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10 Winter festivals

Corie Russell is a Midwest-born writer living in New York City. After dabbling in the office life as an editor, she joined the ranks of full-time freelancers and writes about everything from home decor to the recession.

Party all winter

The party doesn't have to stop in winter. Continue the New Year's celebration and resist the laziness of the brisk season by traveling to one of these fabulous winter festivals. The events offer something for every taste including art, music, extreme outdoor activities, food and more.

Oyster Festival

1. Lowcountry Oyster Festival, South Carolina

Seafood lovers will delight in the Lowcountry Oyster Festival on January 31 in Charleston, South Carolina, where more than 65,000 pounds of oysters will be grilled and about 10,000 visitors will congregate.

"Dubbed the world's largest oyster festival, the Lowcountry Oyster Festival includes 65,000 pounds of oysters, an oyster-shucking and -eating contest, and a recipe contest,' says Kathy Britzius of the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association. "And for 20 consecutive years, the Lowcountry Oyster Festival has been named one of the 'top 20 events in the Southeast' by the Southeastern Tourism Society and remains a strong favorite of local and visiting seafood lovers."

Call (843) 805-3084 or visit charlestonrestaurantassociation.com for more information.

2. Wine on Water Festival, Florida

Wine connoisseurs will flock to the Wine on Water Festival, January 27 to 31, for a series of sightseeing cruises and events at locally owned restaurants in Naples, Florida.

Each venue, participating attraction and restaurant creates events, as well as special food and wine pairings.

Live music will be on board the Double Sunshine Sipn'Sail wine cruise January 28 and the Sip 'n' Sail wine cruise from Cocohatchee Nature Center on January 29.

Other activities include a family dolphin excursion, kayak tours and special menus, entertainment, themes and discounts at area restaurants. Guest speakers include local chefs, sommeliers and CNN's 2009 Hero Nominee Doc Hendley, president and founder of Wine to Water.

3. Quebec Winter Carnival, Canada Quebec Winter Carnival, Canada

The world's biggest winter carnival draws almost 1 million people to beautiful Quebec City each year. This year, from January 29 to February 14, visitors can see snow and ice sculptures, the popular mascot Bonhomme Carnaval and his Ice Castle, a night parade and games at the Plains of Abraham, with everything from snow tubing to a winter zipline.

Adventure seekers will enjoy activities like dogsled and canoe racing, and families will love skating with Bonhomme Carnaval and Bonhomme Carnaval's Brunch.

4. Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale National Art Festival, Florida

Head to one of South Florida's most prestigious art shows January 30 and 31.

Artists from around the world will showcase work in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, glass, mixed media, ceramics, metalwork, photography, jewelry and more.

"Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale National Art Festival is not just another weekend art festival," says Janette Gomez, education registrar, manager of Educational Affairs and Operations, Museum of Art/Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University. "Festival goers will enjoy art of the highest caliber and a variety of delicious food, learn about local cultural institutions and have an opportunity to experience Museum exhibitions such as American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell.''

The rain-or-shine festival will be held in Huizenga Plaza, situated along historic Las Olas Boulevard and Andrews Avenue.

Next up: Bluff Balloon Festival, Nordic Festival and Fiddle Festival and more

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