Archive for the ‘historic attractions’ Category

Greater Williamsburg, Virginia is Aglow With Holiday Experiences

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

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

So much festivity, so little time

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

Have a Blast at Busch Gardens Christmas Town

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

Have a Christmas-Themed Walk

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

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

Revel in the Yorktown Christmas Tree Lighting

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

Thrill to the Grand Illumination

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

Enjoy Holiday Music

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

Watch Lights Dancing on the River

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

March in a Parade

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

Munch Cookies with Santa

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

Shop for Christmas Gifts

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

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

Sing Carols of Yesteryear

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

Watch the Colonial Williamsburg Christmas Tree Lighting

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

Live an Authentic Colonial Christmas

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

Immerse Yourself in Christmas Stories

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

Participate in a 19th-Century Christmas

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

Re-Live Four Centuries of Virginia Christmases

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Long Island’s American Airpower Museum Hosts Labor Day Weekend ‘Warbirds, Wings & Wheels Show’

August 14, 2021
During the American Airpower Museum’s Labor Day weekend Warbirds, Wings and Wheels Show, you can get a ride on AAM’s vintage Waco UPF-7 Biplane © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

American Airpower Museum, Long Island’s only flying military aviation museum, will host its Warbirds, Wings and Wheels Show on Labor Day Weekend, Saturday, September 4 and Sunday, September 5, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Hangar 3, 1230 New Highway, Farmingdale, New York.  Come to the Museum’s two day spectacular celebrating the history of aviation and automobiles!  Get up close and personal with vintage Biplanes, Model A and T Fords, plus the Museum’s fleet of World War II aircraft.  There will be flights available on vintage aircraft, contests, and raffles.

On Saturday, vintage Biplanes from the Bayport Aerodrome Society will land on the tarmac and taxi up to park on AAM’s ramp at Hangar 3.  On display with the Biplanes will be vintage cars from the Model A Ford Club of Long Island (Model A and T Fords, plus others).  The Museum’s sponsor, Cockpit USA, will donate one flight jacket to the winner of the best car and one flight jacket for the winner of the best airplane contests. 

Be there Sunday as the Museum’s WWII squadron fires up their mighty engines and lifts off to perform exciting flight maneuvers over Republic Airport.  Aerial demonstrations will feature several flybys by AAM’s vintage military aircraft that played pivotal roles in America’s WWII victories.  

An added attraction on both Saturday and Sunday: AAM’s 1939 Red Waco UPF-7 Biplane and North American AT-6D Texans will be available to give living history flight experiences, weather permitting.  Admission:   $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and veterans, $10 for children 5 to 12.   Don’t miss this one!

Located on the landmarked former site of Republic Aviation at Republic Airport, Farmingdale, NY, the American Airpower Museum, Long Island’s only flying military aviation museum, maintains a collection of aviation artifacts and an array of aircraft spanning the many years of the aircraft factory’s history.  The Museum is a 501 (c) (3) Nonprofit Educational Foundation, chartered by the New York State Board of Regents.

American Airpower Museum, Hangar 3, 1230 New Highway, Farmingdale, NY 11735, 631-293-6398, info@americanairpowermuseum.org, www.americanairpowermuseum.org .

See also:

LONG ISLAND’S AMERICAN AIRPOWER MUSEUM – WHERE AVIATION HISTORY TAKES FLIGHT – OFFERS CHANCE TO REENACT D-DAY PARACHUTE DROP

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Statue of Liberty Pedestal Reopens July 1; Statue City Cruises Offers Extended Hours to Visit Statue, Ellis Island

June 30, 2021
The pedestal at the Statue of Liberty has been reopened to visitors. Statue City Cruises, which provides ferry service to the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island on behalf of the National Park Service, is offering extended operating hours to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from Battery Park in lower Manhattan and Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

New York, NYStatue City Cruises, the official and only authorized concessioner for ferry service to the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island on behalf of the National Park Service, announced today extended operating hours to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from Battery Park in lower Manhattan and Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ as the interior of the Statue of Liberty up to the pedestal reopens on July 1st. (Both Islands have been open since Summer 2020 with access inside the Statue restricted). Tickets inside the pedestal are available for purchase, beginning today. 

