45th Annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival swings in Aug. 4-6

Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival
A Dixieland band entertains the crowd at the annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival.
(Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society)
Chicago Tribune

Here are some of the more interesting events, deals, websites and other travel tidbits that have come across our desk recently:

•The Iowa-Illinois Quad Cities will be swinging Aug. 4-6 with the 45th Annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival. This year the festival is being held at the Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa, along with free concerts Friday and Saturday nights at the LeClaire Park band shell in downtown Davenport, Iowa. The festival is a tribute to the city’s native son, considered to be one of the most noted jazz soloists of the 1920s.


•The All Ireland Tour from Irish Tourism is a 12-night exploration of the Emerald Isle with overnights in County Wicklow, Waterford, County Kerry, County Galway, County Donegal, the Antrim Coast, Belfast and Dublin. Depending on the time of year you travel, pricing is as low as $811 per person, double occupancy for lodging only, or $1,047 per person with a rental car. 877-298-7205,

•The Rock River Anything That Floats Race began in 1976 in Rockford, Ill., and is held every summer. This year’s incarnation will be Aug. 21, though Aug. 1 is the deadline for teams to register. Traditional vessels such as canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards can race, but the real attraction is the rafts that are cobbled together from all types of materials to replicate things like huge ducks or dragons. If you don’t want to race you can just spectate — and celebrate at the after-race party.

•Beginning in September, United Airlines will offer two nonstop daily flights between Chicago O’Hare Airport and Chattanooga, Tenn.

•If sampling beer lakeside on a toasty July day sounds like a good way to pass the afternoon, you might want to check out the Lac du Flambeau Lions Brewfest on July 30 in Minocqua, Wis. Craft beers from more than 40 breweries will be available, and there will be live music and raffles. And you can feel good because all proceeds go to charity.

•Travelers heading south July 30 will have the opportunity to sample brewskis at the 21st annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival at Military Park in Indianapolis. On hand will be more than 100 breweries — mostly from the Hoosier State.

•The 22nd annual Leprechaun Hunt is a benefit event in LaPorte, Ind., for Sharing Meadows, a community for handicapped adults. There will be 33 leprechaun figurines hidden on the property, and they’ll be worth $50 to $1,500. Tickets may be bought in advance or at the gate and will include Irish and American food, live music, hayrides, rowboats and more.

•The Kentucky State Fair will be Aug. 18-28 in Louisville and will feature several free concerts, including ABBA and the Oak Ridge Boys.

•It’s not too soon to start planning your ski getaway for next winter. Big Sky Resort in Big Sky, Mont., has prices reduced 35 percent in Huntley Lodge for dates from Dec. 11 to Jan. 31, 2017, including holidays. A two-night minimum stay is required, and you must book by Aug. 19. 800-548-4486,

•You can spend Christmas in Costa Rica with the Holiday Costa Rica Vacation Package from SunnyLand Tours. Trip dates are Dec. 24-31 or Dec. 25 to Jan. 1, 2017. Cost is from $1,085 per person, double occupancy, and includes seven nights’ lodging, some meals, visits to Arenal Volcano, Tabacon Hot Springs, Tortuguero National Park and more. International airfare is extra.

•Food and beverage vendors from around Wisconsin will be in Kenosha on July 29-31 for Taste of Wisconsin. This is the eighth year for this event that includes live music on four stages, chef demonstrations and four beverage gardens.

•Like to plan ahead? Ground was recently broken for the Great Lakes Center for the Arts, a 500-seat state-of-the-art theater in Bay Harbor, Mich., on the shores of Little Traverse Bay. When it opens in 2018, programming will include popular, classical, jazz and country music performances, theatrical productions, music festivals, opera, movies and films, dance, lectures and a children’s series.

Deals and websites listed here have been checked for availability as of press time. Send tips to

Phil Marty is a freelancer.


Add some horsepower to your India tour

How to make money on your next road trip

Norway in a nutshell, from fjords to mountaintops