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US: St Simons Island, GA – African American Musical Traditions (even Gullah Geechee), Crafts and Food

For over 40 years the Georgia Sea Islands Festival on St. Simons Island, Georgia has celebrated the African American musical traditions, crafts, and food of the coastal barrier islands.Women gsif5_a094edcd-5056-a36a-0b4d02effe6ba3a5

Each year the highlight of the festival are the musicians – young, old, and some “with an old heart” — who perform traditional spirituals, work songs, and plays handed down by their ancestors. Live entertainment includes The Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters.

There will be cuisine such as  smoked mullet, fried fish, sweet potato pone, homemade ice cream, and demonstrations of traditional Gullah Geechee knitting cast net and sweet grass baskets.

Men Singing gsif4_a0952c76-5056-a36a-0ba9ac6ed479ebd0The Georgia Sea Islands Festival is FREE and filled with fun and entertainment for the whole family.Crowd gsif3_a0953f8a-5056-a36a-0b44dfd584862c30

Location: Gascoigne Bluff Park, 1000 Arthur J Moore Dr, St Simons Island, GA 31522
Date: Sat, June 2, 2018
Time: 11am – 6pm
Tel: 912- 634-0330
ssiheritagecoalition.org/2018/02/16/georgia-sea-islands-festival-2018
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goldenisles.com

US: Newport, RI – Enjoy a Night Full of Great Food and Entertainment

Looking for a great night out while you are on route…this dinner theatre will fit the bill. At Newport Playhouse and Cabaret Restaurant you can enjoy a great buffet, an entertaining play and a fun-filled cabaret all under the same roof. The air conditioned, handicap accessible theatre is conveniently located at the foot of the Newport Bridge and has plenty of parking.

Their expansive buffet does not skimp on quality or selection. Feast on a large variety of hot and cold foods, main entrees, side dishes, beverages and homemade desserts and everything is prepared on the premises.  Alcohol is available table-side or at the bar.Newport Theater Buffet2017-10-03_12-26-15

After dinner stroll into the theater, where you have reserved seating,  for a delightful comedy. After the play, return to the dining room for a cabaret filled with songs and laughter.

Now Playing: The Crazy Time – A laugh-filled look at the joys and perils of May/December romances. Miles has left his wife Kate for a younger woman whose youthful lifestyle is both exciting and exhausting. Kate has found a way to deal with her loss. Throw in a daughter with her own marital problems and Miles’ scheming business partner Jerry, and you have all the makings of a full-fledged struggle between the sexes, as Kate and Miles deal with what they each have lost and gained.

Newport Theater Crazy Time2017-10-03_12-21-19You have the choice to purchase Dinner Theatre or Theatre only tickets. The Newport Playhouse and Cabaret gives you a lot of bang for your buck, a full night (or afternoon) of entertainment.

Location: Newport Playhouse and Cabaret Restaurant, 102 Connell Highway,
Newport, RI 02840
Dates: Thurs, Oct 12 – Sun, Nov 19, 2017
Times: Matinee or Evening depending on the day
Tel: 401-848-7529
newportplayhouse.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goprovidence.com

US: New Smyrna Beach, FL: Jamaican Rhythms at New Smyrna Beach’s Reggae Festival

Yeah Mon’- Don’t worry ’bout a thing, cause every little thing’s, gonna be alright at the annual New Smyrna Beach Reggae Festival, celebrating everything Reggae and Island on June 16 – 18, 2017.Reggae -Group

Over a dozen acts are set citywide for the musical weekend commemorating one of America’s most popular music genres, everything from classic reggae to new Island rhythms. The weekend includes multiple band meet and greets and plenty of free giveaways. And best yet – every performance is free – no cover charge, though some locations do have a minimum age admission of 21 years.

Reggae Band Love TribeNo need to set sail for the Caribbean, plan to attend this festival and Jamaica will be brought right to you. Sit back, relax and enjoy the variety of performances at numerous locations throughout New Smyrna Beach.New-SmyrnaBeachReggaeMusicFestival2

Location: Flagler Ave, New Smyrna Beach, 32169
Dates: June 16, 2017 – June 18, 2017
Time: 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Tel: 800-541-9621
flaglerave.com/event/nsb-reggae-festival-2
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: nsbfla.com

US: Fredericksburg, VA – Gingerbread Houses, Miniature Dollhouses, and even the Grinch

Looking for some fun, family friendly entertainment this holiday season, well Fredericksburg has you covered.

