Seattle, Washington - For the Love of Coffee and Music

Though famous for its love of coffee, Seattle does not end on it alone. Seattle was named Emerald City with a rich culture which perfectly defines what it has become today. With an estimated population of 602,000 as of 2009, it had been ranked as one of the most literate cities with the highest percentage of college graduates in the State.

Seattle was settled by the Indian tribes: Duwamps and New York Alki. The city's present name was taken from the name of a chief of one of the two tribes, Sealth. Moving on to the timeline, Seattle has experienced sudden development and downfall a number of times. Their development was caused by the demand of their lumber industry and Klondike Gold Rush. These developments however preceded their downfall which included the Panic of 1893, a period of Depression and the World War.

With their rich culture and heritage, Seattle impressed the world with their performing arts. Among the famous ones include the Seattle Symphony Orchestra which existed for about a century. Other well acclaimed performing arts were the Seattle Opera, Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra and Pacific Northwest Ballet. The city also holds several festivals of chamber music arranged by the Seattle Chamber Music Society. Seattle's music society gave birth gave birth to what is known as the Seattle sound or popularly known as grunge which is a new genre classified under alternative rock. Seattle had been the home of outstanding artists around the world including Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana.

In accordance to their excellence in music, Seattle holds a series of festivals that showcase their talents. They have the Bumbershoot which exhibits their excellence in music and arts, Seattle Hemp fest which is attended annually by about a 100,000 people, and the must-see Bite of Seattle - a gay festival which is also one of the largest in the State. Seattle has a number of Museums and Galleries including Longhouse Museum, Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle Art Museum and Frye Art Museum which is for free. From these places, one will see bits and pieces of Seattle's history, and their excellence in the field of Arts.

You may also want to visit a list of famous landmarks found in Seattle. Some places on the list are the Space Needle, Columbia Center, Smith Tower, the first Starbucks and Seattle Central Library.

Seattle has well developed health and transportation systems consisting of a network of buses for the convenience of the people. They are now, however, trying to break away from automobiles and plan a shift to mass transit.

These facts prove that despite Seattle's downfalls, there are still evident periods of development that is clearly seen nowadays.

Woodstock Music and Arts Festival and the Baby Boomers

The Woodstock Music and Arts Festival was an event unlike anything else in the 20th century. Nearly 1/2 million young people gathered in upstate New York on a hot and rainy weekend in 1969 to watch one of the most impressive musical lineups in history. While what many people called a hippiefest, Woodstock was really both a cultural milestone and an end to an era.

In the late 60's the US was a divided nation...the Vietnam War had put people on two sides, pro war or anti war. We were called beatniks, bohemians, flower children, hippies etc, but whatever we were called, whatever we thought and however we felt, we were all driven by the beat of the music of the time.

Besides the 1/2 million people who converged on the site of Woodstock in Bethel, NY, countless others never made it past the 20 mile traffic gridlock leading to the site. Thousands just abandoned their cars and walked. Helicopters had to be rented to ferry the performers in. After the concert, Max Yasgur, who owned the site of the event, saw it as a victory of peace and love. He spoke of how nearly half a million people filled with possibilities of disaster, riot, looting, and catastrophe spent the three days with music and peace on their minds. Woodstock came at a time when the US was at a crossroad:True believers say it was the "capstone of an era devoted to human advancement." Cynics say it was a fitting and ridiculous end to an era of naiveté. Others say it was just a hell of a party. It was the Age of Aquarius and somehow, it all just fit. Woodstock has not been forgotten. In fact, it's one of the most enduring non Vietnam War related images of the sixties.

As part of the post war baby boom, we boomers now find ourselves in another incredible time, another crossroad. We are the largest group of people ever retiring within a space of just a few years. As the oldest of the boomers are just finding out, it isn't as easy as we thought it would be. The economy is awful and there is talk of cutting our Social Security and Medicare benefits when healthcare is so very expensive.

Legal issues of immense proportions also lay in the path to the golden years of old age. Trusts, wills, estates, guardianship issues, grandparent rights, etc. are all part of the legal maze we boomers must navigate to protect ourselves, our entitlements and our rights.

The Galway Arts Festival Is Ireland's Biggest Arts Showcase

Galway is a city on the west coast of Ireland and is well known throughout the world as being the venue for the Galway Races, a seven-day horse racing festival. And who hasn't heard the song 'Galway Bay' made famous by Bing Crosby?

But in recent years, Galway has appeared on the world stage as a centre of culture and the arts. This is largely because of the success of The Galway Arts Festival which is now a two-week event and is one of Ireland's biggest international festivals.

It was founded in 1978 and over its 33 years it has grown in size and reputation and now showcases many top international artists and Irish performers in music (popular, jazz, classical and traditional), theatre, visual arts, dance, comedy and much more. The Arts Festival has been instumental in putting Galway on the world map as a cultural centre of excellence.

Over the years, some of the famous artists who have featured at the festival include: Philip Glass, Primal Scream, Blondie, Joni Mitchell, The Kronos Quartet, David Hockney and The New York Dolls.

Theatre is a huge part of the festival and every year there are performances by many of the big Irish and International Theatre Companies. Macnas, which was founded in 1986, is a local theatre company which stages performances in the theatre but it has become famous for its street performances which can have up to 400 participants. The annual Macnas Parade at The Galway Arts Festival is a fabulous spectacle which celebrates fantasy, history and creativity on the streets. The local Druid Theatre Company has become a major force in the theatre world and has put on performances all over the world. The Abbey Theatre as well as many companies from abroad put on performances at the festival.

Dance is another major element of the festival and visiting international theatre and dance companies have included The Royal National Theatre, The Royal Court, Michael Clark Dance Company and Hofesh Shechter Dance Company.

In 2010 over 160,000 people attended events during the two weeks and a large proportion of these were visitors to Galway. Some of the highlights in 2010 were: Chekov's 'Uncle Vanya' performed by Bristol Old Vic Theatre Company, 'Freefall' performed by The Corn Exchange Theatre, 'Political Mother' (Part dance show, part heavy-rock gig) by Hofesh Shechter Company, The Human League (Synth pop's first international superstars), Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, The Divine Comedy, Rodrigo Y Gabriela and of course the spectacular Macnas Parade.

The 2011 Galway Arts Festival is scheduled for 11th to 24th of July and, despite the country's economic difficulties, huge crowds are expected again. Pop icons of the 70s and 80s, 'Blondie' are due to make a reappearance, having already put on a dazzling performance there in 2008 with Debbie Harry singing some of her great hits including 'Heart of Glass' and 'Hanging on the Telephone'. Other acts scheduled for this year include Bell X1, an Irish rock band with a reputation as brilliant live performers. Another huge act due to perform is US hip hop legends De La Soul who will be joined by the jazz, funk and New Orleans sounds of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.

The full programme for the Galway Arts Festival will be announced on May 26th but already it is looking like another great success. Intending visitors would be advised to book their accommodation as early as possible because all hotels and bed and breakfasts tend to be fully booked for those two weeks. Some visitors remain in the Galway area after the festival because the Galway Races, which is a seven-day event comes almost immediately after the Arts Festival.

