Friday, September 26, 2008

AirTran Airways Honors Legendary Georgia Radio Announcer Larry Munson for 43 Great Seasons with New Sale Fares

PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AAI) , today honored legendary Georgia sports announcer Larry Munson by launching a sale for travel between Atlanta and 43 of the airline's other destinations. In recognition of Munson's upcoming birthday at age 86 and after having announced his retirement earlier this week after 43 seasons of calling football at Georgia, AirTran Airways offers fares to 43 cities for only $86* one-way. Travelers may purchase these sale fares at or via AirTran Airways' reservations system at 1-800-AIR-TRAN. For Spanish, call 1-877-581-9842.

The special fares are available for purchase through September 27, 2008, and are good for travel through November 19, 2008. Fares are valid for travel on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Like all AirTran Airways fares, prices included in this sale are available for one-way travel and do not require a roundtrip purchase or an overnight stay.

Following is a sample of the one-way sale fares. All fares require a 10-day advance purchase and are valid in either direction:

Sample Fares:

Atlanta - Akron/Canton $86
Atlanta - Baltimore/Washington (BWI) $86
Atlanta - Boston $86
Atlanta - Buffalo/Niagara $86
Atlanta - Charleston $86
Atlanta - Charlotte $86
Atlanta - Chicago (Midway) $86
Atlanta - Dallas/Ft. Worth $86
Atlanta - Dayton $86
Atlanta - Ft. Lauderdale $86
Atlanta - Ft. Myers $86
Atlanta - Houston (Hobby) $86
Atlanta - Jacksonville $86
Atlanta - Kansas City $86
Atlanta - Memphis $86
Atlanta - Miami $86
Atlanta - Milwaukee $86
Atlanta - Minneapolis/St. Paul $86
Atlanta - Newport News $86
Atlanta - New Orleans $86
Atlanta - New York (LaGuardia) $86
Atlanta - Orlando $86
Atlanta - Philadelphia $86
Atlanta - Raleigh/Durham $86
Atlanta - San Antonio $86
Atlanta - St. Louis $86
Atlanta - Tampa $86
Atlanta - Washington DC
(Dulles or Reagan National) $86
Atlanta - West Palm Beach $86
Atlanta - White Plains (Westchester) $86

AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AAI) , a Fortune 1000 company, is ranked number one in the 2008 Airline Quality Rating study. The airline offers coast-to-coast flights, North America's newest all-Boeing fleet, friendly service and Business Class and complimentary XM Satellite Radio on every flight. To book a flight, visit

*All fares are one-way. All fares are non-refundable and a $75 fee per person applies to any change made after purchase, plus any applicable increase in airfare. One bag per person may be checked free of charge, and a 2nd bag may be checked for a fee of up to $25 per person. Reservations may be obtained or changed through an AirTran Airways Telephone Reservations Center for an additional $15 per person. Ten-day advance purchase required. Sale fares are valid for travel on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. Tickets must be purchased by September 27, 2008. Sale fares are valid for travel through November 19, 2008. Service to/from Savannah/Hilton Head ends October 27, 2008. Fares, routes, and schedules are subject to change without notice. Fares do not include per-segment tax of $3.50. A segment is defined as one takeoff and one landing. The September 11th security fee of up to $10 is not included. Airport Passenger Facility Charges of up to $18 are not included. Fares to/from Puerto Rico do not include additional government taxes of up to $30.80.

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Stone Mountain Park Explodes With Color at the 6th Annual Pumpkin Festival

Dates: Weekends October 3-26; Fridays & Sundays 10a.m. – 6p.m.
Saturdays 10a.m. – 7p.m.

Location: Crossroads at the base of Stone Mountain

Price: $25 plus tax for Adults; $20 plus tax for ages 3-11; $8 vehicle entry fee

Fall into cooler weather and colorful foliage at Stone Mountain Park’s 6th Annual Pumpkin Festival weekends in October. Families are invited to experience exciting entertainment and activities while soaking in the vast display of fall d├ęcor complete with nearly 4000 pumpkins which can be purchased in the Pumpkin Party Patch, 500 stalks of corn, 500 hay bales and 35 fairy tale themed scarecrows.

The Pumpkin Festival brings science to life with the all new Sci Guys Science Show. This twenty-five minute show is filled with dazzling experiments that demonstrate the Earth’s elements. Entertainment also includes Backyard Circus where kids are the stars by dressing up as lions, clowns and other colorful characters. Additionally, adventures told at Storytime and Tunes for Tots will dazzle younger kids. Other activities include feeding your sweet tooth in the pie eating contest, navigating your way through Jack Squash’s A-MAZE-ING Adventure, participating in the new Pumpkin Parade complete with life-size puppets and trick-or-treating using your own custom-designed bag. Saturdays only, kids get to participate in the costume contest by wearing their own costume or creating one at the park. Furthermore, kids can show their creativity by decorating pumpkins and gourds and by participating in many other arts and crafts in the Pumpkin Party Patch.

“Autumn is a beautiful time of year in Georgia, and the Pumpkin Festival truly captures that,” said Jeanine Battle, special events manager for Stone Mountain Park. “We offer a multitude of activities for families to explore while enjoying the cooler weather in the great outdoors.”

In addition to the festival, families can experience the all new Sky Hike, the nation’s largest adventure course in the tree tops.

Admission to the Pumpkin Festival is included in the one-day Adventure Pass which is $25 plus tax for adults and $20 plus tax for kids ages 3-11. For best ticket prices visit any Atlanta Kroger store.

Listed in Frommer’s 500 Places to Visit with Your Kids Before They Grow Up and cited by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as one of “35 Natural Wonders in Georgia You Must See Before You Die,” Stone Mountain Park is located just 16 miles east of downtown Atlanta. To get to the park, take I-285 to exit 39B, Highway 78 East. Stone Mountain Park is Exit 8 on Hwy. 78. More information on the 6th Annual Pumpkin Festival plus Stone Mountain Park attractions and hours of operation are available at 770-498-5690 or by visiting

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Asheville Fall Foliage Forecast: When is Peak Color in the NC Mountains?

PRNewswire/ --, a popular online travel guide to the Asheville area, has released its annual Fall Foliage Forecast. When is the peak color? The good news is that no matter when you visit in October or early November, you can take a short drive from Asheville to find the best color. The leaf color change begins soon on the highest peaks and gradually works down to the lowest elevations.

Here are the times and places to go:

October 3-12: Highest elevations north of Asheville above 5,000 feet show the most color, like Mount Mitchell and Grandfather Mountain.

October 10-20: Color is best in elevations 4,000-5,000', including Mount Pisgah, Black Balsam Knob, and Graveyard Fields.

October 15-25: Head to the 3,000-4,000' elevation range like Looking Glass Rock and Linville Gorge.

October 20-November 1: The city of Asheville (2,200') shows the brightest colors, along with Hendersonville and Brevard. See the waterfalls in Dupont State Forest or visit the North Carolina Arboretum.

October 24-November 5: The color show concludes in the foothills (1,000-2,000'). Visit Chimney Rock Park and Lake Lure.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

PEANUTS™ the Great Pumpkin Patch Express, Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

PEANUTS™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express returns to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad for 2008. As the leaves are changing in October and pumpkins are ready to be carved, Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Snoopy make a visit to the GSMR Pumpkin Patch beginning October 10, 2008. The excursions, which are themed after Charles M. Schulz’s classic story “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” will be departing from the Bryson City Depot October 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25 & 26. Friday departure time will be at 3:00pm. On Saturdays and Sundays departure will be at 1:00pm and 5:00pm.

