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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

THE ROYAL EDINBURGH MILITARY TATTOO!



 
 
 
  
    The commentator - the Voice of the Castle - brings the audience together, cheering individually for their countries but united in an international fraternity. The tunes are echoes of a glorious and often tragic past, of freedom and glory and of suffering and loss ... 'The Garb of Old Gaul' and The Skye Boat Song' and the rousing quick marches, 'Dumbarton's Drums' and 'All the Blue Bonnets are over the Border'.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the most spectacular show in the world, enjoyed by an international television audience of 100 million. There is, however, no substitute for being there in person as part of the 217,000-strong audience over its three-week season on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle who don't simply watch the show but become a part of it.










   In the glowering twilight, Edinburgh Castle slumbers, resting, waiting for nightfall and for the footlights that will transform it into a dazzling stage set for the world's most spectacular show. Down Castlehill, along the Lawnmarket, around the cathedral church of St Giles, through the closes of the Royal Mile and the narrow streets whose setts ring with history, people gather in the dusk of a late summer evening.
   Turning their faces to the great castle rock, where ancient clans first settled the area, which was to become the capital of Scotland and where now stands Edinburgh's mighty fortress, they join a crowd that will soon be an audience, rapt with enthusiasm for the unique spectacle that is the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
   Climbing the final rise towards the Castle Esplanade, walking companionably together, eight and ten abreast, eager old hands who come every year but never lose the thrill of a Tattoo ahead, and new folk, many on holiday from other proud nations a world away, who are about to witness the show they will never forget...









 
   Settling into their seats, the fresh clear air exhilarating, the sky above the Castle deepening first to heather-colors of lilac and purple before darkness slips down and the floodlit castle draws all eyes.
   French shake hands with English, Japanese nod smilingly to Swedish neighbors, native Scots welcome Italians. The Tattoo is family now.
   A hush falls and darkness deepens, the great oak gates of the Castle sweep open and the swell of the pipes and drums cracks through the night sky. As the massed bands march out in their hundreds across the drawbridge, flanked by effigies of William Wallace and Robert The Bruce, emotions run high: this matchless spectacle unfailingly enthralls, symbolizing the Scotland that everyone holds dear in their heart.
   Every Edinburgh Tattoo begins with this vivid and intensely emotional display, and may it always be so. For these are Scotland's finest fighting men (pipers and drummers are soldiers first, musicians second) playing the stirring tunes that over centuries have given courage and inspiration on battlefields in every corner of the globe. Lest we forget, we have our pipes and drums.

 

 
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   Now a dazzling show is spread out on the Esplanade, a whirling and colorful kaleidoscope of music, dance and display. It may be exciting - daredevil motorcycles at speed and the breathtaking re-enactment of battles, or exotic - Turkish music and Chinese dancers, or simply the best of Scottish - Highland dancers wheeling and swirling to a fiddle orchestra.
   Such is the blend of home and international talent that the show is always fresh, exciting and alive, even for the many faithful fans who 'never miss' a yearly visit to the Tattoo. Over some 60 years of the Tattoo they would have seen performers from more than 40 countries - from Australia to Canada, Africa to Fiji, France to Nepal, The Netherlands to the United States.










   International guest performers bring another dimension to a familiar pageant but it is the pipes and drums, which serve as the emotional core, the heart of the Tattoo which Scots, love fiercely and visitors quickly take to their own hearts.
   And above all else the awesome presence of the Castle, great flaring torches lighting its venerable walls and creating mysterious shadow plays on the honey colored stone.
Now, the audience gather themselves together for the finale. All 1000 or so performers are on the Esplanade, column after column of marchers, dancers, and bandsmen. The audience joins in the great chorus of singing and cheering, and applause and cries of 'Bravo!' before a hush falls for the singing of the Evening Hymn, the sounding of the Last Post and the lowering of the flags.
   And finally, all eyes are drawn to the Castle ramparts, where a single spotlight cues the Lone Piper to play his haunting lament, the high notes echoing across the still night sky and across the dark city, as the flames of the Castle torch lights and the piper's warming brazier flicker and slowly die.










   Fireworks burst out against the black sky, but the spell is not broken for when we sing 'Auld Lang Syne' and shake our neighbor's hand, the emotions linger and the heart is full.
   Tattoo-goers all, united by international friendship, the shared love of a nation, its music and its traditions.

'Will ye no come back again'? says the haunting old song and our answer must be 'oh, yes and very soon'.

Tattoo Fact File




 

 
 
  • The first Edinburgh Tattoo took place in 1950. There were eight items in the program.
  • More than 12 million people have attended the Tattoo. The annual audience is around 217,000.



 

 
 
 
  • Each year 100,000 people visit the Tattoo's new attraction at the top of the Royal Mile. The Spirit of the Tattoo - the compelling story of Edinburgh's Military Tattoo, featuring an interactive exhibition, movie theatre and gift shop.
  • The first commercial twelve inch stereo LP record of the Tattoo was released in 1961.
  • 2009 marked the Tattoo’s eleventh successive sell-out season, generating some £6.2 million in box office receipts.
  • Around 35 miles of cabling (the distance from Edinburgh to Glasgow) is required.
  • The event was first seen in color on TV in 1968.








  • From 1950 to 1991, there were four producers - Lt Col George Malcolm of Poltalloch, Brigadier MacLean, Brigadier Sanderson and Lt Col Dow.
  • Major Michael Parker then took over as producer for the 1992, 1993 and 1994 Tattoos. He was succeeded by Brigadier Melville Jameson in 1995, who in turn was followed by Major General Euan Loudon in March 2007.
  • The first overseas regiment to participate was the Band of the Royal Netherlands Grenadiers. The year was 1952, and there were also performers from Canada and France.
  • The first lone piper was Pipe Major George Stoddart. He played in every performance for the first eleven years. His son, Major Gavin Stoddart, followed his father as lone piper at the Tattoo and became Director of Army Bagpipe Music for 12 years.
  • Hollywood movie producer Mike Todd, the fourth husband of film star Elizabeth Taylor, made a documentary program on the Tattoo in 1950.









