10 American Annual Events

America is alive with the sound of celebration and these 10 American annual events are your ticket to discovering everything there is to love about this nation.  From coast to coast America is jam packed with festivals and events celebrating everything from artichokes to watermelons, race horses to race cars, even a frozen dead guy. 

  1. It is called the "Greatest Two Minutes in Sports" but the Kentucky Derby is more than just racing.  Held annually on the first weekend in May this race is the first leg in the Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing.  Come early and check out the Kentucky Derby Festival held in the two weeks leading up to the Derby. This event kicks off in April and a balloon festival, fish fry, and concerts are just a few of the family friendly activities.
  2. Castroville California, the Artichoke Center of the World, is home to the Artichoke Festival held every 3rd weekend in May.  Celebrity chefs gather to prepare artichoke dishes and food booths offer artichokes in various forms including grilled, fried, and pickled.  Can't get enough artichokes?  Stop by the farmer's market and take some home with you.  A side note, Marilyn Monroe was named the first Artichoke Festival queen.

  3. Luling, TX hosts the Watermelon Thump the last weekend in June.  If you're feeling competitive join in the watermelon seed spitting contest or the watermelon eating contest.  You can also check out the watermelon auction, watch the judging for the largest watermelon, or enjoy the parade.

  4. Check out the Little Big Horn Celebration in Montana featuring a reenactment of Custer's Last Stand.  Quilt shows, a book fair, and an old west youth parade are just some of the unique features at this festival.  At the battleground, meet the re-enactors, watch as the cavalry men prepare for the battles at their campsites, and check out the beadwork being made and sold by an Indian family.

  5. Every Fourth of July Weekend Gettysburg hosts the Civil War Battle Reenactment.  Featuring six battles culminating in the "Retreat from Gettysburg" by General Lee; the fun includes living history programs, Sutler's village where you can get a closer look at Civil War-era life, and exciting battles come to life.

  6. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally draws bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts from all across the country.  The annual week long celebration takes place in August.  Hill climbs, organized rides through the scenic Black Hills, and extreme motorcycle stunts are just some of the events offered during the rally.  If you're in the mood to party, you'll find plenty of beauty pageants, concerts, and cheap drinks to keep you entertained.

  7. The Ohio River Sternwheel Festival celebrates riverboat heritage in the Marietta, Ohio area.  Held annually in September; this is the place to bring the kids and listen to the free concerts or stroll along the banks of the river where the sternwheelers are lined up for show.  This is a free event.   

  8. The Albuquerque International Balloon Festival spans the first full week in October.  This festival features over 700 hot air balloons and is considered the largest balloon event on earth. If weather conditions are right, mass ascensions of the balloons lift off on weekend days and once midweek.  The festival features balloon illumination events, precision flying events, and balloon races.

  9. Known as "The Great American Race", the Daytona 500 is the Super Bowl of NASCAR races.  Come early for Speed Weeks and meet your favorite race car driver, watch race qualifying, or check out the concert performances.  On race day enjoy the roar of engines and the smell of gasoline while you cheer on your driver to victory.

  10. If you're in Colorado in March you can't pass up the Frozen Dead Guy Day celebration.  Held every March, this festival honors Grandpa Bredo Morstoel who died in 1989 and has spent the last 20 years on ice in a shed in Nederland, CO.  Participate in the coffin races, take the polar plunge, or stroll around and enjoy plenty of cold drinks.

It's hard to choose which of these festivals offers the most fun.  Try one or try them all, but set out and experience some of the finest celebrations that America has to offer.

show comments

What Others Are Reading Right Now.