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CMOG: Annual GlassFest

Corning, NY, is a town obsessed by glass. Since the late 1800s, glass has been a primary industry of this small upstate city. Many important innovations in glassmaking have been developed here, includ…

Corning, NY, is a town obsessed by glass. Since the late 1800s, glass has been a primary industry of this small upstate city. Many important innovations in glassmaking have been developed here, including the glass covering for the light bulb, Pyrex cookware, and optical fiber. At the turn of the century, Corning was a centre for beautiful cut crystal glass and, for many years, it was the centre of production for world-famous Steuben Glass – earning the town its nickname as America“s Crystal City. Today, the picturesque Finger Lakes city is home to one of New York State“s most popular upstate attractions, the Corning Museum of Glass. The headquarters of Corning Incorporated are centred here, and the city“s downtown historic Gaffer District (so-named after the traditional term for glassmaker) features numerous small glass studios and shops. This year, the town celebrates its glass heritage with its Second Annual GlassFest“, to take place 26-29 May 2011. The festival features a variety of glass-oriented activities, including: o Live glassmaking demonstrations o An evening of neon art, music and wine tastings (from local Finger Lakes wineries) in the park o Fire arts and craft vendors and demonstrations, featuring a vast selection of work from regional glass, ceramics, jewellery and metal artists o Glass-focused lectures and talks, and self-guided historic walking tours of the town o Flameworking competition, judged by renowned flameworking artist Paul Stankard o Live music and family-friendly entertainment o GlassFest 8K race o Special hands-on glassmaking workshops and special activities at The Corning Museum of Glass and the Rockwell Museum of Western Art all weekend o Many opportunities to purchase one-of-a-kind works of glass art Admission to most events is free; there is some cost for wine tastings. Weekend packages are available at area hotels. The annual GlassFest is a four-day celebration of glass and the fire arts in the Crystal City, featuring live hot glass shows, artist demonstrations, neon sculpture, historical tours and shopping promotions. The festival kicks off on Thursday, 26 May, at a special evening event at The Corning Museum of Glass and continues through the weekend with outdoor hot glass shows and glass artist demos and a variety of activities for the whole family. For more information about GlassFest 2011, visit www.glassfest.org.

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