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    The Greatest International Art Museum You’ve Never Heard of: North Carolina Museum of Art

    Where can you find one of North America’s largest museum art parks, a collection of 30 Rodin sculptures and one of only two permanent Judaic art displays in the country? Raleigh, the state capital of North Carolina, offers all of this and more.
    The North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) may not have the fame of the Louvre or the name recognition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but it is undeniably a hidden gem in the art world, welcoming more than one million visitors to its campus in 2023. Nestled in Raleigh, N.C., this international art museum is home to a collection of 4,353 artworks from around the globe. With its diverse exhibitions and exquisite displays, it is a destination that deserves recognition and exploration. The idea for the Museum traces back to the establishment of the North Carolina State Art Society in 1924, with a mission to generate support for a state-funded art museum. An ambitious mission at the time, the Museum received funding from the North Carolina General Assembly in 1947, becoming the first state-funded art museum in the nation.
    Today the NCMA showcases an impressive collection that spans over 5,000 years of artistic history. The permanent collection, The People’s Collection, was fully re-installed in 2022 to share a more inclusive art historical narrative and to re-imagine a more dynamic experience of the arts through newly conceived geographic and thematic galleries. Notable changes include joining Egyptian art with African art, interactive and accessible digital labels and community voices, which invited citizens throughout North Carolina to respond to objects in the collection in conversation with labels written by museum curators. The People’s Collection includes works by renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Georgia O’Keeffe, El Anatsui and Yayoi Kusama, among many others. Remarkably, public admission to The People’s Collection is always free.
    The Museum’s Rodin collection of 30 sculptures is the most extensive Rodin collection between Philadelphia and the West Coast and is always on view inside the West Building and outdoors in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Court and Garden. The Museum is also celebrating its 40th year of Judaic art and has a gallery devoted to historic ceremonial Jewish objects.  This collection is one of only two permanent Judaic art displays in an American art museum.
    One of the distinctive features of NCMA is its stunning outdoor park, filled with sculptures and installations that surprise and delight. As one of North America’s largest museum art parks, the 164-acre campus provides a serene and immersive experience where art and nature intertwine. Visitors can bike or stroll along 4.7 miles of trails, marvel at outdoor artworks, native plants and wildlife and enjoy live music in the Museum’s amphitheater. The Museum Park has been transformed over the last 40 years with the goals of stewardship and sustainability in mind. An ever-evolving space, current projects focus on stream restoration, stormwater management and connectivity.ADVERTISEMENTConsciousness is supported and spearheaded by NCMA’s Director, Valerie Hillings, who took on the role in 2018. Hillings previously worked in various senior positions at the Guggenheim and its partner institutions, curating more than 15 exhibitions on four continents. She is the ninth director of the Museum and the first woman in this role. With a strong leadership and curatorial background, Hillings initiated the reimagining of The People’s Collection in 2022, lifting diverse curatorial voices and enhancing the Museum’s accessibility features.
    In addition to its permanent collection and outdoor park, the Museum hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions catering to diverse artistic interests. Current exhibitions include To Take Shape and Meaning: Form and Design in Contemporary American Indian Art. Upcoming exhibitions include Venice and the Ottoman Empire, The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure and the sell-out annual floral art installation Art In Bloom, which returns every March. The NCMA also offers educational programs, lectures, workshops, markets and performing arts and film events that engage visitors and community members of all ages and foster a deeper appreciation for the arts. Museum programs engaged over 220,000 people across all 100 North Carolina counties, reflecting collaborations with over 415 partners for 797 programs in 2023.
    Whether you are an art or history enthusiast or simply looking for a unique cultural experience, the North Carolina Museum of Art is a destination worth adding to your bucket list. From its expansive collection to its beautiful outdoor park, this hidden gem offers a rich and immersive journey through the world of art.

