Archive for the ‘New York State tourism’ Category

New York State Begins Weekly ILoveNY Fall Foliage Reports; New Interactive Map

September 8, 2021
View from Chimney Mountain, The Adirondacks. ILoveny.com/foliage report helps you monitor the progress of fall foliage throughout New York State © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The 2021 fall foliage season is underway in New York State. Fall is one of the most popular travel times in New York, attracting visitors from around the world to explore the state’s unique communities and support local businesses. To help travelers and foliage enthusiasts plan a fall getaway, I LOVE NY will begin issuing its weekly fall foliage reports on Wednesday, September 8, and will now include a new enhanced interactive progression map (www.iloveny.com/foliage).    

The foliage report is compiled each week using the on-location field observations from I LOVE NY’s team of volunteer leaf peepers. More than 85 spotters extending across the state’s 11 vacation regions are tasked with keeping track of the color change in their area as leaves progress each week. Reports detail the predominant leaf colors, approximate percentage of change, and how much color change has progressed relative to peak conditions.  

New this year, I LOVE NY is introducing an enhanced, interactive map that tracks weekly foliage change and progression across the state throughout the season. The map, located on the I LOVE NY foliage website, showcases great foliage viewing locations in each of the various regions throughout the state. Visitors can also use the map to see what the foliage is like during peak viewing in a given area, and learn about nearby, must-see attractions. 

Thanks in part to its size and location, New York State has one of the longest and most colorful foliage seasons in the country. On any weekend from late September through mid-November, part of the state is likely experiencing peak foliage.  

“Every autumn, New York State’s spectacular foliage and natural beauty beckons travelers to our world-class state parks, majestic overlooks, historic sites and unparalleled attractions,” Governor Hochul said.”New Yorkers have long known about the stunning displays of color showcased all across the state, from Niagara Falls to Montauk Point. Now is the perfect time for residents and visitors alike to plan a fall escape and experience this incredibly colorful season in our great state.”  

“The fall foliage season in New York State is always a magical time of year, and the I LOVE NY weekly foliage report is a great tool for visitors looking to plan a seasonal getaway,” Empire State Development Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said. “Our new interactive fall foliage map highlights a variety of attractions and events, from harvest festivals to Halloween celebrations, craft beverage trails, museums and family fun, helping residents and visitors alike to find what they love while exploring the amazing palette of autumn colors on display across the state.”  

Travelers are also invited to share their photos of New York State’s amazing foliage on social media by using the #NYLovesFall hashtag. Photos submitted to this hashtag have a chance of being featured on the I LOVE NY fall foliage website and official I LOVE NY social media accounts reaching nearly two million followers. Reports and the new interactive map are updated Wednesdays throughout the season at www.iloveny.com/foliage.Reports are also available toll-free by dialing 800/CALL-NYS (800/225-5697) from anywhere in the U.S., its territories and Canada. For more information on how to volunteer for as an I LOVE NY leaf peeper, e-mail your name, address and phone number to foliage@esd.ny.gov.

New Camping Opportunities on New York’s Canals

July 10, 2021
The Erie Canal at Macedon. Tentrr now has a camping site at the Palmyra-Macedon Lock E-29 (Palmyra-Macedon which offers picturesque views of the Erie Canal and easy access to a whole lot of outdoor fun – especially biking on the Canalway © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Through a new partnership between the New York Power Authority, New York State Canal Corporation and Tentrr, the state is opening more hassle-free campsites alongside New York’s Canals this summer. As part of Governor Cuomo’s Reimagine the Canals initiative and the recently announced “On the Canals” excursions program, Tentrr created four fully-outfitted campsites for visitors to reserve, most within a short distance of a free “On the Canals” excursion opportunity.

Each of the Canalside camping locations offers turnkey, outfitted camping facilities, allowing guests to camp in style amongst the Canals. Each site is fully equipped with all the amenities for comfortable camping including spacious canvas tents atop a raised platform, queen size memory foam mattress, solar-powered showers, picnic tables and Adirondack chairs, set up in advance of arrival.

The campsites available this summer within 15 minutes of an “On the Canals” excursion include:

Yankee Hill Getaway (Amsterdam, Town of Florida) Wedged between the Adirondack and Catskills parks in the Mohawk Valley, the Yankee Hill Getaway site lies on a thin strip of land between the original Erie Canal and the current Canal system. Three sites available.

Oak Island Vista (Waterloo) Nestled between Cayuga and Seneca Lakes along the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, the beautiful Oak Island site offers easy access to the best of the Finger Lakes Region. Five sites available.

Montezuma Canal View at Lock E-26 (Galen) Campers at Lock E-26 will wake to views of the tranquil Erie Canal and have easy access to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge and Northern Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. Six sites available.

