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Archive for June, 2011

The Oldest Continuous Celebration in the US

By Linda Tancs

For 226 years, the folks of Bristol, Rhode Island have been producing a Fourth of July celebration like no other.  Perhaps the most patriotic town in America, this year’s event promises to be “a unique American experience.”  The Fourth of July Ball on 2 July at Mt. Hope Farm kicks off the grand celebrations, followed by a highlight of the festivities, the Drum and Bugle Corps Competition, on 3 July at 7:00 p.m. at Mt. Hope High School.  Now in its 22nd year, the popular competition features top drum and bugle corps from the United States and Canada.  Fireworks commence at 9:30 p.m. at Bristol Harbor on 3 July, culminating with the annual Military, Civic and Firemen’s Parade on July 4th at Hope and High streets beginning at 10:30 a.m.  Best of all, you can have your own souvenir of the event by purchasing an Official Souvenir throughout the weekend, or get a limited edition coin by downloading the order form.  When they’re gone, they’re gone.  Better order yours now!

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Lots to Know About Louisville

By Linda Tancs

Louisville, Kentucky is home to the Kentucky Derby and the official American baseball bat.  That much a great majority of folks probably knows.  But there’s so much more going on there.  Did you know that one third of the world’s bourbon is made there?  Or that it’s home to the nation’s largest urban forest and the largest Victorian neighborhood?  It’s also the site of today’s annual Great Steamboat Race.  Beginning in 1963, the event has been a contest primarily between Louisville’s steamer, the Belle of Louisville, and New Orleans’ Delta Queen, both added to the National Historic Register in 1990. Since the Delta Queen’s conversion to a floating hotel in Tennessee, the Belle of Cincinnati replaced her in 2009.  The Battle of the Belles now includes a series of challenges and tasks throughout race day for the boats and their crews, culminating in the race down the Ohio River. Crowds in excess of 10,000 gather on the Indiana and Kentucky shorelines to cheer their favorite boat to victory.  May the best Belle win.

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Michigan’s Asparagus Trail

By Linda Tancs

In West Michigan, the trails are so good you could practically taste them.  Consider, for instance, the 22-mile Hart-Montague Trail State Park, Michigan’s first paved rail trail. Located mostly in Oceana County, this linear park travels through cherry and apple orchards, asparagus fields and ice cream stands.  Originally part of the Chicago and West Michigan Railroad, the trail connects John Gurney Park and the city of Hart with the twin cities of Montague and Whitehall.  Both ends of the trail have camping, lodging and places to eat.

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Preserving the Past in Alabama

By Linda Tancs

At Fort Rucker, Alabama, they preserve the past for the future.  That’s where you’ll find the Army Aviation Museum, exhibiting over 160 military aircraft, including one of the largest collections of military helicopters in the world.  Aviation students, researchers, and authors will love the library (available by appointment only), housing more than 1,600 technical and field manuals, more than 2,000 films, an aviation history reference section, and approximately 95,000 photographs.  Guided tours are available on request (call ahead to ensure that access to the installation is not restricted due to security requirements), and admission is free.

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Chicago’s Front Yard Food Fest

By Linda Tancs

Chicago’s Grant Park, at Michigan Avenue and Congress Drive, is dubbed Chicago’s “front yard.”  Maybe that’s because it’s large and centrally located, the perfect venue for a foodie fest attracting more than 2 million visitors each year.  The second largest tourist attraction in Illinois, the ten-day free event offers the usual fare (no pun intended) of top chops from Chicagoland’s best eateries, arts and crafts, music, chef demonstrations and lots of family fun in keeping with the current theme, America’s City Picnic.  Visit anytime between 24 June and 3 July.

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A Boatload of Religion

By Linda Tancs

When the friendly skies are not so friendly, passengers often take to prayer.  On the high seas, it’s likely the same scenario, particularly so if you happen to be on a religious-themed cruise.  One example is the upcoming Music Boat tour on Carnival’s Imagination.  Featuring today’s top Christian artists, the cruise beginning on 7 November promises to be inspirational.  But don’t take it on faith, check it out for yourself.

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Through the Looking Glass

By Linda Tancs

Stained glass, leaded glass, art glass–the possibilities are endless.  That’s what the folks at the Shanghai Museum of Glass want you to take away from their new museum celebrating the art and technology of glass making.  Boasting ancient and contemporary collections from around the world, the glass-encased facility includes a hot glass demonstration hall for those interested in understanding the process and performance of glass blowing.  Handle with care!

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