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The cost of holidays aboard for UK families is set to be trimmed this week, by a freeze on Air Passenger Duty.

In this year's budget, George Osborne has announced that the duty, which normally increases automatically in November, will not rise this year. Sparing a family of four up £36 on long-haul flights.

For more on this story and other budget announces see Sky News
Tsunami Alerts are in place for New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Hawaii, and other areas, with waves expected over the next few hours. Caused by 8.9 earthquake in Japan. pacific
Kalanikoa St Hilo, Hawaii, United States of America

Thursday - Saturday the Merrie Monarch competition is held at Edith Kanakaole Stadium. Tickets are available after Dec. 26, 2010. Most activities during the Festival week are free to the public, however tickets are needed to attend the three-day hula competition. Ticket prices vary depending on seating section and the number of days attending the competition.

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America

HIFF's Spring Showcase film festival will be held at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theaters from April 1-7, 2011, featuring 25-30 films from over ten countries.
Koloa, Hawaii, United States of America

Join us on the magnificent garden island of Kauai, Hawai'i for a week of festivities honoring the birthday and birthplace of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, one of Hawaii's most beloved monarchs. Most events are free of charge.

Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America

This festival promotes cultural harmony and understanding, and celebrates the diversity of cultures by welcoming visitors and residents to present, participate in and enjoy traditional Japanese, Hawaiian and other Pacific Rim

Dunedin, Florida, United States of America

DFAC joins arts organizations throughout Tampa Bay in celebrating the presence of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Conference set for Tampa, March 30 - April 3, 2011, by hosting two outstanding ceramics exhibits, one , the latest Crystalline Glazed pottery from around the world and the second offering pre-columbian selections from the Drapkin Collection.

Cocoa Beach, Florida, United States of America

The second annual Cocoa Beach Wine & Food Festival will be held March 12, 2011 at Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach, FL. This year’s Festival theme is International Flavors. Visitors will sample gourmet delights paired with fine wines from around the world as more than 20 local Chefs represent their respective countries by presenting their ethnic foods. In addition, the Festival will also have a seafood category showcasing some of the best seafood restaurants in Brevard County. The perfect day will end with a sunset concert featuring the legendary band, America. Tickets will be on sale soon, please check back for details. This year the Cocoa Beach Food and Wine Festival will benefit the Brevard County Junior Achievement and Children's Home Society.

Marathon, Florida, United States of America

Fresh seafood caught by our own comemrcial fishermen below market prices! 100+ vendors featuring local artists, crafts, cooking products, furniture, and educaitonal vendors as well. Games and rides for the kids and live mucis throughout the 2-day event! Ice cold beer for only $1! Best seafood festival in the country, a Marathon and FL keys tradition for over 25 years!

Arcadia, Florida, United State of America

The 83rd annual Arcadia Rodeo. "The Grandaddy of 'em all!"

Pebble Beach, California, United States of America

Hosted on one of the most pristine strips of coastline in the world, Pebble Beach Food & Wine celebrates celebrity chefs and hundreds of wineries during this unforgettable four-day event. We bring internationally acclaimed wineries and chefs together with California's regional superstars to create an unbelievable series of luxurious luncheons, delectable dinners, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and one of the most decadent grand tastings in the country.

Palm Desert, California, United States of America

Celebrate conservation at the best Earth Day party in the Valley. Learn about solar power, water conservation, desert living, recycled crafts and more with a spectacular Water Wonder Wheel, Sand Castle Contest, Living Wall, Desert Submarine, recycled robots, plant exchange, plus rock climbing wall, bounce house, dunk tank, and much more.

California, United States

BNP Paribas Open attracts over 300,000 tennis fans for the two-week combined ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Premier event featuring the top men and women professional players.

Pátio da Galé - Terreiro do Paço - Lisbon, Portugal

In April, don’t miss the “Lisbon Fish and Flavours” festival - the chance to
enjoy innovative gastronomic dishes created from fish and seafood.
For eleven days, "Lisbon Fish and Flavours" will offer all its visitors the
chance to enjoy innovative gastronomic dishes created from fish and
seafood, in a relaxed atmosphere where spending time with friends and
family is a genuine delight. You can take part in the demonstrations of
gourmet food, get to know some of the region’s best restaurants and the
work of their great chefs, delight in the live music and entertainment
provided, read a book or taste a fine wine.
If you enjoy good food and gourmet cooking, this is the place for you!


The Lisbon Half Marathon will be taking place in March over a course that
takes runners across the 25 de Abril bridge and offers them some
beautiful panoramic views over the city.
This race covers a distance of 21,097 metres from its start at the toll
booths on the opposite bank of the River Tagus to the finishing line in
front of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Belém. It forms part of the Official
Calendar of the Association of International Marathons and Road Races
(AIMS) and its competitors will include some of the world’s top athletes.
Included in the programme for the Half Marathon and starting at the
same time as the main event is the Mini-Marathon, which covers a
distance of 7,200 metres and is open to all those who wish to participate,
being essentially more of a social event than an actual competition.
If you’re in Lisbon, come and join in this festival of sport, which last year
reached a world record number of 36,000 participants. And take
advantage of this great opportunity to cross over the 25 de Abril bridge
on foot, appreciating the magnificent view that it offers over the
Portuguese capital.

