OldWestNewWest.com: History & Travel Magazine

Feb 21st
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Thousands of ballooning fans and enthusiasts from around the world will gather Oct. 6-14, 2012 at Balloon Fiesta Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the 41st Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

The breathtaking mass ascensions featuring two waves of hot air balloons will fill Albuquerque's morning skies with hundreds of balloons on both weekends and on Wednesday of Balloon Fiesta.
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A new, state-of-the-art and interactive Buffalo Bill gallery at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyo. will open May 2012, and museum officials started the journey by packing up more than 3,700 objects from the old gallery for storage.

The theme of the redesigned Buffalo Bill gallery will be "William F. ‘Buffalo Bill' Cody: Man of the West; Man of the World," and visitors will be invited to "Encounter a great American icon again...for the very first time."
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The 19th Annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival is scheduled for Sept. 14-16, 2012, and the excitement is starting to build for the last festival of summer in Telluride, Colorado.

The festival is a three-day celebration of blues, funk, jam bands, rock, gospel and soul performances. Waiting for fans will be 56 microbreweries from across the nation, a wide variety of food and craft vendors, children's activities, late night shows, and more.
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As if you needed another reason to visit San Diego this year, the Maritime Museum of San Diego is bringing history and discovery to life with two groundbreaking initiatives in 2011.

The Maritime Museum announced it will construct a new historically accurate replica tall ship, the San Salvador, beginning in February. The San Salvador was the flagship of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo's 1542 voyage of discovery to San Diego.
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Continuing its efforts to shake off Old Man Winter, Yosemite National Park in California has finally reopened Tioga Pass, and will be putting Half Dome's cables in place for climberson Wednesday, June 22, 2011.

Due to the heavy snowpack this past winter (199 percent of normal) and a cool spring, Park Superintendent Don Neubacher said there is still several feet of snow in the Tuolumne Meadows area.
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Postponed due to bad weather in early March, San Antonio will host its fifth annual Luminaria celebration on Saturday, May 5, 2012 from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. in historic HemisFair Park.

Luminaria, Texas' largest single-day arts event, will feature original artworks created by more than 80 local and national artists against the backdrop of one of San Antonio's most revered historical and cultural landmarks.
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Alaska Airlines is powering up customer waiting areas at its major airports in the Pacific Northwest with electrical outlets that make it easier for travelers with electronic devices.

At its airport gates in Anchorage, Portland and Seattle, the airline just finished installing 200 additional electrical outlets, each of which includes a 120-volt receptacle and two USB ports.
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An above normal spring runoff from winter's heavy snow pack is creating spectacular views of Yosemite National Park's waterfalls, and rangers said waterfalls should last well into summer.

The May 1, 2011 snow survey, conducted by the California Department of Water Resources, reports the snow pack in the Merced River drainage at 199 percent of normal and the Tuolumne River drainage at 184 percent of normal, among the deepest snow packs in recent history for the Sierra.
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After a series of heavy storms that nearly closed the park, Yosemite is slowly digging out and National Park Service rangers expected to be fully operational again by Monday, March 28, 2011.

"This is the longest closure we've seen since the El Nino floods of January 1997," said Ranger Scott Gediman, park spokesperson. "The park really never closed, since the people in the valley were never asked to leave. But it was rough."
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The next chapter in the story of the Living Planet Aquarium in Utah began Oct. 24, 2012 when the founder and members of the board of trustees kicked off construction of the aquarium's new location in Draper City.

The groundbreaking ceremony cleared the way for construction of a 136,000-square-foot, $20 million expansion, set to open to the public on December 2013.
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Gray Line of Alaska is now taking reservations for its 2013 tour packages and has added four new "add-on" tours to enhance any Alaska and Yukon vacation.

Gray Line is also offering a special early booking discount of $600 per couple for trips booked by Nov. 30 that are six days or longer.
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Following positive reviews from its guests, American Cruise Lines will resume its Alaska Inside Passage cruises for the summer of 2013 beginning June 1, company officials said.

In addition, beginning on April 13, the American Spirit will operate American Cruise Lines' newest itinerary, Puget Sound and San Juan Islands, offering seven-night roundtrip cruises from Seattle. The company made the annoucement on Sept. 12, 2012.
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A hand-crafted reproduction of a Civil War-era ambulance wagon is now on exhibit at Fort Scott National Historic Site in Kansas and will enhance visitor understanding of Fort Scott's role in America's bloodiest conflict.

The ambulance, historically used to transport wounded soldiers to hospitals, accommodates four patients on stretchers and up to six seated in front and back.
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Washita Battlefield National Historic Site near Cheyenne, Okla. will initiate its regularly scheduled summer interpretive talks and tours beginning Memorial Day weekend May 26, 2012.

The site protects and interprets the setting along the Washita River where Lt. Col. George A. Custer led the 7th U.S. Cavalry on a surprise dawn attack against the Southern Cheyenne village of Peace Chief Black Kettle on Nov. 27, 1868.
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The USS Arizona Memorial turns 50 years old this year, and to commemorate the 50th anniversary, and to recognize Memorial Day 2012, the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument in Honolulu, Hawaii will be hosting a number of special events from May 25 to May 28.
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The Plains Indian Museum Powwow, Buffalo Bill Historical Center's (BBHC) longest-running public program, celebrates its 30th anniversary June 18 and 19, 2011 with exciting dancing, drum groups and art vendors.

Held at the BBHC's Robbie Powwow Garden in Cody, Wyoming, the powwow celebrates the vibrant cultural traditions of the West's Northern Plains tribes. Among the highlights are the grand entries at noon and 6 p.m. Saturday, and noon on Sunday.
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Golden Spike National Historic Site near Brigham City, Utah,will commemorate the 143rd anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 2012 with a variety of fun activities.

This year's observance will include a special ceremony with guest speakers, honoring those that lost their lives while building the transcontinental railroad, two re-enactment ceremonies, and live music.
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One of the great Mardi Gras places to visit and celebrate this season is Lake Charles, La., and this year's lineup of fun events occurring March 4-8, 2011 looks better than ever. From gumbo delights and parades, to Zydeco music, dancing and block parties, organizers promise you'll have a great time.

Not many people realize this, but outside New Orleans, Lake Charles has the largest Mardi Gras concerning the number of krewes; almost 60 krewes. Lake Charles is also the only place in Louisiana to see all royal kings, queens and courts promenade in their exquisite costumes in one place - at the Royal Gala, March 7, the night before Mardi Gras!
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Wonderland of Lights, a Texas holiday tradition, will bring some of the best loved names in music to this historic East Texas town for a 40-day festival of holiday lights, music and family fun Nov. 24 through Jan. 2, 2011.

Wonderland of Lights returns for its 24th season with more than a million lights in hundreds of displays showcasing Marshall's historic town square, the magnificent 1901 courthouse and landmarks around town. The festival expands this year with new attractions, including an all-star holiday concert series in Marshall.
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New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park on Memorial Day Weekend 2011 is restoring another tradition to post-Katrina New Orleans for travelers riding Amtrak's Sunset Limited.

Trails & Rails, a nationwide program that provides onboard education for Amtrak passengers, premiered on the Sunset Limited from New Orleans to Lafayette, La. in 1994, staffed by rangers from Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve.

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