Monday, 30 November 2009

Improve Restaurant Sales and Brand Recognition at Food Festivals

Summer food festivals have been a fixture in American culture for years. From the Taste of Chicago to the Alabama Crawfish Festival in Faundale, AL, food festivals large and small have kept growing and expanding, even through recent economic turbulence.

Tens of thousands of restaurants participate in these festivals across the country. Participation often means closing down their establishment and spending a significant amount of money setting up and serving food at the festival. But the general attitude is that the cost and loss of revenue is definitely worth it.

That's because you simply cannot beat the exposure and customer engagement any restaurant gets at a food festival. Potential customers are much more likely to experiment with new types of cuisine and new restaurant brand names in the festive atmosphere, making a local food festival an important avenue to gaining new customers for young establishments. For the more experienced restaurants at a festival, reinforcing your brand in the community is a priceless commodity, and nothing communicates stability than customers seeing you year after year at the local food festival.

Restaurants in large metropolitan areas should choose the food festivals they attend more carefully than those in smaller communities. Obviously, they'll have more choices, and a big city restaurant should look for the festival that is most likely to cater to the type of person you want in your restaurant. In small cities and rural areas, it's much less about market segmentation and a lot more about making an appearance. Just showing up at the local food festival communicates your involvement in the community.

In an age when it seems like all marketing gurus talk about is engaging customers through social media on the internet, food festivals provide a unique opportunity to engage customers face-to-face in a positive and friendly atmosphere. Don't expect to make any money at your local food festival. But do expect to recognize the same smiling faces you see there in your restaurant in the months afterwards.

Gregory Scott McGuire is a regular contributor to The Back Burner Blog, a resource of restaurant news and trends written by the employees of Tundra Specialties, a company specializing in restaurant equipment, supplies, and equipment parts.

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Saturday, 28 November 2009

Biketoberfest Biker Festival in Daytona Beach Attracts Harley Fans Worldwide

I love it when the fall comes to Florida and things start to cool down. Everyone is ready to get outdoors and enjoy all the fairs and festivals that occur this time of year. One of my favorite such events is Biketoberfest. Every year in October Daytona Beach becomes, once again, a Mecca for motorcycle enthusiast. Biketoberfest is shorter than Bike week, it's held over a long weekend, and it's just as fun and interesting. I've lived in Florida for over 20 years now and have been to Biketoberfest several times; last year was the first time however that we stay over. We booked our room early so it was very reasonably priced I think that's key; get room early number one so there are rooms available but two so you can get a deal before the rates go up.

There are a lot of rooms up and down the famous Daytona Strip but remember there are going to be over an estimated 150,000 bike and bikers there so the sooner you can book the better. So once you get there you have to head to Main Street there are a few other places to have fun but party central is definitely Main Street, it's the main drag and still the best place to watch all the bikes and people going by. The first night of Biketoberfest there are several places to go called welcome centers where you can pick up a complete schedule of all events, activities and a lot of other information. One of the first places we went when we got there was to the world famous Daytona Speedway. The Speedway hosts several events including several bike races and swap meets; there is always something going on in the vast parking area there people buy and selling all sorts of things from t-shirt to tires. Some 2500 vendors or so are there any given year with loads of things to give away.

Last year when we were there they had these scantly clad 'Wild Turkey Girls' walking around Dirty Harry's with trays of either Turkey shots or turkey and coke, handing them out. Every where you look there are girls in booths calling to you to came buy a drink or shot and let's just say it's a goo thing it's been fairly warm these last couple of Octobers or they would have been very cold. Dirty Harry's is a pretty popular place they have a lot of bikini contests there two or three a day and then at night it's the main event contests and lets just say that after a day in the sun of drinking and partying most of the girls are in a pretty uninhibited place and open to the Emcee's suggestions which as you can imagine get wilder as the night goes on.

Some other places to stop by on Main Street are Froggy's Saloon, Cruisin Café which is on the corner of A1A and Main Street an ideal spot to watch the happenings. The Hogs Breath Saloon is a local favorite all year round and the Bank & Blues Club has two stories so you can people watch from upstairs and enjoy the rock and roll downstairs. The building is actually an old bank that's been 'reformed'. Bruce Rossmeyer's Destination Daytona in nearby Ormond Beach is fast becoming a big part of Biketoberfest too. The have a huge showroom of bikes and during the fest that place transform into a virtual bikers village. They too have contests, food, live music day and night, girls in booths offering beer and booze, people and bikes everywhere. Another place that's becoming very popular is the Cabbage Patch Bar in nearby Samsula. They have all the usual t-shirt and hot buns contest but their becoming kind of famous for something a little different - coleslaw wrestling. This place gets wild and it's a lot of fun.

Mark mid October on your calendar to save the date and make plans to head down to Daytona Biketoberfest. You'll find all kinds of vendors, live entertainment day and night, food, many free give-a ways and more in Daytona Beach. You can watch people and see bikes from all over the world, it's definitely something to take in and experience for yourself.

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Monday, 23 November 2009

Experience the Many Festivals and Events in Malaysia

Experience the Many Festivals and Events in Malaysia

Author: Pinky Mcbanon

Malaysia is a colorful country not only for its exotic beauty and amazing culture, but also of the many festivals that is celebrated by Malaysians. Every Malaysian celebration is very vibrant and lively. One will definitely enjoy being a part of these amazing events.

Here are some of the well known festivals and celebrations in Malaysia:

• Chinese New Year - like any other New Year celebration, the Malaysians celebrate theirs with such vigor. Fireworks and lots of colorful craze are seen. The whole country is really multicolored and vibrant during this occasion.

• Gadai Dayak - the Malaysian's celebration for the harvest seasons. This is to give appreciation to their gods who blessed the Malaysians with good harvest. During this occasion, locals eat and drink together. There are also dance performances by the members of the community. The Gadai Dayak is celebrated during the end of May until mid July. Malaysians are always in their traditional clothing and the elders perform rituals and services.

• Malaysia Water Festival - held from the second week of April until the month of May. This occasion is managed and organized by the Malaysia's Ministry of Tourism. The celebration is all about water sports activities. There are competitions and games that involve water tricks and races. The celebration is then completed with singing and dancing of the locals with their traditional dances.

• Merdeka day - the Malaysians' own celebration of Independence Day. It is celebrated in August 31st, and is their National Day. During this day, all the streets of Malaysia are packed with music, parades, and people dancing around. People are out blowing horns and trumpets making loud noises around their community.

• Tadau Kaamatan - held during the month of May and lasts for two days. The whole celebration is to commemorate the culture of Sabah's largest ethnic group. The tribes conduct rituals and give honor to their gods. There are also a large variety of foods that are served during the Tadau Kaamatan. Residents enjoy indulging with these tasty and delicious foods for the entire celebration.

• Malaysia Mega sale Festival - probably the most favorite event of all shopaholics. This is to celebrate Malaysia's big gross from its shopping industry and to commemorate this; the Malaysia's tourism department conducted a Mega sale festival. Almost everything that is sold in all shopping stores in the country is on sale during this event. One can enjoy shopping with the lowest prices shops has to offer. The country's shopping department stores are always swarmed with thousands of people buying and treating themselves with bargains and discount prices.

These are just some of the many well known events in Malaysia. Whatever the country celebrates, definitely is a must see for all.

About the Author:

Her blogs and websites focuses on stay-at-home moms, dads and students who wants to work at home, build homebased business

Visit her Interesting Site on Asian Travels and Destinations. Discover Asia's Culture and Great Food! at

Article Source: - Experience the Many Festivals and Events in Malaysia

5 Best Festivals in Spain

5 Best Festivals in Spain

Author: PaulSymonds

Spain’s festivals are well known for colourful displays, exciting parades, music and dance. Here are five of the best festivals that Spain has to offer during the spring and summer season.

1. Semana Santa - Semana Santa is a week long festival that takes place before Easter Sunday. Although the festival is celebrated throughout the country, the Spanish cities famous for celebrating Semana Santa include Leon, Valladolid, Malaga and Seville. Local parishioners participate in a parade where flamboyant and ornate floats inspired by the Passion of Christ are carried around the city streets. This festival is popular with children in particular and excellent for families.

2. San Fermin Festival -The San Fermin Festival, otherwise known as the Pamplona Bull Run, takes place in July. The festival lasts for 7 days in Pamplona, Spain. The festival’s highlights include bullfights and bull running. Activities usually begin at 8 am in the morning and last until the evenings.

3. La Tomatina - La Tomatina takes place in a small Spanish town called Buñol in Valencia. The festival is held on the fourth Wednesday of the month of August. The main highlight of La Tomatina is a daylong food fight, where participants fling tomatoes at each other. This event is one you have probably already seen in previous years, on TV or highlighted in newspapers. Even though the actual tomato throwing only lasts roughly one hours this is still an excellent festival and worth attending if you can.

