Holiday Happenings In Columbia, South Carolina

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South Carolinas state capital is gearing up for a big holiday season. Residents and visitors will find a number of special holiday festivities planned for the Columbia area. Some of the citys most popular holiday traditions include a parade, a festival of trees, and a spectacular light display. Families will also enjoy a presentation of the Nutcracker ballet.

The 23rd Festival of Trees is scheduled for November 16-18 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Attendees will enjoy a beautiful display of decorated trees and other holiday dcor, and they will have the opportunity to place a bid on their favorite tree during the silent auction. Musical entertainment will be provided by area choirs and dance groups. Children will be able to visit with Santa. The auction preview party will be held November 16 from 7-10pm, and tickets are $75 each or $125 per couple. Proceeds will benefit programs and services of Palmetto Health Childrens Hospital. Hours are 10am-5pm on Saturday and noon-4pm on Sunday, and admission is free. The Jingle Bell Jam, featuring singer-songwriter Patrick Davis, is scheduled for November 17 at 7pm. Tickets are $25 each or $40 per couple.

The 59th Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade will be held on Saturday, December 1 at 9:45am in downtown Columbia. The parade route begins at Gervais and Bull Streets and travels past the State House to Park Street. Nearly 100 units will be featured in the parade including floats, marching bands, drill teams, and Santa. The 2012 theme will be A Fairy Tale Christmas

The whole family can enjoy the spectacular holiday lights display at Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens. Lights Before Christmas has been one of the zoos signature events for 25 years. Visitors can see nearly one million lights throughout the grounds, visit with Santa, and warm up at the Jingle Bell Bonfire. Marshmallows and hot chocolate will be available for purchase. Lights Before Christmas will run November 17-December 30 (closed November 22, December 24, 25). Hours are 6-9pm. Advance ticket prices are $8 for adults and $6 for ages 3-12. Tickets are $2 more at the gate.

Columbia City Ballet will present the Nutcracker December 8-9 and 14-16 at the Koger Center for the Arts at the University of South Carolina. The Christmas ballet is a family holiday tradition. Tickets are $15-$38. Nutcracker Teas are scheduled for December 8, 9, and 15 at 1:30pm in the Koger Center ballroom. Attendees will meet Clara, the Nutcracker Prince, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and other ballet characters while enjoying tea, cookies, and other treats. Tickets for the tea are $20 per person.

Five Great Places To Visit On An Escorted Tour

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Escorted tours have enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity in recent years and there are a huge range of tours available to this new generation of adventurers. Below I have listed five of the best places to visit on an escorted tour, ranging from the romantic elegance of the Italian Lakes to the majestic beauty of the Canadian Rockies.

An Escorted Tour Of Morocco

An escorted tour of Morocco will let you explore and experience the cultural, historic and religious delights of Rabat, Meknes, Fez and Marrakesh, the four imperial cities of Morocco. Highlights of escorted tours to Morocco include visiting the Atlas Mountains, exploring Marrakeshs network of tiny alleyways and spending a day at the breath taking Hasan II Mosque.

An Escorted Tour Of The Canadian Rockies

Take in some of the worlds finest scenery aboard the Rocky Mountaineer train with an escorted tour of the Canadian Rockies. Relax and unwind as you pass through the luscious green meadows, snow covered peaks and crystal clear lakes of this truly unique area.

An Escorted Tour Of Bruges

Few places in the world let you switch off and escape the rat race as completely as Bruges. Among the many highlights that Bruges has to offer, my favourites include a trip to a traditional Belgium brewery and a tour of the Bruges canals by boat. Let the beauty and tranquility of this truly wonderful city captivate you.

An Escorted Tour Of Lake Como

Lake Como, a favorite destination of famous celebrities such as George Clooney and Matt Damon, offers the ultimate in tranquility, beauty and relaxation. Things to do in Lake Como include a guided tour round the magnificent Villa del Balbianello, which was used in the recent James Bond Film, Casino Royale or indulge in the ultimate luxury, hire a speedboat for the day and explore all that Lake Como has to offer at your own leisure.