Guests will hear a narration of Schulz’s “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” as the train travels to the Pumpkin Patch. Upon arrival, passengers will be greeted and have a photo opportunity with Charlie Brown, Lucy and Snoopy. Activities to enjoy at The Great Pumpkin Patch include: campfire marshmallows, a coloring station, temporary tattoos, trick or treating, petting zoo and a bouncy train. The children can also navigate through a giant hay bale maze. Other activities include: hay rides, bobbing for apples, apple cider or apple juice, and treats. There will be plenty of PEANUTS™ merchandise at the Bryson City Depot! Each child will also select their own small pumpkin from The Great Pumpkin Patch to take home.

Smoky Mountain Trains Museum admission is included with all train excursion tickets. Without train excursion, admission is $9.00 for adults and $5.00 for children.

For more information and reservations please call 800-872-4681 or visit us online at
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6th Annual Southeastern Cowboy Festival & Symposium Celebrates Western Heritage

T2F Note: Saddle up those horses, and head on up the road to Cartersville for this fun festival beginning October 23. It's just another reason to explore Georgia with the Fayette Front Page Day Trippers.

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Celebrate Western Heritage during the 6th Annual Southeastern Cowboy Festival & Symposium at the Booth Western Art Museum. Visitors will enjoy a Western art symposium, art exhibitions, live entertainment, re-enactments, and more.

The weekend kicks off on Thursday, October 23, beginning at 5:00 p.m. with an opening reception for new art exhibitions: "Dust and Pearls: Showing Attitude in Cowboys and Cowgirls" showcasing the work of featured artist David DeVary, "Drawing on a Legacy: Recent Works by Cherokee Artist Tony Weldon," and "Weaving a Trail Back Home: Cherokee Basketry Traditions." DeVary and Weldon will meet guests, and at 7:00 p.m. DeVary will present a special lecture followed by a signing of the official event poster and his book, "Dust and Pearls."

For Western art enthusiasts, Friday, October 24, features a Western art symposium led by top Western art scholars. This year's topics range from the Taos and Santa Fe art colonies to cutting-edge contemporary Western imagery. The symposium begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Booth Museum Theatre.

Visitors will have the opportunity to attend three concerts during the weekend. Featured entertainers Wylie and the Wild West will perform at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 25 at the historic Grand Theatre in downtown Cartersville. Wylie Gustafson, known as the original, world-famous Yahoo yodeler, leads Wylie and the Wild West. On Friday evening, October 24, Kip Calahan, Doc Stovall and the Tumbleweed Cowboy Band, and Tom Kerlin will present a show featuring music and poetry.

On Saturday and Sunday, guests will experience the West. Re-enactors will recreate the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and the Big Mountain Family will demonstrate Indian dances. Guests can shop for Western art and collectibles and enjoy continuous entertainment on two stages including cowboy music and poetry, fast draw competitions, and more. History will come alive in Campfires and Canteens featuring Civil War and pioneer encampments and in the East Meets West Indian Village. Sunday activities will include a traditional cowboy church service.

Booth Western Art Museum

The Booth Western Art Museum is an 80,000 square foot museum where guests are invited to explore the American West through contemporary Western artwork. The Museum also houses a Presidential Gallery, Civil War art gallery, and Sagebrush Ranch. To learn more, visit

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Air Taxi Association Companies Unite to Support DayJet Customers and Communities

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Air Taxi Association (ATXA) companies announced full support to DayJet customers and communities following DayJet’s discontinuation of passenger operations. SATSair, ImagineAir, and North American Jet provide on-demand air transportation to all 60 of the affected communities. The carriers feature a combined fleet of over 30 Cirrus SR-22 and Eclipse 500 aircraft and work alongside a number of additional Air Taxi Association companies across the United States.

“DayJet shined a bright light upon the emerging next-generation air taxi industry and it is our duty to help affected passengers and communities,” stated Joe Leader, President of the Air Taxi Association. “Immediately after DayJet’s air operations stopped, our air taxi carriers in the region stepped forward to help. SATSair, ImagineAir, and North American Jet already serve these communities and have committed to increase service to meet passenger needs.”

Affected passengers will be able to contact the air taxi carriers in the region for support, ticket price matches and/or air taxi flight discounts, and on-demand flight service available from all 60 communities that DayJet served.

For immediate flight requests and support, passengers requiring Cirrus SR-22 service for up to three travelers should contact SATSair ( at (800) 639-6192 or ImagineAir ( at (678) 226-2329. For Eclipse 500 jet service for up to three passengers, travelers should contact North American Jet ( at (877) 536-2376.

Communities, businesses, and customers needing air taxi service added to their area should contact the Air Taxi Association at (770) 855-7177. Special discount and support will be provided by ATXA member companies that have volunteered to provide special service to these affected communities, businesses, and customers.

The Air Taxi Association (ATXA) is an alliance of next-generation air taxi providers that offer direct, on-demand flight service at greatly reduced prices. All Air Taxi Association member companies and their websites are listed at

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fall Fun In Valley Forge

T2F Note: This sounds like a fun trip and a great opportunity to learn something about the history of Valley Forge and the American Revolution. It's a little far to qualify for the Fayette Front Page Day Trippers. From our area, it's more of a Week Tripper. Perhaps we'll see you there!

(NAPSI)-Whether you prefer day trips or weekend getaways, the Valley Forge area and Montgomery County in suburban Philadelphia offer a wide variety of fun fall activities for the whole family. History, shopping and recreation lead the list of what not to miss, as suggested by the Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau.

(1) Pick pumpkins or wander through the corn maze at Freddy Hill Farms and Family Fun Center in Lansdale, weekends in October. (2) Shop upscale King of Prussia Mall, the nation's largest retail shopping complex, or bargain hunt at Philadelphia Premium Outlets in nearby Limerick. (3) Show the kids what it was like to camp at Valley Forge, like George Washington's army did in 1777. Let them join the Continental Army at Valley Forge National Historical Park the first Saturdays of October and November. They'll receive enlistment papers, be issued dummy muskets and learn how to march like soldiers.

(4) Yuk it up at The Stoogeum. It rhymes with museum, as in the only one in the world dedicated exclusively to The Three Stooges. From mass-produced toys, games and air fresheners to rare and one-of-a-kind movie posters and personal effects, it's all Stooges, all the time. Open by appointment only.

As the leaves turn brilliant shades of red, gold and orange, (5) zip-line at 40 miles an hour, 45 feet up, at Spring Mountain. (6) Golf at one of Montgomery County's more than 40 public courses or (7) bike some or all of 55 miles of regional county trails, like the Perkiomen and Schuylkill River Trails. Feel the need for speed? (8) Go-kart indoors at Arnold's Family Fun Center in Oaks.

(9) Bird-watch at John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove as American redstarts, common yellowthroats, scarlet tanagers and rose-breasted grosbeaks migrate for the season. (10) Fish peaceful Green Lane Park, for large- and smallmouth bass and assorted panfish, such as bluegill and perch. Rent a rowboat or motorboat and navigate three bodies of water covering 840 acres.

To learn more about these and other seasonal activities and festivals, or to book an overnight stay and earn a free $35 gas card, visit

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

FAll is Here-- Time for the Pumpkin Patch

T2F Note: Fall is in the air. Just stand outside and feel the delightful cool breeze. When it's fall, it's time for the Pumpkin Patch. The Pumpkin Patch and Uncle Shuck's Corn Maze are just another example of the excellent Fayette Front Page Day Trippers for you to enjoy.


MONDAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF FALL! Cooler weather has arrived, perfect for traversing through the coolest cornfield in Georgia - Uncle Shuck's Corn Maze. The sunflowers are blooming and the Pumpkin Patch will open September 26. If you are looking for fall images, make a drive up to the corn maze. This weekend and next weekend the maze is open Fri/Sat/Sun. The maze will be open every day in October.

Pumpkin Patch Opens Sept 26

9/19/08 Hues of orange, apricot, ginger, tangerine, coral, persimmon and goldenrod await! It's These are the hues that create a kaleidoscope of color in the Pumpkin Patch! Pumpkins range from 1 pound to over 50 pounds.

Starting Friday, September 26, come enjoy the pumpkin patch, which also includes gourds, cornstalks, multi-colored corn and a sunflower garden! The Pumpkin Patch covers an acre at Uncle Shuck's Corn Maze, located between the corn maze and the giant picnic pavilion. Produce priced individual. There is no admission for Pumpkin Patch and it is a great place for family photos

September and November October (open every day)
Friday, 4 pm to 10 pm Mon – Thu 10 am to 6 pm
Saturday, 10 am to 10 pm Fri – Sat 10 am to 10 pm
Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm Sun 10 am to 6 pm
* final day is Nov 16, 2008

WHERE: Two miles west of GA400 on Highway 53 in Dawsonville. Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch is only 40 minutes from metro Atlanta, just two miles from the North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall.

maze only - $9 for everyone age 4 and over; free for children 3 and under hayride/bonfire - $5 per person
Combo Ticket (maze, hayride, bonfire with s'mores) - $12 per person
Haunted Maze (special dates in Oct) - additional $3 with maze admission; proceeds benefit local county Sheriff's Office Explorer Program.
Group Rates - Available Upon Request

Picnic Pavilion
Kiddie CORNer with soybean maze
Sunflower Garden
tractor display & family photo area
Pumpkin Patch (prices vary for pumpkins)

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Savannah Jazz Festival Opens September 20

T2F Note: There's just something about Savannah---- head on down for a weekend of fun! The Fayette Front Page staff had no hesitation when we selected this event as our "Weekend Tripper" this week.

Savannah, Georgia is known for its commitment to the arts and the many festivals that are offered during the year. The week-long Savannah Jazz Festival, one of the largest and most popular of the Savannah festivals, is presented by the Coastal Jazz Association and is dedicated to the growth of jazz and jazz audiences in the Coastal Empire.

The 27th Savannah Jazz Festival, celebrating jazz as a living art built on a constantly evolving tradition will offer all types of jazz, from Dixieland, traditional swing, straight-ahead and bop to melodic standards, and funky down-home "gutbucket" blues. The Festival kick-off on Saturday night (Sept 20) will be a Jazz Concert-Wine Tasting event to raise money for the Backus Children's Hospital. The Jazz Trio featuring Ben Tucker, is headlining for this evening.

The festival features the best in international, national, regional and local jazz talent. The 2008 festival will feature (among others), Bob James, The Savannah Jazz Orchestra-Featuring "Simone", Donald Harrison, The Ben Riley Trio featuring 'Larry Willis', Ben Tucker, Teddy Adams, Wanda Johnson with Shrimp City Slim, James Cotton, Eric Culberson’s Blues Band, Freeport, Bob Baldwin, Eric Mintel, The Coastal Jazz Association All-Stars, The University of North Florida Jazz ensemble with Trombonist, Steve Davis, The Jazz Corner Quintet, Beer Parlor Ramblers, The Jazz Trio, & The Skylite Jazz Ensemble."

All events are at no charge to the public.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Georgia Aquarium to Celebrate Sea Otter Awareness Week

T2F Note: The Georgia Aquarium makes the Fayette Front Page list again for suggested Day Trippers. Go and enjoy.

Guests are invited to join the Georgia Aquarium in celebrating Sea Otter Awareness Week Sept 21 – 27, 2008. The Aquarium, along with sea otters Oz and Gracie, will educate visitors regarding conservation efforts and facts about sea otters through exciting activities, interactive storytelling and educational information.

Throughout the week, Oz and Gracie will be profiled, highlighting their unique personalities and journey to the Aquarium. Guests will learn about the Aquarium’s rehabilitation efforts and 4R Program that is designed to positively impact the health and well-being of aquatic life from around the world. Additionally, biologists will be on-hand to conduct training and enrichment sessions with the sea others.

As a keystone species, sea otters play an integral role in the ecosystem and health of our oceans. They help maintain the balance among thousands of kelp forest inhabitants. Sea otters also act as an indicator species, meaning that their high rates of disease may be a warning for both marine ecosystems and human health. In order to help the plight of the sea otter, public awareness and education is imperative. Currently, they are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List and are protected by the Endangered Species Act and The Marine Mammal Protection Act. By becoming an advocate for sea otters and other aquatic life, individuals can make a difference by protecting and saving the marine environment that sea otters call home.
Daily activities for Sea Otter Awareness Week include:

· Arts & Crafts – Guests can create their own sea otter mask!
· Animal Interpreters – On-hand to educate guests about sea otters.
· Conservation Carts – Sea otter pelts and replica otter skulls will be available to touch and examine.
· Plus biologist sessions and enrichment activities with Oz and Gracie, storytelling, videos and more!

For additional information on Sea Otter Awareness Week please visit the Aquarium’s Web site at or call 404-581-4000.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Rock Ranch Kicks Off ‘Fall Family Fun Days’ with Themed Weekend and Special Entertainment on Sept. 20

T2F Note: Fall is almost here and the Rock Ranch is ready to celebrate family and fall with their super weekend events. It's worth the short trip as you discover another one of the Fayette Front Page Day Trippers.

Weekly Fall Festivals Feature Attractions, Crafts, Music, Food and Contests

Admission includes all activities and attractions. Discount coupons are available at participating Chick-fil-A locations through November, 8. The Rock Ranch is open each Saturday from Sept. 20 to Nov. 8, from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

The Rock Ranch is located off State Highway 36 west of Barnesville, GA and east of Thomaston, GA. It is 58 miles south of downtown Atlanta, 38 miles northwest of Macon, and 61 miles northeast of Columbus.

The Rock Ranch LLC, a 1,250-acre cattle ranch owned by Chick-fil-A® Founder, S. Truett Cathy, will kick off “Fall Family Fun Days” on Sept. 20, 2008. The Rock Ranch provides a unique blend of “agritourism” (wholesome family entertainment in an agricultural setting). Fall Family Fun Days at The Rock Ranch feature a wide variety of interactive, educational and family-based events, activities and programs for its guests.

Each of the Fall Family Fun Days will feature special themed events that include:

• September 20 –The Rock Ranch Rural Round Up features the grand opening of the “Explore
Georgia” corn maze, live music, hillbilly karaoke, arm wrestling and lawnmower racing among
other fun rural activities. There will also be a tug of war competition where ranch hands
Henry and Max will take on everyone else in attendance at the same time. This date is also
teach appreciation day (all school teachers with a school ID card enter for free with their
immediate family).

• September 27 – The Rock Ranch Bluegrass Festival provides a full day of bluegrass that will
feature Cedar Hill, The Honey Creek Boys, Due South and more. This date also serves as
home school day (all homeschoolers and their parents receive ½-off the price of admission)

• October 4 – Growing Up Green, featuring Bob and Larry of Veggie Tales will allow guests to
enjoy having their photos made with the Veggie Tales characters. There will be fun games
and activities that involve having fun with vegetables and thinking green. Various booths,
presentations and demonstrations will provide information about “green” topics such as
alternative energy, recycling, composting and more.

• October 11 – Wagon Wheel Market Day offers fun for the whole family with a premier
shopping experience among exhibitors of hand-made crafts (for mom), excellent concessions
and great guy gadgets like the pumpkin cannon (for dad), and a full days worth of fun
attractions (for the children).