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    Two Scottish distilleries named as top attractions for 2024 at World Travel Awards

    The World Travel Awards – dubbed the ‘Oscars of tourism’ – have been announced for 2024 and two Scottish distilleries plus a number of hotels have triumphed.
    The Singleton of Glen Ord Distillery, located in Muir of Ord, has been named Scotland’s Leading Distillery Tour 2024 and The Glentlivet was named Scotland’s Leading Whisky Distillery Tour 2024.The Singleton of Glen Ord, which re-opened its doors in 2022 as part of Diageo’s £185-million investment into Scotch tourism, is a celebration of the best of Scotland and was created with the vision of not only honouring the slow-crafted single malt and its history, but also to give locals and tourists an immersive experience, where they can explore everything the Highlands has to offer.
    Sitting on the famous North Coast 500 route and accessible by bus or train from Inverness, the visitor attraction is known for working closely with suppliers from around the area to provide visitors with local produce, space for home-grown artists, as well as immersive and unusual whisky tasting experiences.
    The Glenlivet reopened its visitor centre in 2021 after a renovation by owners Pernod Ricard.The new space has a lounge area, bar, shop with fill your own bottle stations and archive area and has been designed to feel cosy and welcoming with a palette of teal, green, orange and neutrals that reflect the ever changing Speyside landscape.
    The Glenlivet was named World’s Leading Whisk(e)y Distillery Tour in the 2022 World Travel AwardsADVERTISEMENTThe Singleton Distillery was named Visitor Attraction of the Year at the Icons of Whisky Scotland and World Whiskies Awards 2024 in December last year, as well as a Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice Award having been consistently rated by the public as a five-star attraction in 2023.
    Leigh Aitken, Brand Home Manager at The Singleton of Glen Ord Distillery, said: “To be named as Scotland’s Leading Distillery Tour by one of the biggest tourism award bodies in the world is such an honour.
    “Scotland is famous for our unmatched larder, scenery, and of course whiskies and in particular has so to come out on top of this category is testament to the versatile offering we have here, thanks to our team of whisky experts, bartenders, and local suppliers who each give us that extra something special.”Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh, another piece of Diageo’s investment into Scotch tourism was also awarded at the ceremony which took place in Berlin.
    The visitor attraction, which gained the title of the World’s Leading Spirit Experience last year’s WTAs was named Europe’s Leading Spirit Tourism Experience 2024, adding a list of industry leading accolades.
    The full list of Scottish winners can be viewed on the World Travel Awards website.“As an official partner of the North Coast 500, and one of the closest single malt distilleries to Inverness we look forward to welcoming even more people into the Highlands to try out our award-winning whisky experiences.


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    SeaWorld Unveils 60th Anniversary Celebration Plans for 2024

