Tuesday, May 17, 2011

July 4th 2011 Red, Hot and Blue Festival in The Woodlands Texas

Fireworks over the Waterway 
The Woodlands will celebrate the July Fourth weekend this year in an even more grand style than ever, in the tradition of a growing community and town center. As usual, there will be one of the largest firework displays in the greater Houston area, with hot dog and watermelon eating contests, live entertainment, and much more!

This public event will be the 14th year for the Red, Hot & Blue Festival by The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau. It will be presented by Ellis & Ellis on Monday, July 4, 2011 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Town Green Park and Waterway Square, both located along The Woodlands Waterway®.

As part of the festivities, organizers of the Red, Hot & Blue Festival will announce winners of the University of Phoenix Little Firecracker Essay Contest, a writing competition for participants ages 5-18. For more details on submission deadlines, contest rules and eligibility, visit the related website. 1

One of the Largest Fireworks Displays in the Houston Area

Thousands are expected to gather at dusk for the fireworks extravaganza presented by BBVA Compass. This will be a 23-minute colorful choreographed show. This show also will be simulcast on radio Sunny 99.1.

Organizers suggest viewing along the The Woodlands Waterway, which offers the best view of the fireworks. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome; however coolers, outside food, and drinks are prohibited in Town Green Park and Waterway Square.

“What better way to celebrate America than with a community event that just gets bigger and bigger every year!” says Nick Wolda, president of The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are excited to be involved in such great activities for our residents and visitors.”

Make It A Weekend In The Woodlands
The Woodlands will celebrate America’s Independence with a complete line-up of events throughout the weekend.

+ Saturday, July 2: visitors will find live music and strolling entertainment at Waterway Square from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

+ Sunday, July 3: gather the family and enjoy an evening under the stars when the Houston Symphony performs its Star Spangled Salute, a free concert at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion starting at 8 p.m. You don't want to miss the canon salute either!

+ Monday, July 4: Red, Hot & Blue Festival and Fireworks Extravaganza! In the morning,  head over to Market Street for the South County Fourth of July Parade at 9 a.m. This year the theme is “Celebrating the American Dream,”. After the parade, beat the heat by visiting one of The Woodlands’ 13 swimming pools for Splash Day from Noon to 4 p.m. at no cost. Later in the evening, go to Northshore Park, located just west of Lake Front Circle on Lake Woodlands Drive, for the "Things That Bike Parade" at 5:30 p.m. Children 14 years and younger are encouraged to bring their patriotically-decorated bike, scooter or wagon and parade around the park. Awards for the most creative entries will be awarded throughout the afternoon. A $5 entry fee is required to participate in the "Things That Bike Parade". Additional decorating materials will be available on-site. Afterwards, enjoy a free live music concert from the local country band Troy Hess & Texas Heartbreakers in the Park. Then before dark, stroll over to the waterway to view the fireworks display.

“We are turning Town Green Park and Waterway Square into The Woodlands largest community entertainment venue to celebrate our nation’s Independence,” says Nelda Blair, chairman of The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors.

Those visiting The Woodlands for the weekend can choose accommodations to suit any taste and budget, including: The Woodlands Resort with its Forest Oasis Waterscape, The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel  (four-diamond property), or the chic AVIA Hotel at Market Street. A number of limited-service and select-service properties also are available nearby.

Waterway Cruisers will operate throughout the day on July 4, 2011, however service will stop for the fireworks display. Services will resume after the fireworks have completed.

For more information, you can find a complete schedule of activities and parking  information, maps, or a listing of hotels and pools in the area, visit Facebook or the website. 2,3

About The Woodlands
Located just 30 minutes north of Houston, Texas and minutes from George Bush Intercontinental Airport, The Woodlands is an emerging destination for leisure guests, individual business travelers and groups of all sizes. Visitors to The Woodlands enjoy more than 5 million square feet of world-class shopping, dining and entertainment options, more than 190 miles of hike-and-bike trails, the 1,700-acre Mitchell Preserve, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, which is in the top 5 of outdoor amphitheatres in the world, and kayaking on The Woodlands Waterway, Lake Woodlands and 121 parks. The Woodlands features world-class golf and was the home of the Shell Houston Open for 17 years. The Woodlands also is home to more than 1,500 guestrooms in upscale and boutique properties, select service, limited service, conference and convention centers and a resort.

