to take advantage of off-season rates during the tradition of the Barbados Crop Over Festival, taking place June 4 – Aug 1, 2016.

HOLETOWN, Barbados – The 76-room all-inclusive Mango Bay Hotel (www.MangoBayBarbados.com) in Barbados is inviting visitors to take advantage of off-season rates during the tradition of the Barbados Crop Over Festival, taking place June 4 – Aug 1, 2016.

Mango Bay Barbados all-inclusive rates start at $535 per room, per night, based on double occupancy for travel May 1 – Dec. 14, 2016 – a savings of 20% off high-season rates.

Marking the culmination of the island’s sugarcane season, Crop Over is a Barbadian tradition dating back to the 1780s when the island was the world’s largest producer of sugar. The festival was originally created to celebrate the success of the sugarcane season and has since been revived with additional elements, including highlights of the island’s culture and attracting A-list celebrities such as Rihanna, along with travelers and locals.

Situated on the vibrant west coast, Mango Bay Hotel provides the perfect location for travelers seeking to combine relaxing tropical indulgence with the excitement of local culture.

Crop Over activities traditionally include music and masquerades, calypso tents, ceremonial delivery of the last canes, kiddies kadooment, folk concerts, art and photogenic exhibitions, party monarchs and much more. The festival concludes with the Grand Kadooment where a carnival and parade fill the streets with color and the sounds of calypso musicians. For more information on the 2016 Barbados Crop Over Festival visit  www.carnifest.com/events/barbados/bridgetown/18/barbados-crop-over-festival-2016.aspx.

An all-inclusive Mango Bay vacation features: all meals, afternoon tea, local and brand name drinks including wine with dinner; various watersports including water-skiing, kayaking, hobiecat sailing, pedal boating and snorkeling; complimentary offering of scuba diving lessons (on-property); off-property sightseeing excursions such as a glass-bottom boat trip and a catamaran sail, as well as nightly entertainment.

Dining at the hotel provides savory fusion of Caribbean and international cuisine, with buffet-style meals and table service options. Live music is offered nightly from 9-11p.m.

Accommodations at the resort include the following categories: Standard Rooms, Standard One-Bedrooms, Superior Rooms, Deluxe Rooms, Oceanfront Rooms and Penthouse Suites. Decorated in warm Caribbean colors, the contemporarily-styled rooms and suites at Mango Bay feature king-size beds, air conditioning, bathrobes, beach towels, iPod docking stations, cable television, direct-dial telephone, hairdryer, an electronic safe, iron with ironing board and coffee/tea-making facilities. Computer wireless internet access is available in public areas, including the reception, guest lounge, around the pool and bar and restaurant.

Children three years of age and under sharing with two adults stay free-of-charge and children 4 to 18 years old are offered a reduced rate. For added convenience, cribs, extra beds and high chairs are available at no additional cost.

Located in the historic Holetown area on the famed Gold Coast of Barbados, the 76-room Mango Bay is known for its casual sophistication and all-inclusive value. Having been honored with TripAdvisor’s 2015 Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame, Mango Bay has proven to cater to the needs of its guests. This unique accolade honors hospitality excellence and is only given to establishments that have won TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years.

This beachfront, boutique-style property is an ideal tropical retreat for travelers seeking an escape from the everyday hustle and bustle – an oasis where warm breezes, delightful Caribbean sunshine, and picturesque beaches are refreshing and revitalizing. Spacious accommodations, a centrally-located swimming pool, delicious dining and tremendous all-inclusive value make Mango Bay an “Uncomplicated, Unencumbered, Unforgettable” vacation paradise.

Find Mango Bay on Facebook (www.facebook.com/pages/MangoBayBB), Twitter (http://twitter.com/MangoBayBB) and Instagram (https://instagram.com/mangobaybarbados).  For more information call (246) 626-1384, or visit online at www.MangoBayBarbados.com

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Great New York State Fairgoers Can Take Advantage of New Interactive Services

August 31, 2015

Besides family-friendly activities at the Great New York State Fair this year, visitors will be able to take advantage of many new services including the opportunity to order a new “I Love NY” State Fair license plate, a new E-ZPass and search for job openings.
“Each year we strive to make the Great New York State Fair better than the last and by providing more educational activities and convenient access to state services, we are seeking to enhance the experience and provide more value for attendees,” Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said. “I urge every New Yorker to plan a trip to the Fair and experience the very best this state has to offer.”

