Archive for the ‘summer festival’ Category

Win a Week-long RV trip in GoCampingAmerica’s Summer Video Contest

July 30, 2011

Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Colorado. Submit a short video in’s “Not Bummer Summer” summer video contest to compete for a chance to win a weeklong RV trip to any affiliated campground in the United States © 2011 Karen Rubin/

When Laura Franklin went to the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Williamsport., Md., she took along her video camera and not only recorded her husband and kids having fun, but interviewed them about what they liked most about the campground they visited.

“They really enjoyed the waterslides,” said Franklin, a Maryland resident and “MommyBlogger” from Better in “The other thing they couldn’t they couldn’t stop talking about was panning for jewels.”

Franklin also shot footage of her kids playing laser tag and commenting on their rental cabin. With five kids ages 6 to 14, Franklin said Jellystone Park was the perfect place for a family vacation.

“I just enjoyed that we could stay in one place and that the kids could run around like they were at home. We felt very comfortable. There was lots to do, so we didn’t have to travel anywhere else.”

Franklin is one of the first campers to submit a short video in’s “Not Bummer Summer” summer video contest and compete for a chance to win a weeklong RV trip to any affiliated campground in the United States.

“The only requirement is the video be family-friendly, that it capture the essence of having a ‘not bummer summer’ and that it be taken at a campground, RV park or resort featured on the GoCampingAmerica website,” said Kera Tomlin, GoCampingAmerica’s director of marketing.

That’s plenty of venues, considering that more than 3,300 campgrounds, RV parks and resorts are featured on the national travel planning website.
Campers are invited to upload their videos to YouTube and then submit their entry forms along with the YouTube link at All videos must be taken and submitted between June 1st and Labor Day (midnight Sept. 5th).
Video entries will be voted on through the ‘favorites’ option on YouTube between June 1, 2011 and September 5, 2011. The top two videos with the most ‘favorite’ votes that best depict a ‘Not Bummer Summer’ Camping getaway and most carefully follows the rules and regulations, will then be entered into a drawing and the first randomly drawn will be selected as the grand prize winner and the other entrant will be awarded the 2nd runner up. The third prize winner will be selected amongst the remaining top five ‘favorite’ votes and entered into a drawing and selected at random. An entrant may recommend to its camping guests, friends and families to ‘favorite’ the entrant’s video on YouTube.

The grand prize winner will receive a weeklong trip in an RV, courtesy of El Monte RV, and free camping at campgrounds. Other prizes include seven days and six nights of lodging at any GoCampingAmerica park, a $100 Camping World gift certificate, plus a $100 movie ticket certificate and other Judy Moody movie related promotional items. is promoting its video contest in connection with Judy Moody and The NOT Bummer Summer, a movie based on the bestselling book series by Megan McDonald. For more information about the contest, please visit For more information about the movie please visit

Based in Denver, Colo., is the travel planning website of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.

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Rihanna Fans can Catch ‘Loud in Barbados’ Tour with a Stay at All-Inclusive Mango Bay

July 14, 2011

Mango Bay ( in Barbados invites Rihanna fans to plan their summer getaway to coincide with her Aug. 5, 2011 on-island concert. Through the “Summer Family Free Night Special” vacationers staying at the boutique resort will receive one free night on a five-night or seven-night stay. Additionally, children 12 years and younger stay free and teens (13-17) receive a special rate of $100 per person, per night, when sharing a room with two adults.

Rihanna kicks off her three-year partnership with the Barbados Tourism Authority with a full-length concert of her current “Loud” tour on Aug. 5, 2011 at the Kensington Oval, produced by the Barbados Tourism Authority and Roc Nation. Fans can purchase tickets at available box offices throughout the island which start at US$37.50. A native of Barbados, Rihanna will serve as an ambassador for the destination and will exclusively promote the island through various advertising campaigns, promotional appearances and social media outlets.

The offer is valid on new bookings made through July 31, 2011 for travel through Dec. 18, 2011. All-Inclusive rates start at $350 per room, per night, based on single or double occupancy with government tax included.

