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Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Festival 2014

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Albuquerque, NM – The world’s largest balloon festival will take place October 4 – 12, 2014 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Over 500 balloons will be taking to the sky starting on Saturday morning at 5:45 am with Dawn Patrol and followed by the Krispy Kreme Morning Glow, opening ceremonies and Mass Ascension starting at 7 am.  There are activities going on all day and finishes in the evening with a magnificent Afterglow TM and fireworks show that will be presented by Albuquerque Journal and Comcast Spotlight.  Each day that follows is filled with activities, flying competitions, music fiesta and closing Sunday with Farewell Mass Ascension.

 

The Balloon Fiesta began in 1972 and has grown in numbers of participants from all over the world.  There are two waves in the early morning hours for the balloons to be launched.  “Zebras” are directors that officiate over the launch of the balloons and are dressed in black-and-white uniforms making sure that everyone is safe as the balloonists lift.  The cool morning temperatures that Albuquerque is known for in October help form the “box” for balloonists to gravitate to forming a vertical box.  

Zac Brown Band completes WE Fest successful weekend

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Zac Brown Band
Detroit Lakes, Minn. – WE Fest finished the weekend on a high note with Zac Brown Band performing their heart out for the fans that loved every moment.  The strength of Zac Brown with his top-notch band members showed through as they showcased strong proficiency of their instruments from the keyboard, fiddle, guitars, percussion and songwriting.

 

The diversity of their style and music performed Saturday night went from country music to an encore appearance dressed in skeleton costumes playing music from Pink Floyd’s band.  Zac Brown Band ended the evening with one of their number one hits “Chicken Fried.”  They have taken a number of country awards throughout the years beginning with top new vocal group 2009 and Grammy for best Country Album “Uncaged” 2012.

Brad Paisley - WE Fest class act Friday

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Brad Paisley
Detroit Lakes, Minn. – Total coordinated efforts brought the complete performance of Brad Paisley together to a huge crowd hitting close to 50,000 fans.  Paisley had a well-choreographed light show with video going in the background as he performed his hits.  Some videos incorporated skiing, fishing and with humor asked the fans “are there any lakes around here?” Of course with Minnesota known for being the land of 10,000 lakes the crowd loved Paisley’s humor.

 

Paisley was the headliner for Friday night at WE Fest and showed the strength of his technical command of the guitar and vocal from start to finish. His infectious smile was non-stopped showing Paisley still is having fun performing for fans that truly love his music and personality.  Paisley brought the crowd together with his friendly approach and at one point in the third song “American Saturday Night,” came to the front lower part of the stage to take a selfie with a fan.

 

Saturday lineup starting at 2:45:  Chris Hawkey, Thompson Square, Travis Tritt, Brantley Gilbert and headliner Zac Brown Band.


The Band Perry performed at WE Fest

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The Band Perry
Detroit Lakes, Minn. - Country music The Band Perry played to fans that packed the open-air grounds of WE Fest.  The band is a family group of Kimberly Perry, performing as lead vocal, guitar, piano, Neil Perry on mandolin, drums, background vocal, Reid Perry on bass guitar and background vocal. 

 

Energy abounded non-stop the entire show the moment the three appeared at the top of a built-up platform and the created atmosphere of lights and smoke started. They performed songs from their albums with number one singles “DONE,” and “Better Dig Two.”  2012 they were awarded Top Vocal Group from the Academy of Country Music Awards amongst numerous other awards and nominations throughout the years.

WE Fest packs in Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean

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Florida Georgia Line
Detroit Lakes, Minnesota - High energy impacted the stage when Florida Georgia Line duo hit the stage.  The filled WE Fest grounds were brought to their feet embracing the rhythm of Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard with songs from their album “Here’s to the Good Times."  Florida Georgia Line was recognized at CMT Music Awards and won Duo Video of the Year for “Round Here.”

