Holiday Art Shows gathers together a wide array of contemporary and traditional artwork for arts and crafts fairs held in Lexington, Kentucky; Wilmington, North Carolina; and St. Augustine, Florida. Visitors can shop for paintings, photography, and sculptures to decorate their homes or drape themselves in handmade jewelry and fiber art. A knowledgeable jury reviews each artist's offerings to ensure a high-quality selection.
Ensconcing visitors in spacious rooms surrounded by 30 lush acres of grapevines, Elk Creek Vineyards merges the grandeur of Napa Valley with Kentucky hospitality. Among three discrete lodgings, the Estates' wraparound deck sounds the creak of rocking chairs, the Inn's communial living room welcomes late-night conversation, and the Lodge's private decks open up onto vineyard and lake. Live entertainment every Friday and Saturday keeps eardrums occupied, and a gallery exhibits the creations of local artists. During tastings and tours, guests sample the vineyard's products and stroll through the fields, popping grapes to figure out which ones are alcoholic.
To spring through the air, launch themselves onto velcro walls, or careen down slides spanning multicolored castles, kids call on Party Right Inflatables. During open jump and open gaming sessions, kids roam the spacious indoor facility to ping-pong across huge inflatable structures and win Xbox matches. Meanwhile, in the lobby, parents use the Wifi to find out how to disguise themselves as children so they can use the bounce houses, too. With plenty of inflatables available for rent—plus extras such as dunk booths and cotton-candy machines—Party Right makes at-home bashes as fun as the private events held at the facility.
The starting pistol fires and the runners are off, but they're in for a surprise. Rather than running an easy 5K around gentle bends and smooth pavement, they have to clamber over parked cars, carry hefty tires, and participate in burlap sack races before they even get near the finish line. This is the Waterfront Challenge, an urban race designed to test a runner's mettle, strength, and endurance on a route that runs through Louisville's scenic, 85-acre Waterfront Park along the Ohio River. The excitement extends beyond the unorthodox obstacles with waves that run late into the night—those who take off at 9 p.m. make up the Glow Race, which elevates the fun by illuminating runners with glow sticks, glow-in-the dark costumes, and the runners' own sweat, which is naturally bioluminescent. At the end of the race, runners celebrate their victories on Big Four Lawn where music, cold beer, and food join an awards ceremony for top finishers and best glow-in-the-dark costume.
In polite company, one should never slurp spaghetti or eat dinner with sauce all over their chin. But such propriety flies out the window during the spaghetti-eating contest at the Jeffersonville Italian Festival, when participants vie to scarf down heaps of pasta the fastest. The festival's cake- and cannoli-eating contests likewise require speedy mastication, but languorous visitors can take their time savoring the Italian cuisine served by local vendors, enjoying it alfresco among friends and neighbors. In between bites of chicken parmesan or tiramisu, attendees can also show off their artistic sides with crafts or two-step to Italian tunes crooned by live musicians.