An all-inclusive Mango Bay stay includes hotel accommodations, all meals, afternoon tea, all local and brand name drinks including glasses of wine, use of the gym, watersports (waterskiing, hobiecat sailing, kayaking and snorkeling) and nightly entertainment. Spa treatments are available for an additional fee at the Elements Spa located at the resort.

Located in the historic Holetown area on the famed Gold Coast of Barbados, the 76-room Mango Bay is known for its casual sophistication and all-inclusive value. This beachfront, boutique-style property is the ideal tropical retreat for travelers seeking an escape from the everyday hustle and bustle – an oasis where warm breezes, delightful Caribbean sunshine, and picturesque beaches are refreshing and revitalizing. Spacious accommodations, a centrally-located swimming pool, delicious dining and tremendous all-inclusive value make Mango Bay a truly exceptional “Uncomplicated, Unencumbered, Unforgettable” vacation paradise.

The property is within walking distance of many shops in Holetown, along with the new Limegrove Lifestyle Centre boasting high-end stores such as Ralph Lauren, Armani Exchange, Agent Provocateur, Cartier and MAC Cosmetics with Louis Vuitton opening in the coming months. Additionaly, it is just 25 minutes from the capital city of Bridgetown, and 40 minutes from Grantley Adams International Airport.

For more information on purchasing tickets for Rihanna’s ‘LOUD In Barbados’ tour, call 246-435-0670 or 866-280-4482.

For more information on Mango Bay, Barbados call 246-432-1384; fax: 246-432-5297; e-mail; or visit

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‘Summer Madness’ at 4 Rosen Hotels & Resorts in Orlando

June 24, 2011

Newly refurbished guest room at Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando.

When travelers to Orlando hear that they can stay at a newly renovated AAA Three Diamond hotel, for just $59.99 per night for two or more nights and receive a $25 gas card upon check-out, anytime between now and August 2011, they’ll surely say, “That’s madness!” And they’ll be right! It’s “Summer Madness” at four Orlando Rosen Hotels & ResortsQuality Inn International, Rosen Inn closest to Universal, Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando and Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista (LBV), where guests can enjoy insanely low rates, receive gas money for the drive home and enjoy plenty of money-saving perks, including a Kids Eat FREE program where kids age 9 and younger eat from the buffet at no charge with each paying adult.

To book online or for more details, visit or call  800-999-7300 and ask for the Free Gas Card package. This special package rate is based on double occupancy and does not include tax. A limited number of rooms are available at this special price. Not valid on existing reservations, for groups, during special events, holidays or conventions and this offer may not be combined with any other rate plan or discount.

Each of the hotels completed extensive renovations over the past year, including all new furniture that was made in America, as well as new carpet, window treatments, upgraded art work, luxurious pillow-top mattresses and stylish, yet comfortable bedding.  Private bathrooms now feature granite finish vanity and modern decorative lighting.

The Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista (8442 Palm Parkway, Orlando, FL 32819) features 640 guest rooms in four high-rise buildings as well as a playground and two swimming pools, one of which features the new “Ozzie the Otter Splash Zone.” A Comfort Zone Bar & Grill, a buffet restaurant and a deli market offer plenty of onsite dining options. The hotel offers guests complimentary, scheduled shuttle service to four Walt Disney World® theme parks, Universal Orlando®, SeaWorld Orlando®, Aquatica® and Orlando Premium Outlets (reservation required).

The 728-room Quality Inn International (7600 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819) offers two swimming pools and a children’s wading pool. The hotel features an all-you-care-to-eat breakfast and dinner buffet plus a deli with snacks and convenience items.

The Rosen Inn closest to Universal (6327 International Drive, Orlando, FL, 32819) offers 315 guest rooms, a swimming pool and four onsite dining choices including the Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, the Palms Dining Room (full American breakfast buffet) as well as International Pub and Lite-Bite Deli.

The Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando (9000 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819) offers 1,020 guest rooms in six high-rise buildings.  Three swimming pools and a sports bar offer downtime from the theme parks. Dining options include both breakfast and dinner restaurant buffets as well as the new Smoooth Java Coffee Bar™ featuring Starbucks® coffee products. Guests who need to do a little work while on vacation may also take advantage of the hotel’s business center.

The three International Drive properties offer guests complimentary, scheduled shuttle service to Universal Orlando®, SeaWorld Orlando®, Aquatica® and Wet ‘n Wild Orlando® (reservation required). The I-Ride Trolley stops in front of each hotel, providing low-cost transportation to more than 75 stops in the International Drive attractions area. The three hotels are conveniently located off I-4, on International Drive, in the heart of the attractions area and just 12-15 minutes from Orlando International Airport.

For more information about Rosen Hotels & Resorts four leisure properties, visit

See also:

Inside Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter and slideshow

Disney Still Has That Magic

Take a Journey through Colombia at 2011 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC

June 24, 2011

“Journey” to Colombia at this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival, located in Washington D.C. July 1-4 and July 7-11, from 11 am.-5:30 p.m. Beginning with the opening ceremony at 11 am on Thursday, June 30. the festival gives visitors the chance to indulge in the traditions, diversity and culture of Colombia.

This is the festival’s 45th year celebrating culture from all around the world, with this year focusing on Colombia, Peace Corps and Rhythm & Blues.

This year’s program will allow visitors to see, taste and feel the true colors and passion of Colombia. Visitors will be able to move beyond perceptions and discover the offering and experience Colombia has to offer as a booming travel destination.

“For many decades, Colombia was plagued by violence and insecurity fueled by illegal armed groups; but today, we have turned a corner and emerged from the shadows of our past to become a stronger democracy, an economic force in the region and a leader in international affairs,” said Colombian Ambassador to the United States Gabriel Silva.

“As a new day has dawned in Colombia, we now have an opportunity to shed light on the many positive steps our nation continues to make. With this new day comes the opportunity to open people’s eyes not only to the new Colombia of today, but also to the roots and richness of our cultural heritage. The Folklife Festival is by far the largest stage in the United States to showcase our culture, and we invite all to come to the National Mall to behold firsthand the profound beauty of our country, the warmth of our people, the richness of our traditions and the foundation of our cultural heritage.”

The Nature of Colombian Culture program at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival will showcase the real Colombia through lifestyles and traditions from all over Colombia. It will highlight the bio-cultural diversity of the country, along with how the environment is linked to their culture.

“Visitors will be able to see the biodiversity of Colombia in the Folklife Festival; however, the richness of the country is fully experienced when visiting the country, traveling its forests, mountains, savannas, beaches and enjoying the coffee triangle, parties, cities, and numerous possibilities of varied tourism available throughout the country,” said Maria Claudia Lacouture, President of Proexport.

Festival goers will have the opportunity to take a journey to South America and meet those individuals representing Colombia from nine different regions of the country.

To view the day by day schedule of the Colombia program at the 2011 Smithsonian Folklife Festival,visit:


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PortSide New York is Extraordinary Venue for Culture, Education on Brooklyn Waterfront

August 3, 2010
Union Street Preservation Society

Union Street Preservation Society performs in the TankerTunes concert series on the deck of the 1938 tanker, Mary K. Whalen, in the Atlantic Basin of Red Hook, Brooklyn © 2010 Karen Rubin/

New York City has a myriad of unusual venues for performances – from free Friday evening concerts at the American Folk Museum in Manhattan to concerts under the Westside Highway at the Boat Basin –  but one of the most unusual has just opened: a 1938 oil tanker, the Mary K. Whalen, “parked” at least for now, at PortSide New York, a newly created “bluespace” at Pier 11, Atlantic Basin in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

The tanker is the setting for a summer series of TankerTunes, concerts with a water theme. The first of these, on Friday, July 30, titled “The Songs of Lewis & Clark, and Other American Roots” featured Sara Bouchard who has set portions of the journals of Lewis & Clark to folk music, and the Union Street Preservation Society blue grass string band,  featuring David Leiberman (guitar/vocals), Sara Bouchard (mandolin/vocals), Alex Borsody (dobro/banjo) and Jason Bertone (bass) (

The atmosphere is special: you walk the gangplank onto the tanker’s top deck where folding chairs are set up. You are immediately struck by a view of the Statue of Liberty, standing out from the dark of New York harbor, and every now and then, the lighted form of a Staten Island ferry gliding by. To one side are the docks where container ships are loaded, and beyond where we are tied up, is where the Queen Mary, one of the largest ships in the world, takes on passengers.

