Here's a look at the events in New England and neighboring New York State that made the Top 100 Events list for 2012:
June 7-10, 2012
Sea Music Festival
860-572-5302 / 888-973-2767
Hear sea chanteys from many cultures and learn how they helped coordinate work on ships during this one-of-a-kind sea song event that has been a Mystic Seaport tradition since 1979. The 33rd annual Sea Music Festival features performances at various locations throughout the grounds of this living history maritime museum.
June 15-17, 2012
Quechee Hot Air Balloon Craft and Music Festival
New England's longest continuously running hot air balloon festival makes its first appearance on the ABA's Top 100 list in 2012. Now in its 33rd year, the Quechee Hot Air Balloon Craft and Music Festival features five colorful launches featuring more than 20 hot air balloons (weather conditions permitting). Visitors to the three-day, Father's Day weekend event also enjoy a craft fair, continuous entertainment, children's activities, a beer and wine garden and hot air balloon rides.
June 22-24, 2012
Newport Flower Show
Newport, Rhode Island
New England's premier outdoor flower show is held each year at Rosecliff, one of Newport's historic mansions. The colorful event features judged plants, flowers and exhibits; lectures by gardening experts and a gardening marketplace. The theme of the 2012 Newport Flower Show is "Salsa! A Celebration of Latin Cultures." Take my photo tour of the 2011 Newport Flower Show for a preview of this popular summer event.
June 29-July 1, 2012
Vermont Quilt Festival
Essex Junction, Vermont
New England's oldest and largest celebration of all things quilting features more than 400 new and antique quilts on display, plus classes, lectures, antique quilt appraisals, a merchants' mall and more. The 2012 festival's SewBatik Wall Quilt Challenge will help to raise funds, via a silent auction, for the Winter Warmth Project, which strives to give quilts to Vermont families who lost their homes during Tropical Storm Irene.
July 13-15, 2012
Finger Lakes Wine Festival
Watkins Glen, New York
607-535-2486 / 866-461-7223
Sample more than 600 wines produced by more than 90 wineries at 2012's largest showcase for New York's wine producers. This culinary event also features cooking classes and demonstrations, educational wine seminars, a craft fair and live music. On-site camping is available.
August 12, 2012
Pops by the Sea
Billed as "Cape Cod's single largest cultural event," the 27th annual Pops by the Sea concert will once again provide a sell-out crowd of 15,000 concert-goers with the opportunity to experience a spectacular evening of music with the Boston Pops Orchestra and its conductor, Keith Lockhart.
September 7-9, 2012
Hampton Beach Seafood Festival
Hampton, New Hampshire
The Hampton Beach Seafood Festival—one of New Hampshire's largest annual events—celebrates its 23rd year in 2012. More than 60 Seacoast region restaurants serve up succulent seafood specialties. The three-day event also features continuous entertainment, 80 arts and crafts vendors, sidewalk sales, children's activities, cooking demonstrations, a skydiving show by Skydive New England and fireworks.
September 7-9, 2012
War of 1812 Bicentennial - Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration Weekend
Plattsburgh, New York
In the War of 1812, the September 1814 Battle of Plattsburgh was a decisive turning point for American troops. To mark the bicentennial year of the war's outset, the city of Plattsburgh, New York, will host battle reenactments on land and water and a variety of other history-themed activities, as well as musical performances, an old-fashioned parade, a period dress ball and fireworks.
September 14-30, 2012
The Big E
West Springfield, Massachusetts
The Eastern States Exposition, a.k.a. "The Big E," is back for the 91st time in 2012. The sprawling fair, which celebrates the bounty of all six New England states, runs for 17 fall days and features top-name entertainment, rides, shopping, foods from around the region and a daily Mardi Gras Parade.
September 21-23, 2012
Bourne Scallop Festival
Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts
Held rain or shine under the Big Top, this 42-year-old annual celebration features tasty deep-fried scallops, along with live music, arts and crafts, midway rides and more.
September 21-23, 2012
New Hampshire Highland Games
Lincoln , New Hampshire
Take your whole clan to New Hampshire for the largest Scottish festival in the Northeast. This event features bagpipe bands, Highland dancers and a host of competitions including tests of strength, sheepdog trials and fiddling and drumming contests. The Highland Games made the ABA's Top 100 Events list for the twelfth time in 2012.
November 16-18, 2012
America's Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration
Make a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Thanksgiving the weekend before the holiday, and watch and learn as history comes to life. A parade is one of the highlights of this annual celebration, which attracts Pilgrim, Native American, patriot and pioneer reenactors and more than a quarter million visitors to Plymouth's historic waterfront. The 2012 festivities "will be bigger and better than ever,” according to Olly deMacedo, the event's Executive Director.
November 21, 2012 - January 1, 2013
Bright Nights at Forest Park
Springfield, Massachusetts' historic, 750-acre Forest Park is transformed for the 17th holiday season into Bright Nights, a 2.5-mile, drive-through display featuring more than 600,000 bulbs including a Nutcracker ballet in lights. One of New England's largest holiday light displays, it features a variety of dazzling scenes, plus the chance to visit Santa or to enjoy a wagon or carriage ride.
About the American Bus Association
The American Bus Association (ABA) is a trade organization of North American intercity bus companies. Members include bus companies that offer scheduled service, charters and tours, as well as others who represent the travel and tourism industries.
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