Hipódromo do Campo Grande - Lisboa

In May, Lisbon hosts the CSIO - Official International Showjumping
Competition of Lisbon, one of the top ten equestrian events in the world.
The CSIO is part of the ´Samsung Nation Cup Series´ world circuit and of
the Iberian Trophy.
The Nations Cup, at present part of the Samsung Nations Cup Series, is
the CSIO´s most important team event.

Cascais, Portugal

In May, one of the events of the Audi Med Cup will be held in the waters
of the Atlantic Ocean, near Cascais.
The Trophy of Portugal´s programme includes coastal regattas and
several competitions that will offer different sailing experiences to those
used to the more tranquil waters of Mediterranean sea.
Cascais has excellent natural conditions, which establish it as a leading
venue for international sailing, since it is considered to be one of the
finest areas in the world for organizing regattas and nautical sports.

Lisbon, Portugal

In May, discover new films at Indie Lisboa, Lisbon´s International
Independent Film Festival.
The festival is the best place to discover new artists and trends in world

Coimbra, Portugal

Witness the Burning of the Ribbons, an academic tradition going back
centuries, that takes place in Coimbra, in May.
Parades, dancing and serenades fill the streets of the city, one of the
oldest university towns in Europe.

Estadio Nacional - Oeiras

Estoril Open  Place: Estoril Photo: José Manuel
The Estoril Open, which takes place in may, is one of the rare world tennis events to combine at the same time tournaments that count towards the official classifications of the ATP and the WTA Tour.

Holding the two competitions in a single event at the Jamor Tennis Club places the Portuguese tournament at a select level with only 13 other events.


Grand Prix of Portugal  Place: Estoril Photo: Henrique Ahnfelt
The Portuguese Motorcycling Grand Prix, a stage on the annual motorcycling circuit for 125 c.c., 250 c.c. and MotoGP, is held on May.

If you like speed, don't miss this race, which takes place in the region of Estoril, a world-famous beach and important tourist centre.

Portugal's Rally
Come and witness the great skill and expertise of the world’s top drivers, who will be racing along the roads and tracks of Portugal, competing in the Portugal's Rally.

The Portugal’s Rally is the fourth stage of the International Automobile Federation’s (FIA) World Rally Championship, and it is expected to be one of the most hotly disputed events of the season on the European continent.

The route taken by the rally, which overall is almost 1.360 kilometres, combines fast open stretches with more technical and challenging tracks. The event starts in Lisbon, at Belém historic area where takes place the first competitive stage. The rally moves to south along Alentejo and Algarve roads, where take place the final stages and the closing ceremony at the Algarve Stadium.

Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 March 2011
Business Design Center, 52 Upper Street, London, N1 0QH

La Dolce Vita is an event dedicated to bringing Italy to London allowing visitors to experience the Italian lifestyle in all it’s glory. From delicious Italian food and wine to stunning hotels and beautiful properties, La Dolce Vita offers something for everyone and is a fun day out with a difference. Entry: £5 in advance

Grab a pan and a pancake and get racing!

The tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday goes back hundreds of years. It’s a day of feasting before the Lent fast that precedes Easter.

null Source:#Nick# All over the country people cook pancakes and enjoy them with fruit, chocolate or simply with a twist of lemon and a sprinkle of sugar.

On Pancake Day, pancake races are also held in villages and towns across the United Kingdom. The tradition is said to have originated when a woman from Olney in Buckinghamshire was so busy making pancakes that she forgot the time until she heard the village church bells. She raced out of the house while still carrying her frying pan and pancake.

Nowadays the races, in which contestants have to complete a course while continually tossing their pancakes, are a fun way of celebrating the tradition and raising money for good causes. If you’re in London head east for the Spitalfields race where the prize is a specially engraved frying pan, opposite the Tower of London for the All Hallows race or to Victoria Tower Gardens where politicians take on members of the media in the annual Parliamentary Pancake Race.

Celebrating books in Jane Austen’s Bath

From 25 February- 6 March head to the West Country for the Bath Literature Festival and enjoy events ranging from author talks to literary pub crawls.

Join Alexander McCall-Smith, the author of the successful “The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” series, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin author “Louis de Bernières”, Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson and many more. There’ll also be storytelling, music, performance and poetry readings.

Since its launch in 1996, the Bath Literature Festival has grown into one of the most well-known events in the UK’s literary calendar. While you’re there make sure to explore beautiful, honey-coloured Bath, a World Heritage Site famous for its Roman Baths and associations with “Pride and Prejudice” author Jane Austen.

For more information and tickets to individual events, check out the Bath Literature Festival website.

Saturday 5 March 2011
Moretonhampstead, Devon, TQ13 8NL

Taking place in the picturesque Dartmoor town of Moretonhampstead, the Moretonhampstead Festival of Food, Drink and Arts is a celebration of West Country food and drink and the coming of spring. Michelin Starred chef, Michael Caines, will be opening proceeding as well as giving the day’s first cookery demonstration.