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May 5, 2014: White House Heads in New Direction With Event Flowers, Gamers to Get 15,000-Seat Arena, See This Fair’s Wacky New Food Options


1. WHITE HOUSE HEADS IN NEW DIRECTION WITH EVENT FLOWERS: Lush flower arrangements from a White House state dinner in February used cut flowers from American growers, a strategic change that, like most things in Washington, needed intense lobbying to happen. And the push is on to continue using the flowers, helping to revive a struggling domestic industry. The New York Times: “The change is a result of pressure on the White House from the determined American cut-flower lobby, which argues that if Michelle Obama is going to showcase locally grown food and American wine, she can do the same for the hundreds of flowers, traditionally changed weekly, in the White House’s state rooms, West Wing and private quarters and, when it is in use, at Camp David.” http://nyti.ms/1iUf0VL

2. SEE THIS FAIR’S WACKY NEW FOOD OPTIONS: Concessions vendors at this summer’s Calgary Stampede will compete in a “best new food” competition, and some of the entries are downright bizarre. CBC: “Among the new menu options are bacon-wrapped corn on the cob, deep-fried donut bacon cheeseburgers, crocodile sliders and pizza topped with seasoned scorpions. And for dessert, how about chocolate dipped cookie dough on a stick or deep fried peanut butter cups.” http://bit.ly/1obhTXj

3. GAMERS TO GET 15,000-SEAT ARENA: A planned 15,000-seat arena will be dedicated to video game competitions, part of a growing entertainment trend dubbed “e-sports.” The arena is planned as part of a $2.8 billion gaming theme park near Macau. Bloomberg Businessweek: “What the competitive-gaming industry hasn’t had is a Madison Square Garden of its own, says Mike Sepso, president of Major League Gaming, a company that runs leagues and broadcasts competitions online. … The [partner] companies are currently trying to determine how a video game arena differs from, says, a basketball arena. While traditional sports facilities generally have a field surrounded by seats, for example, it probably makes more sense to design a gaming arena like a Broadway theater, with a stage for the players and large screens above their heads.” http://buswk.co/1feEbYj

* LOCAL NEWS *

BOSTON:  The Revere Hotel Boston Common will reopen its rooftop bar and lounge, Rooftop at Revere, on May 17. The venue has playful new menu items including Classy Jell-O Shots and Champagne Sangria, and it will host events for as many as 500 guests.

CHICAGO:  Coordinated Advice & Referral Program for Legal Service will host its 21st annual “Golden Gavel” celebration at the InterContinental Magnificent Mile on June 5. Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle will be the keynote speaker.

LAS VEGAS:  Daniel Boulud’s db Brasserie at the Venetian Hotel has its grand opening on Thursday.

LOS ANGELES:  Patina Restaurant Group returns for its 15th season providing food to event guests at the Hollywood Bowl.

Nylon and BCBGeneration will celebrate the “Young Hollywood” issue Thursday with a poolside party hosted by May issue cover star Hailee Steinfeld at the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel.

Local event listings from Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Mandarin Oriental, Miami, is kicking off a concert series Wednesday called MO Bar Unplugged, which will take place at the hotel’s new MO Bar & Lounge. The first act is the Chilean rock-pop band La Ley.

NEW YORK:  The Rainforest Alliance's annual gala award dinner is Wednesday and will feature a green carpet.

Local event listings from Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork

TORONTO:  The 2014 Luminato Festival is June 5-16. Its programming includes dance, theater, music, film, and more.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  See a tally of every burn in Joel McHale’s speech at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner Saturday at the Washington Hilton. His top target? New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Washington Post: http://wapo.st/1iPCy4e

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

BizBash Daily is the must-read digest of event industry news from BizBash.com.

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