26 JANUARY 2015

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Article from BTNews 26 JANUARY 2015

AND FINALLY: Quirky America

The United States has its fair share of unusual and quirky events and festivals taking place throughout the year.

Make a trip to America in 2015 to experience everything from lookalike contests to masquerade marches, polar plunges to crate races.  You are sure to be fascinated and amused and maybe just slightly confused!
 
Specialist tour operator My America Holiday have revealed their pick of whacky events coming up this year.

From March 7-9, Nederland in Colorado is home to the Frozen Dead Guy Day; a festival celebrating Grandpa Bredo Morstoel, a Norwegian who died in 1989.  This most unlikely festival consists of an array of icy events and off-the-wall contests—frozen salmon tosses, coffin races and polar plunges among them, fuelled, not surprisingly, with plenty of cold beer.

Three days in April are set aside to celebrate Appalachian culture during the Hillbilly Days Festival in Pikeville, Kentucky.  With a cornhole tournament, quilt show and hillbilly music plus plenty of vendors where you can stock up on fried good and hillbilly attire. This year’s festival will take place from 17-19 April.

From July 23-25 Hemingway Days take place in Florida’s Key West.  Over 100 Hemmingway lookalikes compete for prizes and notoriety at events taking place at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, one of ‘Papa’ Hemmingway’s favourite haunts in the 1930’s.

San Diego’s Comic Con International takes place from 24-27 July and is the largest event of its kind in the world. It is a multi-genre entertainment and comic convention and is as popular with comic fans as it is with spectators that head there to see the costumes that many of the attendees wear.

Humungus Fungus Fest was born with the discovery of a single fungus near Crystal Falls, Michigan. It’s one of the world's largest living organisms, spreading out over some 37 acres during the past 1,500 or so years.  Now an annual event (this year’s taking place from 8-10 August) pays tribute to the massive mushroom with all manner of festivities – including the creation of a room-size mushroom pizza.

Arachnophobes beware, the annual Tarantula Awareness Festival takes place in Coarsegold, California in October.  Events include a hairy legs competition, a tarantula hat dance, and a tarantula derby, with plenty of opportunities to learn about and handle these hairy arachnids.

Also in October (17-27) is Fantasy Fest, taking place in Key West, Florida, this probably rivals Mardi Gras as America’s most free-for-all hedonistic party and includes a Royal Coronation Ball for the Fantasy Fest King and Queen, the Tuesday Headdress Ball, the Wednesday Pet Masquerade and Parade, the outrageous Thursday Pretenders in Paradise costume contest, the Masquerade March, and a toga party with bed sheets and laurel wreaths being required attire.  www.myamericaholiday.co.uk

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