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Feb 22nd
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Home Travel Western Travel Buzz Latest News, Deals & Savings for Aug. 24

Latest News, Deals & Savings for Aug. 24

Southern California’s historic Santa Monica Pier to mark 100 years with parade, festivities and fireworks, Arizona’s 5th Annual Slide Rock Apple Festival is set for Sep. 19-20, 2009, and the Frontier Historical Museum will host it’s 10th Annual Historic Ghost Walks in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

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Santa Monica Pier Celebrates 100 Years With Parade, Fireworks

Southern California's famous Santa Monica Pier will celebrate its centennial on Sept. 9, 2009 and friends of the pier plan to mark the occasion with a parade, shows, concerts and several 100th-themed events and activities.

The pier will celebrate with free special events suitable for the whole family, including musical and theatrical performances, dance troupes and much, much more.

Morning festivities will include a grand re-opening ceremony with celebrities Robert Redford and Joan Baez, pomp and pageantry along with musical fanfare and even a 100-foot Centennial birthday cake. Organizers are also planning the first large-scale fireworks spectacular in 18 years.

The historic Santa Monica Pier offers a variety of entertainment, dining and shopping experiences, including the thrill rides of Pacific Park; a historic 1922 Carousel, and an interactive aquarium. As visitors stroll the planks of the pier, they can enjoy lively street performers, from musicians to artists, and some of the best sunsets along the California coast.

According to the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation (SMPRC), it all began on Sept. 9, 1909, when after 16 months of construction, the Santa Monica Municipal Pier opened to the public.

Thousands of people swarmed onto the 1,600-foot-long concrete pier to enjoy a festive day of band concerts, swimming races and the novelty of walking above the waters of the Pacific Ocean. The pier quickly became a magnet for fishing fans and fueled the imagination of many local entrepreneurs.

The Santa Monica Pier is open 365 days a year. Admission is free. Parking is available on both the Pier Deck and the Beachfront nearby. Limited short term parking is also available.

For more information about the centennial celebration, visit the Web site at
www.santamonicapier.org or call (310) 458-8900.

Arizona's Slide Rock Apple Fest Set for Sept. 19-20

The 5th Annual Slide Rock Apple Festival will take place Sep. 19-20, 2009 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Slide Rock State Park, located just north of Sedona, Arizona in Oak Creek Canyon.

A celebration of Oak Creek's agricultural and farming history, the Slide Rock Apple Fest is a two-day event with live music, activities for children and adults, food, arts & crafts, natural exhibitions, educational booths, homesteading demonstrations and lectures about sustainability.

The Apple Festival activities will include apple-sorting demonstrations, cornhole and a beer garden, face painting, children's arts & crafts, apple-themed activities, history walks, live demonstrations, an apple cooking contest (see below), a dessert auction and music including performances by Red Rock Country Band and Porchlights. A Plein Air "Paint Out" will also take place at the event.

Slide Rock State Park, originally the Pendley Homestead, is a 43-acre historical apple farm located in Oak Creek Canyon. Frank L. Pendley, having arrived in the canyon in 1907, formally acquired the land under the Homestead Act in 1910.

For many years, Slide Rock State Park was a large orchard and today is still a working commercial apple ranch in the park. An original vintage 30-foot-long apple-sorting machine reconstructed by volunteers is still in the historic Pendley apple shed.

The event is sponsored by the Friends of Slide Rock State Park, a local non-profit group dedicated to protecting, preserving and promoting appreciation and enjoyment of the historical, ecological, scientific, recreational and cultural resources of Slide Rock State Park.

To get to Slide Rock State Park from Phoenix go north on I-17 to Hwy 179, west through Sedona to Hwy 89A north, and then seven miles up Oak Creek Canyon. From Flagstaff take Hwy 89A and go 20 miles south.

The entrance Fee is $8 per car load, or visitors can take the free trolley and receive a complimentary ticket. For more information visit the Web site at

Frontier Historical Museum Readies Annual Ghost Walks

Famous and not-so-famous Old West ghostly apparitions will be gathering in the century-old Linwood Cemetery on the last three weekends in October for the Frontier Historical Museum's 10th Annual Historic Ghost Walks in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Enacted by a cast of talented actors, some of the ‘ghosts' who will haunt the cemetery on and around Halloween are familiar Western icons such as gunslingers Kid Curry and John ‘Doc' Holliday. Others, with less storied pasts, provide a glimpse of what life was once like for residents of Glenwood Springs in the 1800s.

A tour guide will lead groups by lantern light up the newly refurbished Linwood Cemetery Trail. Thanks to joint efforts by the Frontier Historical Museum, the local Elks Lodge, the city of Glenwood Springs, and dedicated volunteers, the trailhead was recently outfitted with a new deck, red stone retaining walls, a drinking fountain and low-level lighting for visitors at night.

For the short, but steep trek to the cemetery, Ghost Walk visitors should plan on wearing sturdy shoes and warm clothes. The Ghost Walk Tours are a great family activity and are suitable for children six years old and up. At the end of the tour visitors can exchange ghost stories over hot apple cider and homemade cookies.

Tours go on sale beginning Oct. 1, 2009, and . advance ticket purchase is recommended. New Ghost Walk Lodging Packages can be booked through Glenwood Springs Central Reservations,
www.visitglenwood.com or (888) 445-3696.

Tours are scheduled for 7 p.m., 7:45 p.m. 8:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and at 7 p.m., 7:45 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Sundays. For more information visit the Web site at