During the day, this is a bustling container port. But here, on a summer night, it is mostly quiet and peaceful – except for an occasional horn – and the music of the guitar, mandolin, dobro and bass and vocals heralding the water-borne explorations of early adventurers.

The TankerTunes concerts are  just one of the many different kinds of programs that are being offered day and night at PortSide. There are also TankerTalks – readings and talks on the deck, TankerTime, which is a place to hang out on the deck; TankerTours of the historic vessel which is also a ThinkTank venue to contemplate waterfront policy and planning.

PortSide’s founder and director Carolina Salguero has a vision: “The seam between water and land should be a porous membrane with people and things coming and going across it. Not only would that make the most useful waterfront, it would also make the most interesting and fun one.”

Salguero comes to this project having been a photojournalist specializing in the waterfront, and a lifelong sailor and boatsman.

She envisions PortSide New York as a maritime hub and cultural space, providing “out-of-the-box” educational, community-based and cultural programs in various locations, including educational programs to teach marine trades.

With 600 feet of pier plus 6500 indoor space, Portside New York will host visiting historic vessels, charter and excursion boats and provide a rest area for local workboats.

The centerpiece ” is the tanker Mary A. Whalen – 172 ft. long, it was involved in a historic lawsuit which went to the Supreme Court in 1975. The ruling in “United States v. Reliable Transfer Co” established that, in marine accidents, damages should be apportioned according to blame. Before this, damages were split 50/50 regardless, and those at fault could shirk the financial consequences of their actions (something to think about after the BP/Transocean/Halliburton calamity in the Gulf of Mexico). Now, the tanker serves as an “ambassador” for BlueSpace

Salguero envisions future programs: including PortSide BlueSpace Tours, where you take a ferry form Atlantic Basin and hear professional planners and port people describe what’s doing on the BlueSpace.

PortSide New York was launched to engage with and help shape a major movement for the re-planning of New York city’s waterfront (the city’s first-ever City of Water Day was held July 24).

“Our mission is to create better use of the BlueSpace, the water, NYC’s overlooked ‘sixth’ borough. All our programs relate to water in some way.” She adds, “We were designed to be a place, not a ship.”

For more information and schedules, contact PortSide New York, PO Box 19S, Red Hook Station, Brooklyn, NY 11231, 917-414-0565,, email

–Karen Rubin/Travel Features Syndicate

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Bethlehem, PA Hosts 27th Annual Musikfest, Free Festival Featuring 300 Acts on 14 Stages, Aug 6-15

July 25, 2010

Over the course of 10 days, from Aug 6-15, some 300 musical acts will be showcased on 14 stages throughout Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for the 27th edition of Muskfest, a  free musical extravaganza  held each August.

Musikfest has grown from a small community event started in 1984 to one of the nation’s largest free music festivals. Each year, more than a million people descend on the city’s historic downtown to enjoy a kaleidoscope of sensational sounds from artists and musicians who hail from every corner of North America.

At this year’s festival, more than 300 different performers will take to 14 different stages – 11 of them free – woven throughout the city’s charming downtown district, delighting audiences with musical styles ranging from Afrobeat to Zydeco. Visitors can wander down cobblestone walkways, past gorgeous 18th century buildings and through the lush, green city parks to discover sultry salsa dancers, impromptu jam sessions and singer-songwriters accompanied only by their guitar and the words in their heart.