Beginning Thursday morning, July 1, Statue City Cruises will offer departures from both Battery Park, NY and Liberty State Park, NJ from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM daily, providing visitors an extra 90 minutes to explore both islands, including the mini-Statue of Liberty that will be on Ellis Island facing the iconic Statue on Liberty Island from July 1 to July 5 before heading to its long-term home in Washington D.C. The last departures of the day from Liberty and Ellis Island will now be 6:15 PM. 

Although 1/16th the size of the original Statue of Liberty, the Statue’s “little sister” is based on the same plaster cast. The 1,000-pound replica is another gift from France to celebrate friendship between France and the United States. Prior to Ellis Island, the replica Statue had been on display at the Paris-based museum, Musée des Arts et Métiers.  

Face masks remainrequired throughout the entire experience, and crews will continue increased cleaning protocols to ensure the highest levels of onboard safety for everyone.   

“In another sign of normalcy, we are excited to once again offer extended operating hours this summer to all visitors who are eager to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island,” said Mike Burke, COO of Concessions and Park Services for City Experiences by Hornblower. “Every Statue City Cruises ticket includes access to both ‘Statues of Liberty’ and to both Islands, as we welcome back guests to these gems of New York Harbor.” 

Among the top five activities awaiting guests this summer season include:

·         Double the Statue, double the fun with a Statue of Liberty on both Liberty and Ellis Island and the reopening of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

·         A breath of fresh air – Enjoying acres of wide-open space on both Islands.

·         Learn the history of the Statue of Liberty through the new Statue of Liberty Museum.

·         Where you came from? Trace family histories at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.

·         Enjoy an Ellis Island Hard Hat Tour of the vacant buildings of Ellis Island’s Hospital Complex.  Reservations are required for Hard Hat Tours.

Tickets are $23.50/adult, $18/seniors, $12/child and free for children three years and under. Tickets include self-guided audio tours on Liberty and Ellis Island. Guests are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets in advance from the Statue City Cruises website. Tickets are also available at the Battery Park and Liberty State Park box offices.

For more information about Statue City Cruises and City Experiences, visit https://www.cityexperiences.com/new-york/city-cruises/statue/.

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Long Island’s American Airpower Museum Hosts D-Day Reenactment Flights, June 12

June 5, 2021

“Parachutists” board the WWII Douglas C-47 Skytrain Troop Transporter at the American Airpower Museum, Farmingdale. D-Day reenactment flights will be held on June 12. (Photo courtesy of American Airpower Museum)

The American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale, Long Island, is gearing up for a return of its C-47 D-Day living history flight experience on June 12. You can sign up, grab your gear and done your WWII helmet and uniform and fly in the troop transport plane, reenacting the experience of paratroopers on that historic and fateful day.

The flights on Saturday, June 12, will also celebrate the start of summer and a return to normalcy, after the COVID-19 lockdowns and quarantines. 

To accommodate demand, AAM has scheduled three flights between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Seats will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. To book a flight, call (516) 531-3950, visit the Museum’s gift shop or call (631) 454-2039, Thursday – Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  (a great gift for Father’s Day!).

AAM’s Living History Flight Experience is a one-of-a-kind immersive educational program, where re-enactors take you up in an original WWII C-47 to get a sense of what our 101st and 82nd Airborne Division Paratroopers felt on their incredible 1,200-plane D-Day assault.  This immersive flight experience includes: a mission briefing; a chance to wear authentic military field jackets, helmets and gear; the actual sights and sounds as the C-47’s engines fire up and you’re off into the blue; see and hear the crew operate their C-47 and paratroopers getting ready for battle; and you actually form up and hook your parachute to a static line.

This is a family-friendly experience for all ages.  The program is about 1.5 hours long and each flight takes 25 minutes.  A flight experience entitles you to bring along an additional person who can visit the Museum all day free of charge. The cost of the C-47 flight is $350 – which goes toward supporting AAM’s mission to honor veterans and U.S. aviation history by preserving the aircraft and their legacy for future generations.

The American Airpower Museum, Hangar 3, 1230 New Highway, Farmingdale, NY 11735, 631-293-6398, info@americanairpowermuseum.org, www.americanairpowermuseum.com.