  • Not a single performance of the Tattoo has ever been cancelled.
  • The Tattoo is set up and run for charitable purposes. Over the years, it has gifted some £5 million to service and civilian organization,
  • At the last official independent count, visitors to the Tattoo contributed an estimated £88 million to the Scottish economy.
  • The Tattoo has always been staged at Edinburgh Castle. Rehearsals take place at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh.
  • Over 40 countries have been represented at the Tattoo.



     
     

  • The word ‘tattoo’ comes from the closing-time cry in the inns in the Low Countries during the 17th and 18th centuries - ‘Doe den tap toe’ (‘Turn off the taps’).
  • Around 100 million people see the Tattoo each year on international television.
  • Approximately 70 per cent of each audience is from Scotland. Half of these are from overseas.

THE CORN PALACE FESTIVAL FROM MITCHELL, SOUTH DAKOTA!






   The Corn Palace serves as a multi-use center for the community and region. The facility hosts stage shows, as well as sports events in its arena. The World's Only Corn Palace is an outstanding structure which stands as a tribute to the agricultural heritage of South Dakota.
    The original Corn Palace, called "The Corn Belt Exposition" was established in 1892. Early settlers displayed the fruits of their harvest on the building exterior in order to prove the fertility of South Dakota soil. The third and present building was completed for it first festival at the present location in 1921.
   The exterior decorations are completely stripped down and new murals are created each year. The theme is selected by the Corn Palace Festival Committee and murals are designed by a local artist.










Corn Palace History

   The World's Only Corn Palace is Mitchell's premier tourist attraction. Some 500,000 tourists come from around the nation each year to see the uniquely designed corn murals. The city's first Corn Palace was build as a way to prove to the world that South Dakota had a healthy agricultural climate.
   Eight years before the turn of the 20th century -1892- when Mitchell, South Dakota was a small, 12-year-old city of 3,000 inhabitants - the WORLD’S ONLY CORN PALACE was established on the city’s Main Street. During its over 100 years of existence, it has become known worldwide and now attracts more than a half a million visitors annually. The palace was conceived as a gathering place where city residents and their rural neighbors could enjoy a fall festival with extraordinary stage entertainment – a celebration to climax a crop-growing season and harvest. This tradition continues today with the annual Corn Palace Festival, August 26th – August 30th, 2009.





The starting of one of the conr murals





   By 1905 the success of the Corn Palace had been assured and a new Palace was to be built, but this building soon became too small. In 1919, the decision to build a third Corn Palace was made. This one was to be permanent and more purposeful than its predecessors. The present building was completed in 1921, just in time for the Corn Palace Festivities. That winter Mitchell hosted its first boys state basketball tournament. The building was considered to have the finest basketball arena in the upper Midwest area.










   In the 1930’s, steps were taken to recapture the artistic decorative features of the building and minarets and kiosks of Moorish design were added restoring the appearance of early day Corn Palace.
   Today, the Corn Palace is more than the home of the festival or a point of interest of tourists. It is a practical structure adaptable to many purposes. Included among its many uses are industrial exhibits, dances, stage shows, meetings, banquets, proms, graduations arena for Mitchell High School and Dakota Wesleyan University as well as district, regional and state basketball tournaments. USA Today named the Corn Palace one of the top 10 places in America for high school basketball.





Early picture of the inside



 
   The Palace is redecorated each year with naturally colored corn and other grains and native grasses to make it “the agricultural show-place of the world”. We currently use 13 different colors or shades of corn to decorate the Corn Palace: red, brown, black, blue, white, orange, calico, yellow and now we have green corn! A different theme is chosen each year, and murals are designed to reflect that theme. Ear by ear the corn is nailed to the Corn Palace to create a scene. The decorating process usually starts in late May with the removal of the rye and dock. The corn murals are stripped at the end of August and the new ones are completed by the first of October.
   Cherie Ramsdell is the current panel designer. Our current theme is entitled "America's Destinations". The Corn Palace is known around the world as a folk-art wonder on the prairie of South Dakota.




Inside as it looks today




Corn Palace Murals and Panels

   This annual redecorating process began on Monday, June 8 as 16 decorators started removing the dock and rye and began replacing those items. The Corn Mural will remain intact until the annual Corn Palace Festival at which time the new mural drawings will be placed on the Corn Palace. The process should be completed about mid-October.











   "Through the Ages" has been selected as the theme for this year's decorating process by the Corn Palace Festival Committee. "As people travel across this country to see these murals on Mitchell's Corn Palace, the Festival Committee felt this theme depicting various modes of transportation would be interesting to all ages as we think about how travel has changed "Through the Ages", said Corn Palace Director Mark A. Schilling.










   One unique insignia is the Boy Scout 100-Year Anniversary Logo found in the picture of the canoe. The Boy Scouts will be celebrating 100 years in 2010 when the corn mural will appear on the Corn Palace.
   The Corn Palace Festival Committee has chosen the following objects to be shown on the panels depicting various modes of transportation such as an airplane, a segway, a sailboat, a bike, a motorcycle, a canoe with Boy Scout logo, a hot air balloon, a snowmobile, a stagecoach, a four-wheeler, a car, and a train.

Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is inside the Corn Palace?
   Inside the Corn Palace are pictures from almost all of the prior years the Corn Palace has been decorated. A new Corn Palace Video explains the story of the Corn Palace. So come and Experience It! 


