Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival (edited)

Date

Event

Location

Jun 17-19

Duck Tape Festival Duck Tape parade? Check. Duck Tape fashion show? Check. Duck Tape sculptures? What do you think? Yes, Duck Tape is king in Avon, Ohio, the self-proclaimed "Duck Tape Capital of the World," and it's ridiculously proud of it. The festival is held every year on Father’s Day weekend, and centers around a different theme each year (last year's was "Duck Tape takes you on a tropical vacation," whatever the hell that means). It's the biggest thing going on all year in this town 20 miles west of Cleveland, and way too weird to pass up.

Avon, Ohio

Duck Tape Festival Avon, Ohio Duck Tape parade? Check. Duck Tape fashion show? Check. Duck Tape sculptures? What do you think? Yes, Duck Tape is king in Avon, Ohio, the self-proclaimed "Duck Tape Capital of the World," and it's ridiculously proud of it. The festival is held every year on Father’s Day weekend, and centers around a different theme each year (last year's was "Duck Tape takes you on a tropical vacation," whatever the hell that means). It's the biggest thing going on all year in this town 20 miles west of Cleveland, and way too weird to pass up.

Roswell UFO Festival

Date

Event

Location

Jun 30-Jul 3

UFO Festival Floats full of aliens and spaceships lit up at night is a highlight of this annual freakfest rolling through Downtown Roswell, the world's most well-known hub of UFO activity, where it's not uncommon to see people in massive green alien masks driving motorcycles through the streets (how do they see?) or dogs dressed in alien outfits at this annual party for the paranormal. It's Halloween come early with tours of the local UFO Museum, bizarre art, surreal street performers, and more alien costumes this side of a Comic-Con convention.

Roswell, New Mexico

UFO Festival Roswell, New Mexico Floats full of aliens and spaceships lit up at night is a highlight of this annual freakfest rolling through Downtown Roswell, the world's most well-known hub of UFO activity, where it's not uncommon to see people in massive green alien masks driving motorcycles through the streets (how do they see?) or dogs dressed in alien outfits at this annual party for the paranormal. It's Halloween come early with tours of the local UFO Museum, bizarre art, surreal street performers, and more alien costumes this side of a Comic-Con convention.

Flickr/greg Andrews

Date

Event

Location

Jul 8-9

Lebowski Fest Can you believe it's been 15 years since a cult party in Louisville transformed into the Burning Man for Big Lebowski fanatics? While the popular fest has since expanded to over 30 cities, the granddaddy of them all still goes down in the land of the Kentucky Derby. The festival spans two nights that include "The Movie Party" (with an outdoor screening of the film and live band performance, this year by raucous Chicago punk-rock marching band Black Bear Combo) and "The Bowling Party" (featuring unlimited bowling and a costume/trivia contest). Will there be White Russians and endless Jeff Bridges lookalikes? The Dude abides.

Louisville, Kentucky

Lebowski Fest Louisville, Kentucky Can you believe it's been 15 years since a cult party in Louisville transformed into the Burning Man for Big Lebowski fanatics? While the popular fest has since expanded to over 30 cities, the granddaddy of them all still goes down in the land of the Kentucky Derby. The festival spans two nights that include "The Movie Party" (with an outdoor screening of the film and live band performance, this year by raucous Chicago punk-rock marching band Black Bear Combo) and "The Bowling Party" (featuring unlimited bowling and a costume/trivia contest). Will there be White Russians and endless Jeff Bridges lookalikes? The Dude abides.

flickr/ali eminov

Date

Event

Location

Jul 8-10

The Chicken Show At first glance, this might not seem like that weird of an event. Until you see the oddball antics of the "Chickendales" (shirtless dudes with brown paper bags over the heads upon which chicken faces are drawn) dancing on a float during the parade and the "National Cluck-Off," where humans dressed as chickens shamelessly flap their arms and loudly cluck likes chickens for prize money. There's also "free chicken stories" at the library, a tractor pull, a rubber chicken-chucking contest, a "cement chicken" auction, and, of course, the world's largest chicken dance led by local cheerleaders. So yeah, apparently this town is kinda into chicken.

