The list for 2015 showcases the favorites and hidden gems
Each year tens of millions of tourists traveling as groups on motorcoach tours visit thousands of destinations and attend countless events throughout the United States and Canada.
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Each year the American Bus Association (ABA) proudly announces the most spectacular events they might attend next in its annual Top 100 Events in North America.
ABA released its 34th annual Top 100 Events list for 2015 in September, naming two premier events to the top spots for motorcoach groups to check out — The Buffalo Roundup and Arts Festival in Custer, SD, and the Canadian Tulip Festival in Gatineau, Quebec.
“Both the Buffalo Round Up and the Canadian Tulip Festival are motorcoach-group-friendly and family-friendly events,” says ABA President and CEO Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS. “I urge groups and individuals considering unique places to visit on a motorcoach to book trips to these destinations and others in the Top 100. We salute those events that went through the process.”
The Buffalo Roundup
“As far as I’m concerned, The Buffalo Roundup is the single greatest experience you can have in the West,” says country western musician Michael Martin Murphey.
The Buffalo Roundup and Arts Festival, September 25-27, 2015, is the quintessential South Dakota experience, starring 1,300 buffalos rounded up by cowboys on horseback. The roundup includes visits to Mount Rushmore and the six-mile seasonal Volksmarch, along with a buffet breakfast and lunch cooked at the event site.
The Canadian Tulip Festival
The inspiration for this festival occurred in 1945 when Princess Juliana of The Netherlands presented Ottawa with 100,000 tulip bulbs in appreciation of Canada’s role in aiding her country during WWII.
The Canadian Tulip Festival has since grown into the largest festival of its kind in the world, celebrating international friendship and the beauty of spring since 1953. Each May, Ottawa and Canada’s Capital Region are ablaze with more than one million tulips. The nine-mile tulip route winds throughout Ottawa and Gatineau, highlighting major tulip beds and attractions, including three spectacular nights of fireworks, live music, a carnival midway and interactive games for all ages.
More standout events in the ABA Top 100
Ford’s Theatre: Remembering the Lincoln Assassination
Jan. 23–May 25, 2015
Ford’s Theatre commemorates 150 years since President Lincoln’s assassination with special programming including an exhibition returning items connected with Lincoln’s assassination to the Ford’s campus; a vigil; walking tours; panel discussions; a world-premiere play, The Widow Lincoln and the musical Freedom’s Song: Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War on the historic stage.
Dodge City Days
Dodge City, KS
July 24–Aug. 2, 2015
Dodge City’s history comes to life during the annual Dodge City Days, a 10-day celebration hosting more than 50 events including the award-winning PRCA Hall of Fame Dodge City Rodeo — the “Greatest Show on Dirt.” Other event highlights include a classic car show, carnival, an arts and crafts show, professional barbecue contest, a Western parade and the crowning of Miss Rodeo Kansas. The festival kicks off with the Boot Hill Bull Fry and Bash.
See the World in Branson Music Fest
April 22–23, 2015
Branson’s largest springtime event offers a sampling of more than 20 different Branson entertainers during two days of matinee performances. Savor the Flavors of Branson cooking demonstrations and Branson’s Celebrity Chef Cookoff take place on the festival grounds in a marketplace tent. Entertainers are on hand for autograph and photo opportunities, along with prize drawings, and giveaways and games for visitors to enjoy.
New Orleans, LA
Feb. 17, 2015
New Orleans is known for many sights, sounds and flavors, including jazz, Creole and Cajun cooking and the French Quarter, but Mardi Gras eclipses all as the city’s most famous centerpiece. Fat Tuesday is Feb. 17, but the festivities begin weeks in advance. A time of revelry, fraternity, festivity, and unabashed indulgence, Mardi Gras reflects New Orleanians’ rich heritage, unleashes the joyous soul of the city and invites everyone to join in the fun. The festival embraces the city’s social and cultural variety, from the Mardi Gras Indians to the Zulu parade and the Endymion ball, and brings everyone together in the spirit of revelry.
Indy 500 Celebration
May 2–24, 2015
The Indy 500 Celebration features a three-week and four-weekend event schedule that provides an opening week of busy daily track activity, two pressure-packed days of qualifications and a traditional Race Week format that includes a parade and all of the pageantry of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” There will be 12 days of on-track action during the month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, kicking off with the country’s largest half marathon, the 500 Festival Mini Marathon on Saturday, May 2. The month will culminate with the world’s largest single day sporting event, the Indianapolis 500.
60th Kentucky Derby Festival & 141st Kentucky Derby
April 16–May 2, 2015
The Kentucky Derby Festival is a whirlwind of 70 events starting with Thunder Over Louisville, the opening ceremonies of the two-week festival. With an estimated average attendance of half a million people, it is the largest annual event in the region, the largest annual pyrotechnics display in North America, and one of the top five air shows in the country. Other highlights include a half and full marathon and live bed racing. The event that started it all, the Pegasus Parade, marches down Broadway the Thursday before the Derby.
Pasadena Tournament of Roses
Jan. 1, 2015
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses is a volunteer organization that annually hosts the Rose Parade, CFP Semi-Final at the Rose Bowl Game and various associated events. The 126th Rose Parade, themed Inspiring Stories, featuring majestic floral floats, equestrian units and marching bands, will take place Thursday, Jan. 1. Following the Rose Parade, the Tournament will host the CFP (College Football Playoff) Semi-Final at the 101st Rose Bowl Game featuring an exciting matchup between two of the top four collegiate football teams in the nation.