Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival offers travelers one-of-kind experience

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HOWARD COUNTY, Md. – Visitors to Howard County, Maryland will find one of the nation’s most unique festivals at the 44th annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. One of the largest celebrations of all things sheep — from hoof to handwoven — takes place May 6-7 at the Howard County Fairgrounds. The festival hosts more than 250 vendors and puts on 40 workshops related to shepherding and fiber arts.

Visitors can watch live shearing demonstrations, enjoy mouth-watering lamb dishes and attend breed shows and auctions, all while listening to traditional shepherding music, played on mandolins, bagpipes and hammered dulcimers. From learning to knit and weave, to watching sheep dog demonstrations and wool fashion shows, the two-day event is loaded with extraordinary experiences.

Additionally, visitors can attend the Saturday Shepherds Feast from 6 to 8 p.m. or the Sunday Breakfast Buffet from 7 to 9 a.m. Other noteworthy events include the Grand Lamb Cook-off, Spinning Competitions, fine art show and a Knit-Along for charity.

“While the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is one of the industry’s largest events, it also offers incredibly unique experiences for our visitors,” said Visit Howard County Executive Director Anthony Cordo. “This year’s event should be bigger and better than ever, with dozens of sheep and wool offerings and entertainment options, including loads of hands-on activities for travelers of all ages.”

The 2017 Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival will open its doors at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and 7 a.m. for breakfast on Sunday. Parking is free and festival admission is $5 per person. More information can be found at sheepandwool.org.

Located just minutes from Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Howard County, Maryland offers a one-of-a-kind blend of rural escapes, big-city dining and culture, unforgettable shopping, small-town charm and rich American history. Complete information on this unique destination is available at VisitHowardCounty.com or by calling (800) 288-8747 (TRIP).

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Hotel LeVeque opens in downtown Columbus as part of Autograph Collection hotels

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Just as LeVeque Tower has been an iconic star on the Columbus skyline since 1927, Hotel LeVeque will deliver a magical starry night experience to welcome guests

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Hotel LeVeque opened its doors on March 24 in downtown Columbus, greeting guests with a modern, starry take on the sophistication of the building’s art deco pedigree. Part of Autograph Collection Hotels, Hotel LeVeque joins the distinguished portfolio of more than 100 independent hotels around the world that are exactly like nothing else. Bringing the brand’s values of vision, design and craft to Columbus, the esteemed hotel marks the collection’s second hotel in Ohio.

With its sweeping views of the Columbus skyline and the new the Scioto Mile riverbank, the 149-room boutique hotel occupies floors five through 10 of the striking and iconic LeVeque Tower – the most iconic star on the Columbus horizon since the historic tower opened in 1927 as the nation’s fifth largest building. Rosemont, Ill.-based First Hospitality Group, Inc. owns and operates Hotel LeVeque under a partnership agreement with Robert J. Meyers and Don Casto of Tower 10.

“Bringing this incredible architectural treasure back as a beacon of hospitality was a natural fit for our depth of expertise in adaptive reuse,” said First Hospitality Group CEO Bob Habeeb. “In a city that’s grabbling international attention for its outstanding arts, culture, fashion and culinary offerings, Hotel LeVeque will be an exciting part of that cultural experience for guests.”

The hotel’s dramatic period architecture sets the stage for a one-of-a-kind arrival experience. On the first night of their stay, guests will be invited to enjoy a starry night in the hotel’s gleaming lobby, as the hotel’s mammoth sculptural chandelier dims, twinkling star patterns spark across the ceiling. Guests will receive a welcome cocktail and a special quote designed to inspire meaningful memories, along with a special invitation to enjoy a themed cocktail menu that awaits them in the Hotel LeVeque bar, The Keep.  The experience continues when guests return to their room to find starry nightlight glittering against the dimly lit ceiling, as well as a turndown card tucked alongside specialty treats, one sweet and one savory, crafted by a talented local pastry chef.

“We’ve created a graceful good night that will help our guests relax and unwind as they escape the frenetic pace of daily living,” said Geri Lombard, General Manager, Hotel LeVeque. “Hotel LeVeque is part of Autograph Collection Hotel’s distinct portfolio of strikingly independent hotels, each carefully selected for its quality, bold originality, rich character and uncommon details that embody a unique sense of place. The Starry Night Experience at Hotel LeVeque will bring that to life for our guests.”

Originally built in 1927 as the American Insurance Union Citadel, the LeVeque Tower was architect Charles Howard Crane’s masterpiece. At the time, the LeVeque Tower was the tallest skyscraper between New York City and Chicago, and the fifth tallest building in the world. It was home to the graceful Deshler Wallick Hotel and later became known as the Lincoln LeVeque Tower, then simply the LeVeque Tower after its purchase in 1945. Clad in unusual terra cotta relief tiles, the LeVeque Tower’s spectacular art deco architecture remains the city’s most recognizable feature and is among Columbus’ most photographed and revered architectural treasures. Illuminating the night skyline as a soaring tower bathed in light, its architectural beauty is carefully preserved and highlighted in elegant design by Columbus-based Schooley Caldwell architects.

For more information about Hotel LeVeque and Autograph Collection Hotels, visit www.autographhotels.com.

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About First Hospitality Group

First Hospitality Group, Inc. (FHG) is a leading hotel management, acquisition and development company with more than 30 years of award-winning experience. FHG’s unique people-driven professional culture fosters a team of highly skilled and motivated hospitality experts who consistently deliver outstanding property level performance, as well as memorable and engaging guest experiences. Headquartered in Chicago, FHG’s portfolio features 19 brands and 42 properties throughout the Midwest. Recognized in Forbes America’s Best Midsize Employers 2016, FHG received a #28 ranking out of the 250 best midsize employers in the country, #1 in the travel category, and #3 amongst all of America’s best travel companies. For more information, visit, www.fhginc.com. Follow FHG on Facebook at @FHGinc and Twitter at @FHGroup_Inc.

About Autograph Collection Hotels

Autograph Collection Hotels celebrates individuality by curating one-of-a-kind travel experiences at more than 100 luxury lifestyle hotels found in the world’s most desirable destinations. Exactly like nothing else, Autograph Collection properties are hand selected for their rich character and uncommon details.  A personal realization of an individual founder’s vision, these hotels are defined by unique design, differentiated guest experiences and their meaningful role in locality.  For more information, please visit www.autographhotels.com, and explore our social media channels on Instagram  Twitter  and Facebook to learn more about championing the independent spirit that is #ExactlyLikeNothingElse. Autograph Collection Hotels is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Marriott Rewards®, in which members can link accounts with Starwood Preferred Guest® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer.

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is the world’s largest hotel company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with nearly 6,000 properties in 120 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts. The company’s 30 leading brands include: Bulgari®, The Ritz-Carlton® and The Ritz-Carlton Reserve®, St. Regis®, W®, EDITION®, JW Marriott®, The Luxury Collection®, Marriott Hotels®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Renaissance® Hotels, Sheraton®, Delta Hotels by MarriottSM, Marriott Executive Apartments®, Marriott Vacation Club®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Tribute Portfolio™, Design Hotels™, Gaylord Hotels®, Courtyard®, Four Points® by Sheraton, SpringHill Suites®, Fairfield Inn & Suites®, Residence Inn®, TownePlace Suites®, AC Hotels by Marriott®, Aloft®, Element®, Moxy® Hotels, and Protea Hotels by Marriott®. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com and @MarriottIntl.