4. Las Fallas – The Las Fallas celebrations start on the 14th of March and last until the 19th of March on Saint Joseph’s Day. The five day festival occurs in Valencia and the festival highlights include giant puppets that are later set on fire. There is a lot of excellent live entertainment and a number of performers and vendors.

5. Feria de Sevilla - The Feria de Sevilla is a weeklong festival that occurs two weeks after Easter Sunday in Sevilla, Spain. The festival is a celebration of life in Andalusia and activities include sherry drinking, horse races, flamenco and bull fighting. There are also carnival rides for children, horse parades and 24 hour celebrations. This is one of my favourite festivals of the year in Spain and is highly recommended.

About the Author:

Paul writes about Barcelona Golf and Barcelona Boat Charter.

Article Source: - 5 Best Festivals in Spain

Under the Tent at the Naples Winter Wine Festival

Under the Tent at the Naples Winter Wine Festival

Author: bruce nichols

Under the Tent at the Naples Winter Wine Festival

A career in hospitality and marketing has taught me, if nothing else, the importance of value and listening to your customer. In my semi-retired role, I write about wine with a decided focus on value even though I constantly struggle with the term.

For the most part, that means I do my best to introduce my readers to wines of exceptional value for the money. Finding great bottles of wine under $20, my benchmark, is doable, but increasingly difficult, thanks in great part to an unfavorable exchange rate that has skyrocketed imported wine prices, escalating costs to American producers, and sadly, the pervasiveness of mediocre wine in this price category. One has to search deep and hard to find “exceptional” value wines. But what about wines in the premium to super-premium range, the $50 to $100 price and beyond? Can value be found there? A growing number of readers have inquired asking whether certain higher priced wines represent good value?

Of course, they can. That’s not to say that I’ve never been disappointed drinking a bottle of wine that cost $100 or more. I have. (Fortunately, it was more often than not that someone else paid for it!) But the fact is that, for the most part, the higher the price, the more enjoyable the wine. Notice I have yet to use the word “better”. That’s a term that over the years has cost me more than my share of embarrassment in blind tastings, as the better wine was often not the most expensive wine. Is a drive to the wine store in a Jaguar better than in a Ford? Not necessarily, they’ll both get you there; but it certainly is infinitely more enjoyable in the Jag!

This leads me to share with you what guests, sommeliers, and the trade were saying about three of the hundreds of different wines that were being poured at this year’s Naples Winter Wine Festival. Vintners and collectors the world over showcase their flagship wines at this event. There were reds, whites, rose´s, bubbly’s, ports, grappa, high-alcohol wines, low-alcohol wines, big bottles, little bottles, bigger bottles, enormous bottles (12 liters!), wines from most of the continents, wines from nearly every wine producing country in the world, wines from numerous states, and wines from almost as many appellations as there were attendees - over 600! But it was three of these wineries that generated the most excitement.

Overseeing the wine service for this year’s festival events gave me a unique opportunity to hear what the customer said about this pageant of wines. Somewhat surprising was that none of the three that captured the attention and sophisticated palates of the crowd were the cult wines, or the super- super premium wines, costing hundreds of dollars. Although given the attention the favored wineries garnered, that could change very soon.

All of the wines from this trio were reds, except for a single vineyard chardonnay, and all were from California. Revana Family Vineyards cabernet, the Mondavi’s newest venture, Continuum, and Figge Cellars three wines, a pinot noir, a syrah, and a chardonnay, were all in such demand that by the final event on Sunday, there was little of their wines left to pour. The one thing in common they all offered though, was tremendous quality - and value - for the price!

Revana, now in just their fourth vintage, makes only cabernet, but what a cabernet! And no wonder. When you start with a remarkable plot of land, employ Jim Barbour, one of Napa’s most respected vineyard managers, and then hire world renowned winemaker, Heidi Peterson-Barrett, to make your wines, good things are bound to happen.

Dallas-based cardiologist, Dr. Madaiah Revana fulfilled a life-long dream when he purchased the land for his eponymous winery in 1997 and set out to craft world class cabernet from nine acres of vineyard. The wine is definitely enjoying increasing star status, but Dr. Revana has kept the price of his wine at a reasonable $100 a bottle. An absolute “value” when you consider the quality of the wine, the success it is enjoying, and the pedigree.

There are only about 1800 cases of Revana being produced. Given the response at the festival and the mid to high 90’s scores by the critics for each of the first four vintages, one can only hope production increases.

A little further south in Napa, in Oakville, another cabernet is being produced that has California, and now Naples, all abuzz. No newcomer to winemaking or to producing world-class wines, the Mondavi family, now in it’s fifth generation, is according to Tim Mondavi, “starting over” with the family’s new venture, Continuum.

A corporate power struggle a few years back unfortunately led to the Mondavi’s losing control over their own winery in what amounted to a battle of quality over bottom-line focused Wall Street. Thankfully, Tim and the family remained true to their roots and are again producing the kind of quality wine that first put them, and Napa, on the world wine map decades ago.

The inaugural vintage (2005) of Continuum, is from hand-picked grapes from the Marjorie’s Vineyard (named after Tim’s mother) and the famed To-Kalon site, which for decades, produced the Reserve cabs the Mondavi’s have been revered for.

Tim, daughter Carissa, and Robert’s wife, Margit, came to the festival to preview this cabernet sauvignon-based wine (60%) and equal parts petite verdot and cabernet franc. Considering the reaction of the audience, the 1300 cases of Continuum, due to be released next month, will sell out immediately.

Thankfully, Tim says plans are to grow the brand to 8000 cases. \

Peter Figge, introduced festival goers last year to his first wines, a pinot noir, a syrah, and a chardonnay, which at the time had just been bottled. He returned this year with those same fabulous wines, along with his 2006 vintage of the same varietals. People jockeyed for position to get to his table where he dispensed his wines and his passion for producing those wines that, as Peter insists, “make themselves”.

That’s Peter being modest. Yes, Peter has a hands-off winemaking style, and although fairly young, the years he spent working as a vineyard manager, first at Girgich and Beringer in Napa, then at Estancia, is where he learned to “read the land”. He not only identifies what plot of the vineyard might produce fruit to meet his uncompromising standards, but has developed a keen sense as to which of the row of vines will ultimately provide the absolute perfect grapes for his hand-crafted wines. This feel for the land has put Peter in high demand with the area’s premier vineyard owners, and as a result he has gained access to the best grapes in Monterey County.

Peter defines himself as a “minimalist, not a chemist”, and he says he makes his wines without consideration for aging, making wines in a style he enjoys, with great balance and acidity. Which means wines that go with food. Judging by the demand at this year’s festival for Figge wines, this is good news for wine enthusiasts in Florida, since Peter has just allocated a third of his wines to our state.

Value has been defined as “the market or estimated worth” of something. The huge popularity and demand for the wines of these three vintners at the Naples Winter Wine Festival this year would indicate that yes, while value is indeed a relative term, customers do, and always will, seek out quality. These wines clearly demonstrate that they are all well worth their price!

Eat, drink and be merry!


About the Author:

Naples Wine News is another step in a three decade long journey in the world of wine for its founder, Bruce Nichols. First introduced to the hospitality industry as a teenager in a summer job, Bruce worked in restaurants and hotels through high school and college. In the 1980’s, in his position as Director of Restaurants for Sheraton Hotels, based in San Francisco, Bruce served as wine buyer, conducted wine education programs and hosted California winery owners and winemakers, and worked with syndicated wine writers, Leon Adams and Jerry Mead.

Over the next two decades, Bruce managed the corporate food service program for a global financial company while consulting on wine programs for independent restaurants and developing and conducting wine education classes.

Fast forward to late 2004, Bruce retired to beautiful Naples, Florida. In 2006, Naples Wine News was born and "A Nichols Worth of Wine", was introduced to Naples and surrounding community wine enthusiasts through his internet-based, on-line publication

Article Source: - Under the Tent at the Naples Winter Wine Festival

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Witness the True Colours of London - City of London Festival

Culturally diverse and known as a traveler friendly city world over, London is fast earning a reputation of being a city of all races. While the classical architecture gives it a personality of its own, London has a certain elegance and class that most of us have known to expect from a city rich in culture and history.

Ranging from classical dances to grand scale orchestra performances, the City of London Festival stands out as one of the most prestigious and glamorous cultural festivals in the world. Unlike other cultural shows the City of London Festival does not confine itself to any sort of limitations. Founded in 1962 as a means of revitalizing the cultural vibrancy of London, this festival has many facets to it. Depending on the scale and the genre of the performance the venues too float to various parts of the city accordingly.

Although it is known for its indigenously English cultural value, this festival does not forget the large immigrant population that adds colour to its city and has a special place for them at this mega cultural event. The 'trading place' theme as its known gives the festival an international touch and certainly adds to its vibrancy. This festive season also involves a series of arts projects dispersed along the schools and community groups in the city. These events too have a special place in the City of London Festival as they are born from the local creativity and imagination of the people.

