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Governor Dannel Malloy confirmed to be Grand Marshal in the UBS Parade Spectacular in Stamford Downtown

STAMFORD CT, November 18, 2014 – The UBS Parade Spectacular presented by Stamford Town Center and The Advocate/Hearst Media will feature Dannel Malloy, Governor of Connecticut as this years’ Grand Marshal.

The UBS Parade Spectacular presented by Stamford Town Center and The Advocate/Hearst Media will step-off on Sunday, November 23 at 12 Noon on Summer Street at Hoyt Street, continues on Broad onto Atlantic and concludes at Federal Street. Hosted by Stamford Downtown Special Services District and featuring 16 giant helium balloons, the annual parade is one of the largest of its kind in the country.

2014 SEMA show

Las Vegas - Las Vegas Convention Center hosted over 60,000 industry leaders from more than100 countries.  SEMA Show is the largest premier automotive specialty trade show in the world.  Showcased at the automotive show were nearly 2,000 products of new parts, tools and components as well as hundreds of vehicles.


The SEMA show named Rich Barsamin 2014 SEMA Person of the Year, KAM Marketing was named SEMA Rep Agency of the Year, and Motor State Distributing was named WD of the Year. In addition, the 2014 SEMA Hall of Fame inductees—Nile Cornelison, Jim Cozzie, John Menzler and Fred C. Offenhauser—were honored for their contributions to the industry.


Innovative cars were on display with custom colors ranged from the Ford GT to Lamborghini Aventador with Forgiato Wheels.  Mazda showed off their club racer that was a take off of the Miata Sports car.  Catching viewers by surprise was the Toyota Ultimate Sleeper that was hidden inside the body of a typical looking Camry.  November 3-6, 2015 is set for next year’s show in Las Vegas.

Vikings 29 – Redskins 26 at TCF Bank Stadium

Vikings - Asiata touchdown
Minneapolis, MN – The Vikings sealed the game in the last quarter with a 2-point conversion by running back Matt Asiata.  Asiata had three touchdowns during today’s game against the Washington Redskins.  Rookie quarterback for the Vikings Teddy Bridgewater passed for 268 yards with 42 attempts and 26 completed. 


The Washington Redskins started off the first quarter with Kai Forbath capturing 3 points with a 36-yard field goal.  Second quarter the Redskins gained another 7 points and the Vikings landed on the scoreboard with Asiata’s first of three touchdowns of the game.  Third quarter Vikings gained another touchdown for a total of another 7 points and the Redskins gained 10 more points; fourth quarter capsulated with 6 for the Redskins and Vikings coming in at full force with 15 to finish the win at 29 and Redskins 26.  The 2-point conversion that gave the final lead that the Vikings held on to for came the last 3:27 minutes of the game.


Vikings coach Mike Zimmer of the Vikings at the news conference after the game said “I felt like the team grew up in a lot of ways…we went down 10 to nothing but we kept fighting.”  Proof of the strong resilience showed with three touchdowns occurring during the second half.    

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta – Spirit of the Winds

Ken Walter competition flight - Kay's Wind Dancer II
Albuquerque, NM – Over 800,000 spectators filled the grounds during the week of the International Balloon Fiesta to watch 550 balloons lift toward the sky.  Albuquerque, New Mexico has been the destination for the World International Balloon Fiesta since 1972 with representation of over 22 countries at launch for 2014.  Each day was packed with activities including an impressive mass ascension each morning.  This was an amazing and colorful display of balloons as all lifted off when their assigned wave was directed for liftoff by coordinators dressed in black and white outfits designed to resemble ‘zebras.’  A couple of mornings were too strong but the green flag was waving to allow static display of the balloons creating a colorful field.


America’s Challenge Gas Balloons landed safely with the Spanish Team becoming the unofficial winner.  The team landed south-southwest of Lebanon, Kentucky.  The unofficial second place winner was the Poland team with landing at Perryville, MO with traveling 941 miles and 46 hours aloft.  The America’s Challenge was delayed because of winds for lifting off from Saturday evening and final launch taking place early Tuesday morning.

FAI Ballooning International Hall of Fame

Tom Rutherford, Jacques Soukup
Albuquerque, NM - Jan Balkedal of Sweden was the recipient of the FAI Ballooning Commission International Hall of Fame in Albuquerque, New Mexico during the International Balloon Fiesta.  Balkedal has been involved for over thirty years with the Swedish Balloon Federation and has competed in 19 of the 20 World Hot Air Balloon Championships.  Among his list of professions include a professional film producer with award-winning film in 1984 “Balloon Ballet.”


Jacques Soukup was Master of Ceremonies and accepted on behalf of Umberto Nobile induction to the Hall of Fame Honor.  Nobile of Italy was born January 21, 1885 and died July 30, 1978 in Rome, Italy.  Nobile was notably known for his airship development and helped design the airship “O” in 1916 for marine exploration.  Nobile helped to develop a new style of parachute and helped to design a prototype for a helicopter.


Jacques Soukup presented Tom Rutherford a plaque for gratitude as a co-founder of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.  Rutherford flew the first balloon at the fiesta in 1972 that began the start of the World’s Premier Balloon Event in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

ESPN’s “College GameDay”

ESPN's "College GameDay"
Fargo, ND – The second year in a row Fargo, ND hosted ESPN’s “College GameDay.”  North Dakota State University Bison Fans packed the downtown Fargo area with nearly 9,000; twice as many that turned out last year.  Last year was the first time that ESPN hosted “College GameDay” in Fargo.  The Fargo Theatre was the backdrop for the filming of GameDay.  The Bison entered the home opener with 27 consecutive wins and now added another win continuing to add to their FCS record-breaking win streak.


ESPN hosts each Saturday morning during football season with Chris Fowler, Samantha Ponder, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreith, Desmond Howard and David Pollack.  North Dakota State University took victory over Incarnate Word in NCAA Division I FCS football with a score 58-0.  The Gate City Bank Field was a completely sold out with over 19,000 fans.

Hairball Band at Knickerbocker Liquor Locker

Hickson, ND – The night may have turned cold for the evening but that didn’t prevent over 2,500 people to come out and enjoy the tribute band Hairball.  Hairball is a band from Minneapolis, Minnesota that performs acts from the 1970’s and ‘80’s:  KISS, Prince, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Poison, Bon Jovi, AC/DC, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper and more.  Hairball has been performing for 14 years across the country.  Pyrotechnics are brought into the mix with technicians that create a mix with smoke, fire, lights that captures the attention of the fans throughout the performance.

Zac Brown Band completes WE Fest successful weekend

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

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

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 - Country Music Festival 2014

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. 


Moondance jammin Country Fest weekend

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.

Obama in New York Fundraising

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.


15th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration

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.

Times Square Rings in 2014 with Miley Cyrus

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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