Albuquerque, Oct. 2-10. Considered the most photographed event in the world, the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta fills the skies with 750 balloons. Www.balloonfiesta.com Aruba, First week in July. Aruba is one of the world’s perfect settings for windsurfing, an exhilarating sport that will be celebrated during the 24th Aruba Hi-Winds, the largest amateur windsurfing event in the Caribbean. Www.aruba-hiwinds.org Austin, Early Oct. The 2009 Austin City Limits Music Festival will rock Zilker Park for the ninth time with a diverse showcase of 125-plus acts performing over three unforgettable days. Www.aclfestival.com Beaver Creek, Dec. 3-5. Top athletes descend on one of the world’s most challenging ski courses, the Birds of Prey, at speeds in excess of 70 mph during the annual World Cup at Beaver Creek, CO. Www.bcworldcup.com Cambridge, Md, July 10. Restaurants from the heart of Chesapeake compete to see who makes the best crab soup, crab dip, crabcakes and crab specialty dishes during the annual Crab Cook-Off. Www.cambridgemainstreet.com Cancun, March 20 or 21. The Mayan city of Chichen-Itza ushers in the Spring Equinox, when the shadow of the snake god Kukulcan slowly “crawls down” the country’s largest Mayan pyramid, El Castillo. Www.cancun.travel/en Clearwater, Oct. 14-17. Clearwater Jazz Holiday is four days and nights of free live jazz. Www.clearwaterjazz.com Curaçao, Jan. 31-Feb. 16 (40th Anniversary). Curaçao’s carnival is one of the longest lasting carnivals in the Caribbean. Join the 40th anniversary carnival celebration in 2010. Www.curacaocarnival.info Fort Lauderdale, Oct 28-Nov 1. The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show features more than $2 billion in boats, yachts, super-yachts, electronics, engines and thousands of accessories. Www.showmanagement.com Fort Myers Beach, Nov. 10-14. Sand castles may be pure fun for some, but they’re serious art at the annual American Sandsculpting Championship Festival. Www.sandfestival.com Huntington Beach, Mid to Late July. Hosting 500 world-class athletes over 10 days, the incredible Honda U. S. Open of Surfing is the international benchmark for professional surfing. Www.usopenofsurfing.com Kauai, Early Oct. Kauai’s mountain forest echoes with the sounds of Hawaiian music and traditional chants and hula at the annual “Eo e Emalani i Alaka`i” honoring Queen Emma, called Hawaii’s first environmental queen. Www.kokee.org Key West, Oct. 22-31. The annual Fantasy Fest is 10 days of tropical revelry, with lavish costume balls, parades, a street fair, a wacky Pet Masquerade and more. Www.fantasyfest.net Lake Tahoe, June 18-20. North America’s premier wooden boat show, the 38th annual Concours d’Elegance, celebrates the timeless style of classic wooden boats. Www.laketahoeconcours.com Maui, Nov. 22-24. The 27th edition of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Tournament, the nation’s premier early-season men’s college basketball tournament, will be hosted by Hawaii’s Chaminade U. www.mauiinvitational.com Monterey, August 14. More than 45 Monterey County wineries will join to showcase their world-class wines during the 17th annual Winemakers’ Celebration, which also includes live music and a silent auction. Www.montereywines.org Oahu, July 18. Since 1971, Waikiki’s annual Ukulele Festival has attracted thousands of people who enjoy a free, two-hour concert showcasing the world’s finest ukulele players, including an orchestra of children. Www.roysakuma.net Orlando, Late September-Early November. Sample cuisine from all over the world, all in one place, at the 15th annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Www.disneyworld.disney.go.com Palm Springs, March 8-21. The BNP Paribas Open, an ATP Masters 1000 and Sony Ericsson WTA Premier tour event, is the fifth largest tournament in the world. Held at the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens. Www.bnpparibasopen.org San Antonio, Nov. 26. Thousands will gather along the River Walk during the spectacular Ford Holiday River Parade & Lighting Ceremony, featuring illuminated floats, costumed participants, bands and celebrity guests. Www.paseodelrio.com Scottsdale, April 13-18. The Scottsdale Culinary Festival delights with fabulous food, festivities and fun, including cooking demonstrations by the nation’s top chefs. Www.scottsdaleculinary-festival.org
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