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US: Washington, DC – Cherry Blossom Kite Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is one the nation’s most cheerful springtime celebration. The 2018 Festival, March 20 – April 15, includes four weeks of events featuring diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit.Cherry Blossom kite-fest

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is kicking off kite season. Held on the grounds of the Washington Monument near 17th Street and Constitution Avenue NW in Washington, DC, the Blossom Kite Festival is family-friendly, free and open to the public.colorful Kiteindex

The seventh annual Blossom Kite Festival showcases the creativity of kite makers and skill of fliers from across the US and other countries through a variety of competitions and demonstrations, Rokkaku Battles and the Hot Tricks Showdown. Bring your own kites or children can make a kite at an activity station (while supplies last) to fly on the Public Field. Kites will also be available for purchase onsite.coloringNCBF17-1378-768x511

Photo Credit: National Cherry Blossom Festival

2018 Activity Schedule:

Competition and Demonstration Field

Kick-Off Parade…………………………….…………………………..10:00 AM
Kite Ballets & Demos…………………………………………….10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Adult Kite Makers Competition……………………………….11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Wind Jammers and Wings Over Washington…………….12:00 – 12:30 PM
Demonstrations…………………………………………………….……12:30 – 1:30 PM
Hot Tricks Showdown…………………………………………….1:30 – 2:30 PM
Rokkaku Battle………………………………………………………2:45 – 3:30 PM
Wind Jammers and Wings Over Washington………………3:30 – 4:00 PM
Kite Arch and Awards……………………………………………..4:00 – 4:30 PM

Family Field

Practice Fly for Youth Kite Makers……………………………10:30 – 11:00 A
Youth Kite Makers Competition……………………………….11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Youth Kite Makers Awards………………………………………12:00 – 12:30 PM
Blossom Build-off Competition………………………………..12:30 – 1:45 PMBol Races………………………………………………………………2:00 – 4:30 PM

Location: Grounds of the Washington Monument, near 17th St NW and Constitution Ave., Washington, DC 20006
Date: Sat., March 31st, 2018 (Rain Date: Sun., April 1st, 2018)
Time: 10 AM – 4:30 PM
Tel: 877-442-5666
nationalcherryblossomfestival.org

US: Providence, RI – Beloved by Generations The Little Prince Comes to Life

Festival Ballet Providence presents The Little Prince, based on the popular book written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, first published in 1943.

The charming fable tells the story of a young boy as he explores and makes sense of a strange new world after falling to Earth on a tiny asteroid. It’s a tender tale of loneliness, friendship, love, and loss.

This interplanetary exploration and adventure comes to life in this multi-media adaptation by choreographer Boyko Dossev, which includes an original video and stop-motion animation, bringing the story to life.

Admission includes post-show meet-and-greet where audience members have a chance to meet and mingle with the characters while enjoying complimentary milk and Seven Stars Bakery cookies.

Order tickets by phone: 401-353-1129 or Online

Location: FBP Black Box Theatre, 825 Hope Street, Providence, RI
Dates and Times: Sat. March 3: 4pm, Sun March 4: 1pm & 4pm,
Sun March 11: 1pm & 4pm
Tel: 401-353-1129
festivalballetprovidence.org/chatterBox.php
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goprovidence.com

US: Danbury, MD – Holy Moly Guacamole: A Fiesta in your Mouth at Connecticut’s Taco Festival

The best fiesta of the summer is taking place at the inaugural Connecticut Taco Festival, celebrating the tacos and taco-lovers alike.TacoFest StanIMG_6430

Your taste-buds will go crazy for the amazing variety of taco assortments from restaurants and food trucks around Connecticut. Tacos go hand-in-hand with a drink selection including frozen margaritas, tequila and Mexican beer.

While tacos lovers savor the eats, they can expect to be entertained by Lucha Libre Wrestling featuring Rey Mysterio and Jerry Lawler, Taco-Eating Contests, Live Music and Performances, including a Mariachi Band, Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Yale and local music. Kids activities include face painting, piñatas, and more. A fiesta in your mouth and loads of fun entertainment for the whole family.

Admission tickets include: free tacos, two voting tickets for your favorite tacos, access to the bar with Drink Specials (drinks are not included), entry to live music, performances and wrestling, Taco-Eating Contests, Shopping, Tasting Vendors & Kids Activities, t-shirt and free giveaways, including a shot glass.

Location: Danbury Ice Arena, 1 Independence Way, Danbury, CT 06810
Date: Sat, Aug 26, 2017
Time: 10 AM – 8 PM
Tel: 203-794-1704
cttacofestival.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfairfieldcountyct.com

US: Wilson, NC – Wilson Whirligig Festival and Cake Dive

The Wilson Whirligig Festival is a community celebration of people and art in motion held the first weekend in November, where everyone comes together for an energetic street festival focusing the whimsical North Carolina Folk Art, Vollis Simpson’s Whirligigs.

