Feb 022023

We love small town festivals and we’ve been to a lot of them in our travels from coast to coast and border to border. Small town festivals are a lot of fun; we have had a lot of laughs, met many 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 travels!

World’s Largest  Rattlesnake  Roundup, March 10, – 12, Sweetwater, Texas. Some people love snakes and others hate them. It might be hard to decide which side the folks in Sweetwater are on, but every year thousands of people come for their annual Rattlesnake Roundup, which includes a carnival, beauty pageant, and more snakes than you can shake a stick at. http://www.rattlesnakeroundup.net/roundup.html

Frozen Dead Guy Days, March 17 – 19, Estes Park, 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, Colorado 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 14 – 16, Port Aransas, Texas. The annual Texas Sand Sculpture Festival, also known as the Texas SandFest, is one of the largest beach festivals in Texas. Each year 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. https://www.texassandfest.org/

Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, May 5-7, 2023, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Immerse yourself in Cajun culture while enjoying over 30 Cajun and Creole bands, sampling crawfish dishes prepared every way imaginable, from fried and boiled to étouffée, bisque, boudin, pie, jambalaya, and crawdogs, along with other Cajun and Creole favorites. The Crawfish Festival includes a parade, crawfish eating contest, Cajun and Zydeco dance contest, crawfish étouffée cook-off, crawfish race, and carnival rides for young and old alike, as well as an arts and crafts fair. https://www.lafayettetravel.com/events/festivals/crawfish-festival/

Tulip Time Festival, May 6 – 14, 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

UFO Festival, June 30 – July 2, Roswell, New Mexico. Come to the “UFO Capital of the World” this summer for three days of fun that includes concerts, games, contests, and more, all with an out of this world theme. https://ufofestival.com/

Washington State International Kite Festival, August 21 – 27, 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 addicting! After one visit, I became the proud owner of several high performance kites! http://kitefestival.com/kite-festival/

Wooden Boat Festival, September 8-10, 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. https://woodenboat.org/

FantasyFest, October 20 – 29, 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

National Peanut Festival – November 3 – 12, Dothan, Alabama. Located in the southeast corner of Alabama, Dothan is known as the “Peanut Capital of the World” because the majority of this country’s peanuts come from this small, friendly city. The National Peanut Festival, the nation’s largest peanut festival, is held in Dothan each fall to honor local peanut farmers and to celebrate the harvest season. https://www.nationalpeanutfestival.com/

Thought For The Day – Who knew what time it was when the first clock was made?

Nick Russell

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

  2 Responses to “Small Town Festivals”

  1. Years ago, a friend gave me some baby gopher tortoises. I thought they were going to do great. That being said, they were eaten by rats. After doing a fair amount of homework, i found out that the co-inhabitor of the southern gopher is rattlesnakes that keep the rats away!!! Then i found out that the rattlesnake hunters use gasoline to roust the snakes out and guess what? The gasoline kills the gophers from asphyxiation.


  2. Pella, Iowa also has a Tulip festival on May 4 and 5. see the March/April issue of Escapees magazine under SKP Stops for more information.

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