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Southeastern Group Tour Winter 2012 : Page 8

Bulletin Board Tupelo unveils Presley statue A larger-than-life bronze statue of rock-and-roll icon Elvis Presley has been unveiled in his hometown to commemorate the 35th anniversary of his August 1977 death. Hundreds of fans gathered in Tupelo’s Fair-park District, former site of the Tupelo fairgrounds where Presley performed his homecoming concert in September 1956, to see the statue unveiled on Aug. 9. Sculpted by William Beckwith, of Oxford, Miss., the statue is modeled from the 1956 photograph shot by Roger Marshutz of Presley reaching into the crowd. It is known by fans as “the hands.” Known as “The King of Rock and Roll,” or simply “The King,” Elvis was a Tupelo native who had a stellar career. He died at the age of 42 years old on Aug. 16, 1977. The unveiling was part of Tupelo’s Down on Main free summer concert se-ries and was a celebration of Mississippi artists. Eden Brent and Marty Stuart, both from Mississippi, headlined the show and Tupelo Unity Choir opened the night paying tribute to the gospel music Presley loved. The crowd, pressing into an area barricaded with red velvet ropes, was met with music from Viva Elvis Cirque du Soleil’s show before the countdown began. The unveiling was met with applause, with fans waiting in line to get their pictures taken with the bronze statue the remainder of the evening, said Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Linda Elliff. Tupelo CVB: (800) 533-0611, www.tupelo.net St. Augustine landmark’s 125th celebrates legacy Jacksonville Beer School debuts 8 The Budweiser Brewery in Jacksonville, Fla., has added two upgraded options to its tour menu. The Beer School, available daily, is an interactive class that guides partici-pants through the ins and outs of becoming a beer connoisseur. The class pairs nicely with the other upgraded tour: the Beer Master Tour. The behind-the-scenes experi-ence includes a sample from the fi n-ishing tank, a visit to the Beermaster Suite, with more samples and a tour of the Budweiser Clydesdales stable. Both experiences should be sched-uled in advance, and participants need to be 21 or older. (904) 751-8117, www.budweisertours.com New Orleans’ Riverwalk Marketplace transitions When Henry Morrison Flagler moved to St. Augustine, Fla., in the 1880s, Florida was a wilderness. But where others saw swamp and mosquitoes, Flagler saw sunshine, warmth and potential. So, he left Stan-dard Oil Co. partner John D. Rock-efeller to develop Florida tourism. Flagler College is marking the 125th anniversary of the on-campus Flagler-built Spanish Renaissance Revival-style Hotel Ponce de Leon in St. Augustine by feting Flagler himself. Celebrating the Legacy: 125 Years of the Hotel Ponce de Leon includes special tours, community events and programs focused on Flagler, the “Tycoon in Paradise.” Jan. 25, 2013, marks opening of the National Historic Landmark, which closed as a hotel in 1967. The col-lege is currently restoring its domed Solarium. His legacy also includes the Lightner Museum (the former Hotel Alcazar) in St. Augustine, the Break-ers Resort in Palm Beach and Casa Marina in Key West. His Palm Beach home is now the Flagler Museum. (904) 828-3378 (tours), (904) 819-6205 (events), www.ponce125.com, http://legacy.fl agler.edu Photo: Tupelo CVB The Howard Hughes Corporation began construction on the next phase for the Riverwalk Marketplace, the retail center overlooking the Missis-sippi River in New Orleans. Being re-developed as an upscale outlet center, the $70 million project will feature a 50,000-foot expansion, increasing the square footage to an approximate total of 250,000 square feet. Expected to re-open in late 2013, the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk will showcase top national retailers — many new to Louisiana — with established outlet stores as well as local retail, dining and entertainment options. (504) 522-1555, www.river walkmarketplace.com Studio Glass Movement being feted in Orlando Orlando Museum of Art will pres-ent “Contemporary Glass Sculpture: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Studio Glass,” from Dec. 22 to March 31, 2013. The exhibition will feature 60 glass sculptures by renowned mas-ters of the Studio Glass Movement, such as Harvey K. Littleton, Wil-liam Morris, Dale Chihuly and Lino Tagliapietra and others. Works in the exhibition, to be displayed in over 7,000 square feet of gallery space, are from private glass art collections in central Florida. (407) 896 4231, www.omart.org Winter 2012 • GroupTour.com

Bulletin Board

Tupelo unveils Presley statue

A larger-than-life bronze statue of rock-and-roll icon Elvis Presley has been unveiled in his hometown to commemorate the 35th anniversary of his August 1977 death.

Hundreds of fans gathered in Tupelo’s Fairpark District, former site of the Tupelo fairgrounds where Presley performed his homecoming concert in September 1956, to see the statue unveiled on Aug. 9.

Sculpted by William Beckwith, of Oxford, Miss., the statue is modeled from the 1956 photograph shot by Roger Marshutz of Presley reaching into the crowd. It is known by fans as “the hands.”

Known as “The King of Rock and Roll,” or simply “The King,” Elvis was a Tupelo native who had a stellar career. He died at the age of 42 years old on Aug. 16, 1977.

