Summer Festivals With a Twist
(May 22, 2003)
If the thought of spending
another summer watching old men practice juggling to the
sound of an out-of-tune band fills you with dread, consider opting
for a different kind of festival this year. Each summer, from New
York to San Francisco, festivals emerge that offer a bit of the
bizarre while they surprise, delight, and mystify. Here are a few of
the more peculiar summer events we have rounded up for your
Testicle Festival: June 6-8, 2003—Charlo, Montana
you've thought you've seen it all. Yes, this "nutty" annual festival
celebrating bull's testicles does indeed exist. The native delicacy,
also known as swinging beef, prairie oysters, cowboy caviar, and
Montana tenderloin, is the center of this Montana festival, which
includes a rodeo, live music, drinking, and a parade.
more information, visit Visit Montana.
Parade: June 21, 2003—Brooklyn, NYC
annual Mermaid Parade puts mer-girls, mer-males, and mer-mammals on
display. Participants get all decked out in sequins, fins, and
flippers so they can shimmy along the boardwalk during the
procession. Prizes are awarded for the most interesting fish-wear.
Now in it's 21st year, the festival is traditionally held on the
first Saturday (rain or shine) after the summer solstice.
join the fun, you must first register. For more information, visit
the official website at http://www.coneyisland.com/mermaid.shtml or call
Day of the Accordion: Sunday, June 15, 2003—San
This year's event commemorates the 13th anniversary
of the accordion, the official instrument of San Francisco. Spend a
lively afternoon at The Cannery, which will feature accordion-based
ensembles playing Polka, Cajun, Zydeco, and Tejano tunes.
For more information, visit http://www.thecannery.com/event/accordion.html or
Old Spice's Festival In The Pit: June 29 - July 4, 2003 Battle Mountain, Nevada
Is Battle Mountain, Nevada the "armpit of America?" Fun festivities that don't stink!
For more information, visit Battle Mountain's website at http://www.battlemountain.org/armpit.html
Festival: July 3-4, 2003—Roswell, New Mexico
out-of-this-world amusement, check out this year's UFO Festival in
Roswell, New Mexico, famous for a reported UFO crash outside its
city limits in 1947. The publicity from the crash has generated many
enthusiasts and theorists, who make an annual pilgrimage to
Southeastern New Mexico to celebrate the event.
information, visit http://roswellnm.org/
or call 877-849-7679.
Redneck Games: July 5, 2003 (1st Saturday of every
July)—East Dublin, Georgia
What started out as a sideshow to
the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, the Redneck Games, where Southerners
embrace their heritage in a tongue-in-cheek way, have been a hit
each year since. Attendance has risen from 1000 guests in 1996 to
10,000 in 2002. Events include the "Mud-Pit Belly Flop," where fully
clothed contestants plunge belly-first into a pool of red clay
mud—the bigger the belly, the better the chance to win. There's also
the "Hubcap Hurl," "Bobbing for Pig's Feet," "Dumpster Dive," and
For more information, call
Players' Festival: July 20, 2003—Felton, California
Musicians playing saws, fiddles, harmonicas, and banjos get
together at Roaring Camp & Big Trees, which is an old logging
camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Activities include a picnic,
workshops, a saw music competition, and performances by a variety of
For more information, call Roaring Camp at
Show: July 11-12, 2003—Wayne, Nebraska
stops in Wayne, Nebraska. Now in its 22nd year, the Wayne Chicken
Show has become so popular that more than 15,000 people flock to it
each year. The show kicks off with a chicken parade led by the
infamous "Chicken Coupe," a 1967 yellow Cadillac with a 12-foot
rooster perched on the trunk. This year's theme is "Higher
'Egg'-ucation." Events include "Henoween" (a festival of arts and
crafts), a "Chicken Dance," and a "Cluck-Off," where contestants
walk and talk like chickens. There's also the "Best Beak Contest"
and a performance by the "Chickendale Male Dancers."
more information, visit http://www.chickenshow.com/ or call the Wayne
Chamber of Commerce at 402-375-2240.
Days Festival: July 13-20, 2003—Key West,
Every year, American writing legend Ernest Hemingway
comes to life at this interesting festival. Hemingway Days consists
of a series of parties and events that begin at Sloppy Joe's Bar,
which bills itself as "Hemingway's Favorite Watering Hole." Other
events include a Hemingway look-alike contest, arm-wrestling
contest, key lime pie eating contest, Caribbean street fair,
twilight party, marlin fishing contest, "Running of the Bulls," and
a 5K sunset run.
Furthermore, no Hemingway Festival would be
complete without a bit of literature, and Hemingway's granddaughter,
Lorain, takes care of that. She is scheduled to present $2,000 in
awards to the best short stories and storytellers entered in the
Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition.
information, visit http://www.tripsmarter.com/keywest/archives/hemingwaydays.htm or call the Florida
Keys & Visitor's Bureau at 800-FLA-KEYS (800-352-5397).
Week: August 9-17, 2003—Memphis, Tennessee
alive! Thousands of fans from around the globe gather at
Graceland each August for Elvis Week, a commemoration of the
music, magic, and memories of Elvis Presley. Yes, "The King" comes
to life as thousands of impersonators don sideburns and hideous
polyester costumes. Festivities include music, dance, sports,
social, and charitable events. The main entertainment event for this
year is a special presentation of "Elvis—The Concert" on August
16th. This critically acclaimed production stars the real Elvis
Presley (via video) and some of his original concert-era band mates.
For more information, visit http://www.elvis.com/graceland/calendar/elvis_week.asp
or http://www.elvis.com/, or call 901-332-3322.
Music Festival: September 14-15, 2003—Sacramento, California
Laguna del Sol Family Naturist Resort near Sacramento, CA,
is hosting its 6th annual Nudestock Music Festival. Bands performing
tributes to the Rolling Stones will be on hand. The venue will
offer tie-dye crafts, incense, jewelry, sculptures, and anything
60s. Attendees will have access to three pools, two hot tubs,
showers, a restaurant, and other facilities. No cameras, or drugs
For more information, visit the Nudestock website at http://www.nudestockfestival.com.
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