Though the confetti is only just starting to settle from the debaucherous New Year’s celebrations, there’s little time to pause and catch your breath. 2013 is already packed with interesting and noteworthy happenings — even in its inaugural month. From a chilly ice festival to a musical megafest, these events are worth the trip:
Harbin Ice & Snow Festival, China
January 5-February 5
The festival in Harbin, capital of the Heilongjiang province in northeastern China, is one of the four big global ice fests (Japan’s Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada’s Quebec Winter Carnival and Norway’s Ski Festival being the others). And thanks to its diverse lineup of chilly activities, it certainly earns its place among its frigid brethren. Ice lantern shows; the Snow Sculpture Art Exposition on Sun Island boasting intricate, amazing displays from around the world; and the Siberian Tiger Park featuring more than 100 viewable wild cats — the list goes on for cool festival goers looking for a little adventure.
“Irving Penn: Underfoot,” Chicago
Opens January 17
Transforming micro into macro, this new exhibition at The Art Institute of Chicago is the result of American photographer Irving Penn capturing what few ever take the time to examine — the discarded and often filthy pavement under our feet. Simple objects such as a wad of used chewing gum or crumpled cigarette butts seemingly become works of art thanks to Penn’s singular focus on the grimy objects. There’s a big world out there, and some of it resides in places you’d never think to look.
ChocolateFest, Portland, Ore.
The Oregon Convention Center opens its doors to ofr a three-day celebration of all things chocolate. Attendees of the Portland fest will be able to sample treats from chocolatiers in the Northwest region and beyond. And if your palate gets a little dry (or even if it doesn’t), several wineries and breweries, including Barefoot Wine and Stella Artois, will be on hand to provide the perfect companion for your cacao binge. Friday’s Premiere Night, which includes drink specials, voting for Best In Show and live music, should be on the calendar of any chocolate lover over 21. Even better, your weekend of sweet-tooth abandon will contribute to the World Forestry Center and its mission to teach environmental sustainability.
Big Day Out, Australia
January 18, 20, 25, 26, 28
Australia’s summer months bring festival season into full bloom, and Big Day Out’s musical lineup may be the most impressive. The megafest will visit Sydney, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth, boasting headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Killers along with a long list of buzzy acts such as Sleigh Bells, Alabama Shakes, Crystal Castles and many more. But if that roster isn’t tasty enough, stop by either of Melbourne’s St. Ali restaurants for a Royale burger (premium local beef, cheddar, istra bacon, sweet onion and Russian dressing) that comes with a Jan. 26 Big Day Out ticket on the side.
Photo Courtesy of ChocolateFest