Traverse City Record-Eagle

January 6, 2013

Travel in Brief: 01/06/2013



Stratford on sale

STRATFORD, ONT. — The Stratford Festival's box office is open and offering 25 percent discounts on tickets purchased through Jan. 31.

The 2013 season, the first under Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino, features 12 productions that range from classical to contemporary. Shows planned include "The Merchant of Venice," "Blithe Spirit," "Waiting for Godot," "The Thrill," "Measure for Measure," "Taking Shakespeare," "Othello," "Romeo and Juliet," "Tommy," "Fiddler on the Roof" and "The Three Musketeers."

The Festival's new Social Ticketing app allows people to purchase tickets through their personal Facebook page. The free app can be downloaded at

The Festival is also introducing a Pre-Season Promise, which allows advance ticket buyers to exchange their tickets without incurring additional costs. It's also offering twice-daily bus service from Toronto at a cost of $10 each way.

The 2013 season begins April 23 and runs until Oct. 20. For complete details on schedule and ticket prices, call 800-567-1600 or visit

UP snowmobile races

The Midwest Ice Racing Association, TLR Cup Championship Ice Racing Series and U.S. Snowmobile Association Prostar Oval Ice Racing Series slide into the U.P. State Fairgrounds Jan. 12-13 for the second annual UP Ice Masters 300.

Between 40 and 60 teams are expected. Racing is like NASCAR on ice as sleds reach speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour on the 3/8-mile oval ice track.

Qualifying racing starts on Saturday at 11:30 a.m., with heat racing beginning around 1 p.m. The finals are set for 4 p.m. and continue under the lights until about 8.

Sunday racing resumes at 10:30 a.m. with the Outlaw/Pro Champ 440 shoot out and is followed by the 150-mile Enduro race.

Tickets will be available at the gate on race days. Admission is $10 for a one-day ticket or $15 for a weekend pass. Children 12 and under get in free with a paid adult admission.

Visit for more details.

China high-speed rail

BEIJING (AP) — China has opened the world's longest high-speed rail line, which more than halves the time required to travel from the country's capital in the north to Guangzhou, an economic hub in southern China.

Trains on the new 2,298-kilometer (1,428-mile) line will initially run at 300 kph (186 mph) with a total travel time of about eight hours. Before, the fastest time between the two cities by train was more than 20 hours.

The line also makes stops in major cities along the way, including provincial capitals Shijiazhuang, Wuhan and Changsha. The opening of the new line brings the total distance covered by China's high-speed railway system to more than 9,300 km (5,800 miles) — about half its 2015 target of 18,000 km.

Museum of Mississippi

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — The Lower Mississippi River Museum uses hands-on displays to help people understand the lore and power of the waterway that has shaped North American life for centuries.

The Mississippi and its tributaries drain 41 percent of the U.S. and parts of Canada, comprising the world's third-largest watershed. The portion called the Lower Mississippi runs about 1,000 miles, from Cairo, Ill., southward past New Orleans.

Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the museum opened in August. So far, it has attracted more than 2,000 visitors most months. Admission is free.

Maryland Live!

HANOVER, Md. (AP) — Maryland's largest casino is now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Previously, Maryland casinos could be open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday. But an expansion of gambling approved by lawmakers in August and voters in November included the expansion of hours for the state's casinos.

Maryland Live! at Arundel Mills Mall is now open 24-7. Next month, construction teams at Maryland Live! will be making modifications to add more than 150 table games to the casino floor, including blackjack and roulette.