1. America as a FlagOne of the greatest things about living in America is our mobility — freedom to travel and experience fun things to do — no matter where we are.

In this 8-part series titled “Winter Jaunts,” Z’ will uncover interesting and oddball things that are going on around our big beautiful country in various and sometimes out-of-the-way locations.

For our first series, we picked four random towns in various states and investigated what’s going on where, when, how to get there and how much the costs would be. It should be fun, and we invite you to respond with your ideas and suggestions.

2. BigEatlogo-jpgFirst Up – The Big Eat in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Although not held on the weekend, this can be a fun thing to do to break up the week and provide a bit of adventure if you are near the Greensboro, Raleigh-Durham or Winston-Salem areas of North Carolina.

The Big Eat is an annual event held on Tuesday nights in January, February, and March around the famous North Carolina Triad area, during which participating restaurants offer some of their best signature dishes at up to 50% off. It’s a great opportunity to try a new restaurant and mix up your usual dining experience. This might make Tuesdays the new date night. The discount offered is for customers who eat in-restaurant only. Please make your reservations early!

3. The Big eat restaurantThe 2017 Big Eat Dates are:
Downtown Winston-Salem dates:
Tuesday evenings, January 10, 17, 24, 31 & February 7, 2017.
Greensboro and other Triad locations:
Tuesday evenings, February 21, 28 & March 7, 14, 21, 2017.

4. Clark College Jazz FestivalNext up — Clark College Jazz Festival in Vancouver, Washington
Clark College hosts the 55th Annual Clark College Jazz Festival, presenting three full days of exhilarating big band jazz. Sixty middle and high school jazz ensembles from throughout Washington and Oregon are scheduled to perform in this year’s competition with trophies presented to the top three jazz ensembles for middle schools and A through AAAA division high schools.

5. Clark College Jass PerformersFrom: January 26, 2017 – January 28, 2017
Location: Gaiser Hall Theater
Address: 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663
Admission: $5 per day

6. Goldenn State Tattoo ExpoThird: The Golden State Tattoo Expo in Pasadena, California
Inked Magazine presents the Golden State Tattoo Expo hosted by Nikko Hurtado and Carlos Torres. The expo will take place at the Pasadena Convention Center where you can meet invited guest tattoo artists and vendors and experience music, contests, entertainment and an art gallery.

7.. Golden-State-Tattoo-Expo-2015Special guests include Paul Booth, the mastermind behind Last Rites. He is the owner of Last Rites Tattoo and Last Rites Gallery; Stefano Alcantara, a self taught artist that believes the human skin is a unique canvas that allows him to create a permanent mark in someone’s life; Norm, who turned his love of urban culture into fine art and manages his time between Hawaii and Los Angeles; Big Gus, who is a world-known tattoo artist whose popular style of fine line, black and grey photorealism can be seen in tattoo publications in 40 countries; and Big Sleeps, who is one of the culture’s most respected artists.  His book “Neighborhood Offerings” has even been picked up by the Getty Research institute.

From: Friday, January 27 thru Sunday January 29, 2017, with tickets also available through Ticketmaster with both daily and weekend packages.

Location: Pasadena Convention Center
Address: 300 East Green Street, Pasadena, CA 91101
Phone: 646 595 8321

8. Something Rotten!Fourth: “Something Rotten!” performances in Boston, Mass.

There is Something Rotten! at the Boston Opera House for a limited run — January 17th through January 29th.

The year is 1595, and struggling playwrights Nigel and Nick Bottom are planning on taking Shakespeare down a peg or two. Their idea? To conjure up the one type of show that’s outside The Bard’s wheelhouse — the musical! An uproariously irreverent and meta-portrait of the Renaissance, “Something Rotten!” tracks the brothers’ shaky progress while gleefully parodying The Great White Way’s greatest hits, riffing on everything from “Phantom of the Opera” to “Les Miserables.”

9. Something rotten performersNote that this play may not be appropriate for children under the age of 8 years old. Run time is 2 hours and 30 minutes including one intermission.

Location: The Boston Opera House
Address: 539 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111
Dates: January 17 – 29, 2017
Curtain time: Weekdays at 7:30 PM, Fridays at 8, Weekend Matinees at 2 PM on Saturday/1 PM on Sunday, and Weekend Evenings at 8 PM on Saturday and 6:30 PM on Sundays.

See you next week with more recommendations for Winter Weekend Jaunts and interesting, off-the-wall things to do with family and friends. ‘Till then, keep warm!

Click on the names of these cities to obtain Visitor’s Guides for additional things to do, where to eat, places to stay, calendars of events, local attractions and more.
Winston-Salem, NC
Vancouver, WA
Pasadena, CA
Boston, MA

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