See also:

LONG ISLAND’S AMERICAN AIRPOWER MUSEUM – WHERE AVIATION HISTORY TAKES FLIGHT – OFFERS CHANCE TO REENACT D-DAY PARACHUTE DROP

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Long Island’s American Airpower Museum’s WWII Warbirds Join Jones Beach Air Show, Offer 4 Days of Flight Experiences at Republic Airport

May 7, 2021
A fly-by of World War II era planes from the American Air Power Museum, Long Island’s only flying military aviation museum, at the popular Jones Beach Air Show. The museum not only will be participating in the air show, but offer flight demonstrations, experiences for four days,  May 27-30. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Farmingdale, Long Island – Memorial Day Weekend is when we honor our fallen Veterans, the sacrifices made by active duty military and those retired from service.  In observance of Memorial Day Weekend, American Airpower Museum (AAM) continues their historic participation in the Jones Beach Air Show, flying their fabled “Arsenal of Democracy” warbirds over Jones Beach on Saturday, May 29th and Sunday, May 30th.  AAM’s fleet of iconic and meticulously restored military aircraft will include a B-25 Mitchell Bomber, Douglas C-47 Skytrain troop transporter, Grumman TBM Avenger Torpedo Bomber, Curtiss P-40 Flying Tiger, P-51D Mustang Fighter, AT-6 Texan Warbird and AT28D5 Nomad Vietnam Era Fighter.

On May 29th and May 30th, Hangar 3 opens at 10:00 a.m.  Arrive there early, park your car, sign in and enjoy the exhibits.  During the morning, you’ll be called outside to watch our pilots start their engines, taxi and lift off, performing exciting flybys with Republic Air Traffic Control permission, before leaving to join the Jones Beach Air Show.  Have lunch and later on watch as our aircraft return from Jones Beach in the afternoon, touch down and taxi back to Hangar 3.   Flight experiences also available each day on AAM’s AT-6 Texan and Waco Biplane!

AAM also welcomes three visiting U.S. Navy EF/A-18 Super Hornets from May 27th through May 30th.  The Hornets are supersonic combat jets, designed as both fighters and attack aircraft.  Exclusive to AAM, Hornets are not in the Jones Beach Air Show and will be on AAM’s ramp all four days.  Be there early a.m. as the Hornets touch down at Republic on Thursday, May 27th.   Hornets are scheduled to depart on May 31st or June 1st.   AAM’s WWII aircraft will also have practice fly days Thursday and Friday in the a.m. and p.m.

According to AAM founder Jeff Clyman, the goal for this four-day salute is two-fold: “To honor the men and women of the ‘Greatest Generation’ who built, maintained and piloted the iconic warbirds of yesteryear in a bold defense of freedom during World War II, as well as active duty military, national guard and reservists who continue this mission and command the skies in advanced supersonic jet aircraft to our present day.”  

Since everyone can’t be at Jones Beach on Saturday and Sunday, Jeff Clyman decided to stage this four-day salute so folks on the beach, as well as those closer to home, can enjoy AAM’s warbirds.  So, if you want to avoid the Wantagh Parkway crawl to Jones Beach, you can park instead for FREE in AAM’s lot and along New Highway!  Bring the family, hang out with us all day, and watch exciting warbirds in action each day!

One other note:  The Air Show features a U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II, “The Warthog,” flying over Jones Beach.  AAM has its very own A-10, our nation’s premier close air support attack aircraft and it’s on display outside Hangar 3, with staff ready to answer your questions about its special features and armaments.

Admission for adults is $15, seniors & veterans $10 and children 5-12 $8.  Tickets and pre-registration is not required and admission is on a first-come-first-serve basis.  The Museum can now operate at 100% capacity, in accordance with New York’s May 19th lifting of pandemic capacity limits.  However, there is still a need for social distancing and guests must wear face masks plus have temperatures taken at the door.  Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all four days, plus AAM is open Monday, May 31st, Memorial Day. 

