Travel briefs


House in movie ‘A Christmas Story’ plans to expand

CLEVELAND — A Cleveland house known for its appearance in the holiday classic “A Christmas Story” is planning to expand.

The owners of the A Christmas Story House have purchased the home next door.

WJW-TV reports the next-door property also was featured in the film as the home of the Parker family’s neighbors, the Bumpuses.

The A Christmas Story House began offering overnight rentals last year. By acquiring the Bumpus house, more people will be able to stay overnight.

The 1983 film is based on childhood stories from radio and television personality Jean Shepherd. The founder of the A Christmas Story House, Brian Jones, says he’s “always striving to offer new ways to make visiting Ralphie’s house on Cleveland Street a unique and memorable experience.”


Fiddling to be celebrated at festival at monument

BEATRICE, Neb. — Fiddle playing will be celebrated at a festival this spring at the Homestead National Monument in southeast Nebraska.

The 20th annual Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival and Acoustic Band Contest will be held at the monument on May 26.

The event will begin with free fiddle and harmonica workshops in the morning before the competition begins for more than $3,000 in prizes.

Competitors will be grouped together by their experience levels.

But all the songs in the competition have to have been in existence before the Homestead National Monument was established in 1936.

The monument sits four miles west of Beatrice, along Nebraska Highway 4.


Mural at zoo will feature its famous hippo, Fiona

CINCINNATI — Fiona the hippo — already the inspiration for a line of beer, T-shirts and an ice cream flavor — will soon be the subject of a large mural at the Cincinnati Zoo.

ArtWorks and the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden say they will produce a mural this summer to honor the premature Nile hippopotamus that captured hearts on social media.

It will be the latest in a variety of tributes to Fiona, who was born six weeks early in January 2017.

Fiona has inspired children’s books, clothing, stuffed animals and a variety of themed food and drink products.

ArtWorks often chooses to honor celebrities, animals and celebrity animals in its public art mural program famous to Cincinnati.


Burger chain unveils Ohio museum, remodeled eatery

CINCINNATI — Big Boy is getting a museum in Ohio.

The Cincinnati-based Frisch’s Big Boy double-decker burger restaurant chain last week unveiled the museum to a gathering of employees and retirees at the chain’s original Mainliner restaurant, which opened in 1939 in Fairfax.

The museum named, “A Tale of Frisch’s Big Boy,” will be free to patrons of the restaurant. It opened to the public late last week. Frisch’s is urging patrons to loan their Big Boy memorabilia for short-term displays.

Atlanta-based private equity firm NRD Capital bought the chain from its family ownership in 2015.

Long an iconic Cincinnati brand, Frisch’s has the Big Boy trademark in the region, and there are a total of 121 restaurants in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.


African nation Chad being taken off US travel ban list

WASHINGTON — The White House said last week that citizens of Chad would be able to receive visas to the United States again because the African nation has been removed from the travel ban list.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Donald Trump had signed a proclamation announcing Chad had “improved its identity-management and information sharing practices” enough to be taken off the list.

Chad was put on the list last September because of an office supply glitch that prevented it from supplying homeland security officials with recent samples of its passports. U.S. officials also said Chad was unable to adequately share public safety and terrorism-related information with U.S. officials who screen foreigners seeking to enter the country.

Chad has been a key U.S. counterterrorism partner in the fight against threats to Africa’s Sahel region posed by al-Qaida affiliates like Boko Haram and the newly designated West Africa wing of the Islamic State group.

Wyndham-owned hotel chains get names tweaked

Some familiar hotel chains are getting their names tweaked.

Wyndham Hotel Group announced last week that it’s adding the words “by Wyndham” to 12 hotel brand names.

Days Inn becomes Days Inn by Wyndham. Ramada will be Ramada by Wyndham. Super 8 becomes Super 8 by Wyndham.

Also getting the added “by Wyndham” are AmericInn, Travelodge, Howard Johnson, Baymont, Dolce, Trademark, Dazzler, Esplendor and Ramada Encore.

More than 7,000 hotels will be affected, with logos, online listings and physical signs made over.

The Associated Press