Palmyra-Macedon Getaway at Lock E-29 (Palmyra-Macedon) The Palmyra-Macedon site offers picturesque views of the Erie Canal and easy access to a whole lot of outdoor fun. Five sites available.

To book, go to https://www.tentrr.com/pages/new-york-canals.

In addition to these new campsites, Camp Rockaway is managing a glamping site at Lock C-5 on the Champlain Canal in Schuylerville through September 8th.

Through the Reimagine the Canals initiative, Governor Cuomo and the New York Power Authority committed $300 million over five years to revitalize the Erie Canal corridor as a tourism and recreation destination while simultaneously boosting economic development and improving the resiliency of Canalside communities.

Broadway Theater Tickets Back on Sale for Performances Beginning Sept 14

May 7, 2021
Broadway theater, New York City’s Great White Way, will fully reopen its doors this September, in accordance with the New York State’s health and safety guidance. Beginning May 6, and throughout May, tickets for Broadway shows – which begin September 14, 2021 – are already on sale at 100 percent of theater capacity © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Broadway theater, New York City’s Great White Way, will fully reopen its doors this September, in accordance with the New York State’s health and safety guidance. Beginning May 6, and throughout May, tickets for Broadway shows – which begin September 14, 2021 – are already on sale at 100 percent of theater capacity.

The announcement builds upon the reopening of performing arts and live entertainment venues at limited capacities last month and further sets the stage for Broadway shows to return to theaters throughout the fall. 

“Broadway is at the core of our New York identity, and a big part of our economy which employees countless performers and show creators, and beginning this September, the show will go on,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.”Visitors from all around the world have come to New York to experience the arts and culture and see iconic performances on Broadway, and sadly, the pandemic put this unique New York experience on pause. Thankfully, as we continue to monitor the data and reopen our economy, we are now on track to allow full capacity performances on Broadway to resume beginning this September, bringing back this beloved world-famous attraction.”

Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said, “On behalf of the nearly 100,000 people who make their living on Broadway – on stage, backstage, and throughout the city and state – we are immensely gratified by the support of Governor Cuomo today. Restarting Broadway is a complex endeavor, requiring long lead times for productions the need to reconnect with a sustaining audience from across the country and around the world. Today’s green light by the Governor to put our shows on sale now for the fall is vital to our success. Broadway is the beating heart of NYC tourism and we can’t wait for the day soon when our hearts will beat before a live joyful audience.”

The State will continue to work closely with Broadway industry partners to plan for the safe, successful return of this world-class cultural experience.  As public health conditions and the State’s guidance for performing arts and live entertainment changes, Broadway stakeholders will remain flexible and adapt to applicable health protocols, such as face coverings, health screening, enhanced air filtration and ventilation, and rigorous cleaning and disinfection. 

The availability of advance sale tickets and marketing for shows begins the months-long process of reopening to full capacity, building momentum to sustain many long and successful Broadway runs.  The Governor, Department of Health, Empire State Development, and State agency partners join with the industry in their commitment to creating safe and heathy environments for audiences, performers, and employees to enjoy, perform, and work.  If performances need to be postponed due to the public health conditions, theaters have planned to offer customer-friendly refunds and exchange policies. 

To support the performance industry in New York City, the FY 2022 enacted budget included $1 billion in Small Business and Arts Relief and Recovery Assistance, which includes the New York City Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit Program which provides up to $100 million in tax credits to jump start the industry and revitalize tourism in New York City. Under this program, productions which have their first performance scheduled through December 2022 are eligible for a 25 percent credit on eligible costs. 

Prior to the pandemic, almost 250,000 people were seeing a Broadway show every week.  Broadway supports nearly 97,000 local jobs and contributes about $14.7 billion every year to the New York City economy.

For more information, visit the Broadway League, the industry’s trade association: www.broadway.org/

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NYS Greenlights Reopening of Performing Arts, Entertainment Venues

April 7, 2021
Bright lights of Broadway can shine again, as New York State allows reopening of performing arts and entertainment venues with capacity controls and health protocols © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Venues Will Be Able to Host Up to 100 People Indoors or Up to 200 People Outdoors; With Testing or Immunization, Up to 150 People Indoors or Up to 500 People Outdoors

Social Distancing, Face Coverings and Strict Health Protocols Required

Excelsior Pass Now Available for New Yorkers to Show Proof of Vaccination or Recent Negative COVID-19 Test to Attend Venues; Interested New Yorkers Can Use Excelsior Pass and Learn More Here; Interested Businesses Can Learn More Here

New State Guidance Available Here

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that performing arts and entertainment venues can reopen at 33 percent capacity beginning today. Venues can host up to 100 people indoors or up to 200 people outdoors. If all attendees present proof of completed vaccination or recent negative test result prior to entry, capacity can increase up to 150 people indoors or up to 500 people outdoors. Social distancing, face coverings, health screening and other health protocols will be required by all attendees, as well as strict adherence to all applicable Department of Health guidance, which is available here.

