Category Archives: Festivals & Events

Where The Locals Go – Singapore

Sanchez Barry is the next contributor in my series ‘Where The Locals Go.’  Sanchez is from Singapore and writes for Expat Life

Singapore is a city, a country, an all-in-one. It’s a melting pot of culture that mainly comes from the South East Asia region. Its population comprises of mainly Chinese, Malay and Indian people that have been here for generations, forming our own unique Singaporean culture.

Every destination has a local hotspot. What is the local hot spot in your area and would you please describe the atmosphere?  Why do locals go there?

As Singapore has such a diverse culture, there is no one spot that all locals go to, but a few. Haji Lane/Arab Street is a great place. Lots of different cultures intertwine here. During the day, you’ll see boutique hipster shops, Arabic textile shops and great Indian, Arabic and Mediterranean food. As it creeps closer to night, the nightlife begins with jazz bars, hipster pubs and sometimes street performances.

Haji Lane

Your friend is flying into town for the first time and wants to experience the local food scene, where would you take him/her?  What are some of the dishes you would recommend?  How is the ambience? 

Hawker centres are great for this as they bring together different local delights together. Maxwell food centre, Gluttons by the Bay and Singapore Food Treats come to mind. For Indian food, try Little India.

At these places you can try many different local dishes – Hokkien Mee (stir-fried prawn noodles), Chicken Rice, Laksa (noodles in a thick gravy-like soup, and Orh Luak (oyster omelettes).

Hokkien Mee

Travelers enjoy learning about the local art scene when they arrive in new locations.  Are there local artists (musicians, painters, poetry writers, etc.) in your area that perform or feature their work?  Where can travellers go for these experiences? 

There is a cluster of museums close to each other, all perpetuating the local art scene. Singapore Art Museum, the National Gallery and Singapore National Museum can be found close together. Local art and literature are often exhibited in the museums, especially the Singapore Art Museum.

For local acts such as musicians and plays, head over to the Esplanade theatre, where you can even watch performances for free at the outdoor theatre.

Esplanade Theatres

What are some of the more popular festivals in town?  Are they held annually, several times a year, once a month?  What time of the year do they take place?  Where can travellers go to find out more information?

For music, Laneway and Baybeats are festivals are held once a year. Laneway (during January/February) is a paid indie music festival where bands from all over the world come to perform. Baybeats (held during August) is another music fest where local and international artists come together and perform for free.

Singapore Art Week is one of the biggest celebrations of art in Singapore. Supported and hosted by many different venues and both international and local artists, travellers can immerse themselves in all forms of art. Musical performances, art pieces, and theatrical performances can be found during Art Week.

The information for all of these can be found online, as they all have their own websites full of information.

 If travellers want to experience recreational activities during their stay, what can they do and where can they go?

Gardens by the Bay is a great place to just relax and take a scenic stroll with nature right near the heart of the city. Marina Barrage is a great place nearby as well. It’s a commonplace for locals to partake in recreational activities like picnics, flying kites, water sports like kayaking or dragon boating or just chilling out with family or friends.

Many travellers pick destinations that offer volunteerism / eco-tourism / activism / volunteer opportunities.  What types of opportunities exist in your area?

As we’re a city-state, most of the volunteer work here revolve around helping people, we don’t have eco-tourism activities otherwise. Singapore has numerous organisations that offer volunteer work, so I’d just list out the one that are close to my heart. The Institute of Mental Health patients live a very recluse life, cut off from most of the rest of Singapore, volunteering to do activities or just keep them company.

I know travellers like certain forms of transportation.  Some like to walk and/or bike while others prefer to get around at a quicker pace.   What is the best way for travellers to get around town? 

 The best way to get around Singapore for anyone is the public transportation system. With the combination of trains and buses, you can get to practically anywhere in Singapore.

If you’re going to the central of Singapore, it is possible to explore most of it on foot, just remember to keep hydrated as Singapore is both humid and hot. Singapore’s very well mapped on Google and Apple Maps as well, so it’s quite easy to find your way around with just a smartphone. For those who like to bike there are bike-sharing services like ofo and oBike, so you can pick up a bike nearly anywhere to cycle from place to place.