    SeaWorld is turning 60 this year, and the parks have revealed big plans to celebrate all year long. The party officially gets started on March 21st – 60 years to the day that SeaWorld first opened its gates in 1964 – and will be in full swing through the weekend and continue throughout the year. The parks are teasing what’s to come as the 60th celebrations get underway, including all-new themed rides and attractions coming this spring, exciting new presentations and shows this summer and more exclusive, collectible merchandise dropping throughout the rest of the year.
    To get the celebration started, the parks will be hosting a special 60th Anniversary launch party March 21-24 that will feature:
    The return of fan-favorite live costumed characters, including Shamu, Coral, and Puck, plus confetti ribbon cannons and a cake-cutting ceremony with specially crafted celebratory cupcakes for guests, while supplies last.New and returning fan favorite food and beverage items, including special snacks, desserts and drinks.New and exclusive vintage merchandise, including reusable water bottles, plush animals, snow globes, backpacks, notebooks, blankets, t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, a custom Precious Moments collectible, and more.A variety of special entertainment, including dancers and high-energy atmospheric acts.Commemorative in-park screens sharing memorable moments in the parks from guests and ambassadors. Guests are invited to share their own images and videos of their favorite SeaWorld memories using #SeaWorld60.All-new historical exhibits in all three parks: Pass Member Lounge in SeaWorld Orlando, Explorers Hub in SeaWorld San Diego and Chill Bar in SeaWorld Antonio. These exhibits invite guests to embark on a trip down memory lane through SeaWorld’s 60-year history.“We are thrilled to celebrate 60 years of creating enriching, animal care experiences, exhilarating rides and all-around fun for everyone with our family – the exceptional guests, ambassadors and partners that have made SeaWorld the special place it is today,” said Marc Swanson, Chief Executive Officer of United Parks & Resorts Inc. “As we look to the next 60 years and beyond, we are excited about the future and the one-of-a-kind experiences that will continue to inspire the next generation of guests.”
    There’s “So Much More to Sea” at SeaWorld this year as the 60th Anniversary celebrations continue, with more new ways to enjoy all the parks have to offer coming this year, including:
    All-New Thrilling Rides and Attractions: SeaWorld San Antonio just opened the world’s first launched flume coaster, “Catapult Falls,” to kick off Spring Break, and there’s more to come! SeaWorld Orlando’s highly anticipated “Penguin Trek” will open this spring, and SeaWorld San Diego is getting ready to soon open “Jewels of the Sea: The Jellyfish Experience,” one of the largest jelly cylinders in the country.All-New Presentations & Shows: New exciting Cirque-style shows at SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Antonio and a live performance character show: Shamu and Crew – ‘Together Again’ at SeaWorld San Diego, will bring guests more exciting experiences.All-New Character Parades: Making its debut this summer, guests of all ages will enjoy a new 60th Anniversary celebration parade featuring fan favorite live costumed characters.All-New 60th Anniversary Food & Beverage, Merchandise and Collectibles: Guests will be able to celebrate SeaWorld’s milestone 60th Anniversary with special limited-edition food and beverage offerings, collectables and exclusive memorabilia throughout the year.The best way to take in the 60th Anniversary Celebrations and everything happening at SeaWorld parks this year is with an Annual Pass. Annual Passholders enjoy 12 months of visits with special benefits like exclusive access to new events and attractions, FREE parking, FREE guest tickets, access to special VIP events, savings on merchandise and more! Guests are invited to check out the park’s local webpages for special offers on tickets and passes – SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Antonio and SeaWorld San Diego.ADVERTISEMENTSince opening for the first time in 1964, SeaWorld has provided meaningful experiences that educate and inspire guests of all ages to care about marine life. The “So Much More to Sea” 60th anniversary campaign continues to deliver on this commitment and promises to provide guests with enriching experience for years to come.

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    Southern Oregon’s Lake County Outback Named World’s Largest Dark Sky Sanctuary

