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Jazz in Atlanta

Atlanta is getting ready to host a month of music and culture at its annual jazz festival, May 1-31.

The event includes a nightlife series of performances at bars and nightclubs throughout the metro Atlanta area, including Churchill Grounds, Bar Joel, Apache Cafe and Justin's, as well as a Jazzy Singles' mingling event at the Jazz Loft.

Other special events and concerts will be staged at venues including the High Museum of Art, Centennial Olympic Park, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, the Atrium at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and the Hudgens Center for the Arts.

Several restaurants will host dinners with live jazz, including Vinocity, C'est Bon, Toast Restaurant, Camille's Sidewalk Cafe, Basil's, City Grill and others.

The festival culminates with three days of events over Memorial Day weekend at Piedmont Park, including workshops, an art market, food vendors and a main stage with live performances.

For details, call (404) 817-6851 or visit

Alaska birds

It's springtime in Alaska, and that means the birds are coming back.

As many as 5 million shorebirds from 30 species stop over in the Copper River Delta on their annual migration. The return is celebrated with a Shorebird Festival, May 5-8; details at

The Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, May 5-8, offers ornithology workshops, field trips, boat tours and art events. For more information, go to

The Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka, and the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward, can host vacationers interested in volunteering. The facilities rehabilitate injured birds and other sea creatures. Visit or for details.

Belgium celebration

Belgium is celebrating the 175th anniversary of its founding this year, with special festivities planned for July 21, the Belgium national holiday.

Exhibits examining the country's history and culture include "Memory of Congo," about Brussels' controversial past as a colonial power, through Oct. 9 in the Royal Museum of Central Africa in Tervuren; "Simply Mussels," a look at the shellfish that are a popular mainstay of Belgian cuisine, in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, through June 30 in Brussels; and "Art Nouveau and Design," May 25 through Dec. 31 in the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels.

Beer-lovers will want to check out the 2005 calendar of brewery tours and festivals at For 175th anniversary information, visit and click on the calendar of events.

Associated Press