Why not check out the 30th Annual Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibit at George Washington’s Ferry Farm . This year’s theme is “Home for the Holidays.” A long-standing holiday tradition,  adults and children alike will enjoy the sights and smells of the festive creations displayed at George Washington’s Ferry Farm.gingerbread-house-txt
Location: 268 Kings Hwy (Route 3 East) Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Dates: until Dec 30th (Closed December 24 & 25)
Hours: Mon – Sat 10am – 4pm; Sun 12pm – 4pm
Tel: 540-370-0733 x24
ferryfarm.org

Visit Historic Kenmore this holiday season for an exhibit of highly detailed, replica dollhouses – including the mansion – and miniatures in the Crowninshield Museum Building. A Wee Christmas – Dollhouses and Miniatures Show where you can  share memories as you explore life in miniature. Put your mind and eye to the test with their “I Spy Miniatures” challenge – fun for young and old alike. doll-house-exhibit
Location: 1201 Washington Ave, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Dates: until Dec 30th (Closed December 24 & 25)
Hours: Mon – Sat 10am – 4pm; Sun 12pm – 4pm
Tel: 540-373-3381
kenmore.org

And for the kid in all of us, Mr. Grinch is coming to Downtown Fredericksburg! Every Sunday in December Mr. Grinch will be available for a 15 minute ride down Caroline Street, sing some Whoville songs, admire the decorated store windows and enjoy the ride. This is a great photo opportunity and kids get a Christmas Goody Bag.grinch-carriage-ride
Location: 706 Caroline St., Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Dates: every Sunday in December
Hours: 11 to 4pm
Tel: 540-371-0094
visitfred.com/events/mr-grinch-coming-to-downtown-fredericksburg

For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants and Attractions: visitfred.com

 

US: Richmond, VA – Enjoy Rock, Tarantata, Gospel, Fiddling, Bluegrass Music and Food in Richmond

The Richmond Folk Festival carry’s forward the 12-year tradition established by the hugely successful National Folk Festival celebrating the roots, richness and variety of American culture through music, dance traditional crafts, storytelling and food. The event takes place at downtown Richmond’s  historic riverfront from 2nd to 7th streets and from Byrd Street to the river – including Brown’s Island, The American Civil War Museum at Historic Tredegar, portions of Federal Reserve parking lots, and Tredegar Street. richmond-folf-fest

Richmond Folk Festival is where over 200,000 festival goers gather for three FREE days of music, dance, food and fun. Drawing in visitors from across the country with an eclectic mix of 40 artists performing on seven different stages with continuous music and dance performances, along with a Virginia Folk-life demonstration area, children’s activities, a folk arts marketplace, regional and ethnic foods. richmond-folk-fest2

Among the artists to be featured at the 2016 Richmond Folk Festival are: Gary U.S. Bonds and Gene “Daddy G” Barge, (Norfolk Sound), Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (Southern Italian pizzica tarantata), The Fairfield Four (African-American gospel singing quartet), Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie (zydeco), Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy (Cape Breton and Ontario fiddling), Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers (bluegrass), Homayoun Sakhi and Salar Nader (Afghan rubâb and tabla), Sheila Kay Adams (Appalachian songs, stories and ballads). Check the website for complete list of performers/schedule.richmondfolkfestival.org/docs/event_schedule

Expect lots of great food: ethnic, regional and traditional foods to delight guests and showcasing a wide variety of tempting foods to compliment the spirit of the festival. From classic festival fare to exotic flavors from around the globe, there’s definitely something to tickle your tastebuds.

Location: Downtown Richmond’s Riverfront, Brown’s Island Park,Richmond, VA 23219
Date: Fri, Oct 07  – Sun, Oct 09, 2016
Time: Fri 6 – 10PM, Sat 12 – 9:30PM, Sun 12 – 6PM
Tel: 804-788-6466
richmondfolkfestival.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitrichmondva.com

Canada: Montreal , Quebec – Centaur Theatre’s Last Night at the Gayety

George Bowser and Rick Blue have an amazing way with words. True to the their well-known genre it’s the songs at Centaur’s Last Night at the Gayety, that really “sing”. They are just so darn clever. The play, about Montreal’s infamous years of “Casinos, Bordellos and Booze” (one of the songs) could have been formulaic, but manages to relate a story which not only keeps you interested, but giggling and titillated throughout.

