St. John’s County Fairground Hosts the First Black Tiny Home Festival

 The Elkton community in St. Johns County, Florida, is about to witness one of the most significant events held in their hometown. The First Black Tiny Home Festival brings together the community and enthusiasts to show representation of Black and Brown people in the Tiny Homes on Wheels Movement. The festival will be held February 17 to 20, 2023, for a long weekend of fun and celebration in honor of Black History Month, Black culture and Tiny Homes Living.

The festival will showcase tiny homes of different styles for guests to tour including, vans, RVs, skoolies, and other tiny home conversions owned by Black and Brown people. There will also be a Camping Meetup to rally the Black nomadic community to enjoy the weekend after hours. Camping guests will have access to informative lifestyle workshops to teach about the details of tiny living, live performances by local and popular talent acts, a Black-Owned vendor market, the Nomad Formal Gala, and more! This event is family and pet friendly with designated areas and activities.

The theme for the festival is C.U.R.E. – “Celebrating Us, Rallying Everyone.” The planning team wanted to address the under representation of Black and Brown people in the tiny home event space and community by providing an event to celebrate the creativity, ingenuity and courage of Black and Brown people to live an alternative lifestyle. In addition, the goal is to inspire those interested in this lifestyle about the possibilities among people who look like them. Although the event is aimed to unite and celebrate the Black tiny home on wheels movement, everyone is welcome to support and attend the festival.

The Festival will respects the environment that is used to camp by avoiding the use of the most wasteful items at events, cups and water bottles. Part of the zero waste initiative includes a Bring-a-cup or Buy-a-cup beverage policy, as well as, pack in/pack out camping, separate waste bins for trash, recycling, and compost, provided poop bags in the designated dog park and waste conscious supplies and decor.

The Black Tiny Home Festival promises to be an epic experience for the Elkton Community and all who attend. Avoid the long lines and get a discount by buying tickets online before the event.

The event will be cashless accepting only cards and contactless payment for tickets, merch and most vending purchases. If you are unable to attend, please show support by donating or purchasing directly from the vendors’ websites.

This event is being hosted by Star Quality Organizing, a professional organizing, event planning and RV consultant company that specializes in hosting events for the RV and van life community, including the Black Nomads Meetup and the Juneteenth Nomad Celebration. Queen Tasha, the owner, is also the founder of the Black Travel Tribe a community to support Black and Brown Nomads on their travel journey.

Star Quality Organizing

Queen Tasha Wharton




  • African American
  • Arts & Entertainment
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  • Recreational Vehicles
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  • Women in Business

Smyrna Pawn in Cobb County, GA, Announced a Line of Luxury Handbags

 Walk into any retail store and you will see the holiday shopping season has started. But, somethings are missing – affordability and availability.

With the fall out after the pandemic, the crunch to find qualified workers, and supply chain delays, shelves once stuffed with good bargains are a thing of the past.

To help ease the burden of holiday shopping, Smyrna Pawn announced they have fully stocked shelves with luxury handbags at an affordable price. They appraise and authenticate the bags and all other luxury items before they are included in their inventory. This practice gives shoppers confidence when they are shopping.

With the new announcement, holiday shoppers can find a luxury handbag, designer watch, diamond, fine jewelry, or gold at a fraction of the cost big box stores want. Smyrna Pawn hopes this will help people save money and take the stress out of gift giving.

Smyrna Pawn is located in beautiful Cobb County and is a family owned and operated business. Stop by and see them or visit them at

Smyrna Pawn

Jason Wallace

(770) 874-0786



  • Fashion & Apparel
  • Gifts & Collectibles
  • Jewelry
  • Personal Finance
  • Retail
  • Wedding & Bridal

Grand County Tourism Board Showcases Top Lesser-Known Local Events

 Locals and visitors are invited to discover up-and-coming events across the county.

Grand County, Colo., released a list of local summer events that the community and visitors may not have heard about. Whether new or up-and-coming, these under-the-radar festivities offer entertainment for everyone, including theater, food, family fun and live musical performances. Summertime diversion awaits in Granby, Grand Lake, and Winter Park.

Music & Market – Polhamus Park in Granby turns into a hotbed of live music, market vendors, food trucks, and beer offerings every Wednesday, 5-7 p.m., through Aug. 24. Visit the events page at for information on vendors, drink prices and music lineups.

4th Annual Country in the Park – Rendezvous Event Center in Winter Park presents another evening of authentic country music at its beautiful outdoor venue, Saturday, Aug. 20. Visit for musician and ticket information.

Tacos + Margs in the Mountains – Bringing the best of food and drink together for a perfect summertime mountain evening, Winter Park Resort presents a crowd-pleasing menu of margarita samples and unlimited street tacos. Tickets for this Aug. 20 event start at $45.