Mural in the works



2. How often do they change the pictures on the outside of the building?
   Each year we redecorate the Corn Palace selecting a new theme and new designs.
3. How much corn is used?
   Over 275,000 ears of corn are used in redecoating the Corn Palace








4. How do they color the corn?
   All the colors of corn are naturally grown with special seed raised just for the Corn Palace. Each color must be planted in separate fields to maintain its pure color.
5. How do they pick the theme each year?
   The Corn Palace Festival Committee selects the theme each year. If you have an idea, share it with them by e-mailing mschilling@cornpalace.com
 



AOBON FROM OKINAWA, JAPAN!!






   Obon or just Bon is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the departed (deceased) spirits of one's ancestors. This Buddhist custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their ancestors' graves, and when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars. It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori.
   The festival of Obon lasts for three days; however its starting date varies within different regions of Japan. When the lunar calendar was changed to the Gregorian calendar at the beginning of the Meiji era, the localities in Japan reacted differently and this resulted in three different times of Obon. "Shichigatsu Bon" (Bon in July) is based on the solar calendar and is celebrated around 15 July in eastern Japan (Kantō: areas such as Tokyo, Yokohama and the Tohoku region), coinciding with Chūgen.










  "Hachigatsu Bon" (Bon in August) is based on the solar calendar, is celebrated around the 15th of August and is the most commonly celebrated time. "Kyu Bon" (Old Bon) is celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, and so differs each year. "Kyu Bon" is celebrated in areas like the northern part of the Kantō region, Chūgoku, Shikoku, and the Southwestern islands. These three days are not listed as public holidays but it is customary that people are given leave.

Origin

   Obon is a shortened form of Ullambana. It is Sanskrit for "hanging upside down" and implies great suffering.  The Japanese believe they should ameliorate the suffering of the "Urabanna".
Bon Odori originates from the story of Maha Maudgalyayana (Mokuren), a disciple of the Buddha, who used his supernatural powers to look upon his deceased mother. He discovered she had fallen into the Realm of Hungry Ghosts and was suffering.  Greatly disturbed, he went to the Buddha and asked how he could release his mother from this realm. Buddha instructed him to make offerings to the many Buddhist monks who had just completed their summer retreat, on the fifteenth day of the seventh month. The disciple did this and, thus, saw his mother's release. He also began to see the true nature










 of her past unselfishness and the many sacrifices that she had made for him. The disciple, happy because of his mother's release and grateful for his mother's kindness, danced with joy. From this dance of joy comes Bon Odori or "Bon Dance", a time in which ancestors and their sacrifices are remembered and appreciated. See also: Ullambana Sutra.
   As Obon occurs in the heat of the summer, participants traditionally wear yukata, or light cotton kimonos. Many Obon celebrations include a huge carnival with rides, games, and summer festival food like watermelon.
   The festival ends with Toro Nagashi, or the floating of lanterns. Paper lanterns are illuminated and then floated down rivers symbolically signaling the ancestral spirits' return to the world of the dead. This ceremony usually culminates in a fireworks display.









Bon Odori

   Bon Odori, meaning simply Bon dance is a style of dancing performed during Obon. Originally a Nenbutsu folk dance to welcome the spirits of the dead, the style of celebration varies in many aspects from region to region. Each region has a local dance, as well as different music. The music can be songs specifically pertinent to the spiritual message of Obon, or local min'yo folk songs. Consequently, the Bon dance will look and sound different from region to region. Hokkaidō is known for a folk-song known as "Soran Bushi." The song "Tokyo Ondo" takes its namesake from the capital of Japan. "Gujo Odori" in Gujō, Gifu prefecture is famous for all night dancing. "Goshu Ondo" is a folk song from Shiga prefecture. Residents of the Kansai area will recognize the famous "Kawachi ondo." Tokushima in Shikoku is very famous for its "Awa Odori," or "fool's dance," and in the far south, one can hear the "Ohara Bushi" of Kagoshima.










   The way in which the dance is performed is also different in each region, though the typical Bon dance involves people lining up in a circle around a high wooden scaffold made especially for the festival called a 'yagura'. The yagura is usually also the bandstand for the musicians and singers of the Obon music. Some dances proceed clockwise, and some dances proceed counter-clockwise around the yagura. Some dances reverse during the dance, though most do not. At times, people face the yagura and move towards and away from it. Still some dances, such as the Kagoshima Ohara dance, and the Tokushima Awa Odori, simply proceed in a straight line through the streets of the town.










   The dance of a region can depict the area's history and specialization. For example, the movements of the dance of the Tankō Bushi (the "coal mining song") of old Miike Mine in Kyūshū show the movements of miners, i.e. digging, cart pushing, lantern hanging, etc. All dancers perform the same dance sequence in unison.
There are other ways in which a regional Bon dance can vary. Some dances involve the use of different kinds of fans, others involve the use of small towels called tenugui which may have colorful designs. Some require the use of small wooden clappers, or "kachi-kachi" during the dance. The "Hanagasa Odori" of Yamagata is performed with a straw hat that has been decorated with flowers.










   The music that is played during the Bon dance is not limited to Obon music and min'yo; some modern enka hits and kids' tunes written to the beat of the "ondo" are also used to dance to during Obon season. The "Pokémon Ondo" was used as one of the ending theme songs for the anime series in Japan.
   The Bon dance tradition is said to have started in the later years of the Muromachi period as a public entertainment. In the course of time, the original religious meaning has faded, and the dance has become associated with summer.
  To celebrate O-Bon in Okinawa, the eisa drum dance is performed instead.










Celebrations outside Japan

Argentina

   In Argentina, the Bon Festival is celebrated by Japanese communities during the summer of the southern hemisphere. The biggest festival is held in Colonia Urquiza, in La Plata Partido. It takes place on the sports ground of the La Plata Japanese School. The festival also includes taiko shows and typical dances.

