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Spreading Culture Around Chicago

October 15, 2000|ELLEN MELINKOFF


The Chicago Humanities Festival, Nov. 2 to 12, brings together more than 200 artists, poets, musicians, playwrights, actors, novelists and critics to participate in 150 events at 24 sites around the city--all for only $3 per event. Contact the Chicago Humanities Festival, 500 N. Dearborn St., Suite 1028, Chicago, IL 60610; telephone (312) 661-1028, Internet


Portland starts celebrating Christmas on Nov. 24 with two events that last until the end of December: Victorian Holiday and Winterfest. Victorian Holiday begins with the lighting of the city's Christmas tree in Monument Square, free rides in horse-drawn wagons, a carriage parade and carolers in period costume. At Winterfest visitors ride a narrow-gauge railroad to view hundreds of lighted holiday displays. Contact Portland's Downtown District, 400 Congress St., Portland, ME 04101; tel. (207) 772-6828, Internet

New Mexico

Christmas on the Pecos in Carlsbad, Nov. 23 to Dec. 31, redefines "boat parade." Here the spectators board pontoons for hourlong rides down the Pecos River to view the shoreline where more than 100 homeowners embellish their homes, yards, docks and island with twinkling lights and decorations. Boats depart from the Pecos River Village Center. Contact the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 90, Carlsbad, NM 88220; tel. (505) 887-6516, Internet

South Carolina

The 19th annual Dickens Christmas Show and Festivals, Nov. 9 to 12 in Myrtle Beach, is a chance to jump-start Christmas shopping. Holiday wreaths and centerpieces will be available by silent auction. The 3-D "Santas Through the Ages" exhibit features life-size reproductions of Santa from medieval times to present day. Costumed docents will lead tours to a rice plantation and a port city, both decorated in Victorian holiday style. And Charles Dickens' great-great-grandson, Gerald, will visit from London and join visitors for high tea. Contact Leisure Time Unlimited, P.O. Box 332, Myrtle Beach, SC 29578; tel. (843) 448-9483, Internet


At the Margaret River Wine Region Festival, Nov. 10 to 19 in Western Australia, visitors board buses to enjoy wine tastings at more than 50 venues throughout the region. There are free tastings as well as master classes that focus on particular grape varieties. Leeuwin Estate vineyards plans a "burning of the vine cuttings" bonfire and cooking classes. The area prides itself on being far from cities and pollution. Popular activities here include camel riding on the beach, surfing and exploring limestone caves. Contact the Australian Tourist Commission, 2049 Century Park East, Suite 1920, Los Angeles, CA 90067; tel. (800) 369-6863, Internet


For the Festa of the Madonna della Salute on Nov. 21, Venetians erect a special bridge across the Grand Canal. In one of the most religious celebrations of the year, the people of Venice offer thanks for the city's deliverance from the plague of 1630. This temporary bridge, made entirely of boats, allows thousands of people to walk over the tip of the Grand Canal from San Marco to the church of Santa Maria della Salute on the other side. Contact the Italian Government Tourist Board, 12400 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Los Angeles, CA 90025; tel. (310) 820-0098, Internet

Events appears monthly.

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