40 Years Later Hair the Musical is on With the Hairy Revolution!

Los Angeles, CA, USA August 15, 2008. Amongst the protests of antiwar and economic uncertainty growing stronger with no end in site, I would like draw attention to artwork from the 1960's that has made an impact on my life. Remember the day glow posters and black lights? Remember the rock art from The Fillmore play bills we all saved? Remember the image from Hair the American Tribal Love Rock Musical? All these and more will always hang in my mind as remembrance of a time of innocence. Drugs, Sex and Rock and Roll were a part of most of the baby boomers lives when we were not afraid to get stoned and attend an antiwar peace protest. I will always remember protesting the Vietnam War in NYC and a blurry instance of running over the rocks and hills in Central Park when we were chased by police at a Schaefer Music Festival Concert in Central Park. We can all relive the experiences of going to Led Zeppelin, Edgar Winter, Johnny Winter, Black Sabbath, and Grand Funk Rail Road concerts...what a time we had....Quaaludes, Benzedrine, Tuinals, Seconals. Boones Farm anyone? Though the majority of of us are all clean and sober is still fun to reminisce those great days.
The memories I have of the Hippie movement are resonating more today than ever with the revival of Hair the American Tribal Love Rock Musical free concert at Central Park's Delacorte Theater. The message is resonating more strongly with the youth and young adults of the world today than perhaps ever before. When asked recently about the resonance and resurgence of this iconic symbol on today's young adults, the plays legendary producer, Michael Butler, answered emphatically, "It isn't coming back, it never left, Hair's message is more relevant today than its ever been. Over 11 million people have seen the play, an estimated quarter of a billion have heard the music. It's in dozens of productions around the world as we speak. In fact, a third of all American actors have had some association with Hair. Its been a force for good for almost four decades."

The Age of Aquarius times of running around as free as a bird was a time in history when we lived in the moment without a worry in the world. Hair, the first ever rock opera, opened in 1968 and all of us would travel into the city form Long Island and New Jersey to participate in this communal offering giving us an insight into the decade of the flower children which we were all very much a part of. It shocked audiences for its lyrics and subject matter, as well as onstage nudity. The original script contains a nude scene, but it is not essential to the plot and individual productions may or may not choose to include it. The original script also contains some racist language which again, may be edited on today's stage.

As reported recently in "USA Today" the New York based trend forecasting think tank, The Trends Research Institute, found something unique in American history, a new generation looking back in time for inspiration... specifically, the 1960's.

"Hair" grew out of a new downtown ethos embraced by the radical - and charismatic - Joseph Papp, who in the mid-'60s was adding the Public Theater to his New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park. After a brief run at a nightclub called Cheetah, the show was picked up by Michael Butler, heir to a Chicago paper fortune. He had it restaged by Tom O'Horgan, and readied for Broadway in 1968.

"As I look through my old posters, play bills, and concert flyers I've collected through the years I have such fond memories of growing up in the 60's. As a young girl living in Southern California life was quite enjoyable. Saving my allowance to buy the latest albums, going to was all so exciting. One of my most happy memories is seeing the touring production of the musical Hair...and I still have the play booklet. Over the past few years I have been collecting Hair posters from all over the world, in different languages from different Tribes! The best poster in my collection is the reproduction of the original from the 1968 Broadway opening There is something mesmerizing about the aura photographed around the actors head. I love the colors of this art piece of which promote brotherly love and world peace.".....states Myrle Atchley from Mississippi.

There are many great 60's pop artists; I love Andy Warhol, John Van Hamersveld, Roy Lichtenstein, and Bob Massy. There is something really special about the work that Russoli and Rodriquez created for Hair. They were experimenting the aura technique in photography. When approached by Producer Michael Butler with the idea to create the marketing for the new play, he introduced them to Steve Curry, one of the original actors in the soon to open Broadway production of Hair. The play opened on April 29th at The Biltmore Theater in NYC and sold out every night and ran for 1,750 performances. I was 16 years old at West Hempstead High School when my girlfriend's mom took us into Manhattan to see the show.

Forty years later, I love the art hanging on my wall. Frame and hang and enjoy as art takes you through the memories and the journey of our lives.

Art imitates life and as we witness today's youth letting there hair down and getting that what we lived through in the sixties parallels with what is happening in the world today.

On with the Hairy revolution.

North Side Atlanta's Fall Arts Festivals

Autumn is a popular time of year to attend an outdoor arts festival in the Atlanta area. Festivals are scheduled around town nearly every weekend in October, as residents and visitors look for ways to enjoy the cooler weather. Many people are ready to get a head start on their holiday shopping. Here are some of the popular arts festivals on the north side of town.

The Norcross Art Fest is scheduled for October 6-7, 2012 in the historic downtown area. This two day festival is one of best juried arts festivals in the Southeast, featuring more than 180 artists. Attendees will also enjoy a variety of live musical entertainment as well as a Kids Korner with crafts, games, and inflatables. Festival admission is free, and hours are 10am-6pm on Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sunday. Shuttle service is available from Jefferson Plaza at 3169 Holcomb Bridge Road and Norcross First United Methodist Church, located at 2500 Beaver Ruin Road.

The Harvest Square Arts and Crafts Festival will take place on October 20 from 9am-6pm. The annual festival is located on the historic square in downtown Marietta. Adults can shop at the arts and crafts booths while the kids enjoy Halloween Happenings. There will be carnival games, a children's costume contest with prizes, and a pet costume contest. Local schools, businesses, and civic organizations will display scarecrows all around the square. Admission to the festival is free, and free parking is available at the Cobb County Parking Garage on Cherokee Street.

The Fall Jonquil Festival 2012 is scheduled for October 27-28 on the Village Green in downtown Smyrna. The festival will feature 175 artists in the Artist Market. Attendees can also enjoy a Fresh Harvest Market, musical entertainment, a kids' zone, and shows by master puppeteer Peter Hart. Festival hours are 10am-6pm on Saturday and noon-5pm on Sunday. Admission is free.

The Johns Creek Arts Festival is scheduled for the same weekend, October 27-28. This exciting new festival is an expansion of Arts on the Creek. The arts festival will feature 100 artisans showcasing their work. Categories will include paintings, pottery, jewelry, glass, metalwork, and more. The kids will enjoy a pet parade, children's costume parade, and a kids' zone with rides and inflatables. The Johns Creek Symphony will perform at 7pm Saturday night, followed by fireworks. Festival hours are 10am-6pm on Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sunday. The event will be held in the meadow across the street from Atlanta Athletic Club on Medlock Bridge Road.

The Indian Wells Art Festival Is a World Class Event and Perfect Stop on Your Palm Springs Vacation

On your next vacation to Palm Springs and the California desert cities, be sure to stop in the Indian Wells Tennis Garden's annual Art Festival. They say Indian Wells is the place were art is happening and when I last visited the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, a tennis facility known world - wide for its pro tennis events, I could plainly see why. The annual Indian Wells Art Festival takes place each year in early April when the weather in the desert is perfect and the flowers are in bloom. There are over two hundred award winning artists in booths set out over the massive event facility that is the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The transform this fabulous oasis in the desert with a spectacular splash of colors and textures in a variety of shapes and forms, revealing the hundreds of pieces of one-of-a-kind artwork that is available for purchase to art enthusiasts and shoppers.