Don’t forget to check out the Cake Dive, the festival’s MESSIEST event, held on the Courthouse plaza on Sunday at 4 pm.  Participants  “dive” into a large10 ft x 10 ft anniversary cake for a variety of prizes.

whiligig-festival

With 35,000+ attendees , over 200 vendors, 3 stages of entertainment, arts & crafts
food vendors, FREE! Whirli-Kidz Zone and lots of Special events.

This commemoration is truly family-friendly and kid focused. FREE  live performances all day long with a wide variety of dance and demonstrations, from hip hop to lyrical, from clogging to ballet, from singing to karate. Play carnival games, create a craft, slide down a giant 26 foot slide or bounce in one of the many inflatable activities. Children of all ages can enjoy a variety of activities. Kids shouldn’t have all the fun! Demo’s available for 16 and up. Virtual Reality is not just for gamers anymore, it is everywhere. Learn more about this technology.

Location: Historic Downtown Wilson, 112 Goldsboro E ,Wilson, NC 27893
Date: Sat, Nov 5 – Sun, Nov 6, 2016
Time: Sat 10 – 5pm, Sun Noon – 5pm
Tel: 252-289-9650
whirligigfestivalnc.org

For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: wilsonnc.org

US: Portsmouth, NH- Meet Ghosts, See an Equestrian Ballet and Join the Halloween Parade

Brave attendees meet the Ghosts on the Banke at Strawbery Banke’s famous family-friendly Halloween celebration. Long-dead sea captains, 17th century shopkeepers and wayward pirates haunt the streets of Portsmouth’s oldest neighborhood as you trick or treat safely from house to historic house. ghosts-on-the-banke

Trick-or-Treat safely as Jack-O-Lanterns light the way to step over the threshold of time and meet the “Ghosts on the Banke.” Discover pirate treasure, visit with the wacky witch, look into the future with guidance from the gypsy fortune teller. Catch a Ghostly Tale when Community members bring history back to life with spooky plays, skits, and interactive improvisation throughout the evening. Light up the Night and warm weary bones by the bonfire.

Masques on the Banke (Sunday Oct 30 only – 5:30 – 7pm) – Step “Behind the Mask” at this 90 minute event, as the majestic black Friesian horses of Runnymede Farm perform their equestrian ballet. US Premiere of a choreographed equestrian dressage seen only in Europe.  Meet the horses and enjoy a mask-making craft for Halloween.  Special guests include: Wick’d Fire and the Skeleton Crew Theater.
Show off Your Costume (Oct 31st at 7 pm) – March in a New Orleans-style parade, past haunted houses of old, through ghostly lanes full of things that go bump in the night. The Portsmouth Halloween Parade starts at Peirce Island by Prescott Park. It is an all-inclusive celebration of community, creativity and free expression that walks, stalks, dances, trumpets and drums its way through downtown Portsmouth each year – for more info:  portsmouthhalloweenparade.org

Location:  Strawbery Banke Museum, 14 Hancock St., Portsmouth NH 03801
Date: Fri Oct 28 – Sat Oct 29, 2016
Hours: 5:30pm – 8pm
Tel: 603-433-1100
strawberybanke.org/events/ghosts-on-the-banke.cfm
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goportsmouthnh.com

US: Portsmouth, NH – Tour of Fairy Houses in Portsmouth

:Put on your fairy wings and get to The Portsmouth Fairy House Tour. It’s one of the largest fairy house tours around and takes place each fall in the historic South End Neighborhood of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Presently in its 12th year, the Tour will feature over 200 handcrafted fairy houses built by creative professionals, local artists, florists, garden clubs, community members, families and students and will be on display on the grounds of Strawbery Banke Museum , Governor John Langdon HousePrescott Park  and Peirce Island. The annual Fairy House Tour attracts more than 8,000 families and fairies each year.Fairy House

Inspired by local award-winning author and illustrator Tracy Kane’s Fairy Houses Series® of books, which popularized fairy house building worldwide and served as the original inspiration for the Portsmouth Fairy House Tour. Tracy Kane will be on hand both days to greet fairy fans and sign books.

Visitors will also have the chance to see excepts from “Fairy Houses–the Ballet” performed both days on the Prescott Park Arts Festival Stage and see the magic of Tracy Kane’s Forest Secrets brought to life by the NH Theatre Project in the Langdon grove. Families are also invited to build their own fairy house on Peirce Island where Basic materials will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own special embellishments. For a complete list of activities: portsmouthfairyhousetour.com/activities–food.html

The centerpiece of the Tour is the Artists Invitational competition. Ten select fairy houses build by imaginative connoisseurs will be judged by a panel of three judges, including Fairy Houses Series® Author/ Illustrator, Tracy Kane.