    A 2.5-million-acre area of southeastern Oregon was certified as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary today by DarkSky International, making it the world’s largest Dark Sky Sanctuary to date. The Sanctuary, which is approximately one-half the size of New Jersey and is located within an area commonly referred to as the Oregon Outback, has committed to protect its starry night skies for the benefit of visitors, residents, and wildlife.A Dark Sky Sanctuary is a certification given by the DarkSky International to public or private land that has an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is protected for its scientific, natural, or educational value, its cultural heritage, and/or public enjoyment. To qualify as a Dark Sky Sanctuary, the area must meet strict criteria for sky quality, commit to protecting the night sky through responsible lighting practices, and provide public outreach. These sanctuaries provide opportunities for stargazing, astrophotography, and other nighttime activities that benefit from minimal light pollution.
    The Outback is located within the largest, contiguous, pristine dark sky zone in the lower 48 states, and this certification helps to protect a large portion of the designated zone. Within the Oregon Outback International Dark Sky Sanctuary (OOIDSS) are the unincorporated communities of Adel, Plush, and Summer Lake, the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, a portion of the Fremont-Winema National Forest, nearly 1.7 million acres of land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Summer Lake Wildlife Area, nearly 80,000 acres of state-owned rangeland, and the Oregon Outback Scenic Byway.
    The intentions behind pursuing a large-scale sanctuary are to protect much of the unique, pristine, dark sky zone, to keep any additional dark sky recreation dispersed (as it is now), to allow a number of incorporated gateway communities to economically benefit from the same project, and to more effectively and efficiently manage a certification within a remote area.
    “As the population of Oregon and the trend of light pollution continue to rise, the unparalleled scale and quality of the Outback’s dark skies will long serve as a starry refuge to people and wildlife alike,” said DarkSky Delegate Dawn Nilson, the environmental consultant who managed and authored the application. “Adherence to the Lighting Management Plan (LMP)  will allow this large expanse of land to serve as a demonstration site of sustainable lighting principles not only within southeastern Oregon but possibly the Pacific Northwest Region.”
    “This four-year collaboration brings together so many of the elements we try to achieve in regenerative tourism,” said Bob Hackett, Executive Director of Travel Southern Oregon. “It not only elevates the destination experience for visitors to Lake County and opens up opportunities for local businesses, but it also helps agencies and residents steward their lands in ways that celebrate a legacy of starry night skies for generations to come.”ADVERTISEMENTThe OOIDSS is situated in the northern extent of the Basin and Range Province of the Western United States. It’s sparsely populated, very remote, and primarily comprised of public lands. It’s a high desert area characterized by sage scrub and abrupt changes in topography that alternates between narrow faulted mountain chains and flat, arid valleys and basins. Within this unique geography of geological wonders is priority habitat for an array of wildlife, including American pronghorn, bighorn sheep, sage grouse, white-tailed jack rabbit, and migratory birds navigating the Pacific Flyway. The region is also culturally significant and is home to a 13,000-year-old human occupation site. Dispersed within the OOIDSS are hot springs, wild horses, private rangelands, ranches, and cattle.
    During the nomination process, stakeholders also participated in night sky monitoring, lighting inventories, lighting improvements (i.e., decommissioned 14 lights and retrofitted 60 lights on public and private land). Education and outreach efforts included: Stargazing & Natural Night Skies Webinar Series, screenings of the film Saving the Dark, tri-county library access to Night Sky Adventure Kits, dark sky gatherings, local dark sky videos, educational exhibit tables coinciding with popular local events, dark sky presentations and workshops, and library programs as well as partnering with the neighboring Idaho Dark Sky Alliance to cohost educational events.
    About the International Dark Sky Places Program: Founded in 2001, the International Dark Sky Places Program is a non-regulatory and voluntary program to encourage communities, parks, and protected areas around the world to preserve and protect dark sites through effective lighting policies, environmentally responsible outdoor lighting, and public education. When used indiscriminately, artificial light can disrupt ecosystems, impact human health, waste money and energy, contribute to climate change, and block our view and connection to the universe. The Oregon Outback International Dark Sky Sanctuary now joins more than 210 Places that have demonstrated robust community support for dark sky advocacy and strive to protect the night from light pollution.” Learn more by visiting

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    Experience The Algarve’s Local Traditions Through their Festivals in 2024