Headlining this year’s festival at the Sands RiverPlace stage are Counting Crows’ Traveling Circus and Medicine Show featuring Augustana Aug. 6, Norah Jones Aug. 7, Martina McBride Aug. 8, Lynyrd Skynyrd Aug. 9, Heart Aug. 10, The Doobie Brothers Aug. 11, Styx with Blue Öyster Cult Aug. 12, Adam Lambert with Orianthi Aug. 13, Selena Gomez with special guests JLS and Hot Chelle Rae Aug. 14 and Sublime with Rome, with special guests The Dirty Heads and The Movement Aug. 15.

At the Musikfest Performing Arts Series, audiences can dance to the free-flowing, improvisational music of the Grateful Dead, Aug. 9,  performed by Dead tribute Dark Star Orchestra  and experience the unique sound of rising alt-country stars The Avett Brothers on Aug. 11.  World-class artists abound at the PNC Bank Candlelight Concert Series, with performances such as “The Music of Simon & Garfunkel” by A.J. Swearingen and Jonathan Beedle Aug. 6, the jazzy Joe Lovano and John Scofield Quartet Aug. 7, legendary folk singer Richie Havens Aug. 8, all-female Celtic group Cherish the Ladies Aug. 12, rock legend Dave Mason Aug. 13 and country’s Suzy Bogguss Aug. 14.

Great music is also found in abundance on the festival’s 11 free stages, where visitors can see nationally-known blues, rock, world and swing acts, as well as up-and-coming artists that are sure to surprise with their talents and musicianship. For example, on Aug. 11-12 audiences will be treated to Toronto-based Elvis Bossa Nova, which offers quirky and eccentric arrangements of classic Elvis Presley tunes. Experience “Viva Las Vegas,” “Hound Dog,” “I’m All Shook Up” and “Are You Lonesome Tonight” in a completely different way as vibraphone, electric guitar, drums and bass breathe new and unique life into Presley’s hits.  And on Aug. 12 Lachi, a quartet of legally-blind alt rockers fronted by the talented vocalist of the same name, takes to the stage. Don’t miss this dynamic mix of impassioned vocals and original tunes as this group shares its inspired vision for music.

Just a few of the many other artists that audiences can experience for free at the festival include rising funk and R&B star Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue on Aug. 11-12, New York City’s sensational George Gee Swing Orchestra Aug. 7, 18-time Grammy Award-winning polka legend Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra Aug. 7, Texas blues-rocker Chris Duarte Aug. 11, former Dispatch singer Pete Francis Aug. 10 and the multi-WC Handy Award winning and Grammy-nominated Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers, who dish out a groovy mix of West Coast and Chicago-style blues, on Aug. 8.

While music is the main focus of Musikfest, it’s hardly the only thing guests will find at the world-class event.  Forty-five vendors serve up a wealth of delectable foods and decadent desserts, while 50 of the nation’s finest artisans are on hand showcasing jewelry, handmade crafts and home décor items. Family fun is found around every corner, with dozens of delightful children’s performers, art & craft activities and timely appearances by entertaining buskers, amazing street performers who present logic-defying escape tricks, funky skateboard feats and marvelous magic acts, all in an effort to elicit shrieks, oohs and aahs from the crowds.

Musikfest 2010 hours are 5-11 p.m. Aug. 6 and noon-11 p.m. Aug. 7-15. For more information or tickets to the Sands RiverPlace, Performing Arts Series or PNC Bank Candlelight Concert Series shows, visit or call 610-332-3378.

ArtsQuest is a Bethlehem, PA-based nonprofit dedicated to presenting music, arts, cultural experiences and educational and outreach programs that aid in economic development, urban revitalization and community enrichment. Through festivals such as its flagship event, Musikfest™, and the Banana Factory® cultural arts and education center, ArtsQuest’s programming currently reaches more than 1.3 million people annually.

ArtsQuest is furthering its mission of celebrating arts and culture through the development of the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks. The 65,000-square-foot building, set to open in May 2011, will feature live music, independent and scientific films, new festivals and community celebrations year-round, reaching an additional 750,000 people each year.

For more information on ArtsQuest, visit or call 610-332-1300.