Annual Mountain Moonshine finds positive side of risky business

Dawsonville Moonshine FestivalWho’d have thunk that moonshining would be good for the community?

Though some Southern families have been making their own concoctions for generations, the practice always seemed something at best that was never discussed openly, and worse, something that perpetuated hillbilly stereotypes.

Some active families have kept their process secret for generations – and the location of their still an even larger secret. If things went right, they could make great home-made liquor, and if things went south, they could end up behind bars for years.

Shows like Discovery’s “Moonshiners” show us that modern moonshining hasn’t changed much – families still can reap big profits from their illegally made, illegally sold hooch, and still face big penalties if caught.

But it doesn’t have to be like that.

Just look at the community of Dawnsonville, Ga., called the Moonshine Capitol of the World by none other than the State of Georgia’s Tourism and Travel site.

Nearly 50 years ago, the community of Dawsonville decided to turn its moonshining heritage into something positive. It threw the first Mountain Moonshine Festival and made it not just a gathering of mash enthusiasts and underground entrepreneurs but a celebration of life in the country.

Over the years, the Festival has grown into significant regional event that takes place toward the end of October. The 25th and 26th of 2014.

The itinerary now includes a car show, music, arts and crafts, lots of food and much fun. Even better, proceeds benefit Kare for Kids, a non-profit organization that helps area youth.

The fun begins with a parade led by moonshiner and revenue cars, a visible symbol that shows old adversaries can come together to benefit everyone.

Festival organizers intend the festival to be a free family-friendly event with more emphasis on people coming together and having fun with their neighbors and less emphasis on the purpose of ‘white lightning’ which was a cheap and relatively easy method to get yourself dangerously drunk.

It also has become a great draw for tourists from around the country who may want to know a little more about this underground hobby but don’t necessarily know where to start.

A trip to Dawsonville can be downright cultural and educational, especially if you’re not all that sure what moonshinin’ is really all about.

Some visitors like to start their journey with a stop at the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery, a legitimate, legal enterprise that uses family recipes that more than 150 years old but in a modern, safe brewing process that delivers high-quality hand-crafted corn whiskey.

It’s free to visit the distillery and receive a guided tour.

Dawsonville is also home to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, where you can get info about top drivers of the past and present and learn that today’s racing scene had its roots in the pursuits between bootleggers and law enforcement.

The BusBank can help you put a memorable group trip together to learn the ins and outs of moonshining – you and your pals can legally drink your fill as well.

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New River Gorge Bridge Day

base jump new river gorgeThe New River Gorge Bridge is something that West Virginians can be proud of.

It was built in 1977 and, at 876 feet, is considered the third highest bridge in the U.S. Only the Royal Gorge in Colorado (955 feet) and the Mike O’Callaghan/Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge in Nevada (890 feet) are taller.

The New River Gorge Bridge is, however, the country’s longest steel arch bridge. It also was designed using high-strength weathering steel, which saved money and also doesn’t need to be painted or touched up regularly, unlike other structures like the Golden Gate Bridge.

The bridge is cool in that it made it simple to connect communities on both sides, rather than the hair-rising, life-risking, mountain goat-style journey down and up that took at least an hour – plus plenty of white knuckles.

But what’s even cooler is that it’s now fun to jump off of.

Don’t take our word for it – listen to the happy screams of thousands of BASE jumpers, rappellers, highline climbers and bungee jumpers, who keep coming up with new ways to fling themselves into space.

Since 1979, mass jumps have coincided with New River Gorge Bridge Day, an annual celebration which takes place the third Saturday of October. The 18th of October this year.

During the festivities, the bridge is closed to vehicle traffic, and pedestrians take a stroll from one side to another, or about 3,030 feet, or less than a mile. Organizers also celebrate all weekend, including the traditional WOAY Taste of Bridge Day, one day prior to the main event.

The Bridge Day fun always draws a crowd – more than 80,000 people have come out in the past few years, and 800 BASE jumpers took the plunge.

If you’re into that extreme sport, you need to first be comfortable and competent with basic jumping, including have completed a certain number of from planes. You also need to register, starting July 1.

Since this could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, jumpers can make as many jumps as they want in a six-hour period.

If youdon’t have enough solo jumps under your belt, you’re allowed to do tandem jumps with a professional.

Rappellers use ropes that are 700-850 feet long, and enjoy zipping along controlling their descent. Teams can start signing up in June, and are required to have some level of experience.

Because it has become such a popular event, people are encouraged to car pool. Free shuttles are available from several locations in Fayetteville, Oak Hill and Smales.

Visiting the Bridge Day celebration can be a great group experience. You can come with a club, fellow recreation enthusiasts or sports club members, school groups, even engineers to check out the impressive structure.

