Chocolate lovers unite at the Northwest Chocolate Festival, an annual event dedicated not just to eating chocolate in its many forms, but to tracking its journey from cocoa bean to confection. Visitors hone their expertise through seminars on trade equity and cocoa farming, chocolate-making workshops led by confectioners, and tastings where palates learn to distinguish between milk chocolate and a chocolate bar clumsily forced inside a milk jug. A portion of the proceeds from the event benefits local nonprofits aligned with the festival?s mission. Recipients are announced yearly.
Something strange happens as soon someone steps through the gates outside of Camlann Medieval Village. The past seven centuries of human existence instantly disappear, and that same person?who once existed in a world of smart phones and talking fire hydrants?now finds his or herself in living history museum of the medieval era. A narrow street winds through a rural village, where villagers make their artisanal goods in full view.
Another attraction inside Camlann Medieval Village is The Bors Hede Inne Restaurant, which keeps its doors open year-round. An innkeeper greets guests and welcomes them into the dining room, which is usually warmed by a roaring fireplace. There, glasses of mead accompany rotating monthly entrees made using authentic recipes right out of the 14th century.
At each of several one-day festivals held throughout the country, thousands of revelers unite in an epic clash of pulp, beer, and live music. Armed with a cache of 300,000 tomatoes, participants don protective bathing suits and goggles and hurl the fruit at one another during a two-hour battle. Throughout the afternoon, live music and costume contests offer an entertaining respite from the front lines, as bartenders dispense drafts of beer to attendees older than 21, refueling soldiers' morale before they resign to writing goodbye letters to their produce vendors back home. All tomatoes used during the event are past ripe and already fated for disposal, making the battle an efficient means of tossing them before their cursed transformation into singing Muppets.
Challenge Nation pioneered the urban-adventure race with a race season that includes visits to more than 35 cities across the country. Each scavenger hunt is personalized to the hosting city, exploring its many diverse neighborhoods with a series of clues that would test even the most skilled children's-book detective. The teams?composed of at least two people?vie for a $300 first-place prize. The Amazing Race?style competition rewards quick wits and wise planning over physical fitness, so the best way to prepare is by doing logic puzzles while eating Funyuns and lounging in a La-Z-Boy. The top 25 teams qualify, the top five receiving free entry, to compete in the national championship, which rewards winning teams with a $5,000 cash prize.
Named Billboard's top Hot 100 artist of 2010, electropop sensation Ke$ha electrifies fans with catchy tunes, punchy lyrics, and a larger-than-life persona. With a list of chart-topping hits that includes "TiK ToK," "We R Who We R," and "Your Love is My Drug," Ke$ha charms even the most curmudgeonly, highbrow ears with irreverent lyrics and taut, shimmering beats that stick in listeners' heads like dreams covered in peanut butter. Presided over by a quirkily becostumed Ke$ha, the Get $leazy tour sucks fans into a nonstop, glitter-filled night of dancing, performance, and languor-shattering rapture. LMFAO, the tuneful twosome behind the high-energy hit "Party Rock Anthem," and electro-rapper Spank Rock complement Ke$ha's sonic spectacle with their own dulcet melodies.
Established: Before 1950
Reservations/Appointments: Not offered
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 1?2 hours
Pro Tip: You may wait a bit for your pancakes, but the wait is worth it.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Delicious, authentic Swedish pancakes.
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Apart from your business's main attraction, do you offer any "hidden" services or activities that visitors are always delighted to learn about?
Live music for dancing while eating pancakes. Immediately after pancakes, adjourn upstairs to try your hand at weaving (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) or visit with our genealogists (1 p.m. to 3 p.m.).
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
Swedish pancakes, like meatballs, are iconic to the Swedes. We serve our pancakes Swedish style with real whipped cream and lingonberries.
What special training do you or your staff have?
The Swedish Pancake Breakfast is put on totally by volunteers, some of whom have been helping with the pancake breakfast for 10 years or longer.