Weird and Wacky Festivals

September-October 2011

From comic books shows to chili cook-offs, fun fairs and festivals are held all across America.  Whatever your interest, I’m sure someone, somewhere is celebrating it.

American Royal World Series of Barbecue, Kansas City, MO, Sept 29-Oct 2

Since 1899, the American Royal has been one of America’s premier livestock competitions.  Throughout September and October, Kansas City hosts adult and youth rodeos, horse competitions and a livestock auction.

And then there’s the food.  On the last weekend in September, visit the world’s largest barbecue contest.  Over 500 teams compete in four meat categories (chicken, pork, ribs, brisket), sauce and side dish, plus a Junior category for the younger chefs.  A must for barbeque fans.

For more information:

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, NM, Oct 1-9

Soar to new heights at the world’s largest hot air balloon rally.  Over 6000 balloons launch from a 78 acre section of Albuquerque‘s Fiesta Park.  Aside from the sheer specacle, there are ballooning competitions, food, entertainment and children’s activities.  An event for all ages (my parents are going this year!).

For more information:

Great American Beer Festival, Denver, CO, Sept 29-Oct 1

Over 40,000 beer enthusiasts attend this popular Denver event each year.  Listed in the Guiness Book of World Records, visitors can sample over 2,000 different beers from 450 of the country’s finest breweries.  Attend beer seminars and judged competions.  To promote responsibility, a Designated Drivers Lounge is available.  Tickets go fast!

For more information:

State Fair of Texas, Dallas, TX, Sept 30-Oct 23

Last year, over 2 miilion visitors were greated by Big Tex, the 52 foot tall fair mascot.  Attendees can experience state fair staples such as livestock and homecraft competitions along with concerts and carnival rides (including the Texas Star, the largest Ferris wheel in North America).  Also found is some unique food options:  Deep Fried Twinkie?  Texas Fried Cookie Dough?  Chicken Fried Bacon?  Truly, a state fair to remember!

For more information:

Of course, you can find information on a variety of vacation destinations by visiting theLibrary’s Travel Neighborhood.  Happy Travels!

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