TravelandLeisureNews.com Announces Upcoming Festivals and Events

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Find great fairs and festivals including music, food and wine, culinary tours, cultural, entertainment and family fun.

AthFest Music & Arts Festival, June 20-24, 2012, Athens, Georgia
Athens, Georgia - AthFest, one of the south’s finest music and arts festivals, will be held in downtown Athens, Georgia, June 20th through 24th, 2012. Over the course of this four day festival, approximately 150 bands and artists will perform on the 3 outdoor stages and in a dozen venues. AthFest Mainstage headliners this year will be: Reptar, Atlas Sound, The Glands and Yacht Rock Revue. All performances on the outdoor stages are open to all ages and are free of charge to the public. Now in its 16th year, AthFest showcases all the best local, regional, and nationally recognized Athens-based talent. The festival includes live music, KidFest, a juried artisan market, film events, a comedy showcase, Flagpole Music Awards, Wired Dance Music Festival and more. DETAILS: http://www.athfest.com, Phone: (706) 548-1973

Tubs Set Sail during the Bathtub Regatta in Southern Belgium
Dinant, Belgium - Each year on August 15, the city of Dinant, in keeping with Belgium’s reputation for the quirky and unusual, hosts the Bathtub Regatta. The 2012 edition will mark the 30th anniversary of this beloved event. The regatta highlights the city’s joie de vivre and attracts as many as 25,000 visitors who watch this procession of bizarre boats racing down the Meuse River. In addition to bathtubs, visitors will see homemade rafts, floating waterslides and other curious boat-like creations. A theme is selected each year for the regatta and participants enthusiastically incorporate it into the creation of their boat with a heavy dose of humor. This year’s theme is “Films past and present,” so prepare for a walk down cinematic memory lane. Phone: 212-758-8130
DETAILS: http://www.visitbelgium.com/index.php/news/62/109/The-Bathtub-Regatta-in-Dinant-Aug-15

Fort Worth Opera Festival, May 12 – June 3, 2012
Fort Worth, Texas - Fort Worth Opera’s 2012 season has it all: a spellbinding love triangle and a white-knuckle thrill ride of corruption, deceit, and passion; a charming look at love, fidelity, and temptation; an attempt to stop a decades-old war by withholding “love”; and an aging Broadway star and her children who must learn to forgive despite decades of lies, disappointment, and grief. Don’t miss Puccini’s passionate blockbuster "Tosca," Mozart’s effervescent romantic comedy "The Marriage of Figaro," Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata and a new production of Jake Heggie’s "Three Decembers." Performances at the renowned Bass Performance Hall and the Fort Worth Community Arts Center. May 12 – June 3.
DETAILS: http://www.fwopera.org; Phone: 877-396-7372.    

Chicago Area’s North Shore Chamber Music Festival July 6, 8 & 9, 2012
Northbrook, Illinois - One of the best ways to welcome summer in the Chicago area, The North Shore Chamber Music Festival (July 6, 8 & 9) offers an exciting mix of traditional and contemporary chamber music performed by some of today’s renowned artists, including The Pacifica Quartet, clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein, pianist Adam Neiman and violinist Vadim Gluzman. Located in Northbrook, Illinois, this season includes a special performance of Alan Ridout’s Ferdinand the Bull narrated in both the spoken and signed word. Pre-concert events include performances by young artists from ICODA (International Center on Deafness and the Arts), and young musicians from the Chicago area; plus a presentation by the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
DETAILS: http://www.nscmf.org; Phone: 847-370-3984

79th Annual League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair, August 4-12, 2012, showcases one-of-a-kind craft, hand-made by master craftsmen
Concord, New Hampshire - Each summer, visitors come to the Annual League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair in the beautiful Lake Sunapee region of New Hampshire to experience the fun and fascinating world of craft. Now in its 79th year, the Annual Craftsmen’s Fair (August 4-12, 2012) at the Mount Sunapee Resort in Newbury, NH, is a showcase for beautiful, one-of-a-kind craft that are functional, decorative, and built to last. All of the craft is made by hand by master craftsmen – juried members of the League – using traditional methods and locally sourced materials, including clay, wood, metal, glass, fiber, and paper. Visitors can meet and talk to the craftsmen, learn about their techniques, and purchase from them.
DETAILS: http://www.nhcrafts.org, Phone: 603-224-3375

