Summer is a time for festival fun
(4/19/2010) from Travelbestbuys.com
The summer of 2010 will definitely be a time for some festival fun as families look for cost-effective summer getaways that are both pleasing and enriching. And discovering the local traditions and cultures that are showcased in the numerous festivals that take place across North America every summer is a perfect way to satisfy both of these goals.
Combining history and entertainment while on vacation is not only enlightening, but affordable and the following is a list of some of the top family-friendly festivals taking place this year -- many of them offering free activities and events.
In California, there’s the Gravenstein Apple Fair which takes place from Aug. 14 to Aug. 15, 2010 and is sponsored by Sonoma County Farm Trails.
The fair showcases the best in arts, crafts, food, wines and brews, games, entertainment and farm life activities. Brimming with tradition, the fair has the flavor of a country get-together. Local farmers sell everything from apples and fiber arts to miniature plants and gourmet goodies. Over 125 artisans display arts and crafts. A miniature train tours the hillsides while antique farm equipment fascinates all ages. At the "Children's corner" area kids can create an art piece to take home, watch a puppet show or participate in fun games. Proceeds fund the Sonoma County Farm Trails Map & Guide and Farm Trails' educational programs.
For more information, visit www.gravensteinapplefair.com.
From June 25 to July 6, Montreal comes alive with the sounds of the city’s International Jazz Festival.
The city celebrates the magic of music as it welcomes the most renowned jazz musicians for a mid-summer festival, the largest of its kind in the world. Approximately 3,000 musicians perform on festival stages and the 31st edition will feature prominent names such as George Benson, Steve Miller Band, Doobie Brothers and Joan Armatrading, while Cassandra Wilson and Lionel Richie headline the star-studded opening gala.
The festival includes 370 free outdoor shows for 12 straight days. Indoor venues range from cozy jazz clubs to the grand halls of Place des Arts. The festival site is closed to vehicular traffic during this time, making it safe for families.
For more information, visit www.montrealjazzfest.com.
In Connecticut, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, which is held from June 12 to June- 26, 2010 will celebrate its 15th anniversary this year.
The annual New Haven festival is firmly established as one of the world's most significant arts festivals and is a much anticipated start to the summer season in the Northeast, featuring an unrivalled performing arts series with renowned international stars, newly discovered artists, world premieres and an eclectic ideas program offering a mix of serious, controversial, and whimsical topics, all designed to inspire new ways of thinking.
Programming is planned to engage and delight adults and children alike and is an excellent value with more than 80% of festival events free to the public, including some of the most prestigious opera, jazz, classical, rock, folk and fusion music in the world.
Go to www.infonewhaven.com for more.
Also in Connecticut is the Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament which runs from Aug. 20 to Aug. 28.
The Pilot Pen is an Olympus US Open Series event on the ATP World Tour and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour held every summer in New Haven at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale University. The family friendly event features a number of international tennis stars. Visitors can also enhance their stay in New Haven by purchasing tickets to one of many "Special Access" off-court events taking place during the Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament.
The third-annual New Haven Food & Wine Festival (August 25, 5:00- 7:00 p.m.) will offer visitors the opportunity to sample, compare and contrast the culinary creations of the daring and innovative chefs, who call New Haven home. More than 15 celebrated local restaurants will offer up their most talked about and original recipes.
Check out www.pilotpentennis.com for complete information.
From Aug. 10 to Aug. 15, it’s movie time in Rhode Island at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.
Providence has long served as inspiration for top Hollywood directors, producers and actors. The RIIFF is the largest public film festival in New England and an Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences qualifying event that provides yet another way for travellers to take advantage of a quick city escape to Providence with screenings, VIP parties and events happening throughout the city.
With affordable passes and kid-friendly programming this is an ideal event for families.
For more information, visit www.film-festival.org.
South Carolina comes alive each spring as the annual Spoleto Festival USA – set for May 28 to June 13 – takes over the historic theaters, churches and outdoor venues of Charleston with more than 140 performances by renowned artists and emerging performers.
Showcased disciplines include opera, theater, dance, jazz, as well as the visual arts - a type of entertainment for every age group in the family.
This year's festival features everything from German punk-rock to a fiddle and banjo trio from the Carolinas.
For more information, call (843) 722-2764 or visit www.spoletousa.org.
The Blackbeard Pirate Festival sets sail from July 9 to July 11, 2010 in Virginia.
Visitors can join Blackbeard and his crew in Downtown Hampton, Virginia, for the 11th annual Hampton Blackbeard Pirate Festival.
See the notorious Edward Teach, a.k.a. Blackbeard, as he fights his final battle versus Lt. Maynard of the Royal Navy. This family festival celebrates living history and returns the Hampton waterfront to the way of life in 1718.
Full-scale sea battles, tall ships, treasure hunts, sea shanties, historic reenactments, a pirate camp, strolling entertainers and a spectacular fireworks display highlight the weekend.
Events take place from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Sunday and 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.
For more information, sail on over to www.virginia.org or swashbuckle your way to www.blackbeardpiratefestival.com.
The lazy days of summer will be no match for Thank Goodness it's Ocean View (TGOV) Beach Party and Music Series (which starts July 9, 2010 and is held on Fridays in July and August) in Norfolk, Virginia.
The 'Thank Goodness It's Ocean View Beach Party and Music Series (TGOV) will be a sure fire way to rev up the after-work crowd and start off the weekend right. The Friday evening beach parties feature live music, family-friendly entertainment, children's activities and a host of culinary options.
For more information, visit www.visitnorfolktoday.com.
Also in Norfolk, there’s the 34TH Annual Harborfest which takes place from June 11 to June 13, 2010.
Hampton Roads' largest summertime event featuring an astounding 700 international tall ships, sailboats, battleships and cruise ships; national, regional and local entertainment; children's activities; fireworks and more.
Follow this link for more information.