An Escorted Tour Of Vietnam

Explore one of the last communist countries in the world with an escorted tour of Vietnam. Vietnam is a country of wonderful contrasts, colour, culture and history. The highlights of Vietnam include a cruise around Halong Bay, a visit to the Cu Chi War Tunnels and the Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh city. Vietnam is truly a country that has it all including stunning scenery, exotic cuisine and some of the friendliest people you are likely to meet.

Trekking in the Amazon Rainforest – The Holiday of a Lifetime

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One of the biggest ‘holidays of a lifetime’ for many people has got to be trekking in the Amazon rainforest. Just the thought of it is enough to send a world of exotic images spiralling into your mind: the verdant green of the trees, the shrieks and calls of the monkeys and birds, the croak of frogs, the trickle of sweat as it glides down your back, the squelch of the soft ground beneath your boots…

The Amazon rainforest traverses a whopping nine countries, over an area one and a half times the size of the European Union, meaning the opportunity to trek terrain that varies enormously. Visitors to the area should prepare to navigate microclimates where it can vary from the very hot to pouring rain, with changing animal species that diversify with their environment – and what animals they are! Jaguars, monkeys, anacondas, frogs, parrots, dolphins, crocodiles and tarantulas are just a few among the thousands of different types of animal life that can be found within the depths of the Amazon’s tropical rainforest. This, combined with the amount of species of plants and trees, makes the area one of the most magnificent in the world. Trekking in the Amazon rainforest is something that challenges tourists, and becomes an experience they will never forget.

Unfortunately, the Amazon rainforest is under growing threat of deforestation caused by logging, cattle ranching, mining and more. Global climate change is also a significant threat to the rainforest. Many people are aware of the types of threats that put the future of the Amazon rainforest in jeopardy, but are we doing enough to help protect this precious land?

If we want this region to keep its stunning, world-renowned biodiversity intact for the future, then we’re going to have to work harder than ever to stop deforestation, lower carbon emissions and reduce the terrible effects of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment. It may be possible for us all to enjoy the wonders of the Amazon rainforest in our lifetimes, but what about the next generation, or the next? If you want to help ensure that this precious – and crucial – rainforest is looked after and protected, it’s time to look into what you can do to help the cause. After all, there’s only one Amazon rainforest – and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Holiday Loans Are The Relieving Factor For Planning Your Vacation Well

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Today, lending firms and companies are increasing day by day in a market of the UK. It has been helping many borrowers to find an easy way to run repayments and interest rates within comfort. Nowadays, a holiday loan is catching peoples eye immensely. Borrowers are finding many good reasons to apply for this loan. Holiday loans have a simple way to get money for your treasure time. Everyone has an inbuilt dream to take a break from work and spend some time with your family. It does not matter whether you want money for taking vacations or for a special occasion irrespective of a duration period of your stay. It suits your budget and financial goal very well. Many lenders are giving the holiday loan to manage every kind of expense of your trip. These lending firms are actually good idea to clear any financial restriction before aboard towards your destination. Holiday lending services are helping to discover the manageable way for your enjoyable tour efficiently.

Holiday loans have an effortless process for you to give a tension-free vacation with your family. You do not need to think about the cost of every little expense, as the lender can choose the best plan working for you. There are various options to pay off the loan amount in one lump sum or in monthly repayments. It does not require any additional documentation work for you, and you can get a quote on the same day of your application.

Now, several lenders are competing among one another to give you loan eagerly. The interest rate differs according to the assorted lenders in the market. Some borrowers even apply to get a loan at appropriate rates through advising firms. Usually, you may find an APR between 6.3% and 6.6 %; however, it also depends on other factors.

Consequently, some lenders do credit checks while processing your applications. However, it is not necessary as many companies offer the finest deals irrespective of your credit history in an equivalent way.

Therefore, loans for holiday give you a refined method to avail money. You may be able to find the multiple ranges of holiday lenders online. It takes few minutes to send your request online to apply for cheap holiday loans. In addition, you may be able to compare the varied rates and save a lot of time and effort.