Lovers of the arts, of any energy level are sure to find this event an experience of a lifetime. During the three weeks of festivities audiences will be treated to seeing over a hundred and fifty performances in total of which most are free. Performances may vary from experienced soloists singing timeless classics to young, upcoming artists dancing with nothing but raw talent and the exuberance of youth.

While the essential purpose of this festival is to entertain travelers and the residents of this wonderful city, it does not fail to the capture the hearts and minds of fans around the world. To feel the true spirit of London be sure to catch at least a performance or two at the City of London Festival next time you are enjoying an English summer at a London hotel.

Visitors that have a London luxury hotel in mind for their next vacation would find The Langham Hotel London as one of the better options to choose from.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.

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Festival Season in Chiang Mai Thailand

Chiang Mai is famous for big, colorful, extravagant festivals. They can last several days and attract huge crowds from abroad and from all over Thailand. Hotels fill to capacity, traffic slows to a crawl, train tickets to and from Chiang Mai sell out weeks in advance. Thousands of people get involved in decorating the city, putting up stages, setting up competitions, float parades and lots of entertainment.

The season kicks off in November with the Loi Krathong festival, a three day event, which has its origins in making offerings to the water spirits by placing little floats in the river. Leaves are sewn together to form little floats, filled with flowers, incense and candles. Before they are placed in the water, people pray and make wishes which are supposed to be granted by the spirits of the water.

Another part of the festival is the releasing of fire balloons. Again people make wishes before they send up the balloons into the night sky which fills up with hundreds and thousands of soaring lights. The wind sometimes plays havoc with the burning lanterns and every year some buildings burn down when the fire balloons fail to rise.

Big fireworks paint the sky at night with colorful illuminations. On top of that tens of thousands of people shoot off fireworks in all directions, meaning that little rockets and firecrackers are constantly whizzing by your face. Especially the kids are happily involved, and accidents are bound to happen.

During the day there are balloon competitions. The teams sew together giant balloons and send them up into the sky. Many of them release fireworks while they are rising. During all this exciting activity there is the deafening sound of announcers who never stop talking for a second and broadcast their comments through huge speakers at top volume. If they ever run out of things to say, they blast music out of the speaker towers again at top volume just to make sure that there is never a quiet moment.

The Ping river of Chiang Mai has its share of fun activities during the festival. There are inner tube races, stages with artistic performances, and dinner boats gliding by. After sunset the river is lit up by thousands of little floats with burning candles and wafting incense. Vendors and spectators line the river banks by the thousands to watch, profit from and participate in all the events.

There is also an unusual diving competition. Once there was a war between Thailand and Burma. It was decided that the outcome would be determined by divers who would stay under water as long as possible. If the Thais would win, the Burmese army had to leave. One Thai diver tied himself to a rock at the bottom of the river and sacrificed his life for his country. He was the winner since he stayed under water permanently and the Burmese left. This event is commemorated during the Loi Krathong festival by divers who compete how long they can stay under water. This year the winner managed to hold his breath for over three minutes.

Dancing and singing competitions take place with beautifully dressed women performing on a huge stage. Thais love to sing and many of them are quite talented and have beautiful voices. Many Thai women are naturally very graceful which they express in their traditional dances which are beautiful, gentle, and flowing.

The biggest event at night is a parade of beautifully crafted and decorated floats, all with different themes. Along with the truly spectacular floats are processions of traditionally dressed dancers, drummers, martial artists, fire dancers, and groups representing various aspects of life in Thailand. The procession lasts for several hours and winds its way through the heart of Chiang Mai while burning balloons light up the sky, fireworks crackle, and countless loudspeakers blast messages and music, all in a symphony of noise, color, excitement, extravaganza, and amazement.

Loi Krathong is one of the most colorful and spectacular events in Thailand. It is celebrated in other areas, but nothing comes close to Chiang Mai's event. This festival alone is worth a visit to Thailand.

Shama Kern practices and teaches Thai massage and other Asian therapies. He lives in Thailand and shares his knowledge of the culture, natural beauty and healing arts of his adopted home country through writing, photography, and video. He also conducts specialty tours of Thailand.


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Enjoy Lunch Parties With the Help of Lunch Catering Services

As everybody today leads a very hectic life and is stuck with odd working hours, occasions and festivals turn out to be a great relief. During festival time, you meet your friends and relatives and get - together to celebrate and enjoy the occasion. A party that appears to be the most essential gathering helps you to disassociate from the hectic and busy corporate lifestyle. Now we would all admit that be it any celebration, any occasion, any business party or any festival, its success completely depends on good food. Here the catering services play a key role. The dinner and lunch catering are two important aspect of any party. While planning your wedding parties it is not enough to just take care of the attire, the wedding hall, or the jewelers, there is something very important that needs your attention and planning. That is the catering services of your party and you have to be very particular about it. Healthy and delicious food can win many hearts but at the same time, it can disappoint the same crowd of guests. Therefore, in wedding functions and other ceremonies, lunch catering is an important aspect. In your life, there are many occasions, which call for a celebration, and food is something you cannot skip at any cost.

Corporate Functions / Lunch

The hectic and busy corporate life drains you of your productivity and energy. One has to incessantly work to make both ends meet these days. Owing to this, a large no. of lunch caterers offer nutritional value package for various corporate lunches. These lunch catering services include a balanced range of nutritious, mouth watering and sumptuous dishes. These lunch providers use fresh ingredients to ensure good taste and to avoid any complaints.

Brunch party

These days' people are involved in organizing brunch or lunch parties. This is one of the most preferable options because most of the people do not have spare time after working hours. Besides this, we also like to spend some light moments with our colleagues and friends with a light & healthy food and this is where the lunch catering industry is gradually flourishing. With their delicious lunch package and cuisine, they are all ready to serve you at your brunch parties or business lunches. They offer you the best lunch buffet and fresh lunches.

Menu range
Savory platter
Snacks & wraps
Boxed salad
Breakfast buffet
Sandwich platter
Corporate menus
Soups & drinks

Many lunch catering services offer pre - made lunch packets and lunch box. There is no need to sleep late at night or wake up early to prepare lunch for the occasion. These days, when all of us are in dearth of time, these lunch catering services are one of the best options for all the working people.

These lunch caterers have coordinators who help you in deciding the menu. They arrange your parties with perfection.

For any help on lunch catering, check out the info available online; these will help you learn to find the lunch catering!

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Friday, 20 November 2009

Wedding Food and Drink

With so many things to organise in the lead up to your wedding, it might just be a good idea to keep wedding food and drink uncomplicated. But to ensure your and your guests taste buds are satisfied, choosing seasonal and high quality food are the best things you could do. Not hard to do - and still affordable.

The hardest part of choosing what food and drink to have for your wedding is trying to suit everyone's tastes. You should choose a menu that suits a range of tastes so that the majority of your guests will really enjoy their food, looking back on your wedding day as quite memorable.

There are many options for food at your reception but we have narrowed it down to three, to help you make a decision more easily. You can have canapés - snack food -, a buffet or a sit down lunch or dinner, depending on when your reception is.

Financial crisis and food

During tougher economical times, a buffet could be a good option as it's most cost effective. There's a great range of foods you can choose if you opt for the buffet, so that it doesn't matter if your guests are vegetarians, vegans or meat lovers, they can select whatever they like.


Canapes are usually the more expensive option so if you choose canapés you may like to look around before you decide on a menu. Remember that some guests may not have had breakfast, so it would probably not be a good idea for them to drink on an empty or near-empty stomach.

As a general rule, allow about six canapés per person (before lunch) and 14 or more per person (for a rinks and canapés reception only). A good combination of canapés to choose for your guests would consist of half hot and half cold canapés, with at least 30 per cent vegetarian and 10 vegan. Make sure that you have capable staff who can tell your guests what the canapés are. Make sure they are well briefed before they perform their role. Try not to select canapés that are hard to eat, as you and your guests could end up with quite a mess.


Make your life easier by choosing simple entrees that are easy to eat and use seasonal produce. If you want to suit everyone, a cold, vegetarian dish is the best you could choose here. It's also easy to eat and can be served as soon as everyone is seated.

Main course

If you choose to have a buffet for your wedding it's a good idea to tell your staff when each table can go and collect their food to prevent overcrowding and consequential chaos. If you have selected to have a sit down lunch or dinner, a dish that is easily prepared and can be served on a single plate will make the job a lot easier for both chefs and staff.

Like the entree, consider the time of year your reception will be held to determine the best tasting produce. Your guests will definitely be satisfied with their meals if they are made from seasonal produce. Consider basic notions such as the fact most people probably won't want to eat a cold meal if it's the middle of an icy winter. Alternatively, a big pork roast might make your guests sweat glands overproduce if you choose this meal in the middle of a sweltering summer.

Be aware of any of your guests' food allergies to make sure you have alternatives for them. Chefs will usually cater to such requests. Also be aware of age. Elderly people and small children probably won't eat as much.


