Go With a Purpose.
A blog about connecting through places that matter.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gozaic is Here!

I’m very happy to announce the launch of Gozaic, the brand new online travel community for people seeking heritage- and culture-rich experiences. You can now browse through the site, and you can register to become a member at www.gozaic.com.

You can also find out more about the launch of Gozaic on the new “Go With a Purpose” blog. If you have this blog bookmarked, please be sure to bookmark the new blog address, http://blog.gozaic.com.

I hope you’ll also join the conversation by following Gozaic on Twitter or becoming a fan on Facebook.

I hope to see you soon at Gozaic.com!


John I. Williams, Jr.
President & CEO

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Looking for Last-Minute Labor Day Weekend Ideas?

Alas, Labor Day weekend — the unofficial end of summer — is upon us. For many, especially those with school-aged kids, it’s the last opportunity to take a few days and embark on a long weekend getaway while the temperatures are still warm. If you’ve been procrastinating about making your Labor Day weekend plans and are in the market for some last-minute ideas, look no farther. Below is a list of special historic, heritage and cultural Labor Day events taking place in cities, towns and sites across America, listed alphabetically by state. Whether you are staying close to home or traveling, I hope this list helps you find an interesting way to celebrate the last days of summer vacation.

Bigfoot Days Celebration
Willow Creek, California, Sept. 5-7
Celebrate the legend of Bigfoot in the place where the legend was born (and where the infamous footage of Bigfoot was filmed in 1967). This free event will have a parade, barbecue, an ice cream social and games and activities for kids. While in Willow Creek, don’t forget to check out the impressive Bigfoot collection at the Willow Creek/China Flat Museum.

Four Corners Folk Festival
Pagosa Springs, Colorado, Sept. 4-6
Why not spend your Labor Day weekend camped out under the stars while listening to an eclectic mix of “folk” sounds— an acoustical buffet of bluegrass, jazz, pop and Latin.

Ouray County Rodeo
Ridgway, Colorado, Sept. 6-7
Experience the rodeo in a place where the spirit of the Old West lives on. Ridgway is known as the “Gateway to the San Juans” and provides the perfect, rugged mountain setting for the Ouray County Rodeo.

Fox Valley Folk Music & Storytelling Festival
Geneva, Illinois Sept. 6-7
This festival offers folk music and stories on eight stages, plus master classes and a special workshop from “songmaker” Peggy Seeger, half-sister of folk music legend Pete Seeger.

Wabash & Erie Canal Boat Rides
Delphi, Indiana, Sept. 5-7
This is the last weekend of the canal boat season at Wabash & Erie Canal, so this is a great time to hop on board and enjoy a lazy ride through history.

7th Annual WorldFest
Louisville, Kentucky, Sept. 4-5
WorldFest celebrates the cultural diversity of the city of Louisville and hosts the largest collection of ethnic restaurants, vendors and exhibitors at any one event in the state of Kentucky. Enjoy a wide variety of international cuisine, entertainment and crafts at this multicultural event.

Goldonna Drake Salt Works Festival
Goldonna, Louisiana, Sept. 5
Located deep in the heart of the Kisatchie National Forest, Goldonna was an important trade center during the Civil War, providing salt to Confederate troops. The Goldonna Drake Salt Works Festival celebrates this rich heritage with entertainment, food and arts and crafts.

Cane River Zydeco Festival
Natchitoches, Louisiana, Sept. 4-5
If you enjoy roots music of the South and Cajun/Creole culture, then you’ll definitely enjoy attending the Cane River Zydeco Festival. Held on the banks of the Cane River in historic Downtown Natchitoches, the festival is two days of Zydeco music, dancing and good times.

Blues Block Party in the Park
Natchez, Mississippi, Sept. 4
Join the celebration at 7pm in Jack Waite Park to dedicate a Mississippi Blue Trail Marker to Natchez native George “Papa” Lightfoot. Enjoy live blues music by the Natchez Bluff Blues Band featuring Y.Z. Ealey.