 Brazil

   Bon Odori Festival is celebrated every year in many Japanese communities all over Brazil, as Brazil is home to the largest Japanese population outside of Japan. São Paulo is the main city of the Japanese community in Brazil, and also features the major festival in Brazil, with street odori dancing and matsuri dance. It also features Taiko and Shamisen contests. And, of course, this festival is also a unique experience of a variety of Japanese food & drinks, art and dance.









Malaysia

   In Malaysia, Bon Odori Festivals are also celebrated every year in Penang and at the Matsushita Corp Stadium in Shah Alam, Selangor. This celebration, which is a major attraction for the state of Selangor, is the brain child of the Japanese Expatriate & Immigrant's Society in Malaysia. In comparison to the celebrations in Japan, the festival is celebrated on a much smaller scale in Penang and Selangor, and is less associated with Buddhism and more with Japanese culture. Held mainly to expose locals to a part of Japanese culture, the festival provides the experience of a variety of Japanese food and drinks, art and dance.

United States and Canada

   The "Bon season" is an important part of the present-day culture and life of Hawaii. Bon Odori festivals are also celebrated in North America, particularly by Japanese-Americans or Japanese-Canadians affiliated with Buddhist temples and organizations. Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) temples in the U.S. typically celebrate Bon Odori with both religious Obon observances and traditional Bon Odori dancing around a yagura. Many temples also concurrently hold a cultural and food bazaar providing a variety of cuisine and art, also to display features of Japanese culture and Japanese-American history.  Performances of taiko by both amateur and professional groups have










 recently become a popular feature of Bon Odori festivals.   Bon Odori festivals are usually scheduled anytime between July and September. Bon Odori melodies are also similar to those in Japan; for example, the dance Tankō Bushi from Kyūshū is also performed in the U.S. In California, due to the diffusion of Japanese immigration, Bon Odori dances also differ from Northern to Southern California, and some are influenced by American culture, such as "Baseball Ondo".

Thursday, August 10, 2017

ALL AMERICAN SOAP BOX DERBY FROM AKRON, OHIO!!






   The Soap Box Derby is a youth soapbox car racing program which has been run in the United States since 1934. World Championship finals are held each July at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio. Cars competing in this and related events are unpowered, relying completely upon gravity to move.  This years event was held from July 16th to the 22nd for 2017.

History

   In the wake of the first car races, local kid auto races took place in the US at a very early stage. In 1914 the motion picture Kid Auto Races at Venice starring Charlie Chaplin was shown in the cinemas.  The first All-American race was held in Dayton on August 19, 1934, after an idea by Myron Scott, a photographer for the Dayton Daily News. The following year, the race was moved to Akron because of its central location
and hilly terrain. In 1936, Akron civic leaders recognized the need for a permanent track site for the youth racing classic and, through the efforts of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), Derby Downs became a reality.
   An accident in 1935 captured the public's interest, and boosted the event's profile. A car went off the track and struck NBC's top commentator and sportscaster Graham McNamee while he was broadcasting live on the air. Despite a concussion and other injuries (which would necessitate a two-week hospital stay), McNamee described the collision to his listeners and finished his broadcast.












   Using standardized wheels with precision ball bearings, modern gravity-powered racers start at a ramp on top of a hill, attaining speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. Rally races and qualifying races in cities around the world use advanced timing systems that measure the time difference between the competing cars to the thousandth of a second to determine the winner of a heat. Each heat of a race lasts less than 30 seconds. Most races are double elimination races where a racer that loses a heat can work their way through the Challenger's Bracket in an attempt to win the overall race. The annual World Championship race in Akron, however, is a single elimination race which uses overhead photography, triggered by a timing system, to determine the winner of each heat. Approximately 500 racers compete in 2 or 3 car heats to determine a World Champion in each of six divisions.












   During its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, when Chevrolet was a sponsor and famous TV and movie stars made guest appearances, as many as 70,000 people would gather in August to eat snow cones and cheer hundreds of youthful racer/builders (boys only in early years) ages 11–15 who were the champions of local races around the nation and from several foreign countries. In 1947, actor James Stewart was appearing in the Broadway play Harvey; in order to attend the event, he cancelled a weekend's worth of performances and refunds were issued to ticketholders. At its peak, the Derby was one of the top 5 sporting events in terms of attendance.












   Today there are broader categories that extend the age range to younger racers and permit adults to assist in construction. This is especially helpful for younger children who cannot use power tools, as well as to provide an outlet for adults.
   Starting in 1993, the All-American Soap Box derby began the Rally World Championship. The Rally derby, works on a grand prix style of race where each district, 10 in all, send back a number of champions based on number of racers and races in each district.

Ultimate Speed Challenge

   The Ultimate Speed Challenge is an All American Soap Box Derby sanctioned racing format that was developed in 2004 to preserve the tradition of innovation, creativity, and craftsmanship in the design of a gravity powered racing vehicle while generating intrigue, excitement, and engaging the audience at the annual All-American Soap Box Derby competition. The goal of the event is to attract creative entries designed to reach speeds never before attainable on the historic Akron hill. The competition will consist of three timed runs (one run in each lane), down Akron’s 989’ hill. The car and team that achieve the fastest single run will be declared the winner. The timed runs are completed during the All American Soap Box Derby race week.











