Travel & Tourism
New Food and Fun at the 2012 Iowa State Fair PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Lori Chappell   
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 12:05

DES MOINES, IA (07/10/2012)(readMedia)-- The Iowa State Fair will offer a plethora of new attractions to try, taste and watch this year. New Fair foods, attractions and contests are available in addition to the many traditional Fair favorites. "Nothing Compares" to this array of new excitement that awaits Fairgoers August 9-19.

Attractions

Experience the Fair's new zipline, located west of the Jacobson Exhibition Center. Leap from the 28-foot tower and fly 130 feet across the grounds. Buy your tickets now and save $4. A two ticket zip pack is $10 through August 8. Details at iowastatefair.org.

Get your adrenaline pumping with the BMX Pros Trick Team, also located west of the Jacobson Exhibition Center. This BMX show features the world's most extreme bicycle stunt riders in a spectacular, non-stop, action-packed event. Visit the Bengal Tiger Encounter in Kids' Zone for an inspirational program featuring the Bengal Tiger. On display all day with three shows every day of the Fair, these tigers are helping to educate the public on the loss of habitat and the killing of tigers for profit in India and Africa.

The eco-friendly transformation of Expo Hill will be complete for the 2012 Iowa State Fair. The latest additions include a uniquely-designed covered structure which provides a new location for free entertainment and solar panels worked into the design of the structure which will provide a portion of the venue's power needs. Expo Hill will feature the Red Trouser Show each day at noon, 2 and 5 p.m. This duo amazes audiences with their flawless combination of acrobatics, juggling and comedy.

Ag Education

Sheep Stop joins our other agricultural education stops Pig Place, Horse Haven and Cattle Corner; each located in its respective barn. In this newest exhibit, learn how many sheep there are in Iowa and how much wool they produce.

Learn about Iowa's agricultural commodities with the AgVenture Discovery Trail. Explore ten stops by starting at the USDA booth in the Agriculture Building or the Canstruction exhibit in the Varied Industries Building. Learn about plants and what makes them grow with Seed Survivor. This interactive display is located in the John Deere Agriculture Building. The Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center will also be expanding its programming for the 2012 Fair by adding an aquaculture exhibit.

Foods

The Elwell Family Food Center will house a life-size moose made of Dutch chocolate. This delectable creature, crafted by the master chocolatiers at Chocolaterie Stam, will stand more than 9 feet tall. The building is also home to the largest foods department in the nation with 893 contests, 43 of which are new this year. New contests include A Taste of Ireland, Seattle's Best Coffee "Search For Deliciousness," Best Pizza in Iowa, Gramp's Bacon and more.

New mouthwatering foods to join the list of Fair favorites include:

• Gourmet s'mores, available at Beaverdale Confections in the Shoppers' Mart;

• Peach, apple or cherry crisps, available at Iowa Orchard located inside the southwest entrance of the Agriculture Building;

• Caribbean-style crab fritters, available at Ollie's Crab Fritters west of the Jacobson Exhibition Center;

• German chocolate funnel cakes, available at The Best Around on the Triangle;

• Carrot cake funnel cakes and blue sapphire funnel cakes from Westmoreland Concessions, located south of the Riley Stage;

• Chocolate chip cannolis and chocolate chip cookie dough pops, both dipped in chocolate and on a stick, will be featured at Oasis Concessions on the southwest corner of the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion;

• Deep fried pickle "dawgs," available at the Dawg House on the Triangle.

Also, look for our new Fair Square flavor made with marshmallows, crisped rice cereal, pretzels, potato chips, Oreos, toffee and M&Ms®. Find the Fair Square stand on the northwest corner of the Administration Building.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. A complete listing and details of all daily programs is available online, for more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit iowastatefair.org.

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Iowa State Fair Ticket Office Opens July 9 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Lori Chappell   
Friday, 06 July 2012 13:22

Print at Home Tickets Offer Convenience

DES MOINES, IA (07/05/2012)(readMedia)-- "Nothing Compares" to affordable family entertainment at the Iowa State Fair, August 9 – 19. For Fairgoers planning ahead, the State Fair Ticket Office will open July 9 and is offering discounted tickets for admission, rides and more. Or purchase online and choose the print at home option for an even easier way to get admission tickets.