Harvest Craft Festival at the Amherst Museum
Amherst, New York, Sept. 5-6
Take your family back in time with a visit to Western New York’s fastest growing family festival. This two-day event has more than 80 artisans selling handmade items on the grounds of the Amherst Museum.

Western New York German American Heritage Festival
Cheektowaga, New York, Sept. 5-6
For just $3, you can immerse yourself in the German heritage of the region at Cheektowaga Town Park in Cheektowaga, near Buffalo. Celebrate with German food, beer and entertainment, as well as games and activities for the kids. For more info, email GAMBusinessManager@msn.com.

Labor Day Fireworks Extravaganza at the Genesee Country Village & Museum
Mumford, New York, Sept. 5
This annual evening display is one of only two of its kind in the country and is set to the theme “Building a Nation.” It tops off a day of live music, food and activities — you can even visit the museum to learn more about 19th-century life.

Blackstone River Tour, Blackstone River Valley
Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Sept. 6
Here’s a relaxing way to spend your Labor Day weekend: floating lazily down a beautiful Northeastern river. Explore the natural and cultural heritage of the Blackstone River with a 45-minute narrated river cruise aboard the Blackstone Valley Explorer. By the way, river tours on this Labor Day Sunday are FREE!

Pawtucket Arts Festival
Pawtucket, Rhode Island Sept. 4-7
The Pawtucket Arts Festival features all forms of art (like music, visual arts and literature) as well as culture from around the world. It’s actually a two-month-long event, and Labor Day weekend is the second to last weekend to enjoy all the festival has to offer. If you love film, check out the Pawtucket Film Festival, happening all weekend.

11th Annual Labor Day Open House at the Museum of Work & Culture
Woonsocket, Rhode Island, Sept. 7
The museum’s signature event commemorates Woonsocket’s first Labor Day celebration in 1899 and seeks to enrich the public on the history of labor and Labor Day in the region. Admission to both the museum and the open house event is free on Labor Day, and includes a special commemorative play entitled “The ITU Meeting.”

Kerrville Wine & Music Festival
Kerrville, Texas, Sept. 4-6
The Hill Country of Central Texas has a growing wine culture (both growing and tasting), and Kerrville is right in the heart of it. Enjoy the wines, music, and spectacular scenery the region has to offer at this annual Labor Day weekend festival.

Herndon Labor Day Jazz & Wine Festival
Herndon, Virginia, Sept. 7
Held in the Town Green of historic downtown Herndon in Northern Virginia, this festival offers visitors a taste of local jazz artists and wine favorites from the region's wineries.

Basement to Attic Tours of Liberia Mansion
Manassas, Virginia, Sept. 5
The Liberia Mansion, a Civil War-era plantation house that served as military headquarters for generals of both the North and South, is opening its doors for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at its ongoing restoration.

BugOut 66 at the Old Dominion Speedway
Manassas, Virginia, Sept. 6
Can’t get enough of bugs? Not those kind of bugs — VW Bugs! BugOut 66 is one of the largest Volkswagen car show events in the world and treats enthusiasts to drag races, rare and exotic VWs and more.

GrahamFestUSA at Grahams Mansion
Max Meadows, Virginia, Sept. 5-6
Currently in its 3rd year, GrahamFest is an annual music festival celebrating “our founding families, our unique music, the spirit of the American people” with rock, bluegrass and country music. Regular tours are held of the Major Grahams Mansion, which was voted by the Sci Fi Channel as being one of the top four haunted places in America.

Blanding Famers’ Market
Blanding, Utah, Sept. 5
Mark the end of summer—and get ready for fall—with a trip the Blanding Farmer’s Market, which offers fresh produce, music, crafts and more in the cool mountain air. What could be better?

“Labor & Leisure” at Billings Farm Museum
Woodstock, Vermont, Sept. 7
Spend your Labor Day doing some housework — 1800s-style. Take a trip back in time to learn the latest techniques in woodcutting, ice cream making, and fence building — right on the grounds of an operating dairy farm.

Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend!


Kari Rippetoe is the Marketing Manager at Heritage Travel, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Photo Credit: Bigfoot Days Celebration, Flickr, by redwoodcoaster

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