Friday, 6 November 2009

Portland's Rose Festival: Top 5 Things To See and Do

Portland's Rose Festival: Top 5 Things To See and Do

Author: Portlandculinary

Portland's Rose Festival: Top 5 Things To See and Do

The flowers are blooming, the springtime sun is out, and Portland natives are eagerly emerging from winter hibernation. The change in season signifies one shining event: The Rose Festival is in town. With two weeks of fun and entertainment for all ages, the Rose City celebration feels like it lasts the entire summer -- and it would, if Portlanders had their way. Because the 102-year-old festival has so much to offer, we've put together a list of the top 5 things to see and do during this annual celebration of Roses.

1. The Rose Parade

The Grand Floral Parade is an Oregon tradition that honors the natural beauty of the Northwest. One of the largest all-floral parades in the U.S., the Rose Parade features over 15 fantastic floats, including the presentation of the Rose Festival Court and fan-favorite, Reser's Beauty and the Beast. Marching from the Memorial Coliseum to downtown Portland, the parade is led by a show stopping drum line and dance crew, and followed by two separate parade sections dedicated to PDX pride and cultural diversity.

2. Band Festivities

Generally held on the second Friday of the Rose Festival at PGE Park, BandFest features big band music at its finest. From high school ensembles to eclectic, harmonic string sets, this popular performance showcase is celebrated for bringing the march back in marching band.

3. Local Performer Showcase

Also available to enjoy throughout the event are performances by the city's favorite bands along the waterfront stages, including blues, contemporary, jazz, and indie rock groups. When watching a local performer sing his or her heart out with the Willamette River dazzling in the backdrop, you instantly feel moved by the bond shared among Portland area citizens.

4. Waterfront Fun

What's the best seat in the house at the Rose Festival? Smack dab in the water. When Fleet Week rolls around, boats of all shapes and sizes dock alongside Waterfront Park, enjoy the stretch of carnival rides from afar, and drink their favorite Oregon ale. At night, boat-bound viewers get to enjoy the brilliant firework show lighting up the sky, as well as see the carnival of colors mirrored in the Willamette alongside.

5. Dragonboats Race The River

Dragonboat races are also in full effect during festival season. Crowds gather to watch the beautifully crafted Chinese canoes split through the river, glide under the Morrison bridge, and disappear into the sunset.

Feeling Rosy

No matter what's on your agenda for the Rose Festival, you're guaranteed an enjoyable experience. Simply walking along the waterfront and sampling a cinnamony-sweet "elephant ear" will awaken your inner flower child. The theme of this year's Grand Floral Rose Parade evoked the importance of community-building and partnership -- a message that truly reflects the spirit of Portland.

This article is presented by The Western Culinary Institute. The Western Culinary Institute offers Le Cordon Bleu culinary education classes and culinary training programs in Portland, Oregon. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Portland for more information.

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Article Source: - Portland's Rose Festival: Top 5 Things To See and Do

Stretching the Limits at the Austin City Limits Music Festival

Stretching the Limits at the Austin City Limits Music Festival

Author: Joe Cline

You want a festival that offers you a little bit of everything. You want a great venue, with plenty of room so you don’t feel squashed amidst the masses of people sure to attend. You want masses of people sure to attend. You want food, drinks, music and vendors. You want fun that, if possible, is not at the expense of the environment - after all you are from Austin, so you must be green - and you want it all at a reasonable cost. Fortunately, the Austin City Limits Music Festival is just that.

Held every year in Zilker Park at the end of September, the Austin City Limits Music Festival offers a great lineup of bands for three days of unbeatable music. In 2008, the Foo Fighters, Allison Krauss, N.E.R.D., Jenny Lewis, Gnarls Barkley, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Patty Griffin, Tegan and Sara, Iron & Wine and so many more took the stage at the festival, entertaining guests with their varying styles and great tunes. They performed at the AMD, the AT&T Blue Room, the Austin Kiddie Limits stage, the Austin Ventures stage and the BMI, WaMu, Dell and AT&T stages, so that no matter what your taste there was always someone worth listening to playing. It was just a matter of finding them.