    From medieval re-enactments, creative workshops and events highlighting the Algarve’s nature and extraordinary culinary scene, visitors can discover traditional and modern festivals and events in this stunning region of Portugal all year round. Attending a traditional festival is a great way for visitors to the Algarve to absorb Portuguese history, culture, and local life, and many are completely free of charge.Here are the best festivals of 2024 to attend in the region:
    Creative Loulé Festival- 2nd – 28th MarchOver the course of the month, a series of creative workshops are held in in the city of Loulé, a lively and historic market town. The project aims to contribute to the revitalization and promotion of arts and crafts, and invites visitors to the region to experience a wide array of workshops. These include tile painting experiences, decorative tapestry workshops, and plenty of experiences for kids of all ages.Prices vary depending on what experience is selected.
    Walking Festival – 26th – 29th April
    Held in Ameixial, in the municipality of Loulé, visitors will be able to take part in dozens of walks, which reveal the natural and cultural richness of this territory. There are several walking paths participants can take from very easy routes spanning 1 hour and 30 minutes to more moderate ones lasting 4 hours. Throughout each walk, hikers will be able to see instillations from local artists such as illuminated letters made from iron and reused fishing nets. Throughout the three days there are also a series of events happening throughout Loulé such as yoga workshops, esparto classes (a coarse grass with tough narrow leaves, used to make ropes, wickerwork, and baskets etc.), sports massages, and music and dances.The event fee is €10 / £8.50. Children (age 12 and under) are free of charge with a paying adult but they need to register.
    Sardine Festival – 1st – 6th AugustADVERTISEMENTSardines are synonymous with the Algarve and the long history and traditions of these salty morsels is celebrated each year with the Sardine Festival Portimão in the historic city. This year, the landmark event will be held along the riverside area of the River Arade. For five nights, the streets will be lined with craft stalls and grilled sardines. There are also concerts and historical reenactments of the unloading of the sardine and a ‘sardinhada’ – a classic charcoal grilled sardine – for all visitors.Admission to this event is free.
    Silves Medieval Fair – First 2 weeks in August.
    The Silves Medieval Fair promises to take visitors back in time to discover the town’s Moorish heritage and experience a full historical recreation of the medieval period of this former capital of the Kingdom of Algarve. The narrow-cobbled streets leading up to the castle are lined with people in medieval garments, musicians play for the crowds as whole pigs are roasted over open fires, and entertainers and dancers flow around the city. Medieval taverns and Berber camps with merchants selling exotic products also line the streets. The Fair is one of the most popular of the summer festivals that take place across the Algarve, and is an event for the whole family, where they can even hire out medieval costumes to fully immerse themselves into the fun.Daily ticket €2.00/£1.70, Free ticket for children up to 130 cm or 9 years old (inclusive) for online sale. Shows start from €5/£4.30 per person.
    Medieval Days of Castro Marim festival – Last 2 weeks in August.
    The 25th edition of this festival is taking place this year, and promises to be “an unforgettable journey through time”. For five lively days and five mysterious nights, Castro Marim, located approximately 60 kilometres east of Faro and close to the border of Spain, it is one of the Algarve’s most popular festivals – offering an unforgettable journey back into the life in one of Portugal’s most important garrison towns. Visitors will be able to get a real sense of what life would have been like in Portugal during the Middle Ages with street entertainers, pageantry, music, dancers, parades, livestock, arts and crafts.
    The ticket offices for Medieval Days in Castro Marim open at 3 pm, while the activities and entertainment starts at 6 pm and close at 12 am.

    Sagres Birdwatching and Nature Activities Festival – 3rd – 6th October
    Portugal’s largest nature event, and one of the most important in the world’s birdwatching calendar is the Sagres Birdwatching Festival.  The 15th edition of the event this year will be held on the Beliche Fortress in Cape St. Vincent, Sagres. The event is jam-packed with more than 160 activities from birdwatching tours on land and sea, short courses, field trips to see birds, bird ringing to hikes along scenic trails.Most activities are free to participate in.
    Walk & Art Fest – 4th – 6th November
    The village of Barão de São João, in the municipality of Lagos, will host a festival that combines hiking with art. The sixth edition of the festival will be held this year, and as in past editions, the event will also feature a collective art exhibition of 17 pieces by 16 local artists, which will be dotted along a 3.5 km route, starting at the Barão de São João Cultural Centre, which runs along paths between the forest perimeter and the village streets. As well as themed walks such as geology, botany, bird watching, history, drawing, tourists can partake in mountain biking, wellness, workshops and activities for children and families.
    Entrance to the festival is free.
    Sweet Potato Festival – Last weekend in November
    The town of Aljezur is once again this year hosting its much-anticipated Sweet Potato Festival. The unique event dedicated to celebrate and highlight the local ‘Lyra’ variety which makes the borough’s sweet potatoes such a sought-after product. There are a host of activities to take part in that showcase the local sweet potato – from cooking demonstrations to sweet competitions, as well as stalls selling regional products, and musical entertainment.
    There will be various restaurants and eateries at the event, serving the most typical dishes and some new culinary proposals, always featuring this sweet potato with its unique and unrivalled taste. Confectionery will also be an important feature of the festival.Admission to this festival is free.

