Summer Festivals

Summertime! It is so fun to take road trips and discover new and interesting things. I have decided that everyone should attend a small town festival this summer, just to try something or experience something that was unknown previously.

I remember several years ago, driving in to go camping at Bear Lake, Utah. We were hauling a boat behind a pick-up and hit the main street in Garden City. What we didn’t realize was that we pulling in just as the Raspberry Days parade was beginning! We stayed and watched the parade, though we didn’t know anyone, but that was about the only option. We got to see the Raspberry Queen and her court, along with some of the local, colorful characters. It was also amazing, after the parade to realize that everything in the town was made with raspberries during the festival. From shakes to yogurt, from honey to syrup, from candy to fruit leather, there was not a food item that seemed to escape the little red fruit.  There were local artisans selling their wares along the thoroughfare. What a fun and interesting time. And, just think, we would have missed it if not driving through on this particular weekend. What a great way to experience a small town!

I have researched some different festivals around the country, and would hope that if you are in the area, you might participate.

— We are a bit late for this one, but I am certainly putting this on my calendar for next year. In Avon, Ohio, in June they hold the Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival. the festival honors the history of this town that has been named the “Duct Tape Capital” of the world. There are sculptures and fashions made from this multi-purpose tape as well as a parade and games.

—    How about the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado in September? Visitors can sample over 2000 different American beers. there is also a competition for domestic breweries.

—     The Minneapolis Aquatennial is held in July. This 10 day festival includes sand castle building, beach volleyball, and even a milk carton race.

—     The Bristol Renaissance Faire is held from July until fall in Bristol, Wisconsin. The faire is based upon historical activities such as jousting tournaments, reenactments, and stage shows. The costumes are very elaborate. One might even come upon a wood sprite patrolling the grounds.

—     The Delmarva Chicken Festival runs in late June in Show Hill, Maryland. There is a car and truck show, a fun run, and of course, lots and lots of chicken. Visitors get the chance to see the world’s largest frying pan!

—     Weatherford, Texas hosts the Parker County Peach Festival every July. Along with peaches from all over and the many different recipes, i.e. cobbler, ice cream, juleps, smoothies, and pie, there is an arts and crafts festival. A bike rally is held that serves peaches at the pit stops.

—     The Banjo Jubilee Jazz Festival is held in early September in Palo Alto, California. This festival features workshops, jam sessions, and a banquet.

—     Try out the Electric Forest Festival in Rothbury, Michigan this year in late June/ early July. The event focuses on electric and jam bands.

—     Eugene, Oregon hosts the annual Faerieworlds, music and arts festival. The entire festival is based on faerie lore. Plan to hear music and see dance performances. One of the main focuses is on using recycled materials, compostable foodware, and employing organic and vegetarian food vendors.

—     If you happen to be in Vermilion, Ohio in the late summer, you must attend the Woollybear Festival. There is a costume contest where children and pets dress as the woolly bear caterpillar. The caterpillar is celebrated for its weather forecasting abilities, based upon the amount of black versus orange in the band on the caterpillar’s body, determining the severity of the winter.

This is just a sampling of some of the wonderful events that can be attended during the upcoming summer months. Check your local chamber of commerce to see if your town, or those in the surrounding area host a quirky and exciting festival. Get out and enjoy the world around you!

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