 

Jason Aldean was the headliner for Thursday evening with a pyrotechnics entrance with flames shooting high on the back portion of the stage.  Aldean ‘Burnin’ It Down” new first single from an upcoming album was sung as the crowd embraced every moment that Aldean was on the stage.  ‘Burnin’ It Down” was produced by Michael Knox,  Aldean’s producer Michael Knox and written by Chris Tompkins, Rodney Clawson and Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard.  Aldean received ACM Awards ‘Male Vocalist of the Year’ 2014.

 

Friday’s lineup:  Maiden Dixie, Chris Janson, Randy Houser, The Band Perry and Brad Paisley – all on the main stage.  Chris Janson at 12:30 am at the Barn Stage.

 

WE Fest Country Fest

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Detroit Lakes, Minnesota - Over 45,000 fans are expected to take over the grounds of one of the largest Country Western music festivals.  An Early Bird party Tuesday evening at the Saloon stage was packed by fans to hear “Silverado, Redline and Maiden Dixie.” 

 

As the final campgrounds were being filled by campers from all over the country the Kick-Off party gave the fans a chance to relax and take in performances by “Maiden Dixie, Sundy Best and Blackjack Billy.”

 

The main stage area was getting the final touches for the big influx of fans for the next three days.  Headliners Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley and Zac Brown Band amongst a great lineup each three days will be performing.

The Shadows Tribute to 50's & 60's

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The Shadows
Detroit Lakes, MN - Dick Dunkirk, an original member revived The Shadows Band for a reunion in 2005 when elected to the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame.  The Shadows with Bobby Vee filled in at the Moorhead Armory for Buddy Holly when his plane crashed with Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper Feb. 3, 1959.  The Shadows Band and Bobby Vee afterwards had multiple million seller hits in the 60's with "Take Good Care of My Baby" by Carole King and "Rubber Ball" by Gene Pitney amongst others.

Bob Korum the original drummer of The Shadows Band joined Dick Dunkirk on stage at the Historic Homes Theatre Saturday evening for a reunion with a couple of songs.  Dick Dunkirk has incorporated symphony strings with the original hits.  The tribute to the 50’s and 60’s included Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, Gene Pitney, Bobby Vee, Dean Martin, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper.  The band does 50-60 concerts a year throughout the Midwest.

Moondance 23 Jam Rocked

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REO Speedwagon
Walker, Minnesota - All factors came together for a perfect weekend at Moondance Jam with a full lineup and over twenty-six thousand jammers plus a large influx of campers on the grounds.  Walker, Minnesota has become a destination for rocking fans that already started making plans for 2015 at local lodging area before checking out.  Moondance Jam has kept the open area to allow lawn chairs for those that want to sit back and enjoy the music as well as allowing fans to walk up to the stage area and embrace the music.  Tribute to Bill Bieloh and a Tribute to the Troops has become a tradition of the Moondance Jam weekend.  Bill Bieloh was a founder of the Moondance Jam along with his wife Kathy.  Kathy has continued the strength and growth of Moondance Jam going forward after Bill passed.

 

Rock legends performed on the main stage with regional bands at the Saloon Stage, Tiki Bar Stage and Lazy Moon Acoustic Stage accounting for nearly fifty bands.  The teamwork and experienced personnel made the weekend go off seamlessly. 

Wings of Freedom Tour Arrives in Fargo

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Fargo, ND - Thursday arrival at the Fargo Air Museum was a step back in the history of WWII for all to see.  The B-17 “Flying Fortress,” B-24 “Liberator” bomber and the P-51 “Mustang” fighter made a powerful entrance into Fargo as they landed for the 4th of July weekend for the public to view and even capture a chance to ride. 

 

Jim Harley and Don Winden were in the cockpit of the B-24 Liberator as the plane arrived at the airport.  Both Harley and Winden had family members that served in WWII with Winden’s father and uncle who even had a history with the B-24 Liberator. 

 

There were 18,000 B-24 Liberators built between 1941-1945 with this one that flew into the Fargo Air Museum being the only one that still is flying.  The use of the Davis wing gave the pilots at that time a way to fly faster as they flew through all different theatres such as the Pacific, Italy and Africa with a crew of 10.  The Collins Foundation that sponsors these tours is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to living history events.  If anyone has ever wondered what a flight could be like this would be the time to go to the Fargo Air Museum and purchase a chance to fly; flights are $450 and the P-51 is available for more.