“New York’s beloved arts and entertainment venues have been hard hit by the public health guidance we’ve implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19, and after a long and difficult period, I am glad to see them reopen their doors to New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “Attendees will need to follow strict guidance to keep themselves and others safe, but they’ll now be able to watch world-class performances and take part in our state’s thriving arts and culture scene once again. I encourage New Yorkers to get tested before attending events and to use Excelsior Pass to show venues that they’ve been vaccinated or tested before entering performance spaces.”

On March 26, Governor Cuomo announced the launch of Excelsior Pass – a free, voluntary platform developed in partnership with IBM, which utilizes proven, secure technology to confirm an individual’s recent negative PCR or antigen test result or proof of vaccination to help fast-track the reopening of businesses and event venues in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidelines. Similar to a mobile airline boarding pass, individuals will be able to either print out their pass or store it on their smartphones using the Excelsior Pass Wallet app. Each Pass will have a secure QR code, which participating businesses and venues can scan using a companion app to verify proof of COVID-19 negative test results or proof of vaccination. An individual’s data is kept secure and confidential at all times.

Interested New Yorkers can opt in to use Excelsior Pass and learn more here; interested businesses can opt in and learn more here.

On February 20, the Governor announced the launch of NY PopsUp, an unprecedented and expansive festival featuring hundreds of pop-up performances that will revitalize the spirits of New Yorkers with the energy of live performances and will jumpstart the state’s live entertainment industry. During the run of the festival, NY PopsUp will grow in its scale, volume of performances, and geographical footprint. Follow @NYPopsUp on Twitter and Instagram for the latest. More information is available here.

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Weddings, Baseball, Arts and Entertainment Resume in New York State

March 19, 2021
Wedding receptions and catered events can resume statewide in New York State, following the state’s strict health and safety protocols © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Wedding receptions and catered events can resume statewide in New York. All venues hosting weddings and catered events must follow the State’s strict health and safety protocols, including the following requirements:

  • Venues are restricted to 50% capacity, with no more than 150 attendees per event
  • All attendees must have proof of recent negative test result or proof of immunization prior to the event
  • Sign-in with contact information required to assist with potential contact tracing
  • Venues must notify local health departments of large events, above the social gathering limit, in advance
  • Masks will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking
  • Ceremonial and socially-distanced dancing allowed in designated areas

Detailed guidance for in-person and catered events is available here.

“New Yorkers have remained resilient throughout this entire pandemic, and the numbers show how effective our behavior has been in stopping the spread of this virus,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.”As the state’s positivity and hospitalization numbers continue to decline and we ramp up vaccinations, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer and we can focus on safely reopening different sectors of our economy without compromising the progress we’ve made. Weddings and catered events will now be allowed to resume across the state, with strict protocols in place to protect the health and safety of New Yorkers. This is great news – but we must continue with the practices that we know work to defeat this virus once and for all.”

The reopening of wedding receptions and other catered events builds on the Governor’s recent measures to further re-open the economy amid a steady decline in New York’s COVID-19 positivity and hospitalization rates.

Effective March 19th, New York City indoor dining expanded to 50 percent capacity and the rest of New York State increased to 75 percent capacity for indoor dining.

The MTA has partially restored overnight service on the New York City Subway.

On February 14th, the Governor issued an Executive Order extending closing times to 11 p.m. statewide for restaurants, bars, gyms and fitness centers, casinos, billiards halls and any other location with an SLA license.

The Governor also announced beginning April 2, event, arts and entertainment venues can reopen at 33 percent capacity, up to 100 people indoors and up to 200 people outdoors.” And Citifield which is the home base for the Mets and Yankee Stadium will be able to welcome fans at 20 percent capacity.

New York’s Major League Baseball teams, the New York Mets and New York Yankees, can resume play with spectators in the stadiums, beginning April 1. Professional sports in large outdoor stadiums that hold 10,000 people or more will be allowed to reopen at 20 percent capacity. Attendees must show proof of a recent negative test or completed vaccination series prior to entry and are subject to strict state guidance on face coverings, social distancing, and health screening. The New York State Department of Health will re-evaluate the testing and vaccination entry requirements in May, and if the public health situation continues to improve, they may be discontinued in mid-May. Vaccinations will continue to be administered at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field during the MLB season.

Building on the recent reopening of large professional sports arenas, the Governor also announced that smaller, regional sports venues that hold 1,500 people indoors or 2,500 people outdoors can also reopen, beginning April 1. Initial capacity will be limited to 10 percent indoors and 20 percent outdoors. Attendees must show proof of a recent negative test or completed vaccination series prior to entry and are subject to strict state guidance on face coverings, social distancing, and health screening.

