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Escape into August

LYSA ALLMAN-BALDWIN | 7/28/2011, 10:56 a.m.
Escape into August

First annual Martha's Vineyard Jazz Festival

  • What: Celebrating "all things jazz," the first-ever Martha's Vineyard Jazz Festival, held in the picturesque island village of Oak Bluffs, was designed to present "the diversity of jazz in a variety of formal and informal venues." This fun and engaging experience will include live musical performances, film presentations, culinary exploration, art exhibits, a parade, master classes, book readings and signings. Performers include the Ben Wolfe Quartet, Nneena Freelon, Mario Castro and the Berklee College of Music All Stars, the Antonio Hart Quartet and others. Philanthropic efforts include a donation of $5 from each ticket sold to Featherstone Center for the Arts in honor of its 15th anniversary. Featherstone is a year-round arts center-a place of inspiration, education and creative nourishment for the island community.
  • When: August 6-13
  • Where: Martha's Vineyard
  • More info: (410) 205-6585, http://mvjazzfest.com

Bud Billiken Parade

  • What: Celebrating its 82nd anniversary this year, the annual Bud Billiken Parade is the largest of its kind in the nation, drawing some 50,000 participants, not to mention the million-plus spectators. Held in honor of the diminutive statue, the Bud Billiken-considered to be the protector of children-the parade and after-events are among the Windy City's favorite annual shindigs.
  • When: August 13
  • Where: Chicago
  • More info: (773) 536-3710, www.budbillikenparade.com

Edmonton's Labatt Blues Festival

  • What: Featured at the Heritage Amphitheatre along the scenic River Valley in Hawrelak Park in Edmonton, Canada, this premier blues event showcases the talents of several regional and international blues acts. Food, dancing and the Labatt Beer Garden are also part of the fun.
  • When: August 19-21
  • Where: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • More info: (780) 708-7230, www.bluesinternationalltd.com

Lysa Allman-Baldwin writes for numerous online and print publications, including as the cultural travel writer for www.Examiner.com and as a senior travel writer for SoulOfAmerica.com, an Afrocentric travel website. Lysa can be reached at lallmanbaldwin@kc.rr.com.