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Archive for February, 2011

The Fur Flies in Alaska

By Linda Tancs

An event celebrating winter’s transition is Alaska’s Fur Rendezvous, also known as Fur Rondy.  Fur in this instance refers to fur swappers, who would meet at winter’s end and exchange their pelts. Held in Anchorage since the 1930s, the event includes sled dog rides, craft shows, a carnival, reindeer runs and a blanket toss.  Of particular note are the Rondy pins (as in lapel pins) commemorating each year’s festival, a popular collector’s item.  This is also home to the World Championship Sled Dog Races.  Enjoy it through 6 March.

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The Carnival Crawl in Venice

By Linda Tancs

Italy’s Pre-Lenten Carnival in Venice evokes costume balls and ornate masks and…pub crawls?  Apparently, that’s the missing link during these festivities, so a pub crawl will kick off Carnival season on 26 February at the foot of the Academia bridge, just in front of the Academia museum at 7p.m.  You’ll visit five local bars know as Bacari in the Venetian dialect.  In each bar you will be offered a glass of local wine and, at the final bar, a shot of grappa.  If it’s your birthday the tour is free, so please bring some ID.  Costume dress, of course.

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Internet Science

By Linda Tancs

There are any number of science fairs occurring at any given time around the world, but armchair travelers may appreciate the advent of the first Global Science Fair hosted by Google.  Google is looking for the best and brightest young scientists from around the world to submit their earth-changing experiments before 4 April.  Open to students aged 13 to 18 from around the world working on their own or in a team of two or three, the grand prize is a 10 day trip to the Galapagos Islands with National Geographic Expeditions.  Ready, set, experiment!

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Dominican Republic is Attractive to Pensioners

By Linda Tancs

The Dominican Republic is known for baseball superstars, sugar cane and cigars.  But did you know that  the economy has doubled in size since 1990 according to the President’s address at the 2010 UN Millenium Development Goals Summit?  The government recognizes that foreign inputs of currency or capital contribute to the development and collective well being of the population, so foreign pensioners can establish exemptions from the payment of tax on dividends, interest, realty and other property as residents of the Dominican Republic.  Of course, if you choose to work, you pay local taxes.  But why would you do that when you can laze away on the beaches, watch the whales, golf, or venture among 16 national parks, nine natural monuments and six scientific reserves?  The choice is yours.

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The Power of Words in Adelaide

By Linda Tancs

Sustainable word energy.  That’s the new buzz phrase at the Fringe Festival in Adelaide, Australia, now through 13 March.   In the fabulous X-Space of the Adelaide College of the Arts, the free spoken word event allows visitors to get into slams, workshops, and improvs to, as they put it, spout, tout or simply shout!  Go on, get a word in.

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A Hare-Raising Experience in San Francisco

By Linda Tancs

The rabbit, or hare, is the fourth animal in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac.  Welcome to the year of the rabbit.  San Francisco’s Chinese New Year Festival will culminate on 19 February with an evening parade from Market and Second Street to Kearny and Jackson.  Named one of the top ten parades in the world by the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA), the San Francisco march is one of the grandest night illuminated parades in the country (think: Disney), not to mention one of the largest celebrations of Asian culture outside of Asia.  Parade highlights include elaborate floats, lion dancers, folk dancers,  Chinese acrobats and a 250 foot long Golden Dragon (“Gum Lung”) flowing along the parade route.  Happy Year 4709.

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Ridgway Rendezvous

By Linda Tancs

The art of wood carving takes center stage at the International Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous in Ridgway, Pennsylvania through 26 February.  Previous entries have included life-sized bears, owls and other animals, statues, bench works, human-like depictions and gargantuan works of art.  According to a founder of the event, chainsaw carving will do for art what the electric guitar did for music.  Considering that the event is 12 years’ strong, maybe you should stop by and see if you agree.

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