Fantastic Festivals, Part 3

World Championship Punkin Chunkin'

Gotten your fill of quirky celebrations around the U.S. yet? Nope?! Me, either!


We’re on round three of Fantastic Festivals and the fun just keeps giving!


First, why you should bother packing the family up and heading for the boondocks to frolic with strangers who may (or may not) be wearing a toupee and halter top (on the same person):


1. A mind, once expanded, never returns to its original shape. Each festival is a cornucopia of newfound (possibly useless) knowledge. That’s bound to guarantee you entrance into a Trivial Pursuit game somewhere!


2. {Mostly} cheap entertainment. Most festivals will have attractions like concerts, llama agility demonstrations and educational talks for free or close to free. Granted, they may cause gastrointestinal distress and a visit to the ER, but isn’t that worth the gamble when you only live once?!


10 More Fantastic Festivals:


1. Hampton County Watermelon Festival, Hampton, SC. I can’t help but hear this one and start singing “Watermelon Crawl.” It’s in your mind right now, too, isn’t it? Your toes are tapping and trying to do the line dance, all on their own, huh? If you take your tapping toes to the Watermelon Festival, I bet you’ll get to do the crawl, along with a mud run! Pet shows, family fun day, live musical entertainment, a Watermelon Eating Contest and a Watermelon Judging Contest. What’s not to love?


2. Frog Leg Festival, Fellsmere, FL. In my mind, there’s only so far “tastes like chicken,” can get you in the culinary arts. But I might change my mind if I attended the Frog Leg Festival and took in the midway, crafters and live entertainment. And, hey, I hear they don’t only have frog legs; you can also try gator tails!


3. Alaska State Fair, Palmer, AK. I know, I know, I’m supposed to be on the local activities and a state fair doesn’t precisely fit the bill. But… we’re talking the Alaska State Fair, where they have pumpkins that double as Cinderella’s coach! And you might see wildlife, or Sarah Palin, which is kind of the same thing!


4. All-American Soap Box Derby, Akron, OH. Take a walk along memory lane with the greatest amateur racing event in the world (at least that’s what the website tells me). It’s in Ohio. Ohio + Soap Box Derby = ecstatic fun!


5. Christmas Village Festival, Irondale, AL. This is a Christmas extravaganza! Currently Christmas Village is the largest (about the size of 4 football fields) indoor arts, crafts, and gifts festival in the south. I haven’t heard conclusively if Santa visits regularly, but more than 3,000 venders show up yearly to peddle their wares. Which Santa then delivers, of course. Reindeer are good for that.


6. World Championship Punkin Chunkin’, Nassau, DE. The catch phrase for this event is “we’re gonna hurl.” I don’t know any mother of an infant who wouldn’t come running toward this festival. And if the Discovery Channel can keep playing “I like ’em big, I like ’em chunky” with the commercials, I’m totally in. All in. Even if they don’t know how to spell “pumpkin.”


7. Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo, Mitchell, SD. I have a friend from Mitchell, SD. He’s enamored with the Corn Palace and, frankly, I’m not sure why. But if you’re the kind that gets all riled up about a corn palace and a bucking bronco, you should swing on up to South Dakota and check it out!


8. Banana Split Festival, Wilmington, OH. Did you know the banana split originated in Ohio? Wilmington, specifically. That, my friends, is cause for celebration, because if we hadn’t figured out how to a piece of produce costing about 57¢/lbs., can you even imagine the dirth of comic relief of people slipping on banana peels we would be missing as a country??


9. Face-to-Fish Day, Boise, ID. Did you know if you squeeze a fish hard enough around the middle, its guts will come out its mouth? I vouch for this fact with personal experience. When I see a title like “Face-to-Fish,” that’s all I can think about. But if you visit Boise for this festival, you’ll get to paint a fish. I hope it;s already dead. Or you’re using waterproof paint.


10. Whole Enchilada Fiesta, Las Cruces, NM. If you head to the enchilada fiesta, you’ll experience the Southwest in all its glory! 4×4 monster truck show, an enchilada 5K run, and – ooooh! – an Enchilada Land for kids! (You know your kids gonna come out of Enchilada Land with green sauce in their unmentionables. It’s all part of the experience kids, just steer clear of the jalepenos!)


Don’t miss out on Fantastic Festivals, Part 1 & Fantastic Festivals, Part 2!


Even after all our fun exploring the U.S. festivals, there are still more to come! Surely you have a local festival in your area that needs to be showcased… just tell us about it!

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4 thoughts on “Fantastic Festivals, Part 3

  • May 15, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    C’mon! Colby Cheese Days. Home of the World Champion Cheese Curd Throwing Contest. And deep fried hunks of cheese. What could be better than that? There is also a 5K, 10K, kids’ run, live music, carnival rides, softball tournament, tractor pull and a beer tent. Loads of fun.

    • May 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      I am struggling because there are actually two cheese festivals… I’m thinking after your comment I’ll have to go with the Colby Cheese Days! 🙂

  • May 16, 2012 at 9:40 am

    I feel the need to defend the rodeo here in Mitchell. It’s a completely normal rodeo, but we also happen to have a Corn Palace so everything that happens in Mitchell has that as part of the title it seems. I don’t think it’s quite fair to lump a rodeo with a contest where you throw pumpkins or paint fish. Just sayin’. Also, I’ve lived in Mitchell my whole life and I have come to respect the Corn Palace as a unique form of art, but otherwise it’s kinda overrated. Now if you want an actual festival, we have the Corn Palace Festival in August. There are carnival rides and greasy food and semi-famous bands that come perform and everything!

    • May 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm

      Love it! 🙂


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