Blog Archive


Vacaville’s Festival of Trees: 2020online Christmas tree auction

The baked goods sale and raffle also continue in 2020 with some modifications.

VACAVILLE, Calif. — Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, you may already be looking to string up the Christmas lights and decorate the tree.

You can skip a little of the hassle of finding the perfect tree this year, while helping out a good cause. The annual Vacaville Festival of Trees is auctioning pre-decorated Christmas trees (along with some other added goodies) up until Dec. 3 in order to raise money for Opportunity House shelter.

Opportunity House is a non-profit focused on addressing homelessness. Proceeds from annual festival activities support the shelter, which needs as much help as ever. COVID-19 restrictions instituted in mid-March forced the temporary closure of the thrift store, typically an ongoing source of revenue.

In one of those ironic twists that we’ve seen so much this year due to coronavirus, publicity chair for

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  • November 28, 2020

Watch Coast Film Festival Features Through Thanksgiving Week

The Week

I was wrong about Mitt Romney

The Donald Trump phenomenon is purported to have divided friendships, families, and even marriages. I can attest to this fact in my own suburban Washington household, for this perhaps peculiar professional reason: It has occasioned my wife, the longtime sufferer of all my hot takes, to ask approximately one-thousand times whether I finally feel bad about all the mean things I said about Mitt Romney.The short answer is, yes!Romney, now the junior senator of Utah, has displayed rare courage and integrity throughout this hell-year. Alone among Republican senators (indeed, alone among any senator in history), he crossed party lines to vote to convict President Trump on the charge of abusing his power by pressuring a foreign government to interfere in our election. And — not alone, exactly, but hardly in plentiful company — he has forthrightly condemned the president for stonewalling the

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  • November 24, 2020

Hope Mills Festival of Lights kicks off Christmas celebrations

Lisa Carter Waring
 |  Correspondent

As the Christmas season begins, the Hope Mills Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring many festive, fun and safe activities for our community families.

The annual Festival of Lights will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 4 at Hope Mills Municipal Park. The town tree will be lit for the holiday season at 5:30 p.m.  

Along with the tree lighting, there will be hot chocolate available, a s’mores station and Santa in a snow globe. There will also be an outdoor movie that will begin at 6 p.m. on Ballfields 1 and 2.  

On Dec. 5, Pictures With Santa and Boxed Breakfast will take place at Hope Mills Municipal Park. There are two time slots available. The first is 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., and the second is 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m.

A professional photographer will take photos, which will be available

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  • November 24, 2020

Tree festival pushed to 2021 due to COVID

Organizers of the 2nd Annual Midcoast Tree Festival have announced that the event is being postponed until 2021 due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. The event had been scheduled to open on Nov. 20 with nearly three dozen decorated trees and wreaths for patrons to be raffled off.

The event is a joint fundraiser for All Saints Parish (St. John’s School), Spectrum Generations’ Meals on Wheels program and the Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber. The groups raised over $24,000 in the first year, from 50 cent raffle tickets and sponsorships.

“It’s a shame to have to make this decision, but when we weighed the work we had put in, and the need for something good in our community right now, against the relentless surge of Covid-19 cases and the potential of making this a super spreader event, we made the call to postpone,” said Southern Midcoast Maine Executive Director

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  • November 13, 2020

China gears up for world’s largest online shopping festival

HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese consumers are expected to spend tens of billions on everything from fresh food to luxury goods during this year’s Singles’ Day online shopping festival, as the country recovers from the pandemic.

The shopping festival, which is the world’s largest and falls on Nov. 11 every year, is an annual extravaganza where China’s e-commerce companies, including Alibaba, and Pinduoduo, offer generous discounts on their platforms. Last year, shoppers spent $38.4 billion on Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms Tmall and Taobao.

This year’s festival will be closely watched as a barometer of consumption in China, which is just beginning to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic after months of lockdown earlier in the year.

Analysts expect Chinese consumers to spend more on imported products and foreign luxury brands, since many Chinese tourists were unable to travel internationally due to the coronavirus pandemic and tightened travel restrictions.

A survey

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  • November 10, 2020

A holiday wine festival is coming to Six Flags; how to get tickets

The monsters and goblins from Six Flags Great Adventure’s Hallowfest have hardly had time to wipe their scary makeup off, and the park is already announcing new holiday plans.

