If you are a fan of extreme sports – Warrior Dash is definitely the event for you! Warrior Dash races are held all over North America, with most of the events in the United States. Pennie Tour traveled to Mountain City, Georgia for a peek at the 2011 Warrior Dash.
Hosted by Red Frog events, Warriors conquer extreme obstacles, push their limits and celebrate with live music, beer and warrior helmets!
Warrior Dash is a 6K run that involves climbing, sliding, crawling through mud under barbed wire and leaping through flames just to name a few! Needless to say, it is not for the faint of heart!
Participants have to register in advance for the specific location where they will compete. Runners get Warrior Dash gear and a medal for completing the race. A small electronic devise is worn on each runner’s foot to keep track of the time to complete the race. The race is run in waves, with new waves starting every half hour in order to eliminate crowding on the courses.
The Mountain City, Georgia race was held over a weekend and offered runners two different days to race. Anyone who is 14 years old or older at the date of the race is allowed to participate.
The best part of Warrior Dash was the people! Most participants dress up, some come in groups, many have themes and everyone is prepared to unleash their inner warrior! Any costume is acceptable according to the rule that no costume can “harm other participants”. Pennie Tour encounterd Fred Flinstone, Smurfs, Brides, Cougars and even the Incredible Hulk!
Touted as “The Craziest Frickin’ Day of Your Life” Warrior Dash is definitely a race like no other. The event itself states that Warrior Dash is not most races. Warrior Dash does what Warrior Dash wants to do.
FAIRBURN, GEORGIA – The Pennie Tour visited The Georgia Renaissance Festival during pirate weekend on May 22nd, 2011. The Georgia Renaissance Festival recreates a fun and inviting 16th century European faire. The Fairburn, Georgia location offers 10 stages of music and comedy shows, a cast of nearly 1,000 costumed characters, all against a permanent backdrop of Tudor homes and cottages.
Come early to take in all that the faire has to offer. Shopping at the artists market is like being in a real European faire. Our favorites include Heirloom Jewelers and the many bath and candle shops. Over 150 master artisans demonstrate daily the art of weaving, spinning, glass blowing, sculpting, and leather crafting just to name a few.
Shopping of course, works up an appetite. Of course there are turkey legs, but the food at the Renaissance Festival is not your ordinary faire food. One can indulge on Steak on a Stake, Pork Loin on a Stick, The King;s Weinie, and our favorite – fryed pickles. Followed by fabulous desserts such as chocolate covered strawberries, apple dumpling Sunday, or peach cobbler for those Georgia Peach lovers. The Festival offers hundreds of items to choose from!
Staying hydrated is very important when exploring the European village. Mead, ale, domestic and imported beer and wine seemed to be the adult drinks of choice, with many sporting their own souvenier half-yards and mugs.
The highlight of the faire was The Joust – where knights in shining armour, guide their steeds and joust with authentic weapons. This event gets the crowds cheering and waving colorful pennants all rooting for their favorite knight! Other shows include the unconventional Hey Nunnie! Nunnie!, The Mud Show, the hilarious Tortuga Twins (offering G and Mature Adults Only show versions – choose wisely), The Ded Bob Sho and many others to enjoy!
The Renaissance festival offers many different themed weekends. Pennie Tour enjoyed Pirate’s Weekend……what do you a call a group of Pirates? A parcel of pirates? A pack of pirates? A crew of pirates? Whatever the case, Pennie Tour enjoyed Pirates, shows, food, shopping, sipping, playtrons, pub sing – we had so much fun experiencing all the many aspects that the Georgia Renaissance Festival had to offer!
NEW ORLEANS, LA – December 2010 – New Orleans is well known for its annual festivals, such as Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras…..but Pennie Tour visited to experience a
French creole Christmas! Famous for jazz, beignets from Café du mond , Bourban
Street, Superbowl winners New Orleans Saints, and the city’s distinct above ground tombs and voodoo – but who knew this city could be so much fun over the holidays????
