Weekly North American agenda: People's Choice awards, CES, NAIAS...

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The Independent Travel

With the holidays marking the end of the year, 2011 starts with awards celebrating last year's best and shows rolling out what's to come, from autos to electronics.

New Years Eve Times Square Ball Drop
December 31
New York City, New York

Annual television shows countdown the New Year on camera from Times Square. Since 1972, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve on ABC-TV shows the ball drop at midnight ringing in 2011 with an estimated billion viewers. Ryan Seacrest hosts with The Black Eyed Peas' Fergie at an L.A. party. Performers include Avril Lavigne, Drake, Jason Derulo, Ne-Yo, La Roux and Train. NBC's New Year's Eve with Carson Daly features performances by Lil Wayne, My Chemical Romance and Nicki Minaj with U2's Bono and The Edge stopping by. Other networks with shows include CNN and MTV.

37th People's Choice Awards
January 5
Los Angeles, California

Queen Latifah hosts the 37th anniversary of the People's Choice Awards, voted on by fans as an alternative to the Golden Globes, Grammys and Oscars. With 44 categories that include Favorite Movie ( Alice in Wonderland, Inception, Iron Man 2, Toy Story 3, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse), plus actors and actresses in each genre. Television shows and music categories also cover several genres like Rock, Pop and Hip-Hop. Similar to the American Music Awards and Nickelodeon's Kids Awards. Australia also has a People's Choice Awards.
Vote online at http://www.peopleschoice.com/

44th International CES
January 6-9
Las Vegas Convention Center/Las Vegas Hilton
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the world's largest consumer technology trade shows. Exhibitors include high-profile tech companies with the launches of groundbreaking gadgets and state-of-the-art products. Begun in 1967, this event has grown into an annual "must-see" event attracting 127,000 for technology enthusiasts. Similar to SINOCES in China, GITEX in Dubai, and others.

23rd North American International Auto Show
January 15-23
Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan

This century-old auto show has grown into an international event. NAIAS is the biggest auto event in the US and one of the key shows in the industry, drawing 800,000 visitors and exhibitors from around the world. Vehicle unveilings, concept cars and Design Awards add to the attraction. This year finds the Big Three US automakers and all vehicle manufacturers showcasing green innovations. Annual shows are growing in NYC and Los Angeles, and worldwide from Frankfort to Shanghai.

68th Golden Globe Awards
January 16, 5 pm PT/8 pm ET
Beverly Hills, California

The Golden Globes, presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, recognizes outstanding achievements in film and television. The show is telecast live to 150 countries from the Beverly Hills Hotel. The voting body consists of journalists, not peers like the Academy Awards, and instead of formal seats like the Oscars, which follows on March 7, the ceremony is a dinner party for nominees.

26th Sundance Film Festival
January 20-30, 2011
Park City, Utah

Founded by Robert Redford, Sundance is a premier showcase for US and international independent films. Up to 200 dramatic and documentary films by international filmmakers are screened in competitive and non-competitive sections. Attracting 40,000 attendees it draws Hollywood stars and execs seeking tomorrow's Oscar wins. Tribeca and SXSW also focus on indie films, unlike major fests at Berlin, Cannes and Toronto.

45th Super Bowl XLV
February 6
Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas

The championship game of the major American football leagues is the most watched program on US television. With 106.5 million viewers Super Bowl Sunday is a de facto holiday. Custom-made commercials are as anticipated as the halftime show, which the Black Eyed Peas will perform in 2011. On Fox-TV in the US, Sky in the UK, ESPN in Brazil and Italy and other local networks around the world. The US equivalent to the FIFA World Cup for 'soccer.' The Rose Bowl is the biggest game for college teams.

53rd Grammy Awards
February 13
Los Angeles, California

This celebrated award for musical artists is voted on by the recording industry, covering a wide spectrum of genres, from classical and jazz to pop, rock, hip-hop, country and Latin. The Grammy's televised live event features performances by nominees. The top awards crossing all genres are Album of the Year, Record of the year for the best song, Song of the Year to the writer/composer and Best New Artist. Other music awards include the AMA and People's Choice which fans vote for. The UK equivalent is the Brit Awards.