For those who want to get away for a day for some peace and quiet, yet still take in the scenery, where are some areas that travellers can go to “get away from it all” and still enjoy the outdoors?

Macritchie Reservoir and Bukit Timah Hill are great places for the casual hiker. Lush greenery and easy trails are available at both locations. These trails are not difficult and do not require any extra equipment. Especially on weekdays, these areas are close to empty.

Macritchie Reservoir

Travelers can get a sense of culture by observing their surroundings and people watch.  Where can travelers go in your area to engage in this popular activity?

Going to any heartland neighbourhood food court in Singapore is a good start to observe the locals. You’ll see the bustling lunch crowd move quickly and the slow pace of the retirees enjoying their afternoon coffee. The steps outside ION shopping centre at Orchard Road is another good place to people watch, you can see people from all walks of life – people shopping designer goods at Ion, people taking a smoke break or just sitting around and relaxing.

Thank you Sanchez for contributing to ‘Where The Locals Go.’

Cover photo of Supertree Grove by  Carlotta Rebonato

101 Things to See & Do for $10 & Under in the Kenosha, WI Area – Part 3 of 4

There are four historic districts for travelers and locals to tour in Kenosha, WI.  On these tours everyone will see landmarks, famous buildings and historic homes that provide insight into Kenosha’s rich history and culture.  More information about these four historic districts is found on the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website. These Kenosha Historic District Tours are #29 on 101 Things to See & Do for $10 & Under in the Kenosha, WI Area.

51. Try one of 16 different varieties of Panini sandwiches at the iconic Tenuta’s Delicatessen, grilled in-house and served up at the outdoor grill. $5.99

52. Swim in Lake Andrea, or build a sand castle on the beach. $4-7 daily pass

53. The Kenosha Civic Veterans Parade is July 3, with the Celebrate America festival featuring Independence Day Fireworks, July 3-4. FREE

Kenosha Lakefront. Photo by The Walking Traveler
Kenosha Lakefront. Photo by The Walking Traveler

54.  Add to your fun at Bristol Woods Park! At the on-site Pringle Nature Center, rent a GPS unit to locate Geocaches – or rent a family-friendly Explorer Backpack. $5 each rental, park admission FREE

55. 90 years ago, six horses pulled Franks Diner to Kenosha. Celebrate with the renowned Garbage Plate! $9.95+

56. Relax and watch the sun rise over Lake Michigan. FREE

57. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Simmons Library – built in 1900 – every Second Saturday at 2:30 p.m. FREE

58. Come hungry! Taste of Wisconsin™ is July 29-31. FREE admission

59. The Colonial through Western Fur Trade era of the 1650s through 1850s will come alive at Pike River Rendezvous, Aug 6-7. FREE

60. Jerry Smith Produce & Pumpkin Farm’s popular Sweet Corn Festival has expanded to two days: Aug 13-14.FREE admission

61. Uncover local shipwreck facts and more at the Southport Light Station Museum. FREE

62. Load up the car with skateboards, scooters, roller blades, and bikes and head to Anderson Park’s 11,000 square foot concrete skatepark. FREE

63. Sit back and enjoy the scenery as you take the METRA train from Chicago to Kenosha. Unlimited ride $8 weekend pass

64. More than a popcorn and ice cream shop, Sandy’s Popper also offers cotton candy, nostalgic candies, and more! Nostalgic candies start around 10¢

65. Each month, enjoy Second Saturdays with sales, live entertainment and family activities in Downtown Kenosha. Many FREE activities

66. Enjoy the beach and great swimming at Old Settlers Park. $5 per vehicle Memorial Day – Labor Day on weekends only, otherwise FREE

Kenosha Harbor Market. Photo by The Walking Traveler
Kenosha Harbor Market. Photo by The Walking Traveler

67. Go “Back To The 20s” at the Kenosha History Center’sautomobile exhibit. FREE

68. Cool down with a treat at Culver’s Pleasant Prairie, while playing the large outdoor chess game (ask for the pieces at the counter). Treat prices vary; FREE to play chess

69. Make your own customized bracelet or necklace at Peacetree Originals. $5 & up

70. Cool off at the indoor RecPlex Ice Arena. Temperature on the ice is 40 to 45 degrees. $6.50 & under to skate / $3 skate rental