Some of the offerings that while strolling by my eyes gazed upon included paintings, drawings, ceramic creations, glass, photography, sculptures that dressed the senses, jewelry, apparel along with hand-crafted wares and other forms of art in all sizes and shapes. What make the venue and the event special, at least to me, is that I was also able to meet many of the artists in person. They spent the time to talk to me about their creative inspiration and their work. This is a three-day event and there is plenty to see. You don't have to be an art aficionado in order to enjoy the Indian Wells Art Festival. The festival is about ten year old and grows in size and prestige with each passing year.

One of the more popular activities and one that I personally enjoyed, was on-site demonstrations of art in the making. Everything from sand sculptures, glass blowing, painting, weaving and large scale stone sculpting. There is also larger than life mural painting, wood carving, and pottery throwing which has to be seen to be enjoyed. With a celebrated reputation for it's high quality and wide variety of fine art and quality craft, I understood why the festival has been ranked one of the "100 Best Fine Art Shows in the Country" by Sunshine Artist magazine as well as being the "Best of the Best" by Palm Springs Life magazine. It is also ranked in the top 100 in both fine art fairs and fine craft shows by Greg Lawler's Art Source Book. After all the sight-seeing and art shopping, my taste buds were throbbing. So I stepped over to the Gourmet Market Place that was filled with gourmet specialties. The artisan village environment also includes an art market that offers art products, sidewalk chalk drawing, children's activities, wine tasting, and live musical entertainment.

If you are looking for a day of sun and beauty, this is a place where one can acquire the affordable and capture the collectible all while enjoying the perfect weather that is Palm Springs in April.

Austin Area Festivals - Music and More

What do music, chili peppers, bamboo, wine, watermelon, ice cream and Eeyore the donkey from Winnie the Pooh have in common?

They all have festivals devoted to them in Austin or nearby towns. In fact, there are so many festivals of all kinds in the Austin area that it is difficult to keep track of them. The Austin American-Statesman apparently gave up trying to keep count back in 2004, judging by a recent visit to the festivals page on their current website a quick count there reveals there were more than 50 festivals in existence then, and the compilers of the list noted that those were just some of the festivals.

Other festivals have appeared since then. The first-ever Pachanga Latino Music Festival, for instance, was held on May 31st of this year. The second annual Ice Cream Festival will take place on August 9.

Of course, everyone knows about the Austin City Limits Music Festival and the South by Southwest Conferences and Festivals. Those events feature what Austin has become known for around the world; great live music. Tens of thousands of music lovers flock to these events to see the international, national and regional acts that they showcase. These events bring in huge amounts of money to the Austin economy. In fact, SXSW is Austin's highest money-making public event, as reported by Wikipedia.

There are many more music festivals in the Austin area as well. The Old Settler's Reunion in nearby Driftwood, Texas attracts some of the premier national bluegrass and Americana acts, as well as many of the best regional Texas music groups and songwriters. This festival happens every April and attracts thousands of music fans to the beautiful grounds at the Salt Lick Pavilion and Camp Ben McCulloch.

The Reggae Festival, also in April, and the Austin Celtic Festival in November are just two more of the events held in Austin that feature music as their main raison d'etre. Of course, many other festivals include music in their programs as well. Some of these include Viva Cinco de Mayo in late April/early May, the Austin Fine Arts Festival, at the beginning of April, and the Old Pecan Street Fall Arts Festival in late September.

This latter event began more than 30 years ago to provide family friendly, free admission venue to collect arts and crafts from local and national artists and artisans, experience live music, theater plays, comedy, magic, poetry, film, parades, and take part of a long standing Austin tradition. More than 300,000 people attend this event every year, and festival promoters estimate it generates more than $43 million for the local economy.

Another long-standing, grass-roots festival is Eeyore's Birthday Party which occurs every year in late April at Pease Park. According to Austin American-Statesman writer Anita Powell. The party has grown considerably since its inception in 1963 by a group of University of Texas students. The free-spirited celebration usually features Maypole dancing, costume contests, a hippie queen pageant, food, birthday cake and entertainment by local bands. This festival, perhaps more than any other, reflects the spirit that Austin is famous (or infamous) for and that inspired the unofficial slogan for the city: "keep Austin weird".

What about bamboo, wine, watermelon and chili peppers? The Bamboo Festival is presented at Zilker Botanical Gardens in late August every year and features "all things bamboo". There are at least two important wine festivals in the area: the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival in early April and the Austin Wine Festival in late May. The Chili Pepper Fiesta is held in the town of Elgin, just east of Austin, on the second Saturday in September. The Luling Watermelon Thump in June garners national attention every year with its watermelon seed spitting contest.

All these festivals reflect what the city of Austin has been about through most of its history. It fosters and encourages creativity, diversity, freedom of expression and the celebration of the hard work and enterprise of its citizens.

Local Festivals - A Great Way to Build Your Jewelry Business

Springtime until Fall, many local communities feature fun, exciting, outdoor festivals that are widely attended. These festivals range from local church carnivals to the art and wine tasting festivals that are popular in California. Most festivals allow local vendors to set up booths to sell clothing, jewelry, art or crafts - and these booths are a huge draw for the festivals as well as a great opportunity for the vendors!

If you have been working eBay and holding home parties to expand your jewelry business, attending local festivals is another great channel to build sales.

You can obtain a list of festivals from your local Chamber of Commerce, or newspaper, and along with the festival information, a contact person is usually listed who can give you a price for booth space as well as the rules and regulations your booth must abide by. If you can, try to get statistics on prior year's attendance, this will help you make a decision between festivals if two fall on the same date. Usually the first and last festivals in any season are the most widely attended.

Location is key when choosing a festival booth! Locating your booth close to the food booths or to a music stage is sure to increase traffic and bring you more potential buyers.

Jewelry MUST have appropriate lighting in order to sparkle and attract clientele. When creating your booth, be sure to showcase your prize pieces with attractive displays that are well lit at just the right angle.

Have plenty of business cards available with your web site clearly printed on the front. Some attendees may not be able to afford jewelry at that time, but will remember you when a birthday or other event arises requiring a gift - if you make it easy for them to remember you.

An easy-to-use credit card machine will also increase your sales at the event, as many vendors accept cash only. Be sure your point-of-sale terminal doesn't have any connection issues prior to the event, as poorly run transactions frustrate busy festival goers.

Last but not least, before each festival be sure to email or snail mail your loyal customer base to let them know you will be there. Offer them a special deal or coupon to motivate them to attend, and you will make even more sales.

And don't forget to contact your jewelry wholesaler well in advance to be sure you'll be well stocked for the festival. You'll want to make sure you have a large variety of enticing pieces to offer, as well as the latest trends in the market.

Take Flights to Atlanta This June and Attend 14th Annual Athfest Music and Arts Festival at Atlanta

Athfest Music and Arts Festival Introduction:
This festival is holding in Georgia for last 13 years. It is one of the largest music festivals in Georgia. Athfest is a non profit organization arranging this annual festival to showcase local artists, musicians and businesses since 1997. This organization also organizes some year round educational programs in Schools. Athfest has been ranked among "Top 20 Events" by Southeast Tourism Society. If you take flights to Atlanta this summer this festival is a must attend event. Festival includes arts displays, music performances, interactive projects, pet zoo, recreational play area, drum circles, educational exhibits, Film teen screen showcases, music award ceremonies, out door stages, and a lot more.

