Archive for the ‘festivals’ Category

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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4th Annual Gold Coast International Film Festival Features Q&As With Major Filmmakers; Catherine Martin is Honoree

October 16, 2014
Great Gatsby Director Baz Luhrmann with Gold Coast Internatl Film Festival Director Regina Gil at the 2013 Long Island premiere. Luhrmann's wife and artistic partner, Catherine Martin is being honored with this year's GCIFF Artist of Distinction Award © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Great Gatsby Director Baz Luhrmann with Gold Coast Internatl Film Festival Director Regina Gil at the 2013 Long Island premiere. Luhrmann’s wife and artistic partner, Catherine Martin is being honored with this year’s GCIFF Artist of Distinction Award
© 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Tickets have just gone on sale for the 4th Annual Gold Coast International Film Festival (GCIFF), taking place from November 3-9, 2014, organized by the Gold Coast Arts Center, in Great Neck, in conjunction with the Town of North Hempstead, Long Island.

This year, the festival is honoring four-time Academy Award-winning Production and Costume Designer (The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge!) Catherine Martin with the Gold Coast International Film Festival Artist of Distinction Award, at the Opening Night Gala, taking place at Leonard’s Palazzo 555 in Great Neck on Monday November 3. Also being honored is President of the Gold Coast Arts Center, Michael Glickman, who will accept the Man of the Year Award; and Marie Cecile Flageul & Jonathan Cohen (the graffiti artist known as Meres One, who was the curator of 5 Pointz in Queens) who will receive the Art & Activism Award.

Screenings and events at this year’s festival will take place at the Soundview Cinemas in Port Washington and at Bow Tie Cinemas in Great Neck/Port Washington/Manhasset/Roslyn as well as at other venues including the Gold Coast Arts Center in Great Neck. For the latest information and updates visit www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org

Highlights of this year’s festival include:

MONDAY NOVEMBER 3

Opening Night Gala – November 3, 2014

Leonard’s (On Northern Blvd in Great Neck, 6 pm)
Among the notables attending: Catherine Martin (4-time Oscar winner for production and costume design) will be accepting our Artist of Distinction Award, Meres One (famed graffiti artist) will be accepting our Arts Activism Award

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 4

Charlie Mantle
Long Island University CW Post Campus, film starts at 7pm
Q&A with the filmmaker Fred Carpenter and the stars Armand Assante, Sean Young and Robert Clohessy. 

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 5

Burn
Soundview Cinema in Port Washington, film starts at 7pm
An amazing documentary about firefighters from Detroit produced by Denis Leary’s company.
Q&A with one of the producers (Jim Serpico – from Long Island) and Kristin Thorne from ABC News.

 The Embrace of Aging
Soundview Cinema Port Washington, film starts at 6:30pm
A masterful, inspiring, captivating portrayal of the female aging process where great minds of medicine and science come together with touching human interest stories from Okinawa to Jackson Hole.
Q&A after the film with Keith Famie (director) and a panel of NSLIJ experts.    

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 6

Andrew & Wendy
Gold Coast Arts Center, film starts at 1:00pm
The remarkable and moving story of a professional classical guitarist, whose life was saved by music and who gives back in an unforgettable way.
Featuring a Q&A and performance by the film’s subjects. 

August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand
Soundview Cinema in Port Washington, film starts at 7:30pm
The world premiere of a documentary about playwright August Wilson (some call him America’s Shakespeare).  Q&A guests include: Tony winning actors Phylicia Rashad and Ruben Santiago Hudson and Sam Pollard (Film Director/Producer) and Darryl Ford-Williams (Exec. Producer)
Moderator is Julie Wilson (WNET/Thirteen, Exec. Producer, Documentaries & Development)

The Wonders – November 6, 2014
Bow Tie Great Neck, film starts at 7:30pm
This wildly original film tells the story of a bartender/artist/slacker who gets mixed up in Jerusalem’s criminal underground. A box office hit in Israel, THE WONDERS combines mystery, comedy, psychological thriller, political intrigue, and romance to create a unique and compelling movie. Official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival. Q&A with Dean Movshovitz (Director of Film & Media; Consulate General of Israel).

 FRIDAY NOVEMBER 7

Beside Still Water – November 7, 2014
Bow Tie Roslyn, 8:30pm
In this Big Chill for Generation Y, a group of childhood friends comes together for the last time a the scenic lake house where they all grew up, to comfort each other, rekindle old flames, and drunkenly stumble down memory lane. Directorial debut from award-winning actor Chris Lowell (The Help, Veronica Mars). Q&A with producer after the film.

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 8

Above and Beyond – November 8, 2014
Soundview Port Washington, film starts at 2:00pm
A fascinating, little-known tale filled with heart, heroism, and high-flying chutzpah, ABOVE AND BEYOND is the true story of Jewish-American pilots who volunteered to fight for Israel in the War of Independence. This ragtag band of brothers turned the tide of the war, preventing the annihilation of Israel at the very moment of its birth. Produced by Nancy Spielberg.

Mudbloods – November 8, 2014
Soundview Port Washington, film starts at 5:30pm
Quidditch, the sport that thrilled in the wizard world of Harry Potter, leaps off the pages and into the real world in this highly entertaining documentary of the sport’s very real life in the collegiate league. The dreamers, creators and athletes who make up this exceptional community come together to make this magical sport into something you could’ve never imagined, until now. Parents, please note there is some strong language in this film.  Q&A with members of area college Quidditch teams! (we could drop this Q&A)

Zero Motivation – November 8, 2014
Soundview Port Washington, film starts at 7:30pm
Winner of the top prize at the Tribeca Film Festival and nominated for 12 Israeli Film Academy Awards, ZERO MOTIVATION is a zany, dark comedic portrait of everyday life for a unit of young, female Israeli soldiers. Q&A with director Talya Lavie, who will be accepting the first Gold Coast International Film Festival Screenwriter’s Award and Nancy Gerstman, co-President of Zeitgeist Films.