71. Modern Apothecary is a locally owned pharmacy that offers natural products and gifts, including a variety of essential oils. $8.44+ for essential oils

72. As you sip a cool beverage on the deck of Harborside Common Grounds, watch Kenosha Community Sailing Center lessons taking place in the harbor. Prices vary

73. You’ll find entertainment for all ages at the Kenosha County Fair, Aug 17-21! $9 & under

74. The Kansas City Barbecue Society BBQ Competition and more take place at Grill Games, Aug 26-27. FREE for spectators

75. Let the kids cool off with a visit to HarborPark’s splash pad area. FREE

There are differences between being a tourist and being a traveler.  Read my article “Oh Those Unhappy Tourists” before heading to Kenosha or anywhere else in the world.  Don’t be a tourist, be a traveler.

Classic American Road Power – Uke’s Harley-Davidson

Rising sixty feet in the air the five level, triangular-shaped glass tower points due west over-looking Interstate-94. In an awesome display of strength, ten Harley-Davidson motorcycles, two per level, lie facing the highway. Standing at the base of the tower, I slowly tilt my head back allowing my eyes to crawl up each floor. As I admire the biker enthusiasts’ “eye” candy, I start to walk towards the entrance as my eyes lock on the famous black, orange and white logo. I open the door and immediately feel welcome with classic rock music playing throughout the showroom and upper floor museum.

I’m not a motorcycle rider and have only been a ‘backseater’ once when I was a kid. However, throwing my leg over a Harley, turning the key, hearing the V-engine rumble and roar, slipping on sunglasses and hitting the open road has always been appealing.

Riders ready their bikes for the inaugural ride of the season and the annual Frank Ulicki memorial ride. The “extended family” that rides are from all walks of life including doctors, lawyers and firefighters.
Riders ready their bikes for the inaugural ride of the season and the annual Frank Ulicki memorial ride. The “extended family” that rides are from all walks of life including doctors, lawyers and firefighters.

Standing at the front of the showroom floor, eyeing the Tri-Glide Ultra with her Twin-Cooled High Output Twin Cam 103 engine and the slick Dyna Low Rider with Wrinkle Black paint and chrome and machined aluminum finishes, I feel the allure of these dazzling ladies as their captivating charm fills the air like a London fog.

As my fantasy comes back to reality, I’m quickly reminded that today is the inaugural ride of the season with all the riders starting to arrive in the parking lot. Looking outside then back towards the showroom floor, I’m greeted by the owner of Uke’s Harley-Davidson, Keith Ulicki. He shares with me a brief history of his family’s ownership in a Harley dealership. Keith’s father Frank opened the first Uke’s location over eight decades ago. “He started Uke’s in 1930. He wanted to buy a Harley store and had to go to Milwaukee to get approval from the home office. He opened his store on April 1st and brought in four cents,” Keith says with a chuckle and smile.

“Four cents,” I say smiling with him.

“I took over in 1985 and this building is our fourth location,” Keith says as he points to the various pictures on the memorial wall.

Keith and Nanc Ulicki. Uke’s sponsors the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) Chapter that organizes rides throughout Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin during the riding season.
Keith and Nanc Ulicki. Uke’s sponsors the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) Chapter that organizes rides throughout Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin during the riding season.

As Keith finishes with a brief history of Uke’s, I ask when the inaugural ride of the season is going to begin. “Staging is set for 10:45 and we leave at 11:00,” Keith says. “Not only is it the inaugural ride of the season but it is the annual Frank Ulicki memorial ride.”

“I didn’t know it was the Frank Ulicki memorial ride as well,” I say thinking how admirable it is to honor a local legend.

Keith and I head outside and he introduces me to some of the riders and local H.O.G. Chapter members sponsored by Uke’s. After spending over an hour talking with these riders from all walks of life, I gain a deeper understanding that Uke’s Harley Davidson is not just a dealership selling motorcycles, but an extended family.

50 Images Of Why You Should Consider Entering A Dragon Boat Race

This is not the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in celebration of Qu Yuan’s death.  Zongzi (Rice Dumplings in Bamboo Leaves) is not on the menu, although I wouldn’t mind eating the traditional meal for this festival.  My guess is beer, brats and other western style outdoor foods will be on the menu at the Kenosha Dragonboat Festival.  Chinese Dragon Boat Racing dates back more than 2000 years in commemoration of the Chinese patriotic poet Qu Yuan.  The festival is also a chance for the Chinese to better their bodies and eliminate disease.