Exhibits at Festival:
Taking Atlanta Georgia flights is your first step towards attending a festival full of entertainment activities and great fun. Visitors use different ways to reach to this city. But air travel is most convenient way to reach long haul destinations. A number of air travel operators are available to reserve flights to any worldwide destinations from any departure point e.g. cheap flights to Atlanta from UK may be reserved with Travel Company cheap flights to Atlanta art displays at this festival include; ceramic, water colors, drawings, glass work, furniture, folk art, hand made domestic use items, jewelry, painting, prints, photography, wood work, sculpture, and stone ware. No fee charged to view these displays. It all is free of cost. This event is fully family oriented and provides entertainment to people of all ages and all classes. One just needs to reserve flights to Atlanta Georgia to reach to the city and attend this festival.

General Information:
The major reason behind the popularity of this event is that this event is free of charge and is open to all ages. It allows unlimited entry for all participants which add dramatically to cheap Atlanta flights Special events are at various locations. These events are arranged on different timings ranging from 10 am to 10 pm. In 2009 more than 60,000 people attended the festival; in 2010 also a large number of visitors took cheap flights to Atlanta Georgia to attend this mega event. More than 200 bands and artists are participating in this event, and 20 best places are chosen as music venues, and 3 as out door stages. Reservation of cheap flights to Atlanta Georgia from UK may be made with any reliable Travel Company More event details can be searched with Athfest official website.

Head to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

When you think of the US city of New Orleans you probably think about jazz music and amazing food - and the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival gives visitors to the city the chance to combine both and get a taste of local culture.

The city is a real melting pot of culture and is certainly worth a visit on a holiday to the US.

The world famous festival attracts some really big names from the jazz music scene and no matter what type of sounds appeal to your ears, you will find it here. Artists play all sorts of jazz, from piano-led smooth music to high-tempo funk-tinged dance beats.

For those planning to travel around the USA on a fun-filled tour, the festival is a great place to stop. And it is ideal for any type of traveller, from those holidaying with a big group to those on singles holidays backpacking around the US under their own steam.

America travel is easy and good value so no matter where you are in the US, you can certainly get to New Orleans for the event.

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is held every year in April or May and every event attracts world class performers.

Famous faces to have graced the stages at the event include the Little Freddie King Blues Band, the Alexis Marceaux Band, David Egan, June Gardner and the Fellas, John Lee, Frankie Ford and the Delgado Jazz Ensemble.

John Lee and the Heralds of Christ have also rocked the crowds at the jazz event, as have singers from the local McDonogh #42 Elementary School.

As well as being known for its great music, the festival is also a food-lovers paradise. Here you will get the chance to sample a huge range of cuisine cooked in the Creole or Cajun style, which is sure to tickle your tastebuds and be an interesting change to the burgers and fries diet seen in much of the rest of the US.

If you are seeking a traditional-style meal then look no further than the many stalls selling gumbo and jambalaya dishes, sometimes with chicken or shrimps caught locally. This part of the food is also noted for its rice and bean dishes and you are sure to find many delicious examples of such dishes at the jazz festival.

New Orleans is famous for its po-boy sandwiches, long crusty sticks of bread filled to bursting with fried shrimp, crawfish or other ingredients. If that doesn't sound to your liking, you may want to sample the bread filled with delicious suckling pig.

Other classics on the jazz festival menu include crawfish bisque, shrimp cocktail, spicy potatoes, seafood casserole, fried green tomatoes, crab cakes and red beans and rice.

Kids are also catered for at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, with the children's area home to its very own food market where youngsters can sample traditional cuisine which is a little less spicy.

After trying all sorts of delicious Cajun and Creole cooking, you may be fit to burst - but make sure you save some room to try some of the amazing desserts which can also be bought at the festival.

Why not sample a slice of traditional US pecan pie? Or treat yourself to a yummy piece of banana bread pudding or lemon pound cake?

Fans of arts and crafts may also want to head on over to the Congo Square and Louisiana Marketplace areas at the jazz event. In Congo Square, you can get your hands on an array of handmade items, all with an African American tinge.

Head here to pick up handmade jewellery and sculptures, interesting pieces of art and hand carved musical instruments.

If you want to take home a traditional piece of New Orleans craft, then why not buy a handmade pine needle basket from the Louisiana Marketplace? Stalls in this area also sell more handmade jewellery as well as clothing.

Whatever you decide to get up to at the New Orleans and Jazz Heritage Festival, it is sure to give you a day out to remember on a holiday to the US.

Theater And Arts In Paramount, California

If you're looking for live theater, there are lots of options in and around Paramount. The Burnight Center Theatre in neighboring Norwalk is located on the Cerritos Community College campus and hosts numerous musical and stage productions put on by college students throughout the year. Tickets are generally between $10 and $25. Just a little further south in Cerritos is the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. The center's annual August - May season generally puts on 150 performances from dance and musicals to plays and internationally known music acts. The Berubian Theatre near Lakewood offers standup comedy and improvisation shows as well as comedic puppet shows for children. This theater also offers classes and workshops for the public to hone their comedic and improvisational skills.

Nearby Long Beach has several theaters and playhouses to enjoy, including the Long Beach Playhouse which features two separate theaters. This small and intimate playhouse is a great place to see local productions of musicals and plays at affordable prices. Tickets generally range between $12 and $27.

The nearby Long Beach Opera has been in operation for over 30 years and has completed 28 seasons. Previous productions have included King Roger, Powder Her Face, Lucio Silla and Death in Venice.

The Long Beach Shakespeare Company puts on several free Shakespearean festivals and events throughout the year in Long Beach so be sure to check the city's calendar for dates.

Taking the 25 minute drive north to LA will bring you to an incredible selection of different playhouses, musical venues and dinner theaters. LA has long been a mecca for aspiring actors, so one of the actors you see in a local production may go on to become a huge movie star. Also many well-known actors also participate in various local productions, so you never know you might get a chance to see perform live.

There are just as many options in and around Paramount when it comes to the visual arts. Just a few minutes east of Paramount in Bellflower is De Ru's Fine Art Gallery. Here you will find a beautiful selection of Early California and American Impressionist art, all of which can be purchased if you find something you like. The Getty Center in the Brentwood neighborhood in LA features an impressive collection of Western art that dates back to the Middle Ages as well as more contemporary art. There are also beautiful, serene gardens set against a picturesque view of the mountainside. South of Paramount is Long Beach Arts, which offers an eclectic collection of art from local artists. This gallery is only open Wednesday through Sunday from Noon to 4 p.m, but is well worth fitting it into your trip. While in Long Beach, another worthwhile art stop is the Museum of Latin American Art. The unique architecture of this building makes it hard to miss, and the art inside offers a glimpse into the Latin American culture that is prevalent in this area of the country.

When visiting Paramount it is definitely worthwhile to take the trip up to the Los Angeles area to take tours of the many TV and film studios. The best place to see the most tours is Burbank. Here you can see the Warner Brothers lot and NBC Studios. You never know when you'll spot a big celebrity. While here you can also purchase tickets for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

There are several movie theaters in the Paramount area including the Bianchi Paramount Stadium 8 in Paramount, the South Gate Stadium 20 & IMAX in Downey, the Big Cinema 8 in Norwalk, the Pacific Theaters in Lakewood, the Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26 & IMAX and the Garden View Cinema in Long Beach. The Art Theatre in Long Beach provides a more historical experience as it was originally built in the 1920s and has maintained its Golden Age look and ambiance.

