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US: Pawtucket, RI – Dragon Boat Racing & Taiwan Day Festival in Blackstone Valley

Now in its 18th year, the Rhode Island Chinese Dragon Boat Races & Taiwan Day Festival is an extraordinary event for the whole family to enjoy.  Join the thousands of people who attend each year for exciting competition, family-fun, and a great opportunity to learn more about Chinese culture.RI Dragon Boat 2017-07-31_11-03-41

Racers continue to use the fiberglass Taiwanese-style dragon boats gifted to them from the Republic of China (Taiwan)  and incorporate the skill of flag-catching in each race.

The course length is 1,000 feet long up the Pawtucket River, with three boats racing at a time. A unique element to the races is the larger Taiwanese-style dragon boats, wood paddles, and the flag-catching in each race. If the flag is missed a penalty is added to their time.RI Dragon Boat- crowd2017-07-31_11-05-27

Sanctioned by the Eastern Regional Dragon Boat Association, the RI Chinese Dragon Boat Races consist of two divisions: the Mixed Division, which requires a minimum of 6 female paddlers, and the Open Division that has no gender restrictions.

In addition to the exciting boat races, under the giant tent you will find Taiwan Day festivities with some top notch entertainment including  cultural performances, many art & crafts tables, and the ever-popular dumpling eating contest. The festival also has a great selection of vendors, interactive activities, and food trucks.RI Dragon Boat dancers2017-07-31_11-08-34

Don’t miss the great entertainment throughout the day including:

  • The popular Chinese dumpling eating contest
  • Taiwanese arts & crafts tables
  • Lion dancers
  • Yo-yo performances
  • Interactive games and activities
  • A fun (and messy) watermelon eating contest
  • Food trucks
  • Vendors

With so much to see and do…the Taiwan Day Festival is truly a great opportunity to witness some wonderful traditional Chinese and Taiwanese entertainment.

Parking and shuttle buses: Parking and shuttles for teams and attendees will be located at the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center‘s lot, 175 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI. Shuttle buses will start at 7:00 am and run until the awards ceremony has been completed.

Photo credit: James Toomey/Blackstone Valley Tourism Council

Location: Festival Pier, Pawtucket River, Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Date: Sat, September 9, 2017
Time: 8am – 5pm
Tel: 401-724-2200
dragonboatri.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: tourblackstone.com

US: New Haven, CT – International Festival of Arts & Ideas

What do you get when you assemble authors, scientists, and leading innovators alongside outstanding artists? The International Festival of Arts & Ideas – a 15-day festival of performing arts, lectures; dynamic public programs to captivate, entertain, and motivate a diversity of communities.Arts & Ideas2017-05-05_16-12-09

Each June, the Festival takes over the theaters, open spaces, and courtyards of New Haven, Connecticut with performances and dialogues that tickle the senses, engage the mind, and inspire the soul. More than 80% of festival programs are completely free to the public, including events that feature some of the most influential jazz, classical, dance, and theater artists of our time.

Dancers Arts & Ideas 2017-05-05_16-16-33This year will feature an array of world-premiere theater performances, internationally renowned musicians, modern dance, circus theater, weighty discussions on contemporary issues, food and bicycle tours. Be empowered through the rhythms of BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play, healed through the communal music of (Be)longing, and surprised by international premieres from China, cutting-edge, retro-tech experiences of Manual Cinema, and LEO’s gravity defying theatrics.  In addition, more than a dozen new performances and experiences in ALTAR’d Spaces surrounding the New Haven Green, the Big Read, The Wailers and Rusted Root… the line up is bounteous!

Photo Credits:New Haven Green – Judy Sirota, Pop Up Fair – Haven Anderson

Location: Town Green and various venues throughout the city
Downtown New Haven, CT 06510
Dates: June 3- 24, 2017
Hours: Various
Tel: 203-498-1212
artidea.org/festival
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitnewhaven.com

US: Lexington, MA – China’s Golden Dragon Acrobats: Breathtaking Showmanship of Magical Stunts

The ancient art of Chinese Acrobatics is an old and long running tradition that began in China well over two thousand years ago. Over its long and rich history it has developed as one of the most popular art forms among the Chinese people.

The Golden Dragon Acrobats represent the best of a time-honored custom that combines award-winning acrobatics, ancestral dance, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music and theatrical techniques to create an unforgettable experience of breathtaking skill and spellbinding beauty.Chinese Acobats - Rings

The legendary Golden Dragon Acrobats performs at Cary Hall with their amazing feats of athleticism, daring, heart-stopping stunts and the finesse of the centuries-old art form.This unique cirque spectacular showcases a tour de force of traditional Chinese acrobats highlighting their remarkable skills and physicality.