   In 2004, during the inaugural run of the Ultimate Speed Challenge, the fastest time was achieved by a car designed and built by the Pearson family, driven by Alicia Kimball, and utilizing high performance pneumatic tires. The time achieved on the 989' track was 27.190 seconds. Jerry Pearson returned to defend the title with driver Nicki Henry in the 2005 Ultimate Speed Challenge beating the 2004 record time and breaking the 27.00 second barrier with a 26.953 seconds elapsed time. John Wargo, from  












  California, put together the 2006 Ultimate Speed Challenge winning team with driver Jenny Rodway. Jenny set a new track record of 26.934 seconds. In 2009, Derek Fitzgerald’s Zero-Error Racing team, with driver Jamie Berndt set a new track record time of 26.924 seconds. In 2010, Mark Overmyer’s Clean Sheet Racing team with wheel experts Duane Delaney and Mark Estes, and driver Jim Overmyer set the track record at 26.861 seconds in the opening heat of the opening round. Several minutes later, driver Sheri Lazowski, also of Team Clean Sheet, lowered the record to 26.844 seconds.











Scandals

   In 1973, 14 year old Jimmy Gronen of Boulder, CO was stripped of his title two days after winning the national race. Suspicions were running high even before the finals, and Gronen was actually booed by many spectators.
   The unusual dimensions of Gronen's margins of victory and heat times tipped off derby officials to illegal circumstances surrounding Gronen's racer. Subsequent X-ray examination of his car revealed an electromagnet in the nose. When activated at the starting line, the electromagnet would pull the car forward by attracting it to the steel paddle used to start the race. Gronen would activate the electromagnet by leaning his helmet against the backrest of his seat, which activated its power source. This became












very evident as Gronen's heat times progressively slowed down as the race wore on, because the electromagnet lost strength each time it was activated. Usually, heat times get faster each time a racer completes a heat. Videotape of the race also showed a suspiciously sudden lead for Gronen just a few feet after each heat began. The margin of victory for a race heat will normally be no more than 1 to 3 feet. Gronen's early heat victories were in the 20 to 30 feet range. (Aluminum insulator plates were added to the starting ramps in 1974 to render an electromagnetic system useless.)
   Midway through the 1973 race, Derby officials also replaced Gronen's wheels after chemicals were found to be applied to the wheels' rubber. The chemicals caused the tire rubber to swell, which reduced the rolling resistance of the tire.











   In the final heat, Gronen finished narrowly ahead of Bret Yarborough. Within two days, Yarborough was declared the 1973 champion.
   Gronen's uncle and legal guardian at the time, wealthy engineer Robert Lange, was indicted for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and paid a $2,000 settlement. Lange's son, Bob Lange Jr. (and Jimmy Gronen's cousin) had won the previous 1972 Derby using a car considered to be indistinguishable from the vehicle used by Gronen. Boulder, Colorado was also banned from any future participation in the All-American Soap Box Derby.

LES FETES De La NOUVELLE FRANCE SAQ FROM QUEBEC, CANADA!

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The SAQ New France Festival

   Organized as part of Québec City’s 400th anniversary celebrations in 2008, the New France Festival was first held in 1997 at the behest of the Québec City municipal authorities who were looking to set a historic festival inspired by the lives of the first European settlers against the background of Old Québec. The event was such a success from the start that it quickly became an annual event.
   The festival sought to bring to life over a dozen sites, all in the historic district of Old Québec. It is set to the background of Québec City, one of North America’s most historic cities. The event is aimed at city residents, visitors, families, and anyone with an interest in history.
   The decision to hold ongoing activities on the sites and in the streets throughout the event is a key part of the New France Festival. Drawing on a number of artistic disciplines and a host of different approaches, history is brought to life for visitors in any number of ways. The event has come up with a style of its own by integrating a host of resources blending art and history, evoking and reconstructing past and present. The entire festival is associated with a series of ongoing activities that includes parades and performances of all sorts, which with the help of visitors help create a festival atmosphere that is one of a kind and perfect for celebrating history.  This years event is being held from August 9th to the 13th for 2017.










   Historical content is key to the event. A different theme is chosen each year to allow the New France Festival to come up with original ways to present every facet of history in order to shed light on a period or important historical phenomenon, allowing visitors to discover and share in a whole new world. A broad range of cultural activities with an arts and entertainment flavor are put on, and such quality content has enabled the festival to become a major event.
   Just like the enormous popular festivals of the past, the New France Festival is steeped in a fun and celebratory atmosphere. The atmosphere comes from both the planned activites and the extras who work the sites and the streets of Old Québec and quickly spreads to everyone else involved in the festival, bringing the city to life every summer.

Highlights

   Organized as part of Québec City’s 400th anniversary celebrations in 2008, the New France Festival was first held in 1997 at the behest of the Québec City municipal authorities who were looking to set a historic festival inspired by the lives of the first European settlers against the background of Old Québec. The event was such a success from the start that it quickly became an annual event.
   The festival sought to bring to life over a dozen sites, all in the historic district of Old Québec. It is set to the background of Québec City, one of North America’s most historic cities. The event is aimed at city residents, visitors, families, and anyone with an interest in history.
   The decision to hold ongoing activities on the sites and in the streets throughout the event is a key part of the New France Festival. Drawing on a number of artistic disciplines and a host of different approaches, history is brought to life for visitors in any number of ways. The event has come up with a style of its own by integrating a host of resources blending art and history, evoking and reconstructing past and present. The entire festival is associated with a series of ongoing activities that includes parades and performances of all sorts, which with the help of visitors help create a festival atmosphere that is one of a kind and perfect for celebrating history.











   Historical content is key to the event. A different theme is chosen each year to allow the New France Festival to come up with original ways to present every facet of history in order to shed light on a period or important historical phenomenon, allowing visitors to discover and share in a whole new world. A broad range of cultural activities with an arts and entertainment flavor are put on, and such quality content has enabled the festival to become a major event.
   Just like the enormous popular festivals of the past, the New France Festival is steeped in a fun and celebratory atmosphere. The atmosphere comes from both the planned activites and the extras who work the sites and the streets of Old Québec and quickly spreads to everyone else involved in the festival, bringing the city to life every summer.


Québec’s biggest family historical and cultural festival!