You Must Be Joking – November 8, 2014
Soundview Port Washington, film starts at 8:00pm
Barb is an aimless, confrontational 27-year-old paralegal in this edgy comedy of reinvention. Sas Goldberg gives a frenetic, biting performance as a listless woman inspired by her childhood best friend, a ballet dancer, to pick up her long-shelved passion for standup comedy. Q&A with film’s star and co-writer Sas Goldberg

Cold Eyes – November 8, 2014
Bow Tie Manhasset, film starts at 7:00pm
In this fast-paced, adrenaline-packed thrill ride, a new recruit of an elite police unit races against time as she hunts down an organization responsible for a series of bold, explosive robberies. This smart, innovative thriller will show you why South Korean film is giving Hollywood a run for its money.
Q&A after the film with Goran Topalovic (Exec. Dir. NY Asian Film Festival) and Euny Hong (Journalist & Author of The Birth of South Korean Cool)

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 9

The Dove Flyer – November 9, 2014
Bow Tie Great Neck, film starts at 12:30pm
A coming-of-age story set amid the expulsion of Jews in Iraq in the 1950s, where a 16-year-old caught in the middle of conflicting attitudes must make a difficult decision that will change his family’s destiny. Q&A after the film with Maurice Shohet, President of the World Organization of Jews from Iraq.

When the Garden Was Eden – November 9, 2014
Bow Tie Great Neck, film starts at 4:00pm
Actor and tried-and-true New Yorker Michael Rapaport delivers an unabashed love letter to the Knicks with this fast-moving tribute to the team’s glory days. In the late ’60s, basketball was the city’s forgotten sport. Enter an unlikely band of scrappy team players, many of them future hall-of-famers, who would transform the team into one of the NBA’s most dazzling squads. Official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival. Q&A with NY Times sportswriter Harvey Araton.

Silenced – November 9, 2014
Soundview Port Washington, film starts at 3:30pm
This important documentary chronicles the incredible personal journeys of two US government whistleblowers—Thomas Drake and John Kiriakou, who first revealed waterboarding as a CIA practice—and the price they paid. Official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival. Post screening Q&A with film’s director James Spione.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work – November 9, 2014
Soundview Cinemas, film starts at 4:00pm
In tribute to the late, great Joan Rivers, we are delighted to bring back this excellent documentary that welcomes viewers into the legendary icon’s comedic process and private dramas, as she fights tooth and nail to keep her American dream alive. Followed by a Q&A with comedians and those who knew Joan, celebrating her comedic legacy.

Closing Night Awards Party – November 9, 2014
Gold Coast Arts Center – approx. 6pm
The Party will be at the Arts Center where the exhibit from the National Basketball Hall of Fame will be on display (including the NBA trophy!)

For more information and a complete festival line up visit www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org or follow on Twitter @goldcoastfilm for Festival updates.

See also:

Tickets on sale for Gold Coast Intl Film Festival; Catherine Martin is honoree

For more travel features, visit:

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Mango Bay Hotels Gear Up for Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival

October 1, 2014
The Mango Bay Hotel Group properties, Mango Bay Hotel and Island Inn Hotel welcome attendees of the annual Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival, taking place Nov. 20-23.

The Mango Bay Hotel Group properties, Mango Bay Hotel and Island Inn Hotel welcome attendees of the annual Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival, taking place Nov. 20-23.

The Mango Bay Hotel Group properties, Mango Bay Hotel (www.MangoBayBarbados.com) and Island Inn Hotel (www.IslandInnBarbados.com), welcome attendees of the annual Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival, taking place Nov. 20-23.

This year’s edition of the annual festival will gather culinary superstars including celebrity chefs Tyler Florence, Marcus Samuelsson, Ann Burrell and Ed Baines to offer residents and visitors to the island the very best in food, wine, rum and culture.  For more information on the festival, visit www.FoodWineRum.com.

Mango Bay, located in the Holetown area on the famed Gold Coast of Barbados, is a short walk from the posh Limegrove Lifestyle Centre. Here vacationers can shop till they drop at global luxury retailers such as Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors and Cartier.

The 76-room beachfront resort is known for its casual sophistication and all-inclusive value, an ideal tropical retreat.

A Mango Bay all-inclusive vacation provides hotel accommodations, all meals, afternoon tea, all local and brand name drinks including glasses of wine, use of the on-site gym, and nightly entertainment. Water skiing, kayaking, snorkeling, wakeboarding, pedal boats, a glass bottom boat ride and a catamaran trip to snorkel with the turtles are also included. Mango Bay is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2014 with discounted rates starting at $384 per room, per night, based on double occupancy, on an all-inclusive basis when booked directly.

For more information on Mango Bay, call (246) 432-1384, email reservations@mangobaybarbados.comor visit www.MangoBayBarbados.com.

The quaint, 24-room Island Inn Hotel is the perfect setting for a tropical vacation steeped with a rich, historic past, situated just footsteps from beautiful Carlisle Bay, less than one mile from the centre of Bridgetown and conveniently located near the UNESCO world heritage site in the Garrison Historic Area of Barbados, which also boasts numerous shops and nightlife options. The property amazes guests with its local past and chic décor.

An Island Inn Hotel all-inclusive vacation includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and all beverages (except specialty wines, champagne and bottled water) as well as in-pool scuba lessons. Rates start at US$350 per room, per night, based on double occupancy.

For more information on the Island Inn Hotel, call (246) 436-6393; email bookings@islandinnbarbados.com or visit www.IslandInnBarbados.com.

 

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