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TIMBER! Here's What You Need To Know About Wisconsin's Lumberjack World Championships

July 22, 2015 at 4:00 PM | by | ()

Beginning tomorrow, from July 23 – 25, logger enthusiasts from across the world will unite in Hayward, Wisconsin for the annual Lumberjack World Championships. Maybe you already know about this extraordinary sporting event. (It does draw about 12,000 spectators!) Or maybe you don't — in which, case check out this video primer below. And then, whether you’re a first-time attendee, a seasoned fanatic or just curious about the world of logging, read on to discover what you need to know about this year’s championship games.

A Little History

The Lumberjack World Championships started in 1960 and have since flourished to become an ESPN-backed phenomenon with loyal fans and competitors. At this year’s games, more than 100 competitors will go head to head for over $50,000 in prize money – one of the top awards for any lumberjack competition in the world.

21 Unique Competitions

If you’re unfamiliar with logging culture, you probably wouldn’t assume there are so many events in the Lumberjack World Championships. The games will show off 21 different areas, from logrolling to pole climbing, chopping to sawing, and the always thrilling boom run competition. A full schedule of events can be found here.

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Eat, Drink, and Be Cherry at Michigan's National Cherry Festival

July 6, 2015 at 2:00 PM | by | ()

Who knew the “Cherry Capital of the World” was located in Northern Michigan? Traverse City is probably best known for surprise May blizzards in Michael Moore (which is worse?), but it is also home to one of the prettiest lakefronts in the US (Sleeping Bear Dunes) and its delightful National Cherry Festival. The sweet summer extravaganza is celebrating its 89th installment, which kicked off on Independence Day and runs through the week, and we thought you should know about the fun goings-on at this small-town fest that somehow draws a half-million people (and not just for the pinochle tournament).

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We're Totally Slayed! 90sFest Is Coming to Brooklyn in September

June 19, 2015 at 5:40 PM | by | ()

If the entry wristbands aren't snap bracelets, we cry foul.

1990s nostalgists — and every hipster on the Eastern seaboard — take note: This week saw the announcement of 90sFest, a one day-only music and pop culture fest that is "for all of the pog slammin’, Bay-watchin’ Y2K fearin’ lovers of the best decade…ever," according to its website. It goes down on September 12 in — where else? — Williamsburg, Brooklyn at the outdoor concert venue 50 Kent. You can get in the Gak-squeezing, Will Smith-rapping, Ace of Base-dancing spirit by watching the video above. (Which is, for reasons we don't entirely understand, set to the Salt-N-Pepa song "Push It" from — 1986?)

Whatever. Chances are, many of the Instagram filtering, craft beer swilling, floral headband and handlebar mustache-rocking Brooklynites in attendance won't have more than a few conscious years' worth of memories of the actual '90s anyway. So we won't worry ourselves fact-checking precise dates. But the organizers have assembled a lineup that should pique the interest of those of us who did actually come of age pre-Y2K: Remember Smash Mouth? Coolio? Lisa Loeb? Tonic? Naughty by Nature? (Don't answer that out loud, you'll hurt their feelings.) They're all there, as well as the current members of Blind Melon. (Lead singer Shannon Hoon died of a cocaine overdose only a few years after hitting it big with "No Rain.") Plus there's a still-unannounced "special guest" in the offing, emcee of the day Pauly Shore (was Dan Cortese not available?), and special activities like a Mario Kart tournament, attempt to break the Guinness World Record for largest Macarena dance, and a VIP tent with cocktails made with Crystal Pepsi.

You can get tickets ($60+) here. And if we may be so bold as to make a suggestion: Hey, Hillary? Since your campaign HQ is located in Brooklyn, here's a convenient way to rock the vote: A venue full of electorate literally pining for a return to the Clinton years.

[Image via 90sFest's Instagram]

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TV Fans: Check Out These Nostalgic Cast Reunions at The ATX Festival in Austin

May 14, 2015 at 9:00 AM | by | ()

The ATX Television Festival is only in its fourth year, but it has already become a must-attend event for TV fans — with more panels and special events than you can shake a script at. But some of the real highlights are the cast reunions for which the fest has quickly become known. So far ATX has reunited favorite actors from shows like Friday Night Lights, Boy Meets Worldand this year's main attraction, Gilmore Girls.

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SXSW Is Bringing Art to The Streets of Austin This Week

March 19, 2015 at 11:48 AM | by | ()

In addition to film, technology and music, SXSW is also showcasing rising talents and established artists throughout Austin, Texas this week.

Part of this year's Art at SXSW initiative includes a collaboration between POW! WOW! Hawaii, a global network of artists, and SprATX, an Austin-based art collective, to create several mural installations around downtown Austin.

Participating POW! WOW! artists Tatiana Suarez, Yoskay Yamamoto, Rone and Meggs, along with Austin locals Mouf, Truth, Lucas Aoki and Ana Maria, will continue working on The Impossible Wall Project through Sunday, March 22 at 10:00 PM.

You can check out the murals for free at Brick Oven located at 1209 Red River St, Megalomedia at 901 Barton Springs Rd, on Cesar Chavez Street at 1619 E Cesar Chavez St and the Spider House, located at 2908 Fruth St.

Can't make it to Austin? You can follow the artists' progress with @Spratx/Instagram.

[Photo: Instagram]

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York's Viking Festival is All Kinds of Amazing

March 16, 2015 at 7:22 PM | by | ()

Vikings in York? Who goes to the historical, quintessential British town to experience… Norway? Well, to be fair, the vikings dominated Britain a millennium ago, and Jorvik, modern day York, was among the vikings’ largest cities—and if they weren’t defeated by by the Anglo-Saxons a certain city might be called “New Jorvik.”

