November 25, 2014: Democratic National Convention Names Finalists, New Olympic and Paralympic Mascots Revealed, See San Francisco’s "Field of Jeans"

By Beth Kormanik November 25, 2014, 8:20 AM EST

1. DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION NAMES FINALISTS: Columbus, Ohio, New York City, and Philadelphia are the finalists to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, ruling out Phoenix and Birmingham, Alabama. The Democratic National Committee is expected to name the host city early next year. MSNBC: “The finalists have long been expected among watchers and Democratic insiders, who said Birmingham and Phoenix couldn’t raise the necessary funds. … During the 2012 convention in Charlotte—which cost more than $42 million—the party had to scramble and cancel events when the host committee fell more than $25 million behind in their fundraising efforts. After that experience, the DNC is especially wary about getting burned again when it comes to money.”

2. NEW OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC MASCOTS REVEALED: Two cuddly, yet still bizarre-looking, creatures were introduced as the mascots of the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. One is an amalgam of Brazil’s wildlife while the other represents the country’s flora. Associated Press: “The cuddly, cartoon-like mascots are also big business. Organizers hope that Olympic merchandise, much of it carrying the mascot logo, will generate sales of 1 billion reals ($400 million). The organizing committee will receive about 15-20 percent of the sales of branded merchandise, with the rest going to licensed manufacturers and vendors. Income from merchandising makes up a chunk of the $3 billion operating budget. Half of that budget is to come from the sale of local sponsorships. The Olympic merchandising campaign will comprise about 12,000 products aimed mostly at children. About 90 percent of sales are expected from the domestic market.”

3. SEE SAN FRANCISCO’S “FIELD OF JEANS": With Levi Strauss & Company as the title sponsor of Levi’s Stadium, the new home to the San Francisco 49ers, the venue in Santa Clara, California, adopted the nickname of “Field of Jeans.” The denim company embraced the nickname with a charitable stunt that asked fans to donate old jeans to be recycled—and then covered the playing field with them, carving out the recycling symbol in the middle. Mashable:


BOSTON:  The Boston Globe goes inside Cafe ArtScience, a new restaurant that serves vapors that can be sipped through a straw and huckleberry-lime creamsicles with candied rose petals.

CHICAGO:  Salero, the new Basque restaurant in the West Loop, has an upper-level private dining room that seats 45 or holds 75 for receptions. For business lunches, the venue offers a $25 three-course menu with items such as Serrano ham and confit potatoes a la plancha. Crain’s Chicago Business:

LAS VEGAS:  The Las Vegas chapter of the National Association for Catering and Events named Picnic at Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino its 2014 meeting venue of the year.

The 2015 Miss Nevada USA and Miss Nevada Teen USA pageant took place Sunday night at the Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus.

LOS ANGELES:  On Sunday, Cinéma Privé and Pandora Jewelry hosted special screenings of Whiplash and Cake at Soho House in West Hollywood.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Thompson Miami Beach hotel opened Friday. The 380-room property from Commune Hotels & Resorts includes several nightlife and restaurant concepts including chef Michelle Bernstein's Seagrape restaurant, which seats 267, and two cocktail venues from KNR Hospitality Group, 1930s House and Crown Room. The hotel has 47,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space.

NEW YORK:  Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment, which organize Times Square New Year’s Eve, announced several changes to this year's program. The Broadway show Aladdin will sponsor the “Confetti Wishes” tradition, in which the 3,000 pounds of confetti dropped at midnight are imprinted with wishes shared by people from around the world. For the first time, a mobile “wishing wall” will be set up in Times Square for people to summit their wishes.

Refinery29, working with design publication Site Unseen, will host its third annual Tinseltown Bazaar holiday pop-up store at Openhouse December 13-14. The concept will have a “Home for the Holidays” theme and include fashion, beauty, and home vendors, D.I.Y. opportunities, a beauty styling bar, and food.

Veuve Clicquot has opened a pop-up champagne bar at Saks Fifth Avenue. The fifth-floor spot will pair the brand's Yellow Label and rosé with bites such as lamb sliders, truffle French fries, and grilled cheeses. It is open through January 3.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  Escapology is a new, immersive game experience that will open December 6 on International Drive. Teams of as many as six players work together to find clues, solve puzzles, and discover the key to the “escape door” within one hour. The venue will have six themed rooms and meeting space and will accommodate private events for as many as 36 people.

PHOENIX:  After five years of staging its Bud Light Hotel at the Super Bowl, the beer brand will replace it with Bud Light House of Whatever at Super Bowl XLIX. The activation will include three days of parties, concerts, and activities, similar to this summer's “Whatever, USA” event in Colorado. Bud Light announced the activation at an event in Phoenix this weekend that featured DJ Steve Aoki, who will perform at House of Whatever.

SAN FRANCISCO:  The KPFA Craft Fair will return to the East Bay this year. Scheduled for December 20-21, the event will take place at the Craneway Pavilion and will showcase more than 200 arts-and-crafts exhibitors.

TORONTO:  The Mini Maker Faire took place over the weekend at the Toronto Reference Library. The event featured some 100 exhibitors, and organizers expected 10,000 guests. The Star:

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The American Anthropological Association will launch its first Media Festival, set to run concurrently with the organization's 113th annual meeting December 3-7. Events will take place at the meeting's host hotel, the Marriott Wardman Park, as well as the nearby Hierarchy Gallery. The festival will include a director's cut screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary The Act of Killing, followed by a Q&A session with director Joshua Oppenheimer.

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

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