If music is your passion, Europe is the place. But Mark Twain enthusiasts will head for the Mississippi, and Republicans have an early trip to Washington for the Jan. 21 presidential inauguration.
Here are 10 of the new year's big events:
* European Music Year: This year-long music festival coincides with the 300th anniversary of the birthdays of composers Bach, Handel and Scarlatti. On June 21, the first day of summer, there will be a special celebration of music in the streets and squares of cities and villages throughout Europe.
* Cologne's Year of the Romanesque Churches: A center of medieval art and architecture, the West German city is honoring the restoration of its 12 Romanesque Churches, built between the 10th and 13th centuries. All are now open for the first time in years, and will host concerts throughout the year.
* German Fairy Tale Festival: Four cities on "Fairy Tale Road" will mark the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Jacob Grimm with musical and other events: Hanau, near Frankfurt, where the Brothers Grimm were born; Kassel, where they wrote "Hansel and Gretel"; and Bremen and Hameln of Pied Piper fame. Year-long.
* 800th anniversary of the city of Cork: Pageants, sporting events and festivals in Ireland's second city. Year-long.
* 500th Anniversary of the founding of England's House of Tudor: Pageants, castle tours and Tudor banquets. Year-long.
* Johann Sebastian Bach's 300th birthday: The Washington Bach Consort, with 75 musicians, is the only U.S. group invited to the International Bach Festival in Leipzig, East Germany. The consort's performance, March 24.
* The Floralies: A major indoor flower show in the Belgian city of Ghent, held once every five years in more than eight acres of exhibition halls. April 20-28.
* Mark Twain's 150th Birthday: This seven-month celebration in Hannibal, Mo. -- the writer and humorist's boyhood home on the Mississippi River -- will include a steamboat regatta, daily stage shows, a Twain film festival, raft races, fireworks and "Tom Sawyer Days" around the Fourth of July. From May 4 to Nov. 30, Twain's birth date.
* Sail Amsterdam '85: At the largest gathering of tall ships yet, there will be 1,000 of them from 31 nations in the Netherlands to celebrate the nation's sea-faring history. Sea chantey choruses, fireworks, water sports and mock sea battles. Aug. 1-6.