In a country like the United States, you’d have to imagine that there would be some very strange things that people would celebrate around the country. Many of these concern animals; we seem to have this weird obsession with animals in general, maybe because there are so many different species.
Let’s start with this one. Did you know you don’t have to go all the way to Spain to see the running of the bulls? We have our own running of the bulls, held annually in Mesquite, NV, in July. Of course, there are differences, since this is America after all. There are escape routes built into the course so people can bail whenever they get scared or are close to danger. There’s also a fence that’s easily scalable if someone needs to make a quick escape. It’s usually well attended, which is amazing for an event held outside in Nevada in the summertime.
Next we have the annual Roadkill Cook-off, held in Marlington, WV every September. As nasty as it sounds, luckily the participants don’t have to go out and kill their own animals, nor do they have to go pick up anything off the side of the road. But they do have to cook up something using the types of animals that are usually found on the side of the road. Luckily, this doesn’t include house pets who meet their untimely demise by trying their luck with vehicles.
As it pertains to running with things, I’m sure you’ve seen the TV commercial where people are running with squirrels. In Louisville, KY every year, they have an event that has people running with rodents. And not just any rodents, but rodents bred at Spalding University, which began the festival in 1972. This one offers a bunch of rodent related activities, as it’s part of a week long festival the college has.
I hate bugs, so I won’t be going to any of these. If you have kids, they might enjoy going to Bugfest, a festival held in Raleigh, NC every September, or the Fire Ant Festival, held annually every October in Marshall, TX. They might enjoy the Wooly Worm Festival held every October in Banner elk, NC, or the Great Texas Mosquito Festival of Clute, TX, held every July.
If the live version of all these animals is a bit much, maybe something more sedate, like the World Wildfowl Carving Championships in Ocean City, MD, is more up your alley. This contest offers the highest paid prize of $20,000, and draws people from around the world to take their shot at it.
There are stranger festivals around the country, but these will give you a head start on some of the strange fun that can be had.