People wanting to attend the 2014 action should consider the services of The BusBank, which offers a smooth way to get to and from the New Gorge. While some visitors will be cursing the traffic with everyone converging in one spot, you’ll be riding in style.

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Lone Pine Film Festival celebrates the best of cowboy movies

Lone Pine Film FestivalMovie magic fans know that there were actually two Old Wests.

There’s the actual historical record of cowboys, prospectors and merchants trying to make a decent life for themselves in unexplored, sometimes hostile climates. There was much less glamour and much more sweat, plus constant fears of everything from sickness to snakes.

Then there’s Hollywood’s version of the West, with gunplay, damsels in distress and those cheery tunes sung while the hero in the white hat rides off strumming into the sunset.

There were always exceptions to this formula, of course, such as the gritty Clint Eastwood spaghetti Westerns, where you’re never sure who the true bad guy was, or the “Lonesome Dove” tales, where the characters and storylines are so realistic you can almost smell the dust and taste the loneliness.

But whether you prefer the Wild West or the mild West, you still will get excited to see where so many cowboy films were made. That place is the Lone Pine area in the Eastern Sierras, a sparse, desert region in east California which throws the Lone Pine Film Festival each Columbus Day Weekend. October 10, 11 and 12 of 2014.

Why here? It’s simple – more than 800 films and TV shows have been filmed here since the 1920s. The terrain, which includes flatlands, canyons, and other impressive natural features, is a perfect spot to show horses trudging along dusty trails, bandits hiding in the rugged hills, and those beautiful horizons that never seem to end.

Even non-Westerns have been made here, like strange planets in “Star Trek,” Mideast caves in “Iron Man,” the African desert in “Gunga Din,” and that Southwestern town with the sandworm problem in “Tremors.”

For the past 25 years, actors, directors, and others involved in past or present films – plus thousands of fans — swell the ranks of this community for this festival.

LPFF includes celebrity guests, panels, screenings, and discussions. There’s a rodeo, concerts and visits to different locations that in some cases haven’t been touched for years. Some of them are within walking distance, some you can drive to, and others you can get there by giddying-yourself-up aboard a horse. If you’ve always secretly wanted to ride along with The Duke or Gene Autry, this horseback experience comes pretty darn close.

Organizers try to offer things for all to enjoy, whether they grew up in the days of Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, John Wayne or more modern cowboy epics.

Along with the festival, visitors can visit the Lone Pine Film History Museum, which boasts excellent movie memorabilia including hats, costumes, and one-of-a-kind donations from the Rogers family. One highlight includes an authentic “Back Lot,” an outdoor exhibit that gives the inside scoop on how the West was made, or at least made on film.

The Lone Pine Film Festival is a perfect opportunity for groups of friends and family members who share a mutual love of the Hollywood Western to come together. The BusBank can assist you and your posse in putting together a rootin-tootin travel package.

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Bank of America 500 brings plenty of fun to Charlotte

bank of america 500Some call Charlotte one of the country’s classier cities.

After all, it is near to bursting with an abundance of Southern charm and style. Though Raleigh is North Carolina’s capitol, Charlotte seems to be where most the state’s action takes place.

The nearly 800,000 Charlotteans and surrounding neighbors comprise the 16th largest metro community in the U.S. Its heritage includes involvement in the Revolutionary War and Civil War – a British general during the Revolutionary War compared the mood of the town to “angry hornets.”

Today, along with high-quality college and pro football and basketball teams, you’ll find a significant concentration of American finance and capitalism, including the central offices for Wells Fargo, Lowe’s, Duke Energy and Bank of America.

And boy, howdy, do they love their car racing.

Though Daytona Beach, Fla., holds the title of the birthplace of modern-day NASCAR, Charlotte definitely is where motorsports came of age. It’s the home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and one of NASCAR’s main offices, plus most of the current teams are based here.

Races take place regularly at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, especially during the fall when events like the Bank of America 500 bring in thousands of race fans from around the county.

This year’s race, set for Oct. 9-11 is a vital part of the NASCAR Cup Sprint Series, and includes 500 grueling laps. It’s the only Saturday race in this season’s line-up, and doing well here can offer a nice boost for a driver already high in the overall standings, or, if things go south for them here, it could move a racer to the back of the pack for the rest of the cup competition.

Speedway officials make it easy for everyone to watch the high-octane fun, whether you’re flush with cash or have gathered just enough change from the glove box to scrape up funds for a ticket.

Tickets are reasonably priced for modern entertainment, $50-$150 per person, depending where along the track you want to watch the fun. And since these races go on for hours, a ticket can be a decent investment if live racing is your thing.

Special corporate/group/church rates are available for those who want to watch the race with fellow fans. Your group can sit anywhere, or arrange to watch the race from the clubhouse, the new veranda, or private suites. There’s also plenty of parking available for buses.

