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tedibear's avatar

What are some odd or fun festivals that you have attended?

Asked by tedibear (17795points) September 22nd, 2008

In the town where I grew up, every summer they hold a Dairy Festival. Where I currently live, there is a Potato Festival at the beginning of September. What are some that you know?

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28 Answers

hollywoodduck's avatar

I once attended a Hot Air Balloon Festival. We got up super early and watched them all get filled up and take off just as the sun was beginning to rise.

This summer I went to a Strawberry Festival in Maine – amazing Strawberry Shortcake!

In Auburn we have something known as the Tomato Fest that raises money for the local food pantry.

bodyhead's avatar

Goat days. There is a festival that celebrates goats. There’s goat barbecue, collie sheep herding competitions, an anvil shoot, goat chariot races, tractors on display and the year I went there was a steam powered moped.

It’s a good time. It happens every September in Millington (suburb of Memphis).

susanc's avatar

A few years ago we went to a Gypsy pilgrimage in a tiny town on the coast of France.
They brought the statue of the Virgin out of the crypt and put her in
a palanquin and carried her into the Mediterranean, all dressed up in layers of pastel-colored tulle. In front of her rode about seven or eight white Camargue
horses with riders dressed like gauchos. They stood in the waves waiting for her, facing the land. Also, the coffin of the saint the church had been built around in about 1100 was taken down from the ceiling of the church on ropes and displayed for the weekend. There was a great deal of spontaneous flamenco in small groups all over town. People arrived in what we would call RV’s. It was hard to find a seat in any restaurant. It was noisy. People were seeing their old friends from all over Europe. Outlanders like us were accosted by old women in long skirts and asked to accept “gypsy charms” which were
recognizably the kind of marbles you put in your vase to hold up your flower stems. These were “given” and then you were asked for euros. When the marbles were
returned with smiles, the old women would threaten you with “gypsy curses”. When you laughed at them, they would smile at you.

deaddolly's avatar

I went to a Fetish Ball in Chicago once. It was very interesting. Just when you think you’ve seen it all…

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Cheese Days in Monroe, Wisconsin. Who knew cheese would be so much fun!

Judi's avatar

The Country Fair outside of Eugene Oregon. It’s a cross between Woodstock, midival culture, and craft fair. Topless women with dreadlocks, naked babies, and the lingering smell of marijuana drifting through the wooded countryside, sort of like Sherwood forest. A strange and bizarre place. I haven’t been in over 10 years, but I remember it making me feel as if I had been transported to another time and place.

tedibear's avatar

@Sueanne – could you get cheese curds there??? I can’t find cheese curds in Ohio (admitedly, my search has been a bit limited) and I miss them! When I go home to Western NY, I generally but a couple of pounds and freeze them.

@Judi – I’ve been to Eugene, OR once and can imagine that happening!

Judi's avatar

Here’s a link to the country fair. It’s a great pilgrimage for the true hippie.
http://www.oregoncountryfair.org/

tedibear's avatar

Dale! Type faster – I’m dying to know what you’re going to say!!!

dalepetrie's avatar

Most festivals I’ve been to have been fairly “normal”...usually concerts, food festivals, things of that nature, nothing too weird. I’ve been to some of the travelling rock festivals from Lillith Fair to Lollapalooza to Ozzfest and a few local only ones that featured many bands but aren’t household names. In terms of more “diversely themed” festivals which also have music, there’s an annual festival where I live in St. Paul, Minnesota called the Taste of Minnesota which has arts and crafts, food and free live music (this year I saw Seether, last year I saw Morris Day & The Time, other years I’ve seen Heart, The Rollins Band, War, The Plimsouls, Dread Zeppelin, just to name a few, it’s usually an interesting mix). Minneapolis has its own festival with food and free music every year called the Aquatennial, which is a celebration of water (Minneapolis is the “City of Lakes” within the state known as “the Land of 10,000 Lakes”)...I only went one year and it was too crowded…I went to see the Black Crowes but the crowds were too massive, so I ended up on a side street where Semisonic was playing (before they became famous and were just a “local” band).