Advance Admission

Save up to 30 percent off gate admission with advance admission tickets, on sale through August 8 or while supplies last. Adult admission tickets are just $7 in advance (regularly $10), and children's admission tickets are only $3 in advance (regularly $4). Fairgoers can print advance admission tickets at home when purchasing them online at iowastatefair.org. This fee-free option is easy and convenient. Tickets may also be purchased at participating Hy-Vee and Hy-Vee Drugstores, Dahl's Foods and Fareway Stores. Tickets are good any one Fair day. Children 5 and under are admitted free every day.

Fair Play Packs

These value-packed kits are good any Fair day and are perfect for employee incentives or Fair-loving families! Fair Play Packs are available at the State Fair Ticket Office or online at iowastatefair.org (5 percent processing fee applies) through August 8. Three different packages provide visitors of all ages with plenty of food, fun and entertainment. The three packs include:

  • Ages 12 and older, $19 (up to a $29.50 value): Includes one adult gate admission; one Giant Slide or Ye Old Mill ride; one Sky Glider ride; one Snakes Alive, Butterfly House or Train Exhibit admission; one Area 51 – Scare Zone admission and five $1 food and beverage tickets.
  • Ages 6-11, $18 (up to a $28.50 value): Includes one child gate admission; one Giant Slide or Ye Old Mill ride; one Sky Glider ride; one Snakes Alive, Butterfly House or Train Exhibit admission; one midway ride; one pony or camel ride and five $1 food and beverage tickets.
  • Ages 5 and under, $15 (up to a $24.50 value): Includes one Giant Slide or Ye Old Mill ride; one Sky Glider ride; one Snakes Alive, Butterfly House or Train Exhibit admission; one midway ride; one pony or camel ride and five $1 food and beverage tickets.

Punch Cards

Buy a convenient Punch Card with 11 days of adult Fair admission for just $77. Each punch is good for one admission to the Fair. Cards may be used by individuals or families. Punch Cards may only be purchased through the State Fair Ticket Office or online at iowastatefair.org (5 percent processing fee applies).

Zipline Tickets

Experience the Fair's new zipline. Buy two tickets (regular single tickets $7) for $10 and save $4. Available at the State Fair Ticket Office or online at iowastatefair.org (5 percent processing fee applies). Must be purchased by August 8. Available while supplies last.

Midway Savings

Save on the midway with a Midway Play Pack - a set of five midway ride tickets for only $13. Each ticket is good for one ride. Available through August 8 at the State Fair Ticket Office or online at iowastatefair.org (5 percent processing fee applies). Or purchase a Midway Mega Pass wristband, good for unlimited mechanical rides any one Fair day from open to close including weekends. Mega Passes are $25 (does not include gate admission) and are available through August 8 at the State Fair Ticket Office, online at iowastatefair.org (5 percent processing fee applies) or statewide Walgreens and Des Moines-area Hy-Vee stores.

Food Tickets

Buy a set of five $1 food tickets good for food or beverage purchase at any Fairgrounds concession, excluding the midway. Cost is $5 per set, and they may be purchased through the State Fair Ticket Office or online at iowastatefair.org (5 percent processing fee applies).

Fairtime Savings

Enjoy these special offers only available during the Fair. Visit iowastatefair.org for rules and details.

• On Opening Day, August 9, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., enjoy free gate admission with the coupon from the Sunday, August 5 Des Moines Register or the Wednesday, August 8 Des Moines Register full page Hy-Vee ad.

• Save with half price gate admission after 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

• On Older Iowans' Day, August 15, gate admission is just $7 for Fairgoers ages 60 and over.

• On Extreme Sunday, August 19, take advantage of half-price admission all day and free parking for carloads of five or more in the Fair's north parking lot.

• During the Fair, purchase a midway wristband any weekday for unlimited mechanical rides from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wristbands are $25 and are available during the Fair at midway ticket booths only.

• Purchase two zipline tickets for $12. Regular price single tickets are $7.

The State Fair Ticket Office, located in the Administration Building on the Fairgrounds, is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays. Online orders placed after 4 p.m. on July 27 will not be mailed but will be held at will call. Walk-up orders will be available until August 8. Cash, check, money order, Visa, MasterCard or Discover are accepted. All offers good while supplies last.

Fairgoers can enjoy an even bigger benefit when buying early: advance admission tickets have a coupon for a free small Potato Olé® at participating Iowa-area Taco John's. Coupon expires 9/30/12. See store for details.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit iowastatefair.org.