Governor Cuomo also announced that large outdoor performing arts venues, including stadiums, that hold more than 2,500 people can reopen at 20 percent capacity, beginning April 1. Venue capacity will continue to increase as the public health situation improves with more New Yorkers receiving vaccinations and fewer COVID-19 cases in the community. Attendees must show proof of a recent negative test or completed vaccination series prior to entry and are subject to strict state guidance on face coverings, social distancing, and health screening.

To re-open professional sports with spectators at large outdoor stadiums, each venue must adhere to strict health and safety protocols, including:

  • Obtain NYS DOH approval for ALL venues and events
  • Institute a 20 percent capacity limit
  • Ensure spectators and public-facing event staff present proof of a recentnegative COVID-19 test result or proof of vaccination prior to the event
  • Mandate face coverings, social distancing, and temperature checks for all those in attendance
  • Mandate assigned, socially distanced seating
  • Collect contact information from all those in attendance to help inform contact tracing efforts
  • Meet enhanced air filtration, ventilation, and purification standards for any indoor areas
  • Ensure retail, food services and athletic activities abide by all State-issued guidance

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National Comedy Center, Jamestown NY, Named Best New Museum in the Country by USA Today

February 29, 2020

National Comedy Museum e2

The National Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution and state-of-the-art museum dedicated to comedy as an art form, was named the “Best New Museum” in the country by USA Today as part of the 2020 USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards.

Jamestown,  NY — The National Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution and state-of-the-art museum dedicated to comedy as an art form, was named the “Best New Museum” in the country by USA Today as part of the 2020 USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards.

The National Comedy Center was one of 20 new museums nominated for the award by a panel of nationally-recognized travel journalists, tourism experts and USA Today editors for this USA Today travel award series, which celebrates outstanding destinations, attractions and experiences. All of the nominees were museums that opened over the past two years, including art galleries, science museums and children’s museums in cities across the United States and Canada, including Dallas, New Orleans, St. Louis, Seattle, New York City, St. Petersburg, FL , St. Paul, MN and Edmonton, Alberta. The Comedy Center was selected as the #1 museum in the “Best New Museum” category by popular vote after a four-week voting period from January 20 through February 17, 2020.

“We are tremendously proud to be named the Best New Museum in the United States and Canada,” said Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director. “We have reimagined the museum experience with immersive exhibit design and unprecedented personalization. This distinction is a testament to the significance of comedy, and talented comedic artists, to our culture and our daily lives.”

“Our visitors — from all 50 states and 18 countries — already know what a must-see destination the Comedy Center is,” added Gunderson. “We look forward to welcoming thousands more comedy fans from across the country and around the world to the Best New Museum, here in Jamestown, New York.”

“The National Comedy Center team is grateful for the incredible support from our local community, the entire Western New York region, and from comedy fans across the country, all of whom voted for the Comedy Center to receive this national recognition and high honor” said Tom Benson, National Comedy Center project chairman. “It’s tremendous validation of the hard work and vision of our staff and board, our partner organizations, and our community, who believed in this project and worked tirelessly to make it happen.”

“The National Comedy Center is one of my favorite places in the world, and I am thrilled that everyone will now know what I already knew —  it is absolutely the best new museum in the country. It’s an extraordinary showplace for all things comedic –- and interactive from the moment you walk in. I promise you will smile from beginning to end. Now that the Comedy Center is officially the country’s Best New Museum, you need to make plans to visit. You won’t be disappointed,” said Lewis Black, comedian, actor, author and National Comedy Center Advisory Board member.

New York State Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, “We are very excited that USA Today readers chose the National Comedy Center as the best new museum in the US and Canada. Anyone who loves comedy should plan a pilgrimage to this world-class, one-of-a-kind attraction as part of a New York State vacation that includes nearby destinations like the Lucy Desi Museum, the Chautauqua Institution, Panama Rocks and Niagara Falls.”

Last summer the National Comedy Center was named by TIME magazine as one of the “World’s Greatest Places” and People magazine selected it as one of its “100 Reasons to Love America.”

In early 2019, the National Comedy Center was nominated for the USA Today Readers’ Choice “Best New Attraction” award, where it was voted #2 out of 20 new attractions by USA Today readers and chosen as the #1 museum and #1 ticketed attraction in the USA Today poll.

The National Comedy Center is the United States’ official cultural institution and museum dedicated to presenting the vital story of comedy and preserving its heritage for future generations, as formally designated by the U.S. Congress in 2019. Opened in August 2018 in Jamestown, New York, the museum complex offers an unprecedented visitor experience using state-of-the-art technology, interactivity and personalization to create the first true 21st Century museum environment.