• October 18 – The Rock Ranch Hot Air Balloon Rally, sponsored by Ferrell Gas, features many
beautiful hot air balloons that will participate in an early morning competition flight, an
evening competition flight, and a “balloon glow” after dark. Tethered rides will be available in
the evening if weather permits. Also The Moo Cow Bikers/ Victory Junction Gang charity
motorcycle ride will originate at Great South Harley Davidson in Newnan and arrive at The
Rock Ranch in parade fashion at 4pm. One lucky biker will be chosen to ride off into the
sunset in the Harley Davidson Hot Air Balloon.

• October 25 – “The Rock” of Salvation Christian Music Concert, in partnership with Atlanta’s
J93, features popular Christian artists. A full line-up of artists will be released September 22.

• November1 – Pumpkin Destruction Day allows guests to assist in the destruction of any
unsold pumpkins or bring their own to recycle through fun methods such as: the pumpkin
cannon, pumpkin bowling, the hammer smash and the lift crane pumpkin drop, among others.

• November 8 – The Rock Ranch Great Outdoor Adventure features exciting outdoor activities
and educational demonstrations. Guests will enjoy a falconry demonstration, birds of prey
exhibition, archery, fishing rodeo, insect education lab, wildlife station, and a reptile show by
Jason Clark of Animal Planet.

In addition to the themed weekends, guests will find a variety of family fun attractions that are
included with admission each weekend. Admission includes unlimited use of:

o Locomotive Train Rides
o Hay Rides
o Pony Rides
o Carousel
o Corn Cannons
o The Cow Train
o Pedal Carts
o Paddle Boats
o Cane Pole Fishing
o The Farmland Petting Zoo
o Conestoga Wagon Inflatable
o Children’s “Jolly Jump”
o Children’s John Deere Gators
o The Giant Sling Shot
o The Relaxation Station and Creek
o The Corn Box Play Area
o Little Town
o Horse Shoes
o Musical Entertainment
o Giant Inflatable Jumping Pillow
o The “Explore Georgia” Corn Field


“The goal at The Rock Ranch is to create an opportunity for families to spend quality time
together and provide educational and entertaining programs that create positive life memories,”
said Jeff Manley, general manager of The Rock Ranch, LLC. “Throughout the years, we’ve
learned to blend our love of agriculture with entertainment to keep people interested and
involved in a way of life that our grandparents knew well, but now is in danger of being

The theme this year for the popular corn maze at The Rock Ranch is “Explore Georgia.” As fuel
prices continue to discourage long distance travel, The Rock Ranch seeks to highlight some of the wonderful elements found locally, in Georgia. The maze includes information about Georgia’s history, famous people and exciting destinations. Maze-goers can attempt a scavenger hunt/word search to find and match Georgia key words hidden in the maze. The Rock Ranch is
partnered with The Georgia Department of Economic Development and Tourism on this year’s
maze and its purpose is to educate guests about this state and all that it has to offer – right
outside their backdoors. It also is designed to help make Georgians aware of,
a new state tourism website designed to assist citizens in fully enjoying this great state.
General admission is $13 for adults and $11 for children 12 and under (children under 3 are free).

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dollywood Claims Best Christmas Event at 2008 Golden Ticket Awards

T2F Note: As the fall approaches, trips to the mountains increase. Gathering apples, admiring the leaves changing color, and visiting Dollywood all make a great weekend getaway from Fayette, Coweta and the rest of Georgia.

BUSINESS WIRE --Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival won Best Christmas Event during the 2008 Golden Ticket Awards on Sept. 3, 2008, at the Give Kids the World Village, in Kissimmee, Fla.

Dollywood was a finalist in eight categories, more than any other park in the world.

Dollywood received 38 percent of the votes in this new category created for the 2008 Golden Tickets. Dollywood’s Thunderhead, twice named the number one wooden coaster in the world, placed second in the rankings of Top 50 Wooden Roller Coasters in the World. Dollywood also captured second place for honors for Best Food, Best Shows and Friendliest Park. Dollywood took third place honors for Cleanest Park 9 (a tie with Magic Kingdom), and fourth place for Best Landscaping. In the Best Park category, Dollywood ranked tenth place.

“We commend the Golden Ticket Award winners and all of the finalists for their varied achievements,” says Gary Slade, publisher and editor-in-chief of Amusement Today. “These awards are the pinnacle of honors in the amusement industry, and it is nice to recognize parks and attractions around the world who are striving for excellence each and every day.”

The Golden Ticket Awards are presented to the “best of the best” in the amusement industry and calculated from an international poll conducted by Amusement Today magazine. Surveys were sent to a database of experienced and well-traveled amusement park fans around the world–in balanced geographical regions–asking them to rate the “bests” in 25 categories such as amusement parks, roller coasters, shows, friendliest staff and water rides.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Delta Air Lines Creates New Loyalty Program Post, Appoints Jeff Robertson Vice President

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today announced the creation of a new officer-level position, Vice President of Loyalty Programs, to support Delta's efforts to further provide high-value, world-class loyalty and partnership programs for the airline’s 42 million SkyMiles members worldwide, and the appointment of Jeff Robertson to this new role.

“The creation of this key, new position reflects the continued importance of the SkyMiles program to Delta and our valued customers,” said Lee Macenczak, executive vice president of Sales and Marketing. “As we continue to move toward closing the merger with Northwest, we anticipate even greater opportunities to grow the program for our expanded base of members worldwide while improving its revenue and profit performance for the company. Under Jeff’s leadership, the SkyMiles program has continued to make significant, industry-leading advances and progress while simultaneously becoming an award-winning customer favorite.”

Robertson, 40, previously served as managing director of SkyMiles.. He is also responsible for co-leading integration efforts toward combining the Northwest WorldPerks and Delta SkyMiles programs to create the world’s largest airline loyalty program. In addition, Robertson oversees all domestic and international frequent flier alliances, the Delta SkyMiles/American Express co-branded credit card, all program partnerships, the Medallion Program and elite benefits, award travel and SkyMiles program technology. Robertson joined the airline in 2002 as director of Customer Insight and Analytics, responsible for corporate CRM objectives, Marketing Research and Customer Analytics.

Prior to Delta, Robertson held various management positions at McKinsey & Company, American Airlines and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Robertson holds an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, and a BS in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.

The award-winning Delta SkyMiles program offers members multiple mileage-earning opportunities when flying Delta, Delta Shuttle®, the Delta Connection® carriers, Delta AirElite® and other SkyTeam® airlines. Additional mileage-building opportunities are offered through more than 100 partners such as the Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, participating hotels, car rental companies, the SkyMiles Store, restaurants,, floral and gift retailers and more. Now in its 27th year, SkyMiles is one of the longest-running and most successful loyalty programs in the travel industry. It was named “Best Domestic Frequent Flyer program” for 2007 and 2008 by readers of Executive Traveler magazine and “Best Frequent Flyer Program” for 2006 and 2007 by Business Traveler magazine. The program also received top honors for “Best Bonus Promotion” from InsideFlyer magazine at the 2007 Freddie Awards.

Delta Air Lines operates service to more worldwide destinations than any airline with Delta and Delta Connection flights to 290 destinations in 60 countries. Delta has added more international capacity than any major U.S. airline during the last two years and is the leader across the Atlantic with flights to 44 trans-Atlantic markets. To Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta offers 288 weekly flights to 42 destinations. Delta's marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on more than 16,000 flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. Including its SkyTeam and worldwide codeshare partners, Delta offers flights to 500 worldwide destinations in 105 countries. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and flight status at
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Highly Anticipated 3rd Annual 'Shrimp & Grits: The Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival' Kicks Off Sept. 19

T2F Note: Jekyll Island is another one of our favorite haunts. It may not be a day tripper from north Georgia, but it is certainly a weekend trip to plan!