   One of the top ten festivals in Québec, all categories (ranked by Commerce magazine, March 2008)

Over 30,000 costumed festivalgoers
Over 500 performances of all kinds
Over 300 artists
Over 400 volunteers, including 135 volunteer performers





275,000 visitors each year

A $2.3 million operating budget from four main sources:
- Grants from all 3 levels of government
- Private sponsorship
- Public financing campaigns, notably Médaillon sales
- Funds raised through the sale of products

$13 million of economic, tourism, and social benefits for the Greater Québec City area in 2009.

Festivalgoers’ origin :
Local residents 35%
Tourists 65%

More than 80% said they were satisfied with their visit to the SAQ New France Festival!










History of New France

   New France: French colony in North America from 1534 to 1760
   New France was founded during the age of the great European discoveries in the 16th century. On a voyage of exploration, Frenchman Jacques Cartier landed in North America and “discovered” the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The territory was already populated by indigenous peoples, who called the land “Canada.” In 1534 Cartier erected a cross at Gaspé and claimed Canada in the name of the king of France. The French presence in the North Atlantic grew quickly through the activities of whalers, cod fishermen, and fur traders.
   In the early 17th century, the first permanent settlements in New France were established. In 1608 Samuel de Champlain, considered the founder of New France, built a habitation in what would later become Québec City, making it his base for trade and other economic ventures. French colonists began to settle in the St. Lawrence Valley and Acadia.










   These early settlers played a major role in New France’s development by introducing newcomers from France to the land, climate, and the aboriginal nations who made North America their home. The writings of missionaries living among the First Nations were another source of information.
   As European explorers ventured further and further afield, trade thrived and new towns and trading posts sprang up. Although they attracted colonists and their descendents, the colony’s numbers remained too small to make much headway.
In the late 17th century, faced with the inability of private interests to properly administer the colony, New France’s future was placed in the hands of the king.    Louis XIV put a new administrative structure in place and the colony thrived anew as exploration, commercial undertakings, and settlement initiatives resumed.
   In the growing colony, tradesmen and small farmers made up the bulk of the French population, along with merchants, soldiers, laborers, members of the middle class, several nobles and clergymen, the Filles du Roy, coureurs des bois, and a few slaves.French North America reached its peak in the 18th century. By this time, its boundaries had expanded considerably to encompass over half of the continent, extending all the way from Hudson Bay to Louisiana, and including a goodly portion of the present-day Maritime provinces, the entire St. Lawrence Valley, the Great Lakes Basin, and the Mississippi Valley. Like the other European powers of the time, France hoped to find a route across the continent to the Western Sea, and on to Asia.
However, the British colonies, already a threat, became too populous and encircled New France. In 1713, France ceded Newfoundland, Acadia, and Hudson Bay to England under the Treaty of Utrecht. In the time of peace that followed, New France’s economy took off once more, allowing France to prepare for war.
And it was not long before war came. New France was conquered in 1760 and handed over to England once and for all three years later under the Treaty of Paris. Only Louisiana remained in French hands, but it too was ultimately ceded to the United States in 1803.









Québec Giants  

   The family of giants is spread over many continents. Distant cousins can be found in South America, Africa and Asia. In Europe alone, giants may be found in England, Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Portugal and the Netherlands. The Québec City giants, unique in North America, have now added a branch to the family tree.
   The family of giants is spread over many continents. Distant cousins can be found in South America, Africa and Asia. In Europe alone, giants may be found in England, Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Portugal and the Netherlands. The Québec City giants, unique in North America, have now added a branch to the family tree.The characters brought to life by the giants typify the cultural, historical identity of the celebration that is the New France Festival. Since 2002, one or more giants have been added to the family each year and then presented to the public during the parades.At the moment, thirdteen giants proudly represent the festival.

  • Champlain
  • Grand Cru
  • Belle Gueule
  • Louis Ango de Maizerets
  • Monique Purelaine
  • Marie Victoire
  • Le Grand Esprit des Nations
  • Nicolas dit Noble Cœur
  • Émeline et Louis
  • Capitaine Vaillant
  • Monsieur du Talion
     

Champlain


   The Champlain Giant is the largest of the Québec giants! Standing 6m tall, it takes two people to carry him.
Above all else, Champlain is a cartographer and throughout his whole life he burns with the desire to find a passage through which to cross the continent from coast to coast. His skirt draws its inspiration from one of Champlain’s many maps, with his illustrations and writing carefully reproduced like a timeline, highlighting some of the historic events witnessed by Québec City. Finally, Champlain is represented in bronze, symbolic of the numerous statues erected in his honour, underscoring the role he plays in the country’s collective memory.









Grand Cru

   The "Grand Cru" giant has acquired wisdom and maturity. He is a true connoisseur, having benefited from the excellent advice of the SAQ. Sensitive, competent, with a streak of humour... balance is everything when it comes to making a Grand Cru!
   He has a light body, his dress made up of vegetables recalling the variety of products on offer at the SAQ. His texture is composed of natural fibres, combining flexibility and rigidity.
   His is a happy marriage of spicy aromas and the scent of fruits and vegetables. His perfume evokes childhood memories, encouraging us to join the dance and follow him for the parade.
His colours respect natural hues, moving from golden yellow with a hint of green, to a purple-blue shade of ruby, while conserving intensity and harmony

Belle Gueule

   The “Belle Gueule" Giant joined the event in 2006. A friendly monk, he is the latest addition to the family. He spends his days brewing beer, with his body language revealing the care he puts into his craft

Louis Ango de Maizerets

   This giant was designed and created in the image of Louis Ango de Maizerets. He was supervisor at the Québec Seminary when the institution purchased part of the Notre-Dame-des-Anges seigniory in 1705. 5m tall, he played an important role in the history of the Domaine de Maizerets.