While your choice of dessert will be appreciated if it is massively indulgent, try not to go overboard with your puddings and don't make them too rich. Generally individual plates served at the tables are the and easiest way to serve dessert.

Again be careful of seasons. If you're having your wedding during summer it's probably a good idea not to have puddings that may melt or collapse, or are incredibly rich and heavy. Sometimes couples choose to have their wedding cake as the pudding. This is both an economical and practical option, but there are many different pudding ideas you can have.

Desserts are also the perfect meal to be more decorative with. Add coulis, berries, or sauces to the desserts to make them just that little bit extra enticing.

Coffee and tea

Because not everyone will have coffee or tea it might save from making the tables less cluttered by not laying down cups and saucers. Having a separate table for coffee and tea is the best thing to do here. It will also encourage your guests to move off their table and circulate and socialise. You may like to add a plate of petit four or slices of wedding cake on this table.

G. Brown is a writer for, a Australian wedding directory. To read other articles on wedding catering and services or to find wedding-related Australian businesses please visit today.

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Thursday, 19 November 2009

Jazz Fest 2009 - The Top Jazz Festivals Throughout the US

Jacksonville Jazz Festival

What started out as a one-day, free event in Florida in 1980 has turned into an impressive festival, one of the country's largest, almost 30 years later.

More than just strictly a jazz festival, this event also boasts the Great American Jazz Piano competition, which takes place at the start of the fest. The winner of that gets to play a featured set at the festival, held yearly in Jacksonville's Metropolitan Park.

Wine lovers also have the rare opportunity to not only sample some of the more than 50 featured wines at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, but also speak with representatives from the highlighted wineries. That makes it a double-bonus weekend for devotees of jazz and wine - always a winning combination, anyway. In addition to good drink and good music, good food is served as well at the festival's traditional Sunday morning brunch.

The Jacksonville Jazz Festivals has spotlighted a variety of categories from straight-up jazz - the Ramsey Lewis Trio and Chick Corea - to the smoother side of things with David Sanborn and Chris Botti.

Mt. Hood Jazz Festival

Now in its 28th year, the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival offers jazz lovers a premier reason to travel to the beautiful state of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

Not too far out of Portland, the base of majestic Mt. Hood serves as setting for the festival, located in Gresham, Oregon, on the campus of Mt. Hood Community College.

Held in mid-August, the Mt. Hood Jazz festival has certainly seen its share of jazz legends take the stage. Those that have performed at the event that first started back in 1982 include: Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, The Crusaders and Buddy Rich, among others.

The Mt. Hood Adventures in Jazz series also brings in musicians from outside the region to play at various venues in Portland throughout the year.

Telluride Jazz Celebration

Talk about your scenic backdrops.

Located in the middle of the breath-taking San Juan Mountains, the Telluride Jazz Celebration cannot be matched in the landscaping department.

Mountain range above, gorgeous Beer Creek and San Miguel River below - that makes for an amazing setting to listen to jazz.

As such, this festival is definitely for the nature lover. Camping spots are available for those who really want to take advantage of all Telluride, now in its 33rd year of hosting a jazz fest, has to offer. Early June is usually when the Telluride Jazz Celebration is held. A jam-friendly jazz festival, Telluride welcomes an eclectic roster, featuring bands like Licorice, Ozomalti, Benvento-Russo Duo, Rebirth Brass Band and the Jimmy Herring Band.

The festival's Jazz after Dark series takes over the nearby Sheridan Opera House and Nugget Theater.

If the above captioned articles were found to be some interesting you can more such as Kansas City Jazz Fest by clicking here the link.

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A First Music Festival Visit

Are you planning your first ever visit to a music festival? This article offers an insight into what you might expect to find, as well as some hints and tips on how to make the most of your day.

Having experienced a large number of festivals, I feel that I'm in a good position to be able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of such occasions. So let's begin by discussing the advantages. Why is it that so many people decide to attend festivals each year.

One obvious reason is that the largest festivals attract a wide range of bands and acts. That means that you can often see many bands in a single weekend. As well as being great fun, this can also save you a lot of money when compared to see each of the acts individually.

Some would say that this cost saving is harder to find, especially with prices rising. Though this is true to some extent, you can still find some bargains if you choose carefully. There's no doubt that the thrill of seeing a band and hearing their music live is something special.

You'll also find yourself mixing with a lot of people who are assured to be interested in the same types of music as you. After all, that's the primary reason for people being here - to listen to the music.

So are there negatives too? There are some, but many of them probably won't come as a surprise. Organisers know that they have a captive audience and hence tend to charge higher prices for food and drink at the festival site. You might want to limit how much you consume, or find cheaper alternatives.

Festival toilets are often really poor. You can avoid them by taking along your own portable loo. Otherwise, I'm afraid that you'll have to put up with the facilities.

Getting a view of your favourite band is not always easy, depending upon the location of the festival. If you particularly want to see a particular act then try and get to the area where they are playing nice and early.

Do remember that it can be extremely hectic to be right at the front when a band are on stage.

All in all, there are far more advantages than disadvantages. Enjoy your first ever visit to a music festival!

More on camping accessories and buying festival toilets is available, as discussed by Keith Barrett. This article may be used by any website publisher, though this resource box must always be included in full.

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Monday, 16 November 2009

Corporate Team Building With Food And Drink Events

There are a number of events which one can organise for corporate team building events and incorporating food and drink can be a lot of fun. Below we look at corporate team building using food and drink.

The team food challenge. This team building activity varies sometimes in that you can set the cooking task to the specific country you are in. The idea is that you split the group into a few groups and they have to create food from the very beginning from planning, buying produce (on a budget) and making the food. This is on organised as a one day task and the participants will not know what the task is until at the start. You do NOT necessarily need cookers etc as part of the task is that it needs to be created using a small camp stove cooker for example. At the end you can organise a food tasting with one or two judges from the teams and yourself as the organiser and then give a fun price, or even a fun forfeit to the losers. The food challenge can be a real fun way for team building and it can include many areas of team building you ant to include such as organisational skills, implementation, practical skills, budgetary skills etc.

If you want a team building event which does not involve the team having to cook you can organise a wine tasting trip for the team and put them into teams to find out specific answers to wine questions and have them grade different wines from the tasting. Wine tasting can be a more light-hearted event than the cooking events, but it still gives the team members a memorable time whilst also giving members a chance to let their barriers down in a relaxed and enjoyable environment. This in turn can help to give the members a very good environment for building an understanding.

Some vineyards at the right time of year will give you the chance to get team members to work in the field picking grapes. You can add a little competition into things before the wine tasting but seeing for example who can pick the most grapes.

The food and wine cruise is a similar event. This is perhaps as much a social and corporate event as a team building event but it is still worth considering if food and drink is something you would like to include in the team building. Whatever event you choose, there are some some fun ways you can include food and drink into the corporate team building events.

Paul writes about Barcelona corporate team building and Corporate Events Spain.

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Personal E-Chef Cooking Secrets - Gadgets You Do Not Need For Cooking Great Food and Drink

Your personal e chef for cooking great food and drink, has
the top five kitchen gadgets that you should not buy.
There are many kitchen gadgets that are extremely
useful. Can openers, spatulas, tongs and graters make
cooking and baking easier. However, there are many items.
several with only one use, that are not worth the money.
Here are five items that you should not buy.

1. Avocado peelers are a complete waste of money. These
objects are supposed to slice an avocado evenly as well
as remove the fruit from the peel. Although, in theory,
this seems like a useful tool, specially in California
where avocados are as popular as apples, but it failed
to do what it says it does. The biggest design flaw
of this gadget is that avocados come in limitless sizes
and this gadget does not work with avocados that are
smaller than the gadget. I say use a knife to cut
slices and a spoon to scrape out the fruit.

2. The mango splitter slicer is another single use
product that does not work. This gadget is suppose
to split the mango in half and separate the fruit
from the pit. Again, because of the varying size of the
fruit, this tool does not consistently work. Also, if
you happen to remove the peel before you use the slicer,
the mango is so slippery that you can cut your hand trying
to steady the fruit.

3. Adjustable measuring spoons are ridiculous. The plastic
piece that makes the spoon adjustable often adjusts itself
to a different measurement mid-measure. Also, they can not
be cleaned easy and the plastic adjustable piece is so small
that it can get caught in the garbage disposal. The worst
part of the design is that the slide gets in the way of taking
the back edge of a knife across the top of the spoon to
ensure accurate measurement. Long live the graduated
measuring spoons!

4. The adjustable measuring cup or Wonder Cup is really
only useful for four things: shortening, peanut butter,
syrup and honey. The manufacturer advises use of this product
for liquids or dry measure which is completely crazy.
The plunger gets caught and the plastic cracks if it is
put in the dishwasher. And after measuring sticky and fat
type products, you would want to wash it in the dishwasher
to get it clean. Do not waste your money. If you spray
your measuring cup with a non-stick spray, the contents
will pour easily and completely.