State agency displays, as well as the Governor’s exhibit, will be located in the Center of Progress Building, the Science and Industry Building, and at many other locations on the Fairgrounds. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ tent will be located in front of the Administration Building. The displays will be open all twelve days of the Fair from Thursday, August 27 to Labor Day Monday, September 7.

Some of the interactive and informative state agency booths include:

Made in New York food products will be at the Taste NY tent, including samples of New York cheese, maple syrup, honey, granola, sauces and dips, wine, beer and spirits. There will be 70 vendors participating throughout the 12 days of the Fair, with dozens of food and beverage vendors who are new to the Fair this year. The tent is just inside the main gate.

Visitors can take a new license photograph at the DMV exhibit in the Center of Progress building, which will also offer services such as vision tests, booking reservations to visit a local office, enrolling in the organ donation program, and renewing a registration or driver license. Fairgoers can even order a custom State Fair license plate right at the booth (view a sample here ).

Jobseekers can search for employment through the Department of Labor’s Jobs Express program. Large, interactive TV monitors will allow fairgoers to search through more than 125,000 job across the state. Additionally, they can learn more about the Governor’s Exploited Worker Task Force and Nail Salon Enforcement Task Force.

E-ZPass will be available for purchase at the Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation booth. After a quick transaction, customers can register the new tag immediately on site via an iPad. Fairgoers can also learn all about New York’s canal and Thruway system by perusing a historical timeline and illuminated map.

Children can meet Captain America and Iron Man on September 4 and 5 at the Department of Health booth.

Learn about skin damage from the sun at the Dangers of Tanning exhibit by the Department of Health. Use the VISIA Skin Analysis System, which will photograph various aspects of the face, including pore size, brown spots, sun damage, and bacteria and provide great information on the quality of your skin.

A three-acre State Park right inside the Fair will be open for visitors to enjoy. A grassy oasis will be include a reconfigured layout, colorful welcome banners, signage, exhibits, and a new kiosk, all of which add to the lush plantings, tree-lined reflecting pool and shaded picnic area. While there, fairgoers can participate in a demonstration of 18th century chocolate making, interact with the lively Birds of Prey show, and get up close and personal with nature and the different species that live in State Parks across the state. View full schedule here .

Children can take a hands-on lesson on the dangers of germs , thanks to glow-in-the-dark Glo Germ™, a fun and safe product that casts a revealing glow when exposed to U.V. light, turning the invisible into “germs you can see.” Demonstration times are 10-11am, 12:30-1:30pm, 4:30-5:30pm, and 7pm-8pm daily.

The New York State Police will be in action , with opportunities for families to watch the State Police Dive Team work underwater, the Canine and Bomb Disposal Unit display their skills, and the Special Operations Response Team demonstrate rappelling techniques from a 50-foot tower platform. Take an up-close look at a Bell 407 helicopter, and talk to a real pilot. Children can even sit in a patrol car and turn on the lights.

Drivers can learn about the dangers of texting and driving with the AT&T It Can Wait game simulator at the Department of Health display, available daily from 11am-7pm.

Ideas for eating healthy on a budget will be available from nutrition experts, as well as a video game focused on making good food choices. Located at the booth for the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, USDA-developed “myPlate” interactive healthy meal and snack choice computer games will be available on two large touch screen monitors. The display will also include fun, nutritional-based activities led by experts from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). Representatives will also be available to answer questions about obtaining child support or making child support payments.