75th Annual Buffalo Days – This three-day Grand Lake festival offers down-home summer fun, Aug. 19-21. Activities and entertainment include painting, movies, a 5k, kids games, corn hole tourney, axe throwing, barbecue, cowboy church, live music, a parade, and fireworks.

“Beehive” – Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre’s production of this 1960s musical celebrating powerful female voices during a time of social change hits the stage Sept. 2 and runs through Oct.1. The show is a coming-of-age story times six, featuring timeless hits such as “My Boyfriend’s Back,” “Be My Baby” and “Son of a Preacher Man.”

2nd Annual Troublesome Fest – Turning the tragedy of devastating wildfires into a celebration of community, this Americana, Rock, and Texas Red Dirt benefit festival returns to Gene Stover Lakefront Park on Saturday, Sept. 10. Tickets cost is $50.

For more information about these events, as well as lodging and dining in Grand County, visit and Follow @grandcountyco on Twitter and on Pinterest.

About Grand County, Colo. (

Located 67 miles west of Denver, Grand County is home to wide-open spaces, breathtaking mountain scenery, and authentic old-west towns. Outdoor recreational activities include golf, boating, fishing, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, skiing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, sleigh rides, and tubing. The area features more than 600 miles of mapped and marked trails, one national park, two national forests, two wilderness areas, two national scenic byways, two major ski resorts, four world-class dude ranches and four mountain golf courses. Grand County’s extensive water network includes Colorado’s largest natural lake, 1,000 miles of streams, 1,000 acres of high-mountain lakes and 11,000 acres of reservoirs.


Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications


Ore Communications, Inc

Gaylene Ore




  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Events & Concerts
  • Tourism
  • Travel

Harris County Public Library’s Authorama Returns

 Harris County Public Library (HCPL) announced its slate of author talks for the expanded 2022 edition of its Authorama series. This year, for the first time, Authorama will feature in-person appearances by two nationally known authors with ties to the Houston area, in addition to virtual visits. Award-winning poet Van G. Garrett will host story times featuring his debut children’s picture book, Kicks, and Young Adult author J. Elle will share her unique and inspirational path to the New York Times bestseller list. On the virtual side, Authorama will live stream appearances by Preeti Chhibber, super fan and author of Disney’s new release Spider-Man’s Social Dilemma, the duo who make up the pseudonymous fantasy author M.A. Carrick (The Mask of Mirrors, The Liar’s Knot), and novelist, children’s book author and Houston’s first poet laureate Gwendolyn Zepeda who will discuss her work editing the acclaimed anthology Houston Noir.

Expanding in Scope, but Staying True to its Roots

HCPL’s Authorama was born during the depths of the pandemic out of the library’s need to provide compelling and entertaining content for audiences stuck at home. This year, HCPL’s Authorama is pivoting to a mix of virtual and in-person author talks. “We really wanted to put these authors inside our libraries to give audiences a chance to meet and interact with them in person,” says Jennifer Schwartz, Programming Services Manager for HCPL, “but our past Authorama virtual events have been wildly successful and have the potential to reach more people. Authorama 2022 is the best of both worlds.”

Authorama Goes Year-Round with Authorama365

Coinciding with the end-of-summer Authorama events, HCPL is launching a new partnership with the Library Speakers Consortium (LSC) called Authorama365. Authorama365 will bring bestselling authors and thought leaders to readers all year long. “Because LSC has many library partners across the country, it is able bring in authors who might not be accessible to individual libraries,” says Schwartz, “They book a wonderful mix of bestselling fiction writers and writers who will appeal to entrepreneurs and business people who are looking for thought-provoking, actionable insight to grow their careers and businesses.” Authorama365 events are online and free to the public. Audience members can submit questions to the authors prior to the livestreams, and can browse and watch past events at any time.

Authorama 2022 Live and In-Person

Kicks: A Special Story Time with Author Van G. Garrett – Award-winning poet Van G. Garrett will read from his debut children’s picture book, Kicks.

Katy Branch Library

Wednesday, July 27, 10:30 AM

Spring Branch Memorial Branch Library

Thursday, August 4, 10:30 AM

An Afternoon with J. Elle – YA Author J. Elle will talk about the second book in her Wings of Ebony series, Ashes of Gold, and share her improbable and inspiring journey to the bestseller list.

Maud Smith Marks Branch Library

Thursday, July 28, 4:30 PM

Authorama 2022 Live Streams: @harriscountypl on YouTube and Facebook Live.

Authors’ Insight with Alyc Helms & Marie Brennan – Two amazing writers who together make up the bestselling pseudonymous fantasy author M. A. Carrick (The Mask of Mirrors, The Liars Knot). They will join the HCPL Writes crew to discuss their writing process, collaboration and more.