Although many Brits blame the vikings for pillaging, stealing their women and supposedly burning down London Bridge (none of which are true), York celebrates their viking heritage and each year holds a viking festival at the city-famous Jorvik Viking Center, which you can visit any time of the year.

We recently attended the festival (₤10 admittance to the Viking Center or ₤18 to participate in all city-wide attractions), and here’s what we loved:

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This is What People in Seattle are Freaking Out About Right Now

March 13, 2015 at 2:00 PM | by | ()

If it’s winter, you sure wouldn’t know it this year in Seattle. February set an all-time record – the average temperature was 48.8 degrees. The warm weather has been especially tough on skiers, who’ve faced slushy snow, temporary closures and basically, useless ski passes (insert endless amounts of whining here). It’s also affected the local flower industry – specifically, Skagit Valley’s annual Tulip Festival.

The annual event attracts more than one million visitors and kicks off April 1st. This year, Mother Nature threw an unexpected wrench into event plans. Tulips will be in full blossom by March 23 – 10 days earlier than usual.

Tulips are a big business around these parts, the heart of the local farming industry. They’re also a huge tourist draw, which is why it seems every single newscaster in Seattle is FREAKING OUT about the early blooms.

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Yes, a 'Duct Tape Festival' is an Annual Thing for One US State

June 10, 2014 at 2:33 PM | by | ()

Clear your calendar and head to Avon, Ohio, as this is the weekend when the city celebrates all things duct tape. To be specific, it’s all about the Duck Tape brand of the silver stuff, as the 11th annual Avon Heritage Duck Tape Festival takes place June 13-15.

There’s plenty of live music, tape artwork and sculpture, a duct tape parade on Saturday, and of course plenty of chances to score some free rolls of tape. Things might be a little—uh—unique and different, but we say that just makes it that much more fun. Just imagine sharing the stories around the water cooler on Monday, as you outdo that weird guy at the office with your story of a weekend at the duct tape festival.

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As Cherry Blossom Season Appoaches, Don't Sleep on Atlanta's Dogwood Festival

March 28, 2014 at 9:56 AM | by | ()

When spring rolls around it’s clear that those cherry blossoms are the center of attention, as they’re featured in festivals from Washington, DC, to Japan. However, we’ve got to say that there’s other flowering flora that deserves a little attention, so we’d like to put in a plug for the goings on over in Atlanta in just a couple of weeks.

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Five Pumpkin Festivals to Help You Enjoy October

October 2, 2013 at 6:58 AM | by | ()

Autumn is finally here, so grab one of those pumpkin spice latte beverages and make your way to one of the many fall festivals. This month we’re focusing on those events dedicated to all things pumpkin, so here are five picks for pumpkin festivals doing their thing this month:

Circleville Pumpkin Show – Circleville, Ohio

Between October 16 and October 19th, one Ohio town turns into all things pumpkin. There’s a Miss Pumpkin Show that crowns a new gourd-geous—couldn’t resist, sorry—to reign over the annual festival. Farmers from around the state and region roll their pumpkins to the festival, as past winners have weighed in at well over 1,300 pounds. There’s a parade, live music, arts and crafts, and creatively arranged pumpkins and gourds all over downtown. Admission is free, but we’d bring spending cash for some of the attractions or for pumpkin this or that when you’re hungry.

Keene Pumpkin Festival – Keene, New Hampshire

We try to be fair and balanced in our assessment of this year’s pumpkin festivals, but the one in Keene, New Hampshire might just be the best thing going on this fall. They’ve got a food and craft court and a pumpkin road race, but what sets this festival apart are all the jack-o-lanterns. The town carved and brought in nearly 30,000 jack-o-lanterns last year, and they illuminate each and every one right around the town’s center. As you can imagine things look pretty darn awesome once the sun goes down, so bring your own pumpkin and head to New Hampshire on October 19th—just bring cash for parking.

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From New York to British Columbia, Celebrate Autumn with an Apple Festival

September 25, 2013 at 1:24 PM | by | ()

Okay—so it’s finally happened, summer has faded into the distance and now it’s time for autumn. The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing color, and it’s time to enjoy some seasonal selection—like apples. Here are a few festivals coming up the next couple of weekends dedicated to all things Macintosh, Red Delicious, and Granny Smith:

Cory Apple Festival – Cory, Indiana

They’ve been doing things here for over forty years, and this weekend is the 44th Annual Cory Apple Festival. Things begin on Friday and run through Sunday as fish frys, hog roasts, and chicken noodle dinners will ensure you’re well fed. Arts and craft vendors will be on hand, as well as plenty of antiques and other flea market finds. As for the apples, expect plenty of opportunities to enjoy some fresh fruit and pressed cider. Just be sure to stick around for the Redneck Riding Lawnmower Demolition Derby—hilarious. This certainly is a small town festival, as organizers are quick to point out that the town lacks an ATM, which means you better BYOCash.

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I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for an Ice Cream Festival

August 15, 2013 at 12:18 PM | by | ()

The summer heat has been kind to many areas across the country the last couple of weeks, but that’s not necessarily the case over in Austin, Texas. A quick look at the extended forecast shows high temperatures flirting with almost 100 degrees well into the weekend. The warm weather is a great excuse to take a break with a sweet treat, so it’s perfect timing for the area’s annual ice cream festival.

The seventh scoop is taking place this weekend on Saturday, August 17, and the fun is scheduled to run between 10am and 7pm at Fiesta Gardens right at the shores of Ladybird Lake. The city’s ice cream festival is exactly what you’d expect, but we say that in the best way possible. Games, activities, contests, and plenty of live entertainment, and of course all the ice cream you care to enjoy—it’s all included with the cost of admission. Even your dog is welcome to tag along as well, and we’re pretty sure someone will be there with some pet friendly deserts.

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