Listening to Blues and Gospel at an Alabama Tribute to W.C. Handy


Florence, in northwest Alabama, celebrates one of its most famous sons Aug. 1 to 8 with the 17th annual W.C. Handy Music Festival. More than 150 blues, jazz and gospel events are planned, 80% of them free, from street corners to concert halls. Highlights include a performance by Freddy Cole (Nat King’s brother) and two concerts that focus on the history of music in the black church. For more information, contact the Music Preservation Society, P.O. Box 1827, Florence, AL 35631; telephone (205) 766-7642.


The Cypress Gardens Invitational Hang Gliding Tournament, Aug. 21 to 23 in Winter Haven, is set up with spectators in mind. Contests include dropping objects to hit targets, speed races, an aerial slalom course and more. For more information, contact Cypress Gardens, P.O. Box 1, Cypress Gardens, FL 33884; tel. (800) 282-2123.



In Boston’s Little Italy section, the North End, every August weekend brings a new festival: Feast of Madonna della Cava Aug. 7 to 9 on Hanover St., Madonna del Soccorso Aug. 13 to 16 on North St., St. Domenic Aug. 23 on North Square and St. Anthony and St. Lucy Aug. 28 to 31 on Endicott and Thatcher streets. For more information, contact the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, 2 Copley Place, Suite 105, Boston, MA 02116-6501; tel. (888) 733-2678.


The Blackberry Arts Festival takes place in Coos Bay, Aug. 22. Four blocks of Central Avenue are blocked off for this street fair, which features local crafts and foods made with blackberries. For more information, contact the Coos Bay Downtown Assn., 181 S. Broadway, Suite 104, Coos Bay, OR 97420; tel. (800) 676-7563.



Highlights of this year’s Elvis Week, Aug. 8 to 16 in Memphis, include a brunch with Elvis’ favorite gospel group, the Jordanaires; and “Conversations on Elvis” with those who knew him. Advance reservations for Graceland tours are strongly recommended. For more information, contact Graceland, 3734 Elvis Presley Blvd., Memphis, TN 38116; tel. (800) 238-2000.


The Bandiera del Lago, the traditional summer-long regatta on Lake Garda, continues on four Saturday evenings beginning at 8 p.m.: Aug. 1, 8, 22 and 29. For more information, contact the Italian Government Tourist Board, 12400 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, L.A., CA 90025; tel. (310) 820-0098.


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