Boasting the best in gasp-inducing juggling with props as varied as ladders and giant spinning wheels, tumbling and balancing acts, the performers show just why they’re world renowned. Their spectacular artistry and colorful accoutrements are combined with cirque-style acts. The traditional and contemporary musical score and explosive choreography creates an exciting  show of mesmerizing mastery showmanship and breathtaking, magical stunts that is nothing short of phenomenal.Chinese Acrobats - Bike

Location: Cary Hall, 1605 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA 02420
Date: Sat, April 8, 2017
Time: 3 -5pm
Tel: 617-531-1257
caryhalllexington.com/wordpress1/?projects=the-golden-dragon-acrobats-april-8
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: merrimackvalley.org

US: Palm Beach, FL – Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Flagler Museum

The Flagler Museum invites you to tumble down the rabbit hole and enjoy all the splendor of their “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”.Flagler's Mad Hatter Tea Party

Families are invited to come dressed for Tea on Saturday, March 11th, 2017 at the enchanting ambiance of the Flagler Museum. The morning will commence at 10am with parents and children creating their own festive bonnets and top hats.

Sporting their fashionable masterpieces, parents and children will then be entertained by a  story from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and learn proper table etiquette from the Mad Hatter.

The ending is as divine as the start,  culminating with a Gilded Age style tea lunch in the Museum’s Café des Beaux-Arts, designed in the style of a nineteenth-century Beaux Arts railway palace. Families will be delighted with an assortment complete with dainty tea sandwiches, traditional scones, and sweets.Mad Hatter's Tea Party

Space is limited, advance purchase is required. To Buy Tickets: flaglermuseum.us/museum-store/mad-hatter-tea-party

For those of you unable to make this charming event, fortunate for you that the Flagler Museum offers an afternoon tea each day, which features an array of delicacies and refreshments reminiscent of the elegance of entertaining during the Gilded Age. Don’t miss the chance to treat yourself to a a selection of gourmet tea sandwiches, traditional scones, and sweets complemented by the Flagler Museum’s own Whitehall Special Blend™ tea, and served on exquisite Whitehall Collection™ china. Hours: 11:30 – 2:30pm Tues – Sat, 12 – 3 pm on Sun

Photo Courtesy of: © Flagler Museum

Location: One Whitehall Way, Palm Beach, FL 33480
Date: Sat., March 11, 2017
Time: 10am
Tel: 561- 655-2833
flaglermuseum.us
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: thepalmbeaches.com

Hong Kong: Cycling to see Castles

For those who are truly adventurous,there’s a tour Cycling the Castle Houses of Southern China. It’s always a tough decision to leave Hong Kong for a few days, but this two-wheel foray into the Guangdong Province offers one of the best ways of swapping the city lights for more rural delights.

The unique castle-like dwellings (diaolou) of Kaiping have UNESCO World Heritage status and display a flamboyant fusion of Chinese and Western architecture. Émigré Kaipings returning to their home country from overseas in the 1920s and 30s built these fortified towers in this distinctive style to protect against bandits.credit: Hong Kong Tourism

This unique three-day cycling tour starts (and finishes) in Hong Kong, where participants board the ferry to Jiangmen and then take a coach to Kaiping, the location for saddling-up and setting off to spend the next few days travelling along rural country roads, village paths and forested tracks. The heritage sites of Kaiping and Chikan, as well as the diaolou clusters in Liyuan Garden, Zili Village and Majianglong, are all included on this fascinating itinerary. Arriving back in Hong Kong will provide an exciting contrast to a lovely rural trip.

www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/see-do/tours-walks/guided-tours/explore-hong-kong/kaiping.jsp

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Canada: BC has Authentic Asian Night Markets

In Richmond, BC, Canada,  mounds of swirly hurricane fries, Japanese takoyaki, and sweetly flavoured mini donuts are ready to hit the fryers. Grills are heating up in anticipation of skewered seaweed, squid pancakes, roasted yams and fresh duck wraps. Sweet treats, from mountains of sweet mango and cream to fresh dragon’s beard candy, are being scooped and spun for the hot summer months ahead. Meanwhile, vendors are ready to sell their unique wares to shoppers, as performers line up to entertain you.

Richmond is home to 2 Asian night markets, bringing the Far East to the Canadian West Coast. The Richmond Night Market and the International Summer Night Market combine to bring nearly 150 food stalls and over 400 retail vendors to their sites.

With a population that is 65 per cent Asian, Richmond’s two Asian night markets bring together cuisines from Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, France, Kenya and Canadian First Nations. Snaking through the dining stalls is like being transported around the world, and offers a chance to sample some finger-licking good bites.

And, even with so much diversity, there is one element that unites all foods – the humble skewer. Look for tasty and swirly skewered potatoes dipped in flavoured salts – these night market skewers are just one of the “on-a-stick” options carried around the markets. Other stalls can be found skewering everything from spears of asparagus wrapped with bacon, to fried garlic prawns and juicy Thai chicken satay.

Vendors at both night markets bring together some of the hottest and most unique accessories – including jewelry, clothing, and everything you didn’t know you needed – at street-side prices (cheap). The most popular items visitors head there for are – socks and cell phone covers. For the fanciest of footwear, look out for superheroes, animals galore and, Mr. Gangnam himself, Psy. To keep electronics safe or give them some sparkle Richmond’s night markets have got it covered.

www.richmond.ca