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Atlanta Dogwood Festival

April 15th, 2011

It’s spring and it is time to hit the park.

Atlanta’s Dogwood Festival is now in its 75th year running.

On April 19, 1936, Atlanta invited the world to attend her first Dogwood Festival. Walter Rich, president of ADF and founder of Rich’s department store, seeked to make Atlanta internationally known for the blooming of the dogwood trees during the week-long event. Trees are planted in all parts of Atlanta under the sponsorship of the garden clubs and public spirited citizens interested in the beautification of the city.

The Atlanta Dogwood Festival is an arts and crafts festival held each spring at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia. Originally held for nine days across two weekends and the weekdays between, it is now held only one weekend during early April, when the native dogwoods are in bloom.

The International Stage at Lake Clara Meer dock showcases tremendous talent from members of many nationalities living in Georgia, both amateur and professional.

Piedmont Park is a 189-acre (0.76 km2) urban park in Atlanta, Georgia, located in Midtown, north of the city center.
Part of the park has a nice view of the Midtown Skyline, as seen in the music video of B.o.B – “I’ll Be In The Sky”.

Dogwood Festival 2011 runs during the weekend of April 15,16 and 17.
Map of the festival can be downloaded here.

FRIDAY, APRIL 15 – ARTIST – STYLE
1:30 – 2:15 PM – The Odd Trio – Jazz
2:35 – 3:20 PM – 7 Day Fool – Blues
3:40 – 4:30 PM – Swamp Funk Quartet – Funk
5:00 – 6:00 PM – Moon Taxi – Rock
6:30 – 7:30 PM – The Urban Sophisticates – Funk/R&B
8:00 – 9:00 PM – Ken Ford – Jazz/Fusion/R&B

SATURDAY, APRIL 16 – ARTIST – STYLE
11:00 AM- 12:00 PM – School of Rock – Rock/Kids
12:30 – 1:30 PM – The Indie Revenge – Jazz
2:00 – 3:00 PM – Nahjai Soul – R&B/Soul
3:30 – 4:30 PM – Gasoline Bros. – Southern Rock
5:00 – 6:00 PM – Lefty Williams Band – Blues/Funk
6:30- 7:30 PM – Blair Crimmins & The Hookers – 20s/Rock
8:00 – 9:00 PM – Stokeswood – Electroacoustic/Rock

SUNDAY, APRIL 17 ARTIST STYLE
11:00 AM- 12:45 PM – Community Music Centers of
Atlanta – Jazz Program – Jazz
1:00 – 1:45 PM – Emily Lynch – Americana
2:00 – 2:45 PM – Jackson County Line - Soul/Folk
3:00 – 3:45 PM – Vortex Park – Jazz/Rock
4:00 – 4:45 PM – Nathan Angelo – Pop/Soul

It’s held in a public park, and it’s free entrance.

Plus, there’s no one blocking you if you’d like to stand right in front of the stage or even if you like to dance.
It’s a one big music festival in a big park.

Plus some booze.

And lottery convenience.

There’s plenty of food for the family.

And of course, water.

A walk in the park with awesome scenery.

There’s a whole stretch of Artist Market for arts fans.

Not forgetting some street performers to keep you entertained. Remember the tips! :-)

Yes, you can show your own arts too.

The 75th Atlanta Dogwood Festival has some special features.
There will be a 9 story classic Seattle Ferris Wheel built in 1963 to give visitors a whole new perspective of Piedmont Park and Midtown, and a fully restored, 1965 vintage carousel for the entire family to enjoy.

Plan your trip, visit Atlanta Dogwood Festival : http://dogwood.org/

Events, Music, Travel , ,

Stone Mountain Laser Show

March 23rd, 2011

Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome monadnock in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Bet you cannot understand it. :-)

It’s true to its name, a mountain of stone. Not mountain of earth/land.

Some dubbed Stone Mountain as “the largest exposed piece of granite in the world”.

Stone Mountain is one of those ‘must-visit’ attractions in Atlanta, Georgia.

The main attraction other than Stone Mountain being a huge stone, is the Memorial Carving on it, that depicts three Confederate heroes of the Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee and Lt. General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, which was completed on March 3, 1972. (It took over 50 years to carve it, although in between the project has been abandoned for years).

There are many attractions and activities for the entire family.
You might need a whole day to enjoy everything, bearing good weather.

Some of the attractions in Stone Mountain Park:

  • Sky Hike™ is one of the country’s largest family adventure courses — a quarter-mile of suspended bridges, ropes and climbing nets.
  • Travel to the top of the mountain on the Summit Skyride and experience the most unique view of Atlanta – however, this depends very much on weather, as service to the mountain top will stop if it rains. So check the weather forecast first!
  • Ride the Scenic Railroad on a lively five mile trip around the mountain.
  • Challenge your family on the 18-hole Mini-Golf course
  • Get active with your kids at The Great Barn®.
  • Experience a movie like you never have before at Georgia’s first 4D Theater.
  • See the sights by land and water during the Ride the Ducks™ tour.

Ride The Ducks is my personal favourite. The Duck vehicles are 1940’s era Army DUKWs, converted into comfortable open-air vehicles for your viewing and listening pleasure. They are amphibian vehicles, able to move on land and on water.

Each duck has a captain, making sure your trip is an enjoyable one with information about the Stone Mountain and the surroundings.
Make sure you tip them if you enjoyed the trip!

Given the number of attractions available one might have trouble planning how to cover all of them.

It’s not easy, so you have the choice to camp in the park, and take your own sweet time to visit all the attractions.

For a single day visit, visitors have choices of the Family Value Pass, One-Day Adventure Pass, or to purchase Individual Attraction Tickets.

