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US: Daytona Beach, FL – Rolex 24 at Daytona – Grueling 24 Hour Endurance Race

Since 1962, racing legends from around the world have come to Daytona to compete in a grueling 24-hour marathon.  The Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona is infamously relentless on both driver and machine as sleep-deprived crews perform mechanical phenomenons. From sunrise to sunset to sunrise again, witness as both man and machine are pushed to the limit in this twice-around-the-clock marathon.

Car MotorsportsThe Rolex 24 at DAYTONA, a 24-hour sports car endurance race executed on the track’s 3.56-mile road course, is a perfect battle between machine, driver and time.

The four-day event begins with qualifying races on January 25, a BMW Endurance race January 26 and the Rolex 24 January 27-28. Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso brings the driver star power to this most challenging race.Motorsports(1)

Schedule of Events:

Thursday, January 25th
9:00 AM
Stadium & UNOH Fanzone opens
9:20 AM – 10:20 AM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #1
10:40 AM – 11:25 AM
Ferrari Challenge practice session #3
11:40 AM – 11:55 AM
IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge practice session #3
12:05 PM – 12:20 PM
IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge ST qualifying
12:25 PM – 12:40 PM
IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge GS / TCR qualifying
1:40 PM – 2:40 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #2
3:00 PM – 3:15 PM
Ferrari Challenge qualifying #1 group 1
3:20 PM – 3:35 PM
Ferrari Challenge qualifying #1 group 2
3:55 PM – 4:10 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD qualifying
4:20 PM – 4:35 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM qualifying
4:45 PM – 5:00 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship P qualifying
5:00 PM – 5:20 PM
IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge practice session #4
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #3

 Friday, January 26th
8:30 AM
Stadium & UNOH Fanzone opens
8:45 AM – 9:00 AM
Ferrari Challenge qualifying #2 group 1
9:05 AM – 9:20 AM
Ferrari Challenge qualifying #2 group 2
9:40 AM – 10:40 AM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #4
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM
Ferrari Challenge race #1
11:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Carnival Rides at the Boardwalk Experience
12:00 PM – 12:45 PM
Grid opens for fan access to pre-race ceremonies on Pit Road
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
BMW Endurance Challenge At DAYTONA

Saturday, January 27th
6:30 AM
Stadium & UNOH Fanzone opens
7:00 AM
DAYTONA 5K Run & Fun Walk
8:00 AM
Rolex 24 Heritage Exhibition Display at the FPL Solar Patio inside UNOH Fanzone
9:00 AM
Stadium open
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
UNOH Fanzone Kids Zone open
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Motorsports Hall of Fame open in Daytona Ticket and Tours building
9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Daytona Rewards stations open in stadium & UNOH Fanzone
9:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Grassroots Motorsports Experience located at the Grassroots Motorsports tent along Lake Lloyd
9:30 AM – 10:45 AM
Ferrari Challenge race #2
10:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Carnival Rides at the Boardwalk Experience
10:30 AM
Rolex 24 Heritage Exhibition laps
11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Photos with the 56th Rolex 24 At Daytona trophy inside Gatorade Victory Lane
12:00 PM – 12:45 PM
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driver autograph session inside UNOH Fanzone
1:05 PM – 2:20 PM
Grid opens for fan access to pre-race ceremonies on Pit Road
1:05 PM – 2:20 PM
Crossover gates open
2:40 PM
START – 56th Rolex 24 At Daytona
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Wine & Cheese Party – Café 24 Activity Zone
6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Taste of the 24 in Stadium Midway Suites
8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Live band on the Main Stage inside UNOH Fanzone
10:30 PM – 12:00 AM
Karaoke on the Main Stage inside UNOH Fanzone

 Sunday, January 28th
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Café 24 Breakfast Garage inside the Café 24 Activity Zone
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Photos with the 56th Rolex 24 At Daytona trophy inside Gatorade Victory Lane
9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
UNOH Fanzone Kids Zone open
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Fanatics merchandise store open in Stadium
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Grassroots Motorsports Experience located at the Grassroots Motorsports tent along Lake Lloyd
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Motorsports Hall of Fame open in Daytona Ticket and Tours building
10:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Carnival Rides at the Boardwalk Experience
2:00 PM
Rolex 24 Heritage Exhibition parade begins in UNOH Fanzone
2:40 PM
FINISH – 56th Rolex 24 At Daytona

