1. Banana Split Festival (June 8 and 9, 2012)
The nation’s only Banana Split Festival is held in Wilmington, Ohio. This festival celebrates the birthplace of the banana split (created in 1907) with games, live music, a classic car show, and a banana split eating contest!
2. Baltimore Hon Fest (June 9 and 10, 2012)
Honfest is a local tradition in Bawlmer (Baltimore). The annual celebration began in 1994 and has been growing strong ever since! Hon is a term of endearment for ladies, so naturally, Honfest is a celebration in honor of Bawlmer women. Ladies dress up in beehive up-dos and celebrate with a Hon pageant, great food, and friends.
3. The Mermaid Parade (June 23, 2012)
Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade is a sight to behold! This year is it’s 30th anniversary, and it’s sure not to disappoint. Mermaids and mermen parade down the street with floats and fancy fanfare. They even crown a mer-king and mer-queen!
4. The World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Festival (July 8, 2012)
Collinsville, Illinois is home to the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle! The 170 foot tall water tower was built in 1949 and restored in 1995. This year will be the 14th year celebrating the tower. Their flyer advertises a car show, catsup tasting, and hot dog eating contests!
5. Taste Of Chicago (July 11-15, 2012)
One of the world’s largest food festivals, Taste of Chicago has been setting up delicious food stands in Grant Park since 1980. Taste of Chicago not only has a diverse array of food for you to eat, they also feature musical acts in the evening. This year Jennifer Hudson, Death Cab For Cutie, Chaka Khan, and Dierks Bentley are performing.
6. Hemingway Days Festival (July 17-22, 2012)
Who doesn’t love Ernest Hemingway? His literature left quite the impact in Florida. This year will be the 32nd year celebrating his legacy. There will be a look-alike contest, a literary competition, a museum exhibit of rare Hemingway memorabilia, and a zany “running of the bulls” tournament.
7. World Championship Cardboard Boat Races (July 28, 2012)
This year will be the 26th anniversary of World Championship Boat Races in Herber Springs, Arkansas. Yes, the boats are literally made out of cardboard! Not only do they have boat races, but there are also other fun events like watermelon eating contests, tug of war contests, and a demolition derby!
8. Long Beach Crawfish Festival (July 28 and 29, 2012)
The 19th annual Long Beach Crawfish Festival is coming! They combine the best Cajun, Zydeco, and New Orleans sounds of music with tons of fresh crawfish. Last year they sold out of tickets, so there must be something amazing going on there!
9. Iowa State Fair (August 9-19, 2012)
Featured in the book “1,000 Places To See Before You Die,” the Iowa State Fair is the largest event in the state of Iowa, and one the largest fairs in the United States. The first fair was held in 1854! Millions of people attend the fair to see farm animals, eat corn dogs and other deep fried foods, and play games at the midway. Don’t miss out on the butter cow sculpture!
10. Bumbershoot Festival (September 1-3, 2012)
Bumbershoot is Seattle’s Music and Arts festival held every year at the end of summer. The festival began in 1971 and included a logging show, motorcycle races, and the world’s first electronic music jam! This year big artists like Skrillex, Gotye, Tony Bennett, and M83 are playing at the 3 day festival.