Other fun features available for spectators include pit passes and driver intros which get you closer to the action, or portable scanners that let you hear chatter between drivers and their teams.

There’s also plenty to see and do at the speedway beyond the cars going round and round. Thousands of race fans bring their campers and RVS, so the parking lot becomes a party. The speedway also offers in-depth tours of the facility.

Overall, since its start in 1960, the Bank of America 500 has become one of the more popular events for NASCAR fans.

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TomorrowWorld Magical BusVoyage Schedule

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Below you will find the TomorrowWorld Magical BusVoyage schedule and pickup locations arranged by time of departure!

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* Boston – Wednesday 9/24 7 pm EST @ Boston Kmart 77 Middlesex Ave

* Albany – Wednesday 9/24 9 pm EST @ Times Union Center Pepsi Arena Parking Garage

* New York City – Wednesday 9/24 11:45 pm EST @ Grand Central Station (E 42nd St Ground Level)

* Philadelphia – Thursday 9/25 12:30 am EST @ 30th Street Station (JFK Blvd & Schuykill Ave W Entrance)

* Austin – Thursday 9/25 2:00 am CST @ University of Texas (Mike A Myers Stadium parking lot @ Red River St & Robert Dedman Dr.)

* San Antonio – Thursday 9/25 2:30 am CST @ University of Texas (Parking Lot at Brackenrdige Ave & Brenan Ave)

* White Marsh, MD – Thursday 9/25 2:45 am EST @ White Marsh Park and Ride

* College Park, MD – Thursday 9/25 4:00 am EST @ University of Maryland Parking Lot @ Valley Dr & Campus Dr

* Chicago – Thursday 9/25 4:45 am CST @ DePaul University in front of Sullivan Athletic Center 2323 N Sheffield Ave

* Dallas – Thursday 9/25 5:00 am CST @ University of Texas (Parking Lot A on N. Floyd Rd)

* Houston – Thursday 9/25 5:30 am CST @ University of Houston (Outside of East Parking Garage on Calhoun Rd)

* Miami – Thursday 9/25 5:45 am EST @ University of Miami (Coral Gables) (Memorial drive outside of the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre)

* Raleigh – Thursday 9/25 8:45 am EST @ NC STATE (Doak Field, Varisty Drive & Thurman Dr)

* Orlando – Thursday 9/25 9:45 am EST @ University of Central Florida (Outside of parking garage D, Gemini Blvd & N. Orion Blvd)

* Baton Rouge – Thursday 9/25 10:00 am CST @ LSU (Tiger Stadium parking lot @ Nicholson Dr & Stadium Dr)

* Cincinnati – Thursday 9/25 10:15 am EST @ Walmart Supercenter 4000 Red Bank Rd

* Tampa – Thursday 9/25 10:15 am EST @ University of Tampa (Commuter Parking lot at North A Street & North Brevard Blvd)

* Jacksonville – Thursday 9/25 11:15 am EST @ University of North Florida (Lot 55 on Osprey Ridge Rd)

* New Orleans – Thursday 9/25 11:45 am CST @ Tulane University Newcomb Quad @ Newcomb (PL & Drill Rd)

* Gainesville – Thursday 9/25 12:30 pm EST @ University of Florida (Commuter lot @ Gale Lemerand Dr)

* Tallahassee – Thursday 9/25 2:00 pm EST @ Florida State University (Outside of St. Augustine Garage, 430 S Macomb St)

* Nashville – Thursday 9/25 3:00 pm EST @ Megabus 704 4th Ave S

* Birmingham – Thursday 9/25 3:45 pm CST @ Walmart Neighborhood Market (312 Palisades Blvd)

Chicago Air & Water Show 2014

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For fun and frolic Saturday and Sunday August 16 – 17, 2014, join the throngs of people in downtown Chicago for the aerial dynamics of the best and the brightest. Once every year, Chicagoans can enjoy the spectacular feats of the Blue Angels and the Golden Knights as they show us what they are made of. This year’s show, the 56th annual, will be better than ever.

Crowds will be lined along the lakefront with North Avenue Beach as the jumping-off spot. Get downtown early to stake out your spot for a full day of aeronautical adventures.

Bring the kids

Everyone from Grandma to toddlers will be wowed by the teams as the U.S. Blue Angels fly loop-de-loops through the clouds while the U.S. Golden Knights show how parachuting is done. Your kids will be inspired by the gravity-defying maneuvers in the air and amazed at the perfect landings of the paratroopers.

Military derring-do

Lake Michigan will also host the astounding jumping skills of the Navy Leap Frogs as they springboard out of an airplane 12,500 feet above the water at speeds of over 120 mph. The long history of the Chicago and Water Show debuted in 1946 and it is still going strong.

