'Star Wars' eventon tap at WDW
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Some George Lucas fans will be lining up for the May 19 debut of "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith."
Others will find the Force at Disney World, where "Star Wars" festivals are scheduled for four consecutive weekends from May 20 through June 12.
Kids can master light-saber skills at the Jedi Training Academy, while "Star Wars" experts can play a special edition of "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?" featuring trivia from the films. Various celebrities from the movies also will be on hand to meet fans and sign autographs, and costumed characters will play villains and heroes from the films in meet-and-greets, parades and motorcades.
More details are available at www.starwars.com or www.disneyworld.com.
New rides make splashat Wisconsin Dells
WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. -- Hold on to your bathing cap. Four thrilling new water rides will knock your goggles off this summer at Wisconsin Dells.
The year-round resort town has more than 200 water slides among its 21 water parks, including the country's largest indoor and outdoor water parks.
New this year are Black Anaconda, a quarter-mile-long water coaster over six hills, scheduled to be completed by Memorial Day; the Mount Olympus Water & amp; Theme Park, opening May 28, which will have a five-story water slide complex called Triton as well as a new wooden roller coaster on dry land called Hades with an underground tunnel; and an extreme tube ride with a 53-foot-drop. That ride, called the Howlin' Tornado, is part of the indoor waterpark at Great Wolf Lodge. A similar ride at the Wilderness Hotel & amp; Golf Resort, called the Hurricane, opens mid-June.
To plan a visit to Wisconsin Dells, call (800) 223-3557 or go to www.wisdells.com.
Smithsonian Festivalserves up gourmet fun
WASHINGTON -- If you live to eat, you'll want to check out "Food Culture USA" at this year's Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
The program includes demonstrations by celebrity chefs like Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batali, along with local chefs and everyday cooks.
Chef Alice Waters, who started a campaign to get schoolchildren to eat healthier, fresher food, will recreate her "Edible Schoolyard." She started the project -- in which students grow food in a communal garden, then learn to cook it -- in Berkeley, Calif.
The 2005 festival has three other themes, each with its own events: the arts, culture and history of the Sultanate of Oman; the history and traditions of the U.S. Forest Service; and the "Nuestra Musica," showcasing Latino music traditions.
The free event takes place June 23-27 and June 30-July 4 on the National Mall.
The festival usually attracts 1 million people.
For more information, visit www.folklife.si.edu/festival/2005.
The ultimate listfor tiki bar lovers
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Are tiki bars tacky?
Some people think so. But others love the palm-tree decor, indoor waterfalls and mai tais.
If you're a tiki fan, this list's for you. Coastal Living magazine describes five tiki joints where you can sip a tropical drink and sway to Polynesian pop music without leaving the United States.
They are Waikiki Wally's, 101 E. 2nd St., in Manhattan; Mai-Kai Restaurant, 3599 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Bahi Hut Lounge, 4675 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Fla.; Bali Hai Restaurant, 2230 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego; and the restaurant that claims to have started the tiki craze in 1937, the original Trader Vic's, 9 Anchor Drive, Emeryville, Calif.
Trader Vic's founder, Victor Bergeron, came up with the Polynesian theme in 1937 after visiting Tahiti, and he's credited with inventing the mai tai rum cocktail in 1944.