Where I had grown up, in a far northern town in Minnesota not exactly known for its culture, most “festivals” were rather small affairs, often revolving around livestock and arts & crafts (when there was a band it generally was a polka band), and invariably they would feature as their most well attended exhibit a “beer garden”. One notable one where my grandmother lived had a very popular event where a large wooden board with several squares painted on it, each containing a number would be placed in front of a chicken pen, and contestants could pay $1 for a number, and when the chicken was released, whichever number the chicken decided to crap on would be the winning number, and the contestant who had that number would walk away with a wad of cash. Of course, if that wasn’t your style, you could also win turkeys or other assorted meat products by playing bingo in the hall.

Strangely enough, I’ve been to not one, but two separate festivals built around blueberries. One is in Ely, Minnesota, it’s called the Blueberry Art Festival, where a number of local artisans ply their wares in late July every year in the small northern Minnesota town, and many activites and exhibits are built around blueberries. And one year I was in Blue Hill, Maine (outside of Bangor)...a town so called because it sits on a huge hill which actually turns blue in late summer when the blueberries ripen, and attended a blueberry themed festival they had going on.

In the cities I’ve also been to street fairs, art fairs, and even the gay pride festival, which really was no different than any other festival you might find. I’ve been to fourth of July festivals, carnivals, and one other festival we have in Minnesota that I like to attend most years is called the Festival of Nations, which is an international themed festival with exhibits, food, music, dance, etc. from nations around the world. We also have a festival that just started to become a huge deal in the Twin Cities over the past few years….called the Living Green Expo, a festival dedicated to alternative energy and green living. There I got to ride on the pedal pub…a new concept where ten people pedal (like a bike), there is a driver to steer and operate the brakes and a bartender to serve beverages while you ride. They also had several organic food offerings, including Galactic Pizza, a wholly organic pizza restaurant based in Minneapolis, where the delivery drivers wear superhero costumes, and once, one of the drivers while on a pizza run saw a man snatch an old lady’s purse, he chased the guy down (wearing full superhero regalia) and apprehended the crook…great publicity for them.

But the one festival that really caught me off guard was one I stumbled upon quite by accident. In October of 2000, my wife and I were married and went to Europe for our honeymoon, first to London for a week, then we flew to Rome, spent a night there, drove to Florence and spent 3 nights there, then to Lake Como on the northern border of Italy (with a view of the Swiss Alps across the lake), down to Pisa and then back to Rome, then flew back to London for another night and back home. The villa we stayed in just outside Florence was a 500 year old vineyard overlooking Florence, located on the outskirts of a village called Impruneta, famous for its terra cotta pottery. We walked into town that night and found ourselves in the middle of the Festival of St. Luke…there were vendors, exhibits, fireworks and the backdrop was just amazing.

So, I don’t know how “weird” any of it has been, they’ve all had a LOT in common, but each has its own reason, and it makes life interesting to have these festivals around.

tedibear's avatar

Dale – That was worth waiting for. Wish I could give you quadruple lurve for that

dalepetrie's avatar

Thanks tedibear39!

loser's avatar

I’d have to say, the Butter & Eggs festival in Petaluma, Ca. Now there’s a good time to be had by all!

If it weren’t for all the beer I would have been bored out of my mind!!!

SpatzieLover's avatar

Our son is a Wizard of Oz fanatic. We just came back from WizOfOz Festival in Chesteron, IN this past Sunday.

It was an awesome experience for him. 3 Munchkins are still alive, one winged monkey and Dorothy’s stand-in (she’s 89 & still GORGEOUS!). He was thrilled to talk to the ‘flower pot/sleepy head’ munchkin Margaret Pelligrini, and even MORE excited to meet with L. Frank Baum’s( author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz & series of Oz books—which we read to him frequently as he insists we do!) great-grandson, Robert Baum & his wife.

Next month we are headed to Scarecrow Festival in St. Charles, IL. Again for our son. He wishes that instead of fields of corn, you’d drive along and see fields of scarecrows. We do our best to make his dreams come true!