PRNewswire/ -- Join the Jekyll Island Authority, the Georgia Shrimp Association, and the Georgia Tourism Foundation for the only event in the Southeast dedicated to celebrating two southern favorites - shrimp and grits!

Set amid Jekyll Island's picturesque Jekyll Island Club National Landmark Historic District, "Shrimp & Grits: The Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival," will kick off on Friday, Sept. 19, at 5:30 p.m. Festivities will continue throughout the weekend, beginning Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and Sunday at noon.

The popular annual festival features delicious food, exciting shrimp & grits cooking competitions, great music, and a vendor area complete with arts, crafts, antiques, and collectables. "Uncle Bubba," the brother of southern celebrity-chef Paula Deen, will even make a special guest appearance on Saturday from 10:00 AM-12:00 noon. And to add to the excitement, guests can participate in the 3rd Annual Wild Georgia Golf Tournament, take fun-filled shrimp boat excursions, and play in the "Family Fun Zone" created just for kids. The winner of the 2006 and 2007 World Frisbee Dog Championship will showcase his skills, and area bands will perform throughout the weekend.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Atlanta Becomes 'Tutlanta' as Tickets Go on Sale Today for 'Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs'

T2F Note: Several of our staff made the journey to Charlotte several years ago when there was an Egyptian Pharaoh exhibit. By all means, go to this event. You'll be sure to be dazzled.

PRNewswire/ -- "Tutlanta" launched today as tickets became available for "Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs," a new exhibition featuring more than 130 treasures from the tomb of celebrated pharaoh King Tutankhamun and other ancient Egyptian sites. The exhibition will premiere at the Atlanta Civic Center from November 15, 2008, to May 25, 2009, and is presented by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University.

To kick off fall's golden celebration, exhibition organizers announced a slate of Egyptian-themed activities and initiatives that will launch in conjunction with the exhibition. The "Egyptomania in Atlanta Bus Tour" will transport visitors on a chartered coach to explore Egyptian revival art and architecture in Atlanta with the Michael C. Carlos Museum's curator of Egyptian art, Dr. Peter Lacovara, as their guide. "TUT Trivia!" will incorporate King Tut-themed questions into trivia nights at select Atlanta locations. In January 2009, the Atlanta Opera and Emory University's Flora Glenn Candler concert series will present Philip Glass' opera "Akhnaten," which explores the great pharaoh's reign just before that of Tutankhamun.

Additionally, more than 75 businesses throughout the city will participate in a "Tutlanta" affinity card that all King Tut ticket-buyers will receive, entitling them to $250 worth of Egyptian-themed offerings and discounts at participating locations. From restaurants to health and beauty treatments to petcare, "Tutlanta" partner offers include "TROIS visits Egypt," a five-plate Egyptian-influenced menu at Trois for $25; "Pharaoh's Steam Bath," a custom treatment at the Atlanta Dog Spa; and "Pharaoh's Fire and Ice Facial" at Julio Cesar's Salon and Spa. A full listing of offers is available at

Commissioner Dianne Harnell Cohen unveiled the official "Tutlanta" logo, which was created by a local Atlantan and will be featured on select exhibition merchandise and used regionally to promote the citywide celebration.

"Tutankhamun's magic still captures the hearts of people all over the world, even though more than 85 years have passed since the discovery of his amazing tomb," said Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. "America has welcomed the golden king, and now he returns, bringing with him all the great pharaohs of Egypt."

Proceeds from the tour will go toward antiquities preservation and conservation efforts in Egypt, including the construction of a new grand museum in Cairo. Tickets and information are available at or

The Michael C. Carlos Museum has developed educational materials in conjunction with the exhibition for elementary, middle and high school audiences. These supplemental materials will be available for download for free and will highlight topics such as childhood in ancient Egypt and how the journey to the afterlife was believed to occur.

"We are dedicated to the educational and inspirational value of exhibitions here in Atlanta," said Bonnie Speed, director of the Michael C. Carlos Museum. "The Tutankhamun exhibition presents a landmark opportunity to experience the richness of ancient Egypt's art and culture and to understand its global influence. We believe this exhibition, along with the educational materials and vibrant Egyptian-themed, citywide events we have developed, will offer our community a variety of ways to access Egypt's magical past."

The exhibition is organized by National Geographic, Arts and Exhibitions International and AEG Exhibitions, with cooperation from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. Northern Trust is the presenting sponsor of the tour, and American Airlines is the official airline.

"Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs" is the second National Geographic exhibition dedicated to the remarkable treasures of King Tutankhamun and ancient Egyptian royalty. The first exhibition, "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs," was visited by nearly 4 million people during its four-city U.S. tour from 2005 to 2007, and will begin a three-city encore tour in Dallas later this year.

"'Tutlanta' was born from the excitement seen throughout the city since announcing the exhibition would make its U.S. premiere in Atlanta," said John Norman, president of Arts and Exhibitions International. "Residents and visitors to the Atlanta area are lucky to have so many opportunities to experience offerings in conjunction with the exhibition that will enhance their knowledge about this important period in world history."

Also today, Northern Trust, presenting sponsor of the exhibition, donated exhibition tickets to a first-grade class from Morningside Elementary School. Nearly 230 students from the Atlanta public school will be among the first to experience the exhibition.

"For nearly 120 years, Northern Trust has strived to increase social interaction and a sense of community, and integrate the arts into education and other outreach activities," said Frederick H. Waddell, president and chief executive officer of Northern Trust Corporation. "We look forward to sharing this extraordinary event with the Atlanta community, as well as visitors from around the world."

Exhibition organizers anticipate the exhibition will be a strong attraction for visitors throughout the region.

"American Airlines is thrilled to have a role in bringing 'Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs' to its Atlanta premiere," said Dan Garton, executive vice president of marketing for American Airlines. "As the official airline of the exhibition, we are pleased that American Airlines is helping to make it possible for these extraordinary objects to be seen by thousands of visitors."


Premiering November 15, 2008, to May 25, 2009, at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, "Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs" will feature striking objects from some of the most important rulers throughout 2,000 years of ancient Egyptian history, from the 4th Dynasty into the Late Period (about 2600 B.C. - 660 B.C.). Derived from a variety of contexts, including temples and royal and private tombs, many of these artifacts have never before visited the United States.

Tutankhamun was one of the last kings of Egypt's 18th Dynasty and ruled during a crucial, turmoil-filled period of Egyptian history. The boy king died under mysterious circumstances around age 18 or 19, in the ninth year of his reign (1323 B.C.).

The exhibition will highlight more than 50 treasures from Tutankhamun's tomb and more than 70 artifacts representing other pharaohs and notables, along with the latest scientific research about King Tut. The storyline will focus on the splendor of the Egyptian pharaohs, their function in the earthly and divine worlds, and what kingship meant to the Egyptian people.

Four galleries devoted to King Tut will correspond to the four rooms of his nearly intact tomb, where the treasures were discovered by British explorer Howard Carter in 1922. Legendary artifacts from the antechamber, the annex, the treasury and the burial chamber will include Tutankhamun's golden sandals, jewelry, furniture, weaponry and statuary.