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St. Louis Voted "Best of the Midwest" by AAA Readers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission   
Monday, 02 July 2012 10:51

ST. LOUIS -- June 29, 2012 -- It’s straight A’s for St. Louis. The readers of AAA Midwest Traveler have named St. Louis the “Best Large City for a Weekend Getaway” in the magazine’s Best of the Midwest poll. St. Louis topped second place Chicago and third runner up Kansas City in the annual opinion report.

“We are very proud that Midwest Traveler’s readers have once again demonstrated their appreciation of all that St. Louis has to offer its visitors,” says Brian Hall, chief marketing officer of the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission. “Midwesterners have amazing options when it comes to drivable weekend getaway destinations. Being named the best by those who are frequent travelers in our region makes it even more special.”

St. Louis’ vibrant music scene, exceptional dining and the variety of festivals and attractions were cited by AAA readers as reasons that St. Louis topped their weekend getaway chart. The results of the entire poll appear in the July/August issue of the publication which is available online at www.AAA.com/Traveler.

This is the third consecutive year that the Gateway City was selected best in the “large city for a weekend getaway” category. Votes were submitted by the well-traveled Automobile Club of America’s members from Missouri, eastern Kansas, southern Illinois and southwestern Indiana.  AAA Midwest Traveler has a circulation of more than 550,000.

Other St. Louis hospitality industry businesses were recognized as “Best of the Midwest” in their categories: the Gateway Arch, best attraction; Tony’s, best fine dining and the Moonrise Hotel, best small hotel.

For more information about St. Louis’ attractions, special events and hospitality offerings, visit the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission web site at www.explorestlouis.com.

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There's a Lot to See and Do in Jefferson City, Missouri PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Ryan Winkler   
Monday, 02 July 2012 10:30

Welcome to Historic Jefferson City-

You're Invited to Feel the History

and Join in the Fun

 

 

For Immediate Release:

June 29, 2012

 

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. - Day or night, the family fun spotlight shines brightly on Jefferson City. Missouri's capital city lures visitors year-round with history, attractions, shopping, dining, lodging and fun events. Its streets reflect a unique character and small-city charm that presents a pleasant surprise from sunrise to sunrise.

 

Jefferson City is Missouri's "life of the party," with a limitless love of music and excitement. The capital city celebrates this love in style by blocking off downtown streets and turning up the music for outdoor block parties such as its Thursday Night Live series and the Capital Jazzfest and Street Fair.

Madison's Patio

But Jefferson City isn't just alive during its block parties; it's buzzing every day of the week. In the downtown area, a visitor can have a meal or a beverage under the shade of a colorful umbrella, while in the fresh air, at one of the many restaurants, bars and cafes. Downtown visitors also can stroll to retail shops, an art gallery, museums and a beautiful flower garden, all within mere minutes of each other.

 

Elsewhere around Jefferson City, golfers can tee off at one of five area golf courses. Cyclists, hikers or joggers can hit the Katy Trail State Park for some recreation in the great outdoors. Families and nature lovers can explore over 3,000 square feet of Missouri wildlife exhibits - including a 3,580-gallon fish aquarium - at the Missouri Department of Conservation's Runge Nature Center. Outdoor movies, classical theater, the infamous Missouri State Penitentiary and the picturesque Missouri State Capitol offer even more places to explore.

 

STREET FAIRS

Jefferson City shuts the streets down for two epic downtown block parties and it's all during the same week in September:

  • On Sept. 6, Thursday Night Live features live music, outdoor bars and specials from downtown restaurants, stores and nightspots. Bring your lawn chairs to the corner of Madison and High Streets and enjoy this rockin' block party from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Capital JazzfestThe 21st Capital Jazzfest and Street Fair kicks off a day of fun, food, art and jazz Sept. 8 from noon to 9 p.m. at the corner of Madison and High Streets. The event features five jazz acts performing on stage, including the University of Missouri Concert Jazz Band at 2 p.m.; Tom Andes Trio with Margaret Bianchetta at 3:25 p.m.; the St. Louis-based Michael Terry Group at 4:50 p.m.; Kansas City jazz group Sons of Brasil at 6:15 p.m.; and singer Erin Bode, who has been featured on TV's Fox News This Morning and The CBS Morning Show, at 7:35 p.m. The event also includes street artists chalking concrete canvases, "Kids' Art" activities, food and drink vendors, and much more. For more information about the Capital Jazzfest and Street Fair, call Jessica Dulle at 573-635-8355 or Jeff Bassinson at 573-635-6866. You also can visit the Jazzfest and Street Fair on the web at  www.capjazz.org or visit  www.capitalarts.org.