5. The egg cooker is another ridiculous kitchen machine.
This thing is supposed to cook eggs either whole or on a
small tray. I am not sure why you have to spend money
on a machine that only does one thing. If you have either
a fry pan and/or small pot for water to boil eggs, you are
good to go.

And stock up your kitchen with useful items that will help make
cooking easier.

And I would like to offer you a free 11-page list of the gadgets and machines I use in my kitchen. This comprehensive list not only has 53 items I use almost daily, but tells you where to get them and even offers discounts on many of the products. Simply go to my website and sign up for my cooking newsletter and I will email you this incredible list.

Dawn Walker
Your Personal E-Chef Live: Everything about Cooking, Food, and Family. Bring back dinner parties!

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19th Century Food And Drink

Eat, drink and be merry! That was the cry of the Victorian era and the people of that period attacked their meals with great gusto! A revolution in stoves, cookware and kitchen gadgets, combined with the discovery of canning and food sterilization techniques, open up endless possibilities for the motivated domestic servant who held the position of cook.

Eating was an event in the Victorian home. Even the breakfast meal featured a variety of fruits, scones, omelettes, bacon and more. From the ritual pouring of afternoon tea, complete with its own elaborate rituals and opportunities to show off the lady's finest silver, china and linen, to elaborate banquets attended my noblemen and their guests there was always something on the stove in a Victorian kitchen.

In reality, the Victorian menu wasn't terribly different from what is served in homes today or at least in the homes where someone still cooks. Meat, fish and poultry were common and fresh or canned vegetables were served with most meals. Winter and autumn meals usually included hearty soups and stews while chicken and lighter dishes prevailed in the summertime.

Holidays meals were special celebrations and called for the finest dishes including Roast Mutton, Pork or Turkey, Boiled Beef, Stewed Rabbits, Plum Pudding and Mince Pies. Baked good were plentiful and cooks were especially prized for their dessert-making skills.

Most evening meals were served in courses with raw or baked Oysters a popular appetizer. The second course featured cream soups or plain bouillon along with a serving of baked or broiled fish. The main course, usually roasted poultry, pork or beef, accompanied by a variety of savoury vegetables, fresh baked bread, and frequently some pasta, was presented by the serving maid in grand fashion and to the great delight of those seated around the table.

The dessert course featured several puddings, cakes and highly prized specialities such as Nesselrode and Plum Pudding. Of course a variety of cheeses and fresh fruit were often served when available.

Wine was not particularly popular, but beer was and continues to be a favourite beverage in England. But it wasn't all alcohol in the Victorian home. Lemonade, root beer, hot tea and, yes, Perrier were also popular beverages.

Yes, the Victorians loved to eat and drink. We have them to thank for a long running tradition of good food served with gusto and a pint of beer!

You can learn more about Victorian Food and Drink by visiting a site brimming with historical recipes and household management wisdom imparted by the celebrity chef of his time Charles Elme Francatelli

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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Food and Drink

Food and drink have become a major part of most people’s lives, in particular their social lives. In fact the phrase ‘food and drink’ produces over 89 million hits on the Google website. Excessiveness in either is of course unhealthy, but perhaps this is one of the reasons why people see good food or good wine as something special, something to treat themselves with.

Guides to good food, wine and restaurants have become big business. Egon Ronay's ‘Guide to the Best Restaurants and Gastropubs in the UK’ which provides detailed reviews of over 500 restaurants and gastropubs has sold over 2 million copies. Its simple to compare style of awarding up to three stars to each restaurant is clearly a hit with readers.

‘The Good Food Guide’ edited by Elizabeth Carter sells itself as Britain’s leading restaurant guide and is currently in it 56th edition, detailing over 1,500 eateries from gastropubs to high end dining.

Fine wine guides are also a big seller, with books such as Clarke’s 'Fine Wine Guide: A Connoisseur's Bible' and Johnson-Bell's 'Good Food, Fine Wine: A Practical Guide to Finding the Perfect Match' both readily available on the internet it is clear that there is a high demand for such guides.

This is not surprising as the United Kingdom is the second largest importer of wine in the world. Wine sales in the UK increased 25% between 2001 and 2005. In 2004 the estimated wine consumption was 1.2 billion litres. In particular there has been an increase in the consumption of so-called New World wines, for example those from Australia or the USA instead of traditional producers such as France. California now produces 2 billion litres of wine every year, making it the fourth biggest producer behind Italy, France and Spain. In 2004, New World wines accounted for over 55% of total consumption in the UK.

Exports of Australian wines have more than quadrupled in the last decade to reach nearly 800 million litres in 2006, 22% of which went onto the UK market, approximately 176 million litres.

Exports of New Zealand wines to the UK alone have increased from 8.1 million litres in 1997 to 21.9 million litres in 2006.

One factor in the explanation of this is an increase in the availability of fine wine in many supermarkets. Some figures place two-thirds of UK wines sales in supermarkets. Increased demand and competition between large chain supermarkets have increased the variety of wines and producers and made them more accessible to the general public.

A recent report by Vinexpo has predicted that the UK will become Europe's biggest market for wine by 2010. The report which examined the worlds wine producers and consumers also predicted that by 2010 the UK wine sales would be worth £5.5 billion, despite the fact that the UK paid the highest average price per bottle (£3.11), which is equivalent to 28.5 litres per capita compared to an average of 27 litres between 2001 and 2005.

The report also showed that between 2001 and 2005 Australia had overtaken France as the UK's biggest supplier with imports rising 51%. Imports from countries such as the USA and South Africa have also risen during this period which highlights the trend toward New World wines.

A1Articles is a popular article site, best for Food and Drink. Please feel free to republish this article providing this resource box remains intact with a working hyperlink to our site.

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Serving Caviar With Food And Drink

Caviar, marketed all over the globe as a delicacy, is chiefly consumed as a garnish or as a spread. Since historical times, caviar has been playing the role of a premier delicacy of kings, emperors and such other heads of state. This is not easily obtainable and comes for a high price. It is also not very easy to ready it for serving as a treat.

Usage of fresh caviar

There is a limited time within which the caviar obtained is to be made use of (till its freshness is retained). Fresh caviar obtained remains fit for usage/consumption for up to four weeks. There are also pasteurized varieties of the product available that can stay suitable enough for longer time. Upon opening up of the caviar container the product is to be used up soon (in a few days’ time).

Proceeding with serving of caviar

Caviar is indeed a very special food as far as its taste is concerned. It tickles the taste buds of all the various areas of the tongue that are sensitive to different kinds of taste. Thus, it promises a unique and exceptional experience in taste.

It is best to serve caviar by leaving it in the tin (container) in which it comes and surround it with ice. In an effort to take it out of the container and serve it in a more decorative manner there stands the risk of breaking the grain and losing the special flavors prior to consumption. Besides, caviar is a tricky item that can combine with a variety of food items to produce either a delectable or a disapproving taste. So, it is better to serve it separately so as to obviate the risk of the flavors getting offset.

Serving caviar with food items and drinks

A best way of serving caviar is to serve it on lightly toasted bread or crackers together with butter as a hors d’oeuvre. This can be quite a treat provided the bread or cracker has not been made too hard by toasting.

Contrary to the prevalent misconception it is certainly not suitable to serve caviar with eggs and other items having a strong taste like sour cream or yogurt. The special taste of caviar gets downed as a result.

Caviar can be served alongside beverages in a suitable manner. Champagne with caviar is a classical combination though some may find this to be tilted towards excess of sweetness. Caviar served with vodka is also a traditionally acclaimed treat combination.

***You may use this article on your website as long as the two URLs are hyperlinked.

Tania Penwell provides information on caviar and other gourmet food and drinks for A1 Gourmet - your guide to the best gourmet food around the world.

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Low Calorie Food and Drink Dishes You Can Make at Home

Is it time that you set yourself on a diet? Not just any diet but a whole new lifestyle change? If so, then perhaps you want to forget the Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers type pre-packaged foods and set yourself on a course for perpetual low calorie living? Is that what you want to do now?

One thing that you need to know is that if you are worried about calories you need to switch to eating whole wheat breads, low fat milks and power down the fruits and vegetables. In fact you can eat unlimited vegetables and not get fat. May I suggest that you have for a snack a vegetable dip plate with perhaps;

Cherry Tomatoes
And for the dip do not use salad dressing, but rather use Virgin Olive Oil, a couple of tablespoons and sprinkle on top some spices like basil and garlic and Italian Seasoning instead. It is quite tasty and actually better than a Thousand Islands or Blue Cheese dressing. It is better for you and tastes better too.

When considering a snack, blend up a fruit drink smoothie at home. Blenders are really inexpensive and you can get a killer blender for under $20.00 at Wal-Mart. There really is no excuse for you not to try these simple techniques and recipes to stay healthy, thin, happy and fit eating the low-calorie way.

