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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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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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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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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.
There’s only a few days left in July, but that’s fine with us. That’s because August welcomes the lobsters to Maine, as the annual Maine Lobster Festival does its thing between July 31 and August 4.
It’s not too late to make plans to head to Rockland to take in all the action, as all the boiling and buttering takes place at Rockland's Harbor Park. Obviously there’s going to be plenty of those tasty crustaceans on display, but there’s way more than that.
There’s a road race, a fun run, and even a chance to just complete a leisurely walk as part of the festival. Plenty of music keeps things going well into the evening, and there’s a few acts that you might even recognize from your iPod. David Cassidy does his thing on Saturday evening, and the Spin Doctors hit the stage on Friday night. Tickets to the concerts are a little bit extra—like $25 or so—but that does include your festival admission as well.
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The summer has arrived, and that means that the beer festivals are moving outside. Seasonal specialties are now on tap, and breweries around the country are rolling out the kegs and offering some new stuff on tap. If you’re looking to toast to the warmer weather, here’s three beer festivals where you can do just that this June:
Omaha Beer Fest
We’ll assume that the final preparations are now underway for the third annual Omaha Beer Fest, as things are set to take place on Friday and Saturday—June 7 and June 8. The lagers and ales will be flowing at Stinson Park at Aksarben Village, as the fun is set to run between 5pm and 9pm the first night, and then between 4pm and 8pm on Saturday. Advance general admission tickets cost $30, and that gets you unlimited two-ounce samples and access to Beer Academy sessions. Blue Blood Brewing Company, CIB Brewery, and Jaipur Company are just a few of the breweries scheduled to be in attendance—cheers!
St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival
The best in beer are scheduled to gather over in St. Louis at Forest Park, as the St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival does its thing on June 14 and June 15. Buffalo Brewing Company, Six Row Brewing Company, and of course plenty of options from the folks at Anheuser-Busch will all be on hand to show off their seasonal sips. There’s a few different general admission sessions from which to choose, and each will set you back $35 if you order online. Your ticket includes unlimited beer samples from over different local breweries, and organizers are even bringing in plenty of live entertainment as well.
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At least according to the calendar we’ve officially made it through the winter, and now that April is here it’s time to move the beer festivals outdoors. The lagers, ales, and everything in between have been rolled into parks, squares, and plazas across the country. So pick a festival and raise a glass to the season at these three beer festivals—cheers!
Los Angeles Beer Festival
Start figuring out what you and your friends are doing this weekend, as it’s already time for the Los Angeles Beer Festival. Things are scheduled to start flowing on April 6, and there are a couple sessions from which to choose. Stuff takes place at Paramount Studios, and it’s $40 per person for the afternoon session as well as the evening session—the latter runs between 5pm and 8pm.
Local and international beers will be on tap, there will be plenty of food from trucks, and there’s even music to keep you motivated as you work through unlimited samples and sips. Angel City Brewery, Lagunitas Brewing Company, and Lost Coast Brewery are just some of the breweries scheduled to be in attendance, so you know this is going to be a good time.
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March has arrived, and believe it or not—the weather will get warmer. We already have spring on the brain, so what better way to celebrate then with some seasonal libations. Take some time out of your schedule, and raise a glass at a pair of spring beer festivals:
Spring Craft Beer Festival - Long Island, New York
Make your plans for the weekend now, as the Spring Craft Beer Festival is arriving on Long Island this weekend. The taps begin flowing on March 9 at the Nassau Coliseum, as local hop-heads look to toast to the warmer weather—and flavor—of springtime. The festival has been doing its thing for around the last seven years or so, and they promise that 2013 will be the best year yet.
In total there will be well over 100 different beers from which to choose, and they’ll be arriving from around 50 different breweries. There’s both an afternoon and an evening section, and tickets will set you back $45 if you order in advance online. Otherwise it’ll be $55 at the front door. With your ticket you’ll enjoy all-you-care-to-drink samples right out of your souvenir tasting glass, but we’d recommend bringing some extra cash for the food that’ll also be available. Just be sure to go slow and steady, as sips and samples from Montauk Brewing Company and Long Ireland Brewing Company shouldn’t be missed.
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February doesn’t have too much going on, so it’s a great month to head somewhere warm to escape the winter weather. We realize that might not be in the cards, so that’s why we’re suggesting the old standby—drinking—to get you through this month. Here’s three beer festivals where you can toast to February:
San Diego Winter Beer Festival
It doesn’t get quite that chilly during the winter over in San Diego, but the city still has plans for their very own winter beer festival. This year’s events are scheduled to do their thing on Friday, February 8, so if you don’t have plans for this weekend—you do now. Brewers in attendance include Ballast Point, Black Market Brewing Company, and Mission Brewery.
Tickets will set you back $40 in advance, but it’s going to be around $10 more if you’re getting them at the door. Things run between 7pm and 10pm, and it all takes place over at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. Live music from bands like Three Fiths Sober, 22 Kings, and YOVEE round out the event, so cheers to that.
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Of course the majority of the holidays have come and gone, but that just means we need something new to entertain us until the spring and summer warmth returns. There's still plenty of special winter beers and brews to sample, so here’s our picks for three festivals from which to take a sip or two this January.
Columbus Winter Beerfest – Columbus, Ohio
It’s January 11-12 for this year’s edition of the Columbus Winter Beerfest over at the Columbus Convention Center. Two nights mean even more beers, as organizers are promising over 60 breweries, more than 300 craft beers, and 10,000 hop heads enjoying each and every sip and sample.
Regular admission sets you back $35 per person, and that’ll get you a sampling cup and a generous allotment of tasting tickets—25 to be specific. The list of beers is still a work in process, but we’d expect some local options like Barley’s, Columbus Brewing Company, and Four Strings Brewing to make an appearance.
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10 Days on the Island - Ringing the Changes
In a nation that has perfect weather almost year round, there's always reason to celebrate. If you're planning on heading down under next year, we recommend keeping this guide to the best Australian festivals the nation has to offer.
· We've talked about the famous Sydney Mardi Gras before, so if you have a need for fabulous debauchery, check it out. The city offers much more than glitter with Vivid Sydney where the buildings and cityscape become the backdrop to colored light to bring the city alive. The festival features installation light-art pieces from late May to the middle of June.
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You know we love us a good beer festival, but sometimes we could use a little more entertainment than just the ales and lagers. That’s why we were excited to hear about some of these more unique options going down this month, so let’s raise our glasses to three November beer festivals that offer up a little extra.
Auto and Ales – Hershey, Pennsylvania
Everyone knows it’s not a good idea to mix drinking with driving, but as long as you keep the automobiles and alcohol separate it’s totally fine. That’s what is scheduled for this Friday—November 9—over in Hershey, Pennsylvania at the Antique Automobile Club of America. It’s what they’re calling Auto and Ales, and it’s ready to do its thing between 6pm and 10pm.
It’s the third year of the festival, as organizers promise to bring together some of the area’s best craft brewers and best classic cars. There’s no getting behind the wheel at this event, but you are encouraged to savor a few sips while enjoying the view. Appalachian Brewing Company, Lancaster Brewing Company, and Snitz Creek Brewery are just a few of those scheduled to be in attendance, and the sips and samples can be yours for just $40.