 

FAMILY FUN

Searching for some free fun for the whole family? Jefferson City has a couple of upcoming events that break out some fun without breaking a family's bank account:

  • movie at the capitolFamilies can enjoy a free movie, drive-in style, in the open air on the Missouri State Capitol's South Lawn. Jefferson City's outdoor movie series, "Stars Under the Stars," allows spectators to bring all the candy, popcorn and drinks (no alcoholic beverages) they can haul. Just bring a lawn chair or lay out a blanket and delight in movies on the large, inflatable screen. The fantasy action movie Jumanji plays on July 13 and the musical Meet Me In St. Louis shows on Aug. 3. Show activities start at 7:30 p.m. and the movies begin at dusk. For more information about these family nights, call 573-634-6482.

For more information about other fun family activities and events in and around Jefferson City, contact the Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-769-4183 or go to the CVB's website at VisitJeffersonCity.com.

 

 

SPEND THE NIGHT IN JAIL

Ghost Tours at MSPIf you've always imagined yourself as somewhat of an amateur ghostbuster, then the Missouri State Penitentiary (MSP) Ghost Hunts are right down your dark paranormal alley. On these evening MSP Ghost Hunts, tour guides provide tour-goers with a history lesson about the 176-year-old decommissioned prison as well as the strange unexplained occurrences that have happened behind the walls. Participants on the three-hour tour will be given "paranormal activity" devices, as well as flashlights, and the group will creep around the various "hot spots" in the prison, including the infamous MSP Gas Chamber where 40 inmates were executed. These Hunts are $35 per person and due to the spooky nature of the tours, no one under 14 is admitted. There are also specialized Ghost Hunt Classes that allow potential Ghost Hunters to learn from genuine paranormal experts about using equipment, how to take great ghost photographs and how to recognize paranormal activity. Regular two-hour Ghost Tours also are available as well as a variety of other regular historical tours in both the daytime and at twilight. To find out more about the MSP or to book a tour, call 866-998-6998 or visit MissouriPenTours.com.

 

 

Coming Up ...

 

The 62nd Annual Jefferson City Jaycees Fair

Dates: July 30 - August 4

Time: 5 p.m. - 1 a.m. (Every Day)

Location: Jefferson City Jaycees Fairgrounds, 1445 Fairgrounds Road

Admission Cost: Monday, July 30: $5. Tuesday, July 31-Saturday, August 4: $10.

Description: Expect carnival rides and games, 4H and FFA events and beauty pageants throughout the fair. Other activities are scheduled as follows: tractor pulls (July 30-31), an Outlaw Nationals Monster Truck Show featuring the world-famous Bigfoot (Aug. 1-2), wild Figure 8 racing (Aug. 3), the Mid-Missouri Off-Roaders Mud Run (Aug. 4) and much more. This year's featured concerts are: Brooke Burrows (July 30), Ira Dean (July 30), Kip Moore (July 31), Keith Anderson (Aug. 1), Chris Cagle (Aug. 2), Fuel (Aug. 3) and Mark Chesnutt (Aug. 4). A complete schedule of events and concerts are available at the Fair's Facebook page at Facebook.com/pages/Jefferson-City-Jaycees-Fair/324339202294. You also can email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.

 

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For more information about these and other attractions in and around Jefferson City, please contact the Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-769-4183, at

VisitJeffersonCity.com or at the city's Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest pages.

 
Celebrate Summer on the Water at Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Beenders-Walker Group   
Thursday, 28 June 2012 07:53
FOR AQUA FUN, SEE AQUAPALOOZA ...

Hit a summer celebration high-water mark with AquaPalooza, the Lake's largest family-fun boating party, July 21 at Dog Days Bar & Grill (on land at 1232 Jeffries Road or the 19 mile marker on the water) in Osage Beach. Experience a free, live concert with four bands (including Australian country-music trio The McClymonts and AC/DC tribute band Hells Bells), contests, games, T-shirt giveaways, a live radio broadcast and special promotions throughout the day. Bring your family, your friends and float on the water in a boat, raft or tube. Or if you're a land lover, enjoy AquaPalooza with your crew inside the cool and dry comfort of Dog Days Bar & Grill. Admission is free. AquaPalooza 2012 is sponsored by Lake of the Ozarks Marine Dealers Association, Budweiser, Benne Media and Dog Days Bar & Grill. For more information, visit LOMDABoats.com, text "BOAT" to 22828, or call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau at 1-800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253).

