Feb 272014

We love small town festivals, and in our years on the road we’ve been to a lot of them, from coast to coast and border to border. Small town festivals are a lot of fun; we have had a lot of laughs, met some interesting people, and have been amazed at how much talent there is out there in those little communities tucked away on the back roads and byways of America.

We’ve seen Mexican dancers at Verde Valley Days in Camp Verde, Arizona; tapped our toes to bluegrass music at the Tennessee Fall Homecoming in Clinton, Tennessee; watched basket weavers at the Jackson County Apple Festival in Jackson, Ohio; and munched on shortcake at the Baldwin County Strawberry Festival in Loxley, Alabama.

Here are ten festivals and special events you should try to attend this year. And if you can’t get to them this year, put some on your calendar for next year’s RV travels!

Frozen Dead Guy Days, March 7 – 9, Nederland, Colorado. This event has to have one of the strangest origins of anything you’ll find anywhere. It’s a twisted tale that began when a Norwegian named Trygve Bauge brought the body of his recently deceased grandfather to Colorado packed in dry ice so it could be stored in liquid nitrogen at a cryonics facility A few years later, when the storage facility closed, Bauge packed Grandpa in dry ice again and brought him to Nederland and kept him in a shack behind his mother’s house until the body was discovered. If that’s not a reason to hold a party, what is? Every year thousands of folks come to Nederland to celebrate with events that include coffin races and frozen salmon tosses. So bundle up and head to Colorado to join in all the fun! http://frozendeadguydays.org

Texas SandFest, April 11 – 13, Port Aransas, Texas. The annual Texas Sand Sculpture Festival, also known as Texas SandFest, is one of the largest beach festivals in Texas. Each year eighteen Master Sculptors from around the world, as well as kids of all ages, come to the beach at Port Aransas to put their creative skills to work to create the most artistic, imaginative sand sculptures you’ll ever see. http://www.texassandfest.com


Tulip Time Festival, May 3 – 10, Holland Michigan. Since 1929, the city of Holland, has blossomed with literally hundreds of thousands of tulips that greet visitors to the annual Tulip Time Festival. The event features big name entertainment acts, food, activities for all ages, and one of the largest parades in Michigan. http://www.tuliptime.com

MagiCelebration July 23 – 24 Colon, Michigan. Colon is the Magic Capital of the World and every year magicians from all over the world gather in this small town to display their talents and share their knowledge with other fellow magicians, both amateur and professional. http://colonmichiganmagic.com

Airventure Oshkosh, July 28 – August 3, Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The world’s greatest aviation celebration has it all when it comes to aircraft – war birds, vintage airplanes, homebuilts and ultralights, including many one of a kind aircraft. You name it, there’s likely an example of it at Oshkosh. http://www.airventure.org/index.html

Testicle Festival, July 30 – August 4, Clinton, Montana. Come on guys, you know you crossed your legs when you read this one! Known locally as the Testy Fest, this annual event is one of the biggest parties in the Northwest, with music and events that include the Big Ball Contest, The Ball Eating Contest, and the Undie 500. http://www.lightningcustoms.com/events/event_34304.html


Washington State International Kite Festival, August 18 – 24, Long Beach, Washington. You’ll never think kites are just for kids once you’ve seen hundreds of kites dancing in the sky, performing acrobatics by some of the world’s best pilots. But beware, it can be addicting! After one visit I became the proud owner of three high performance kites! http://kitefestival.com/kite-festival/

Kite festival 2

Wooden Boat Festival, September 5-7, Port Townsend, Washington. The Wooden Boat Festival is the most popular wooden boat event in the world, featuring more than 300 wooden vessels, dozens of indoor and outdoor presentations and demonstrations, a who’s who of wooden boat experts, and thousands of wooden boat enthusiasts. There’s something to do, someone to meet, or a boat to visit at every turn. http://woodenboat.org/festival/

Tennessee Fall Homecoming, October 10 – 12, Clinton, Tennessee. The annual three-day Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia is one of the nation’s largest and most authentic music and folk festivals. Musicians perform on five stages, filling the air with traditional mountain, folk, bluegrass, Gospel, and old-time country tunes, and visitors can see demonstrations of pioneer skills, a large craft fair with authentic Appalachian artisans, and enjoy traditional Southern foods. http://www.museumofappalachia.org/events-homecoming.html

homecoming quartet 2

FantasyFest, October 17 – 26, Key West, Florida. Key West is a party town and there is no bigger party than FantasyFest! This wild event includes food, drink and fun like the Reddy Ice Fantasy Façade Competition, the Headdress Ball, the Lazy Gecko Redneck Party, Royal Coronation Ball, pirates, wenches, bikinis, body painting and more! http://www.fantasyfest.com/schedule.cfm

We’re doing something different for this week’s Free Drawing. We’re giving away two audiobooks from my friend Carol Ann Newsome, A Shot in the Bark and Drool Baby, from her popular Dog Park mystery series. All you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Shot in bark

Drool baby

Thought For The Day – Chocolate comes from cocoa, which is a tree. That makes it a plant. So technically, chocolate is salad. Eat healthy, my friends!

Check Out Nick’s E-Books In Our E-Book Store

Click Here For Back Issues Of The Gypsy Journal

Click Here To Subscribe To The Gypsy Journal

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “10 Do Not Miss Festivals”

  1. There’s more than one testicle festival. There’s also one in Ashland, Nebraska.

  2. If you like hot air balloons, Creston, Iowa has “Southwest Iowa Hot Air Balloon Days” the third weekend of September every year. There are over 55 balloons that participate in five events each year.

    In addition to the balloon races and night glow activities, there is a flea market, craft sale, used book sale, car show, and several other activities. One of the highlights is feeling the heat from the burners as the baskets and drivers ride through the parade.

    Escapees Chapter 48-Iowa Wild Roses had a rally there in 2013 and liked it so much that we plan to be there again this September 18th-21st.


  3. Hollister CA has the Garlic Festival !…
    Stockton CA has the Asparagus festival
    Sacramento, CA Delta, Pear Festival
    Placerville, CA Apple Hill, Apple Festival and Crafts fair.
    Lake Tahoe, CA, Natural Wooden Boat show to include Harris’s Personal Wooden Cabin Cruiser 40 footer Chris Craft. Over 300 Boats highly polished Wooden Boats.

    To mention a few!…

  4. Got a good laugh out of the Thought For The Day, I am eating a lot more chocolate.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.