World Cup: USA dream shattered by Belgium

(CNN) by Chris Murphy-- No guts no glory, or so the saying goes. But perhaps the vanquished United States soccer team can rest in the knowledge that if the World Cup was decided on guts, it would surely be lifting the trophy in Brazil.

 

For 120 minutes of Tuesday's ultimately unsuccessful last-16 clash with Belgium, each one of Jurgen Klinsmann's men left everything on the field in Salvador. From the second the Americans went 2-0 down in extra time thanks to goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, the rearguard started. Substitute Julian Green's goal offered the nation a lifeline and energized its fatigued players with a quarter of an hour to play. And you could almost hear the sigh of despair from New York to Nevada as late chances for Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey were agonizingly spurned.

 

The final whistle signaled tumult at either end of the emotional spectrum as Belgium advanced to a quarterfinal with Argentina on Saturday and the U.S. departed.Beaten, yes, but not bowed. "It's hard for us to end up on the losing side after 120 minutes of giving absolutely everything," Klinsmann told reporters. "But this game had everything, it was a thriller. We had chances to equalize, but congratulations to Belgium. "I'm proud of the players not just for what they've done tonight, but what they've done throughout the tournament. They've made the country proud." With every passing minute of its participation in the World Cup, the United States had drawn soccer a little closer to its heart. And though its harrowing exit will cut deep, if ever there was a football match to ignite one nation's passion for the beautiful game this was it.






 
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WE Fest - Country Music Festival 2014

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Detroit Lakes, MN – WE Fest is one of the oldest and largest country western music festivals in the country.  Fan base continues to grow with over 30 years of country music festival history at WE Fest.  The expected crowd of over 49,000 will start filling the groomed campgrounds August 5th.  Early bird arrivers to the campground will start with an early bird camping party followed by a kick off party August 6th at the barn stage. 

 

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Moondance jammin Country Fest weekend

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Justin Moore
Walker, MN – A temperamental weather pattern gave way to a large double rainbow over the main arena as Moondance jammin Country Fest was in full swing with a packed arena of fans.  Friday went off like clockwork with the well-defined organization that Moondance has been noted for.  Entertainers began with Dallas Smith, Jon Pardi, Rodney Atkins and Justin Moore.  Saturday will be filled with performances by Lost Highway, Sarah Darling, Joe Nichols and Hunter Hayes.


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Obama in New York Fundraising

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New York – President Obama landed in New York on Air Force One and was immediately greeted by a small group of people before boarding Marine One to attend two fundraisers.  Along the route Obama made a brief stop at a Gap store to shop for his wife, Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha.  Gap Inc. is a business that responded to Obama’s request at the State of the Union address to increase wages.

 

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15th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration

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New York -
Passion and excitement filled the press conference room at the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan for the upcoming Friday night 15th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration.  Rev. Jesse Jackson gave the opening prayer of thanks to the players and talked about that there will be no losers with players that give of their talents.  St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will be the recipient of the proceeds.

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Westminster “Best In Show” Wire Fox Terrier

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New York – Sky, a five-year-old Wire Fox Terrier took the “Best in Show” award at 138th Westminster Kennel Club dog show competition. Betty Regina Leininger the Best in Show judge of Frisco, Texas had the difficult position of making the decision of choosing the final winner.  Seven dogs made the finals after two days of very high competition from a field of 2,845 and 190 different breed varieties.  

 


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Times Square Rings in 2014 with Miley Cyrus

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New York - Times Square may have had freezing temperatures but that didn’t stop over a million people from ringing in the New Year.  Miley Cyrus helped to ring in 2014 with a gold-sequined two-piece and a full-length white fur coat.  Midnight countdown was lead by Justice Sonia Sotomayor as the 2,688 pieces in a triangle shape Waterford Crystal ball dropped.  Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin hosted the evening for the seventh year in a row.


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