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Archive for January, 2011

D.C. Car Show Welcomes Snooki

By Linda Tancs

At the Washington D.C. Auto Show at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, fast cars merge with pop culture.  See Jersey Shore star Snooki today from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  The show, running until 6 February, features the usual range of production and concept vehicles.  Even more interesting is The Advanced Technology SuperHighway, a 65,000 square foot showcase of the latest innovations in safety and sustainability.  The event, displaying more green cars than any other domestic, tier-one auto show, illustrates advancements in electric, diesel, natural gas, advanced petroleum, biofuels, ethanol, hydrogen and safety technologies.  The organizers want you to get out, see cars and have fun.  No doubt you’ll learn something, too.

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Northern Lights Festival

By Linda Tancs

Nordlysfestivalen (The Northern Lights Music Festival) begins in Tromsø, Norway tomorrow through 5 February.  About 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the annual event is known for musical performances in various genres.  This year is no exception.  One of the festival’s highlights is the performance of The State Hermitage Orchestra from St. Petersburg, slated to perform Russian music and to host the Opera Gala, a concert introducing two of the finest young singers from the Mariinsky Theatre in a collaboration with singers from the Norwegian Opera.  Later in the festival, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra will visit Norway for the first time ever.  And, of course, there are those northern lights–aurora borealis–presiding over it all.

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Grape Fest in Naples

By Linda Tancs

They’re uncorking a new decade in Naples, Florida at the annual wine festival from 28 to 30 January.  This year’s honored vintner is Domaine Serene of Dayton, Oregon.  Chic eats will be available from top chefs like Lee Hefter of Spago in Beverly Hills, Michael Anthony of New York’s Gramercy Tavern, Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia in Sydney, Australia and Art Smith of Chicago’s Table Fifty-Two.  More than a gastronomical delight, the luxury event benefits the Naples Children & Education Foundation, which supports charitable programs for underprivileged and at risk children in Collier County.  Since its inception in 2001, the festival has raised more than $82.5 million for children in need.  What better reason to raise a glass.

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A Welsh Valentine

By Linda Tancs

Spooning your sweetie has a meaning all its own, particularly today, the Welsh equivalent to Valentine’s Day.  Saint Dwynwen’s Day celebrates the patron saint of Welsh lovers.  Like its 14 February equivalent, it’s a day for gift giving.  And what better gift could there be than a Welsh lovespoon, handcarved in wood with symbols of love like interlocking hearts and wedding bells.  Wishing you all love and friendship.

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Underground Cuisine

By Linda Tancs

Now six years on, the folks in Eugene, Oregon are celebrating truffles, that subterranean delight in use since Greek and Roman times.  The Oregon Truffle Festival takes place from 28 to 30 January, the first of its kind in North America celebrating one of the world’s most expensive goods.  With the finest climate for cultivating truffles outside Europe, the festival’s Grand Truffle Dinner on Saturday night features Oregon’s native winter white and black truffles in a five course meal paired with Oregon wines.  The Valley River Inn provides frequent shuttle service to and from Eugene airport.

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Family Friendly Las Vegas

By Linda Tancs

It’s easy to think of Vegas as an adult playground.  But don’t forget all the kid-friendly details like Adventuredome at Circus Circus, the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay and the arcade at New York New York.  Hotel deals offering as much as 50% off mean the whole family can enjoy a Vegas jaunt.  And why not now, with temperatures averaging 14 degrees celsius.

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Beerseum Delights Visitors

By Linda Tancs

At one time Burton on Trent sported 33 breweries; one might say there was a tonic for whatever ales you (yes, pun intended).  A short walk from the rail station, the recently opened National Brewery Centre explores the evolution of brewing techniques from ancient times to today.  Hundreds of exhibits and rare artefacts display beer brewing techniques, and character performers serving samples of real ales in the Edwardian Bar or shoveling malt bring Burton’s glory days back to life.  Adding to the ambience is a collection of vehicles from horse-drawn drays to delivery wagons and special promotional vehicles, such as a 1920s Daimler bottle car that was built to deliver promotional materials to pubs.  The Shire horses are on winter holiday until 1 April, but there’s plenty else to evoke the days of old.  Buy an annual ticket for unlimited visits.

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