View aircraft

Get a closer look at the Air Force F-22 fighter jet and Marine MV-22 Osprey helicopter while the show is going on. These truly impressive aircraft will be on display for visitors to examine during show hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Free admission

With free admission, you and your family can enjoy the last few days of summer before school is back in session. Come into the city and spend a day of it, checking out new restaurants and seeing the sights. Directions and additional information are available at chicagoairandwatershow.us.

Chicago rescue teams

Chicago rescue teams will also be performing for the audience throughout both days. The Chicago Fire Department will show off their skills along with its specialized Helicopter Air Sea Rescue unit. The aerial show will be evident in the skies all around the center of Chicago, but to see the water show, you will have to get closer to the lakefront. Teams on the lake will be boat jumping, water skiing and demonstrating how they rescue boaters using their unique training.

Flying in formation

It will be tough to keep from bumping into people on Saturday and Sunday as so many will have their noses in the air. But, how can you not watch the awesome formations of the Blue Angels as they pilot through the sky. The Blue Angels are truly the creme of the crop and each pilot will have his name painted on the side of his Boeing F/A-18 Hornet.

Transportation

If you are too far out to walk to the show, you can get downtown via taxi, bus or car. But if a car is too cumbersome for city driving, alternative travel help can be arranged through The BusBank.

Image Credited To The U.S. Navy, Thank You To All Who Have Served!

Friday Night Fun In Chicago At Sam Adams Brew & View

4901482201_bbeb72fddb_oLooking for some last minute fun for your Friday night here in Chicago? If you are, reserve your free tickets (but do it quickly as all other locations have sold out) and head up to Montrose for a one of a kind experience!

Samuel Adams is throwing a massive 21 & up party starting at 6 pm with lawn games, live music, food trucks and of course Sam Adams beer. This is all capped off with a screening of the comedy “classic” Wedding Crashers starting at 8:30 pm which will be displayed of a giant HD monitor.

This is the 11th stop on an 18 stop trip around the country. Judging from most of the pictures that I have seen, this will be a great time! Best of all entry is 100% free, you only need to bring money if you wish to purchase food from one of the many food trucks that’ll be there. If you wish to purchase beer, Boston Lager will be featured but they will also be serving Summer Ale & Angry Orchard with 5 cents from every Boston Lager sale being donated to Brewing the American Dream fund!

Now lets just hope the rain holds off!

 

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Lagunitas Taproom Now Open In Chicago!

party bus beerIn a city filled with countless world class breweries, its time to add another to the list! After months of anticipation Lagunitas opened the doors to their taproom late last month in Douglas Park, just a short drive or train ride from downtown Chicago! They are open from 11 am to 9 pm Wednesday through Sunday and while they do have a kitchen, the menu is pretty small but will have something for everyone.

The taproom gives view to the inside of the brewery while seating about 300 people mostly at communal tables which is seeming to be becoming more commonplace at taprooms. Over the last several weeks I have heard nothing but great things about the new Lagunitas Taproom here in Chicago, it is a must do if you’re a lover of beer!

The BusBank charters countless party buses each week, more and more we are seeing groups that want to go around the city to check out the best breweries. So make sure when you book your party bus from us to add this stop to the list!

Cheers!

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Sheffield Garden Walk Chicago 2014

sheffield garden walkWeather aside, we are now in full swing of summer here in Chicago although it may not seem like it with all of this rain we’ve been getting. Regardless, hopefully this rain now will make your weekend more enjoyable. Especially if you plan on attending the 46th Annual Sheffield Garden Walk & Music Festival in Lincoln Park this Saturday or Sunday July 19th & 20th respectively.

The Sheffield Garden Walk is one of Chicago’s longest running street festivals and anyone who has attended to can attest to why. The Sheffield Garden Walk is much more than the typical street festival with music, food and beer. Sure, it has all of those but where it truly stands apart from other Chicago street festivals is that you get the opportunity embark on unguided (between noon and 5:30pm) and guided (3:30pm) tours through some of the most beautiful and historic properties in the Lincoln Park neighborhood!

Gardens not your thing? That’s okay, because the Sheffield Garden Walk is full of musical acts this year! The Fullerton Stage is new this year and will play host to 8 bands throughout the weekend, several of whom who will play multiple sets. The main stage will have acts starting at or around 6pm both Saturday and Sunday nights. For the full lineup please visit the official website.

Want to try some new craft beer? You’re in luck, this year the expanded Chicago Craft Beer Festival is being hosted in tandem to the Sheffield Garden Walk! For a fee you will be able to try 15 different beers in 3 oz. pours. The full brewery lineup has not yet been released but you can fully expect many Chicago breweries to be highlighted!

No matter what you’re looking for the Sheffield Garden Walk is sure to deliver as a street festival. With only a $10 suggested donation to gain entry, you really have no excuse to not check out one of the best festivals in Chicago this summer!

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