ALBANY, N.Y., BEGINS its 40th annual Tulip Festival this Friday, a celebration of the city's Dutch heritage and the coming of spring. Thousands of tulips blossom in Washington Park, and at City Hall and the State Capitol. The four-day event starts off with the traditional ``sweeping of State Street'' by women dressed in authentic Dutch attire and armed with push brooms. Other festivities include the Tulip Queen pagent, Pinksterfest (spring festival), the Tulip Criterion Bike Race, and a children's festival. AN APPLE BLOSSOM FESTIVAL will draw visitors to Adams County, Pa., this weekend, May 7-8. The 33rd annual festival takes place at the South Mountain Fairgrounds, 10 miles northwest of Gettysburg, on Route 234 near Arendtsville. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is $1 for adults. Parking is free. In addition to live entertainment, there will be free bus tours to apple orchards, and arts and crafts. TRAVELERS WHO RENT CARS from National Car Rental in the United States or from Europcar in Europe can receive special ``meet-and-greet'' service once they get off the plane. Uniformed representatives will escort National/Europcar customers through airport to rental cars, answer questions, and provide maps, discount coupons, and information about food and lodging. The programs, called ``Club America'' and ``Club Europcar,'' are first-of-its-kind service designed to help eliminate traveler anxiety and uncertainty. Travelers should request these services when making car reservations.

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