With a region the size of continental Europe and comprising six states in Midwest USA, there is always something new happening in the Great Lakes USA region.
Plenty of dancing in the streets as Detroit celebrates the 60th anniversary of Motown Records home to legends Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and The Jacksons. Celebrations will include high-profile events led by Hittsville, the Motown Museum, including a new exhibit, a spring block party in the museum grounds and live music, food trucks and free museum tours. The keystone event will be September's Motown 60 Weekend to include Motown icons and the next generation of artists. www.michigan.org
Home to legendary singer Prince, the annual four-day celebration to honour his unique life and legacy is in April at his historic home and recording sanctuary, Paisley Park in Chanhassen. The event will welcome fans from around the world for live music, concert screenings, panel discussions and presentations highlighting Prince's talent, influence and importance as a composer, musician, producer, live performer and filmmaker. Musical guests to perform at Paisley Park include Jesse Johnson; Prince's iconic group The Revolution, featuring Bobby Z, Lisa Coleman and Funk Soldiers. Paisley Park will also again present an exclusive offsite concert event titled PRINCE: In Concert on the Big Screen at The Armory in Minneapolis. https://officialpaisleypark.com/
Home to one of the USA's largest theme parks, Six Flags Great America in Gurnee. This summer the park will unveil the fastest launch roller coaster in North America. Maxx Force will reach speeds of 78 mph in under two seconds. This record-breaker features the fastest inversion and tallest double inversion of any other coaster in the world. Six Flags offers endless adventures for the family with 16 roller coasters, 20-acre water park, spectacular shows and four children's themed areas with more than 30 rides. www.sixflags.com/greatamerica/attractions/newfor2019
The Tall Ships travel through the Great Lakes every three years and will make their way to Wisconsin in July and August. One of only 11 ports in North America and one of seven in the USA, the Port of Green Bay will be home to nine majestic vessels offering a variety of entertainment and experiences.
Touring ships allow event goers to learn about each ship's history and meet the crew. Sailing ships offer even more of an experience as they hoist their anchor and sail down the river into the mouth of the bay. https://tallshipswisconsin.com/event-description/
Ohio has launched the Ohio Presidential Trail. The 13-stop trail invites travellers to discover history by highlighting homes, libraries, museums and monuments that tell the stories of eight U.S. presidents elected from Ohio. Stops on the trail include: U.S. Grant Birthplace, Point Pleasant; U.S. Grant Boyhood Home & Schoolhouse, Georgetown; Warren G. Harding Home & Memorial, Marion; William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, Canton and the National McKinley Birthplace Memorial.
The new Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott® at Fair Oaks Farms gives visitors the chance to overnight at one of Indiana's biggest agritourism destinations . The exterior design is that of an 80-foot tall contemporary barn, an adjoining single storey stone 'milking parlour' housing the Pool Party & Fitness amenities and two silos that contain eight guest suites; all with three handcrafted weather vanes on top. Fair Oaks Farms, an escape to the country for food, fun, enrichment and entertainment, was started by local farmers dedicated to feeding a hungry planet through environmentally responsible and transparent agriculture. The Fair Oaks Farms experience engages guests in innovation and best practices that sustain the land, animals and people. https://visitindiana.com/blog/index.php/2019/01/11/fair-oaks-farms-hotel/
ROYAL ALBERTA MUSEUM IN EDMONTON
After nearly three years of closure, the new Royal Alberta Museum has opened in its new location in downtown Edmonton. With twice as much space as the former location, visitors can see an ice age mammoth replica or check out a 1,700 year-old roasting pit excavated from the wonderfully named Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump.
BUNGY ADVENTURE AT WINSPORT IN CALGARY
Experience the latest adrenaline-filled adventure Free Fall at Winsport in Calgary, home of the 1988 Winter Olympics. From the new eight-storey platform you'll be fitted in a bungee-type harness. Jump off the platform and feel the sensation that's the closest thing you can get to skydiving as you free fall eight metres.
EDMONTON'S HOTTEST NEW HOTEL
The new JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District is set to be the only modern luxury hotel in Edmonton and one of only three JW Marriott branded hotels in Canada. Located in Edmonton's hottest new neighbourhood the hotel has 346 rooms including an 1800 sq. ft. presidential suite. Amenities include four restaurants and lounges, a 22nd floor executive lounge, 13,000 sq. ft. Health Club, pool, whirlpool and spa with five treatment rooms.
Biera, a neighbourhood restaurant in Edmonton, pairs great food with fine beer. Inspired by European bistro food, the contemporary restaurant is inside Blind Enthusiasm brewpub.
'To All At Sea' Painting Installation History
Following the award winning painting installation, 'High and Low' in 2016, the team behind this project are working together again on bringing a theatrical and engaging painting installation to Anglesey, due to launch this spring. The subject of the installation is the 160th anniversary of the 'Royal Charter Storm' of 1859. The installation will be created by Anthony Garratt, enabled by The Outbuildings, Anglesey and built by Mark and Loz Shipwrights.
The Royal Charter Storm
In October 1859, The Royal Charter, a steamship en route to Liverpool from Melbourne was wrecked off the east coast of Anglesey in a ferocious storm. It is estimated that 800 lives were lost in the storm, coined 'The Royal Charter Storm'.
The Royal Charter is legendary on Anglesey, not least due to the heroic efforts of locals from Moelfre who attempted to rescue crew and passengers. In a dreadful twist of fate the ship was carrying a cargo of gold and many on board had sewn gold into their clothes. Upon entering the sea, they immediately drowned.
A lesser known consequence of The Royal Charter storm was its influence on the modern day shipping forecast and development of the meteorological office. Captain Robert Fitzroy, in charge of the office at the time, brought in the first gale warning service in 1860 to prevent similar tragedies.
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist, travel writer and author of 11 books. My byline appears in national and regional newspapers and magazines. Website gillypickup.co.uk