WOMADelaide Cultural Music Dance and Art Event in Adelaide

The WOMADelaide is an annual event of music, arts and dances which was co-founded inside the UK by Peter Gabriel and was first presented in Australia in 1992. The event aims to promote global understanding by means of showcasing the conventional music, arts and dances from diverse cultures. Its performers are drawn from all over the world to amuse all age groups and consumers from all backgrounds.

The program features performances that can be done in seven stages alongside street theater and visual artists, the famed Taste the World cooking program, Artists in Conversations sessions and an All-Star Gala finale together with around 100 food, crafts and display stalls and also the KidZone for youngsters. The Taste the Planet cooking presentation exhibits new mouth-watering cuisines that food lovers will surely take advantage of. The KidZone is an event specially dedicated to younger fans of the festival. Kids will interact with their fellow kids by joining art workshops, playing games, face painting, storytelling and dressing up.

Artist from the eastern and western part of the planet from A-Z will be supporting the WOMADelaide festival with their breathtaking performances. The full line-up or artists participating within the event reached up to 62.

The festival is also considered as part of Adelaide's annual Fringe Festival which is held during the last 3 days of the festival. The WOMADelaide gained overwhelming popularity that resulted to the extension of its party to four days. The celebration's venue is in Botanic Park in northeast of central Adelaide. The event runs from 6pm to 1am on Friday, from 12nn to 1am on Saturday, from 12nn to 12mn on Sunday and lastly, from 12nn to 12mn on Monday. The WOMADelaide special event will start from March 11 until March 14 and is titled 'Sounds of the Planet 2011'.

Tickets are accessible by visiting the WOMADelaide official web site or via VenueTix outlet. Tickets are available in distinct and flexible price ranges depending on how lots of days or nights or what event you will likely attend. Youngsters under 12 are admitted free of charge of charge when accompanied by a paying adult. For cliques of 10 or a lot more available, you might be lucky since they give a group ticket discount.

Parking is limited so the greatest approach to get there is to park within the city and have a 15-minute walk to the Botanical Park.

Blackpool's Museums and Art Galleries

While Blackpool is known primarily as a tourist resort with amazing amusement arcades and fun fairs, the town also has many museums and art galleries of note.

The Louis Tussauds Waxworks on Central Promenade is certainly Blackpool's most famous museum. It contains five floors of incredibly lifelike waxwork figures of the Royal family, along with film stars, great singers, superstar athletes and politicians. The museum also has a Chamber of Horrors that is not for the faint of heart and the Anatomy Exhibition.

Science lovers will thoroughly enjoy the Golden Mile Centre on Central Promenade which features a popular Exhibition of the Universe, complete with various aliens and UFOs. The exhibit was created by David Boyle, a researcher who specializes in the spiritual, the supernatural and the unexplained.

Now that you are in a "science fiction mood," you should pop into the Dr Who Exhibition and Museum, which is just a few short steps away. The Dr Who Exhibit includes a massive collection of original props and costumes spanning 40 years of British science fiction on television.

The Blackpool Model Village and Gardens is another impressive sight, occupying two-and-a-half acres of beautiful gardens on Stanley Park. The exhibit features hundreds of models, including a model windmill and castle, set against a stunning backdrop of lakes, running streams and waterfalls.

If boats are your thing, then the Blackpool Lifeboat Station and Visitor Centre on Central Promenade may be just what the doctor ordered. Standing beneath the imposing shadow of Blackpool Tower, the lifeboat station has a delightful visitors' centre with its own interactive displays, a viewing gallery and a souvenir shop.

Blackpool may have only one legitimate art gallery, but what a gallery it is. The Grundy Art Gallery, located right next to the Blackpool Central Library on Queen Street, is widely regarded as one of the premiere small galleries in the United Kingdom. Built in 1911 as a multi-purpose building, the Grundy Art Gallery offers a tranquil haven of peace and serenity to those who wish to escape Blackpool's hustle and bustle even for a moment.

The gallery is named in honor of the Grundy brothers, Cuthbart and John, two avid art collectors who donated their impressive collection of paintings to the town of Blackpool in 1903. Hence, the Grundy Art Gallery was formed. Today, the gallery boasts of a huge collection of oils and watercolors, including classic and modern British paintings, Oriental ivories and prints.

Over the years, the gallery's collection has grown considerably and now includes quite a number of ceramics and old photographs depicting Blackpool's rich history. Throughout the year, many of the foremost local and national artists stage special exhibitions to the delight of visitors.

Although Blackpool only has one art gallery, there are many temporary exhibitions all year round, especially during the summer months at the North Pier. Recently, the North Pier played host to the George Formby Centenary Exhibitions, which commemorated the 100th birth anniversary of the legendary film star and singer.

Over at South Promenade is another permanent display of contemporary art dubbed as the Great Promenade Show. Some of the leading artists and designers in the UK pool their talents to make this year-round outdoor exhibit a hit by contributing noteworthy pieces of sculptures, art pieces and even lighting. At night, the exhibit becomes an inspirational sight, especially when the light hits certain angles and creates new dimensions.

While touring Blackpool for its museums and galleries, visitors should also take note of the town's many offerings in the realm of dance, such as the annual Dance Festival, contemporary dance school and the tea dances every Saturday at the Tower Ballroom. For these and other reasons, Blackpool has gained some fame as Britain's capital of dance.

With its theatres regularly hosting the English National Ballet and with the town itself serving as the venue for the World Ballroom Dance competitions, Blackpool has certainly earned its niche in the world of dance. But nothing reinforces its reputation as Britain's dance capital than the annual Blackpool Dance Festival.

Now over 80 years old, the Dance Festival brings together top dancers from over 50 countries to compete in ballroom and Latin American dancing. The competition almost always includes the British Open Championships. Being the best looking pair on the floor doesn't guarantee victory but it certainly helps. And the competitors know that as well, as evidenced by these statistics. During the annual Dance Festival, dancers consume about 2,000 cans of hairspray, 1,000 bottles of nail varnish, 3,000 bottles of fake tan and use up over 1,500 pairs of tights.

If you enjoy contemporary dance, then a trip to Blackpool's leading theatres should be in order. Both the Grand Theatre and the Opera House are renowned for staging modern and hip musicals.

Meanwhile, if you want to do more than just watch, then bring your dancing shoes and head for any of the many dance schools in Blackpool which offer everything from modern and ballroom dancing to ballet, jazz and tap dancing.

Costa Rica Guide - The Annual South Caribbean Music and Arts Festival

The South Caribbean Music and Arts Festival is held each year in a scenic Costa Rican town called Puerto Viejo, which is near the town of Manzanillo. Although Costa Rica is home to a great number of exciting festivals, the South Caribbean Music and Arts Festival is one of the highlights of the year. International visitors who have attended the Festival have highly recommended it. Indeed, it is an exotic and delightful offering of a blend of music amidst an idyllically beautiful background. Music lover or not, you are sure to be entranced by what you hear and see.

The Festival is organised by the Playa Chiquita Lodge and is a grand affair that lasts for about a month. The Festival typically falls between the months of March and April, and the concerts and performances are held on weekends in the amphitheatre at the Playa Chiquita Lodge or any other adjacent areas. Regardless of the exact locations, particular effort goes into ensuring the ambience is conducive for the festival events.