WINES & BREWS ...

Wine and beer aficionados, unite and sample the works of some of Missouri's best wineries and breweries at the Midwest Wine and Brew Festival on Aug. 11. The event is presented by the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and will take place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Country Club Hotel & Spa in Lake Ozark. Over a dozen wineries and microbreweries will have their wares on display to sample and purchase. Lake-area restaurants also will be on hand to offer light fare as a perfect complement to the wine and brew samples. Festival advance tickets are available for $15 and will include a tasting of all of the wines and beers, as well as a souvenir wine glass. Tickets bought the day of the festival are $20. For more information, call the Lake Area Chamber at 573-964-1008.

MASTER YOUR (WATER)CRAFT AT THE LAKE OF THE OZARKS ...

Your boat is welcome at the Lake of the Ozarks! Speedboats, fishing boats, pontoon boats and personal watercraft are all ways to have some relaxing summer fun at one of Missouri's largest lakes. There are nine public access boat ramps available for use at the Lake and if you're staying the night, most of the area's lodging facilities have their own boat docks. Don't have a boat? Don't worry. Watercraft can be rented by the hour or the day at most of the Lake of the Ozarks' resorts or marinas. For more about how to get out on the water or for a list of hotels and resorts with boat docks, call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau at 800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253) or visit the Bureau's website, FunLake.com.

TOP GUNS AT TOP SPEED ...

RC BoatIf one has the need for speed, there will be as much velocity as a fan of the throttle can handle at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, Aug. 25-26 at Captain Ron's Bar & Grill in Sunrise Beach. The event features more than 100 boats competing to be named the lake's fastest boat, racing against the clock in individual runs. Last year, Bill Tomlinson and Ken Kehoe captured the event's "Top Gun" title and electrified the crowd with a course record-tying speed of 208 mph. The timed runs take two days to complete and are the unquestioned Main Event, but the Shootout festivities stretch over nine days including a variety of activities for the whole family. Among this year's events during the week-plus of revelry are: a Class One R/C Mini Shootout for remote controlled boats (Aug. 18), a benefit golf tournament (Aug. 19), The Great Shootout Treasure Hunt (Aug. 20), The Shootout Street Party (Aug. 22), The PWC Dam Run (Aug. 23), a poker run (Aug. 24) and much more fun for fans of all ages. For more information about the Shootout and for a full schedule of Shootout-related events, visit LakeoftheOzarksShootout.org.

LOOKING AHEAD...

Summer is loaded with fun fairs, festivals and events at the Lake of the Ozarks! For more information about getaway packages, lodging, dining, shopping, events and attractions throughout the Lake area, contact the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau at 800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253) or visit the Bureau's website, FunLake.com.

 

July 13, August 10 & September 14

HOT SUMMER NIGHTS

Hot Summer Nights, a cruising series on the Bagnell Dam Strip in Lake Ozark, will feature all makes and models of cars, trucks and motorcycles. Visitors attending the event will enjoy classic cars, trucks and motorcycles, contests, giveaways, helicopter rides, live entertainment and much more. For more information about Hot Summer Nights, call 573-964-1008 or visit CruiseHotSummerNights.com.

 

August 4

The GREAT BAGNELL DAM DUCK DROP

Rubber duckies make Lake time lots of fun at The Great Bagnell Dam Duck Drop in Lake Ozark. In this distinctive event at Bagnell Dam, spectators "adopt a duck" (purchase numbered tickets) and then thousands of the familiar bathtub toys (with numbers corresponding to tickets) are unleashed from the air to splash down into the Osage River. The ducks "race" to the finish line. The first duck to cross the finish earns a lucky patron the grand prize of $5,000. Consolation prizes include $1,000 for second place and several Lake-area shopping cards for other finishers. The event also boasts a 5K Fun Run and Waddle Walk, live music and entertainment, a Family Fun Zone (complete with clowns, kids' games, bounce houses and puppet shows), and a variety of delicious food for sale. For more information, visit GreatDamDuckDrop.com or call 573-286-8291.

 

 

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