1. The Coney Island Mermaid Parade
The Coney Island Mermaid Parade is known for its aquatic-themed costumes, and because many women choose attend the festivities partially nude (since it is legal in New York for women to be topless in public). Understandably, it is considered the event that kicks off the summer season.
2. La Tomatina In Valencia, Spain
La Tomatina refers to a festival in Buñol, Spain, but the main attraction is the tomato fight. It’s free to participate, and there are only five rules: the tomatoes have to be squashed before they’re thrown, you can’t throw anything except tomatoes, you can’t block traffic, you can’t rip another person’s t-shirt, and you can’t keep throwing tomatoes after the horn is blown.
3. Ko Pang Ngan’s Full Moon Party In Thailand
The Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan happens every month, or whenever a new moon can be seen on the Haad Rin beach. The party attracts between 10,000 and 30,000 people, who come to dance all night, watch jugglers and fire-eaters, and enjoy the fireworks.
4. The Union Square Pillow Fight In NYC
April 7th is International Pillow Fight Day, and various cities honor the occasion by having gigantic pillow fights in public places. All you need to join in is a pillow, and the determination to celebrate properly.
5. Carnival In Rio De Janeiro
Brazil’s Carnival is one of the most incredible parties in the entire world. It lasts for 46 days and consists of so many parades and other exciting experiences that the country’s coastal cities are shut down so everyone can enjoy the occasion. Last year, around 4.9 million people were in Brazil to witness the magic.
6. Mardi Gras In New Orleans
Mardi Gras in New Orleans takes place the two weeks before Fat Tuesday, and people are really determined to party as much as they can within that time period. There’s incredible food and huge parades, but most believe the best part is watching women expose whatever they have to so they can get the most “throws” (or beaded necklaces).
7. Oktoberfest In Munich
Germany’s Oktoberfest lasts 16 days, and is the largest fair in the world based on the fact that around 5 million people attend it every year. The celebration began in 1810, but the majority of people today attend Oktoberfest for the beer, rather than to brush up on its legacy.
8. Bay To Breakers In San Francisco
The Bay To Breakers is a 12k race in San Francisco that also doubles as a costume contest. Incredibly well-dressed runners can enter to win Best Be-Zazzled Costume, Best Overall Individual Costume, Best ICostume, Best Overall Group Costume, and Most Creative Costume. Needless to say, finishing the race first is not the way most people want to be remembered.
9. The Iowa State Fair
It’s written that the Iowa State Fair’s purpose is to honor Iowa’s achievements in agriculture and industry. But it’s so much more than that: visitors get to witness butter sculpture competitions, go to concerts, befriend award-winning cows and pigs, and indulge in foods like fried cheesecake on a stick, chocolate covered fried ice cream, and fried butter.
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Oktoberfest is Meh. It’s all in a flat field, under plastic roofs and full of tourists. Go to the original in Erlangen - The Berg. Running since 1755, on a real hillside, under leafy trees and starlight, with the beer coming cool from mountain caves. It’s “only” a million people, but that’s enough for a party. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergkirchweih
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