Fantastic Festivals, Part 4

duct... Duct... DUCT!!!!! NOT DUCK!!!

These festivals… they’re just the topic that keeps giving! You’d think, with 30 festivals already mentioned, I’d be running out. But… NO!


What I am running out of is quirky ideas of why you should attend festivals, so if you’d like to leave your recommendations in the comments, I’d be grateful. In the meantime, I’ll mention one piece of advice I stole from a blog on festival-attending:



“These are three essential items to pack. As soon as dusk starts to fall, every child at a festival wants their own glowstick. On site, they cost a fortune.

Also, take a bucket with a lid. Save yourself the bother of trekking around a campsite in the middle of the night because one of your children needs the loo. Let them go in a bucket.

Finally, you can never take enough wet wipes to a festival. A pack per person is about right. Double for toddlers.”

Now, for the next round of 10 festivals you don’t want to miss:


1. Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival, Avon, OH. First things first, thank goodness the namers of this festival were wise enough to call it the “DUCT” tape festival, not the “DUCK” tape festival. I am genuinely offended every time I see “duck tape” written on anything because, hey, brainiacs, it’s tape originally used for ducts! There are no feathers or quacks involved!


(I went to the website to check out what happens here and – wouldn’t you know it! – they had that stupid “duck tape” there. I’m not writing anything else about the festival in protest. You’ll just have to find out for yourself as I stomp off in disgust.)


2. Port-Neuf Muzzleloaders Mountain Man Rendezvous, Pocatello, ID. This is like an episode of top shot, but fancier, because it uses French words like “rendezvous” and depicts the life and times of the Mountain Man Era in Idaho History. Traders (vendors) are allowed to sell only goods of the 1840’s in primitive canvas tents. I imagine there’s also a decent amount of gun powder. Recipe for muzzleloading bliss, right there!


3. LifeLight Music Festival, Worthing, SD. If you’ve always had a desire to drive out into the boondocks of South Dakota and have a religious hoe-down, LifeLight is your festival.


4. Electra Goat BBQ & Craft Show, Electra, TX. Somehow a goat BBQ and craft show aren’t the matched pair of, say, salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly, or cheese and sprinkles in my mind. However, it must be a good time with six cooking events including goat, ribs, chicken, brisket, jackpot beans & steak where you could win $2,500 in prizes, a cow patty plop and free-admission dance. Ooh! Take me, take me!

5. National Polka Fest, Ennis, TX. Speaking of dancing, why don’t we go check out the polka festival? You know, my cousin married a man of Polish ancestry when I was about four-years-old. At the reception the guests all tried to get me to dance with the ring bearer but I was more interested in the “punch” fountain in the corner. Without my parent’s knowledge, I sidled up to that punch bowl and embraced the “bottoms up” philosophy.


I was the drunk flower girl dancing the polka all by herself. My parents … it was the first time I publicly embarrassed them. (They’re used to being embarrassed by me by now. I write a blog.)


6. Headless Chicken Days, Fruita, CO. In 1945, several Utah scientists claimed to know why a chicken whose head was cut off remained alive for 18 months. The story traveled around the country after “Life” magazine printed an article about the decapitated chicken. Today, the festival’s celebratory atmosphere is known to convince even modest spectators to compete in the Chicken Dance, Chicken Scramble Obstacle Course, Egg Drop Contest or run like a headless chicken in the 5K race. I still don’t know how (or if) the chicken lived headless.


7. Toad Suck Daze Festival, Conway, AR. I read an article about a hallucinogen administered by licking toads found in the Sonora Desert. The practice was endangering the toads and giving participants a wicked high. So when I saw the Toad Suck Daze Festival, I suspected drug culture.


Turns out this festival is not about drugs at all! The history behind this festival? Long ago, steamboats traveled the Arkansas River when it was deep enough. But when it wasn’t deep enough, the boats tied up to wait where the Toad Suck Lock and Dam now spans the river. Those impatient waiters spend their free time in the tavern where, “They [sucked] on the bottle ’til they swelled up like toads.” Who knew?


8. West Jefferson Annual Ox Roast, West Jefferson, OH. The highlight activity of this festival has to be the Kiddie Tractor Pull. I’m not sure seeing kids try to pull a tractor through the dirt is more fun than putting a preschooler in velcro pants and setting them loose riding a wooly sheep, but it has to be close, right?


9. DFW Dragon Boat, Kite, and Lantern Festival, Lake Carolyn, TX. This festival is right up Rapunzel’s alley, according to Disney’s version of the tale, Tangled. Enjoy dragon boat racing, kite flying, Asian & Pacific dance & martial arts demonstrations, Oriental food, shopping & informational booths,  and lantern displays.


10. O. Henry Pun-Off, Austin, TX.There’s a reason people in Austin wear t-shirts emblazoned with: “Keep Austin Weird.” They like pun-0ffs. OK, truth be told, I’d probably love this festival too, but who really wants to admit they went to a pun-off? The O. Henry Pun-Off is free admission (because who would pay to hear corny puns?) and you can sit in silent awe in the company of people using historic wordplay.


Don’t miss out on the previous episodes of our Fantastic Festival fun:


Fantastic Festivals, Part 1

Fantastic Festivals, Part 2

Fantastic Festivals, Part 3

We’re getting closer to the end of our festival exploration, which means you need to offer up your favorite noteworthy festivals for all of us to enjoy! Don’t forget to also leave YOUR reasons to attend a festival!

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