Photo Credit: Daytona International Speedway

Location: Daytona International Speedway, 1801 W. International Speedway Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32118
Date: Jan 25 – 28, 2018
Time: Various – See Schedule Above
Tel: 386-253-7223
daytonainternationalspeedway.com/Events/2018/Rolex-24-At-DAYTONA/Rolex-24-At-Daytona.aspx
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: daytonabeach.com

US: Fayetteville, NC- The Fayette Symphony Orchestra’s French Connection Concert

Francophiles and Lafayette enthusiasts, this concert is for you.  On Jan. 11, the Fayetteville Symphony will explore the area’s heritage with the concert “The French Connection.” The first chamber concert of the season at St. John’s Episcopal Church will feature the Fayetteville Symphony String Quartet as they perform Ravel’s String Quartet, a piece that is a cornerstone composition of French Impressionism. String Quartet 2018-01-03_13-25-51

Founded in 1956, the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously-funded community orchestra in North Carolina. Fifty-one years later, their mission remains: To Educate. To Entertain. To Inspire.

Location: St. John’s Episcopal Church, 302 Green Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Date: Thurs, Jan 11, 2018
Time: 7:30 – 9:30 pm
Tel: 910-433-4690
www.fayettevillesymphony.org/2017-2018-concerts
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfayettevillenc.com

US: Mystic, CT – Go Green for Year Fourteen of the Mystic Irish Parade

Each year, a sliver of Ireland is brought to the small town of Mystic, Connecticut when friends and family from near and far celebrate Celtic and Gaelic customs and traditions.

The 14th Annual Mystic Irish Parade is Mystic’s largest single day event; 30,000 plus spectators and 2,000 plus marchers will march from the Mystic Seaport to downtown Mystic. Kicking off promptly at 1pm, the parade, extends from the Mystic Seaport Museum to the Mystic Art Association.

About 2,200 local community participants will march alongside creatively designed floats and dance to the Celtic music echoing throughout the village while over 32,000 people will fill the streets of Mystic to  cheer  and commemorate the Irish holiday of St. Patrick’s Day.  Fun for the whole family, the parade will be hosting Celtic cultural events, outstanding pipe bands,  fife & drum ensembles, and marching bands.Mystic Irish Parade- Marshall

Better yet, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers are back! The Red Hot Chilli Pipers are a famous bagpipe band known internationally, with an ensemble of pipers, guitarists, keyboards and drummers. With groundbreaking fusion of traditional Irish music and rock anthems, they are sure to make this year’s parade the best yet.

On March 20th we can all be a little Irish! Try to arrive early as police will be closing off Mystic Irish Parade - Crowdsome of the routes to the marching area. The Mystic parade starts at Mystic Seaport’s South Lot and heads into Historic Downtown Mystic where the parade’s “marquis act” will perform. (photo credit: George Tazzini and Larry St. Pierre)

Location: Downtown Mystic, Mystic, CT 06355
Date: Sun, March 19, 2017
Time: Parade Kicks off at 1pm
Tel: 860-572-9578
mysticirishparade.org
For Regional Accommodations: thisismystic.com

US: Daytona Beach, FL – Grueling 24 Hour Marathon – Rolex 24 at Daytona, a Premier Endurance Race

This year marks the 55th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The competitive 24-hour continuous sports car race executed on the track’s 3.56-mile road course is a perfect battle between machine, driver and time. This race inaugurates the three weeks of race action for Budweiser Speedweeks with great racing, carnivals, car show and live bands and other entertainment.