Pennie Tour partied in the French Quarter where party goers had fun until the wee
holiday hours! The subtropical weather made the North Pole seem very far away. Mrs. Claus will need to pack a miniskirt for her next holiday visit to New Orleans!
Famous for its cuisine, Pennie Tour wanted to find out the best Creole food New Orleans had to offer. Turtle Soup anyone? Pennie Tour also was on a quest to find the best Bloody Mary’s in the crescent city. What better complement to Creole food than a zesty Bloody Mary!!
What will you see on Bourban Street? A parade – of course. Parades are almost a daily ritual. Pub crawls – you bet! Krewe of Kringle is one of the many pub crawls during the holidays! As always, Pennie Tour loved the talented street performers and locals full of information about their beloved city.
New Orleans is known for its unique musical culture such as zydeco, Cajun and delta
blues but have you heard of a jazz funeral? A spin on the tradition of military brass band funerals, traditional New Orleans funerals feature sad music on the way to the cemetery and happier jazz music on the way back. Sunday brunch at The Commander’s palace in the garden district, is the perfect place to experience the second line dance, as well as an exquisite assortment of local creole food and of course – one of the best bloody mary’s in town!
New Orleans – a great holiday adventure!
HELEN, GEORGIA – Pennie Tour visited the North Georgia town of Helen to partake in Oktoberfest 2010. Not sure what we liked better – the Ompah music or the Bavarian beer! Since 1970, Georgia’s tranquil little town of Helen transforms into the ultimate North Georgia party town! Helen’s Oktoberfest offers Bavarian food, chicken dancing, Polka dancers in native costume, and German beer.
Helen became a tourist attraction after the town changed its appearance to make the store fronts look like a Bavarian Alps village. Helen copied Munich, Germany and started celebrating Oktoberfest to draw in even more tourists. Nestled along the Chattahoochee River, Helen receives many tourists in the summer months that take advantage of the river tubing, hiking and other outdoor activities offered. When fall arrives, even more people invade this Bavarian town to view the changing leaves and to involve themselves in Oktoberfest!
Helen’s Oktoberfest begins on the second Thursday of September and runs through the first Sunday of November. A parade on the first Saturday of the festival kicks off the celebration. Pennie Tour took in the Bavarian influence of the partygoers and even experienced Helen’s famous dancing man who is a staple of Oktoberfest at Café International.
Although the entire town participates in the Oktoberfest, Oompah-central is the Festhalle, where the bands play throughout the day. Can hang out in the Festhalle all day – you can purchase your cold beer (Leinenkugel is made in Milwaukee) and hot off the grill German-style wursts (sausages), listen to the band and dance! The most popular dance in Helen during Oktoberfest is the Chicken Dance. The “Chicken Dance” is a Swiss oompah song from the 1950s that has become a traditional dance of Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest lasts into the wee hours of the night. This year’s newest attraction was King Ludwig’s Bier Garden, which opened in September, where there was dancing and even more German beer! Festival attendees are not allowed to walk through the town of Helen with alcoholic drinks (to the dismay of many), so the Bier Garden proved to be the choice of many because of its open-air venue, music and outside dance floor.
Visit Helen, Georgia the next time you are in the mood for bratwurst, or even Weiner schnitzel. A visit during Oktoberfest will make you feel as if you were in Munich! Hotels fill up fast – so it is important to book a hotel early. DANKE SCHÖN!
STONE MOUNTAIN, GEORGIA – The Pennie Tour’s latest episode is now available online. In this latest episode, The Pennie Tour visited the Miller Lite Atlanta Chili Cook-Off. Stone Mountain, Georgia hosted this year’s 31st annual Great Miller Lite Chili Cook-Off on September 25, 2010. The inaugural event started in 1979 as a way to bring people together to enjoy the South’s best chili recipes. This fun event has grown and has something for everyone – great music, food and games for the whole family! This year’s event drew over 300 teams competing and over 14,000 attendees enjoying chili! 100% of all proceeds help support Camp Twin Lakes.
