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Up in the northern hemisphere things are starting to turn a little cooler, as we say goodbye to summer in preparation for the cooler temperatures of fall. Some of us are a little sad and not quite ready to bid a fond farewell to the longer days and all that sunshine.
However, that’s certainly not the case on the globe’s bottom half, as we’re certain they’re pumped to say see you later to the winter in preparation for the warmer weather and sunshine of spring and summer.
If you're already in Waikiki or your are just headed to Honolulu this weekend, then we have a suggestion for you that’s a little different than Hawaii’s usual surf, sand, and sun. On Saturday the city’s main drag, Kalakaua Avenue, turns into a street scene dedicated to one of the island’s favorite foods—SPAM.
It’s time for the eleventh annual Waikiki Spam Jam, and at this point you can kind of assume that they’ve really got things figured out. Basically it’s a street festival for one and all, and plenty of the area’s best restaurants stop by to serve up spam and other canned meat delicacies. There’s a pair of stages with free entertainment and music, and of course there’s plenty of arts and crafts so that you can bring home a souvenir.
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The weather is starting to get a little bit warmer, and sooner than later it’ll be time for the calendar to flip over to May. That means theme park season will officially be underway, so here’s a quick rundown of when some parks across the country are set to fire up their coasters for the very first time:
· Carowinds – Charlotte, North Carolina - April 19
· HersheyPark – Hershey, Pennsylvania - May 3
· Elitch Gardens Theme Park – Denver, Colorado - May 4
· Holiday World & Splashin' Safari – Santa Claus, Indiana - May 4
· Kennywood – West Mifflin, Pennsylvania - May 4
· Six Flags Great America – Chicago, Illinois - May 4
· Cedar Point – Sandusky, Ohio - May 11
· Darien Lake – Corfu, New York - May 11
· Great Escape – Lake George, New York - May 18
· Michigan's Adventure – Muskegon, Michigan - May 22
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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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Just last week we were all excited about the arrival of marshmallow Peeps at the Racine Art Museum over in Wisconsin. Not to worry—they’re still putting on their Peep exhibit—but there’s actually a few more places where you can see candy turned into art during the spring season. We just wonder when the chocolate bunnies are getting their own gallery space.
There must be something about the sugary candies and Wisconsin, as another seasonal selection of Peeps is now doing its thing at the Riverfront Arts Center in Stevens Point. Things here run through April 7, and last year there were around 1,300 or so peeple—ha—that came to check things out. This year there’s around 30 entries from both little kids and big kids, and they illustrate every thing from superheroes to a candy version of the Papal Conclave.
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It’s officially spring—at least according to the calendar—and that means it’s time to celebrate the season with chocolate bunnies, candy eggs, and plenty of jelly beans. Sure that stuff is traditionally brought out to celebrate Easter, but we’re pretty sure it tastes just as good no matter your religious affiliation or lack thereof. Of course one treat that takes seasonal candy to the next level are the trusty marshmallow Peeps. This year they taste even better, as they’re part of their very own art exhibit.
If you don’t call Wisconsin home you might want to start looking into some flights, as March 29 is when the exhibit opens up at the Racine Art Museum. They’ve been doing this for a few years now, and the fun is scheduled to run through Sunday April 14. It’s just what you imagine it to be, as artists of all ages are encouraged and welcomed to create their own masterpiece made of out of the candy.
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We’ve seen hints of the warmer weather here and there, but it must already be heating up at a couple of the country’s theme parks. Spring has arrived, as tulips and daffodils begin to dot the landscape that’s usually filled with rollercoasters and corn dogs. Not everyone gets in on the spring fun, but here’s a few amusement parks doing the spring thing:
Knott's Berry Bloom
They don’t exactly close for the winter, after all the southern California weather can’t be beat. However, Knott’s Berry Farm does welcome the change of seasons as only a theme park can. Beginning on March 23 they’re upping the ante on the existing offerings, as they’re promising a boost in live entertainment, plenty of games, and even a bunch of food and wine events.
They’ll be taking down the seasonal decorations from the attic as well, as the place gets “spring-i-fied”—their words not ours. Knott’s Towering Topiary Tasting Garden mixes oversized garden sculptures with some adult sips and samples, and the kids get in on the fun as they look for Snoopy and his friends during the park’s Search for the Easter Beagle. Most of the seasonal stuff is included in your admission—around $60 per person.
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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.
Take a whiff of the air. Smell the summer coming? Now's the time to scarf down the best of the late-spring yummies. Here's three to eat right now, from Germany to the US and finally over to Scandinavia and Britain:
German Spargel. Do you like asparagus? Then you'll be dancing-in-place excited to try the German version. Spargel season (or Spargelzeit) lasts from the middle of April to mid-June, so we're sitting pretty in it right now. Spargel is no flimsy, thin stalk either. Spargel is like if you put American asparagus on Popeye-style steroids; it is thick, confident asparagus and well worth a spring trip to Germany. It can be found for sale in most markets around Deutschland, including at train stations, as we've spotted it in Düsseldorf. While the white version is most popular during Spargelzeit, the green is still tasty and the purple...well, that's something to write home about.
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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!
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Pay attention for a second. There are two things you need today. Like, right now. And they're both about the Netherlands.
First, today marks the beginning of the Floriade, a massive festival ofyou guessed itflowers. The Holland Floriade only comes around every 10 years, so this World Horticultural Festival hasn't happened since 2002. It's not in Amsterdam actually, but near the German border in the Dutch town of Venlo. There you'll find themed mini-worlds (like the real World Expo), 100+ gardens, acrobatic shows, green architecture and technology exhibits, plus Europe's biggest indoor flower show.
There's no need to rush, so long as you hit the Floriade before it closes on October 7. The high summer will of course be the busiest time, but we'd imagine that September could be ideal. Here's the official site.
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It’s officially spring, and April has been doing its thing for a few days now. That means the seasonal festivals have started to move outdoors and the warmer weather guarantees a good time no matter where you decide to spend the weekend. Of course overindulgence on one particular food is always a great way to pass the time, so here’s a few picks of where to taste and treat this month:
World Grits Festival - St. George, South Carolina
We’re just a week or so away from the World Grits Festival in St. George, South Carolina, so if you’re looking for a little slice of the South now’s the time to make your plans. They’ve been throwing this party for the last 27 years, so at this point we’re thinking that they really know what they’re doing. All kinds of arts and crafts will be on display, there’s a chance to grind your own grits, plenty of live music, and of course a grits eating contest. Things run between April 13 and April 15—check the full schedule here—and admission is totally free. Just be sure to schedule your time accordingly, as we wouldn’t want you to miss the chance to see attendees rolling around in a pool full of grits—yes, that’s a real thing.
Dairy State Cheese and Beer Festival – Kenosha, Wisconsin
Nothing is as delicious as some beer and some cheese, and thankfully there’s one festival in Wisconsin getting ready to celebrate both. The Dairy State Cheese and Beer Festival is getting ready to go on Saturday, April 21 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Tickets will set you back around $40 per person, but that will get you access to plenty of samples from the state’s best cheese producers and brewers. Local breweries will be on hand to show off their latest sudsy creations including Big Bay Brewing Company and their Long Weekend IPA. All the overindulgence goes down at the The Brat Shop, so we’re even thinking they’ll be an opportunity to partake in a sausage or too as well.