Tour Summary:

  • Ticket includes entrance to Strawbery Banke and Governor John Langdon House
  • Meet Tracy Kane, author/illustrator of the multi-award winning Fairy Houses Series® of books and video.
  • Artists Invitation
  • Excepts from “Fairy Houses–the Ballet” performed both days on the Prescott Park Arts Festival Stage
  • See the magic of Tracy Kane’s books brought to life by the NH Theatre Project in the Langdon grove
  • Build your own Fairy House on Peirce Island and help create the World’s Largest Fairy Houses Village
  • The Amazing Bubble Machine
  • All within walking distance
  • FREE PARKING available at Peirce Island

Tickets and tour maps are available by the flag pole at Prescott Park, Governor John Langdon House, and on Peirce Island (by the main parking areas).

Location: various -Portsmouth, NH 03801
Date: Sat & Sun, Sept 24 & 25 2016
Time: 11am till 3pm Rain or Shine
Tel: 603-659-1300
portsmouthfairyhousetour.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goportsmouthnh.com

Canada: Montreal – Cavalia’s Odysseo is a Perfect “10”

Odysseo, the horse centric show, is awesome family entertainment which will WOW every member. If you can imagine taking Cirque du Soleil up a notch by marrying it with a team of gifted equestrians, this would be their offspring.

The show has acrobats, blade-running acrobats and horse acrobats – each team outdoing the other in their antics. However, at the same time, all the way through you will see members giving each other the high five in appreciation of each other’s work. Sweet.

There are raucous horses racing through jumps and quiet ballet-like riderless horses dancing to the whims of their female horse whisperer, Elise Verdoncq.

The carousel pole acrobatics is  a charming setting for the melange of horse and rider/acrobat but the white fabric/rope acrobatic act is the perfect “10” for each of the costume designer, set designer, lighting, and the acrobats themselves.

It’s hard to imagine it fitting into a tent setting, but horses appear on mountaintops, in ice caves, the woods, walking down hills, galloping as fast as the wind and even and splashing in a waterfront finale.

Don’t wait, book tickets now.  Great idea for Dad for Father’s Day.

Location: Odysseo White Big Top at the corner of the Metropolitan & Decarie Boulevards
1425 Dion Street, Montreal (QC), H4N 2C3
Tel: 866-999-8111
Dates: June 17-July 19
www.cavalia.net
www.facebook.com/cavalia
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oddysseo

Cosmos Tour: Prague Vienna Budapest – Beloved Sisi, Empress Elisabeth

Just as we have our beloved famous Disney princesses, the Austro-Hungarian Empire had theirs – but she was for real. They call her by her nickname Sisi, and she was their Empress for 44 years.sisi

Their have been numerous movies, plays, operas, ballets, books and music about her in the German speaking world. It is probably the trilogy of romantic films about her life which starred a young Romy Schneider which made her a household name. She is so popular that  the 3 movies are shown every Christmas on Austrian, German, Dutch, and French television.

Though her husband Emperor Franz Josef  adored her, she felt stifled by Habsburg  court life and traveled extensively whenever and wherever she could. She loved learning and spoke English, French, modern Greek and Hungarian. Her domineering mother-in-law made her life miserable and even took away her children to raise. Her first daughter died as a toddler and her beloved son Crown Prince Rudolph, heir to the throne, committed suicide along with his lover, and she never fully recovered from that loss.

Empress Elisabeth was vain and did not sit for any portraits after she was 32  and would not allow any more photographs, so that her public image would always remain of her youthful self.  She was tall, and compulsively maintained the same low weight all through her life thru exercise (horsemanship, fencing, hiking) and fasting.

Her interest in politics had developed as she matured. She felt an intense emotional alliance with Hungary, and worked toward it gaining an equal footing with Austria. Elisabeth was an ideal mediator between the Magyars and the Emperor. She was a personal advocate for Hungarian Count Gyula Andrássy (he was a lifelong friend, and possibly her lover).

Finally, the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 created the double monarchy of Austro–Hungary. Andrássy was made the first Hungarian prime minister, and in return he saw that Franz Josef and Elisabeth were officially crowned King and Queen of Hungary.

Sisi was assassinated “by accident” in 1898 by Luigi Lucheni, who had planned to kill the Duke of Orleans, Pretender to France’s throne, but the Duke had left town. Despite warnings of possible assassination attempts Elisabeth, now age 60, traveled incognito to Geneva. She eschewed the protection which the Swiss government had offered and only promenaded with her lady-in-waiting.

You can visit many of her residences: her apartments in the Hofburg and the Schönbrunn Palaces in Vienna, the imperial villa in Ischl, the Achilleion in Corfu, and her summer residence in Gödöllő, Hungary.

These plaques, mounted in Vienna, tell some of her story:

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www.cosmos.com/Product.aspx?trip=46050