1  University of Phoenix Little Firecracker Essay Contest
2  Red, Hot, Blue Event website
3 Red, Hot and Blue facebook

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ironman debuts in The Woodlands, Texas

World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) is preparing for their inaugural 2011 Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas race scheduled for Saturday, May 21, 2011, in The Woodlands.  More than 2,500 athletes are expected to compete in the state’s first ultra-distance event.

Saturday’s race will not only bring an impressive pro lineup featuring well-known athletes in the field like Americans Chris Lieto and Linsey Corbin, but also a list of age-group competitors with a range of backgrounds and experiences, offering spectators an incredible look into the sport.  While Texas is the most represented state in this race, there will be athletes from 47 other states and 33 countries from around the world, ranging in age from 18 to 70.

WTC has been engaged with title sponsor Memorial Hermann, The Woodlands Township and The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau to make sure this inaugural Memorial Hermann Ironman event is one for all to remember.  Over the course of 17 hours, athletes will test their physical and mental limits as they race through The Woodlands. As with all competitive sports events, spectators push them on by cheering for them on along their quest to finish the race successfully. Cheer "zones" will be available throughout the course. Parking will be available near the swim start and in parking garages along Waterway Avenue and Lake Robbins Drive.

In addition to the actual race, WTC will host a world-class event expo at the Ironman Village in the northeast parking lot of The Woodlands Town Center.  All athletes, residents and visitors are invited to stop by on Wednesday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Friday, May 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.   There will also be a special Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas Pre-Race Press Conference that is open to the public at the same location on Thursday, May 19, at 11 a.m., featuring top professional competitors and local athletes.

Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas offers a total professional prize purse of $100,000 and 75 qualifying slots for the 2011 Ford Ironman World Championship, to be held on Oct. 8 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. 

About Memorial Hermann
Memorial Hermann is known for world-class clinical expertise, patient-centered care, leading edge technology, and innovation. Their health care system, with its exceptional medical staff and more than 20,000 employees, serves southeast Texas and the greater Houston community. Memorial Hermann’s 11 hospitals include three hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, with a level 1 trauma center, a children's hospital and a rehabilitation hospital. Also included are three heart & vascular institute locations and eight suburban hospitals. The system also operates an air ambulance, cancer, imaging and surgery centers, sports medicine and rehabilitation centers, outpatient laboratories, a wellness center, a chemical dependency treatment center, a home health agency, a retirement community and a nursing home. 
About World Triathlon Corporation

World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) is a Tampa-based company recognized for athletic excellence, distinguished events and quality products. WTC's portfolio includes Ironman, Ironman 70.3, 5150 Triathlon Series, Iron Girl and IronKids brands, which have a combined total of more than 180 events worldwide each year. Supported by partners including Ford, Timex, Foster Grant and PowerBar, Ironman is the No.1 user-based sports brand in the world and has been a respected name in triathlons since its inception in 1978.

About The Woodlands

Located 42 minutes north of Houston, Texas and minutes from George Bush Intercontinental Airport, The Woodlands prides itself as a preferred location for residence, leisure, and business. Within the boundary of The Woodlands,  there are more than 5 million square feet of world-class shopping, dining and entertainment options, more than 185 miles of hike-and-bike trails, the 1,700-acre Mitchell Preserve, and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, one of the top 5 outdoor amphitheaters in the world. Lake Woodlands, and 115 parks provide a variety of outdoor opportunities. The Woodlands features world-class golf. It is home to more than 1,400 upscale guest rooms, conference and convention centers and a resort. 

About The Woodlands Township
Located 33 miles north of downtown Houston, Texas, The Woodlands Township is the local government for one of the country’s leading master-planned communities.  This 28,000-acre residential and commercial development is home to nearly 100,000 residents, more than 2,500 businesses, 185 miles of hike and bike paths, 121 parks and millions of square feet of shopping, dining, entertainment venues and commercial office space. The Woodlands Township is committed to supporting a genuine quality lifestyle for its residents, businesses and visitors.

Other sources of information: 
1. www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov - Township Government Website
2. www.memorialhermann.org - Memorial Heath Care System
3. www.ironmantexas.com-  Texas Ironman Race Event