Celebrate 2006, All Year Long
Some ideas from the January 1, 2006 Travel section of the Washington Post:
Other suggestions and additional specifics are available at the above link. If you want more information, post a comment, and I'll do my best to provide what you need.
Ben Franklin Tercentenary
WHAT: America's biggest overachiever, Ben Franklin, would have turned 300 on Jan. 17 -- and the party is no simple cake-and-candles affair. Ben-centric festivities will run through 2006 in various American cities and countries, but Philadelphia will host the largest bash, with more than 125 activities through April.
WHY GO: Because every time lightning strikes, you have Ben to thank for protection.
HIGHLIGHTS: The man who established the first public hospital, invented the lightning rod and helped found our nation is honored around town with museum exhibits, symphonies, lectures, demonstrations and even a ballet in which dancers interpret his inventions , including swim fins and bifocals....On a less serious side, visitors can pair the exhibit with their best jammies Jan. 13 at Ben's Birthday Pajama Party...
Turin Winter Olympics
WHAT: The XX Winter Games, Feb. 10-26 in Turin, Italy, and the surrounding Alps.
WHY GO: You've seen the shroud, now see the Spandex skin suits.
HIGHLIGHTS: The Italians are expected to pull out the pageantry for the opening and closing ceremonies, though show details remain hush-hush....
Total Solar Eclipse
WHAT: On March 29, the moon will block out the sun for a few short, crepuscular minutes -- an astronomical feat not to be repeated until August 2008. The total eclipse's path runs from Brazil across the Atlantic and into central Africa. It will then swoop over the Mediterranean, darkening Turkey, Georgia, Russia and Kazakhstan before heading back to Russia and ending at sunset over the Mongolian border.
WHY GO: The moon gets its day in the sun.
HIGHLIGHTS: The total eclipse lasts anywhere from 2 1/2 minutes to 4 minutes 7 seconds, depending on your location. (A much lengthier partial eclipse precedes and follows the total eclipse, but don't forget to wear your special half-sun glasses.)Keeping weather and safety in mind, NASA project manager Fred Espenak says the best viewing spots are in Jalu, a small desert town in Libya; Saloum, Egypt; and Antalya, Turkey. In these locations, the eclipse will hit midday, so the quick change from light to darkness will be even more dramatic....
WHAT: Vienna will be filled with the sound of Mozart during the Wiener Mozartjahr, which celebrates his 250th birthday from Jan. 27 through November.
WHY GO: In Vienna, Mozart is A Major.
WHAT: Happy 400th, Rembrandt. Throughout 2006, the Dutch town of Leiden (the artist's birthplace) is teaming with Amsterdam (where he lived, worked, had affairs) to commemorate the 17th-century artist who showed us the chiaroscuro.
WHY GO: Art history slides don't do justice to the Baroque master.
HIGHLIGHTS: For a retrospective of Rembrandt's life, take a free walking tour of both cities; pit stops include the Latin School he attended and the house where he painted and drew for more than 20 years....
Centennial of the San Francisco Earthquake
WHAT: At 5:12 a.m. on April 18, 1906, San Francisco was shaken by one of the country's most devastating earthquakes. One hundred years later, the Bay Area commemorates the disaster (and the subsequent four-day fire) with a year of events -- though most occur around that fated day.
WHY GO: To relive the scariest seconds in Northern California's history....
European Cultural Capital for 2006
WHAT: Patras, on the coast of the Greek region of Peloponnesus, takes a turn wearing the crown as the year's European Capital of Culture.
WHY GO: Greece and culture go as well together as olives and oil.
HIGHLIGHTS: The opening days (Jan. 10-21) are a crash course in culture, with the Gogmagogs, a theater troupe that blends music, edgy theater and flamboyant costumes; an exhibit that looks back at 20 years of ECC winners; and a multimedia experience that lets visitors " time travel" to Patras's past. During Carnival Days (Jan. 21-March 1), catch "Angels From the Sky," a light-as-air act with a bit of Barnum & Bailey, or hear the Viennese Vegetable Orchestra play tunes on instruments last seen in your dinner salad. If you're a mime-aphobe, be warned: From Jan. 21 to April 5, the Unethical Poetry troupe of wily performers will heckle passersby in the city center. From May 19 to June 4, the classics get a modern makeover, including Aeschylus' "Agamemnon," Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex" and other Western Civ standards. For "Songs of Wine and Love" (June 27-Sept. 15), the intoxicating poems of Sappho, Alkaois and others are expressed through music and dance. Photographers Anna Papoulia and Nelly Tragousti snap Patrasian children at play, contrasting their pretend world with reality (Dec. 1-28).
Note: Dates may change. Ticket prices and ordering, along with event locations, will soon be available...
WHAT: Although Jamestown, Va., doesn't turn the big Four-O-O until May 2007, the 18-month-long bash revs up in 2006 with some signature events around the East Coast.
WHY GO: Without the Jamestown settlers, we might've been forced to care even more about Charles and Camilla.
HIGHLIGHTS: During the week of May 21, the Godspeed will kick off Jamestown 2007 with its full-sail departure from Jamestown Settlement; the ship will then embark on a goodwill tour of the Eastern Seaboard. To board the re-created settlers' boat as well as her sister ships (the Susan Constant and the Discovery), visit the settlement, an hour's drive east of Richmond...
Twenty-five miles from Jamestown, Yorktown will salute its 1781 Revolutionary War victory with a four-day festival on Oct. 19-22. For the 225th, the town will have reenactors performing 18th-century military techniques, a tall ship display, fireworks, a military parade and band concerts. While there, stroll the newly constructed Riverwalk Landing, lined with shops and restaurants. And if you are planning way in advance, don't forget to pencil in the blowout America's Anniversary Weekend May 11-13, 2007, in Jamestown....
Jamestown is relatively close to me, so maybe my husband and I will take the Mustang GT convertible for a little cruise to that area this spring.
Of course, you can follow your instincts and use ingenuity to find your own way to celebrate 2006. Celebration of life doesn't require travel--just family and friends.
Happy 2006 to you, however you choose to celebrate life in this new year!