Featured bands included Jumping Jack Flash, The Alabama Blues Brothers, Slow Hand and Iron Mullet. Awards were given to Best Chili, Best Brunswick Stew, Best Corn Bread, People’s Choice, and Best Showmanship. Please check out the web for the Atlanta Chili CookOff for a full list of winners.
Pirates, Chili, and Beer – Oh My! Lots of well constructed sets and role-playing by the competitors. We were told that those competing usually arrive the day before the event. Some camp out, build their creative sets, start their recipes early and enjoy themselves during the Saturday event. Some competitors even start their planning processes a whole year in advance!
This year’s host was radio personality Southside Steve, who is part of the popular radio show The Regular Guys on Atlanta’s Rock Station, Rock 100.5. Sensitive Southside Steve was more than happy to share withPennie Tour his favorite ingredients for chili and his softer side to entice the ladies. Yeah, C’mon!
Pennie Tour looks forward to next year’s newest chili recipes at the 2011 Great Miller Lite Chili Cook-Off!
Pennie Tour visited the coastal community of Destin, Florida over Labor Day, 2010. Destin is part of Florida’s Emerald Coast and is a world-class beach and fishing resort community that has been hit hard by the current oil spill. Even though Pennie Tour saw no sign of oil or tar balls, everyone seemed to be concerned about the effects and repercussions of this unfortunate disaster.
The pristine white sands of Florida were scattered with some seaweed and washed up sea creatures. We talked to a lot of people on the beach and most everyone wanted to talk about BP, the current oil spill and these things that were washed up on the beach! The washed up sea creatures were not everywhere, only washing ashore in certain areas. There was also no trace of oil – but everyone was guessing – is this happening because of the oil spill? We tracked down local lifeguards and even though they could not talk to us on camera, they did inform us that these creatures were Sea Hares – many different species that often can produce purple or reddish ink . Local sources went on to say that the occurrence of these creatures washing up on the beach was a common event that happened every year in different locations and that this was NOT oil related as a lot of people suspected.
Destin, Florida is a great vacation spot that offers great accommodations, events and activities, restaurants, attractions, shopping, deep sea fishing charter boats, golf courses, and water sports along Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Another great festival in Asheville, North Carolina! Bele Chere is the largest free street festival in the Southeast. This three day event takes place in beautiful Western North Carolina. An annual event, Bele Chere sends the streets of downtown Asheville into a unique eclectic street party.
The hot July heat did not keep folks away. The event drew more than 350,000 attendees. Festival goers experienced the arts, culture, entertainment, and food. The purchase of a $2 armband allowed those 21 and older to buy drinks such as beer and wine from beverage stations (Friday and Saturday) and to roam the designated streets.
Asheville is home to many different breweries and many enjoyed the local beer from Asheville Brewing Company, French Broad Brewing Company, Highland Brewing Company, Green Man Brewing Company and Pisgah Brewing Company.
The many artists and street performers make this street festival fun and unique!
Committed to music, Bele Chere offers a variety of local, regional, and national performers covering all genres – all for FREE! Performances this year were not as big as in years past. Featured past performers have included Train, Gin Blossoms, The Wailers, Travis Tritt, Cowboy Mouth and Edwin McCain. The economy dictated venues, but the event was still free and the musicians that did perform did a fantastic job with the crowds. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Toubab Krewe, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Southern Culture on the Skids were just a few of the performers on stage during the 32nd annual Bele Chere – and they rocked the streets!
Bele Chere is fun for the whole family. Many dance lessons were offered such as Swing and Zydeco and the popular Community Drum Circle is always a fun and unique experience. The Children’s Area even offered pilates and storytelling!
The term Bele Chere is believed to have come from an ancient Scottish slang meaning “beautiful living”. It appeared that everyone in attendance was indeed celebrating the beauty of Bele Chere.