I certainly hope this article is of interest and that is has propelled thought. The goal is simple; to help you in your quest to be the best in 2007. I thank you for reading my many articles on diverse subjects, which interest you.

"Lance Winslow" - Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; Lance is an online writer in retirement.

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Saturday, 14 November 2009

The Size and Dimensions of the Munich Beer Festival

Each year the Munich Beer Festival is held in a huge park located directly in the center of Munich, Germany. The park is named the Theresienwiese and called the Wies'n by the locals and is transformed into one of the largest annual celebrations in the world. Half of the park is filled with rides, side shows, food stalls and tents, much like you would expect to see in a county or state fair. The other half of this large park is filled with beer halls that each seat approximately 4,000 people inside with gardens outside that will seat more.

The Theresienwiese has an actual space of 420,000 square meters or approximately 261 miles. The park is restricted by Bavaria in the west which symbolizes the State of Bavaria. In the east it borders Esperantoplatz which holds a memorial commemorating the victims of the Oktoberfest bombing which took place in 1980.

The Munich Beer Festival is free to enter, although you do pay for your activities and beer drinking.
The Munich Beer Festival is a two-week festival which is held during late September and early October. It is one of the most celebrated events throughout Germany and every year around six million people enter the gates into the festival. It is the largest fair in the world to date.

Millions of people flock to Munich each year to attend the festival, staying in the various Munich hotels for this amazing experience. It is fairly easy to find a hotel in Munich for the celebration, as the festival lies directly in the heart of the city and there are multitudes of hotels scattered about for accommodation purposes.

The locals from Munich brew special beer just for the festival. The beer is slightly darker and stronger than the typical beer that is brewed in this area, both is taste and in alcohol content. It is served in a one liter tankard. During the celebration, the first beer is served to the Bavarian Minister-President and the beer is only served by local Munich breweries that are permitted to serve their beer. The tents, again, seat thousands with more seats located outside each tent in the garden area to allow for the multitude of visitors.

Although it is called the Munich Beer Festival, there are also large quantities of food sold and digested each year. Traditional foods such as chicken, sausage, cheese noodles and sauerkraut are served as well as Bavarian foods such as roasted ox tails.

Music is enjoyed throughout the festival as well from traditional sounds to more modern genres. In 2005 the concept of a "quiet Oktoberfest" was implemented to undermine violence during the celebration. The music is now only played to 85 decibels and is only played during the afternoon.

The beer tents play quiet music as well, the most popular being wind music, typically until 6:00 pm, then Schlager and pop music are played. Traditional German dress such as the Sennerhut, Lederhosen and Dirndl has become extremely popular throughout the world due to the festival and a parade can be seen during the event with locals dressing in their traditional fare. Because there are those who are not accustomed to the alcohol content in this specially brewed beer, there is also a medical tent used for those who consume too much as well as those who become ill in general.

The Munich Beer Festival remains today one of the most famous and popularly visited festivals in the world. If you are planning to attend this massive event, be sure to book your Munich hotel well in advance to ensure that you have proper accommodations during your visit.

Steve Hill is a webmaster from Birmingham, he has interests in a number of websites including:
xsite pro

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Becoming a Festival Vendor

If you agree that nothing could be better than being outside, making new friends, and making some money as your own boss then you are ready to become a festival vendor. Becoming a festival vendor can be easy or difficult; it really depends on the festival you want to sell your wares at. Below are some useful tips on how to get your foot in the festival door. There are many different ways to start out as a festival vendor. If you can’t get in the first time around, then check out some of these additional hints to help you figure out a way.

Join Fairs And Festival Events

If you’ve been to a few festivals, flea markets, or craft show and want in on the action then you’ll have to get busy – early. That’s right, most of the festival vendors you see at your local festivals have signed up for their spot up to a year in advance. Some festivals are more competitive than others. If you have some prior experience being a festival vendor, but you’d like to join a well-known or traveling festival than you know how hard it can be to get a coveted space to sell your wares.

Need to Pay Anything to become Festival Vendor?

The first thing to do no matter what festival you want to be a festival vendor at is to find out who is in charge. Try to speak directly with them about signing up. If you are lucky you will just need to pay up front to reserve your spot and then show up on the first day of the festival. Sometimes you won’t have to sign up until the day of the festival, but most will require you to put down a deposit ahead of time. This means that even if you are signing up for a hot festival a year in advance you still might need to lay down a hefty deposit now. This also means that if you can’t make it at the last minute it you will probably lose your entire deposit. Unfortunately, this is just how things go in the festival circuit and if you want to become a festival vendor you will have to shell out some cash before you’ve made a penny.

Things to know in Fairs and Festival Events

If you have chosen to become a festival vendor at a more competitive show and there are no available spots left, then you can try a few things. You can always ask to share a space with an established vendor. This is an especially good move for a festival vendor that has a small set up or someone just starting out. If the booth fees are high, another festival vendor might be happy to let you set up inside their booth. Ask whoever is in charge or approach a friendly festival vendor yourself. You can also see if there are any cancellations that day or the day before. This can be a real pain since you have no guarantee, but things happen and this could get you in. Negotiating with another festival vendor to hold their spot for them if they need to be away for a day or two is another way to get in on a temporary basis. If you want to be a festival vendor, then you are surely a creative type, so use those skills and figure out a way to get in there.

How to perform well in Festival Events?

The more experience you have as a festival vendor, the easier it becomes to get a space or a better one. Like almost anything in life, who you know matters. Being connected with the organizers and other festival vendors can help you out a lot when it comes to getting a prime space at a festival. This does not mean you need to try to get the management’s attention every chance you can. In fact what it means, is try to be a festival vendor who is easy to get along with and pays attention to the people running the show. It may sounds simple, but you will see many festival vendors put up quite a fuss when it comes to their space or a variety of things. Be the kind of festival vendor that people want at their festival. People will take note of this and this it will help ensure you a place at the festival or make sure that the your favorite space is vacant when you arrive.

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Phuket Vegetarian Festival - Great For Tourists

The most important Phuket festival that is held each year must certainly be the Vegetarian festival. The Vegetarian festival in Phuket takes place during the first 9 days of the 9th lunar month of the traditional Chinese calendar.

The Vegetarian festival normally falls in the last week of September of within the first week of October.

The Phuket vegetarian festival is organized each year to celebrate the start of the Taoist lent. Due to the large number of Phuket residents with Chinese roots, the Taoist lent is celebrated among a large group of the population of Phuket. The festival starts of by devout Chinese religious believers completely abstaining from all dairy and meat products.

The festivities in Phuket that are held during the vegetarian festival can be found at one of the five main Chinese temples on Phuket. The best Chinese temples to visit are the Bang Niaw Chinese Temple and the Jui Tui Chinese Temple.

The vegetarian festival involves more then only the abstinence of dairy and meat products. Other parts of the festival includes the temple offerings to the Monks, offering of gifts to the nine emperor gods which awake during the festival, fireworks and cultural shows but to name a few.

A number of participants to the vegetarian festival on Phuket act as mediums between the 9 deities to earth. These mediums try to achieve a special state of trance. Once this state of trance is reached, their cheeks are pierced by numerous sharp objects such as spears and knifes.

Afterwards these special Vegetarian festival mediums all join a large procession which takes them by many shops which have places altars along the street with special offerings. These mediums pick up the fruits which are offered to them by the shop keepers and they add the offerings to the sharp items which are sticking out of their cheeks. If there is no space available the mediums will give the offerings to bystanders.

It is said to be a sign of good luck and a true blessing if one is to receive a gift from one of the mediums during the festival procession.

The atmosphere of the vegetarian festival is certainly unique and should be experienced by every traveler who is staying on the island during the event. If one was to describe the whole event in a few words then the festival could be described as a religious frenzy.

Where ever you look you will see spectacular ritual dancing, loud fireworks, blood stained shirt worn by the mediums and ancient religious worshipping activities.

If you ask the Phuket residents with Chinese roots as to the origin of the festival then they will tell you a tragic story. They say that a Chinese theatre troupe visited Phuket around one and a half century ago.

The Chinese troupe was struck by tragedy when all members of the Chinese theatre troupe turned seriously ill. The story goes that they had turned ill because they had neglected to offer respects to the nine emperor gods of Taoism. The only way in which the Chinese troupe members could cure themselves was with a 9 day lent which included solely vegetarian foods, long periods of meditations and acts of self piercing.

James is currently living on Phuket and is working on a number of projects. If you are looking for a great Phuket hotel then do consider staying at Club Bamboo Resort. Read more about Samui in his Samui Guide

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Friday, 13 November 2009

A guide to some of Spain's quirkier festivals

A guide to some of Spain's quirkier festivals

Author: Mike Mcdougall

Spaniards seem rarely to need much of a reason for a fiesta or
festival of some sort and you can pretty much guarantee that
wherever you are in Spain there will be some merrymaking going
on somewhere in honour of a patron saint - I've decided to look
at some of Spain's quirkier, slightly less known festivals and
enlighten readers as to some of the stranger practices which
take place at various times around the country.