Learn more about why bees are vital to New York’s agriculture at the Department of Agriculture and Market tent, where a beekeeper will be on-hand to give visitors an up-close look at the pollination process by displaying a glass observation hive of honey bees. Other divisions will feature engaging displays on different days of the fair that will attract fairgoers of all ages. An interactive EMriver model will be on display August 27 and 28 which lets fairgoers get their hands dirty as they learn about the basic principles of river behavior and erosion, while Milk Control and Dairy Services staff will offer an inside look at how our milk is processed into cheese and yogurt on August 30 and August 31.

Get involved in the fight against drug abuse. Fairgoers can pick the best message about preventing heroin use from a display of billboards designed by South Colonie High School students. The most popular message will be displayed on the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse social media each day.

Visitors can connect with resources to improve mental health with four free mobile apps that will be demonstrated at the New York State Office of Mental Health booth. The apps can help teens reduce anxieties and stop bullying, promote veteran and service member resilience and positive mental health. On September 3rd and 4th, visitors can shake the paw of Tommy, a therapy dog who provides services to children in Western New York. Farmers and other agricultural workers can stop by on Dairy Day, August 31 and Grange Day, September 5 to meet with New York State FarmNet clinicians, who provide referrals and resources to farmworkers throughout New York.

Learn about clean energy projects in communities statewide using an interactive map at the exhibits for the Department of Public Service, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the New York Power Authority. Input a New York State zip code and view a map highlighting clean energy projects across the State and gain insight into how Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy future for all New Yorkers.

Families can learn how to prepare for disasters and emergencieswith experts from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. By taking a brief survey, visitors will be able to assess their own personal preparedness and will receive a free flashlight or emergency hammer, as well as information to enhance their personal safety from disasters and emergencies.

Learn about Fire Safety at the House of Hazards , an interactive exhibit for adults and children to learn about fire safety, created by the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Fire Prevention and Control. The House of Hazards has five stations, each with their own important fire and life safety messages about common fire hazards such as a kitchen fire and other home fire hazards.

Bridge engineers will be at work and visitors can use design software as a realistic, engaging introduction to engineering. Fairgoers will learn about truss bridges and how New York State Department of Transportation engineers use computers as a problem-solving tool to build and maintain safe bridges.

Plan a nature trip and take a fun photo at the Department of Environmental Conservation booth. The State Land Interactive Mapper will be available at the Log Cabin for fairgoers to plan and map their trips to state forests, parks and other public space, and there will be photo opportunities in front of the cabin to have pictures taken as a logger with a real log skidder tire and an angler with a huge fish on the line. There will also be interactive exhibits at which fairgoers will learn how DEC measures air and water quality and they can learn about the effects of acid rain.

Buy a sporting license from a full team of license sales agents who will be on hand each day from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. for the thousands of sportsmen and sportswomen who annually buy their hunting, fishing and trapping licenses at the DEC aquarium building at the fair. This year, fairgoers’ license-buying experience will be enhanced thanks to the streamlined licensing system enabling sales agents to more easily access current licenses, privileges, permits and tags held. License-buyers can also purchase lifetime sporting licenses at the fair, eliminating the need for annual renewals and presenting the opportunity to display the license on their NYS ID or driver’s license.

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New York State Fair Gets New Mobile App, Enhanced Website

August 31, 2015

A new mobile app and updated website for the Great New York State Fair, which runs daily through September 7, allow users to purchase tickets online, create a custom schedule with reminders for events throughout the day, and features a GPS-enabled map that allows visitors to know where they are on the fairgrounds. The mobile app, made by Persource, is available at nysfair.org/app .

“This new app and website will bring one of the state’s most treasured traditions into the 21 st century,” Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said. “With new tools on the website and on mobile phones, it has never been easier to plan a day at the fair and see the very best this state has to offer. I encourage all to use these tools and take a trip this year to the Great New York State Fair.”

The new app is available for free in the Apple and Google Play marketplaces. Within the app, users can scroll through hourly events and musical shows to build a custom itinerary. When an event is added to the itinerary, fairgoers will get a reminder 5 minutes before it begins. The app also features the “Food Finder,” which uses GPS to pinpoint a user’s exact location and shows the location of Fair food vendors.