Tickets to the exhibition at the Atlanta Civic Center can be purchased at Group tickets for 10 or more are available by calling 1-866-52GROUP or visiting For additional information about tickets and pricing, please call 1-877-TUT-TKTS or visit or

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The Westin Atlanta Airport Becomes Atlanta’s Destination for Travelers to Revive and Refresh Upon Completion of Guest Room Renovations

The Westin Atlanta Airport is near completion of a multi-million dollar renovation to the hotel’s 500 guest rooms, reinforcing the commitment of the renewal of guests during their stay. The rejuvenation of the guest rooms is part of a $18 million renovation which will also include improvements to meeting space, the lobby and the hotel’s exterior.

The hotel’s mission of renewing, relaxing and reviving each hotel guest is evidenced by the special touches in each guest room including: the heavenly sleep experience of the newest version of the Westin Heavenly Bed®, new carpeting, 32" LG® flat-screen televisions with jack pack connections that allow guests to utilize the 24-hour High-Speed Internet Access, listen to their iPod® and watch television from the same source, among other amenities. Adjoining every bedroom is an elegantly tiled bathroom featuring Westin’s rejuvenating Heavenly Bath®, with its fully customizable shower, the back-lit Westin Heavenly Mirror, and spa-like amenities.

“The renovations complement our impeccable service, offering a relaxing stay for harried travelers,” General Manager Bill Henderson said. “When a guest chooses to stay with us, our commitment to renewal, service and loyalty will leave a lasting impression.”

The guest room enhancements confirm the Westin Atlanta Airport’s dedication to providing the business traveler with a relaxing experience. Other services that the hotel provides to allow business travelers to travel effortlessly:

BAGS - hotel skycap service that allows guests to check their luggage and receive their boarding pass in the hotel lobby.

24-Hour Room Service - around the clock in-room dining for guests arriving on late flights from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Real Time Fight Info (coming in late 2008) - guests can check on the arrival/departure times of flights from the hotel lobby or the comfort of their guest rooms.

Flight Check-In – guests can check-in and print their boarding passes at the front desk or through the BAGS service.
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Monday, September 08, 2008

JetBlue Airways is Nickel-and-Diming Fares! Flights and Vacation Packages Now Up for Bid On eBay Starting At Five and Ten Cents* Each

GLOBE NEWSWIRE - Value airline JetBlue Airways Corporation (Nasdaq:JBLU) today announced it is auctioning more than 300 roundtrip flights and six JetBlue Getaways Vacation packages on eBay, the world's largest online marketplace, with opening bids starting at a nickel or a dime (*taxes and fees apply). Customers can join in the online auction action at from today through September 14.

The first airline to sell last-minute flights and packages on eBay, JetBlue, JetBlue is offering flights and packages to more than 20 destinations, including four mystery JetBlue Getaways Vacation packages -- two "No Passport Necessary" and two "Pack Your Passport" -- to exciting undisclosed locations. Each mystery Getaways vacation package includes flights for two and hotel accommodation at a four-star Marriott property.

"We're putting the price of spontaneous weekend trips this fall into the hands of our customers," said Don Uselmann, Manager of Business Development for JetBlue Airways. "This is their chance to compete to get the best deals on flights and vacation packages to many of JetBlue's most exciting destinations -- on their own terms. And no matter what flight they win, our lucky eBay customers, like every JetBlue customer, will enjoy our award-winning in-flight experience -- 36 channels of DIRECTV, 100 XM Satellite Radio stations, Dunkin' Donuts coffee, lots of legroom, and delicious brand name snacks and sodas -- for free**."

JetBlue's three-day, five-day and seven-day auctions on eBay include one and two person roundtrip, weekend flights in September from cities including: Boston, Chicago, New York, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Fort Lauderdale and Southern California. In addition, JetBlue Getaways Vacation packages, including airfare and a four-night hotel stay for two are also up for bid to Las Vegas and Nassau, Bahamas. Outbound travel packages take place on Thursdays and Fridays, returning Sundays and Mondays. All travel must be complete by Monday, October 6, 2008.

* Taxes and Fees Apply. All air travel and vacation packages are nonrefundable, nontransferable, and name changes are not permitted. Travel must take place and be completed on the dates and times stated in the Flight Details Section of the Bid page. Bids/fares do not include Passenger Facility Charges of up to $9 each way, September 11th Security Fees of up to $5 each way and a Federal Segment Tax of $3.50 per domestic segment. A segment is a takeoff and landing. Puerto Rico fares also do not include an excise tax of $15.40 each way. Bid/Fares for international travel also do not include government fees and taxes of up to $76.20 each way. Winning bidder is responsible for all taxes and fees, which must be paid at the time of purchase. Additional bag charges may apply. To view our baggage fees, please visit JetBlue reserves the right to deny boarding to passengers without proper documentation. Cancellations and changes are not permitted for vacation packages or the air component of vacation packages. However, for air-only travel, changes and cancellations can be made prior to scheduled departure for $100 per person at 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583), 1-297-588-5388 if located in Aruba, 1-800-861-3372 if located in Mexico, 1-809-200-9898 if located in Dominican Republic, 1-801-365-2583 if located in St. Maarten, 1-800-884-9616 if located in Bermuda, or at, with applicable fare adjustment. Cancellations are for a JetBlue travel credit only, which is valid for one year. If a reservation is not changed or cancelled prior to scheduled departure, all money associated with the reservation is forfeited. JetBlue reserves the right to deny boarding to passengers without proper documentation. All travel is subject to JetBlue's Contract of Carriage and applicable tariffs on file with the Department of Transportation. In the case of vacation packages, JetBlue's Ebay Getaway Terms and Conditions Apply. Other restrictions apply.
**DIRECTV(r) service is not available on flights outside the continental United States.

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Native American Festival at Indian Springs September 13-14

T2F Note: Join in the fun at Indian Springs on September 13 and 14 for the 2008 Native American Festival. It's only a day-tripper away!

The annual Native American Festival at Indian Springs promises to be better than ever this year. Come listen to the old stories, see the colorful Native American regalia, and enjoy the music. Hours are 10 am - 5 pm on September 13 and 14.

Free parking across the street from the Indian Spring Museum/Hotel.

Adults: $5
12 and under: $3
Infants: Free

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Columbus Museum Acquires Major Art Collection of American Drawings

T2F Note: Columbus is showcased as our "day tripper" pick. The Columbus Museum is the second largest in the state of Georgia. Pop on down to view this exciting new art collection.

The Columbus Museum is pleased to announce the acquisition of a major private collection of American drawings. As a result, the Museum has established itself as one of the most significant repositories of American drawings in the nation. The recently acquired works were originally assembled by legendary collector Paul Magriel, and subsequently purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Flom of New York. The 105 sheets represent rare and important examples of American master drawing by some of the nation’s most prominent artists, including Raphael Peale, Henry Inman, Sanford R. Gifford, Jasper F. Cropsey, Winslow Homer, William Paxton, Abbott Handerson Thayer, Theodore Robinson, William Glackens and Ben Shahn.

The works celebrate the rich history of American drawing from the late 18th through the middle of the 20th century, and chronicle the many ways in which artists have used the medium to portray the nation’s evolving character. The Columbus Museum defines drawing as any unique work on paper, and the collection includes the great variety of approaches to drawing such as pencil, charcoal, watercolor, gouache, pastel, ink and silverpoint. The entire collection was displayed for public view for the first time in the 2007 Museum exhibition Tracing the Nation: Recently Acquired American Drawings. The acquisition was made possible by the support of members of the Museum’s 105 Society and a grant from the Mildred Miller Fort Foundation.

Since the Columbus Museum opened its doors to the public in 1953, drawings have represented
a collecting area in which the institution could readily afford important works of art by leading
American artists.

