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Folklore

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Olivia is Connecticut's resident expert on evergreens. Days before Christmas she gets a plea for help from Jack, a Christmas tree farmer in need of her skills to figure out what mystery illness is causing their trees to die out and ruining their business, which has been his family's legacy for 100 years. After calling off her Christmas wedding six months earlier, Olivia isn't eager to head home for the holidays so she agrees to make a detour and stop at Jack's farm in Avon to examine the trees. Unable to immediately discover the cause, Olivia is determined to get to the root of the problem and extends her stay to run advanced tests. With time to kill while she waits for test results for the trees, Olivia joins Jack and his friends at the holiday festivities around town and finds their traditions a welcome change to the reserved holidays she grew up with. As they spend more time together, they begin to fall for each other and Jack helps Olivia reconnect to Christmas, her parents and herself. In the end, her tenacity pays off and Olivia not only devises a way to preserve Jack's trees but she discovers the shocking truth about why his firs were fizzling — much to the dismay of Dwayne, a rival local tree farmer

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This anthology takes different aspects of Halloween traditions and explores the things that scare us.

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Did you know the Excelsior Regina hotel was built just so Queen Victoria could visit the south of France? The brilliant Rhys Bowen’s “Above the Bay of Angels” reveals the magnificent place built in 1897 on a hillside in Nice.

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Chang’s university is a movable school. This novel is — listen to this — about a group from a Chinese university escaping the Japanese invasion of 1937. A group of classmates has been entrusted with the safekeeping of a priceless treasure, a 500-year-old collection of myths and folklore known as the Library of Legends. OK, it’s not in a school, but it’s about a school — and about learning how the bonds of knowledge, and our responsibilities to our classmates and to history, can send us on a life-changing journey.

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The Annual Whitefish Winter Carnival kicks off with the coronation of a king and queen, followed by a Penguin Plunge (a hole is cut into Whitefish Lake and participants take a dip to raise funds for charity). Visitors are welcomed by mountain men, penguins and Viking divas, otherwise known as the costume-clad volunteers who share stories and point the curious toward the old-fashioned Main Street parade, an ice sculpting contest, a kids' carnival, a pie social and a pancake breakfast. You can also expect a torchlight ski parade, ski-joring, cross-country ski races and a figure skating demonstration. The festivities are open to the public and most are free. Feb. 7-9, 2020. Contact: www.whitefishwintercarnival.com

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Considered one of the oldest winter festivals in the U.S., this family-friendly event includes polar plunges, day and evening parades, ice-horse-racing, bob-sledding and ice carving, as well as a liberal serving of lore. It's said that a New York reporter once referred to St. Paul as "another Siberia, unfit for human habitation" in winter. In response, the Chamber of Commerce set out to prove there was good fun to be had during the frosty days of winter and the Carnival was born. That was in 1885. This year, the youngest generation and their families can join in the Carnival's Moon Glow Pedestrian Parade by wearing costumes and decorating strollers, wagons or other non-motorized transportation for the chance to win prizes. Jan. 23 - Feb. 2, 2020. Contact www.wintercarnival.com

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Halloween costumes are traditionally scary, so hip hop icon Snoop Dogg made sure fans were truly terrified by wearing a Joker mask.

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