Wayne, Nebraska

The Chicken Show Wayne, Nebraska At first glance, this might not seem like that weird of an event. Until you see the oddball antics of the "Chickendales" (shirtless dudes with brown paper bags over the heads upon which chicken faces are drawn) dancing on a float during the parade and the "National Cluck-Off," where humans dressed as chickens shamelessly flap their arms and loudly cluck likes chickens for prize money. There's also "free chicken stories" at the library, a tractor pull, a rubber chicken-chucking contest, a "cement chicken" auction, and, of course, the world's largest chicken dance led by local cheerleaders. So yeah, apparently this town is kinda into chicken.

Flickr/Kevin O Mara

Date

Event

Location

Jul 8-10

San Fermin in Nueva Orleans You've heard of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona -- this fest is kind of like that. Sort of. Only instead of bulls, participants are chased by sexy roller-skating women from the Big Easy Rollergirls who, instead of piercing you with deadly horns when they catch you, seek to politely whack you with a foam paddle. There is also a parade, live music, and (this being New Orleans) plenty of eating and drinking. Not to mention La Fiesta de Pantalones (yes, the pants party) and a next-day hangover party complete with skit contests, dramatic readings, and a Hemingway lookalike contest in collaboration with the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival.

New Orleans, Louisiana

San Fermin in Nueva Orleans New Orleans, Louisiana You've heard of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona -- this fest is kind of like that. Sort of. Only instead of bulls, participants are chased by sexy roller-skating women from the Big Easy Rollergirls who, instead of piercing you with deadly horns when they catch you, seek to politely whack you with a foam paddle. There is also a parade, live music, and (this being New Orleans) plenty of eating and drinking. Not to mention La Fiesta de Pantalones (yes, the pants party) and a next-day hangover party complete with skit contests, dramatic readings, and a Hemingway lookalike contest in collaboration with the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival.

Flickr/chuck coker

Date

Event

Location

Jul 9 Sat

Mooning of the Amtrak So, funny story. There's this bar in Laguna Niguel, California called Mugs Away Saloon, located near the train tracks. For some reason, people started mooning the passing Amtrak trains -- according to legend, it started in 1979 when someone offered to buy a free drink for anyone who dropped trou at the passing train. And, voila, what started as a passing joke/dare has turned into a full-fledged, booze-soaked festival complete with a wet T-shirt contest, Mardi Gras-style bead flashing, and a healthy amount of gratuitous nudity. And yes, plenty of bare butts pressed against the chain-link train tracks fence.

Laguna Niguel, California

Mooning of the Amtrak Laguna Niguel, California So, funny story. There's this bar in Laguna Niguel, California called Mugs Away Saloon, located near the train tracks. For some reason, people started mooning the passing Amtrak trains -- according to legend, it started in 1979 when someone offered to buy a free drink for anyone who dropped trou at the passing train. And, voila, what started as a passing joke/dare has turned into a full-fledged, booze-soaked festival complete with a wet T-shirt contest, Mardi Gras-style bead flashing, and a healthy amount of gratuitous nudity. And yes, plenty of bare butts pressed against the chain-link train tracks fence.

Florida Keys News Bureau/YouTube

Date

Event

Location

Jul 9 Sat

Underwater Music Festival If you're tired of seeing the same old cover bands at your local street fest, it might be time to don some scuba gear and dive Looe Key Reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary during its annual Underwater Music Festival, where music broadcast by a local radio station is pumped into the sea by speakers suspended from boats. Participants can swim along listening to tunes like "Yellow Submarine" and "Fins," and some choose to wear costumes and even pretend to play underwater instruments crafted by local artists such as harps and fish trombones.

Key West, Florida

Underwater Music Festival Key West, Florida If you're tired of seeing the same old cover bands at your local street fest, it might be time to don some scuba gear and dive Looe Key Reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary during its annual Underwater Music Festival, where music broadcast by a local radio station is pumped into the sea by speakers suspended from boats. Participants can swim along listening to tunes like "Yellow Submarine" and "Fins," and some choose to wear costumes and even pretend to play underwater instruments crafted by local artists such as harps and fish trombones.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 16-17

Nudes-A-Poppin' Don't let the cutesy name fool you. This is a full-on adult festival featuring naked women spreading their legs and clutching trophies in nude lineups, as hordes of horny dudes with cameras clamor at the action from behind a fence at the Ponderosa Sun Club nudist resort. And it's in Indiana, which is even weirder than the fact that it exists! There's nude pole performances, porn star guest "masters of ceremony," including Ron Jeremy and Stormy Daniels, and the crowning of "Mr. and Mrs. Nude Entertainer of the Year." Don;t believe this is real? Do a Google Image search.