Some of the more than 400 sheets in the collection were individual gifts and purchases acquired
over the years. However, the majority of this collection is new as recently as the last five years.
In 2002, the Museum’s collection rose to a level of national importance with the acquisition of
more than 125 American drawings owned by Dr. and Mrs. Philip L. Brewer of Columbus. The Brewer acquisition includes great works by many of the key artists in American art history. In order to bring greater visibility to the collection, the Museum curated the traveling exhibition, Lines of Discovery: 225 Years of American Drawings andpublished an illustrated text of the same name to accompany the exhibition on its national tour.

The Museum’s collection took another leap forward with this acquisition of 105 sheets owned by
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Flom, of New York. The drawings represent an extraordinary acquisitions
opportunity due to their high quality and great rarity. Visionary collector Paul Magriel
(1906-1990) purchased American drawings during the 1960s and early 1970s when great works
were much more accessible and by modern standards quite affordable. Claire Flom, in particular, viewed her role as the caretaker of this collection and sought to place it in a public institution when she could no longer adequately care for it.

One of the principal motives for the acquiring the Magriel/Flom Collection is that the drawings
strengthen the Museum’s collection in several ways. First, they add depth to the Museum’s
relatively few drawings produced before 1850. Second, they include great works by key
American masters such as John Vanderlyn, William Sidney Mount, Frederic Church and James
Abbott McNeill Whistler, whose drawings were not represented in the Museum’s collection and
which are nearly impossible to find in today’s art market. Works by Thomas Sully, Thomas
Hovenden, Eastman Johnson, Theodore Robinson and Isabel Bishop complement paintings by
artists already in the Museum’s collection. Other drawings in the acquisition enable the Museum
to represent the work of key artists in depth — three drawings by Benjamin West to add to the
two drawings already present; two sheets by John Singer Sargent, Mrs. Thursby and Madame Helleu, represent the first Sargent figure drawings acquired by the Museum and stand as an important complement to the Museum’s Sargent watercolor, Spanish Window. Winslow Homer’s pencil drawing, Head of a Girl, represents the artist’s important period in England during 1881-1882, and now joins the Museum’s charcoal drawing by Homer, Pond Lilies, done on American soil in 1884. Also, two drawings by Robert Blum of his brother provide
representation by this important artist.

The Magriel/Flom Collection demonstrates the essential role drawing has played in the formation and development of American art. While representing an overview of American art, this selection of works attests to the unique properties of drawing and its status as the most intimate, immediate and versatile art medium.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Six Flags Wins Top Honors at 2008 Golden Ticket Awards

T2F Note: Six Flags over Georgia pulled in the golden ticket for Riverview Carousel as Best Carousel. Take a page out of our day trip log and hurry on over for the front spot on your favorite ride.

PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Six Flags, Inc. (NYSE:SIX) announced today that Amusement Today, the nation's leading theme park industry publication, has awarded the company two coveted 2008 Golden Ticket Awards. The Golden Ticket Awards annually recognize the "Best of the Best" in the leisure entertainment industry. These awards, often referred to as "The Oscars of the Amusement Industry," are voted on by a panel of experts and enthusiasts from across the country.

Six Flags has once again received top honors for the industry's Best Shows with Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, Texas winning an unprecedented 10th straight award in the category. Six Flags was also recognized for the Best Steel Coaster -- SUPERMAN Ride of Steel at Six Flags New England in Agawam, Massachusetts. This is the fourth win for this perennial favorite and its third in a row.

Six Flags held 15 placements on Amusement Today's list of the 50 Top Steel Coasters with SUPERMAN Ride of Steel receiving top honors, Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure coming in at number 3 and Goliath at Six Flags Over Georgia ranking 6th. Among the Top 50 Wooden Coasters, Six Flags had 7 placements including El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure at number 4.

"Superman Ride of Steel is simply an amazing machine," said Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Awards Communications Coordinator Tim Baldwin. "There is no other steel coaster anywhere on the planet that delivers great drops, massive negative Gs, and wild directional changes to the scale Superman does. It's the ultimate package."

Baldwin went on to say, "All the finalists in our Best Shows category have a strong commitment to bringing great entertainment to their guests. Despite the heavy competition, Six Flags Fiesta Texas has reigned supreme. The Halloween production Monster Mash Bash is worth the price of admission itself ... the show is tremendous." Baldwin also noted, "The return of Majesty of Christmas during Holiday in the Park last year was thrilling. What an incredible show. When added to the summer entertainment of The Lone Star Spectacular and the legendary Rockville shows, Fiesta Texas really sets the bar for theme park shows year round."

"We are very proud of our portfolio of parks and the world class, thrilling entertainment each of them deliver every single operating day," said Mike Antinoro, Six Flags Executive Vice President of Entertainment and Marketing, "and we are extremely grateful to Amusement Today and theme park guests everywhere for this honor and recognition."


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Dollywood Fires up for Fall with Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival

BUSINESS WIRE --Dollywoods third annual Barbeque & Bluegrass festival (Sept. 5-28) kicks off Sept. 5, featuring three weeks and more than 500 free concerts by a lineup of award winners that includes Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder (Sept. 5 & 6), The Del McCoury Band (Sept. 7 & 8), Cherryholmes (Sept. 9 & 10), Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (Sept. Sept. & 14), Rhonda Vincent & the Rage (Sept. 27 & 28) & many more.

Its no secret that Im a huge fan of bluegrass music, and I love great barbeque, too, Dolly Parton said. I love to sing one and cook the other, so its only natural that I would treat folks to my Barbeque & Bluegrass festival at Dollywood each year. Whether its your ears or your appetite, youll find something youll love!

Skaggs headlines the festivals opening weekend with a 2 and 4 p.m. show on Sept. 5 and 6 in DPs Celebrity Theatre. One of the genres most popular and influential musicians, Skaggs has 12 No. 1 hits and dozens of career accolades, including 13 Grammy® Awards and eight Country Music Association Awards. Skaggs last four albums have debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard bluegrass chart.

Dollywood features free concerts on seven stages throughout the 21-day festival, along with roving bands. All concerts feature general admission seating and are included with Dollywood admission. For a complete concert lineup, please visit

Bluegrass music shares the stage with barbeque, with the park serving barbequed ribs by the slab, pulled pork and barbequed chicken, complete with potato salad and baked beans. Kids meals are offered as well. Special desserts served during the festival include three-pound slices of apple pie, each carved from a 25-pound pie. Restaurants throughout the park feature new recipes to celebrate Barbeque & Bluegrass, including cream of smoked vegetable soup and chipotle Tabasco® shrimp, both of which are served at Aunt Grannys, a location that takes its name from the nickname given Parton by her many nieces and nephews.

Other highlights include demonstrations and Q & A sessions by professional chefs. Guests also can visit the Sauce Tastin Station which features some of the hottest barbeque sauces.


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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

JetBlue to Waive Fees to Assist Customers Affected by Tropical Storm Hanna

(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq:JBLU) will waive change fees and fare differences to allow customers booked to or from Nassau, Bahamas, to postpone their travel plans due to the projected path of Tropical Storm Hanna.

Customers who are booked to travel September 3-5 to or from Nassau may opt to change to new flights -- between the same cities -- that depart anytime through September 9. All changes are subject to seat availability and must be made prior to the customer's originally scheduled departure. Customers may rebook their travel online at

To check on the status of flights or to check the availability of alternate flights, customers are encouraged to log on to or call 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583). Customers with web-enabled cell phones and PDAs may also check the status of their flight via
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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

State of Georgia Selects Advanced Reservation Systems, Inc. (ARES) for Tourism Website Enhancements

PRNewswire/ -- Advanced Reservation Systems, Inc. (ARES) recently launched its reservation technology on The website is the official travel and tourism portal for the State of Georgia, one of the country's top 10 destinations with more than 61 million domestic visitors annually. The technology enhancements will give the State of Georgia the ability to make and confirm reservations for hotels, attractions and services throughout the state.