These American versions of Dragon Boat Racing festivals are fun, interactive and they do provide a good chance to build up your body.  Talking with some of the participants, I learn that some of the teams train and race throughout the year. They take this festival seriously while having a good time – but it is very competitive.  I was invited by Jeff, the Director of Operations, to join him on the rescue boat for some of the morning heats.  Here are 50 reasons why Dragon Boat races are popular, fun and a good workout.

After many hours of training, all teams are prepared for racing day. The atmosphere is calm but the intensity is building.
After many hours of training, all teams are prepared for racing day. The atmosphere is calm but the intensity is building.

 

Captain's Meeting. All Captain's are receiving their final instructions / rules for the day as their teams get geared up.
Captain’s Meeting. All Captain’s are receiving their final instructions / rules for the day as their teams get geared up.

 

The battleground. Each team races in three heats with the best times (average) moving on to the finals. The course is 300 meters long in a straight line.
The battleground. Each team races in three heats with the best times (average) moving on to the finals. The course is 300 meters long in a straight line.

 

The standard "weapon" used by the paddlers. All equipment used - even if you bring your own - must meet the International Dragon Boat Federation mandate.
The standard “weapon” used by the paddlers. All equipment used, even if you bring your own, must meet the International Dragon Boat Federation mandate.

 

Respecting his preparation, I asked for a photo opp. He said yes and no more words were exchanged. He was getting in the zone. Always respect "the zone."
Respecting his preparation, I asked for a photo opp. He said yes and no more words were exchanged. He was getting in the zone. Always respect “the zone.”

 

Life jackets and boats ready for the teams.
Four lanes are set up for the race.  Thirteen teams – three sets of three races and one grouping of four.

 

I'm sitting in the front of the rescue boat. The Athlete's Village is bustling with teams making their final preparations for the first heat.
I’m sitting in the front of the rescue boat. The Athlete’s Village is bustling with teams making their final preparations for the first heat.

 

"The Lighthouse Lizards" (lime green) doing their final boarding while teams wait in the marshalling area.
“The Lighthouse Lizards” (lime green) doing their final boarding while teams wait in the marshalling area.

 

Jeff - Director of Operations for Pan Am Dragon Boat LLC and Abby in the rescue boat. Abby has been involved with Dragon Boat racing since she was little. Today she is working the event.
Jeff – Director of Operations for Pan Am Dragon Boat LLC and Abby in the rescue boat. Abby has been involved with Dragon Boat racing since she was little. Today she is working the event.

 

The rescue boat in place. We are waiting for the racers for the first heat. Under sunny skies, it is a perfect day for racing on Lake Andrea.
The rescue boat in place. We are waiting for the racers for the first heat. Under sunny skies, it is a perfect day for racing on Lake Andrea.

 

Paula Jennings is the Marketing Manager for Pan American Dragon Boat Association, LLC. She and her team have these festivals well organized and managed.
Paula Jennings is the Marketing Manager for Pan American Dragon Boat Association, LLC. She and her team have these festivals well organized and managed.

 

 

"The Power Paddlers" are making their way to the starting line for the first round of heats.
“The Power Paddlers” are making their way to the starting line for the first round of heats.

 

Jeff is driving the boat around the starting line checking to make sure everything is set up correctly. The rescue boat hangs in the back of the dragon boats throughout each heat.
Jeff is driving the boat around the starting line checking to make sure everything is set up correctly. The rescue boat hangs in the back of the dragon boats throughout each heat.

 

The first three teams are lined up and ready for the first heat. 'Let the games begin!'
The first three teams are lined up and ready for the first heat. ‘Let the games begin!’

 

'Little Drummer Boy.' The drummer sits at the front of the boat - keeping a rhythm going for the paddlers.
‘Little Drummer Boy.’ The drummer sits at the bow of the boat – keeping a rhythm going for the paddlers.

 

 

Every team shows their spirit throughout the festival. This lively spirit is key to having fun while maintaining focus for battle.
Every team shows their spirit throughout the festival. This lively spirit is key to having fun while maintaining focus for battle.