A tale of this era could not be told without the usual suspects: the gangster, nightclub owner, priest and cops (the good and bad). The glue holding it all together is the famous stripper Lili St. Cyr. Julia Juhas is a knockoff, so perfectly cast; she elegantly glides across the stage dressed to kill in early 50’s fashions, yet bumps and grinds so provocatively with those sinuous long legs.

What could be wrong with a night of inside jokes, overacting, silly songs, erotic dancing, love, lust, murder, gangsterism and priestly disgust – all so definitively Montreal. Bowser and Blue make sure to point out, tongue-in-cheek this city was made for burlesque because there’s a main street named Beaver Hall Hill and the crossroads of downtown is after all, called “Peel”. Lili retorts that she prefers Las Vegas because its main street is known as “The Strip” (bada boom).

Centaur's Last Night at the Gayety

Cosmos Tour: Prague Vienna Budapest – Good King Wencelas

StVitus

St Vitus Cathedral

In Prague we learned about Wenceslas I, or Svatý Václav in Czech, who was the duke of Bohemia from 921 until his assassination in 935, purportedly in a plot by his own brother, Boleslav the Cruel.

In the optional excursion of Medieval Prague, you get to see the Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, the biggest and most important church in the Czech Republic. It’s located in Prague Castle and contains the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors as well as the St. Wenceslas Chapel.

Due to the popularity of some books which elevated Wenceslas I to a place of heroic goodness and resulted in his being elevated to sainthood, was posthumously declared king, and then became the patron saint of the Czech state. He is that one and only “Good King Wenceslas” of the popular song which is a Saint Stephen’s Day carol written in 1853. over 900 years after he lived.

His death in September 935 (or perhaps 929) was committed by a group of nobles allied with Wenceslas’ younger brother Boleslav. Boleslav invited Wenceslas to a feast, they quarreled, and 3 of his buddies murdered Wenceslas on his way to church. Boleslav thus succeeded him as the Duke of Bohemia.

Since 2000, the feast day of Saint Wenceslas (September 28) is a public holiday in the Czech Republic, celebrated as Czech Statehood Day.

On the Cosmos optional excursion, one is wowed by the grandeur of the St. Wenceslas Chapel in St. Vitus Cathedral where his relics are kept. The room, built between 1344 and 1364, has walls encrusted with over 1,300 semi-precious stones and paintings about the Passion of Christ. The upper part of the walls have paintings about the life of St Wenceslas, and in the middle is a Gothic statue of him.

The Crown of King Wenceslas

The Crown of King Wenceslas

There is a small door with seven locks in the chapel, which leads to the Crown Chamber containing the Czech Crown Jewels, which are displayed to the public only once every (circa) eight years. Seven different people have seven keys.

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

Belgium: Museum of Immigration to the New World

When you hear the words “Ellis Island“, you think of the immigrants pouring in from Europe yearning for a new life. The flip side of the North American tale of immigration is now on display at the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp, Belgium. The brand-new museum presents the experience of the over two million people who emigrated from Europe between 1873 and 1934 aboard the ships of the Belgian-American company Red Star Line.
Immigrant Family

Visitors of the Red Star Line Museum get a glimpse of what an immigrant’s journey was like – from the docks of Europe, across the churning waters of the Atlantic, to starting a whole new life in North America.  You can read personal tales of present and past immigration as well as view the plates used on the ships, smell the scent of the disinfecting showers, and try your hands at a puzzle once used to assess newcomers’ intelligence. Anyone can search the genealogical database, or even add personal comments and family history.

Among them were famous passengers such as Albert Einstein and Golda Meir. The museum lets you trace their travel across the ocean. When you sing “God Bless America” or “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” you’re paying tribute to a Red Star Line immigrant named Israel Baline (better by his Americanized name, Irving Berlin). By the time of his death, his songwriting included 1,500 songs, 19 musicals and 18 feature films.

www.redstarline.be/en