Welcome to the quickest way to learn the week’s most exciting local events. This weekly event round-up is sponsored by The Ithaca Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Ithaca Loves Teachers

Welcome teachers! Now in its 11th year, Ithaca will come together again for Ithaca Winter Recess Teachers Fest! Educator’s from pre-K to grade 12 are invited for an array of entertainment, activities, family fun and discounts throughout the Tompkins County community.

Location: Ithaca/Tompkins County

Date: 2/17/2017-2/26/2017

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Birds of East Africa

When ornithologist Marion is suddenly widowed, she seeks the comfort of her college friend Stephen and his husband Nick. Marion’s life studying the birds in East Africa has not prepared her for the loss and loneliness she now faces. Healing in the home of old friends and finally facing family she never really knew, she begins to see the world again.

Location: Kitchen Theatre

Date: 1/29/2017-2/12/2017

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Red Wine & Pink Crafts

An evening of making Valentine’s gifts, eating chocolate, drinking wine, and making more lovely gifts! Fizzy bath bombs, garlands for your darlin’s, quilled love notes…and more!

Location: Gourdlandia

Date: 2/10/2017

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The film takes us to a new era in J. K. Rowling’s wizarding world, decades before Harry Potter. The year is 1926 and Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. But his brief stopover in New York goes wildly awry after his mysterious briefcase is misplaced.

Location: Cornell Cinema

Date: 2/10/2017-2/11/2017

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Gifts & Libations

Fine local crafts and fine craft beer at Hopshire Brewery. Enjoy delicious craft beers and visit local artists’ tables feature pottery, jewelry, art, body care, sweet treats, artisanal coffee and more.

Location: Hopshire Farm & Brewery

Date: 2/11/2017

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19th Annual Great Downtown Ithaca Chili Cook-Off

Chili Cook-off features chili prepared by approximately 30 restaurants as they compete for the titles of Best Meat/Overall Chili, Best Vegetarian, and People’s Choice Chili. There will also be a farmers market with vendors and local wineries, breweries, and farmer’s sampling their goods. Don’t forget to check out the Tompkins Trust Co Family Fun Zone inside Center Ithaca for free roller-skating and free activities throughout the day!

Location: Downtown Ithaca

Date: 2/11/2017

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Encore Players Presents: The Glory of Love-A Cabaret!

Enjoy the many talented singers of Encore Players as they extoll the Glory of Love. From old beloved standards, to new musical excerpts, take a journey with us exploring the many facets of love; the thrill and excitement of new love, the heartbreak and pain of break-ups, and the comfort of long-term marriage.

Location: Finger Lakes Cider House

Date: 2/11/2017-2/12/2017

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Steve Hackett

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the classic Genesis album Wind and Wuthering, Steve and his band will be performing several tracks from the album as well as fan favorites such as ‘The Musical Box’ and other Genesis numbers never performed before by Steve’s band such as ‘Inside & Out’ and ‘Anyway’.

Location: State Theatre

Date: 2/18/2017

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Ithaca Underground 10th Anniversary Fundraiser Show

Ithaca Underground celebrates ten years of nurturing a radically inclusive, safe space for music and art outside the mainstream. Over the last decade, Ithaca Underground has grown from a hobby for DIY concerts to an ever-expanding caring community of the talented, the inspired, and the weird.

Location: The Haunt

Date: 2/18/2017

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15th Annual Mardi Gras

Get a taste for Bourbon Street, but with wine! Collect your beads as you travel the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, sampling food and wine pairings. Compete in a scavenger hunt for a change to wine a mixed case of wine!

Location: Cayuga Lake Wine Trail

Date: 2/25/2017-2/26/2017

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The Weekly Gem

The weekly gem will highlight a special Ithaca location that the Ithaca & Tompkins County Visitor’s Center thinks you really need to see!

Hawi Ethiopian

Come experience Ethiopia’s unique cuisine at Hawi Ethiopian, with dishes of rich spicy strew and a diversity of flavors to its spongy flat bread. Ethiopian cuisine surely qualifies as one of the world’s flavorful cuisines, and is all about gathering, sharing and laughing while eating with your hands.

Mike Blaney is the executive director and co-founder of The Ithaca Voice.