LOS ANGELES, CA, July 24, 2013 — American festivals are in full swing this summer with quirky celebrations that include bull running, bug-bragging and killer kitty videos.
For those who missed out on all the bull-baiting bravado in Pamplona, Spain this summer, listen up. There’s more bull battling fun to be had out there and the running course is closer to home.
Running with the bulls is now a great American sport – with big money to be made for those willing to brave the beasts in Cave Creek, AZ.
This is the third year now that adrenaline junkies have taken to the bullpen in the Grand Canyon state for $10,000 in prize money in what is now the Run with the Bulls weekend fest. The daredevil smack down lets loose October 25-27 in Cave Creek, just outside Phoenix, in Arizona.
Contestants of all shapes and sizes pit themselves against a rancher’s dozen of the biggest, baddest bulls, dodging bulk and horn on a quarter mile course through 12 races. Runners vie to win at least $500 for each of the races and compete for a $5,000 grand prize awarded for the most points scored by a runner over two days, six races on Saturday and six races on Sunday.
But it’s not just the bulls that are in focus. It’s two days of the “Great Bull Battle of the Bands,” plus heaps of great food and drink, exhibitor booths, entertainment, and rides.
Tickets for the Running with the Bulls festival run $10 for watchers and $30 per race for runners (and that comes with a T-shirt!). A similar event is the works for Las Vegas, April 11-13, 2014. Advance purchase discounts, and group rates are available.
Best Great American Festivals with Quirk this Summer
While county fairs hold a high place in the hearts of most Americans, this is a big country and full of festivals for all reasons. For those in search of odd, quirky, or see-it-to-believe-it American festivals to explore this summer, here’s a deciding list of five August favorites from TripAdvisor.
Cheeseburger in Caseville – August 9 to 18, Caseville, Michigan
Inspired by Jimmy Buffet’s hit song “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” this summer celebration offers a complete set list of well-done fun including the anticipated “Parade of Fools” and multiple stages featuring Buffet-tribute bands. Travelers can chow down on both classic and creative cheese-topped patties and later “waste away” the day with ice-cold margaritas. The family-friendly festival includes fun for parents and their “keets” including a hat-making workshop, sandcastle sculpting contest, and a flamingo race. General admission is free of charge; some events require a button pass that can be purchased for $10.
Weird Contest Week – August 12 to 16, Ocean City, New Jersey
Travelers to the Jersey Shore can join in the festivities at any of these kooky contests geared toward bringing family fun to Ocean City. Competitions are held daily in the Music Pier pavilion, boardwalk, and Moorlyn Terrace and are assorted by age group to help level the peculiar playing field. Aspiring Michelangelos can partake in a variety of sculpting contests where a multitude of materials are used including French fries, paper clips and saltwater taffy. Children in the crowd can try their hand in the “Miss and Mr. Miscellaneous” talent show where the most eccentric earns the crown. General admission is free of charge.
National Lentil Festival – August 16 to 17, Pullman, Washington
Known for its robust lentil production, the Palouse region celebrates its protein-packed produce with this annual celebration now in its 25th year. Legume lovers visiting the two-day soiree can enjoy a scoop of the world’s largest bowl of lentil chili served from a 350-gallon stainless-steel vat, while those more interested in cooking their own agricultural appetizer can enter the legendary cook-off. On nearby Lentil Lane, travelers are invited to taste ice cream made from the legume and may even catch a glimpse of the party’s beloved mascot, Tase T. Lentil. General admission is free of charge.
Walker Art Center’s Internet Cat Video Festival – August 28, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Now in its second year, the cat’s out of the bag when it comes to this frisky festival that highlights the Internet’s best cat videos. Crowds will be treated to a collaboration of films and live music as winners will be announced in several cat-egories, all leading up to the crowning of the coveted people’s choice for the “Golden Kitty” award, which will be followed by a dazzling display of fireworks. Reserved seating tickets are $10 (attendees must also purchase entrance to the Minnesota State Fair).
BugFest – September 21, Raleigh, North Carolina
Entomology enthusiasts will bug out at the variety of entertainment offered at this pest-ful party hosted by the Museum of Natural Sciences. Travelers can learn about the creepy-crawly creatures through displays around the museum, stump the experts by bringing in an unusual bug to identify, or have their face painted to resemble a stag beetle during the “insectival.” The bravest of the bunch can bring their appetites to Cafe Insecta, where those with a craving for a crunchy or slimy treat can sample delights prepared by local restaurants such as Chocolate Chirp Ice Cream or Superworm Enchiladas. General admission is free of charge.
Lark Gould is an author of eight books on travel and a journalist who has been covering the travel industry for more than two decades.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.