American Airpower Museum , Hangar 3, 1230 New Highway, Farmingdale, NY 11735, 631-293-6398, info@americanairpowermuseum.org –  www.americanairpowermuseum.com

See also:

LONG ISLAND’S AMERICAN AIRPOWER MUSEUM REOPENS FOR VISITS, FLIGHTS ABOARD HISTORIC PLANES

16TH ANNUAL BETHPAGE AIR SHOW AT JONES BEACH, LONG ISLAND, HONORS SPIRIT OF MEMORIAL DAY

PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS FROM 15TH ANNUAL MEMORIAL DAY BETHPAGE AIR SHOW AT JONES BEACH, LONG ISLAND

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Have a Colonial Christmas in Williamsburg, Virginia

December 11, 2020
The Busch Gardens Christmas Celebration runs on select dates through Jan. 3, featuring new village entertainment, 15 coasters and rides, a Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt, festive holiday shopping, sweet culinary offerings, and meeting Santa in his Workshop.

In Colonial Williamsburg, in addition to Grand Illumination, enjoy special holiday events throughout December include caroling at the Courthouse, walking tours highlighting colonial Christmas decorations and the galleries of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, visits with Father Christmas, ice skating at the Liberty Ice Pavilion, the community Christmas Tree lighting with special readings of “The Night Before Christmas,” the Lighting of the Cressets on historic Duke of Gloucester Street with strolling musicians and tidings of good cheer Dec. 17 – 24, holiday feasts and meals, plenty of opportunities to shop for unique colonial gifts such as wreaths, centerpieces, and more. The living history attraction remains open for daily holiday programs with special health protocols in place.

Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area is fully decorated and holidaythemed programming is being presented daily ― mostly outdoors ― through New Year’s Day, along with a range of new exhibitions, seasonal programming and the famous Folk Art Christmas Tree at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, which this year completed a $41.7-million donor-funded expansion.

In Merchants Square, a variety of shopping and dining options await, along with Liberty Ice Pavilion, now open daily on Duke of Gloucester Street. A new Christmas Market opens Fridays through Sundays, Dec. 4-19, at the corner of South Boundary Street and Francis Street, hosted in partnership with the City and CultureFixVA.

Event schedules and admission information is available at colonialwilliamsburg.org/holidays. Details on Colonial Williamsburg Resorts getaways, plus tavern and contemporary dining information are available at colonialwilliamsburghotels.com.

The Busch Gardens Christmas Celebration runs on select dates through Jan. 3, featuring new village entertainment, fifteen coasters and rides, a Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt, festive holiday shopping, sweet culinary offerings, and meeting Santa in his Workshop.

In Yorktown, catch the Yorktown Christmas Tree Lighting, a community tradition that goes back to 1945, on Dec. 4. The Christmas Market on Main Street, Dec. 5-6, features 60 vendors for holiday gift shopping along with holiday music, The Fifes and Drums of Yorktown, festive food and drink, and an appearance by Santa on York County’s first fire truck. On Dec. 6, enjoy Cookies with Santa at the Gallery at York Hall and learn about ancient Norse influences on modern Christmas culture at the Viking Yuletide Celebration at the Watermen’s Museum. Shop for holiday gifts while enjoying chowders, soups, baked goods and other treats at the Mistletoe Market at Riverwalk Landing, Dec. 12, also featuring a live ice carving demonstration and a Toyland Parade. From Dec. 19-31, Christmastide in Virginia at Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown recalls 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions through special interpretive programs and musical entertainment of the period. At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, hear accounts of Christmas and winter in military encampments during the American Revolution and glimpse holiday preparations on a Revolution-era farm. A Jamestown Settlement, compare and contrast English Christmas customs of the period with how the season may have been observed in the difficult early years of the Jamestown colony. 

At Berkeley Plantation, enjoy Centuries of Christmas, Dec. 5 – Jan. 1, when the elegant 1726 mansion will be beautifully decorated with fresh greenery from Berkley’s gardens. Highlights include costumed guides sharing four centuries of stories, tours, workshops, teas and other special events.

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

October 16, 2019

Halloween in Historic Hudson Valley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pre-Purchase Timed Tickets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

Halloween in Historic Hudson Valley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Horseman’s Hollow

Headless Horseman, Sleepy Hollow

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

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

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

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

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

The Unsilent Picture

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

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

The Sleepy Hollow Experience

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

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

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

Home of the ‘Legend’

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

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

Details: Irving’s ‘Legend’

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Discover Holiday Magic in Washington, DC

November 16, 2018

Capitol-DC-nght-011804e2 (c) Karen Rubin

The Capitol Building at night. Washington DC is a sensational destination for the winter holidays © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(Washington, DC) – The nation’s capital is one of the best destinations for winter holiday travel, and Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC, helps visitors craft a magical holiday. Find inspiration for memorable getaways on DDC’s holiday landing page on washington.org, and its Instagram and Facebook channels, including festive hotel packages, menus, holiday lights, ice skating rinks, gift markets, can’t-miss exhibitions and events across the city’s welcoming neighborhoods. Speak with a DC travel expert (1-800-422-8644), Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm (EST).