Roselawn, Indiana

Nudes-A-Poppin' Roselawn, Indiana Don't let the cutesy name fool you. This is a full-on adult festival featuring naked women spreading their legs and clutching trophies in nude lineups, as hordes of horny dudes with cameras clamor at the action from behind a fence at the Ponderosa Sun Club nudist resort. And it's in Indiana, which is even weirder than the fact that it exists! There's nude pole performances, porn star guest "masters of ceremony," including Ron Jeremy and Stormy Daniels, and the crowning of "Mr. and Mrs. Nude Entertainer of the Year." Don;t believe this is real? Do a Google Image search.

Date

Event

Location

Jul 28-30

The Great Texas Mosquito Festival When you see a giant blow-up mosquito named Willie Man-Chew smiling and waving at you as the official event mascot, you know you're in for a pretty weird time. And while most small-town festivals seek to highlight their strengths, this muggy town near the Texas Gulf Coast is known for its bloodsuckers and is not afraid to admit it. There's a "mosquito-calling" contest, a "mosquito chase" 5K, and, if you're looking for a sexy event with a date, you can sign up for the "Doubles Washer Pitching Tournament," where you and your significant other take turns throwing washers (the disc-shaped pieces of metal hardware). The festival's theme this year? Zika???

Clute, Texas

The Great Texas Mosquito Festival Clute, Texas When you see a giant blow-up mosquito named Willie Man-Chew smiling and waving at you as the official event mascot, you know you're in for a pretty weird time. And while most small-town festivals seek to highlight their strengths, this muggy town near the Texas Gulf Coast is known for its bloodsuckers and is not afraid to admit it. There's a "mosquito-calling" contest, a "mosquito chase" 5K, and, if you're looking for a sexy event with a date, you can sign up for the "Doubles Washer Pitching Tournament," where you and your significant other take turns throwing washers (the disc-shaped pieces of metal hardware). The festival's theme this year? Zika???

Yale Bologna Fest

Date

Event

Location

Jul 29-31

Yale Bologna Fest Anyone who's ever eaten bologna knows one thing: it's not something to be celebrated. Yet every summer, this town of 2,000 an hour east of Flint in the Michigan thumb begs to differ with a full-throated endorsement of this meal of last resort with a bologna derby and outhouse races (which is presumably where you visit after eating the stuff), plus additional oddball activities including a golf cart parade and cardboard boat race. Who will be crowned this year's King and Queen of Bologna? Only one way to find out.

Yale, Michigan

Yale Bologna Fest Yale, Michigan Anyone who's ever eaten bologna knows one thing: it's not something to be celebrated. Yet every summer, this town of 2,000 an hour east of Flint in the Michigan thumb begs to differ with a full-throated endorsement of this meal of last resort with a bologna derby and outhouse races (which is presumably where you visit after eating the stuff), plus additional oddball activities including a golf cart parade and cardboard boat race. Who will be crowned this year's King and Queen of Bologna? Only one way to find out.

Flickr/juan calderon

Date

Event

Location

Aug 3-6

Testy Festy True, there are several festivals in America where you can eat animal testicles. But how many feature an "Undie 500" of grown men and women racing tricycles in their underwear, a Wet t-shirt contest, and a "big balls" contest where men's you-know-whats are judged by a panel of women? Only one. Held on a ranch somewhere between Missoula and Butte, Rock Creek's biggest party of the year also features a bull ball-eating contest, wet undies contest, "itty-bitty titty" contest, and plenty of people raging till 2am.

Rock Creek, Montana

Testy Festy Rock Creek, Montana True, there are several festivals in America where you can eat animal testicles. But how many feature an "Undie 500" of grown men and women racing tricycles in their underwear, a Wet t-shirt contest, and a "big balls" contest where men's you-know-whats are judged by a panel of women? Only one. Held on a ranch somewhere between Missoula and Butte, Rock Creek's biggest party of the year also features a bull ball-eating contest, wet undies contest, "itty-bitty titty" contest, and plenty of people raging till 2am.

