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With the summer weather winding down we figured it was worth celebrating Labor Day with a bit of outdoor fun and overindulgence. The seasonal food festivals are winding down, but there are still a few worth the price of admission. Here’s our picks for a few fun Labor Day food events to close out the summer season:
Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival – Buffalo, New York
When it comes to buffalo wings the annual party up on Buffalo, New York is pretty much the granddaddy of them all. The National Buffalo Wing Festival is set to do its thing at Coca-Cola field on September 1 and 2. Events include the US wing eating championship, bobbing for wings, and of course the Miss Buffalo Wing pageant. Admission will set you back just $5 per person, and the food tickets for the chicken wings start at $1 each. Restaurants and vendors—some as far away as Georgia—will all be there preparing their crispy-skinned delicacies, so if you’re in the neighborhood this is a don’t miss event.
Are you ready for some football?! There’s still a few months before the first official kickoff, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t time for a sneak peek. Training camps are set to do their thing later this month, so if you’ve always wanted to check out the scrimmages and practices now’s the time to start planning:
As best we remember the Steelers had a pretty good season in 2011, but after finishing with 12 wins during the regular season they were bounced from the playoffs by Tim Tebow and the Broncos. The Pittsburgh Steelers seem to be a threat to win it all each and every year, so we’re kind of expecting much of the same come 2012.
Hines Ward is gone, but Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu are back and looking to help the team earn Super Bowl win number seven. There’s plenty of teams with an alternate plan for this season’s Steelers, so we’ll just have to wait and see how the season shakes out.
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The weather is starting to warm up and the days are getting longer, and that means the beer festivals are starting to get bigger and better. The stouts and pilsners are moving from conference centers and auditoriums, and the fun is starting to move outdoors. If you don’t already have hoppy plans this month, here’s three beer festivals worth the road trip:
Pints For Pets
Support your love for furry friends while supporting your love for all things beer, as you raise a pint for the pets in Blair County, Pennsylvania. On tap will be around 70 different lagers and ales from all over the state, country, and world. All the fun goes down during two sessions on May 12 at People Natural Gas Field, so not only do you get to support the local Humane Society while drinking some beers but there’s also the chance to stroll around the local baseball field.
Tickets will set you back $35 per person in advance, and it’s going to be $40 if you wait to score tickets at the gate. All the profits from ticket sales go to help the doggies and kitties, so you might as well bring a few friends as well. 4oz samples seem to be the norm, and all the stadium’s concession stands will be open to serve up plenty of hotdogs, peanuts, and Cracker Jacks. Sly Fox, Boakes Brewing, and even New Planet Brewing Company will be pouring some of their gluten-free options. Cheers!
Our buggy in the snow
Intercourse in the winter. Intercourse in the snow. Intercouse in the sunshine. We experienced all the puerile jokes our hearts (and friends on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare) could take on our road trip to Amish Pennsylvania the week before last, but there was far more to our weekend away than Intercourse, Paradise, Bird in Hand or Blue Ball*the towns we visited.
One of the things that most enchanted us on our first visit to Lancaster County, three years ago, were the Amish buggies that share the road with cars. How we loved looking at them and taking photos of them (it was two years later we were told one doesn’t photograph the Amish or their buggies).
This time, we may not have photographed them (ok, we did photograph them, but from far off and with a big zoom), but we did get to ride on one. There are a few buggy ride outfits, but on recommendation we went with Aaron and Jessica’s Buggy Rides, based on the main road between Intercourse and Bird in Hand. Don’t expect a Jessica or an Aaron – the business is owned by a man named Jack. Jessica is his daughter, and Aaron was his first horse.
Why yes, this rather dapper mug does say exactly what you think it says. And no, it’s not rude. Because it’s a souvenir from our trip to Amish country, Pennsylvania. And yes, we thoroughly enjoyed Intercourse.
Yes, not only is Intercourse, PA, a real town; the fact that it’s in the middle of the Amish-inhabited Lancaster County gives it that little extra kick. Apparently, the origin of the name is not clear, but locals told us it either comes from the “intercourse” where the two main roads cross in the center of town, or it’s from the old word for conversation: “intercourse”.
None of which innocent explanations, of course, stops the local “English” (as the Amish call the non-Amish) from raking in the profits. We’ll bring you plenty more Intercourse next week; for now, hopefully this is enough to whet your appetite.