“Washington, DC goes all out for the holidays. Maybe your wish-list includes meeting Santa, light displays and a classic holiday show. It might include visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture, shopping for made-in-DC gifts then dinner at one of DC’s 15 Michelin-starred restaurants. We’ll connect you with the real DC,” said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of DDC.

In 2018, DDC’s print, digital and out-of-home holiday advertising campaign urges national consumers to “Discover Holiday Magic in Washington, DC,” with assets targeting New York City and Philadelphia. For added promotion between Nov. 30-Dec. 2; Dec. 7-9, the tourism bureau hosts a holiday-themed Instagram exchange with influencers from key feeder markets.

HOTEL PACKAGES
• Toast the season with “Caviar and Champagne” at The Darcy. This package bundles late check-out, a welcome Taittinger toast and decadent caviar cookies from Siren, the in-house Michelin-starred restaurant. Rates start at $169, thru Feb. 28, 2019.
• This December, Kimpton’s 10 boutique hotels in DC spread cheer with pop-up shops curated by Shop Made in DC, a retail incubator showcasing local makers. Book a “Make a Getaway” package to receive a swag bag and $15 gift card.
• The historic Willard InterContinental offers a Wintertime Holiday Package that wraps upgraded accommodations, $50 food and beverage credit and official 2018 White House Christmas Tree Ornament, starting at $299 (two-night min.), Nov. 16, 2018-Feb. 16, 2019.

SKATING RINKS
• Twirl around the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden’s rink, November-March. Warm up inside the Pavilion Café.
• Rent skates at riverside rinks at The Wharf, Georgetown and Capitol Riverfront.
• Iceless skating rinks return to the courtyard at the Fairmont Washington, D.C. Georgetown and atop the Watergate Hotel.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS
• Tour America’s historic train stations in miniature at Seasons Greenings: All Aboard! at the U.S. Botanic Gardens, Nov. 22-Jan. 2, 2019. FREE
• Smithsonian National Zoo dazzles with more than 500,000 LED lights, snowless tubing and more at ZooLights, 5-9pm. Nov. 23-Jan. 1, 2019 (closed Dec. 24, 25, 31). FREE
• George Washington’s Mount Vernon celebrates with Colonial dancing, chocolate-making and caroling, Nov. 23-Dec. 31. Candlelit tours run Nov. 23, 24, 30; Dec. 1, 7, 8, 16.
• The District’s Holiday Boat Parade welcomes Santa to The Wharf with lighted boats and fireworks, 6-9pm, Dec. 1. FREE
• Holiday in the Park thrills Six Flags America with lights, rides and s’mores: Nov. 23-25, Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 21-23, 26-31.
• Lit in early December, National Christmas tree in President’s Park on the Ellipse will be attended by 56 decorated state and territory trees, Santa’s Workshop and nighty musical performances thru Dec. 31. FREE
• The National Menorah will be lit on the Ellipse throughout Hanukah. On Dec. 2 at 4pm, American Friends of Lubavitch celebrate with Dreidelman and donuts. FREE

SHOPPING
• The Downtown Holiday Market runs Nov. 23-Dec. 23 in Penn Quarter. Source more local gifts at Shop Made in DC in Dupont; Union Market in NoMa; Brookland Exchange at Monroe Street Market and Steadfast Supply in Capitol Riverfront.
• CityCenterDC dresses up with two monumental reindeer, an overhead installation in Palmer Alley and holiday tree lit on Nov. 24.
• Georgetown Glow, an outdoor light art exhibition, illuminates the historic district between 5-10pm, Dec. 1-Jan. 1, 2019.

