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Archive for August, 2011

Brew Fest in Wyoming

By Linda Tancs

Wyoming’s official state microbrewery competition will be held this Saturday, rain or shine, at Kathy Glode Park from 1-5 pm.  To the winner go the spoils–that is, the coveted Saratoga Steinley Cup.  And that ain’t no bull.  But while we’re on the subject, you can mosey on over to the Saratoga Bullfest at nearby Buck Springs Rodeo Arena. The Bullfest is an exciting bull riders-only event and will feature 30 of the region’s top cowboys.

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Hamburger Heaven in Ohio

By Linda Tancs

America’s oldest hamburger chain is White Castle, founded in 1921 by a short-order cook and an insurance executive in Wichita, Kansas.  In those days, the duo’s little steamed burger sold for five cents.  We’ve come a long way, baby.  There’s an uncontested record for largest hamburger at 5000 pounds in Seymour, Wisconsin.  You’d need a lot more burger than that to feed the average American his or her’s three burgers per week.  If all this hamburger trivia is getting you hungry, then indulge yourself at this weekend’s National Hamburger Festival in Akron, Ohio at Lock 3 Park.  As you might expect, there’s a hamburger eating contest or two.  Try eating your way through bun and burger for 10 minutes or bob for burgers out of a kiddie pool filled with ketchup.  Either way, you’re on your way to becoming burger king. 

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Leave It to Beaver

By Linda Tancs

Everyone knows that beavers are industrious little creatures, prolific builders of dams to protect themselves against predators such as coyotes, wolves, and bears.   Although dams can be very beneficial in restoring wetlands, they can also cause property damage from flooding.  So what’s a property owner to do?  How about using our furry friends’ handiwork as ceiling art?  That’s what you’ll find at Beaver Lodge Cottage in Winvian, Connecticut, where a re-assembled dam adorns the ceiling above the bed.  A new spin on applied art, indeed.

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Follow the Vines Along Delaware River Valley

By Linda Tancs

In summer it’s easy to see why New Jersey earns its moniker as The Garden State, offering a bumper crop of tomatoes, sweet corn, berries, plums, peaches and other delectables.  Like wine.  That’s right.  Move over, Tuscany.  You can sample and experience a bevy of award-winning fine wines of Hunterdon and Mercer counties, just one hour from New York City or Philadelphia.  The Delaware River Valley Wine Trail boasts four vineyards:  Old York Cellars, Unionville, Hopewell Valley and Terhune Orchards.  Tasting rooms open at noon on weekends at Old York and Terhune and every day at Unionville and Hopewell Valley.  Hopewell’s tasting room is a destination in itself, featuring a brick oven pizza stove and a wine bar overlooking the glorious vineyards.  Check for special events at each location, too, like wine and music under the stars.  With dozens of varietals awaiting your taste buds, you’ll be enjoying the ambience for years to come.

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Watermelon Olympics in Arkansas

By Linda Tancs

The farmers in Hope, Arkansas, are proud to be growers of the world’s largest watermelons. In fact, they’ve been breaking world records since the 1930s, and an area farmer’s 268.8 pound melon still retains the title as the world’s largest watermelon in the Guinness World Records. So what better place to celebrate the summer fruit than in the famous birthplace of President Bill Clinton, among others. You needn’t be spitting mad to enter the melon spitting contest, but a little bit of oomph could go a long way toward landing you in the winner’s circle at this year’s Watermelon Festival in Fair Park today through Saturday. Or give it a toss at the Watermelon Olympics. Or just plain eat it. After all, watermelon has excellent levels of vitamins A and C and a good level of vitamin B6, not to mention the water content. Perfect for a hot summer day.

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Celebrate the Huckleberry in Montana

By Linda Tancs

In Trout Creek, Montana, the huckleberry–that purple berry resembling a blueberry–reigns supreme.  So much so, in fact, that the legislature proclaimed Trout Creek the huckleberry capital of the State.  This small northwestern town is proud to celebrate their prized bounty each year with a Huckleberry Festival.  That means, of course, you can sample the huckleberry in every food imaginable, like ice cream cones, pizza, cheesecake, hot dogs and pancakes.  Far from just another food fest, the annual event includes such activities as a 5K run, dancing under the stars, karaoke, dog agility demonstration, a pageant, an auction, children’s activities, a horseshoe contest, and an interfaith worship service.  Don’t miss the fun between 12 and 14 August. 
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UK Dining Discounts

By Linda Tancs

There’s a dining revolution taking place in the UK.  A Tastecard membership gives you 50% off the total food bill or 2 meals for the price of one at all 5,000+ participating restaurants. You can always order from the full a la carte menu, so your choice will not be restricted in any way.  Buy the card online or at the Visitor Centre at Regent Street. 

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