In between shows, participants were able to sample some amazing cuisine from numerous Austin eateries. At the Austin Eats Food Court, Aquarelle Restaurant, Austin’s Pizza, Solar Natural Wraps, The Best Wurst, Thistle Café, Saba Blue Water Café and Wahoo’s Fish Taco, among others, served their best dishes to famished music fans. Those who walked away did so full of burgers, gyros, pizzas, salad, fish cones, potatoes and so much more. Famished they may have been to start, but they were anything but to end.

While eating and listening, guests were also able to relax their eco-conscience, knowing that the Austin City Limits Music Festival is as green as it possibly can be. The festival’s motto is Love the Music. Love the Park. Love the Planet. The festival more than lives up to that motto by offering its guest suggestions on how they can be a green part of the weekend. Recommendations include biking or taking the festival shuttle, carpooling, buying carbon offsets as a part of the ticket or once at the festival, and reducing the number of water bottle littering the park by refilling or making use of the water fountains throughout Zilker. However you choose to make a difference - try them all - you’ll know that the weekend of fun you had wasn’t one of waste.

The Austin City Limits Music Festival is a phenomenal, annual event that all should attend. It is the opportunity to see bands few have the privilege of seeing live, and to enjoy warm fall days with your friends and family. If interested, head to aclfestival. You can purchase your ticket or wristband (and maybe that carbon offset?) there, and find out about parking, getting to and from the festival, the lineup and the schedule. That way, you’ll be all set when the festival begins for three days of music-packed fun.

About the Author:

Joe Cline writes articles for Austin Texas real estate. Other articles written by the author related to Steiner Ranch real estate and Lakeway Homes can be found on the net.

Article Source: - Stretching the Limits at the Austin City Limits Music Festival

Virginia Outdoor Festivals Offer Arts, Crafts, Foods, Collectibles and Gifts

Virginia Outdoor Festivals Offer Arts, Crafts, Foods, Collectibles and Gifts

Author: J.C. Banks

Types of Festivals

Virginia outdoor festivals may be specialized, or cover a range of topics. Most outdoor festivals offer a variety of foods, drinks, artwork, gifts, collectibles and entertainment. Specialized festivals cover subjects such as seafood, regional interests, history, holidays and other categories.

What to Expect

When attending a festival for the first time, the best way to learn about what to expect is to read about past events, check reviews of festivals or other first hand accounts of past experiences.

What to Bring

When planning for a Virginia festival it is a good idea to pack a few items even if you don't expect to need them. Items to bring include lightweight collapsible chairs, layered clothes, sunglasses, sun block, sunglasses, hats, water, ice, snacks and a camera. Virginia weather can change suddenly and is not predictable, so having more than you expect can save the day if rain or wind sets in.

Festival Shopping

Nearly all festivals offer at least some shopping opportunities. Many events will have a large selection of crafters and other vendors. As the festival season enters Autumn, festivals offer more and more items related to Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Kwanza, Christmas and other celebrations.

How to Choose the Best Festivals

Virginia festival enthusiasts can find out about the top festivals in their area by visiting news portals and regional blogs such as Chincoteague Island Virginia News, Virginia Beach Virginia and Chesapeake Bay News.

Other sources of festival information include newspapers, specialty shops, clubs, newsletters, online searches and word of mouth recommendations. Social media can be an excellent source of information. In addition, many festivals now have a presence on one or several social media sites. These can include Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites.

About the Author:

The author is an outdoor enthusiast, web designer and owner of several outdoor websites including Hampton Roads Virginia, Nautical Art and Hunting Trips.

Article Source: - Virginia Outdoor Festivals Offer Arts, Crafts, Foods, Collectibles and Gifts