Festivals Are Not Just About The Music As Central Virginia families plan for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, there are a lot of possibilities. For hundreds of local families, this will be a somber holiday weekend. SET THE DATE: The date of your event will depend on a couple of things. If it is a birthday or anniversary event wristbands then you are controlled by the date. If it is just a party the date may be controlled by the locations availability. If the event is at your home then you are in control. Pick what ever date you want. I have even gone as far as check with some guests a couple weeks in advance to make sure they are available on a certain date. I really like success! Shows cost anywhere for $5 to $12, depending on whether an out-of-town group is playing, how popular the bands are, etc. If it"s a pretty big sport wristbands show you can save a couple bucks by purchasing tickets online in advance. Some of the shows are all ages but, unfortunately, quite a few require attendees to be at least 21 years old. You can check their online calendar for specifics. Tailgating is an awesome way for getting new recruits. Many AVON Representatives find this to be the best way. However, some representatives do find it less appealing as you don"t see any other direct companies setting up tables in parking lots. The Cadieux Cafe played a role in the band"s early years as a part of the venue"s Mussel Beach festival wristbands in 2001. They have come a long way since and suffered some hardship and line-up changes along the way. In late 2001, bass player DeNardo experienced a serious stroke which left his right arm paralyzed. After a great deal of local outreach to fund his physical rehabilitation and an ingenious solution to keep him up front with the band, he now performs his bass-lines on a keyboard system. He"s back in fine form. AB: Well, I can"t speak for Justin, although I probably could. But my influences range from Prince to Depeche Mode. I"m a huge fan of Georgio Moroder, who did a lot of the electronic dance music in the late seventies and eighties. He did the soundtrack to Scarface, a lot of Donna Summer music . . . I really like that instrumental, dance music, but I also really like classical music: Bach, Beethoven, Bosner. Did you get a chance to catch THEESatisfaction earlier on in the tour? Planning on coming out to their final tour shows in Newyork? Don"t you just lOve their music? Feel free to leave your comments, thoughts and experiences in the comment box below!

Banking giant HSBC is taking the lead with further interest-rate cuts that are likely to add momentum to the homes rush. Luke MacGregor / Bloomberg

Hong Kong"s two biggest lenders — HSBC and Bank of China (Hong Kong) — have further squeezed their margins on mortgage loans to compete for market share, setting off another round of industry-wide rate cuts that can further heighten the property market craze.

In additional to narrowing the spread to 128 basis points from 130 basis points, HSBC is offering mortgage loan borrowers a fixed rate of 1.68 percent a year in the first year of the loan being granted. Bank of China has lowered the premium of mortgage loans from the second year onward to 1.26 percent over the benchmark interbank rate, hovering at about 0.75 percent a year.

Other smaller lenders are expected to make even more aggressive cuts to compete for mortgage loan business. Industry analysts said banks are willing to squeeze their loan margins to lure potential homebuyers who have become more hesitant than before in buying properties due to growing concern over rising borrowing costs.

Hong Kong has kept its rates unchanged after previous US rate hikes. Considering the weakness of the Hong Kong dollar, which has sunk to the level that would trigger central bank intervention under the linked exchange rate mechanism, Hong Kong may have no choice but to fall in line with the US sooner or later.

By narrowing their profit margins, banks are putting greater pressure on various non-bank lenders that are vying for mortgage loan borrowers by financing the full price of the property, while banks are required by the central bank to lend no more than 70 percent of the property"s purchase price.

To be sure, increased competition among banks can have the effect of further fueling demand which, in turn, will push up property prices. But in this frenzy market, there will always be people willing to pay ever higher prices for homes they can afford.

An interest rate increase could trigger a price correction adding to the risk of borrowing at full value of the property from non-bank lenders. Cautious borrowers may want to seriously consider the banks" latest offer.