Communication is another important function in the app. Buttons for Facebook and Twitter allow users to see posts and tweets from the Fair in real time, while the Messages section gives the Fair the ability to push important or urgent information to all app users at once.

The app is tied directly to the new website, www.nysfair.org , which allows content changes to happen instantly across both platforms. The website had not been updated since its last renovation in 2012. Since then, web browsing has moved to phones and tablets. Today, more than half of all visits to the State Fair website are from mobile devices. In response to this, the new website is now mobile-responsive — adjusting its design based on its screen size, whether the site is being accessed on a desktop computer with a widescreen monitor or on a cellphone with a narrow screen.

Troy Waffner, Acting Fair Director, said, “We are always looking for new ways to improve our visitors’ experience at the Great New York State Fair and that starts long before they walk through our gates. By providing a newly streamlined website with high-functioning compatible app, we’re making sure fairgoers have available the latest information on the fair and its year-round events at the touch of a button.”

The new website was built to handle large volumes of traffic during State Fair season, with upwards of 50,000 visitors each day. Other improvements include a more vibrant color scheme, the color-coded navigation bar floating at the top of each page as the user scrolls down the screen, and the ability to deliver shortcuts to users based on keywords to make searches successful more quickly.

The website’s longtime feature that helps people build an itinerary for their Fair visit is also enhanced. Thousands of events take place during the 12-day run of the Fair, including more than 500 free musical performances. It can be daunting to try to plan a day at the Fair, so improved website tools present the Fair’s events in several different ways to make planning easier and help build an itinerary: by day, time and venue.

The website integrates all content related both to the 12 days of the Fair and also to the year-round use of the fairgrounds for hundreds of events, ending the practice of changing the entire website for each season.

 

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Filmmakers, Fans, Foodies Come Together for Long Island’s Biggest Beach Party Opening the Long Beach International Film Festival

July 24, 2015
The Long Beach International Film Festival gets underway August 7 with a free event of music, food, and film shorts on the beach.

The Long Beach International Film Festival gets underway August 7 with a free event of music, food, and film shorts on the beach.

Long Beach, NY – This year, the Long Beach International Film Festival is taking the concept of “Dinner and a Movie” to a whole new level. On August 7th (RAIN DATE: August 8th) beginning at 5pm,  be “on the beach” between National Boulevard and Edwards Boulevard in Long Beach NY for the biggest beach party of the summer, with films, live musical performances, food, wine, craft beers – and even a red carpet.

First, experience Taste On The Beach presented by Infiniti of Lynbrook – where foodies and music lovers alike can indulge in local Long Beach fare and other top regionally based restaurants’ finest foods, wine, craft beer & cocktails while rubbing elbows with celebrities such as Liza Huber of “Passions” and Sage Spoonfuls fame as well as renowned Culinary masterminds and personalities like Chef Nicole Roarke of Heneghan’s Tavern, Rob Petrone from Verizon Fios1 TV’s Restaurant Hunter and Danny Gagnon from Top Chef (tickets are required, and can be purchased HERE). While dining, you can enjoy live musical performances from international recording artist Connell Cruise and local reggae stars Oogee Wawa along with a host of other acts (these performances can be enjoyed for free and are open to the public.)

For a sneak-peek, some of our feature restaurants and breweries can be viewed: HERE

Then, join in the 4th Annual “Shorts on the Beach” – an annual FREE, open to the public event (tickets are required, and can be reserved HERE). Among the many interesting titles being featured include Director Brooke Wagstaff’s animated film and Award-winning Vimeo Staff Pick “Missing U”; an animated tale about the letter “I” and her perilous adventure in search of her missing “U”. As a Long Island highlight, Director Peter Frizalone’s HBO Project Greenlight Top 200 “Mommy” will be making its World Premiere and begging the question “Do you know who is in your house?”.

