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Feb 19th
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Home Travel Western Travel Buzz Latest News, Deals & Savings for Aug. 3

Latest News, Deals & Savings for Aug. 3

Hear sea chanteys and experience living history on Labor Day at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, the 21st Annual Downtown Branson Fiddle Festival & Mid-American Fiddlers Championship gets underway Aug. 28-30, and American Airlines said it will increase checked bag charges for domestic travel as of Aug. 14.

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San Francisco Maritime Park to Celebrate Labor Day With Sea Chanteys

A chance to relive the time of historic sail and hear the music sung by the men who sailed the square riggers will be on tap Labor Day, Sept. 7, 2009 at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

A special concert of "Songs of Sea Labor," featuring a double bill with the outstanding San Francisco Bay Area sea performers Salty Walt and the Rattlin' Ratlines at noon, and Holdstock and Macleod at 1 p.m., aboard the historic 1890-built ferryboat Eureka, berthed at Hyde Street Pier, San Francisco. The event will be wheelchair accessible.

Chanteys, the "call and response" work songs of sailors, set rhythm and lightened the burden of backbreaking shipboard tasks, such as raising sail, loading cargo, and weighing (lifting) anchor. The choruses to these songs are easy to sing, and the audience is invited to sing along.

The park's costumed Living History Players will be on hand during the day to bring the working waterfront and the labor troubles of the year 1901 to life.

Admission fees: adults, $5; ages 15 and under, free. Also, free with national park passes. For more information call (415) 447-5000 or visit the park's Web site at

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is located at the west end of Fisherman's Wharf, in San Francisco. The park has a fleet of historic ships, including the 1886 square-rigger Balclutha, the 1890 steam ferryboat Eureka, the 1891 scow schooner Alma, the 1895 schooner C.A. Thayer, the 1907 steam tug Hercules and the 1915 steam schooner Wapama.

Additionally, there is a Visitor Center, WPA era artwork in the Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building, and a maritime library. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, located on the edge of San Francisco Bay, in the Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood, is a park that can be visited year round.

Rosin Up the Bow for Downtown Branson Fiddle Festival Aug. 28-30

Time to pull out those fiddles and rosin up those bows for the 21st Annual Downtown Branson Fiddle Festival & Mid-American Fiddlers Championship, coming to the banks of Lake Taneycomo Aug. 28-30.

Fiddling, according to event producer Bill Lennon, is an integral part of the fabric of the Ozarks. "The Ozarks and Fiddlin' should be like New Orleans and Jazz," Lennon said. "And this event has brought together the best in Ozarks fiddlers for the last two decades."

The weekend kicks off Friday night, Aug. 28, with a concert by Springfield third generation family bluegrass legends "Big Smith" in front of the fountains at Branson Landing.

On Saturday, Aug. 29, the competition will begin with preliminary heats, running from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Then following a gospel celebration at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 30, the finals will get underway at noon.

More than $5,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to winners, who will compete in six divisions: Pee Wee (ages 9 and younger,) Junior (10-16,) Senior (60 and older,) Cross Tuning, Seconding (guitar/bass accompaniment) and Open.

In addition to the competition, there will be seminars held in the Ozarks Music and Culture tent up the hill from The Landing in Branson's Historic Downtown area. Street performances and sidewalk sales will also be part of the happenings in Historic Downtown, and throughout the weekend, Branson musicians and entertainers will be making special guest appearances.

The best part of the event is that it's free to watch and free to enter, sponsored by The Downtown Branson Main Street Association, The Historic Downtown Branson Business Owners, The Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, The Branson Landing and The City of Branson.

To enter the Downtown Branson Fiddle Festival or for more information, visit
www.downtownbranson.org or call (417) 334-1548.

American Airlines Increases Checked Bag Charges

As if air travelers didn't have enough to make them think twice about flying, American Airlines announced it will increase charges for checking a first or second bag for domestic-travel with tickets that are purchased on or after Aug. 14, 2009.

For tickets purchased on or after the effective date, the first checked bag will be $20, up from the current charge of $15, and the charge for a second checked bag will be $30, up from the current charge of $25.

The changes apply for travel within the United States and U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The changes also apply to travelers on American's regional affiliate, American Eagle, as well as AmericanConnection flights. The current checked bag charges to and from Canada are not changing at this time.

There are exceptions for travelers who do not pay any checked bag charge, and other exemptions may also apply. See
www.AA.com/baggage. Customers may pay checked bag charges at an airport Self-Service Machine, the curbside check-in counter, or at any airport ticket counter.