 

A steerperson is always standing at the stern of the 42 foot long boat using a 9 foot oar as a rudder.
A steerperson is always standing at the stern of the 42 foot long boat using a 9 foot oar as a rudder.

 

Let's hear it for "Pink Paddling Power." Every lady on this team is a breast cancer survivor. Come one, come all to participate in the Dragon Boat Festival.
Let’s hear it for “Pink Paddling Power.” Every lady on this team is a breast cancer survivor. Come one, come all to participate in the Dragon Boat Festival.

 

Three teams racing for the finish. Each boat must have a minimum of 8 women and max of 12 at all times.
Three teams racing for the finish. Each boat must have a minimum of 8 women and max of 12 at all times.

 

On their way to the starting line, teams practice their coordination and timing before the start of a heat. This is the final prep before a heat begins.
On their way to the starting line, teams practice their coordination and timing before the start of a heat. This is the final prep before a heat begins.

 

Up close and personal with a drummer. The beat is strong and steady for 300 meters keeping the team coordinated and focused.
Up close and personal with a drummer. The beat is strong and steady for 300 meters keeping the team coordinated and focused.

 

Here comes a dragon boat. The front and back of the boats are in the shape of a traditional Chinese dragon. Each boat has 10 rows seating 20 paddlers.
Here comes a dragon boat. The front and back of the boats are in the shape of a traditional Chinese dragon. Each boat has 10 rows seating 20 paddlers.

 

The final heat of the morning. There were 13 teams. Each heat had three teams racing with the last one racing four.
The final heat of the morning. There were 13 teams. Each heat had three teams racing with the last one racing four.

 

 

With the morning heats complete, the racing teams head to the Athlete's Village for lunch. The afternoon heats get very competitive so a hearty lunch is in order.
With the morning heats complete, the racing teams head to the Athlete’s Village for lunch. The afternoon heats get very competitive so a hearty lunch is in order.

 

The "Power Paddlers" getting ready for the afternoon heats. They have a routine to get themselves ready for the next round.
The “Power Paddlers” getting ready for the afternoon heats. They have a routine to get themselves ready for the next round.

 

Who's ready for the afternoon heats? The teams are getting ready for the final rounds. The intensity is brewing while fun is being maintained.
Who’s ready for the afternoon heats? The teams are getting ready for the final rounds. The intensity is brewing while fun is being maintained.

 

 

Teams wait to load their boats in the marshalling area. Once a boat becomes available they board and paddle to the starting line.
Teams wait to load their boats in the marshalling area. Once a boat becomes available they board and paddle to the starting line.

 

Backing out from the pier with one thing on their minds - let's do this!
Backing out from the pier with one thing on their minds – let’s do this!

 

Staying focused. The drummer knows what is at stake and helps the paddlers stay in rhythm and mindfully aware of what needs to be done.
Staying focused. The drummer knows what is at stake and helps the paddlers stay in rhythm and mindfully aware of what needs to be done.

 

I stay ashore for the afternoon heats for a different perspective.
I stay ashore for the afternoon heats for a different perspective.

 

 

With a 60-90 minute break between heats for each team, they cannot become complacent. Some of these heats go neck 'n' neck (or dragon head 'n' dragon head) to the finish line.
With a 60-90 minute break between heats for each team, they cannot become complacent. Some of these heats go neck ‘n’ neck (or dragon head ‘n’ dragon head) to the finish line.

 

Boom, boom, boom from the drums is all I heard. I was just as focused capturing the race as they were participating.
Boom, boom, boom from the drums is all I heard. I was just as focused capturing the race as they were participating.

 

Meanwhile back on shore, a rival boating team is practicing their coordination, timing and commands with intense focus.
Meanwhile back on shore, the “Steel Dragons” are practicing their coordination, timing and commands with intense focus.

 

It is always good to let off steam and be silly. This keeps the festival fun. A lot of energy for these teams to race all day in the summer sun.
It is always good to let off steam and be silly. This keeps the festival fun. A lot of energy for these teams to race all day in the summer sun.