During the Festival, there will be numerous performances by local artists and bands. The genre of music features is diverse, from reggae to classical to local. Each year the range broadens and changes, encompassing more and more music from all over the Caribbean. You will surely be mesmerised by the quality of music, which has been consistently excellent for the past few years since the inception of the Festival.

Although music is definitely one of its celebrated highlights, the Festival does not solely focus on music. Dance performances and dance recitals are also held to ensure an exposure of all forms of art. There are also a series of workshops offered throughout the month to teach music to local children as well as to foreigners who are willing to give it a try. Most importantly, there is an important emphasis on food. The experience would not be complete without the superb traditional Caribbean cuisine which you are supposed to enjoy as you chill out at the concerts.

The Festival definitely provides a unique travel experience, especially for those who love Caribbean arts, music and cuisine. It is also an opportunity to meet up with people who share similar interests, as the Festival draws people from all over the world. Besides the Festival, Costa Rica has many other tourist attractions that can occupy you on your way to or from the Festival.

The Formation Of Spanish American Culture - Drama, Music And The Fine Arts

Drama flourished throughout the colonial period, reflecting the popularity in Spain of Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, and Calderon de la Barca. The chief cities had theaters in which the luxury of trappings and wealth of offerings mirrored the varying fortunes of their mines. Potosi at the peak of its wealth had a theater, which vied with the most pretentious in Spain. The viceroys of Mexico and Lima installed private theaters in their palaces. The plays of the Spanish masters were staged, as were many others written in America, most of which are Iong since forgotten.

The most popular early dramas were religious allegories, thoroughly Spanish in tradition and designed to convey the truth of the gospel to unlettered Indians. Their pageantry and color were effective in conveying the lessons of creation and salvation, as well as the record of Spain's greatness. Indian pageantry was amalgamated with the Spanish to produce a hybrid folk drama in which Indian dances and music were overlaid with Christian and Spanish legend. To this day, a traveler in Mexico may see Indian festivals in which the ancient conflict between Christians and Moors is re-enacted, with much heroic posturing, crackling of fireworks, and the final destruction of the hated Moors.

If the traveler asks an Indian the identity of the Moors whom he belabors so assiduously, he receives no clear answer.
Spanish America produced dramatists, but few were more than pallid imitators of the Spanish immortals. Sixteenth century Mexico boasted GonzaIez de Eslava, whose allegorical comedies were so simple, direct, and well contrived as to give the Mexican stage brief distinction. GonzaIez is remembered for his imagined insults to a pompous
viceroy who promptly ordered his arrest.

Spanish America's sole dramatist to win international acclaim was Juan Ruiz de Alarcon, who left Mexico at twenty, studied at Salamanca, returned briefly to his native land, and spent the bulk of his life in Spain. Alarcon, a creole hunchback tortured by the jeerings of the peninsulares, wrote sensitively and brilliantly, and his twenty three plays gave him a firm place among Spanish men of letters in el siglo de oro.

Meager in quantity and quality as was Spanish colonial literature, it was superior in both respects to that of the English and French colonists in the New World.

Spanish America made but slight contribution in music. The music of Castile and Andalusia was introduced to America, there to be modified by the rhythms of Indian and Negro, yielding a large volume of popular songs. The plaintive songs that came from these mingled sources were sung by the common people to the accompaniment of the Spanish guitar or the African marimba. Meanwhile, well born and proper daughters of the wealthy peninsulares and creoles picked out traditional melodies on the harp or clavichord. The chief cities boasted orchestras. The churches continued the Spanish tradition of sacred music.

The architects, painters, and sculptors of Spanish America had a superb heritage from the Spaniards who, for more than 500 years, had been building some of the most splendid churches in Christendom; carving wood and stone figures for their facades, choirs, and altars; and painting glowing canvases to add a final touch of glory. The soldiers, civil rulers, traders, and farmers who settled America brought memories of the cathedrals of Seville, Leon, Toledo, and Avila; of the delicate grace of the Giralda and the Alhambra; of the sculptured power of the Portico de Gloria at Santiago de Compostela; of the tombs and altars of Valladolid, Saragossa, and Salamanca; and of the paintings of El Greco, Zurbaran, Ribera, and Velasquez. This was the heritage of even the humble builders of America.

The colonists brought a love of beauty with them, and throughout the colonial period they sought to emulate the Spanish tradition. They, too, would have churches enriched by noble sculptures and paintings. However, the sculptors and painters of Spanish America were imitators, seldom creators. There is beautiful carving of stone and wood in the choir stalls, finials, pediments, reredos, corbels, and cornices of churches in Puebla, Morelia, Guatemala Antigua, Lima, Quito, Sucre, and Arequipa; but their grace is generally a borrowed grace. Over altars and in sacristies are smoky paintings of saints, virgins, angels, cardinals, and bishops.

Many of these canvases were brought from Spain, and an obliging sacristan is always ready to tell the visitor that this is an authentic Murillo, that a Titian, the other a Zurbaran. Some are genuine, but many are poor imitations. The borrowings continued as American painters made pale copies of the masters or, painting on their own account, followed the styles of Ribera and Murillo. There were a few painters of considerable technical skin, among them the Mexicans Juan Herrera, Jose Maria Ibarra, and Miguel Cabrera, and the Ecuadorian Miguel de Santiago.

Artists never lacked support. Schools of fine arts were established toward the end of the colonial period. Mexico's Academy of Fine Arts, organized in the late eighteenth century when Goya was renewing the prestige of Spanish painting, was well housed, amply financed in fact, it had everything except artists.

In architecture, Spanish America made best use of its cultural heritage. The wealth of field and mine and the labor of docile Indians were early dedicated to the rearing of palaces and religious edifices. Some few fine examples of secular buildings have survived, but Spanish America is spotted from end to end with cathedrals, churches, and monasteries of such symmetry and power as to attest the fervor and artistry of their creators. They are, however, unevenly distributed. Such regions as Chile and La Plata, yielding neither gold nor silver and producing only prosaic grain and cattle, built only modest temples. Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico boasted the finest and most richly ornamented churches and cathedrals, but with Mexico far in the lead.

The architecture of the thousands of churches and monasteries built in the colonial years faithfully recapitulates the development of architecture in Spain. Moslem motifs appear almost everywhere in geometric caprices of decoration and, above all, in the thousands of varicolored tiled domes of Mexico. Eleventh century Italian influence is clear in the constantly recurring sculptured and rounded arches of the Romanesque. Thirteenth century French Gothic is widely represented; the more than 400 fortress churches and monasteries built by the Franciscans, Augustinians, and Dominicans in Mexico are usually Gothic in feeling, although with frequent addition of Romanesque arches, Moslem designs in decoration, and plateresque details.