"Adding reservation technology to the State of Georgia's travel website is a significant complement to the host of assistive services already available on this intelligent, informative site," said Alec House, President of ARES. The site currently contains interactive media and trip planning services that include an online travel guide, personalized messaging and membership rewards via the Georgia Dream Pass. "We are pleased to partner with ARES to add online reservations functionality to," said Fred Huff, Director of Marketing, Georgia Department of Economic Development. "The state's official tourism website offers visitors an opportunity to discover Georgia's great destinations and get trip ideas, but now travelers will be able to book their travel needs at the same time." Georgia is ARES' second major distribution channel in the Southeast since the company launched its partnership with Washington, D.C. and represents a significant addition to a growing network of travel related sites in the region.

With one of the industry's most aggressive revenue share programs, ARES plans to return significant travel dollars back to the Georgia Department of Economic Development which can be used to reinvest in the state's economic development plans and further fund marketing initiatives that support the destination.


Think Classic, Think Tallahassee

T2F Note: Seeing old classic cars can be a treat and take you back in time. Here's another trip to consider taking. Tallahassee is so close to the south Georgia line, although for most Georgia residents it does mean an overnight trip. Still, zipping down to Tallahassee can be a great getaway. It's also an easy drive to the Gulf to take a dip after you've seen the cars.

(NAPSI)-When most people think of "Florida" and "cars," they tend to picture a popular beach city with an annual high-speed race. Yet with an eye instead toward the history of automobiles, they are drawn to the state's capital--and a one-of-a-kind museum.

From political figures and premier "Prowlers" to polished chrome and solar power, the two-story, 95,000-square-foot Tallahassee Automobile Museum holds one of the most extensive car collections in the world. Among the many shining examples of automobiles throughout America's history are:

• the 1860 hearse that carried President Lincoln to his final resting place;

• the oldest fully surviving car made in America in 1894;

• a 1931 Duesenberg Model J appraised for more than $1.2 million;

• both the first Prowler and Viper to roll off the assembly line;

• three Batmobiles and more.

Often touted as one of the Southeast's finest private collections of rare and unique collectibles, the museum also offers a new feature--solar panels. Created with help from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the paneling educates youth on the benefits of alternative energy as well as protects fuel for future generations. The museum houses the largest solar panel system in the state, as well as "green" items from the carpet and flooring to the electrical fixtures.

"It's more than a museum, it's a journey," says DeVoe Moore, museum owner and longtime Tallahassee resident. "The collections will truly take you back to your childhood, whatever era that may be."

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Andersonville National Historic Site, Rolling Thunder Chapters from 11 States, Georgia Southwestern State University to Honor Nation's POWs/MIAs, Sept

T2F Note: Roll into the past on this day trip adventure in Georgia. It's a great way to remember America's armed forces personnel who were POW or MIA.

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rolling Thunder's 2008 Ride Home -- a multi-day annual activity held in conjunction with the National Park Service's Andersonville National Historic Site and Georgia Southwestern State University to recognize and honor the nation's Prisoners of War (POW) and those Missing in Action (MIA) -- will be held in Andersonville and Americus, Ga., Sept. 17-20, 2008.

"The 2008 Ride Home, which is supported this year by Rolling Thunder(R) chapters from 11 states, is part of a series of events conducted jointly with the National Park Service in Andersonville to honor those former POWs from all wars who have returned home and remember those who are still listed as MIA," said Jim Moyer, Ride Home board chairman.

According to Moyer, more than 1,000 Rolling Thunder members are expected to gather in Andersonville and Americus to honor an estimated 100 former POWs scheduled to attend this year's program of events as guests of Rolling Thunder.

While Friday, Sept. 19, is the official National POW/MIA Recognition Day, the four days of recognition activities begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, with a convocation sponsored by the National Park Service and hosted by Georgia Southwestern State University at the Student Success Center in Americus.

The guest speaker will be Joseph Hudson of Alamogordo, N.M. He was a 23-year-old U.S. Army specialist with the 507th Maintenance Group, Fort Bliss, Tex., who was shot three times, captured and held by Saddam Hussein's Iraqi Army from March 23, 2003 until April 13, 2003.

On Thursday, Sept. 18, through Saturday, Sept. 20, the Park Service will host Bataan Death March survivor Colonel Glenn Frazier at the National Prisoner of War Museum at the Andersonville National Historic Site. Frazier, who was an underage U.S. Army volunteer from Fort Deposit, Ala., in 1941, will be autographing his book, "Hell's Guest," which is his account of three harrowing years as a prisoner of war.

On Friday, Sept. 19, the official National POW/MIA Recognition Day, Rolling Thunder's formal activities will begin at 10 a.m. with a tribute service, "Keeping the Promise, We Will Not Forget" at the First Baptist Church in Americus.

Scheduled speakers include: U.S. Air Force Major General Albert G. (Jerry) Rodgers whose final active duty assignment was Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics at Tactical Air Command Headquarters at Langley, AFB, Va.; U.S. Navy Captain Ronald Harrell, Commander of the FFG (Fast Frigate) Class Squadron 14 at Naval Station Mayport, Fla.; Stephen E. Thompson, Family and Veteran Liaison for the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Honolulu, Hawaii; and, Dr./Rev. Chuck Gass, the staff chaplain at the VA Medical Center in Gainesville, Fla.

A Rolling Thunder escort to the tribute service for the former POWs is scheduled to depart for the Baptist church from the Wal-Mart parking lot in Americus at 9 a.m.

At 1 p.m. that afternoon the National Prisoner of War Museum in Andersonville will unveil a commemorative plaque honoring POWs from the U.S. Army's 42nd "Rainbow" Division.

Formed in August 1917, the "Rainbow" nickname was given to the division after Colonel Douglas MacArthur, the new division's Chief of Staff (and ultimately its commander), remarked that "the 42nd Division stretches like a Rainbow from one end of America to the other" because it was comprised of National Guard units from 26 states and the District of Columbia.

The division, which saw service in both World Wars, was deactivated in 1946; however it returned in 1947 as a National Guard Division for New York, the state of its birth. Currently headquartered at the Glenmore Armory in Troy, N.Y., the division includes Army National Guard units from 14 states: Connecticut, Main, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont and Wisconsin.

Activities on Friday will continue at 4:30 p.m. with Rolling Thunder's annual tribute dinner followed by a candlelight remembrance ceremony scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Both activities will be at the Windsor Hotel in Americus.

The Missing Man Table, which honors the nation's POW/MIAs, will be the focal point of the evening. The single round table with six empty place settings symbolize Americans from each of the five services -- Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard -- and civilians who cannot attend and will be participating in the evening's activities in spirit only.

On Saturday, Sept. 20, Rolling Thunder's Annual POW Recognition will begin at 10 a.m. at the Rostrum at Andersonville National Cemetery. The ceremony honors POWs who have returned home from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf wars.

A Rolling Thunder Heroes Escort Ride is scheduled to depart for the Andersonville National Historic Site from the Wal-Mart parking lot in Americus at 9 a.m.

The 1-14th Aviation Regiment from Fort Rucker, Ala., will open the 10 a.m. ceremony with a helicopter flyover of an AH-64D Apache Longbow and an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior.

A Roll Call of former POWs attending the ceremony will precede a special presentation to each.

Music will be provided by the U.S. Marine Band stationed at the Albany Marine Corps Logistics Base, SSgt Kristine Streng conducting.