Monique Purelaine

   The giant from the Limoilou part of town symbolizes its history and culture: a young mother in her 30s representing the generations of working-class people who came to live in the area at start of the century.
   Pregnant, this giant carries the future of a part of Québec City within her. She is represented by way of a housewife to highlight her role and importance, as well as the responsibility of so many women, married to working men, through whom everything began.
   Monique Purelaine also symbolizes the cultural aspect of Limoilou through her apron, inspired by the work and the colours of the artist Pellan. This piece of clothing is made up of a mosaic of historical symbols representing different facets of this area of town that has always been rich in diversity.









Marie Victoire

   Marie-Victoire symbolizes all the women of New France - the grandmother, the mother, the wife, the daugther - who contributed to the demographic development of the new territory. Even though she symbolizes both past and present, the child she is holding in her arms gives us a glimpse of the future as the colony continues to evolve towards prosperity.

The Great Spirit of the Nations

   The Great Spirit of the Nations proudly represents Amerindian cultures, paying tribute to the First Nations, the country's first inhabitants. The character of a woman underlines the matriarchal predominance in such cultures.
The Great Spirit of the Nations proudly represents Amerindian cultures, paying tribute to the First Nations, the country's first inhabitants. The character of a woman underlines the matriarchal predominance in such cultures. The clothing of the Great Spirit of the Nations refers to many symbols precious to the Amerindian cultures: circles, the four elements (water, land, air and fire), the concepts of life and death (marked at the same time by the presence of spirits and by things that have belonged to the deceased such as his weapons, tobacco, etc.)

Nicolas dit Noble Cœur

   The Nicolas dit Noble Cœur giant is a tribute to the soldiers of the Carignan-Sallières Regiment. It was the first regiment in New France and many of its soldiers decided to remain in the colony, becoming lords of the New World's seigniories. Symbolically, we could consider Nicolas dit Noble Cœur and Marie-Victoire to be the colony's mother and father. The Nicolas dit Noble Cœur giant is a tribute to the soldiers of the Carignan-Sallières Regiment. It was the first regiment in New France and many of its soldiers decided to remain in the colony, becoming lords of the New World's seigniories. Symbolically, we could consider Nicolas dit Noble Cœur and Marie-Victoire to be the colony's mother and father. This giant, representing a soldier of the period, wears a uniform that includes a map of France upon which the origins of the regiment's soldiers are marked. Nicolas dit Noble Cœur highlights the patronymic ties between France and New France, but also the genealogical ties, as many children born in New France were descended from the soldiers of the Carignan-Sallières regiment.

Émeline et Louis

   Émeline and Louis, the first giants created by the SAQ New France Festival, make a fine couple. They were created in partnership with Louisiana and inspired by the two legendary Acadian characters Évangéline and Gabriel, whose story is told so memorably in Henry Longfellow's epic poem Evangeline.
Émeline and Louis, the first giants created by the SAQ New France Festival, make a fine couple. They were created in partnership with Louisiana and inspired by the two legendary Acadian characters Évangéline and Gabriel, whose story is told so memorably in Henry Longfellow's epic poem Evangeline. Separated during the Deportation of 1755, they symbolize an eternal but impossible love, a love that not even death can put an end to. Separately, each giant is a symbol in itself: Émeline, with her embroidery in her hands, symbolises the patience and fidelity of love, and the purity of the virgin. Louis resembles an oak tree, the same type of tree where, according to the legend, Évangeline finds Gabriel again. Louis typifies the strength and longevity of love, a symbol of immortality.








Capitaine Vaillant

   Captain Vaillant represents the father of the New France explorers and typifies the exploring spirit. His head is made of a globe on which you can see a ship; he holds a telescope. His robe is made of multiple parchments related to various subjects. They look like the notebooks of the great explorers, whose sketches and notes allowed them to transmit and store many observations about the fauna and flora of the New World.

Monsieur du Talion

   Monsieur du Talion is an allegory of the judicial system as applied in New France and a direct reference to the famous Law of Retaliation (Loi du Talion). He symbolizes the hangman, in front of whom, all too frequently, many criminal affairs were settled.
   Monsieur du Talion is an allegory of the judicial system as applied in New France and a direct reference to the famous Law of Retaliation (Loi du Talion). He symbolizes the hangman, in front of whom, all too frequently, many criminal affairs were settled. At the time, justice still relied upon questioning and torture, considering a person guilty until they could prove their innoncence. With no shortage of people who had been found guilty to be punished, hangmen, recruited from among those sentenced to death, represented the arm of the exemplary justice. Monsieur du Talion, wearing many instruments of torture, is a tribute to those who were forced to torture prisoners. The upper part of his body is carved out of stone, indicating the unshakable nature of the task he is to carry out.


What is a Giant ?


Giants represent whole regions, cities, and communities.





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   Carried giants can be traced back to 18th century Portugal.  Originally, Giants appeared in Western Europe to add color and educational value to communal and religious processions. From the 15th century onward, these giant figures were used to illustrate scenes from the bible, tales from the Golden Legend, and epic poems. With time, the Giants changed in meaning and came to represent regions, cities, and neighborhoods. Adapted to ideas of different eras, Giants moved away from processions to become increasingly profane figures used in carnivals, village fetes, and religious festivals, too.
   In Europe, where they have existed for over seven centuries, Giants took part in many popular festivals all year long, as well as parades and church celebrations. Giants were not limited to their own countries and traveled abroad, revealing their wide-ranging styles and sometimes marrying into other European cultures. They were also used to celebrate births, baptisms, and wedding anniversaries, retaining their ties to traditions, collective memory, and community identity.
   Today, giants meet regularly at international festivals and parades offering innovative insights to their own culture and history. They weigh more than 45 kg (100 lbs.) and are usually carried on a person's back.
   In Québec City, more than a dozen Giants have been created since 2002. The most imposing of them being Samuel de Champlain, the city’s founder; you’ll find him at the heart of the celebration!