 

From standing ankle deep in Lake Andrea watching the race with intent to flying a kite, this young man was enjoying every second of his time at this year's Dragon Boat Festival.
From standing ankle deep in Lake Andrea watching the race with intent to flying a kite, this young man was enjoying every second of his time at this year’s Dragon Boat Festival.

 

Fed, food digested, in good spirits and ready for afternoon racing. Let's roll!
Fed, food digested, in good spirits and ready for afternoon racing. Let’s roll!

 

The afternoon races are heating up and the competition is fierce as every team vies for the 1st place trophy.
The afternoon races are heating up and the competition is fierce as every team vies for the 1st place trophy.

 

Back on the mainland, team "Arashi" stays loose by practicing their moves and commands. With the final rounds under way, every team is focused now more than ever.
Back on the mainland, team “Arashi” stays loose by practicing their moves and commands. With the final rounds under way, every team is focused now more than ever.

 

Three teams in a tight race utilizing every ounce of energy for the final push towards the finish line.
Three teams in a tight race utilizing every ounce of energy for the final push towards the finish line.

 

The marshalling area housing two excited and ready teams. As soon as boats are available, the teams will go into battle as we near the end of the race.
The marshalling area housing two excited and ready teams. As soon as boats are available, the teams will go into battle as we near the end of the race.

 

Good times are being had and smiles are in abundance, but it is getting intense.
Good times are being had and smiles are in abundance, but it is getting intense.

 

Here we come!
Here we come!

 

At the end of the race for the trophies, an optional race is offered to the top 6-8 teams. This race is 1000 meters long and races around in laps. After a long day of racing, I know everyone will sleep good tonight.
At the end of the race for the trophies, an optional race is offered to the top 6-8 teams. This race is 1000 meters long and races around in laps. After a long day of racing, I know everyone will sleep good tonight.

 

The Drummer for team Arashi scopes the water during the 1000 meter race.
The Drummer for team Arashi scopes the water during the 1000 meter race.

 

 

The kite flyer bids farewell while keeping cool in the lake.
The kite flyer bids farewell while keeping cool in the lake.

 

A long day of racing is coming to an end. Tired but not stopping.
A long day of racing is coming to an end. Tired but not stopping.

 

It was impressive seeing these teams participate in the 1000 meter race after racing in the morning and afternoon heats for the grand prize. Congratulations to everyone!
It was impressive seeing these teams participate in the 1000 meter race after racing in the morning and afternoon heats for the grand prize. Congratulations to everyone!

 

The Pan Am Dragon Boat Festival hosts an amazing event. With their professional staff, well-organized system and adhering to their rules / guidelines, the Dragon Boat Festival is truly a wonderful event to participate in and / or attend as a spectator.
The Pan Am Dragon Boat Festival hosts an amazing event. With their professional staff, well-organized system and adhering to their rules / guidelines, the Dragon Boat Festival is truly a wonderful event to participate in and / or attend as a spectator.

 

Teams paddling back to shore after the 1000 meter race. Time for the awards ceremony and good banter among everyone.
Teams paddling back to shore after the 1000 meter race. Time for the awards ceremony and good banter among everyone.

 

Under the tent for the awards ceremony. One guy from one of the teams walked up to me and said, "you're still here." He later walked past me and slipped a beer in my pocket while I was capturing the awards ceremony.
Under the tent for the awards ceremony. One guy from one of the teams walked up to me and said, “you’re still here.” He later walked past me and slipped a beer in my pocket while I was capturing the awards ceremony.

 

And the Grand Champion of the 2014 Kenosha Dragon Boat Festival c/o Pan Am Dragon Boat LLC is:

 

Paddlin' for MB takes home the 2014 Grand Champion trophy.
Paddlin’ for MB takes home the 2014 Grand Champion trophy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kenosha Harbor Market

I enjoy photographing people, events and festivals.  Street festivals are always jumping and vibrant – showcasing the local culture that provides travelers with a deeper sense of place.  Local food stands, crafts, musicians and more are on display and you never know what and who you will capture on your camera.  Kenosha is located on the shores of Lake Michigan in the Southeast part of Wisconsin in the middle of the Chicago / Milwaukee corridor along Interstate 94.