Comedy industry authority The Interrobang named the design team second on its list of “Innovators Who Changed Comedy” in 2018. Visitors from all 50 states and eighteen countries have given the Center a rare 5/5 raring on TripAdvisor, ranking among the highest in the attraction and tourism industry.

Based on the vision of Jamestown native Lucille Ball for her hometown to become a destination for comedy, the National Comedy Center showcases comedy’s great minds and unique voices in ways that engage, inspire, educate and entertain. As a non-profit institution, the National Comedy Center was funded by a mix of federal, state and private philanthropic support, including partnerships with I LOVE NY, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State’s Empire State Development.

Design for the National Comedy Center was led by the most prominent cultural and interactive design firms in the world, whose portfolios collectively include the award-winning 9/11 Memorial Museum, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, The College Football Hall of Fame, SNL: The Experience, and more.

The National Comedy Center has been embraced by the entertainment industry, with props, costumes and archival material provided by many of the most revered names in comedy. The Comedy Center recently announced a major initiative to preserve Carl Reiner’s personal “Dick Van Dyke Show” script archive. Exhibition partners include the Kelly Carlin and the George Carlin estate, George Shapiro and Jerry Seinfeld, Dan Aykroyd, Alan and Robin Zweibel, Joan Dangerfield, The Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner, The Harold Ramis Family, The Garry Shandling Estate, George Schlatter, Bill Marx and the Harpo Marx Family, the Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams estate, Desilu Too, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Corporate Archive, and many more.

The National Comedy Center operates the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, which explores the lives, careers and legacy of the “First Couple of Comedy,” and the incredible impact they had on the world.

Now in its 30th year, the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown has showcased comedy’s greatest stars and rising young comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, Trevor Noah, Lily Tomlin, Jay Leno, Amy Schumer, Brian Regan, Lewis Black, W. Kamau Bell, Jim Gaffigan, Paula Poundstone, Dan Aykroyd, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, the Smothers Brothers and more than one hundred other comedic artists. The 2019 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, presented by the National Comedy Center last August, was headlined by Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney. The 2020 festival will feature Jeff Foxworthy and Legends of SNL David Spade, Rob Schneider and Kevin Nealon.

Stay connected to the National Comedy Center:

Website: www.comedycenter.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nationalcomedycenter/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LucilleBallComedyFestival/

Follow on Twitter and Instagram at @ntlcomedycenter

 

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

June 18, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fine Arts & Festivals in the Great Northern Catskills

May 30, 2019

Olana National Historic Site

Hudson River Skywalk, a walking path on the Rip Van Winkle bridge, is viewed from artist Frederic Edwin Church’s Olana, and connects to the Thomas Cole historic site, on the Hudson River School Art Trail © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Where can you see Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, and Brooks & Dunn all in one place? At the Taste of Country Music Festival at Hunter Mountain, June 7-9! One of the Catskill’s premier summer festivals, country music fans flock to this three-day event each year. Camp out for the complete experience and you’ll be rewarded with special concerts, great food, and craft beer from a wide variety of amazing vendors.

If you prefer banjos and stand-up basses, the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival is for you. Held at Walsh Farm from July 18-21, Grey Fox’s who’s who of bluegrass line-up boasts 40 bands playing on six outdoor stages over four days. It’s non-stop, family-friendly, toe-tapping fun. Combine your bluegrass experience with a visit to the Annual Catskills Irish Arts Week, held concurrently from July 14-20 in East Durham. It’s a week-long celebration of Irish culture that includes live music, traditional Irish dancers, workshops, lectures, art, and more.

A festival on two wheels, the 12th Annual Tour of the Catskills Pro-Am Bicycle Road Race will be held in Tannersville on August 3. One of the nation’s top cycling events, this Pro-Am race draws over 250 racers each year from throughout the world. Considered one of the toughest cycling courses in the country for amateurs and professionals alike, racers will give their all just to get through the ‘Devil’s Kitchen Climb,’ a grueling uphill portion of the course. Cheer the athletes on, or register and see if you have what it takes!

Rev up the fun and watch daring riders kick up the dirt and reach serious speeds at Diamondback Motocross of East Durham. With three Sunday race days this summer – June 16, July 7, and July 28 – there’s no excuse for missing this thrilling event. Landing big-air jumps and racing around tight corners, it’s an adrenaline junkie’s dream come true for riders, and a heartpounding spectacle for those on the sidelines!

The Catskill Region has long been a place where poets, painters, writers, and photographers have found artistic inspiration. The stunning natural surroundings and ample opportunities for reflective solitude make it a haven for creative minds. As a result, it also holds incredible appeal for those who appreciate the fine arts.

There is no better place to begin your Catskills arts and culture exploration than at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. There, the former home and studio of Hudson River School of Art founder Thomas Cole still stands, now serving as a museum of Catskills art history and a working gallery and studio.