Flickr/j. Stephen conn

Date

Event

Location

Aug 11-13

National Hobo Convention They've got a hobo cemetery tour. They've got hobo poetry. They've got a vagabond craft show. In others words, they've got all the essential elements for a serious party at Britt, Iowa's annual gathering of homeless vagabonds, rail-riders, and vagrants. There's also a pudding-eating contest (because apparently hobos like pudding, maybe because they don't have teeth?), cow chip-chucking contest (because who doesn't love tossing dried cow shit?), toilet bowl races (we don't even know what this is), and an all-evening bingo stand on Main St (because that's how hard this town parties).

Britt, Iowa

National Hobo Convention Britt, Iowa They've got a hobo cemetery tour. They've got hobo poetry. They've got a vagabond craft show. In others words, they've got all the essential elements for a serious party at Britt, Iowa's annual gathering of homeless vagabonds, rail-riders, and vagrants. There's also a pudding-eating contest (because apparently hobos like pudding, maybe because they don't have teeth?), cow chip-chucking contest (because who doesn't love tossing dried cow shit?), toilet bowl races (we don't even know what this is), and an all-evening bingo stand on Main St (because that's how hard this town parties).

Flickr/marc buehler

Date

Event

Location

Sep 2-3

Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw Once you learn that a "cow chip" is a large chunk of hardened cow dung, the weirdness of this fest becomes readily apparent. What is harder to ascertain is why anyone (let alone a whole town) would choose to pick up these things and fling them disc-style in a competition to try and break the record of 248ft. Then again, we're not here to judge. Everyone's got their own definition of fun. Which, apparently, sometimes involves cow shit. Only one rule: no gloves, although licking your hands is totally allowed to get a better grip. Not making this up.

Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin

Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin Once you learn that a "cow chip" is a large chunk of hardened cow dung, the weirdness of this fest becomes readily apparent. What is harder to ascertain is why anyone (let alone a whole town) would choose to pick up these things and fling them disc-style in a competition to try and break the record of 248ft. Then again, we're not here to judge. Everyone's got their own definition of fun. Which, apparently, sometimes involves cow shit. Only one rule: no gloves, although licking your hands is totally allowed to get a better grip. Not making this up.

Date

Event

Location

Sep 9-11

Arcola Broom Corn Festival If a "National Broom Sweeping Contest" sounds like your idea of a sweet-ass time, swoop down to this Central Illinois town and get your rocks off in the "Broom Corn Capital of the World" (apparently, this is a type of corn). But the "precision lawn mower drill team" known as the World-Famous Lawn Rangers takes these words deadly seriously, as they march in formation through the Downtown parade pushing lawn mowers jerry-rigged with brooms. Because why the hell not???

Arcola, Illinois

Arcola Broom Corn Festival Arcola, Illinois If a "National Broom Sweeping Contest" sounds like your idea of a sweet-ass time, swoop down to this Central Illinois town and get your rocks off in the "Broom Corn Capital of the World" (apparently, this is a type of corn). But the "precision lawn mower drill team" known as the World-Famous Lawn Rangers takes these words deadly seriously, as they march in formation through the Downtown parade pushing lawn mowers jerry-rigged with brooms. Because why the hell not???

Flickr/mark hyre

Date

Event

Location

Sep 17-18

Mothman Festival While less famous than fellow cryptids like Sasquatch and Loch Ness Monster, the man-sized bird known as the Mothman lives in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, where he was reportedly first sighted in the late '60s. These days, during the world's only Mothman Festival, you can pose for selfies with the Mothman (the town's version of Mickey Mouse), indulge in Mothman cosplay, check out the "Miss Mothman" pageant, and visit the secluded ammo bunkers where the Mothman sightings took place. There's also a Mothman Museum and panels on the paranormal, naturally.

Point Pleasant, West Virginia

Mothman Festival Point Pleasant, West Virginia While less famous than fellow cryptids like Sasquatch and Loch Ness Monster, the man-sized bird known as the Mothman lives in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, where he was reportedly first sighted in the late '60s. These days, during the world's only Mothman Festival, you can pose for selfies with the Mothman (the town's version of Mickey Mouse), indulge in Mothman cosplay, check out the "Miss Mothman" pageant, and visit the secluded ammo bunkers where the Mothman sightings took place. There's also a Mothman Museum and panels on the paranormal, naturally.