People, lovely people. Summer Saturday's by the lake in Kenosha are plentiful with food, crafts, music, kids, laughs and the spirit of fun. I'm all smiles talking with those who cross my path.
People, lovely people. Summer Saturday’s by the lake in Kenosha are plentiful with food, crafts, music, kids, laughs and the spirit of fun. I’m all smiles talking with those who cross my path.

 

I walk over to Mr. Willie Brooks and strike up a conversation. He was cooking burgers for the street fest from a local restaurant. I must say, Willie grilled a tasty cheeseburger for me.
I walk over to Mr. Willie Brooks and strike up a conversation. He was cooking burgers for the street fest from a local restaurant. I must say, Willie grilled a tasty cheeseburger for me.

 

As I was walking through the crowd, I saw this duo performing. I ask the guy playing harmonica (using non-verbal communication) if I could photograph them in the middle of their performance. He looks at me and gives me a wink signifying a "yes."
As I was walking through the crowd, I saw this duo performing. I ask the guy playing harmonica (using non-verbal communication) if I could photograph them in the middle of their performance. He looks at me and gives me a wink signifying a “yes.”

 

I love locally grown food. It is in abundance and the farmers take such pride in their creation.
I love locally grown food. It is in abundance and the farmers take such pride in their creation.

 

I couldn't take my eyes off the simplicity of this beautiful moment. She was standing quiet with a soft smile on her face. She was peaceful and a joy to photograph.
I couldn’t take my eyes off the simplicity of this beautiful moment. She was standing quiet with a soft smile on her face. She was peaceful and a joy to photograph.

 

"Last night was crazy, the ride operator says. The line was long and lasted for hours." After I hear this, I decide to capture the calm after the storm.
“Last night was crazy for the July 4th celebration, the ride operator says. The line was long and lasted for hours.” After I hear this, I decide to capture the calm after the storm.

 

I love how the locals haul out all their gear for a 5 hour event. Plugging in for electricity, setting up tables and providing as much love and attention to their food at a street market as they do for their restaurant or home.
I love how the locals haul out all their gear for a 5 hour event. Plugging in for electricity, setting up tables and providing as much love and attention to their food at a street market as they do for their restaurant or home.

 

The Downtown Trolley rides through the Harbor Market transporting passengers through the retail district, The Civic Center, Harborpark Neighborhood, Southport Marina and Celebration Park. The route is a 1.7 mile single track loop.
The Downtown Trolley rides through the Harbor Market transporting passengers through the retail district, The Civic Center, Harborpark Neighborhood, Southport Marina and Celebration Park. The route is a 1.7 mile single track loop.

 

Receiving a non-verbal cue allowing me to photograph their performance, I jump in and capture their energy that was captivating the audience.
Receiving a non-verbal cue allowing me to photograph their performance, I jump in and capture their energy that was captivating the audience.

 

I hear laughter and my peripheral vision catches the movement of these two young gents playing on this fountain located outside the Kenosha Public Museum. Summertime is fun time with water in any and all forms.
I hear laughter and my peripheral vision catches the movement of these two young gents playing on this fountain located outside the Kenosha Public Museum. I guess they were taking a break from the crowd.  Summertime is fun time with water in any and all forms.

 

Talking with the family who owns this dog, I ask if I could take some photos of him. I capture a nice action shot of him going to town on the spoon and licking every last drop of ice cream off of it. Can you get more summertime than this?
Talking with the family who owns this dog, I ask if I could take some photos. I capture a nice action shot of him going to town on the spoon and licking every last drop of ice cream off of it. Can you get more summertime than this?

 

 

With the Harbor Market coming to a close for this Saturday, it is time to take a stroll along the lake and look at the boats in the pier.
With the Harbor Market coming to a close for this Saturday, it is time to take a stroll along the lake and look at the boats in the pier.

 

 

 

 

 

Chocoholic Bliss

Chocolate surrounded the youngsters in every direction who were ecstatic to be among the growing crowd waiting to be chosen to play one of the many games at this year’s ChocolateFest in Burlington, Wisconsin.  The children stood in wonderment hoping that their number would be called to play Let’s Make A Deal’icious.  Smiles curved from ear to ear while their dancing eyes and restless bodies were eager to jump on stage to win the elusive grand prize.

