The ASTA Diary rounds up the most exciting dates in the calendar for 2016
Winter JazzFest, New York
The festival’s 12th year will see hundreds of amateur and professional jazz musicians take over the music venues of New York. Big names include Dave King and Amir ElSaffar. This marathon of jazz runs virtually 24hrs a day, often overlapping in adjacent venues. winterjazzfest.com
Super Bowl 50, California
The NFL’s blockbuster annual event celebrates its 50th anniversary. Rumor has it that a gold carpet will be rolled out as players enter the stadium to mark the occasion — just one of the reasons it’s been dubbed the ‘Golden Super Bowl’. nfl.com
Hong Kong New Year, China
The streets fill with happy throngs during Hong Kong’s biggest and most colorful Chinese New Year celebrations. Festive market stalls line the streets, the sky is decorated with red fire lanterns symbolizing good luck, and a huge fireworks display explodes over the harbor.
Daytona 500, Florida
The biggest NASCAR event of the year takes place at the newly built Daytona Speedway. Over 100,000 car-loving spectators will watch the 500-mile, mega-racing event before partying starts in the bars, clubs, and lounges. daytonainternationalspeedway.com
Food Festival, Florida
Now in its 13th year, the four-day South Beach Food and Wine Festival attracts the world’s top chefs, culinary personalities and booze purveyors. Master classes, private dining experiences, and late-night parties draw over 60,000 people
every year. sobefest.com
Academy Awards, California
Being presented with an Oscar is the ultimate achievement in the Hollywood film industry. Join fans outside the celebrity entrance for the 88th annual Academy Awards event or host your own glamorous statuette party at home. oscars.org
True/False Festival, Missouri
The theme for the 2016 True/False Film Festival in Columbia is ‘Off the Trail’, celebrating secret missions, getting lost, and exploring hidden places. The week-long event offers visitors a chance to watch, network, and create alongside some of the industry’s finest talent. truefalse.org
Flower Show, Philadelphia
With 260,000 visitors, the world’s largest and oldest indoor flower show features large-scale gardens, landscapes and ornate floral creations. Horticultural fans can treat themselves to an afternoon garden tea or attend one of the many master classes on offer. theflowershow.com
Las Fallas, Spain
The ultimate merging of party, art and tradition welcomes in the spring in Spain. Artists build huge sculptures around the city and, after a week of celebrations, all but one (as voted by the public) are burnt. This symbolises the burning of the bad and a new season of good rising from the ashes.
St Patrick’s Day, Ireland
Festooned in symbolic green and wielding pints of the national beverage — Guinness — Dubliners celebrate St Patrick’s Day like no other. Join the festival parade, a family treasure hunt, comedy shows, and beer and whisky tasting events taking place all across the city.
Boston Marathon, Boston
Thirty thousand of the world’s best runners take to the streets of Massachussetts’ capital city every year to take part in the longest running annual marathon in the world. Over one million people gather to cheer on the contestants, many of whom run for charity. baa.org