What’s New in the New Year October 27, 2023 by MATPRA Admin Get ready for an absolutely exhilarating new year in the Mid-Atlantic region! Exciting new restaurants, big festivals, electrifying live shows and so much more will greet you in the coming year. Here’s just a tantalizing glimpse of what’s in store! A one-stop-shop for unique travel ideas, roundups, and in-destination experiences to uncover and explore across the Mid-Atlantic region. Click here to view the photo gallery, and please provide photo credit to the appropriate DMO. For more information on any of the following, contact the destination marketing organization listed below. For general information on the Mid-Atlantic, visit MATPRA.org DELAWARE Kent (DE) Kent County is home to historic Downtown Dover, with exciting projects and new developments underway! Rail Haus is a brand-new and dog-friendly beer garden, restaurant, and community hangout spot all wrapped into one. This exciting new venture is both veteran- and minority-owned and made for beer enthusiasts, families, and four-legged friends alike. Delaware’s Quaint Villages, VisitDelawareVillages.com, Catherine Jenkins, firstname.lastname@example.org MARYLAND Calvert The Rod ‘N’ Reel Resort in Chesapeake Beach is undergoing renovations, with upcoming additions including a rooftop deck, extra hotel rooms, a three-story atrium overlooking the beach and Chesapeake Bay, fresh dining options, event venues, and more exciting updates! Calvert County Department of Economic Development, VisitCalvert.com, Hilary Dailey, email@example.com Cecil Bundle up and experience Winter Lights – Cecil Nights throughout January and February 2024. Small towns and waterfronts light up the winter with decorations, warm weather dishes at eateries, and fun activities such as carriage and wagon rides, Sip & Stroll, night hikes, community events, fire pit fun, and more! Cecil County Tourism, DiscoverCecil.com, Sandy Turner, firstname.lastname@example.org Charles Celebrate the new year with a visit to Charles County! Prepare your appetite for Charles County’s Restaurant Week, taking place Jan. 12-21. Hungry for more? On May 25, race over to our classic car and food truck event, the Charles County Classic Carb Show, featuring cool cars and delicious eats! Charles County Government, Department of Recreation, Parks, & Tourism, ExploreCharlesCounty.com, Brittney Gray, email@example.com Harford Experience eight state-of-the-art turf fields at the all-new Copperplex in Edgewood, satisfy your sweet tooth with Aberdeen’s inaugural All Things Chocolate festival, dazzle in the holiday lights at Ripken Stadium’s Harford Holidays and explore brand-new locally owned businesses throughout Harford County! Visit Harford, VisitHarford.com, Tyler Zeisloft, firstname.lastname@example.org Kent (MD) Plan to spend 2024 in Kent County, MD! The year is already packed with events including the the Galena Dogwood Festival, Chestertown Tea Party Festival, National Music Festival, Fourth of July, Legacy Day and much more! Come stroll the historic streets of Chestertown, shopping in Rock Hall or relax at Betterton Beach! Kent County Tourism, MD, KentCounty.com/Visitors, Shalyn Boulden, email@example.com Talbot The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum has opened its new Welcome Center! The interpretive center of Eastern Shore maritime culture now greets visitors in a state-of-the-art building able to exhibit large artifacts, boats, and displays. Also new, Rude Bodega, serving epicurean Mexican dishes, and 4 Dogs Brewing, crafting dog-themed beers and pub grub. Talbot County Office of Economic Development and Tourism, TourTalbot.org, Cassandra Vanhooser, firstname.lastname@example.org Wicomico The Wicomico Youth & Civic Center is ushering in the New Year with a full slate of entertainment. The Harlem Globetrotters will dribble their way into arena, as will the comedic anecdotes of Bert Kreisher during his Tops Off World Tour. Maryland’s Wicomico County, WicomicoTourism.org, Kristen Goller, email@example.com PENNSYLVANIA Bradford Come experience the beautiful pastoral landscapes of northeastern Pennsylvania in a whole new way! The Endless Mountains Gravel Bikepacking Loop (EMGBL) takes gravel cyclists through hundreds of miles through scenic Bradford and other counties offering unforgettable stops along the way. Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency, VisitBradfordCounty.com, Morgan Christopher, firstname.lastname@example.org Endless Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania Vosburg Neck State Park in Wyoming County, one of Pennsylvania’s new state parks has long been a local favorite for hiking, paddling, and wildlife watching. Offering eight miles of hiking trails through meadows and woodland, the park also boasts many historic features, such as 19th-century buildings, remnants of the old canal, and a 1700s-era cemetery. Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau, EndlessMountains.org, Morgan Christopher, email@example.com Juniata River Valley Keep your eyes glued to the sky come Goose Day night. A new drone light show will illuminate the audience’s imagination while taking the holiday to new heights. The customized drone show will feature 300 illuminated, synchronized, and choreographed drones that fly into various aerial formations including many custom Goose Day designs. Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau, JRVVisitors.com, Buffie Boyer, firstname.lastname@example.org Lancaster Lancaster County has plenty new in 2024! Sight & Sound Theatre’s latest blockbuster –“Daniel”– debuts in March. The rebuilt Hershey Farm Restaurant plans to open in May. And the best female professional golfers in the world compete in the U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club in late May. Discover Lancaster, DiscoverLancaster.com, Joel Cliff, email@example.com Potter-Tioga The newly remodeled viewing area at Leonard Harrison State Park on the rim of the “Pennsylvania Grand Canyon” offers better access for visitors looking to experience the breathtaking views of the iconic 47-mile Pine Creek Gorge that is a favorite of tourists, campers, and outdoor recreation enthusiasts. Visit Potter-Tioga, VisitPotterTioga.com, Morgan Christopher, firstname.lastname@example.org VIRGINIA Giles Located in beautiful Giles, Virginia, overlooking the New River, the Lilly Valley Inn is newly renovated, luxurious, and inclusive bed & breakfast with a French-trained chef. Prepare to be delighted with their gourmet breakfast. The Escape Spa is a brand-new amenity the features a full selection of on-site spa services. Giles County, VA Tourism, VirginiasMtnPlayground.com, Cora Gnegy, email@example.com Hampton Hampton is offering an exciting winter lineup for the New Year. Enjoy the return of the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival; exhilarating performances at the American Theatre and the Hampton Coliseum; dinner at the brand new Cibus restaurant in Phoebus; tasty, winter-inspired drinks at coffee shops; and much more in 2024. Hampton Convention and Visitor Bureau, VisitHampton.com, Mahogany Waldon, firstname.lastname@example.org Harrisonburg Harrisonburg, an original Virginia Arts & Cultural District, is unveiling a dynamic new public art sculpture in 2024. This will be in addition to a large number of public art sculptures and murals that are part of a downtown art walk. Harrisonburg Tourism & Visitors Services, VisitHarrisonburgVA.com, Jennifer Bell, email@example.com Loudoun Internationally acclaimed soul, jazz and R&B singer Tracy Hamlin’s Sweet Jazz Festival takes place in Loudoun April 19-20 – a two-day celebration of music, art and wine featuring Hamlin’s stirring vocals as well as jazz artists Marcus Anderson, Karen Briggs, and others. Proceeds go to aspiring musicians. Visit Loudoun, visitloudoun.org, Jennifer Sigal, firstname.lastname@example.org Richmond New races, new exhibits, and special anniversaries are coming to Richmond in 2024. Sportsbackers is introducing the River City Half and 5K for runners this spring; the Science Museum of Virginia will reopen The Dome for new films on the largest screen in the state; and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden will be hosting 40-year anniversary events all year long. Visit Richmond VA, VisitRichmondVA.com, Carla Murray, email@example.com Shenandoah The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival, an outdoor venue at Shrine Mont in beautiful, historic Orkney Springs will entertain the Valley with another summer concert series. Music legends such Bruce Hornsby, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Travis Tritt, Jerry Douglas, and The Steel Wheels have taken the stage over the past 61 years. Visit Shenandoah County, VisitShenandoahCounty.com, Brenda Black, firstname.lastname@example.org Staunton Cosette Café, situated in Downtown Staunton, defies its name’s “little thing” connotation, offering a culinary experience that is anything but petite. This charming corner café is a celebration of love, open-mindedness, and joy, where European and international flavors blend seamlessly with locally sourced ingredients and a welcoming community. Staunton, VA, VisitStaunton.com, Jessica Williams, email@example.com Virginia’s Blue Ridge A life-sized sculpture of Henrietta Lacks has been recently unveiled in her hometown of Roanoke, Virginia. Honoring Lacks, who unknowingly contributed to decades of life-saving research with the HeLa cell, this statue now proudly stands on the newly renamed Lacks Plaza in Downtown Roanoke. Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, VisitVBR.com, Kathryn Lucas, firstname.lastname@example.org WEST VIRGINIA West Virginia (State of) Add a trip to Mack’s Bingo Kitchen to your 2024 bucket list! The new restaurant nestled in the charming town of Wardensville serves as a living classroom for local Appalachian youth. Dine on elevated dishes made with local ingredients and sip local brews all while enjoying the inviting atmosphere. West Virginia Department of Tourism, WVTourism.com, Lindsey R. Funk, Lindsey.R.Funk@wv.gov About the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance Our goal is to make your job as travel journalists easier! These once-a-month emails provide a one-stop-shop for unique travel ideas, roundups, and in-destination experiences to uncover and explore across the Mid-Atlantic region. We work directly with destinations across D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia to put together roundup stories. Understanding your timelines and lead time needs, we’ve preplanned hot industry and travel topics months readily available to you. We encourage you to reach out to each destination contact above if you’re interested in covering their story, and also welcome you to email us at MidAtlanticTourism@gmail.com if you’re looking for a roundup on multiple destinations or a different story topic altogether. The Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance (MATPRA) is a cohesive unit of regional tourism partners encompassing D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. For more information, visit MATPRA.org.