The unveiling was part of Tupelo’s Down on Main free summer concert series and was a celebration of Mississippi artists. Eden Brent and Marty Stuart, both from Mississippi, headlined the show and Tupelo Unity Choir opened the night paying tribute to the gospel music Presley loved.

The crowd, pressing into an area barricaded with red velvet ropes, was met with music from Viva Elvis Cirque du Soleil’s show before the countdown began. The unveiling was met with applause, with fans waiting in line to get their pictures taken with the bronze statue the remainder of the evening, said Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Linda Elliff.Tupelo CVB: (800) 533- 0611, www.tupelo.net

Jacksonville Beer School debuts

The Budweiser Brewery in Jacksonville, Fla., has added two upgraded options to its tour menu. The Beer School, available daily, is an interactive class that guides participants through the ins and outs of becoming a beer connoisseur.

The class pairs nicely with the other upgraded tour: the Beer Master Tour. The behind-the-scenes experience includes a sample from the finishing tank, a visit to the Beermaster Suite, with more samples and a tour of the Budweiser Clydesdales stable.

Both experiences should be scheduled in advance, and participants need to be 21 or older. (904) 751- 8117, www.budweisertours.com

New Orleans’ Riverwalk Marketplace transitions

The Howard Hughes Corporation began construction on the next phase for the Riverwalk Marketplace, the retail center overlooking the Mississippi River in New Orleans. Being redeveloped as an upscale outlet center, the $70 million project will feature a 50,000-foot expansion, increasing the square footage to an approximate total of 250,000 square feet.

Expected to re-open in late 2013, the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk will showcase top national retailers — many new to Louisiana — with established outlet stores as well as local retail, dining and entertainment options. (504) 522-1555, www.riverwalkmarketplace.com

St. Augustine landmark’s 125th celebrates legacy

When Henry Morrison Flagler moved to St. Augustine, Fla., in the 1880s, Florida was a wilderness.

But where others saw swamp and mosquitoes, Flagler saw sunshine, warmth and potential. So, he left Standard Oil Co. partner John D. Rockefeller to develop Florida tourism.

Flagler College is marking the 125th anniversary of the on-campus Flagler-built Spanish Renaissance Revival-style Hotel Ponce de Leon in St. Augustine by feting Flagler himself. Celebrating the Legacy: 125 Years of the Hotel Ponce de Leon includes special tours, community events and programs focused on Flagler, the “Tycoon in Paradise.”

Jan. 25, 2013, marks opening of the National Historic Landmark, which closed as a hotel in 1967. The college is currently restoring its domed Solarium.

His legacy also includes the Lightner Museum (the former Hotel Alcazar) in St. Augustine, the Breakers Resort in Palm Beach and Casa Marina in Key West. His Palm Beach home is now the Flagler Museum.

(904) 828-3378 (tours), (904) 819- 6205 (events), www.ponce125.com, http://legacy.flagler.edu

Studio Glass Movement being feted in Orlando

Orlando Museum of Art will present “Contemporary Glass Sculpture: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Studio Glass,” from Dec. 22 to March 31, 2013.

The exhibition will feature 60 glass sculptures by renowned masters of the Studio Glass Movement, such as Harvey K. Littleton, William Morris, Dale Chihuly and Lino Tagliapietra and others.

Works in the exhibition, to be displayed in over 7,000 square feet of gallery space, are from private glass art collections in central Florida. (407) 896 4231, www.omart.org

Key Largo to premiere Bogart Film Festival

Slated May 2–5, 2013, in Key Largo, Fla., is the Humphrey Bogart Film Festival.

“We have long been looking for a natural home for a family-backed Bogie film fest, and we believe there is no better place than Key Largo,” said Stephen Humphrey Bogart, son of the movie star.

Stephen Bogart said his father and mother, Lauren Bacall, starred in Key Largo and the actual boat from The African Queen (pictured) is in the city.

The theme for the inaugural festival is film noir, a cinematic term used to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those emphasizing cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. Bogart excelled in this genre during Hollywood’s notable film noir period in the 1940s and 1950s.

Highlights of the film festival include a rotating selection of the performer’s classic films and a group of movies focusing on the film noir genre.

Also planned are a formal Bogart Ball, an outdoor screening of Casablanca, a display of Bogart memorabilia and canal cruises on the fully restored African Queen, which is docked at the Holiday Inn Key Largo, mile marker 100. www. bogartfilmfestival.com, www.keylargochamber.org, www.fla-keys.com

World of Bluegrass picks Raleigh as its capital

Bluegrass performers and industry leaders will converge on downtown Raleigh, N.C., in September 2013 for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s weeklong World of Bluegrass. World of Bluegrass includes a conference, the IBMA’s annual awards ceremony and Bluegrass Fan Fest, a three-day weekend showcasing the genre’s top talent.