Sixteenth century Italian Renaissance appears in the jewel like plateresque; the cathedral of Morelia in Mexico, perhaps the loveliest church in America, is a splendid example; the facade of the convent of Acolman is another instance. Philip 2nd's late sixteenth century retreat to classicism, represented in Spain by the gloomy Escorial, had its influence upon the cathedrals of Mexico City, Puebla, and Lima. Seventeenth-century Italian baroque (sometimes described as the child of Michelangelo's exuberance), which was elaborated in Spain and exaggerated by the Salamanca architect Churriguera, dominated American builders during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, yielding big and little churches adorned with tumbling angels, riotous fruits, and tossing flowers on their pediments and facades; Taxco, Tepozotlan, and Ocotlan are a few of the many instances in Mexico; the churches of the Jesuits and the Franciscans in Quito are among the finest in South America. The late eighteenth century brought a brief burst of creative imagination in architecture, chiefly in Mexico; there Francisco Eduardo Tresguerras built the lovely Carmelite church in Celaya, and Manuel Tolsa elaborated the exterior of the cathedral in Mexico City.

Theater and Arts in Carson

Located in close proximity to Los Angeles, Carson and its surrounding cities have a lot to offer when it comes to theater, arts and culture. From art museums and fashion to movie production studios to musical productions, there is something for all culture lovers in the Carson area.

Starting in the heart of Carson, you can visit the California State University: Dominguez Hills Art Gallery located on East Victoria Street. This spacious gallery located on the CSU Arts & Sciences campus features works by graduating seniors of the art program. The exhibition changes five times every year and there are often lectures and other art events hosted here throughout the year. There is also the International Printing Museum on Torrance Boulevard that features a great exhibit on book arts as well as the history of printing.

In neighboring Torrance you will find the Torrance Cultural Center located on Civic Center Drive. This large center includes a 502-seat theatre for performing arts, several visual arts studios and an authentic, beautiful Japanese garden. The Torrance Art Museum, also located on Civic Center Drive offers visual art exhibitions both permanent and traveling. There are also many lectures and educational events throughout the year so be sure to check their calendar before planning your trip to Carson. Nearby in Torrance on Albalone Avenue is the Chen Art Gallery which features the personal Chinese art collection that belongs to the well-known Dr. Tei Fu Chen. This museum features not only paintings but also historic artifacts from the Neolithic Era as well as the Ming and Qing imperial palace collections.

Just 15 minutes southeast of Carson in Long Beach is the Museum of Latin American Arts on Alamitos Avenue. It is hard to miss the unique architecture of the building that houses the Museum of Latin American Arts. This museum features art created to reflect the Latin American culture that has been prevalent in the Southern California area for generations. Much of the art was produced by locals to this area and are rich in heritage and cultural symbolism.

For theater enthusiasts, check out the El Segundo Playhouse on Main Street in neighboring El Segundo. This 850-seat, non-profit theater puts productions of hits such as Emma, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Harvey and many more. The El Segundo Playhouse is also where you can see the Civic Light Opera of South Bay. Ticket prices generally range between $30 and $60 depending on the production and time of performance.

Nearby, in the city of Long Beach, there are quite a few playhouses and theatres to experience, which include the Long Beach Playhouse that has two separate theaters of its own. Both theaters offer small, intimate settings for local productions, musicals and concerts at relatively affordable prices. You'll find that tickets for events at the Long Beach Playhouse range from $11 all the way up to $27. The Long Beach Opera - which has successfully completed 28 seasons - puts on productions like Death in Venice, King Roger, and Powder Her Face just to name a few. The Long Beach Shakespeare Company plays host to several free Shakespearean festivals each year so don't forget to check their calendar before planning your trip.

Just 25 minutes north is the mecca for aspiring actors. This would be none other than the city of Los Angeles. Here you will find a wide selection of playhouses, dinner theaters, concert calls and more. While many actors find their start here, there are also many established actors that perform in productions in the LA area so you never know who you might get to see. Also in Los Angeles is the Warner Grand Theatre, a beautiful theater that runs many independent films and hosts various filmed themed events throughout the year.

There are a number of great movie theaters in the area including the AMC Del Amo 18 on West Carson Street and the AMC Rolling Hills 20 in neighboring Torrance. Long Beach, just 15 minutes away offers even more options for the silver screen. These include the Cinemark at the Pike, the Long Beach Edwards Stadium 26 & IMAX and the Garden View Cinema. For something a little different, check out The Art Theatre in Long Beach which was erected in the 1920s and has been maintained to keep its look and ambiance reminiscent of the Golden Age.

Sun Peaks Food and Wine Festivals in Okanagan Wine Country - All Year Round

For wine lovers and foodies, Sun Peaks in British Columbia is a must, with food and wine festivals, vineyards and restaurants catering to gastronomes from all over the US and Canada. There are festivals and events throughout the year celebrating the wonderful fruits of Okanagan Wine Country in British Columbia.

Fall Wine Festival - October

Followed closely by the Autumn Bounty Festival (see below), the Fall Wine Festival is a chance to celebrate the grape harvest (and perhaps pitch in with some of the work). Vineyard tours, meals in fine Sun Peaks' restaurants, workshops, art and music: All of the finer elements of Sun Peaks' cultural life are included in more than 165 events over ten days. The Fall Wine Festivals are scheduled for Oct 1st-11th, 2009 and Sept 30th-Oct 10th, 2010.

The Autumn Bounty festival - October

Sun Peaks Resort hosts this year´s third annual Autumn Bounty, which offers up the best of the region´s art, wine and food in a three day showcase.

As well as sneak peeks of the new vintages being produced by local boutique wineries, there are also more relaxed events catering to a young professional crowd, with the best in local wines being teamed with tapas prepared by some of the area's finest chefs. Five-star finger food teamed with five-star wines - a must for unwinding after work. The Autumn Bounty Festival will be held October 9th - 11th 2009.

Winter Wine Festiva (Formerly Icewine Festival) - January

This unique festival blends Sun Peaks spectacular ski fields with the area´s equally notable wine-making traditions. Enjoy the region´s finest blends in the crisp mountain air of a snow-covered Sun Peaks Resort, being hosted, guided and taught by some of Sun Peaks' best chefs, sommeliers and wine-makers. The Festival has also been expanded to a week long event. The 12th Annual Winter Wine Festival will take place from January 16 to 24, 2010 and will include seminars, Winemasters' Dinners, the Taste of Sun Peaks, the Progressive Tasting, along with new events, such as Mixology.

Spring Wine Festival - May

With more than a hundred events, the Spring Wine Festival is a gastronome´s delight. Designed to blend the unique flavors of both wine and food produced in Sun Peaks and surrounds, the festival is a great way to celebrate the beginning of growing season. The Spring Wine Festival will be held from Apr 29th-May 8th, 2010.

Summer Wine Festival - August

For anyone interested in the wine-making process (and in sampling the end product!), the Sun Peaks Summer Wine Festival is a must. As well as leisurely events at local restaurants, enjoying the best food, wine and art the region has to offer, festival-goers can attend seminars and workshops that give a fascinating behind-the-scenes understanding of wine-making, or a crash course in wine appreciation. The Summer Wine Festival also includes activities on the mountain, giving a new appreciation for what is otherwise known as a ski resort. Think wildflowers and sunshine - bliss. The next Summer Wine Festival is scheduled for Aug 5th-7th, 2010.

Sun Peaks Wine and Culture Festival - July

Held over three days, the Wine and Culture Festival combines arts, crafts, music and wine in a packed schedule of events and workshops. The main themes of the festival are classical music, art exhibitions and - of course - tastings from the best in regional wines accompanied by tapas. Public participation is strongly encouraged, with chairlift rides begin followed by sumptuous banquet dinners, tours of local restaurants where artists are exhibiting their work and tour guests can dine and drink their way through some of the areas finest, or simply relax to the sounds of the classical quartets, quintets and orchestras playing in the Village Square.