Attended by thousands and celebrating its 27th anniversary with “Peace, Love & Chocolate” as the theme, this year’s ChocolateFest hosted a variety of special events,  numerous vendors, exhibits and the worlds’ largest traveling amusement park provided by North American Midway Entertainment.  This annual festival which always falls on Memorial Day weekend is staffed by more than 750 local volunteers ready to provide you and your family a weekend you will never forget.

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Spread across a permanent 20 acre site, there is literally something for everyone in your family to experience.  With 3 entertainment stages, a NASCAR exhibit, a Lumberjack show, battle of the bands or letting your children release some of their energy in the Kiddieland area, your family will not run out of opportunities to have fun and create lasting memories.     Did I forget to mention chocolate?  The highlight of the four day festival takes place inside the “Chocolate Experience Tent.”

With over thirty “chocolate only” vendors, two stages featuring numerous games and events involving chocolate, thirty pound buckets of chocolate for the kids to chisel their way through to find treasures, a chocolate sculpting competition and demo of 700 pound bricks of chocolate, The Chocolate Experience Tent is the highlight of ChocolateFest.  Would you like to taste test a variety of different chocolates?  Everyone can purchase a Chocolate Experience Taster ticket to receive samples from the various chocolate vendors in the tent.

The first night in the Chocolate Experience Tent kicks off with the popular Chef Meltdown on the main stage.  Throughout the weekend, the tent hosts chocolate eating contests, chef demonstrations of desserts and their favorite easy-to-make-at-home chocolate delights, a kids’ cookie decorating contest, Project Yum-Way, a fashion contest using only candy wrappers and the very popular and exciting Minute-to-Win-it Choco style – which is a highlight for everyone.

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Chocolate has been a feel good treat for many dating back centuries.  The succulent, soothing and comforting taste has people coming back for more.  At ChocolateFest, there is an abundance of this luxurious confection to tempt you and your family to spend Memorial Day weekend in Burlington, Wisconsin a.k.a. “Chocolate City U.S.A.”  With people vacationing from all over the country to experience “chocoholic bliss,” ChocolateFest is truly a magical holiday weekend getaway for all ages.

 

Highlights – The Chocolate Experience Tent

 

Chef Meltdown

Join the crowd at the main stage inside the “Chocolate Experience Tent” to watch a culinary competition among 3 Chefs who vie for a $1000 grand prize.  Each chef presents an appetizer, entrée and dessert for the judges to review.  Flavor, texture, presentation, originality, skills and ingredient compatibility and the use of chocolate are taken into consideration when choosing the winner of this 3 course meal cook off.

Choco Minute to-win-it

Cheer on your favorite duo as teams compete to complete challenges inside a minute.  With each successive victory the team wins a prize and moves on to more difficult challenges.  Do you have the skills to manipulate chocolate treats to win the grand prize?  If so, you will be delighted to be a part of this hilarious “must see” event.

Project Yum-Way

Revel in the gaiety as teams of 3-5 young adults design fashionable clothing out of candy wrappers then model their creations on the runway for the judges to decide who takes the grand prize.  Each team receives identical boxes with the same material to stich and model a fancy outfit.  The teams can challenge each other in the “On the spot” 30 minute contest or the 7 day “make ahead” competition.

Chef Demonstrations

Feast your eyes on a chocolate surprise as local chocolatier’s and chef’s bake a simple dessert you can easily make at home.    Take the opportunity to ask the chocolatier questions to gain insight on how to perfect your next dessert.

Family Feud Choco Style & Let’s Make A Deal’icious

Many people love the classic games shows that delivered smiles and laughs.  Go solo or put together a team to win prizes playing two of America’s beloved game shows.  All ages welcome to participate where fun is the name of the game and everyone is a winner.

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Kid’s Corner

 

Chocolate Eating Contest

Mom and Dad, is there anything more satisfying than seeing a smile on your child’s face?  Smile along with your young ones as they try to eat as many mini chocolate bars in two minutes as they can.

Chocolate Chunk Dig

Are you in the mood for some prospecting?  Encourage your kid to chisel their way through a 30 pound block of chocolate to find hidden treasures.

Kids Cookie Decorating Contest

Parents decorate cookies with your child and reminisce the days of baking and decorating with your mom during the holidays or on a weekend.  Bring back yesteryear and enjoy a flavorful cookie.