Culinary walking tours of Boston’s Little Italy and Chinatown with Boston Food Tours
Boston, MA – Guests on these culinary walking tours learn how the two cultures eat, how their food was adapted to this country and, most importantly, how to identify and where to buy the very best ingredients. Along the way, your guide will also share a bit of neighborhood history, simple but special cooking tips, tastes of specific food ingredients and the best-kept secrets of neighborhood restaurants. Participants get an insider’s view of these ethnic neighborhoods, alive with colorful immigrant history and undiscovered hidden gems and great food. Tours are offered to the North End on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and cost $50.00 per person. Chinatown tours are Thursday and Saturday and cost $65.00 per person.
DETAILS: http://www.bostonfoodtours.com, Phone: 617-523-6032

Trailing of the Sheep Festival celebrates a slice of the American West that’s still alive
Hailey, Idaho - The 16th annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival takes place October 11-14, 2012. Yep, trailing thousands of sheep from summer grazing to warmer winter pastures for lambing still takes place in the mountains of Idaho every year as it has for 150 years. Here in Sun Valley, Idaho, the sheep pass million dollar homes and even get a parade down Main Street. The Town celebrates the event by organizing a weekend filled with art, history, food and culture. The Festival preserves the stories and colorful history of sheep ranchers and herders, celebrates the rich cultures of the past and present and entertains and educates children, adults and families about the production of local food and fiber that sustain local economies and generations of hard-working families.
DETAILS: http://www.trailingofthesheep.org, Phone: 208-720-0585

Hawaii’s Big Island Film Festival, May 24-28, 2012, Waikoloa, Hawaii
Waikoloa, Hawaii - In addition to 57 narrative films from Hawaii and around the world, the Big Island Film Festival presents celebrity guests, the award-winning trio “Kohala” in concert and more, Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-28. Now in its 7th year, the Festival delivers unique entertainment, with free family films at the Shops at Mauna Lani, daytime movies and nightly double features, screenwriting workshops and stellar social events at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. Fans have the chance to see the Festival’s two celebrity guests Eloise Mumford (“The River”) and David James Elliott (“JAG”) at a special “Meet the Stars” event on Friday, or at their Receptions & Salutes, Saturday and Sunday respectively. The Big Island Film Festival takes place in several locations within Mauna Lani Resort, located on the Kohala Coast on the Island’s west side.
DETAILS: http://www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com, Phone: (808) 883-0394.

Florida’s Sarasota County Festivals Celebrate Chalk Artists, Sand Sculptors and Emerging Artists
Sarasota, Florida - From remarkable arts and culture festivals such as the Ringling International Arts Festival in October, the Sarasota Music Festival in June and the Sarasota Chalk Festival in November there is a reason why Sarasota County is known as Florida’s Cultural Coast ®. The annual Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival every 4th of July and the Sarasota Open Tennis Tournament every spring also call Sarasota home. For visitors who prefer something out of the ordinary, the annual Venice Shark’s Tooth Festival and the Siesta Key Crystal Sand Sculpting Contest on America’s #1 Beach, Siesta Beach, in November are worth a visit. Food and oenophiles will delight in Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week every June and Forks & Corks in January.
DETAILS: http://www.sarasotafl.org/events, Phone: 941-955-0991

Vermont Quilt Festival, New England’s Largest and Oldest, June 29-July 1
Essex Junction, Vermont - Treat your family to a visual feast of color and design in hundreds of quilts at the Vermont Quilt Festival. Contest quilts by adults and youth, antique quilts from the Pilgrim/Roy collection, and contemporary works by quilt artists will dazzle and delight you. Shop the bustling merchants mall with its colorful array of wares and enjoy free gallery talks and vendor demonstrations. Classes, lectures and quilt appraisals add to the excitement. Come early for the festive Champagne and Chocolate Preview Thursday evening, June 28, with chocolates by Vermont’s finest chocolatiers. The Festival takes place at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction, Friday and Saturday 9am-6pm; Sunday 9am-3pm. Daily admission $12, seniors and groups $10, children under 14 free.    
DETAILS: http://www.vqf.org, Phone: 802-872-0034

View these stories online with photos here:
http://travelandleisurenews.com/news/1-issue/festivals-events/may-1-2012/index.htm
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