Getting Entertained in Miami: Miami Nightlife of Music and Dancing

Greater Miami is considered as one of the hottest and hippest spots in the world. Here's what's in store for you if you are ready to face the music in Miami.

What's the music like in Miami?

There's one word to use about the music and entertainment in Miami- fusion. This is the city where you can find people loving the sounds associated with conga and rumba. It was the Cubans who brought this flavor into the city. And then there's the influence of Dominicans, the Colombians and the Brazilians. In short, you can say that the city is the melting pot of musical influences of the Latinos in the United States. A visit to the city is an opportunity to sample the musical fusion that is Miami sound. The area is also known as a hot spot for dance music, and it was in the 80s and the 90s when Miami Bass has made the area a musical hot spot.

What to expect in Miami dance, art and music scene

Once the sun starts to descend and darkness starts to creep in, the dance clubs in Miami open up its doors to its patrons including tourists. Most of these clubs are located near beaches, thus the sea breeze adds up to the ambiance of the dance clubs. It doesn't mean that the entertainment is just for the adult revelers. Youngsters can also join in the fun in Miami. You and your family can find entertainment in Losner Park, in Homestead, Florida. This is just 45 minutes of Miami and this can be your place for themed street festivals. Look for this every second Saturday every month. Food items are sold here, mostly Mexican and Cajun food items. You can listen to the University of Miami's orchestra, and there are times when other artists that are invited to the area. Usually the concerts are for free, but call in advance to verify the information. Check out what Little Havana has to offer, located at SW 8th Street and 15th Avenue. Some Cuban and Latin American films are shown here.

There are nightclubs in greater and downtown Miami as well that can be visited. Consider checking out the Casa Panza, famed for its flamenco-inspired nights. Consider visiting the place every day of the week except Monday and lose yourself in the music of flamenco. If you are in Miami Beach, head on to Jazid, considered as the longest-running nightclub in Miami Beach and still considered as an entertainment icon. Here you can groove to the music of jazz, funk, reggae and rock. You can even enter for free before the clock hits 11pm. If you have friends with you, make sure that they are over 21 years old. Here's another good place to discover in Miami- Skybar. This is in South Beach, and the stylish set of Miami can be seen here. Check this out in the Shore Club on Collins. These are the best places to be in Miami, and the places where you should be the next time you visit this area.

Mayor's Thames Festival in London

London's foremost free alfresco art festival, the Mayor's Thames Festival annually takes place in mid-September and it's an impressive two-day celebration of the capital and its momentous river. This spectacular festival invigorates the cultural life in London with an amazing blend of art, spectacle and entertainment. A number of stunning riverside venues between Westminster Bridge, Tower Bridge and beyond wholly indulge in the carnival-like atmosphere during this unique festival in London.

The Mayor's Thames Festival in London brings people together from all around and inspires them to take part. Various waterside walkways, bridges, roads, docks and parks usually become jam-packed with a whole host of festival-goers, artists and tourists during the festival. This spectacular festival in London offers some attention-grabbing performances from the elite artists, exciting events on the River Thames, an excellent choice of food for gourmets and much more.

The Mayor's Festival in London provides attendees a huge selection of river events, carnival, street arts, performance, pyrotechnics, exhibitions, art installations, massed choirs, illuminations, circus, food and feasting, music and dance. The finale of this phenomenal event is the multi-coloured Night Procession that winds along the south and north banks of the river, featuring full-blooded costumed artists and an overwhelming firework display fired from the heart of the river.

A non-profit charitable trust, The Thames Festival Trust organizes this high-status festival in London. All of its projects normally link to the River Thames in some manner; each individual project is aimed at escalating people's awareness and understanding about the river, its prosperous history and its significant role as an alive, operational watercourse. This year, the festival in London will carry out a dedicated programme with above 400 schools and community groups to increase their interest in the river and water-focused activities.

Enjoy an ethnic extravaganza offering a huge variety of action-packed activities and performances - the Mayor's Thames Festival in London!

Stuttgart Ballet's "Onegin", Wednesday, 20 February, 36th Hong Kong Arts Festival


The Stuttgart Ballet's performance of Onegin on Wednesday, 20 February, at the Hong Kong Arts Festival, was charming and pleasant, with stunning sets, wonderful costumes, some nice character-acting and doubtless accomplished, highly-trained and superbly executed dancing. The main characters on this occasion were danced by Ivan Gil Ortega (guest artist) as Onegin and Elena Tentchikowa as Tatiana. Marijn Rademaker took the part of Lensky, Onegin's friend and Laura O'Malley was Olga, Tatiana's sister.

My husband considered that what it lacked was the best of Tchaikovsky's music. It emerges that the omission was deliberate. -- When conceiving this production, first performed in 1965, it seems that John Cranko planned to use a musical score based on Tchaikovsky's opera, Eugene Onegin, but failed to get support for this idea. In response, Cranko's musical collaborator Kurt-Heinz Stolze wrote a completely new musical score for the ballet, based on a number of largely unknown compositions by Tchaikovsky, and the ballet does not contain "even one measure" from Tchaikovsky's opera. As Stolze said, "I have culled the music from various lesser-known compositions by Tchaikovsky and arranged most of it myself." (Kurt-Heinz Stolze as quoted in the 36th Hong Kong Arts Festival Programme Notes)

The Onegin of the ballet comes over, in effect, as a man who wants what he can't have and doesn't want what he can have. Not really a tragic hero, although certainly flawed. The really grand, moody, impassioned, yearning Tchaikovsky music that we know and love and revel in might have edged him towards this larger dimension.

We both agreed that, compared with the film, Onegin, starring Ralph Fiennes as Eugene Onegin, the ballet lacked intensity and burning passion, whether of love or despair.

Does this mean that words are "better"; that stage-acting and film-acting are "better"? -- Better able than classical ballet to convey emotions, when expressed through such a clear narrative as that which the late John Cranko's choreography and production so helpfully provide?

The ballet tells the story well and, with the help of the programme notes, it was easy enough to follow the action, even, I suppose, for those who knew neither its sources -- Alexander Pushkin's novel-in-verse and Tchaikovsky's opera -- nor its sibling, the film in which Ralph Fiennes plays. Paradoxically, this clear story-telling seemed to force too close a comparison with other dramatic forms, making the ballet seem less successful as a result, and diverting attention away from its own particular qualities of grace and athleticism and, yes, emotional expression too. -- GB

Notes on works:

  • Alexander Pushkin's novel-in-verse Eugene Onegin was first published in serial form, 1825-1832. First complete editions, 1833, 1837.
  • Tchaikovsky's opera, Eugene Onegin was composed 1877-1878, and first produced in 1879.
  • The original version of the ballet, Onegin, was performed in 1965 and a new version was first performed in 1967.
  • The film Onegin, directed by Martha Fiennes, with her brother Ralph Fiennes as an intense, brooding and finally despairing Onegin, was first released in 2001.

Notes on people;

  • Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837)
  • Pyotor Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
  • John Cranko (1927-1973)
  • Kurt-Heinz Stolze (1926-1970)

(Sources: 36th Hong Kong Arts Festival Programme Notes and various online reference works.) -- GB