Wacky American Festivals That You Didn't Know About

Here in the US we have many summer festivals where we can enjoy the sun, eat some good grub, and have a great time with the family. However, we also have some very unusual and off-beat festivals that most people have never heard of. Below are the top ten wacky summer festivals according to TripAdvisor that its members have voted for the honor.

1. The Great Texas Mosquito Festival – June 26 – 28, Clute, Texas

It bills itself as a three-day fun filled family event where you can participate in a Mosquito Calling contest or run the 5km Mosquito Chase or if you've got great gams, enter the Mosquito legs contest. If you've got a toddler that likes to crawl fast, enter him or her at the Skeeter Beaters Baby Crawling contest. There are tamer activities available and plenty of entertainment.

2. Slugburger Festival – July 12 – 14, Corinth, Mississippi

A slugburger is a local delicacy made of a mixture of beef and some form of cheaper breading extender which is then deep-fat fried to a golden brown, then eaten immediately for the best tasting experience. This festival is a way to celebrate this humble delicacy. There will be a Slugburger Eating Championship, Slug Idol talent contest, carnival rides and other activities to enjoy.

3. World Chicken Festival – September 27-30, London, Kentucky

London, Kentucky is the home of the very first restaurant established by KFC founder, Colonel Harland Sanders. This festival is a way to celebrate that succulent poultry that everyone enjoys in any way that they can. There's a hot wing eating contest, a clucking competition, and best of all, the Chicken Scratch, an event which allows mercenary children to dig through 600 pounds of flour to find cash. If that's not impressive enough, there are plenty of chicken meals to be had, cooked in the world’s largest stainless steel skillet. With a diameter of 10 feet, six inches, the hefty pan can cook 600 chicken quarters at one time!

4. Humungus Fungus Fest – August 3 – 5, 2012, Crystal Falls, Michigan

It's all about the humble mushroom in this festival. See the largest mushroom in the world, which weighs in at 11 tons and lies beneath the ground, just south of the town. Then, come back to get a piece of the world's largest mushroom pizza and have your mouth water at the mushroom cook-off. Plenty of other games are available such as the Strong Man contest where you can watch and see who throw out a tire farthest and throw a keg farthest.

5. Wausau Possum Festival – August 4, Wausau, Florida

If you've never had a chance to eat possum, this festival gives you that great opportunity. Not only that, there's a Possum Parade complete with a Possum King and Queen. There's even a possum auction that allows you to bid on a live possum and hold it by the tail so that you don't get bit.

6. Batfest – August 25, Austin, Texas

The festival is really about a chance to see two million Mexican Free Tail Bats (the largest urban bat colony) that seasonally resides beneath the Congress Street Bridge. At dusk these winged mammals appear, to take flight at night. However, there is also a bat costume contest and educational sessions about bats along with live music.

7. National Hollerin’ Contest – June 16, Spivey’s Corner, North Carolina

Just in case this hollering becomes a lost art, the contest was created so that it doesn't become the case. The highlight is the men's Hollerin' Contest, but eager women can participate in the Ladies' Callin' and the kids can go to Junior Hollerin' Contest. If yelling is not your thing, their is a conch-blowing contest. And this being the South, there's some good eatin always available.

8. Cream Cheese Festival – September 15, Lowville, New York

When I think of cream cheese I think cheesecake! And you can get a piece of the nation's largest cheesecake at this festival. But there are other desserts and non-desserts that use cream cheese and you can get a chance to see how bakers and chefs use this cheesy ingredient to make the tastiest concoctions. In addition, there's a milk tray relay, a cream cheese toss and all-you-can-eat contest.

9. Hope Watermelon Festival – August 9 – 11, Hope, Arkansas

If you love eating watermelon then this festival is for you. There's a seed-spitting contest, a watermelon-eating competition, and an exhibit of the largest watermelons you'll ever see. There are some watermelons that weigh 200 pounds.

10. Mattoon Bagelfest – July 19 – 21, Mattoon, Illinois

If there's a cream cheese festival then there has to be a bagelfest. The town has a Lender's bagel factory so it considers itself the Bagel Capital of the World. It offers the largest free bagel breakfast in the world where 10,000 bagels will be consumed. There will be a Miss Bagel Fest Pageant, a Beautiful Baby Bagel contest, a 5km Bagel Run and even a Bagel Fest Parade.

Reader Recommended Festivals

Tip from lj gonya: Melon Festival in September at Milan, OH

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Comments 3 comments

teacherjoe52 profile image

teacherjoe52 4 years ago

Sounds interesting.I'd like to go the batfest

Good article

lj gonya profile image

lj gonya 4 years ago

Milan, Ohio, birthplace of Thomas Edison, also has a melon festival - Sept. 1-3, but I want to go to the bagel festival!

Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 4 years ago from The East Coast Author

Hi teacherjoe, the Batfest sounds like a great opportunity for picture-taking and learning.

Hi lj gonya, thanks for the tip and added to the list!

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