Marty Markowitz Scheduled to Kick Off the EscapeMaker.com Local Food & Travel Expo with “Made in Brooklyn” Marketplace on April 14th

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Nosh and drink your way through Skylight One Hanson - Brooklyn will never taste the same. The Expo will feature local food and wine samples, food demos, workshops and 50 getaway prizes from destinations within a day's drive or train ride of New York City.

Luscious wines and earthy sweet maple products from New York State, delectable cheeses from Vermont and Pennsylvania, gooey candy apples from New Jersey, mouth-watering chocolate made in Brooklyn – the locavore movement will be in full swing at the 2nd Annual EscapeMaker.com Local Food & Travel Expo at Skylight One Hanson, 1 Hanson Place, (Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower) in Brooklyn from 12pm to 5pm on Saturday, April 14, 2012.

**Press is invited to an exclusive preview of the Expo at 11:30am on April 14th and a kick-off ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz at 12pm. Please RSVP to expo(at)escapemaker(dot)com**

Hosted by Emmy-Award winning EscapeMaker.com, a guide to local getaways around New York City since 2000, and presented by Amtrak®, Cabot Cheese® and Zipcar®, the Expo will feature over 50 culinary and agri-tourism focused destinations. From counties, towns, resorts and bed & breakfasts to wineries, breweries, farms and culinary tour operators – all exhibitors are located in Brooklyn or within a day's drive or train ride of New York City.

“Our goal is to not only encourage greener travel but also agri-tourism,” says Caylin Sanders, EscapeMaker.com’s President and Founder. Local farms, regional food producers and restaurants that source locally will offer wine tastings and food samples in a farmers’ market set-up; Cabot Cheese of Vermont and their delicious aged cheddar, Wilklow Orchards in the Catskills of New York and their sweet apple cider, McClure’s Pickles of Brooklyn and their spicy dills.

In addition to sampling regional wines and food, Expo attendees will see how lodgings are "going green," and what's new in sustainable travel from the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort (left) in the Adirondack Mountains of New York to Woodloch Resort in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

New this year to the Expo is the “Made in Brooklyn” Marketplace sponsored by Brooklyn Tourism and presented in the downstairs vault space of Skylight One Hanson. Designed to highlight the exploding food and farm scene and the micro food producers of Brooklyn, the marketplace will feature over 25 exhibitors including, Robicelli's Cupcakes, Brooklyn Winery, Empire Brewing Company and Brooklyn Farmacy - sampling old-fashioned egg creams. Sanders says, “We’re grateful to Brooklyn Tourism and Marty Markowitz for recognizing how important Brooklyn is on the culinary travel landscape and throwing their full support behind us.”

EscapeMaker.com’s President, Caylin Sanders comments, “We’ve highlighted local getaway destinations both drivable and accessible by mass transit for over 11 years online, as well as culinary escapes and agri-tourism opportunities, and our Expo gives us a fantastic way to inspire our online users to discover and taste what’s in their own backyard.”

“Brooklyn is a mecca for foodies,” says Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn’s Borough President. “We want our residents to discover new places and foods made here in the heart of the borough, but we also want to showcase Brooklyn as the must-see culinary escape it’s become. With all of our new hotels, innovative restaurants, urban farms, iconic culinary destinations and unique food and beverage tours and experiences – Brooklyn is the perfect weekend escape.”

Bob Lewis, agri-tourism enthusiast and NY State Department of Agriculture & Markets’ Special Assistant for Market Development commented, “This is a groundbreaking event that not only boosts our state’s key agriculture and travel economies, but also offers local farmers and food entrepreneurs the regional exposure they’d never get otherwise. It’s a win-win for everybody involved.”

Recognizing a great transportation experience is key to a good getaway, the Expo is also supported by Amtrak®, a leader in energy efficient travel, and Zipcar®, an innovator in reducing environmental impact with their urban car-sharing concept. To promote the car-less getaway, deals and packages will be offered by Amtrak® and also Metro-North and Long Island Railroad. Zipcar will also offer discounted driving plans and highlight their hybrid fleet.

Over 50 weekend getaway prizes will be awarded during the Expo, from 2-night stays at a bed and breakfast in Hudson Valley to passes to classic “Americana” roadside attractions like Howe Caverns. The day’s schedule of “edutainment” includes food demos and workshops by GrowNYC and Appalachian Mountain Club.

To offset the event’s carbon footprint, EscapeMaker.com will be purchasing carbon offsets for energy use from Green Mountain Energy and Carbonfund.org. GrowNYC will be coordinating the event’s recycling and throughout the year, EscapeMaker.com will be partnering with GrowNYC to offer agri-tourism getaway ideas to their green market customers.

A portion of ticket sales will benefit “Grow to Learn” which teaches kids about nutrition, gardening and farming and “Camp Brooklyn” which offers underprivileged kids a chance to experience the outdoors and learn new skills outside of the city.

Media sponsors and partners include I LOVE NY, New Jersey State Division of Tourism, Vermont Tourism, VisitPA.com, Edible Manhattan, Edible Brooklyn and Edible East End Magazine, the Heritage Radio Network, WNYC, Courier Life Publications, the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association, New York Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Brooklyn Food Coalition.

Mass transit to the Expo via MTA and LIRR to the Atlanctic Terminal is encouraged and free bike valet service will be provided by Transportation Alternatives in the adjacent Skylight One Hanson parking lot.

Tickets are $13. Kids 10 and under are free. More information and tickets: http://www.escapemaker.com/travelexpo.

For a limited time, attendees can use code “escapemaker12” for a $3.00 discount online.
For updates follow: http://www.twitter.com/escapemaker or http://www.facebook.com/weekendgetaways

More About EscapeMaker.com:
Launched in 2000, EscapeMaker highlights local destinations, attractions, events and food festivals and vacation packages. In April 2010, EscapeMaker.com won an Emmy Award from the National Academy of Arts and Sciences for their "Tastes of New York” agri-tourism webisode -- one in a series that featured pick-your-own farms, wineries and food festivals across the state -- funded in part by a grant from New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

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Caylin Sanders
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