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Headed to the Lowcountry Hoedown? Be sure to pack plaid shirts, cowboy boots, and a bunch of napkins: This Dixie shindig serves up BBQ, cocktails, and craft brews, topping them off with hearty helpings of live bluegrass and folk from Seven Handle Circus and The Dunder Chiefs. In between the dining and dancing, test your grit on the mechanical bull, or commemorate the evening at the Old West–themed photo booth. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Lowcountry Food Bank.
14–16 New Orleans
Crescent City is the birthplace of jazz and the home of the Natchez, the only steamboat still in service on the Mighty Mississippi. Steamboat Stomp toasts both badges of honor with a weekend of fine music and food. Friday night kicks off at the Royal Sonesta Hotel with a lecture by Captain Clarke “Doc” Hawley (who worked for more than 60 years on riverboats, including the Natchez itself) on the genre’s deep connection to the Mississippi River, followed by performances by Banu Gibson, the Yerba Buena Stompers, and Don Vappie & Evan Christopher. The music takes to the stream on Saturday with bands like the Tim Laughlin Trio and the Dukes of Dixieland performing onboard in the afternoon and evening. On Sunday, brunch on the boat is accompanied by gospel group Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony.
16–22 San Antonio
Boasting bold brass, flashy costumes, and robust vocal chords, the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza rolls into San Antonio for its 20th annual celebration of the spirited Mexican music style. The fest opens with a mariachi Mass at the historic Mission San José Church and continues with recitals and competitions throughout the week. One highlight is the Serenata en el Río, where groups take to the downtown River Walk for open-air performances. The extravaganza’s culminating event is Saturday evening’s concert by Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán at the Lila Cockrell Theatre. The legendary 13-piece group is directed by maestro Ruben Fuentes, whose tenure with Mariachi Vargas spans 70 years.
21–23 Gaithersburg, Maryland
Showcasing East Coast artisans of every stripe, the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival brings more than 400 makers to the Montgomery County Fairgrounds to display and sell their sculptures, leather goods, photography, home décor, and more. In addition to loads of shopping, Sugarloaf lets visitors in on the creative process with demonstrations by master crafters including papermaking by Palmyra, Virginia–based artist Cyndi Mylynne, pottery throwing with Alan Burslem of Delaware By Hand, and intricate metal-and-gem jewelry making by Alan and Dale Uchin of Birchrunville, Pennsylvania’s Purple Gem Jewelry. If your tastes favor the culinary arts, visit the food market to pick up delicacies like fruit salsa, Italian olive oil, old-fashioned candies, and homemade biscotti. For the little ones, puppeteers, storytellers, and other entertainers perform in the kids’ area.
21–23 Plymouth, Massachusetts
History buffs find themselves in heaven at America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration. Now in its 19th year, the festival takes place the week before Turkey Day on the waterfront in historic Plymouth, where the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving with the Wampanoag Native Americans nearly 400 years ago. Saturday morning’s parade presents a living time line with floats depicting different periods of American history. Get a closer look in the Historic Village, where you can watch potters, soapmakers, and basketweavers crafting traditional wares or chat with other costumed interpreters. Tops in Blue, a musical group made up of active-duty Air Force personnel, puts on a concert honoring veterans on Friday night, while the Drum & Bugle Corps show turns up the volume on Saturday. Hungry for more? The New England Food Festival, also taking place on the waterfront on Saturday, will quell your appetite for regional cuisine with soups, entrées, and baked goods. Hot chowda on a brisk New England day? Now that’s something to be thankful for.
3–7 Portland, Oregon
You can’t complain about the winter chill when you’re warming up with a vanilla-tinged, oak-aged imperial strong ale. At the Holiday Ale Festival, breweries from the Pacific Northwest and beyond— including Widmer Brothers, McMenamins, Eel River, and Lompoc—provide revelers with 50-plus varieties of barleywines, porters, stouts, strong ales, ciders, and other hearty pours. All the suds are either rare vintages or special recipes crafted for the festival. In addition to beer-and-cheese pairings and meet-the-brewer events, Sunday’s European brunch will make you bid adieu to mimosas for good. Its plentiful spread of pastries, fruit, cured meats, and cheeses simply begs for a well-aged brew. Bottoms up!
29–31 South Lake Tahoe, California
The organizers of the annual SnowGlobe Music Festival have a New Year’s Resolution: Make this year’s fete the biggest and best party they’ve ever thrown. And they need your help. Join the 10,000 or so music fans who trek to the mountainous terrain of South Lake Tahoe for this outdoor extravaganza, held on the athletics field at Lake Tahoe Community College at the base of Heavenly Mountain Resort. Dozens of acts will hit the fest’s stages over the course of three days. The lineup leans heavily toward EDM and house with acts like Flume—known for his Lorde and Arcade Fire remixes—and Grammy winners Skrillex, Zedd, and Disclosure throwing down explosive sets. In between mainstage performances, skiers and snowboarders put their skills on display in the Big Air jump showcase. You needn’t worry about being left in the cold at the end of the night—just follow the crowds to the sponsored after-parties.Send This To A Friend Print Page
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