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    Madeira to host World Golf Awards 2024

    The beautiful islands of Madeira will play host to the 11th annual World Golf Awards 21-22 November 2024. Leading names from the golfing world will join VIPs and figureheads from the golf tourism industry for what will mark the first World Golf Awards to take place in Madeira.The prize-giving evening at Savoy Palace from Savoy Signature, Funchal will form the climax of an exclusive golfing itinerary, which will include golf at the two world-class courses of Santo da Serra and Palheiro.
    The ceremony will bring together golf tourism leaders from nations across Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Latin America, North America and Oceania.
    Chris Frost, Managing Director, World Golf Awards, said: “It is an honour for us to host World Golf Awards in Madeira for the first time. This Atlantic jewel is an island blessed with a sublime tropical climate, a fascinating culture, delicious gourmet food and incredible flower and fauna – making it the perfect destination for golf. I greatly look forward to joining the finest organisations in golf tourism this November.”
    Madeira, otherwise known as ‘the islands of eternal spring’, is just a short flight from most European cities. On the same latitude as Morocco, the Atlantic archipelago has a sub-tropical climate and unique eco-system, making it the perfect destination for golf.
    Eduardo Jesus, Regional Secretary of Tourism and Culture and President of the Madeira Promotion Bureau, said: “It is with great pleasure that Madeira will be hosting this event, giving us the opportunity to assert ourselves as a golf destination, aligning with the work carried out by the Madeira Promotion Bureau, which structured the golf product and began promoting it as never before in the archipelago.”ADVERTISEMENTA short, scenic walk from the heart of Funchal’s charming Old Town, the Savoy Palace is an exquisite modern take on island hospitality. The bold, curved structure is home to chic guestrooms crafted with high-end materials and featuring balconies from which to soak up the ocean views.
    The Robert Trent Jones Senior’s spectacular 27-hole Santo da Serra is one of the most beautiful natural landscapes you could imagine. The premier golf and country club is the ideal spot to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
    The 18-hole Palheiro is one of Europe’s most beautiful golf courses. The par 72 championship course meanders through a pristine environment of maritime pine and botanical woodland embroidered with lush, sub-tropical vegetation. At nearly 500m above sea level, the location is blessed with dramatic views of Madeira’s mountainous skyline and the vast Atlantic Ocean.
    World Golf Awards is the sister organization of World Travel Awards, currently celebrating its 31st anniversary.
    For more information about World Golf Awards visit


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    Chicago Blues Festival 2024: A Celebration of Blues Legends and Chicago’s Musical Heritage