In choosing Raleigh as host city for the next three years, the association takes advantage of the four-year-old Raleigh Convention Center and neighboring venues and hotels — and also connects to the North Carolina’s rich bluegrass heritage. 2013’s World of Bluegrass takes place Sept. 23–29, roughly two weeks after Hopscotch, a Raleigh festival that features 175 bands across a spectrum of genres. (615) 256-3222; www.ibma.org

Fort Myers readies 75th Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade

In February, Fort Myers, Fla., celebrates the birthday of its most illustrious historical resident, inventor Thomas A. Edison, in befitting fashion. Edison, who built a home on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River and spent 46 winters there, invented the light bulb. Invention competitions, parties, craft shows and a 5K run are all part of the festival.

The biggest event, the 75th annual Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade, draws up to 250,000 people, said Nancy Hamilton of the Lee County VCB. The parade, scheduled for Feb. 16, begins at 7 p.m. Edison Festival of Light: (239) 334-2999; www.edisonfestival.org •CVB: (800) 237-6444, www.fortmyers-sanibel.com

Little Rock to host Travel South Showcase

The 31st annual Travel South Showcase is scheduled for Feb. 17–20, 2013, in Little Rock, Ark.

“Arkansas: A work of art” is the theme for the appointment-style marketplace, which is an invitationonly event.

Tour operators meet face-to-face with southern travel suppliers.

Nearly 600 tourism professionals are expected to network, conduct business and promote travel to and within the Travel South USA region of 11 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Familiarization tours are scheduled before and after the showcase, as well as Little Rock city tours during.

Travel South Showcase is a regional marketplace focused on the cultural, musical, artistic and culinary heritage of the South. (404) 231- 1790, www.travelsouthusa.org

Movie House Winery opens in Morrilton, Ark.

Sherrie and Ken Sowers have opened Movie House Winery in downtown Morrilton, Ark.

The winery is in a newly renovated 1930s building that once housed the Petit Jean Movie Theatre.

Movie House Winery produces a variety of wines — semi-sweet, dry reds and dry whites — in small batches. “They are named after movies to go with the theme,” Sherrie Sowers said.

For example, their number-one seller is 3 Wise Fools, a pomegranate wild berry zinfandel. (501) 215-4899, www.moviehousewinery.com

Florida sponge docks transformed
The sponge industry once propelled Tarpon Springs, Fla., recruiting divers from the Greek isles. Even today, a large percentage of natural sea sponges come from the waters of Tarpon Springs. This town of 21,000 along the Gulf Coast celebrates both its Greek roots and the influence of the sponge diving industry. The seaside Sponge Docks are now home to shops, restaurants and attractions, including the Tarpon Springs Aquarium.

At Spongeorama’s Sponge Factory, shop for natural sea sponges and gifts, watch an overview movie and see the exhibits. The factory is the starting point for sightseeing cruises. Tarpon Spring’s Sponge Docks: www.sponge docks.net•Spongeorama: (727) 365-8793, www.spongeorama.com

Art blends with history at new Blowing Rock museum
Travelers on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina have another visual feast in store near Milepost 294. The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum opened Oct. 1 with a display of paintings by early 20th-century artist Elliott Daingerfield, who grew up in Fayetteville and spent nearly 50 summers in Blowing Rock.

The museum’s origins date to 1995, when a Charlotte couple offered town leaders the Daingerfield paintings if they would build a place to house them. Works by Daingerfield, best known for his Barbizon-style landscapes, can be found at museums including the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh and the Mint Museum in Charlotte, and at Westglow Resort & Spa, which occupies one of three Blowing Rock homes the artist built. (828) 295-9099, www.blowingrockmuseum.org

Mississippi museum marks battle sesquicentennial

The Museum of the Mississippi Delta in Greenwood, Ms., is launching “War Comes to the Mississippi Delta.”

The exhibit, which opens Jan. 26 and runs through Aug. 31, tells the story of the Union forces’ attempt to navigate the rivers of the delta during the winter of 1863. Known as the Yazoo Pass Expedition, the attempt ended in failure for the north as Confederate forces held strong at a hastily built outpost, Fort Pemberton. Civil War artifacts from two vessels, the Star of West and the Union ironclad USS Cairo, will be on display, as well as period clothing.

The Lady Polk, a cannon used in the Battle of Fort Pemberton, is on permanent view at the museum. (662) 453-0925, www.museumofthemississippidelta.com

Resort expands in Smokies
Wilderness at the Smokies, a resort in Sevierville, Tenn., has opened Adventure Forest, an indoor fun park.

Activities include a three-story ropes course, a multi-level, enclosed laser tag arena, mini-bowling, black-light mini-golf, more than 100 arcade games, a ‘Laser Maze,’ a 25-foot-tall spring ride, a 23-foot climbing wall, special birthday party rooms, another restaurant and lounge and other attractions and activities that do not involve water.

Steve Cruz, general manager of Wilderness at the Smokies, said Adventure Forest is open to the public. Currently all amenities at the resort are only open to resort guests.

Next to Adventure Forest is the resort’s other indoor park, the Wild WaterDome, a 66,000-square-foot water park. (877) 325-9453, www.wildernessatthesmokies.com

Read the full article at http://bt.e-ditionsbyfry.com/article/Bulletin+Board/1237556/134650/article.html.

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