Other films include Director Chris Jordan-Bloch’s documentary on an ever-growing world issue “Dryden – The Small Town That Changed the Fracking Game” where the power of community takes on the power of fracking; Director/Producer Stephanie Donnelly’s narrative/comedy “The Cannoli” where a Long Island family dinner turns tragic and a choice must be made between dessert and family; Director Sarah Menzies’ San Diego Surf Film Festival Best Short winning documentary “Catch It”, which follows Léa Brassy as her nomadic lifestyle takes a pause and she finds serenity in the Arctic surf of Northern Norway; and Croatian Director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s World Premiere of  “Eye for an Eye”, in which child’s play turns into a showdown of imagination and discipline.

Schedule of Events

5:00PM: Red Carpet opens. Live Music kicks off with Benoir, Michelle Medoff, Mark Newman, Oogee Wawa and more.

6:00PM Taste On The Beach opens with restaurants, wineries and craft breweries coming together to give a sampling of their favorite dish/bottle/brew.

9:00PM Taste on the Beach ends. Shorts On The Beach begins with such shorts as NYC director Cindy Allen’s “Trust Design” and Peter Frizalone’s “Mommy”.

“The Shorts on the Beach program is a wonderful representation of what is in store for the Long Beach International Film Festival in September,” Long Beach International Film Festival Programmer Steve Shor said. “The program will open with the Oscar winning short Feast from Walt Disney Animation. Additional animated shorts include Deep End by Oscar nominee Bill Plympton and Bear Story- a Chilean computer animated short (considered one of the best this year).  In the short documentary arena, we have Trust Design by Interior Design Magazine and Dryden by EarthJustice. Finally, the program includes some wonderful Narrative submissions from New York based directors and Universities”.

The Long Beach International Film Festival celebrates the art of storytelling through cinema. Presenting shorts, fiction and documentary formats, the festival is committed to exhibiting films that convey a fresh voice and differing perspectives. The goal of these programs is to captivate, engage and enlighten audiences, provide invaluable exposure for filmmakers and present inspired entertainment (www.longbeachfilm.com).

Twitter: @LBIFFNY

Instagram: @LBIFFNY

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/LongBeachInternationalFilmFestival

Festival Hotel Discounts and accommodations: http://www.longbeachfilm.com/plan-your-stay/

Film Festivals Flourish in San Diego

March 7, 2015

With more than a dozen specialty film festivals screening everything from horror to fashion, and from LGBT- to Hispanic-themed films, San Diego is emerging as a leading destination for film lovers.

Here is just a sampling of the many film festivals that can be found in San Diego throughout the year:

