10 Strange (And Fun) Summer Festivals

strange fun summer festivals

Looking for a summer festival?

Sure, there are countless music festivals, parades and family events coming up this summer that you could attend. But do you really want the same old stuff? Or are you ready to experience something truly unique?

Check out these crazy and strange up-coming American festivals!

1. Cow Chip Throw Festival

For the uneducated, a cow chip is simply dried cow manure. To most people it’s a disgusting thing to avoid while cutting through a pasture, while for others it’s high entertainment to see how far they can fling one.

The Cow Chip Throw Festival in Wisconsin has taken tossing to a completely new level. Occurring Labor Day weekend, participants compete in several different throwing categories with the goal of bringing home the longest chip toss.

Fret not, there are many other events to entertain you that don’t involve handling cow feces. You can take part in a 5 and 10K run, the arts and crafts fair and a Cow Chip Parade.

2. Duck Tape Festival

Although the debate rages on whether it’s called “duct” or “duck” tape, the Duck Tape Festival just cares about having fun and celebrating the amazing product and all its uses.

Related: Vacation with gorillas (for real) 

Taking place for three days in June in Avon, Ohio, the festival features music, games and carnival rides. Also on hand are a wide variety of crafts, costumes and other creations using only duct (or duck) tape.

3. No Clothes Festival

If you like your festivals without clothes, you have a very real option.  This pageant of the “au natural” has been going on since 1975 at the Ponderosa Sun Club in Indiana.

Participants can take part in a pole dancing competition, games, contests and of course vie for the title of “Miss & Mr. Nude North America.” The festival takes place July 20-21.

4. West Virginia Road Kill Cook-Off

How does teriyaki-marinated bear sound to you? What about some deer sausage? Or squirrel gravy over biscuits?

The name of the West Virginia Roadkill Cook-Off suggests an unsavory main ingredient. While participants must use one of the common unfortunate animal victims of highway accidents, they aren’t required to find their food on the side of the road.

Occurring in September, this wild event will challenge your palate with some surprising results. Don’t worry if you can’t handle the culinary offerings, because there are plenty of non-road kill foods, as well as live music and fun for all.

5. San Fermin in Nueva Orleans

If you have always wanted to run with the bulls in Spain, but can’t get to Europe (or are afraid you’ll get gored) then head on down to New Orleans this July for a different approach to the Running of the Bulls.

At the San Fermin in Neueva Orleans you don’t run from wild animals, instead you’ll flee from bull costumed team members from local roller derby leagues.  However, don’t think they are going to go easy on you.

Of course the July festival also presents great food, plenty of drinking and musical guests.

6. Tupelo Elvis Festival

Celebrating their famous native son, the Tupelo Elvis Festival brings together fans of The King from all over the globe.

The June festival features concerts and competitions from some of the world’s greatest Elvis impersonators. If that’s not enough, the event also features interviews with those connected to Presley and a special Sunday morning gospel brunch where you can worship with Elvis.

7. Tomato Art Festival

There is even a festival for those who love tomatoes. Taking place in Nashville, the Tomato Art Festival celebrates all things tomato with a parade, concerts, and possibly most importantly a Bloody Mary Garden Party and Contest.

If you are looking for something a bit more creative consider the Tomato haiku contest or taking part in the Tomato 5K. The festival takes place August 9-10.

8. The Wayne Chicken Show

Celebrating all things chicken, The Wayne Chicken Show takes place July 12-14. Begun almost 30 years ago, the festival offers parades, music, arts & crafts and of course is host to the World’s Largest Chicken Dance.

If that’s not enough for you, make sure to check out The National Cluck off where you can compete for the title of best chicken imitation.  And not to worry, there are a plethora of chicken concoctions for you to eat.

9. Mooning of the Amtrak

While it started off as a bit of drunken fun in the 1970s, the Mooning of the Amtrak has turned into an annual event. Taking place in Laguna Niguel, California, the tradition continues to this day, even though local ordinances have been passed trying to stop it.

Participants drop their pants in salute to passing trains, usually after the consumption of large amounts of alcohol. Other activities have sprung up over the years turning the event into a big party. You can take part in wet t-shirt contests, bead throwing and other activities.

10. The Great Texas Mosquito Festival

Just because mosquitos are one of the world’s worst pests, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get their own festival.

Taking place July 25-27th in Clute, Texas, The Great Texas Mosquito Festival is a huge summer bash all centered around the flying, biting bug.

Chili cook-offs, rides, concerts and more all take place under the watchful eyes of mosquito mascot Willie-Man-Chew.

About Eric Paul Erickson 31 Articles
Eric Paul Erickson is a writer, journalist and award winning filmmaker. He’s based in Los Angeles and his interests include fitness, men’s health, pop culture, space, science and film.