Since 1962, racing legends from around the world have come to Daytona to compete in a grueling 24-hour marathon. The Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona is infamously relentless on both driver and machine as sleep-deprived crews perform mechanical phenomenons. From sunrise to sunset, fans will watch drivers compete against a brigade of  adversaries that span the auto racing universe in the first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race of the season.2013 Rolex 24 At Daytona

Each team is comprised of four drivers and no drivers are allowed to be in a car for more than four hours during a six-hour time frame. However, each driver must drive for at least four hours and 30 minutes throughout the 24-hour period. Crew chiefs and crew members will also rotate throughout the event.

When the 24-hour time span concludes, the team that has wheeled the most miles in each class of cars – Prototype, Prototype Challenge, GT Daytona, GT Le Mans – will win their respective divisions. The race begins at 2:40 pm on Saturday, Jan 28 and concludes on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 2:40 pm, giving it the name “24 Hours of Daytona.”

For Schedule and Tickets: daytonainternationalspeedway.com/Events/2017/Rolex-24-At-DAYTONA/Schedule.aspx
Photo Credit:  Barberstock

Location: Daytona International Speedway, 1801 W. International Speedway Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32118
Date: Sat, Jan 28 – Sun,  Jan 29, 2017
Time:  Jan 28th -6:30AM Fanzone Opens – Jan 29th 2:40PM FINISH – 55th Rolex 24
Tel: 386-253-7223
daytonainternationalspeedway.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: daytonabeach.com

US: Norwalk, CT – Growing Up in Korea – Heart and Seoul

Last chance to see Heart and Seoul: Growing Up in Korea is a new, cultural exhibit in which five modern-day Korean kids will open their hearts and invite you to take an intimate look into their lives through their diverse interests, customs and ambitions. The traveling exhibition will be in town only until end December at Stepping Stones Museum for Children.stepping-stones-heart-seoul

The exhibit, both fun and educational, will use traditional folktales as well as current day personal stories told by Korean children to engage visitors in learning about time-honored cultural values and life in South Korea’s highly urbanized and technologically-advanced country.

Children and visitors will be able to explore gallery areas that recreate the settings that characterize the lives of typical South Korean children in Seoul, such as an apartment, classroom, taekwondo studio, and K-pop stage. Throughout the exhibit, these spaces will be embedded with traditional folktales and games to show how values like respect for parents and elders; the importance of scholarship; loyalty to family, friends and community; and hospitality are still an integral facet of 21st century Korean life. stepping-stones-museum-heart-seoul

Hands-on experiences include:  an animation studio where visitors can try their hand at stop-motion animation. (The popular television series The Simpsons and Family Guy were created in Korean studios, as was the film Avatar.) Musically inclined kids will take the stage at K-Pop Stars Studio, where they can get on camera and “perform” with popular K-Pop singers. There’s a Taekwondo studio, where kids can practice their moves and learn this martial art based on 2,000-year-old ancient techniques.The exhibit also includes a plaza, a restaurant, an apartment, a classroom and a Hanok guest house.

Location: Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Mathews Park,
303 West Ave, Norwalk, CT 06850 |
Dates: til the end of Dec.
Hours: Mon – Sun, 10 – 5 pm
Tel: 203-899-0606
steppingstonesmuseum.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfairfieldcountyct.com

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

Cosmos Tour: Prague Vienna Budapest – Halushka dumplings and Cimbalon

On the Cosmos Tour to Prague, Vienna and Budapest, the first optional excursion was a typical Slavic evening in the well-known U Marčanů restaurant, and included folk music with Bohemian, Moravian and Slovakian singing and dancing, plus gypsy music and dancing. The performers were fabulous at getting the audience involved, and great fun ensued. A musical instrument called a cimbalon was played; it’s a large, trapezoidal box with metal strings stretched across, and is played by striking two hammers against the strings.

Here’s a short video of the cimbalon in action:

 

The  3-course meal accompanied by unlimited drinks (wine/ beer/soft drinks) started with my favorite food of the whole trip – halushka , little dumpling bits topped with cheese and  fried bacon (probably called bryndza) which is one of the the Slovak national dishes. Now we know why. The main course was pork on a skewer with delicate Lyonnaise potatoes, green beans and roasted potatoes.PragueDinner

Everyone ate and laughed and enjoyed the evening.

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