Our journey begins in the east of the country in the town of
Bunol in the Valencia region where a week long festival in
honour of the town's patron saint, San Luis Bertran, ends in the
famous "Tomatina", a two hour tomato fight where lorries
bring in 120,000 kg of tomatoes for the locals to pelt each
other with. It's all a bit of a free-for-all and it's usually
girls pitted against boys for two hours of madness from 11am to
1pm. Participants can expect to get extremely messy and it's
advisable to wear something old, and preferably red, if you
don't want the stains to show up. Despite the "Tomatina"
clearly being the highlight, there are many other facets of the
festival to be enjoyed throughout the week with fireworks,
parades and a paella cook-off amongst the most notable.

Not so far away in the city of Valencia, townsfolk revel for a
week in the festivities of "Las Fallas", another one of
Spain's more unique festivals. The raucous week of celebration
takes place in March and is most notable for "Las Fallas"
which are huge papier-mâché figures up to 60 feet in height.
Built in the streets, the figures often have a satirical edge;
Tony Blair and George Bush's effigies graced last year's
festival. The culmination of the merry-making comes on the
"Night of Fire" when all 700 of "Las fallas" are
burnt to a cinder turning many of the city's streets into huge
bonfires. Undoubtedly the local fire services busiest evening of
the year and certainly one not to be missed by visitors to the

Next stop is Catalonia and the town of Valls located about 100km
south west of Barcelona, where every year townsfolk gather for
the legendary "Calcotada". A celebration of food and in
particular the "calcot" (similar to a spring onion) with road
side bbq's char grilling piles of them for locals to eat.
There's even a hug pot of dipping sauce on hand to spice things
up a bit. The main event is the eating competition as burly
local champions from all over the region line up to see how many
onions they can put away in 45 minutes, apparently it's not
uncommon for the victor to eat in excess of 300! After a winner
has been decided the town decamps to huge local cafeterias where
for a small fee the "calcots" are served in plentiful numbers
alongside grilled meats and washed down with as much red wine as
you can drink. It's certainly off the beaten track a little bit
and for that reason you won't see many tourists but expect a
warm welcome from the locals who will, undoubtedly, be in high

29th June, the day of San Pedro and we're deep in Spain's wine
producing heartland, La Rioja, where for one day every year the
medieval town of Haro is host to the famous "Batalla de
(literally "Wine Battle"). Apparently the battle's
origins lie in an ancient dispute with between Haro and its
neighbours. These days the fight is pretty good natured with
thousands of gallons of wine being hurled around the
battleground (a hillside overlooking Haro). Like the
Tomatina, this is going to be a messy one and I'd suggest
coming prepared with some ammunition of your own, the locals
have been doing this for years so expect to take a few shots
early on.

About the Author:
For the last five years Mike McDougall has been working as a
travel writer and marketeer. He's currently working for a
Spanish language School ( to
provide additional cultural and travel related material on Spain
and Latin America. This article is licensed under a Creative
Commons License:

Article Source: - A guide to some of Spain's quirkier festivals



Author: Yetunde Farinloye

The Argungun International Fishing Festival can now be said to have assumed the status of one of the global preferred tourist destinations with nationals of 21 countries witnessing this year edition of the four-day event.

They came in their thousands to Bernin Kebbi, state Capital of kebbi state to celebrate one of Nigeria’s most flamboyant events in the tourism calendar.This year’s edition lasted from March 11th to 15th.

According to the figures released by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, a total of 262,386 visitors witnessed the famed fishing festival in 2009 out of which a total number of about 400 people were from outside the country.

The figures indicate that visitors from Niger, Mali, Chad, USA, Germany and Britain top the list of foreign tourists at the event.

True to their reputation as the most travelled tourists in the world, a total of 40 Germans attended the show followed by the Americans and the British.

The total expenditure at the festival according to NTDC was N1.3 billion out of which food and drinks alone accounted for half a billion naira, transportation fetched N78 million while accommodation at Argungu, Sokoto and Birnin Kebbi brought N146 million.

The report also indicates that at least about N206 million exchanged hands for shopping particularly for souvenirs, mementoes, decorations, textile materials and crafts; while N50 million was realized from package tours both by air and land.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja on the report, the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe commended the Kebbi State government for utilizing to the fullest, the public/private partnership for the success of the festival.

He urged other states to bring up products that can be promoted and marketed by the NTDC as part of the holistic approach at developing Nigeria tourism.

A cash gift of 300,000 naira and a Honda Civic car was presented by President Umar Musa Yardua to the winner of this year’s edition, Abubarkar Indiri who caught a fish that weighed 65kg.

This year saw the fiftieth event since its origins in 1934, when the then Sultan Dan Mu'azu of Sokoto paid a friendly visit to the Emir of Argungun, Malam Mohammed Sama.

To commemorate the occasion, and as the highest traditional honour of the Kabawa, a grand fishing competition was organised by Malal for the august visitor and members of his entourage.

What began as a simple gathering of traditional Argungun fishermen has grown into an international event of epic proportion, where many thousands of fishermen converge to take part in the barehanded competition armed only with a modest net. Canoes filled with drummers and men rattling huge gourds drive the fish to the shallower waters where they are captured, much to the delight of the crowds who come to watch.

About the Author:

Goodlife is an online,offline,advertising and promotion company.For more info visit


The Varied Festivals of Japan

The Varied Festivals of Japan

Author: Luke Humble

If you're looking to take a holiday in Asia, Japan is an excellent choice. It's a land of many contrasts with ultra modern lifestyles juxtaposed against ancient traditions, and rural communities set against sprawling metropolises. A single holiday in Japan can take in many conflicting aspects of life in the country.

If you're looking to absorb the culture, or simply to find some outstanding entertainment for your stay, you could do a lot worse than timing your visit to coincide with one of the many popular festivals that the country is host to. Here are some of the more memorable ones:

Sapporo Snow Festival

The Sapporo Snow Festival will be entering its 60th year in February 2009, and you can expect the event to have an extra special feel to go along with its landmark year. The festival, based in Sapporo - the capital of Hokkaido - takes place over a week and includes the construction of hundreds of snow statues and ice sculptures throughout the town. Each year you can expect around 400 immaculately sculpted ice structures displaying everything from instantly recognisable landmarks to famous celebrities. If you're planning a winter holiday in Japan, then it's well worth joining the 2,000,000 people expected to attend this legendary festival.

Nagasaki Kunchi Festival

If you're taking your holiday in Japan in Autumn, the Nagasaki Kunchi festival is a must. Started in the 16th century to celebrate the harvests, the festival has now grown to become one of the most popular in Japan. Visitors to the country will be able to see traditional dancing, huge floats decorated like river barges or Chinese boats and the legendary 'dragon dance'. To give you an idea over how well planned the whole thing is, preparations for the annual festival begin as early as June 1st.

Kyoto Gion Matsuri Festival

The Gion Festival is another famous one, this time held annually in Kyoto. Unlike the previous entries, this one is on for the entire month of July, but the legendary parade (Yamaboko Junko) is worth being there for on the 17th. Those wanting to get an insight into how Kyoto residents live will also want to visit at this time, as the customary Byobo Matsuri (folding screen festival) means that many residents will open their homes for others to visit. An unparalleled opportunity to get off the tourist trail and see how people live on your holiday in Asia.

Nebuta Matsuri Festival

The largest festival in the Tohoku region is the most popular 'nebuta' event in the country with tourists, and that should be enough to convince you to visit on your holiday in Asia. Nebuta festivals involve the float of brave warrior figures carried around the city, accompanied by dancers moving in time to the famous Rassera chant. It has an atmosphere like no other, and is definitely worth seeing.

Sanja Matsuri Festival

Although Sanja Matsuri is celebrated nationwide, Tokyo is without doubt the place to be for it. The main festivities take place at the Sensoji Shrine on the third weekend of May and some 2 million people come to enjoy the huge parades, traditional music and dancing. Those who dislike crowds need not apply, but it is an unusual experience that everyone with an interest in Japanese culture should try.

Takayama Matsuri Festival

One of Japan's most popular festivals, the Takayma Matsuri festivities take place both in Spring and Autumn. Both festivals welcome the changing seasons and involve colourful floats moving through the Takayama streets and huge crowds. The Autumn version is on the 9th and 10th October, while the Spring version is held on April 14th-15th. Accommodation can be hard to come by, but tourists looking to see it should be able to find something in the neighbouring towns of Furukawa and Gero Onsen.

Fuji Rock Festival

It may not be a traditional cultural experience like the others, but if your idea of a good music festival is a muddy field in England, Fuji Rock may just change your expectations completely. Hosted at the Naeba Ski Resort (it was moved from Fuji in 1997, but retained the name), it is the cleanest mainstream music festival you'll likely ever see. Alongside quality food and drink, the acts are impressive too - past years have attracted the like of The Cure, The Chemical Brothers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beck and The Foo Fighters.

