Family fun in Abilene
Let the summer road trips begin with the third annual Children’s Art & Literacy Festival, June 12-14 in Abilene. This year’s event celebrates author and illustrator William Joyce, an Oscar winner for his short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and three-time Emmy winner for Rolie Polie Olie. (One of Joyce’s books, Santa Calls, is set in Abilene.) Joyce will speak June 12 at the historic Paramount Theatre. The fest includes a parade, readings, movie screenings and art activities. Trout Fishing in America will perform, too. Tickets are $15 adults, $10 children. An exhibit, “William Joyce: A Guardian of Childhood,” will run through Sept. 27 at the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature and the Center for Contemporary Arts. For festival information: 325-677-1161, www.abilenecalf.com. For lodging: 800-727-7704, www.abilenevisitors.com
— Sandy Guerra-Cline
Travel book: Dogs on the go
The new The Dog Lover’s Guide to Travel by Kelly E. Carter (National Geographic, $22.95) explains the latest on traveling with canines in planes, cars, hotels and more. Traveling with a dog “isn’t the hindrance it once was,” she reports. The travel industry is thrilled to welcome you and your pet — mainly because pet owners spent $78 million on travel with pets as of 2012. Among the 75 pet-friendly spots Carter profiles are Michigan’s Mackinac Island, the Lake Erie shoreline in Ohio and everywhere from Durango, Colo., to Naples, Fla. Just remember — when you take Fido to the beach, put sunblock on his ears and nose. Doggies get sunburned, too.
— Ellen Creager, Detroit Free Press
Deen gets cooking on tour
Paula Deen plans to hit the road in June to cook live for fans. The 90-minute “Paula Deen Live!” shows will feature a mix of cooking demonstrations, games with audience members and personal stories. Only five cities on Deen’s tour schedule have been announced so far, and all of them are in her Southern comfort zone, including Atlanta, Savannah, Ga., and Nashville, Tenn. One show, on Aug. 6, will be in San Antonio. The tour kicks off June 21 and 22 with two shows in the Smoky Mountains tourist hub of Pigeon Forge, Tenn., where Deen has a new $20 million restaurant in the works. www.pauladeen.com
— The Associated Press
Have your crowning moment
The Miss America Pageant is in Atlantic City, N.J., only once a year, but visitors to the seaside resort where the historic pageant began can have their own crowning moments year-round. The city recently dedicated a statue of Miss America, modeled loosely on former title holder Mallory Hagan but incorporating features from other past winners. The statue depicts Miss America holding out the crown for a new winner to wear. It has quickly become a popular photo op for strollers on the Boardwalk. The Miss America Pageant returned to Atlantic City last year after a stint in Las Vegas. The pageant finale will be televised Sept. 14, the day after the Boardwalk’s annual “Show Us Your Shoes” parade.
— The Associated Press