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While many find the Macy’s #parade to be a public gift today, it began as a marketing tool. https://t.co/2bW07qvcSi https://t.co/tn7JVTBXnk

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The wildfires that swept through #California were devastating but you can help! https://t.co/NAq7fDXtZn https://t.co/HvLdzvINfD

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Now Is The Time To Visit California Wine Country

The fires of California’s wine country left death and destruction in their wake. Now is the time to visit the wineries and assist in boosting the economy.

The devastating wildfires of California’s Wine Country left death and destruction in their wake. As reported by sfgate.com, the fires raged across Wine Country burning 182,000 acres and damaging or destroying 5,700 structures. Considered one of the deadliest wildfires in California’s history, the fires caused 40 people to lose their lives. If you’re planning a trip, Ira Riklis recommends visiting right away. Now would be the perfect time to visit Wine Country and enjoy great wine while helping the economy recover from the fires.

Local Wineries Untouched By Fires

Thanks to the vineyards surrounding the wineries, many wineries were untouched by the wildfires. The reason for this is because the vineyard rows and plentiful irrigation acted as natural firewalls, protecting the wineries from the fires. Only three wineries were destroyed in the fires and they are:

  • Paradise Ridge in Sonoma
  • Signorello Estate in Napa
  • Frey Vineyards in Mendocino

With the fires being as widespread as they were, it is remarkable that most of the wineries were spared. Although the three wineries were completely destroyed, their vineyards were spared. Paradise Ridge has an on-site sculpture garden which was also spared. This is in large part due to the fact that the sculptures are made of metal and stone.

Recovery Efforts In Wine Country

Towns that are normally active are now strangely quiet. Cities such as Calistoga and Healdsburg are usually bustling with activity during this time of year. It is normally a time when parking spaces in these cities are hard to come by. Restaurants are struggling to bring in customers and hotels are dealing with an influx of cancellations during a time of year that should be their busiest times. CNN Travel reported that normally busy wineries, such as Ledson, are feeling the economic pinch. Typically, Ledson will bring in 400 guests on a weekend at this time of year, but they’ve reported they are fortunate if they get 125 visitors. Most of the wineries that received damage have reopened and are donating a portion of their tasting fees to recovery efforts and fire victims. Wineries are helping in several different ways including:

  • Kendall-Jackson is giving $5 for every bottle of wine sold and $20 for each membership purchased
  • Benovia Winery is waiving all tasting fees and donating $50 for each visitor tasting reservation
  • Reeves Wines held a fundraising raffle that raised $220,000

Although the fires that swept through Wine Country were devastating, the many wineries are recovering well and contributing to the victims and participating in recovery efforts.

How You Can Help

Now is the perfect time to visit California’s Wine Country. Every little bit of business will help the economy which is really needed at this time. Many of the area’s restaurants and hotels are also participating in fundraisers. Chefs across Sonoma County coordinated with one another to provide meals for evacuees and first responders. Hotels offered free or discounted rooms to victims so that they had a safe place to stay. When visiting the area, you can help in the recovery effort by visiting restaurants and staying at hotels that are donating a percentage of their profits to local benefit funds. Visit the local wineries and even participate directly in the fundraising efforts so that you can help Wine Country rebuild and help the wildfire victims recover and resume their lives during a devastating time.two wines at a winery

The recovery effort is a very large undertaking. Visitors like you can help the economy of Wine Country to get back to normal. So, if you are thinking about a trip where you can enjoy great-tasting wine and be a part of a recovering economy, then make plans to visit California Wine Country.

If you ever had any interest in seeing a #hotairballoon festival, check out these spots! https://t.co/00nUxgBWRX https://t.co/XO22Oz2M2l

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Hot Air Balloon Festivals In The United States

Ira Riklis lists and describes some of the leading hot air balloon festivals that take place in the United States every year.

Hot air balloon festivals are held all over the United States and the rest of the world each year. During these events, there are a lot of fun activities; balloon-flying options for the lovers of ballooning as well as well live entertainment. Most of these events are a blend of music, arts, and other celebrations that are held in the course of the year. Others, on the other hand, are a designed display some of the most beautiful air balloons that the world has to offer.

Here Ira Riklis lists and describes some of the leading hot air balloon festivals that take place in the United States every year. Some of these events are expected back in the year 2018.

Freedom Weekend Aloft

It takes place on the weekend of late May Memorial Day at Simpsonville, in South Carolina. Throughout the entire weekend, this hot air balloon festival provides one hundred exciting competitions.

Other activities that you can enjoy if you attend this event are:

  • Amusement rides
  • Sponsor displays
  • Beautiful concerts by leading US entertainers
  • Children’s activities

Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic

This event will happen in May 2018 at Decatur, Alabama and it will show over sixty inflated hot air balloons, as it has been the custom for years. The main attractions of this festival are the Balloon Glow event that occurs at night and another kind of hot balloon flight that happens during the day. You will also be able to enjoy a tractor demonstration and tractor parade as well live music, delicious food, and the widely known Alabama Jubilee Fireworks Spectacular.

Hot Air Balloon Rally

Going down in early July at Lexington City in Virginia, this festival features tethered and piloted hot air balloon rides, children’s activities, classic car show, and lots of food. You will also be able to witness antique appraisals, and a dazzling firework exhibition as this event takes place.

Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon FestivalView From Below Hot Air Balloons

If you are planning to attend a popular summer event in Vermont this coming year, then mid-July should find you in Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa in Woodstock, Vermont for the Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival. Here, you will be able to view myriad of sunrise, morning, and twilight balloon launches alongside live entertainment and delicious food and drinks.

Great Texas Balloon Race

This is another hot air balloon festival that occurs in July every year in Longview, Texas. Sponsored by the Balloon Federation of America, this is one of the leading festivals in America and is the best-run event on the entire circuit. You will be able to enjoy entertainment from local and international bands, watch balloon preparations in an up-close view and view beautiful arts and crafts displays.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Recognized as the largest balloon event globally, this festival runs from early to mid-October, a total of nine days. It features close to 800 incredible balloons that originate from over 50 countries. It also has a number of well-known special events like the Mass Ascension, and the Dawn Patrol that includes balloon launches early in the morning.

National Balloon Classic

Happening from late July to early August in Indianola, Iowa, this is another hot air balloon event that you can plan to attend in 2018. This event has been running for over five years and attracts dedicated and highly skilled pilots as well as close to a hundred hot air balloons all over the globe. Some of the highlights of this festival include competitions and great contests, balloon rides, family entertainment and other fun activities.

Adirondack Balloon Festival

Glen Falls, Queensbury, New York is the place to be in late September 2018 for the Adirondack Balloon Festivals. This event has won several accolades as one of the leading hot air balloon events in America. It features art shows, balloon flights that last for over four days, kite flying, kids activities, as well as fireworks and military aircraft exhibition.

The other hot air balloon events you can plan to attend in 2018 while in the US are the following;

  • Southwest Iowa Hot Air Balloon Days, in mid-September at Creston, Iowa
  • Poteau Balloon Fest in October at Poteau, Oklahoma
  • Parade Spectacular in mid-November at Stamford, Connecticut
  • Gatesway Balloon Festival in early September at Claremore, Oklahoma.

Plan your 2018 calendar accordingly.

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