  • The 22nd annual San Diego Latino Film Festival takes place at the AMC Fashion Valley 18 in San Diego’s Mission Valley during March 12-22, 2015. The festival features screenings of short and feature length films from across Latin America and the U.S. by Latinos and about the Latino experience.
  • During May 20-23, 2015, visitors to San Diego can enjoy more than 25 international films, filmmaker presentations, surfboard shaping demos, live music, panels with surf legends and more at the San Diego Surf Film Festival. The festival takes place at Bird’s Surf Shed, a unique surf shop and surf-art gallery, located in San Diego’s North County.
  • FILMOUT San Diego returns May 29-31, 2015, to celebrate the year’s best LGBT films. In addition to film screenings, the festival features special appearances by filmmakers and actors. Screenings are held at the Observatory North Park, a historic theater in the heart of one of San Diego’s trendiest neighborhoods.
  • The 6th annual La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival will be held on July 24, 2015, in the luxurious coastal community of La Jolla. Hundreds of fashion fans will attend to view films highlighting the world’s top fashion houses, designers and stylists.
  • The San Diego International Film Festival takes place Sept. 30-Oct. 4, 2015 in downtown San Diego. The largest of San Diego’s film events, this festival showcases the best in American and international full-length films, documentaries and short films, and features Q&A sessions with directors and guest appearances by well-known actors and film artists.
  • Just in time for Halloween, the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival celebrates horror and its various sub-genres by showcasing new and independent artists, as well as reviving classic horror films. Held at the Media Arts Center San Diego’s Digital Gym in North Park, the October festival features films ranging from psychological thrillers to supernatural horror to slashers and even related genres like noir. October 2015 dates are still to be announced.
  • In September, the San Diego International Kids’ Film Festival supports entertainment and education industries by showcasing international films, screening more than 60 films from 38 countries at the AMN Healthcare Theater in Carmel Valley. The festival provides aspiring young filmmakers with an opportunity to communicate to an international community. Dates for 2015 are still to be announced.
  • In November, the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center (CICSC) at the California State University San Marcos presents the San Diego American Indian Film Festival. The festival highlights the best of current films from American Indian filmmakers, producers, directors and actors working through Indian Country. In addition to film viewings, the event includes three days of interactive dialogues with film industry professionals, selected panel discussions and opportunity for Q&A sessions after each screening. Dates for 2015 are still to be announced.
  • Presented by the Pacific Arts Movement, the San Diego Asian Film Festival in November celebrates motion pictures, shorts and animation from Asian artists from around the world. The 10-day festival takes place at various venues around San Diego; dates for 2015 are still to be announced.
  • The annual San Diego Italian Film Festival showcases the best new Italian films ranging from engaging dramas and entertaining comedies to documentaries telling unique stories. The 2015 festival will take place at the historic La Paloma Theater in San Diego’s North County; dates are still to be announced.
  • The San Diego Black Film Festival spotlights African-American and African diaspora cinema. At the annual festival held in January, the San Diego Black Film Festival presents more than 100 films ranging from comedy and drama to documentaries, animation, shorts and more at downtown San Diego’s Reading Theater. Dates for 2016 are still to be announced.
  • The San Diego Jewish Film Festival showcases American and international feature films, documentaries and short films that explore the Jewish experience.  The festival celebrated its 25th anniversary in February 2015 with nearly 50 films screened at venues around the county. Dates for 2016 are still to be announced.

For more information on San Diego’s offerings, including vacation packages and valuable coupons for attractions, restaurants and more, visit the San Diego Tourism Authority’s website at www.sandiego.org or call 619-236-1212.

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Charleston, SC Holiday Festivities Tap into History, Culture

December 23, 2014
The Garden Club of Charleston has partnered with the Joseph Manigault House to present “Charleston’s Antebellum Charms,” a themed floral display.

The Garden Club of Charleston has partnered with the Joseph Manigault House to present “Charleston’s Antebellum Charms,” a themed floral display.

Charleston, S.C. is celebrating the holiday season with a series of festive events and lectures that tap into the area’s rich history and culture. The charming city comes to life featuring breathtaking southern Antebellum mansions decorated in traditional holiday themed flora and more. Here are some highlights:

  • The Charleston Museum presents Holiday Decorations at the Joseph Manigault House,December 6 – 31, 2014: The Garden Club of Charleston has partnered with the Joseph Manigault House to present “Charleston’s Antebellum Charms,” a themed floral display. The Joseph Manigault House is an exquisite antebellum structure that reflects the lifestyle of wealthy urban rice planters in the early part of the 19th century. The Garden Club highlights the magnificent beauty of the Joseph Manigault House with creative holiday arrangements, using only live plant materials that would have been available in the Lowcountry during the first quarter of the 19th century. For more information, visit  www.charlestonmuseum.org or call (843)722-2996.
  • The Historic Charleston Foundation presents Yuletide in the Lowcountry HolidayExhibitions, end of November 2014 – early January 2015: Visitors are invited to experience the feasts, decorations and local traditions of Historic Charleston Foundation’s two museum houses, the Nathaniel Russell House, constructed in 1808 and the circa 1820 Aiken-Rhett House. Guests will experience Christmases past and learn the evolution of holiday traditions in Charleston through the display Yuletide in the Lowcountry. Beginning at the Nathaniel Russell House Museum, guests will learn about elegant early 19th century family gatherings replete with holiday embellishments collected from local flora.  Visitors will observe the time-honored Victorian trimmings of a Lowcountry Christmas dinner in 1860 at the Aiken-Rhett House Museum. House museums hours of operation are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon. through Sat.; 2 – 5 p.m., Sunday; last tour begins at 4:15 p.m. Closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Reservations are needed for groups of 12 or more. For more information, visit www.historiccharleston.org or call (843) 724-8485.
  • South Carolina Historical Society presents the 7thAnnual Winter Lecture Series, January 20 – March 10, 2015: The South Carolina Historical Society will host a series of lectures this winter highlighting “South Carolinians You Should Know.” A few highlights include Robert Mills, a Charlestonian who famously designed the Washington Monument, and Anne Pamela Cunningham, a South Carolinian who salvaged Mount Vernon through donations and the creation of “The Mount Vernon Ladies Association,” which continues to manage the property today. Lectures will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6 – 7 p.m. at the historic First Baptist Church in downtown Charleston. Please join the SCHS each Tuesday to learn more about South Carolina and its contributions to our national history. For more information, visit www.southcarolinahistoricalsociety or call (843)723-3225.