Photo: Juliab for Jaunted
Reality TV Travel / The Real World / Pittsburgh Travel / Pennsylvania Travel / TV Travel / MTV / → All Tags
MTV's The Real World has called more than 20 cities homeincluding New York, Paris, London, Los Angeles, and Las Vegasover the past 26 seasons and now it looks like they may be adding Pittsburgh to that list.
Though there is no official confirmation from MTV about the show's 27th location, and the Pittsburgh Film Office has remained mum about the possibility, many local websites, Twitter reports, and even Wikipedia, seem to agree that The Real World: Pittsburgh is finally happening in 2012.
Unfortunately Santa doesn’t open up the North Pole in the offseason for a behind-the-scenes look at what takes place in his workshop, but we might have found the next best thing. If the holiday stress and shopping is taking a toll on you this season, just consider taking a holiday timeout to visit the National Christmas Center. There’s no official museum all about Christmas, but this is pretty darn close.
Located in Paradise, Pennsylvania—right in the heart of Amish country—the place is dedicated to preserving and sharing memories of Christmas present and past. We don’t think there's exhibits dedicated to embarrassing holiday sweaters or home movies, but there are 15 different galleries and exhibits—along with a handful of smaller displays. In total there’s like 20,000 square feet of stuff to see and displays to wander through.
HallelujahPunxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow early this morning, when the little famous groundhog was removed from his burrow at Gobbler's Knob, near Punxsutawney, PA. This means an early spring, which is lovely to hear since it's already like Mother Nature took six extra weeks of winter and just layered them on top of the last six weeks.
In order to allow people to show their love for the cute critter and gain a special Foursquare badge at the same time, Pennsylania's Tourism Board has added a fourth badge to their current collection. Unlike the previous three badges, you don't have to be in Pennsylvania to score the Groundhog Day one, but there are still some requirements:
On the outside, the Mercer Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, looks like a gothic castle. But in the inside, the eclectic six-floor museum looks like hoarder heaven. We don't mean like those scary homes on A&E's Hoarders that you can't walk through and have dead animals under the clutter.
The museum's founder, Henry C. Mercer, collected pre-1850s junk, everything from a stagecoach to ornate tortoiseshell hair combs. As Mercer saw tools and handmade objects get replaced with machine-made goods, he had the foresight to know that those obsolete items would be of interest to archaeologists and historians.
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Sure the majority of the holidays have come and gone, but that just means we need something new to entertain us until the 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.
· Denver’s Winter Brew Fest 2011:
Citizens of Denver know their beer, and they’re ready to celebrate their love of the sudsy stuff at the end of January. On Friday, January 28 the annual Winter Brew Fest is ready to welcome both craft brewers and mega breweries to Mile High Station to celebrate ales, lagers, and stouts. Expect at least 35 breweries from around the state, country, and world to bring over 90 different varieties of beverages to share. Best of all, some of the proceeds of your admission go to benefit the Swallow Hill Music Association.
Tickets are still available, but we’d act quickly, as we’re sure a beer festival in Colorado is guaranteed to sell out. Tickets are $30 in advance and include unlimited tastings of the festival’s best brews. You’ll even get a souvenir tasting glass that you’re free to stumble out the door with once you’ve had your fill. Of course there will be plenty of live music, great food, and other stuff for sale to help balance all the delicious beer samples.
Stuff dropping from the sky to ring in 2011 isn’t for everyone, so that’s why we’re suggesting a sports travel alternative in chilly Pittsburgh. The NHL is bringing together two of its best teams—the Penguins and Capitals—in this year’s outdoor game during the 2011 Winter Classic.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are borrowing Heinz Field from the NFL’s Steelers for the weekend, as the football stadium is being transformed into a hockey rink as you read this. The only issue with this year’s game is that it might be a little too warm—and rainy—so there is a chance that things might get postponed until January 2. So just keep an eye on the weather if you plan on making the road trip to the left side of Pennsylvania.
Your local mall gets decked out for the holidays, but to get a different feel for the festivities, pay a visit to Peddler's Village in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The shopping spot turns into a winter wonderland when December rolls around.
It's an especially good time to travel to Peddler's Village because it will hold its Christmas Festival December 4 and 5. The fest will feature a Christmas Parade, Santa and more. But more importantly, it signals the time of the year that the village gets illuminated in colored bulbs and Victorian-style holiday decor.