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July 14, 2017: Disney Reveals First Look at ‘Star Wars’ Lands at Fan Convention, Fox to Conduct Gene Testing at Comic-Con, Why American Designers Are Skipping New York Fashion Week

1. DISNEY REVEALS FIRST LOOK AT €'STAR WARS€' LANDS AT FAN CONVENTION: Disney kicked off the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, on Thursday with an exclusive look at its forthcoming Star Wars lands using 3-D models. Bloomberg: “Disney unveiled the models at a preview to D23 Expo, a three-day, biennial fan event that begins Friday in Anaheim, California. ‘This is the most ambitious land we’ve built to date,’ Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney’s parks division, said Thursday at the unveiling. The projects are part of a renewed focus on investment in the parks. Last year, the company opened its first resort on the Chinese mainland, the $5.5 billion Disney Shanghai Resort. That was followed by an ‘Avatar’ land in Orlando, Florida, and a ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ revamp of its Tower of Terror ride in California. More investments are planned, including ‘Toy Story’ lands in Orlando and Shanghai. The world’s largest entertainment company announced the ‘Star Wars’ plans at the expo two years ago. Costing about $1 billion each, they’ll feature a simulated ride on the Millennium Falcon spaceship and an attraction that puts guests in the middle of a battle between the evil First Order and the Resistance fighting them. They’re expected to open in 2019 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando and the company’s original park, Disneyland, in Anaheim.”

2. FOX TO CONDUCT GENE TESTING AT COMIC-CON: To promote its upcoming Marvel series The Gifted, Fox will host a gene-testing activation for Comic-Con International attendees next weekend. The Hollywood Reporter: “The network, which last year performed live exorcisms to promote its horror series of the same name, is once again taking to the streets of downtown San Diego. But this time they're on the hunt for mutants. Fox will host an X-Gene Screening Station at the Hilton Bayfront Lawn where Comic-Con attendees can be tested for the X-Gene. At the station, each person will be laser-scanned and then complete a cheek swab genetic test with a nurse. Once registered, fans will either receive an ‘I Got Tested’ sticker or an ‘M’ sticker if they are found to, indeed, be carrying the Mutant Gene. Those who have the special gene will also be able to share and post a photo in an exclusive ‘Wanted’ poster. (Others will still have social media bragging rights in the form of an ‘I Got Tested’ backdrop.) Six weeks after testing, fans will get additional information about their personal genetic profile online. The testing station is just one part of Fox's extensive Comic-Con campaign for The Gifted. Sentinel Services (like the agency in the fall drama sent to find those carrying the X-Gene) will launch online through wanted posters, PSAs and an in-depth Sentinel Services website. A corresponding #MutantsUnite activation will also launch, designed to ignite the resistance movement with hacks of the PSAs across social media, hidden geo-fenced Snapchat filters and a first of its kind Facebook AR experience.”

3. WHY AMERICAN DESIGNERS ARE SKIPPING NEW YORK FASHION WEEK: Joseph Altuzarra is the latest American fashion designer to announce he’s choosing Paris over New York Fashion Week this year, joining others such as Rodarte and Thom Browne. Some feel the moves of these high-profile designers are pointing toward the idea that Paris becoming the new global fashion leader. Vogue: “Not so fast, says Steven Kolb, president and CEO of the CFDA, which manages the city’s Fashion Week calendar. ‘New York is absolutely open for business; this is where you can grow your business,’ he said via phone earlier today. ‘Not one of these brands would be able to show in Paris if it weren’t for New York. They’re all winners of the Fashion Fund or participants, and they were able to get their start because of how democratic and open American fashion is.’ Pointing to brands like Stella McCartney and Valentino, which show in Paris despite maintaining home bases elsewhere, he noted, ‘We helped support these brands, and they’re at the point now where they can go to Paris. There’s a sense of pride in that.’ Kolb suggested that the recent changes, which have also seen Tommy Hilfiger take his show to Los Angeles (last season) and London (Fall ’17), may have been prompted by the Boston Consulting Group’s 2016 study, which encouraged designers, in the face of a “broken” fashion system, to ‘try different things.’ Kolb also indicated that these shifts could be temporary: ‘The truth is we’ve seen New York designers go to Europe and show, and [then] come back to New York.’”


CHICAGO:  The Transamerica Chicago Triathlon will take place August 27. The event will start at Monroe Harbor, loop around Lake Shore Drive, and end at Columbus Drive. 

LAS VEGAS:  The Biergarten at Lagasse’s Stadium is slated to open at the Venetian and the Palazzo on July 17. The 1,800-square-foot space will offer a German beer garden experience and Bavarian fare from Emeril Lagasse. 

LOS ANGELES:  This year’s U.S. Open of Surfing will run July 29-August 6 at Huntington Beach. The event is sponsored by Vans. 

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Miami Beach Botanical Garden is relaunching its Picnic on the Patio series—also known as POP dinners—with a Uruguayan feast. Called an "Asado," which references the popular dishes and the social event of attending a barbecue in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, the July 21 meal will include traditional appetizers, a main course of marinated rib eye and tenderloins from grass-fed beef, wines from Alto de la Ballena, and dessert. The meal will be prepared by Gaucho Ranch. 

NEW YORK:  The 18th annual Blues BBQ Festival will take place August 19 at Pier 97. Participating vendors include Dinosaur Barb-B-Que and Mighty Quinn’s, while live performers include the Campbell Brothers and Sugar Ray. 

The second weekend of the Jazz Age Lawn Party 2017 will take place August 26-27 at Colonel’s Row on Governors Island. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Buddy Valastro, star of the TLC show Cake Boss, will be part of the lineup of celebrity guests at the Americas Cake Fair October 14-15 at the Orange County Convention Center. The show's schedule includes more than 100 hands-on classes and demonstrations, cake competitions, live challenges, and a sugar arts fashion show. 

SAN FRANCISCO:  The seventh annual Bay Area Blues Festival will take place September 23-24 in downtown Martinez. 

TORONTO:  This year’s Honda Indy Toronto runs today through Sunday at Exhibition Place. Interactive events for fans include Honda World—which has vehicle displays, racing simulators, and face painting—and Thunder Alley, which has food trucks, live entertainment, and interactive exhibits from event partners. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, Rayna Katz, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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