New Jersey’s largest theme park announced Monday that 2020′s Holiday in the Park festivities will include Holiday Wine Fest, featuring eight different New Jersey wineries.

The event will take place Nov. 14 and 15. Tickets cost $44.99 and include access to the theme park and wine event. Entry fee does not include the wine itself; you’ll still be paying by the glass. Season Pass and Membership holders pay just $24.99. Get your tickets here.

Tomasello Winery, Wagonhouse Winery, DiMatteo Vineyards, Plagido’s Winery, Villari Vineyards, Valenzano Winery, Villa Milagro Vineyards and Salem Oak Vineyards will all be present, along with several food trucks and other food options.

Holiday in the Park begins on Nov. 14 and runs until Jan. 3. and will

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  • November 2, 2020

Austin Jewish Film Festival Celebrates 18th Anniversary Next Month

The festival will run November 7– 13.

Austin Jewish Film Festival Celebrates 18th Anniversary Next Month

The Austin Jewish Film Festival will celebrate its 18th year, a year of significance.

The number 18 is equivalent to chai, or “life” in Hebrew so what better way to affirm life than with a safe, vibrant expression of Jewish culture, even in the midst of a pandemic? AJFF’s mission over the years is to highlight incredible filmmaking and to make cross-cultural alliances throughout the Austin community, building bridges with thoughtful engagement and entertaining audiences through the medium of Jewish films and Jewish filmmakers.

For their 18th year, AJFF has imagined the best Festival they could produce while keeping everyone safe and sound. This includes- secure, socially-distanced, drive-in events for opening and closing nights and a Virtual Film Festival for the rest of the week with four times more programming than ever before. Drive-in events at the Dell Jewish Community Center will open

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  • October 28, 2020

Six of Mexico’s Biggest Festivals Team for Un Festival Mexicano

Mexican festivals, as in most of the world, were hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, with many forced to cancel, reschedule or go online. Led by the Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG), six of the country’s most important festivals have banded together to create Un Festival Mexicano, an in person event running Nov. 20-27 in Guadalajara.

FICG 35.2, the rescheduled 35th edition originally scheduled for March of this year, will be joined this year by representatives and films from Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal’s itinerant documentary festival Ambulante, DocsMX, and the Los Cabos, Guanajuato and Monterrey film festivals in an unprecedented union of some of Mexico’s most important and well-established cultural events.

Un Festival Mexicano comes after a devastating reduction from 2019 of federal government support for Mexican film festivals, put through by new Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. This saw central government incentives scythed last year

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  • October 23, 2020

New format, same wild spirit for the 5Point Adventure Film Festival this fall

When the annual 5Point Adventure Film Festival postponed its flagship event in April, in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, its organizers went online with a small “5Point Unlocked” virtual program with a pay-what-you-want model.

The online event proved that the 5Point community is much larger than the 800 or so people who normally pack into the Carbondale Recreation Center for its programs.

Over three days, 20,000 people watched those programs ­— half of viewers living outside Colorado.

The flagship 5Point festival is back this week, running Wednesday through Sunday, with virtual programs showcasing some 65 short films. Rather than running on-demand, the films are curated into blocks that will broadcast live through the online platform Eventive.

“We have done that so that everybody logs on together at the same time and we’ve tried to keep that communal feeling in the Rec Center,” said 5Point head of programming Charlie

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  • October 13, 2020

Carbondale filmmaker’s journey down the Potomac to be featured in 5Point film festival

In 2018, Carbondale filmmaker Michael C.B. Stevens joined childhood friend Grant Horton on a trip down the Potomac River near Washington D.C., where they grew up. The 12-minute film that came from it will show this weekend as part of the 5Point Adventure Film Festival.
Courtesy photo

About three years ago, Carbondale-based filmmaker Michael C.B. Stevens came up with the idea to return to his roots near Washington, D.C., and make a film exploring the mighty Potomac River, which effectively ran through his childhood backyard.

Fast forward to this week, when that film is set to be part of the 5Point Adventure Film Festival, and you would think it all went as planned. That, like any good adventure, is far from the truth.

“Nothing went as I expected. Absolutely nothing. It went awful,” Stevens said. “We just totally sandbagged ourselves and got into big trouble. I don’t want to give

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  • October 13, 2020