Costumes in New France

Costumes in New France - LES BEAUX ATOURS (1675-1715)

1. Commoners
2. Bourgeoisie
3. Nobility
4. Lexicon

Commoners

   In New France, clothing for both men and women of the lower classes was generally made with rough or fine woolen fabrics (wool and cotton weaves).

Men

   MenHair was worn long and natural, often covered by a (usually red) toque, a type of woolen hat. Shirts were made of white cotton with collars and buttoned cuffs. Pants were made of woolen fabrics, featured button flies, and were fitted at the knee.
   Men also wore waistcoats, which were buttoned at the front and featured pockets and basques*. They also wore ties of fine canvass tied at the neck, with both ends falling over the chest.
   They wore tailored or knitted long wool stockings held up by garters and leather shoes that tied at the top with a metal buckle. Some also wore clogs.






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Women

   Women covered their hair with quilted bonnets tied under the chin. These bonnets were made of quilted canvass and always worn under a head covering known as a cornette*, while other bonnets, such as single or double rowed bonnets*, were worn alone.
   Women wore canvass or muslin neckerchiefs. White cotton blouses were short sleeved and open at the neck.
Bodices were fitted garments with basques* and sleeves tied at the front or back.
Skirts, worn over petticoats, were long and generous and made of woolen fabric.
Aprons were made of heavy canvass or dark woolen fabric. Women always wore white aprons in public.
Stockings were made of wool and held by garters at the knee. They were worn with shoes or clogs.

Bourgeoisie

   The clothing of the better off was tailored from silk, velvet, or beautiful woolen fabrics. The bourgeoisie had many more colors to choose from.

Men

 Man Wigs were the height of fashion, along with canes and gloves. Three-cornered hats were adorned with feathers.
 Shirts were white and made of fine canvass, featuring jabots and oversleeves.
 Pants were tailored from rich cloth and ended at the knees. They boasted beautiful metal buttons that were both decorative and practical.
 Men’s waistcoats, which featured embroideries and braids, were worn under ornate justaucorps.
Long, straight ties were made of muslin and wrapped around the neck with their knotted ends falling over the chest.
   Stockings were made of red or pink silk. Shoes had square toes and high heels.





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Women

Ladies wore their hair in the Fontange style.
Their white blouses were of fine canvass adorned with lace collars and engageantes.
Fitted dresses featured short, narrow sleeves.
Dress coats were left open at the front to reveal ladies’ stomachers*. The bottoms of the dresses were raised and pinned at the back.
Skirts were ornately decorated with pleats and appliqués.
Silk stockings and shoes were covered in rich cloth.
Ladies often carried fans or parasols or wore gloves.
When indoors or in the garden, they would wear lace aprons.

Nobility

   The ornate clothing of the nobility was made of luxurious fabrics well beyond the reach of the other classes, who had to settle for imitating the cut of their clothing.

Men

Man Wigs, known as in folio, were so cumbersome that noblemen had to carry their hats under their arms.
Their white shirts featured jabots and cuffs. Jabots, cuffs, and ties were adorned with the finest Point de France or Point de Venise lace.
A Steinkerque-style tie was wound twice around the neck and its ends were inserted into the sixth buttonhole of the justaucorps*.
Vests were embroidered with gold and silver thread. Justaucorps worn on top were decorated with golden braids and ribbons.
Men wore pants of the finest figured silk.
Stockings were made of silk, and shoes covered in figured silk.
Men carried canes and wore gloves.





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Women

   Ladies wore their hair in the Fontange style, and the lace they wore was decorated with butterflies or hornets made of gems.
Their white shirts of fine canvass were open at the neck and adorned with frilled lace.
Engageantes were decorated with Point de France or Point de Venise lace.
Dresses were tailored from the finest figured silk* and ornately decorated with gold and silver thread.
Skirts were adorned with appliqués and fringes* and worn over layered petticoats.
Women protected their pale skin from the sun with gloves and parasols.
Their stockings were made of silk, and their shoes covered with figured silk*.
Note: From the age of six, children from all social classes dressed as adults, according to social class.

Lexicon

  • Basques : Lower part of an item of clothing, flared according to the fashion of the day
  • Cornette : A head covering whose long tails could be tied up or left free.
  • Engageantes : Fixed, funnel-shaped lace decorations at the end of the sleeves on a woman’s garment.
  • Figured silk : A rich silk fabric adorned with embossed designs of gold and silver thread.
  • Fontange hairstyle : High curls above the forehead with two locks forming kiss curls on the forehead. The hair was swept up into a bun at the back, with curls falling forward onto the forehead and down onto the nape of the neck. A bonnet covered the bun, and large folds of lace were raised into a high structure atop the head.
  • Fringes : Loose ends of cloth at the edges of a cut.
  • Jabots : Lace (or muslin) decorations sewn around the shirt collar and spread across the chest.
  • Justaucorps : Embroidered garment covered with braids and ribbons. It was taken in at the waist and extended to the knees. It featured basques, banded cuffs, and pockets placed high or low on the garment, depending on the fashion of the day. The bottom was split down the back and along the sides.
  • Oversleeve : Detachable decorations adorning the cuffs of a man’s shirt.
  • Quilted bonnet : A quilted bonnet comprising three pieces (the center and both sides). The outside was made of canvass and lined with fustian (a cotton fabric from the Orient that could be plain or feature a striped or moiré design).Cotton was inserted between these two layers, and the whole thing was pinned to keep the cotton in place.
  • Single or double rowed bonnet : A bonnet adorned with light or dark colored bands of fabrics surrounding the face.
  • Stomacher : An ornate or embroidered triangular garment used to cover the lacings of a corset.