PERFORMANCES AND ATTRACTIONS
• The Kennedy Center hosts shows including The Second City’s Love, Factually (Dec. 4-31), Washington National Opera: The Lion, the Unicorn and Me (Dec. 14-16) and the National Symphony Orchestra’s Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 20-23).
• At Warner Theatre, the Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker recasts the classic in the Lincoln White House (Nov. 29-Dec. 28).
• Richly dressed, A Christmas Carol (Nov. 15-Dec. 30) cheers Ford’s Theatre.

DINING AND NIGHTLIFE
• Circle around outdoor firepits at Masseria near Union Market; Bourbon Steak in Georgetown and Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse, a 2019 Michelin “Bib Gourmand” pick.
• Indulge in holiday teas at Peacock Alley at the Willard InterContinental Washington, DC; the Empress Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Washington, DC; Tea Cellar at the Park Hyatt Washington DC and the lobbies of the St. Regis Washington D.C. and Line DC.
• Among tempting New Year’s Eve options, humanitarian and Michelin-starred chef José Andrés offers tasting menus at China Chilcano, Jaleo and Oyamel.

Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of 1,000 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities. washington.org.

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176th Long Island Fair at Old Bethpage Village Restoration

September 21, 2018

oldbethpage-LIFair-100906 158e2 (c) Karen Rubin

The Long Island Fair is unique among New York State county fairs in that it maintains much of the historical ambiance of the 19th century. At the 176th Long Island Fair, you can watch blacksmithing, among other historical demonstrations including music and dance © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Old Bethpage, NY – Old Bethpage Village Restoration (OBVR) will host the 176th Annual Long Island Fair this weekend: September 22 and 23.

Enjoy magic shows, a petting zoo, and historical entertainment. Stilt walkers traverse the grounds, and entertainers delight families with puppets, juggling and storytelling. All of these festivities continue a 176-year tradition. Attractions such as livestock shows, the Timberworks Lumberjack Show, tractor rides, Civil War reenactments, and Rough Rider demonstrations whisk riders back to another era.

Visitors will also find:

  • Historical demonstrations: tin-smithing, pottery, blacksmithing, weaving, and candle-making;
  • Dance opportunities: brass bands, a fiddler, bluegrass band Buddy Merriam & Backroads, Homegrown String Band, and kids’ singer-songwriter Patricia Shih;
  • Tests of skill: sawing, corn-husking, and scarecrow-building contests; guessing the weight of a giant pumpkin;
  • Tickets required: rides on camels, ponies, horse-drawn wagons, a hot-air balloon, and a 19th-century carousel; bounce houses;
  • Eats for sale: candied apples, pumpkins, organic veggies, fresh-made candy, giant turkey legs, and funnel cakes.

Meanwhile, baseball fans can enjoy the end-of-season matches of OBVR’s Old Time Baseball League, which recreates “baseball” as it was played in the latter half of the 19th century, with teams competing in authentic uniforms and playing under the names of Long Island clubs of that era.

The Long Island Fair is the New York State-recognized county fair for Queens, Nassau and Suffolk, and involves the cooperation of the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums and the Agricultural Society of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Thousands of exhibits are entered every year in friendly competition, with blue ribbon categories including livestock, flowers and vegetables from farms and home gardens, culinary, needlework, hobbies, and a junior division for those 13 and younger. This year’s competitions will also include an “Advanced” category for new professionals, novices and students who are serious about their craft. Entries in this category will require a fee, with generous first, second and third place prizes; and the judges will be required to submit credentials in the specific classes.

The fair is unique among New York State County Fairs in that it maintains much of the historical ambiance of the 19th century. The fair was founded in 1842 and became known as the Queens County Agricultural Fair, but soon after was called the Mineola Fair when it moved to a permanent location in Mineola in 1866. The fair moved to Roosevelt Raceway in 1953 and to the newly opened Old Bethpage Village Restoration in 1970, where it is held on a 12-acre recreation of the original Mineola Fairgrounds.

The Long Island Fair hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Entrance fees are: $15 for adults, $13 for children (5 to 12) and seniors 60 & up. Children 5 and under and Active Military Personnel: Free.

Old Bethpage Village Restoration provides visitors with a unique and wonderful opportunity to step back in time and experience life in a recreated mid-19th Century American village set on more than 200 acres. Old Bethpage Village is located at 1303 Round Swamp Road in Old Bethpage; for more information, call (516) 572-8401.

For more information about the Long Island Fair, visit www.lifair.org.

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