Exchange traditional for contemporary when you visit the LUMBERYARD Center for Film and Performing Arts. This modern-day studio and performance center is a wonderful place for audiences to enjoy unique theater, dance, and film productions, and a place for budding artists to hone their craft and blaze their own artistic path. Browse their upcoming events or learn more about their leading-edge artist-in-residence programs.

With so many incredible performance spaces and galleries to choose from, it’s easy to make the arts part of any visit to the Great Northern Catskills. Check the performance schedules of the Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill and the Orpheum Film and Performing Arts Center in Tannersville to find world class concerts, theater productions, and one-of-a-kind shows, or stop by a local art gallery to see breathtaking works by talented local artists.

What is it about the Great Northern Catskills that is so inspiring to artistic minds? Take a walk along the new Hudson River Skywalk to see for yourself! Hundreds of feet in the air, the mile-long Skywalk connects the homes of two famed Hudson River School painters, Thomas Cole and Frederic Church. Spanning a picturesque portion of the Hudson River, several outlooks along the path provide panoramic views of the water below and the surrounding mountains. It is a view that has inspired countless photographs, paintings, and written works, including the famous fable of Rip Van Winkle. While pets are not allowed, sketch books, cameras, and easels are encouraged!

Greene County Tourism, 800-355-CATS, 518-943-3223, www.greatnortherncatskills.com..

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National Comedy Center in Lucille Ball’s Hometown Close to Being Officially Designated by United States

February 23, 2019

NYS-Natl Comedy Ctr Jamestown

The National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York – iconic comedian Lucille Ball’s hometown – is close to being designated the official “National Comedy Center” of the United States.

The National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York – iconic comedian Lucille Ball’s hometown – is close to being designated the official “National Comedy Center” of the United States.

US Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer included a provision in the 2019 Lands Package that called on The Comedy Center, located in downtown Jamestown and built in-part to honor the massive national impact of Jamestown native Lucille Ball, to serve as America’s official center of comedy and its rich history in our nation. Schumer said this official congressional designation will help solidify the facility as a civic landmark and cultural institution, and the premiere “National Comedy Center” of the United States, and called on his colleagues in Congress to pass the Lands Package as soon as possible.

“Comedy is an art form, and it’s a part of our rich cultural history in America. I am proud to stand here today, in front of the revolutionary National Comedy Center, to continue my push to pass legislation that will officially designate it as the National Comedy Center of the United States,” Schumer said. “As the birthplace of the iconic Lucille Ball, and home to the Annual Comedy Festival, Jamestown has rapidly become an epicenter for comedy in the nation, and is the perfect home for the National Comedy Center. This organization is becoming a cultural institution, attracting visitors from far and wide, creating jobs, and injecting millions of tourism dollars into the region. I vow to do everything in my power to shuttle this legislation through Congress and on to the president’s desk, because I know that this institution has become a national attraction and a smash hit!”

The 2019 Lands Package includes legislation from Senator Schumer that will formally designate the National Comedy Center as the ‘national’ comedy center. Schumer noted that this designation will allow the center to build on the success of other Upstate New York tourist attractions like the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY. The National Comedy Center employs 38 people and has created nearly 200 spin-off jobs and is projected to have a $23 million impact on the region. Currently, the annual comedy festival hosts about 20,000 people and has been visited by famous comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Joan Rivers, Jay Leno, and Nick Offerman. Schumer said this designation is vital to the center’s continued growth, and pointed out that Jamestown’s National Comedy Center is the only museum of its kind with the mission of preserving, protecting, and showcasing the art of American comedy and its role in our culture.

“The Jamestown Comedy Center is a celebration of talent and has quickly become a must-see location in New York. When I toured the museum, I was amazed by the incredible job done to transform an old train station into a state-of-the-art center dedicated to preserving the history of comedy in our nation,” said Senator  Kirsten Gillibrand. “This museum is a destination for families, tourists, and comedy lovers from all over the country, and it has played in important role in Jamestown’s revitalization. That’s why I fought to make sure that this year’s Land’s Package would designate the museum as the National Comedy Center, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this bill.”

“The National Comedy Center is committed to Lucille Ball’s vision for her hometown of Jamestown, New York to honor comedy’s great minds and unique voices in ways that educate, engage and inspire future generations. With visitors who’ve already come from all 50 states since our opening last August, we truly are the nation’s museum for the celebration of comedy. We thank Senator Schumer for everything he’s done to make the National Comedy Center a reality, and welcome this official Congressional designation in 2019,” said Tom Benson, Chairman, National Comedy Center.

“As the country’s first national-scale museum and cultural institution dedicated to presenting, preserving and celebrating the art form of comedy, the National Comedy Center — and Comedy — is deserving of this important recognition by Congress. We are grateful to Senator Schumer for his tremendous support and look forward to the bill’s passage in both the Senate and the House in the coming weeks,” said Journey Gunderson, Executive Director of the National Comedy Center.