YouTube and Facebook Live: @harriscountypl

Tuesday, July 26, 6:30 PM

Preeti Chhibber: Spider-Man Super Fan and Author – Preeti will talk about fandom and her books: the just-released Spider-Man’s Social Dilemma and the Avengers Assembly series, X-Change Students 101 coming in September. Q&A follows.

YouTube and Facebook Live: @harriscountypl

Live Viewing Party: La Porte Branch Library

Monday, August 1, 3:00 PM

Gwendolyn Zepeda on Anthologies – HCPL Writes takes a deep dive into anthologies. Learn what they are and how they work from Gwen Zepeda, novelist, children’s book author, and Houston’s first poet laureate, as well as editor of the acclaimed anthology Houston Noir.

YouTube and Facebook Live: @harriscountypl

Tuesday, August 9 at 6:30 PM

All Authorama365 programs are free. Visit for more information, to register and to view more upcoming events.

About Harris County Public Library: 

The Harris County Public Library (HCPL) mission is to provide information and resources to enrich lives and strengthen communities through innovative services within and beyond our walls. The library has an annual circulation of over 10 million items and is a network of 26 community-focused branch libraries and is committed to providing excellent customer service, strong collections, and cutting-edge information technology. 

Harris County Public Library

Nancy Hu




  • Books

Ocean County YMCA nears its goal for “Making Waves” initiative thanks to matching donation

The Toms River nonprofit also announces ABA inspired adaptive programming for children on the autism spectrum.

Daniel Giacin, Autism Programming Director

Daniel Giacin, Autism Programming Director

TOMS RIVER, N.J.June 22, 2022PRLog — The Ocean County YMCA is closing in on its goal of raising $185,000 for the “Making Waves for the Next Generation” initiative – thanks to a generous matching donation from The Hirair and Anna Hovnanian Foundation, Inc.

“The Hirair and Anna Hovnanian Foundation graciously offered to match our fundraising efforts once we reach $185,000,” said Gretchen Insole, Interim CEO of the Ocean County YMCA. “We have currently raised $147,191.”

The Making Waves initiative officially kicked off last November.

“We are grateful to our swimmers, supporters and donors who made the Making Waves campaign such a success,” said Michael P. Ritacco, Board of Directors’ Chair of the Ocean County YMCA.

Donations will benefit the improvements to the Y’s 12-lane aquatic center. “From the novice to the competitive swimmer, toddlers to seniors, hundreds of thousands of individuals from our community and beyond have enjoyed the pool for over 20 years,” said Insole.

Through initiatives like this, the Ocean County YMCA can continue to offer new and exciting offerings to the public like its Adaptive Swim Programs – Swimming on the Spectrum, Swimming Without Limits, Fitness on the Spectrum and Autism Friendly Swim Hour. These classes are open to children and adults with intellectual and/or physical disabilities.

“I have worked with children on the autism spectrum for the past 11 years in various capacities,” said Daniel Giacin, Autism Programming Director.

Over a period of seven years of working with autistic children while living in Oregon, Giacin’s passion helped create a program called Swimming on the Spectrum. “I am excited to bring this program here to New Jersey and to build other programs dedicated to individuals on the autism spectrum,” he added.

Swimming on the Spectrum is an ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) inspired adaptive water safety/swim program for children and adults on the autism spectrum. Swimming without Limits focuses on those with physical and intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Both programs offer an individualized curriculum, meeting each swimmer at their ability, as they work toward mastering water safety skills. “Our Adaptive Swim Classes are designed to give each and every person the skills and knowledge to be safe in and around the water, but most importantly, to have fun and enjoy!” said Giacin.

Those interested are invited to fill out the Y’s New Swimmer Questionnaire by clicking here (…) or emailing for more information.

The Y also hosts an Autism Friendly Swim Hour, a free event that takes place after hours, to provide a more quiet, sensory-friendly environment for those on the autism spectrum. Registration is required. Learn more here. (

Fitness on the Spectrum focuses on balance, movement and coordination for children with autism. One on one fitness instruction is provided based on an individual’s needs. Fitness on the Spectrum is an ABA-inspired personalized fitness class for individuals on the autism spectrum. Those interested can also contact Giacin directly at

In addition to these programs, the Y, led by Giacin, has been working with area schools like Toms River Regional School District and Lacey Township High School on incorporating young adult programs, ages 18-21, to help transition children who are on the spectrum into young adulthood. “This is a very inclusive program that targets the mind, body and fitness,” said Giacin. “Everyone is welcome here.”

To learn more about Ocean County YMCA or to donate to the “Making Waves for the Next Generation” initiative, please visit

About the Ocean County YMCA

At the Y, we take immense pride in our work to strengthen communities and help all of us be our best selves. We provide a place to play, to learn, to be healthy, and to give back. We believe that everyone, no matter who they are or where they are from, deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. Everything the Y does is in service of making sure people and communities thrive. To learn more, visit