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Taste & Travel Briefs

Folk festival to celebrate Gulf Coast music

RICHMOND, Va. - The music of the Gulf Coast region will be showcased at the 68th National Folk Festival, a free three-day event taking place in Richmond on Oct. 13 through 15.

Don Vappie and the Creole Jazz Serenaders will bring Creole jazz and blues from New Orleans. The Lost Bayou Ramblers from Lafayette in southwestern Louisiana will perform Cajun music, and Willie King & The Liberators will bring blues from eastern Mississippi and western Alabama.

In addition, the festival will feature Irish music from button-accordion master Joe Derrane, fiddler Seamus Connolly and guitarist John McGann - collectively known as The Boston Edge. Also on the schedule is The Lee Boys group from Richmond Heights, Fla., a fourth-generation band that plays gospel music on steel guitars.

For more information about the National Folk Festival, visit www.nationalfolkfestival.com.

Web site offers travel ideas for New England

DUBLIN, N.H. - Planning a trip to enjoy autumn in New England? Check out Yankee Magazine's Web site, www.yankeefoliage.com. Here you'll find an interactive map that tracks the spread of peak color across New England and watch the leaves change hue on a Web cam that shows a maple tree outside Yankee's offices in Durham, N.H.

You can also listen to podcasts about the season, submit your own foliage reports based on observations on your home turf and post information or a question on an online forum with other readers.

The Web site also offers travel recommendations, an events calendar, a searchable travel database and an itinerary tool to help you plan a trip.

N.Y. offers fun at dude ranches

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. - You don't have to head west to play cowboy at a dude ranch.

New York state has a 40-mile dude ranch trail with lodge resorts, stables and plenty of opportunities to enjoy fall foliage in the Adirondack Mountains.

Bennett's Riding Stables in Lake Luzerne - 518-321-3595 - offers guided rides, rides with dinner served on the trail and daylong rides - all with a view.

At the 1000 Acres Ranch Resort in Stony Creek - www.1000Acres.com - you'll find horseback riding, nightly bonfires, country dance lessons, hiking and other family entertainment.

Disney World launching new program

ORLANDO, Fla. - Disney World is launching a new program called ''The Year of a Million Dreams'' - but you'll have to luck out to take advantage of it.

Starting Oct. 1, Disney cast members will be empowered to grant wishes big and small to guests - including free dining, ticket upgrades, FastPasses that allow entry into all the major attractions, shopping sprees and opportunities to travel the world to be grand marshal at parades in Disney parks globally. Starting in January, families visiting the park will be chosen at random to stay atop Cinderella's Castle in Disney's first-ever castle suite.

- From wire reports