The National Comedy Center, located at 203-217 West Second Street in Jamestown, New York, pays tribute to the art of American comedy through all eras, mediums, and genres. The 37,000 square foot, $50 million facility tells the story of comedy from its origins through the present, with more than 50 immersive, interactive exhibits. As of January 2019, the National Comedy Center has already attracted visitors from all fifty states and nine countries total. It was also recently named the second “Best New Attraction in America,” by USA Today.

Each visitor experiences a personalized trip through the Center as exhibits reflect one’s personal comedic sensibilities via use of a bracelet fitted with an RFID chip worn throughout the stay. Highlights of the collection include George Carlin’s massive personal archives that provide a glimpse into one of comedy’s most prolific minds, a hologram theater that presents performances of some of comedy’s most notable figures, and experiences that allow visitors to step into the shoes of a stand-up comedian. Additionally, the National Comedy Center features rare artifacts from some of comedy’s greatest names. In 2018, Senator Schumer helped deliver one such artifact, as a customs snag threatened to delay the arrival of a vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycle that was donated to the NCC by Dan Aykroyd.

Design of the museum and the repurposing of Jamestown’s original 1930 art-deco Gateway Train Station was provided by some of the most prominent cultural and interactive design firms in the world, whose portfolios collectively include the award-winning 9/11 Memorial Museum, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the College Football Hall of Fame, Saturday Night Live: The Experience, Universal Studios, and more. The Center celebrates comedy in all of its forms, educating and engendering in visitors an appreciation for the art form and its artists.

The National Comedy Center opened in 2018, and ground was first broken on the project in 2015. Schumer noted he pushed a resolution in March of 2018 to formally recognize the National Comedy Center. Schumer also noted his successful push for $1.7 million from the Economic Development Administration, and $5M in net benefit due to New Market Tax Credits. In addition to this federal funding, the National Comedy Center has also received $10M from NYS, and private donations from the Gebbie Foundation, the John R. Oishei Foundation, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, the Lenna Foundation, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, the Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation, the Johnson Foundation, and the Jessie Smith Darrah Fund. Schumer said the National Comedy Center shines a spotlight on Jamestown as a global comedy destination.  

 

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National Comedy Center in Jamestown NY Hosts 2019 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival Aug 7-11

February 22, 2019

NYS-Natl Comedy Ctr Jamestown

The National Comedy Center opened August 1, 2018 in Jamestown, New York as the nation’s first state-of-the-art museum dedicated to sharing the vital story of comedy in America. Based on the vision of Jamestown native Lucille Ball for her hometown to become a destination for the celebration of comedy, the National Comedy Center showcases comedy’s great minds and unique voices, from Charlie Chaplin to David Chappelle.

Jamestown, New York –The National Comedy Center, the nation’s first museum and visitor experience dedicated to the comedic arts, announced today that Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney will headline the 2019 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, August 7-11. Tickets for their performances are now on sale at www.ComedyCenter.org.

Many festival events have yet to be announced, in a lineup that will celebrate comedy’s contemporary stars, rising voices, and historic legacies.

Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney are two of the most popular and acclaimed comedians in the country in 2019 — Maniscalco breaking several comedy box office records over the past year, and Mulaney named “one of the best stand-up comics alive” by Entertainment Weekly.

John Mulaney will be performing on Friday, August 9 and Sebastian Maniscalco will be performing on Saturday, August 10 in Jamestown’s Northwest Arena, adjacent to the National Comedy Center, a $50 million museum experience dedicated to comedy.

“We could not be more pleased to announce that two of the most in-demand stand-up comedians touring today — Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney — will be performing as we mark the first anniversary of the National Comedy Center this August,” said Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director. “This is a great opportunity to experience the best of live comedy by night, after experiencing the story of comedy –- across all eras and genres –- by day, with a trip to the National Comedy Center and the Festival.”

Comedian, actor and best-selling author Sebastian Maniscalco has been called “one of the funniest comedians working stand-up today,” by Esquire Magazine, “one of the hottest comics,” by Newsday and “the comedian’s comedian” by People Magazine.

Maniscalco can currently be seen with Viggo Mortensen in the Oscar-nominated “Green Book,” winner of three Golden Globes including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Last November, Maniscalco won Billboard’s inaugural Comedian of the Year award. In 2019, Maniscalco will be starring in Martin Scorsese’s new film “The Irishman,” with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.

Before Emmy Award-winning comedian and writer John Mulaney was called “one of the best stand-up comics alive” by Entertainment Weekly, he began writing for “Saturday Night Live” in 2008, where he also appeared as a “Weekend Update“ correspondent and co-created memorable characters such as “Stefon” with Bill Hader. He has spent the past year touring the United States with his most recent show, “Kid Gorgeous,” which was released as a Netflix original special last year and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Variety Special.

