Friday, February 9, 2007

In the beginning there was the word, and the word was chocolate and it was good. Confec. 1.5 oz. 340 cal.

Possibly the premier event in Frederick for the early part of the year - the Holiday Inn next to the FSK Mall will host the annual Frederick Sister Cities Association Chocolate Gala this Monday evening (February 12). The Gala, which runs from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, will include tastings of area chefs' chocolate specialities, champagne and live music.

From 4:00 to 6:00 PM the participating chefs will compete for annually bequeathed titles such as "Best Cake and Torte," before the event is open to the general public. Among the area businesses that will be represented in the competition are The Candy Kitchen, The Perfect Truffle (2005 People's Choice Award Winner), Venuti's, Clustered Spire's Country Club, and two-time winner Patowmack Farm of Lovettsville, VA.

Advance tickets to the event can be purchased for $25.00 at The Candy Kitchen, 52 N Market St in Frederick, (301) 698-0442. Tickets can also be purchased at the door for $30.00 per person. Admission incudes a champagne flute. Business dress - jacket, tie, slacks, dresses, no jeans or sneakers.

For more information call (301)898-7647

Thursday, February 8, 2007

In the old days if an agent did something that embarrassing he'd have a good sense to defect. Christ, I miss the Cold War...

A brief little update on blood, bullets, and Boston...

For those of you in the know, you have already realized that the title of this post is a line from the most recent Bond flick (and best one in years), Casino Royale which will continue its run at the Holiday Cinemas on Baughman's Lane this weekend. With best picture nominee The Departed opening there tomorrow, the night time showings will give action/gangster fans their fill of blood and bullets.

The Departed hits DVD this Tuesday, but if you want to catch the movie on the big screen for about the cost of renting it, Baughman's is the place to do it - besides, it's Scorsese, so you can count on cinematography that's worth the price of admission.

In the afternoons the theater will be showing lighter family fare Flushed Away and Happily N'Ever After.

All seats are $2.99 except for Bargain Wednesdays when admission is $1.49. Bring cash as they do not accept debit or credit cards (there is a cash machine in the lobby next to the concessions stand).

The theater is clean, well kept with respectably sized screens and is easily accessible from Route 15.

For showtimes, contact the theater at (301) 694-0100.

Talkin' Cabin Fever...and not the film

File this one under, "I put the wife through five months of football, now it's payback time..."

The annual Cabin Fever Festival is due to take place at the Frederick Fairgrounds this Saturday and Sunday. Considering the overwhelming lack of winter weather until the last two weeks, it might not be accurately named for this year, but still provides the area residents a weekend activity. The festival is, according to the Frederick County Tourism Web site, "Listed in the top 100 traditional craft shows in America," by whoever rates those things.

This weekend's event will be held indoors and under heated tents. Admission is $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children under 12. Gates open at 10:00 AM both days and close 6:00 PM on Saturday and at 5:00 PM on Sunday. Food will be available at the venue.

On Sunday the Weinberg will host a matinee performance (2:00 PM) of the American Spiritual Ensemble. The performance will include classic spirituals and Broadway numbers. For more information contact (301)228-2828.

A little bit of throwback for the film buff, also at the Weinberg - 1926's Son of the Sheik starring Rudolph Valentino and the classic silent film will be ccompanied by Ray Brubacher on the Wurlitzer. Guys - this could be a good early Valentine's date sort of thing.

In Mount Airy, Elk Run and Linganore Cellars, two of the county's wineries are combining wine and sweets for the pre-Valentine's weekend with "Wine Roses and Chocolate," a chocolate fondue/wine-tasting at Elk Run and "Cakes to Kisses," a tasting pairing red wines with chocolate at Linganore.

Chinese New Year's Celebrations will be held at both the FSK Mall on Saturday from 2:00 to 4:00 PM and in downtown Brunswick from 1:30 to 4:00 PM at the American Legion Building, 18 South Maple Ave. Both will feature demonstrations of Asian dance, martial arts, and more.
On Monday there will be a Chocolate Gala held at the Holiday Inn next to the FSK Mall. More on that to come.

Monday, February 5, 2007

It's All Happening at the Zoo

Great weekend outing, if you can stand the cold - little more than an hour from Frederick, the National Zoo in Washington DC is a great place to spend the day if you have kids, and a winter Saturday is perfect. The large predators that like to sleep during the heat of the day in the summer are much more active, the crowds are smaller, and parking is more plentiful.

Some of the animals that were more visible in this weekend's foray than when I have been there during the warmer months include the lions, tigers, red pandas, and the great pandas (which prefer the colder weather anyway).

If going during the winter, a couple of tips - pay attention to the weather report and dress accordingly, I would recommend layering and erring on the side of dressing too warmly. If you go to the Zoo's Web site to look at a map of the facility, utilize the various animal houses (primate, lizard, elephant, etc.) as strategic places to stop, linger and warm yourself. Be prepared to walk. The zoo covers a pretty fair amount of land on the side of a hill. If you don't mind walking uphill after you're halfway through your visit, parking lot A is at the top - if you want to be going downhill at the tail end of your visit, then hit parking lot D. You can also base your visit on where the animals are by visiting the zoo's site.

Admission: Free
Parking: Free for members, all others $4 for the first hour, $12 for two to three hours, and $16 for more than three hours
Hours: 6AM-6PM (Until March 10)
6AM-8PM (March 11-Nov 3)
Buildings open at 10 and close 4:30 PM (until March 10) and close 6PM after March 10.