Whether you're interested in music, arts or just absorbing the country's history and culture, there is a Japanese festival for you. By timing your luxury holiday in Japan to coincide with one of these festivals, you're guaranteeing yourself memories that will last a lifetime.

About the Author:
Kieron Sellens is the marketing manager of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AiTO). With holidays in Japan from AITO, you can tailor-make the dream holiday.

Article Source: - The Varied Festivals of Japan

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Boryeong Mud Festival: More Than the Usual Holiday Destination

Boryeong Mud Festival: More Than the Usual Holiday Destination

Author: Paul Selibio

Reminisce the times when you used to play with your friends at the beach, running on the shore with mud on your feet and splatters of it across your face? Those were fun times. But what made that moment truly memorable were the friends that ran around with you on the shore; and how you wish now, that you can do it all over again.

Mud packs, mud fights, mud prison, mud wrestling, and mud obstacle course – these are just some of the fun-filled thrills that The Boryeong Mud Festival offers. It’s that time of the year again in Korea when mud practically takes on the limelight and becomes more than just the usual nuisance that clings on your shoes during the rainy season. In Daecheon beach, where the Boryeong Mud Festival has been celebrated for many years now, mud is a prized attraction.

Here are several reasons why the Boryeong Mud Festival is more than just your usual holiday destination.

Mud Games

Mud can be found everywhere during the Boryeong Festival - on the ground, on your feet, and even on your face. There’s plenty of mud to splash around. You will see people hurling mud on each other or launching them like mud rockets straight at one another. This is the perfect destination for people who want to recall their youth, remember the happy times they spent with their friends, or just experience a new kind of adventure.

There are plenty of mud games during the Boryeong Mud Festival: mud slides, mud dance shows, and mud wrestling are attractions that never fail to impress family and friends. The Boryeong Mud Festival is really a perfect chance for you to bond well with friends and family, or meet new friends along the way.

Mud Camps

Fun is not the only thing you will experience at the Boryeong Mud Festival. You will also learn first-hand a number of things, such as how to survive a mud boot camp to taking a run on a few mud military training exercises; you will also discover a few tricks on how to deal with getting locked up in a make-shift mud prison.

Morning mud marathons start off your Boryeong Mud Festival adventure. Be sure to bring extra clothes, but don’t make the mistake of buying new ones just for the activity. You’ll end up soiling them to waste.

Mud Skin Crème

Many people are claiming that mud on this part of the world possesses some beauty-enhancing properties that tighten skin, and leave it looking young. But don’t leave the mud on your face for too long. Remember to rinse it off. Whatever the reason, walking around town with mud on your face or forehead may still look a bit strange, not to mention unhygienic.


Evenings in Boryeong are met by a grand display of fireworks and lively parties. See bands perform, and watch lively dancers awe you with their performances. You will also experience a bite of Korea’s traditional dishes, but not to be outdone are Western favorites that never fail tickling the palate wherever in the world they are served. There’s plenty of food and drinks to go around, so take your pick and eat to your heart’s content.

These are just a few things to expect from the Boryeong Mud Festival. But for those who really want to take part of this adventure, don’t wait too long. For 2008, the Boryeong Festival will take place on July 12 to July 20; plenty of time to prepare for unending heaps of fun when you get there.

About the Author:

Bored? Searching for new friends and places to discover? Join the Boryeong Mud Festival and experience the adventure of a lifetime. Visit for more details. Boryeong Mud Festival July 12 - July 20, 2008.

Article Source: - Boryeong Mud Festival: More Than the Usual Holiday Destination

Newcastle's festivals - Must See celebrations

Newcastle's festivals - Must See celebrations

Author: Andrew Regan

Newcastle is a city that knows how to party - and you can discover this for yourself by visiting the city during one of its many annual celebratory events. Newcastle plays host to a plethora of different festivals throughout the year and there's always bound to be one that takes your fancy.

As well as being a welcoming city in the north east of England, Newcastle has the charm of being a destination where something's always happening, meaning it's a fantastic place to visit at any time of the year. For example, why not head on a wintry trip to the city to experience Chinese New Year being seen in in style? Every February, Newcastle's Chinatown area transforms into an explosion of colour and celebration as the area welcomes in the New Year amidst massive parties and events.

Continuing down the cultural route, the Newcastle Mela takes place in August and involves two days of music, food and theatrical events celebrating Punjabi, Pakistani, Hindu and Bengali cultures - an excellent opportunity to get a distinct flavour of new customs and traditions whilst staying close to home.

For those who like their big events to centre around one of Britain's favourite customs - drinking - the Newcastle Beer Festival is sure to please. This event occurs every April and is organised by CAMRA - the Campaign for Real Ale - so you know you'll be in good hands. You'll be able to sample a staggering array of delicious ales during your visit, making the trip a memorable one packed with new experiences.

Music fans also won't be disappointed, with plenty of opportunities like the Evolution Festival - a musical extravaganza bringing together a host of acts from the rock, indie and pop worlds over the spring Bank Holiday - taking place throughout the year.

On top of this, Newcastle also plays host to a plethora of sporting festivals, like the annual cycling festival, the race week and the Ouseburn Festival, which dedicates itself to healthy family fun over two days.

Newcastle festivals are certainly some of the best the UK has to offer and, with such a wide variety of celebrations to attend - such as the NewcastleGateshead Comedy Festival in March and the EAT! food and drink festival in May - you're bound to find one to suit your tastes.

No matter what kind of festival you are visiting Newcastle for you can be sure the many Newcastle Newcastle hotels , bars and restaurants throughout the city will be only to happen to welcome you into their establishments as you explore their festival-loving city.

About the Author:

Andrew Regan writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

Article Source: - Newcastle's festivals - Must See celebrations

Money Saving Tips For Wedding Food and Drinks

Money Saving Tips For Wedding Food and Drinks

Author: Bridget Mora

It can be tough to plan the wedding of your dreams while sticking with a budget. The good news, though is that there are ways to cut costs without losing style points. These are some money saving tips for wedding food and drinks that every couple should know.

The alcohol budget at a wedding can be huge! Many couples fear that the only way to cut costs on the bar bill is to have the dreaded open bar. Don't do it! It is a sure fire way to irritate your guests and to make your reception tacky. Instead look for ways to trim costs without being obvious.

One of the most surefire ways to trim the budget for both your food and drink is to choose the date and time of your reception carefully. To spend less on food, think early or late. Brunch will always be a less costly option than dinner, so if you are a morning person, have a 10am ceremony followed by a brunch reception. A bonus is that people will not drink nearly as much at brunch as at dinner. A full bar is by no means a necessity for a brunch reception, either. You can pretty much get by with Bloody Marys, mimosas, and a nice selection of soda and fresh squeezed fruit juices.

A late night reception can be another possible way to cut back on your menu costs, but you will still have a big bar tab to pick up at a cocktail style reception. One idea is to offer a limited menu of beer and wine, along with several signature cocktail. This drastically reduces the variety of bottles you will need to have in your bar. If you are serving a cocktail with a fairly strong flavor, you can also plan to get by with a medium priced vodka or rum, as opposed to the top notch brands. If you wish, have a few bottles of the better liquor brands on hand for the bartender to use for rocks drinks or those which are mixed only with tonic or soda. This is a sneaky way to save a bit, and your guests will never know the difference.

The day of the week that you choose for your wedding can be a great money saver. If you change your wedding from a Saturday night to a Sunday, for instance, the chances are that people will drink less, especially the locals who plan to go to work the next morning. If you move your wedding to a Thursday night, not only might the bar tab go down, but you may also be able to negotiate lower prices with many of your vendors, including the caterer. This is fantastic, as it can be a way to fit the celebration that you want into your budget without sacrificing anything.

Many weddings have themes, and there are options that will allow you to play up your theme while cutting back on expenses at the same time, especially if you choose your theme wisely. For instance, let's say that you are having a beach theme wedding. Start off by choosing a beachy wedding gown and handmade wedding jewelry. (Wedding jewelry with tropical motifs like shells or starfish would be ideal.) Then go with a food and drink menu that reinforces your motif. Instead of a full bar, plan just a couple of fun tropical drinks and go to town with the presentation. Chunks of fresh fruit, paper umbrellas, and the like will put your guest in the island spirit without making a dent in your budget. Casual food is great by the beach, so skip the surf and turf in favor of island favorites like jerk chicken. Festive and affordable!

The great news is that there are many ways in which a couple can cut back on their food and drink expenses without having a wedding that looks cheap or chintzy. With a little creativity and careful planning, you can have a reception that feels welcoming and abundant, while still having money left over at the end of the day.

About the Author:
Bridget Mora writes for Silverland Jewelry about how to plan your dream wedding. Special wedding jewelry is a must have accessory for every woman at a wedding, from the bride on down.

Article Source: - Money Saving Tips For Wedding Food and Drinks