Mulaney has starred three previous stand-up specials. He has performed stand-up on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “Comedy Central Presents.” In 2016, Mulaney starred in the Broadway hit “Oh, Hello” on Broadway alongside Nick Kroll. He can also be heard in the 2018 film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which recently won the Golden Globe for best Animated Feature Film and has just been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.

Additional Lucille Ball Comedy Festival events, including more than five comedy showcases, Late Night Comedy events, National Comedy Center Dialogues, and Lucy legacy events will also be announced atwww.ComedyCenter.org in the coming months.

“This festival is a celebration of all things comedy” says Malachi Livermore, the National Comedy Center’s Director of Programming and Guest Experiences. “It offers something for everyone – from a free kids’ comedy show and a series of discussions about the comedic arts, to some of the best stand-up comedians that the nation has to offer, and the opening of an Ernie Kovacs Centennial exhibit featuring never-before-seen archives.  And there is still more to come.”

As an enhancement to this year’s Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, the National Comedy Center is once again partnering with the world-renowned Chautauqua Institution, located on nearby Chautauqua Lake, New York, for a comedy-themed week during the Institution’s summer season, which will run prior to the festival: July 29 through August 3. Events and speakers will explore how comedy changes us and, in turn, society, and the potential of comedy to change minds and influence decision-making. Programming details will be released in the coming months. For more information and reservations, visit CHQ.org.

Last year’s Lucille Ball Comedy Festival featured the grand opening of the National Comedy Center and featured Amy Schumer, Lily Tomlin and a panel of original “Saturday Night Live” performers and writers including Dan Aykroyd, Laraine Newman and Alan Zweibel.

The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival is presented by the National Comedy Center and embodies Lucille Ball’s vision for her hometown — Jamestown, New York, to be a destination for the celebration of the comedic arts and to showcase new comedic talent from around the country. The festival attracts over 15,000 attendees annually from nearly every state in the country, who come together to share laughter while honoring the craft and contributors on stage at dozens of venues throughout Jamestown, including the National Comedy Center and the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum.

Now in its 28th year, the festival has featured comedy’s greatest stars and rising young comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, Trevor Noah, Lily Tomlin, Jay Leno, Amy Schumer, Brian Regan, Lewis Black, W. Kamau Bell, Jim Gaffigan, Paula Poundstone, Dan Aykroyd, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, the Smothers Brothers and more than one hundred other comedic artists.

National Comedy Center Named a ‘Best New Attraction’

The National Comedy Center recently took second out of twenty “Best New Attractions” in the country, in USA TodayCondé Nast Traveler called the National Comedy Center “One of the best museums in the country,” while comedy website The Interrobang named the design team of the National Comedy Center second on its list of “Innovators Who Changed Comedy” in 2018. Visitors from all 50 states and nine countries have given the Center a rare 5/5 rating on TripAdvisor in just its first six months of operation.

The National Comedy Center opened August 1, 2018 in Jamestown, New York as the nation’s first state-of-the-art museum dedicated to sharing the vital story of comedy in America. Based on the vision of Jamestown native Lucille Ball for her hometown to become a destination for the celebration of comedy, the National Comedy Center showcases comedy’s great minds and unique voices, from Charlie Chaplin to David Chappelle. As a non-profit cultural institution, the National Comedy Center was created with a $50 million investment, funded by a mix of federal, state and private philanthropic support, including partnership with I LOVE NEW YORK ™, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State’s Empire State Development.

The National Comedy Center features exclusive collections and world-class exhibits that give comedy fans an unprecedented, behind-the-scenes look at the time-honed creative processes that have elevated comedy entertainment to an art form. Over 50 innovative exhibitions across 37,000 square feet of space enable visitors to take an interactive journey through comedy history, from early vaudeville to the latest viral memes. Cutting-edge personalization technology makes the entire experience unique. Throughout the experience, visitors gain a profound appreciation for comedy icons and innovators, as well as for the tremendous influence of humor on how we think, live and laugh.

Design for the National Comedy Center was led by the most prominent cultural and interactive design firms in the world, whose portfolios collectively include the award-winning 9/11 Memorial Museum, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, The College Football Hall of Fame, SNL: The Experience, and more.

The National Comedy Center also operates the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, which explores the lives, careers and legacy of the “First Couple of Comedy,” and the incredible impact they had on the world.

Stay connected to the National Comedy Center:

Website: www.comedycenter.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nationalcomedycenter/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LucilleBallComedyFestival/

Follow on Twitter and Instagram at @ntlcomedycenter

 

National Comedy Center, 203 W. 2nd Street, Jamestown, NY, 716-484-2222, www.ComedyCenter.org.

 

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