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Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem 5-Week Holiday Festival Begins Nov. 20 at Steelstacks; Tix on Sale

November 7, 2014
Festive Main Street, Bethlehem. A great place to stay is the historic Hotel Bethlehem.

Festive Main Street, Bethlehem. A great place to stay is the historic Hotel Bethlehem.

Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem, the popular holiday marketplace that takes place at PNC Plaza at SteelStacks in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is set to return for its 22nd year, with 100 artisans and vendors, a special 50th anniversary celebration by Käthe Wohlfahrt and more. Advance discount tickets for the event, which takes place Thurs.-Sun., Nov. 20-Dec. 21, are now on sale at http://www.christmascity.org and 610-332-3378.

New this year is the Christkindlmarkt/Bethlehem: The Christmas City Movie combo ticket, which includes admission to the “Bethlehem: The Christmas City” film, highlighting Bethlehem’s rich history from its founding by the Moravians in 1741 through the present day.

Recognized as one of the best holiday markets in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure, Christkindlmarkt is a delightful family event that features aisles of exquisite, handmade works by the nation’s finest artisans, the heartwarming sounds of live Christmas music, delicious German and Austrian food, and more.

Each weekend, dozens of vendors and artisans come to the marketplace from as far away as North Carolina, Georgia, Indiana and Illinois. Approximately 135 different vendors will attend the market over its five-week run, with nearly 20 percent of them appearing at the event for the first time.

Among the thousands of holiday gift ideas guest will discover are beautiful glass art, handmade jewelry, wheel-thrown pottery, gourmet foods and hand-crafted candles.

One of the highlights of Christkindlmarkt 2014 is the return of Käthe Wohlfahrt, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. In honor of the special occasion, the renowned German ornament and nutcracker maker is featuring a handful of special 50th Anniversary collectibles and ornaments, all available only in very limited quantities.

Other new attractions include the first limited-edition Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem collectible from Rich Connolly, the popular local artist known for his hand-painted chalkware figurines created with century-old antique candy molds; as well as the opportunity for guests to work with the glass artists at the Glassblowing Tent powered by Think Energy to create their own Stamped Glass Bethlehem Star, the perfect souvenir of their visit to the Christmas City.

Families attending Christkindlmarkt will also enjoy the ice sculpting demonstrations, giant playhouses created by area architects, and visits with the market’s authentic German St. Nicholas.  Plus, the popular “Breakfast with St. Nick” is back Nov. 29 and Dec. 6 and 13 at 9 a.m. During the events, which sell out each year, children and their families enjoy a delicious hot breakfast, goodie bag and arts & crafts, as well as a photos with the jolly, old man himself.
Christkindlmarkt hours are Thurs., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving), Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Advance tickets are $8 for ages 13 and older, $4 for ages 6-12, and admission is free for ages 5 and under. Advance season passes are $16 for ages 13 and older, and $8 for ages 6-12;

Tickets for Breakfast with St. Nick are  $14.95 for ages 11 and older; $11.95 for ages 2-10, and $6.95 for ages under 2.

For complete Christkindlmarkt information, as well as tickets and season passes, visit http://www.christmascity.org or call 610-332-3378.

 

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