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Summer Festivals

Blue skies. Green grass. Warm weather. What other excuses do you need to get outside and enjoy the summer sun? How about some cool summer festivals? Here's a sampling of events happening throughout the United States.

If you're interested in festivals but don't know where to begin, these sites will get you started:
    Perhaps the most comprehensive, this site offers listings for all kinds of festivals across the U.S. and around the world. Search by month, location or festival type.

  • Festival Finder
    Get the latest scoop on more than 1,500 music festivals in North America. Search by name, date, location, performer or genre.

  • Southern Festivals
    Lists festival and fair information for southern states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

  • List of Renaissance Fairs
    A list of Renaissance fairs worldwide from Wikipedia.

Northeast and Mid-Atlantic
  • Boston Harborfest
    Turn back the clock to 1775 and enjoy more than 160 events, including concerts, cruises, fireworks, historical re-enactments and the Chowderfest.

  • Maine Lobster Festival
    This festival claims to be the original lobster fest. Feast on tons of steamed Maine lobster and experience waterfront activities, maritime displays, and local arts and crafts.

  • Kutztown Folk Festival
    Enter the world of the Pennsylvania Dutch and experience their unique lifestyle through education and entertainment.

  • Smithsonian Folklife Festival
    Local scholars and Smithsonian curators host daily programs of music, song, dance, crafts and cooking. All events are held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

South and Southeast
  • Georgia Peach Festival
    A Georgian summer just wouldn't be complete without the state honoring its prized fruit. When you're not devouring peach ice cream and cobbler, enjoy music, dancing, fireworks, and arts and crafts.

  • Luling Watermelon Thump
    There's nothing like watermelon on a hot, summer day. Enjoy melon judging, a melon eating contest, a champion seed-spitting contest and more in Luling, Texas.

  • Texas Folklife Festival
    The many cultures that make up Texas' heritage are on display at this event. See the costumes and crafts, taste the food, and listen to more than 40 music groups in San Antonio, Texas.

  • Butterfly Festival
    Walk among hundreds of live butterflies and learn first-hand about these delicate creatures in Paris, Arkansas.

  • Kansas State Yo-Yo Championships
    Watch five levels of competitors battle for prizes in Topeka, Kansas.

  • National Cherry Festival
    Enjoy dozens of events for the entire family, including air shows, parades, concerts and sporting events. And, of course, celebrate the cherry, in Traverse City, Mich.

  • Summerfest
    This popular music festival features the sounds of alternative rock, pop, country, jazz, bluegrass, zydeco, folk and world music. Experience national and local acts on 11 stages in Milwaukee, Wis.

  • Taste of Chicago
    Dubbed "America's City Picnic," this food festival features 10 days of free entertainment and menu items from 70 of the Windy City's top restaurants.
  • Buffalo Bill Days
    Don't miss Golden's largest annual event, filled with activities for the entire family. Golden, Colo.

  • June Music Festival
    Chamber Music Albuquerque presents the 58th season of this popular concert series. Spend your Fridays and Sundays listening to soothing classical tunes in Albuquerque, N.M.

West and Northwest
  • Cheyenne Frontier Days
    This event claims to be "the granddaddy of them all." Celebrate the West with the largest outdoor professional rodeo, a carnival, parades, food, crafts, music and dance in Cheyenne, Wyo.

  • Gilroy Garlic Festival
    The Garlic Capital of the World honors its crop with a recipe contest and cook-off, food, art, entertainment and the crowning of the Garlic Queen. Gilroy, Calif.

  • Oregon Brewers Festival
    More than 70 microbreweries from across the country showcase their hand-crafted brews to beer lovers. Also enjoy Cajun BBQ and zydeco music. Portland, Ore.

  • Sweet Onion Festival
    Hold back the tears and experience an onion slicing contest, onion recipe contest, onion shot-put contest, a farmers' market and plenty of musical entertainment. Walla Walla, Wash.

   --- R.M.

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