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Dale, a fest we used to attend in Bellville Kansas had a “Rat Game”. It was also a gamble type game. You could play w/quarters or dollars. The rat stayed in te center (non spinning part of a giant turn-table) the man would call for the bets, as the table spun, the the rat would be released as the table slowed. Wherever he stood was the winning color/number…Rat roulette if you will.

I was a pre-teen/teen and thought it was fun to watch. One day his rat jumped off the table. The man was so upset (this was his ‘baby’) that he welled with tears at the ‘loss’ of his rat. I ran after it and gave it back to him. To see a burly looking grown man kissing a rat is one memory I hope to never lose.

tedibear's avatar

@Dale: The Dairy Fest mentioned in my question has “Cow Bingo” that is the same as the “Chicken Bingo” you mentioned. It’s just… bigger.

dalepetrie's avatar

A LOT bigger I suspect!

Nimis's avatar

One of the high schools I went to used to do cow bingo for fundraisers.
I had just transferred and was very confused.
The school was in Orange County.

dalepetrie's avatar

Wow, didn’t even know they HAD cows in the OC.

Judi's avatar

They even have a county fair and a Rodeo in the OC. It’s a big diverse place :-)

tedibear's avatar

If you’re talking about Orange County California, it has the largest county fair in the United States. Followed by the county fair where I grew up, The Erie County fair in NY. It now calls itself “America’s Fair.”

Nimis's avatar

Tedi: The wiki article says that the Erie County fair is smaller than
the Great New York State Fair…which is ranked third in the nation?

I think, by attendance, it would have to go to the Los Angeles County Fair.
Unless, you literally meant large.

tedibear's avatar

@Nimis – I was speaking of county fairs, not state fairs. Sorry for not clarifying! oops

Nimis's avatar

From its name, I’d guess that it was?
Otherwise, that would be a terrible misnomer.

susanc's avatar

Here are three more.
The Bear Festival in McCleary, Washington. They used to kill a couple of bears and make a stew and everyone had some. By the time I got here in the 70’s it was too hard to find bears any more so now they make the stew out of beef. No one minds.
Oysterfest in Shelton, Washington. Hundreds of stands with people selling oysters cooked
in many different guises. Delicious. And the Opening Contest. The winner of the Opening Contest here where oysters are a big deal, gets to compete in the World Oyster Opening Contest, usually held in northern France. Oo la la.
The Procession of the Species in Olympia, Washington (you may be able to pinpoint my
general area from this assortment). This is fabulous. For about four months before the
Procession, a workshop is set up somewhere in town, and people gather there to make costumes for the parade in May, winding about 15 blocks through this small
state capital. Some costumes are very simple, like dressing 24 five-year-olds in black-and-yellow-striped t-shirts and black tights, putting little antennae and wings on them, and letting them walk along being bees.
Some are very complicated, like an enormous sea turtle made out of wire and foam and
beautifully painted, with flapping flippers and a head that gawks around from side to side,
carried like a Chinese-New-Year dragon by a group of adults who cannot see where they’re going because their heads are inside it.
This thing was invented by a maniacal wonder worker named Eli Sterling, may his name be blessed. There are 3 rules. No motorized vehicles. No writing. And I forget the other one.

Judi's avatar

Yes, the pacific northwest does it best!

El_Cadejo's avatar

My town has a blueberry festival every year. Evidently Hammonton is the blueberry capital of the world. You can find pretty much any kind of food there that can be made with blueberries, and then some you really wouldnt expect to have blueberries on them.

Last year my step dad ran the Seafood Festival in atlantic city, that was pretty cool especially if you love seafood(which i do) Ive been to a couple other types of food festivals, just cant remember them all. I remember seeing on food network a Pickle festival. That would be fucking awesome lol.

Ive also been to a good bit of music festivals. Some were just all day concerts while others were all weekend. My favorites are the weekend long ones. Theres nothing better than leaving reality for a weekend to just camp out in the woods and listen to great music.My favorite one is Camp Jam it happens and there is always great music. (If you live in the south jersey area, i highly recommend you go)

El_Cadejo's avatar

egh stupid me leaving out words

”.My favorite one is Camp Jam it happens twice a year and there is always great music”

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