Probably not known to many, you can also get discount tickets to Stone Mountain Park.

One of them is from Kroger.

If you’re a fan of baseball, you can even get tickets to Atlanta Braves games with the Atlanta Braves Triple Play Combo Package, with the third choice of admission to Six Flags Over Georgia/Georgia Aquarium/World of Coca-Cola.

Starting Spring every year, Stone Mountain runs the Lasershow Spectacular™.
Seen by more than 20 million people for more than 26 years, the Lasershow Spectacular is a not-to-be-missed Atlanta tradition, so make sure you get there early to get a nice seat on the greens because you can be sure it’s packed!

The Lasershow Spectacular, Stone Mountain’s most popular draw is now improved, by being enhanced with digital, multidimensional projection that adds 3-D-like effects without the glasses.

For more information, spend time and plan your trip with Stone Mountain Park’s website.

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World of Coca-Cola at Pemberton Place, Atlanta

March 15th, 2011

Who doesn’t know Coca-Cola, or its short name Coke?

The Coca-Cola Company is world’s largest beverage company, its products sold in 200 countries, known by the youngest of children and everyone else in the world.

However, there are bound to be some facts about this amazing company that you do not know.

The World of Coca-Cola is where you can find out, have fun, explore and drink lots of Cola for FREE!

World of Coca-Cola is located at Pemberton Place, Atlanta, Georgia in the US.
It is just next to Georgia Aquarium, the world’s largest aquarium.

* Click photos to view larger version.

Admission is $15 or below per person, but there are value passes that you can purchase such as the annual pass or CityPass.

World of Coca-Cola is a world attraction and is very packed and crowded during the weekends. It is advisable to visit during the weekdays or arrive early during the weekends.

It is hard to miss the huge Coca-Cola bottle which will also light up during the night.

There are two levels to visit, and you will need to pass through security check at the entrance.

Entrance is by groups, moving from the Lobby to the Coca-Cola Loft.
Visitors can get some photographs taken at the Lobby while waiting for the earlier group in Coca-Cola Loft to exit before their turn to enter.

The Coca-Cola Loft is where you will be given a round of Coca-Cola’s history and some facts by the staff.

Next, the entire group will proceed to a theater to watch the Happiness Factory video, a promotional video for Coca-Cola.

The theater exit will lead visitors to The Hub, after which visitors are free to roam or explore without the need to group together.

The Coca-Cola polar bear will be around for photographs session. The polar bear is very lively and lovely. :-)

The Coca-Cola Connections exhibits are not very interesting, just a wall with telephone handles where you can pick up and listen to pre-recorded audio.

You will get to the Milestones of Refreshments where historical exhibits of everything Coca-Cola can be found here.

You will also find The “Coca-Cola Space Dispenser” (Fluids Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus-1, or FGBA-1) there, which was designed to provide astronauts the opportunity to enjoy Coca-Cola and Diet Coke in the weightless environment of space.

If you ever wonder how a Coke is bottled (not the can type), then head on to the Bottle Works area. This is a smaller size of a manufacturing and bottling line.

You will be able to witness how empty bottles are picked-up by the Fizzy Bot, filled with Coke, laser coded, labeled and then sent to another collection area.

The collection area is where visitors exit from World of Coca-Cola and take one of those bottles fresh as souvenirs!

The next half of the attractions are located at Level 2.

Secret Formula 4-D Theater is where you’ll watch a movie with 3-D glasses and the additional Dimension for 4th-D is wind and water.
You’ll feel it.

Pop Culture Gallery exhibits items like an art gallery. Hint: American Idol couch can be found there.

Perfect Pauses Theater is a room where visitors can watch an array of the Coca-Cola past and recent videos, especially international ones.

On the way out at Taste It! section, you can sample and taste all the Coca-Cola beverages from many countries.

They are grouped by continents, drink all you want!

The freshly bottled Coca-Cola bottles can be seen here.

Remember to collect yours!

Just in case you didn’t know, some facts about Coca-Cola or the Coke we fondly know of (Source : Wikipedia):

  • Originally intended as a patent medicine when it was invented in the late 19th century by John Pemberton
  • Coca-Cola was bought out by businessman Asa Griggs Candler, whose marketing tactics led Coke to its world dominance
  • Pemberton claimed Coca-Cola cured many diseases, including morphine addiction, dyspepsia, neurasthenia, headache, and impotence.
  • Coke concentrate, or Coke syrup, was and is sold separately at pharmacies in small quantities, as an over-the-counter remedy for nausea or mildly upset stomach.
  • When launched Coca-Cola’s two key ingredients were cocaine (benzoylmethyl ecgonine) and caffeine.

  • Coca-Cola did once contain an estimated nine milligrams of cocaine per glass, but in 1903 it was removed. Coca-Cola still contains coca flavoring.

  • Kola nuts act as a flavoring and the source of caffeine in Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola contains 46 mg of caffeine per 12 fluid ounces, while Caffeine-Free Coca-Cola and Diet Coke Caffeine-Free contain 0 mg.

Atlanta, being the home of Coca-Cola, is not uncommon to find Coca-Cola logos wherever you are. Like Coca-Cola trucks on the road.

Of course in shopping centers.

In various packaging.

Two trucks crossing the road from opposite direction!

Coca-Cola fan or not, you will definitely enjoy visiting the World of Coca-Cola.

One thing I cannot help to wonder, the Coca-Cola there tastes different from Malaysia’s every single time.
I’m suspecting the content of coca leaves in it.

World of Coca-Cola is a must-visit attraction in Atlanta, and one thing that I was grateful to have with me then was the Atlanta CityPASS, allowing me to visit five most popular attractions conveniently with amazing discounts.

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