    The City of Chicago and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced the full lineup and programming highlights for the 2024 edition of the beloved Chicago Blues Festival, taking place June 6 – 9 as part of Millennium Park’s milestone 20th anniversary season.
    Established in 1984, the largest free Blues festival in the world returns to Chicago with four days of top tier talent performing in Chicago’s Millennium Park, plus a special opening night performance at the historic Ramova Theatre in Bridgeport. Throughout the weekend, three stages set up across Millennium Park will welcome more than 35 performances and more than 250 artists celebrating the city’s renowned Blues legacy, including a special Sunday evening performance by Buddy Guy as part of his “Damn Right Farewell” tour, marking one of his final Chicago performances.
    “Blues is the foundation of numerous genres of music and is deeply ingrained in the soul the fabric of our city’s culture and history,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “The Chicago Blues Festival is a testament to Chicago’s rich musical heritage, and we are thrilled to welcome the legendary Buddy Guy to this year’s lineup.”
    “I can’t wait to hit the stage at the Chicago Blues Festival!” said Buddy Guy. “There’s something special about playing in the city where it all started. The energy, the history, the soul of Chicago blues—it’s in the air, and I’m excited to be a part of it once again.”
    Additional headliners include: Award-winning blues, soul and Americana singer Shemekia Copeland; “The Mississippi Blues Child,” Mr. Sipp; GRAMMY-nominated Memphis-based Soul and Roots band Southern Avenue; and Centennial Tributes to Jimmy Rogers, Dinah Washington and Otis Spann.ADVERTISEMENTThe festival will culminate with a Sunday evening performance by living legend Buddy Guy in one of his final Chicago concerts as part of his “Damn Right Farewell” tour. One of the most prolific and influential artists of all time, Guy is the quintessential Chicago Blues artist, having influenced generations of guitarists including Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards and John Mayer. Throughout his career, Guy has earned 8 GRAMMY Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Medal of Arts, the Kennedy Center Honors, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and much more.
    In recognition of Buddy Guy’s immeasurable impact on music in Chicago and around the world, the City of Chicago plans to honor Guy and his legacy in light of his Chicago Blues Festival engagement; more details to be announced.
    Back by popular demand, the festival elevates its food options with a Blues-inspired smokehouse experience called “Wally’s BBQ Pit” in the North Promenade Tent of the Park with delicious BBQ fare and specialty drinks catered by Eleven North Hospitality. In between Blues sets, guests can stop to enjoy their BBQ, cornbread and drinks on picnic tables alongside whiskey barrels and smokers.
    Chicago Blues Festival is sponsored by Visit Mississippi, Chicago Transit Authority, Rosa’s Lounge, 90.9FM WDCB, Chicago Jazz Publishing and Entertainment and Millennium Garages.
    For more information, visit

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    Cuba awarded at the World MICE Awards 2023 tourism event

    Cuba received for the fourth consecutive year the award for Best MICE Organizer at the World MICE Awards 2023, in the field of tourism for meetings, congresses and incentive trips,The note from the tourism authorities of this country reflects satisfaction and the reference to the fact that it is an incredible testimony of efforts and hard work.
    Precisely, the organizers of events and meetings in Cuba this Wednesday showed gratitude to the judges and the industry in general for the valuable recognition.
    First of all, they said jointly, they are committed to providing unique inspiring experiences and the best service in Cuba, fully supported by the insular office of said specialty in Europe.
    The World MICE Awards seek to recognize and celebrate excellence in the MICE industry. As for the meaning of this last term, it is an acronym in English used to refer to different segments of events and tourism.
    The nominees for the occasion, in addition to Cuba as a nation, were Solways, CubaGrouPlanner, and Green Alligator Travel and Events.ADVERTISEMENTIn 2022, Solways was the winner, in 2021 MICE Cuba, and in 2021 also Solways. On other previous occasions, entities and facilities on the island were also recipients of this recognition.
    For example, in previous versions in the Best New MICE Hotel in the Caribbean category, the winner was the Paseo del Prado in Havana, managed by the Accor company and which competed with other prestigious establishments such as the Koi Resort Saint Kitts, Curio Collection by Hilton (St. Kitts and Nevis) and the Provincial Palace of San Juan.
    For its part, in the Best MICE Hotel in Cuba section, the award went to the Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa, managed by Meliá Hotels International Cuba. The Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana, the Hotel Nacional de Cuba and the Meliá Cohiba were also nominated in the category.
    The MICE Cuba agency was previously selected as Best Event Organizer in the largest of the Antilles, an award for which CubaGrouPlanner and Green Alligator Travel & Events were also nominated, the spokespersons reiterated.
    MICE Cuba is a DMC (Destination Management Company) that uses its knowledge and experience about the destination to organize and manage events and their associated activities such as accommodation, transportation, optional tours, among others.
    The World MICE Awards recognize and reward the excellence of tourist facilities that promote tourism for events, conferences and conventions at an international level. They are based on the renowned World Travel Awards, considered the Oscars of tourism.
    Created in 1998, MICE Cuba is highly experienced, dynamic and creative, providing a comprehensive portfolio of services to one of the most unique and fascinating destinations in the world, its own documents point out.

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