Festivals run throughout the year, ranging from mainstream events like Nevada’s Burning Man and major music and arts festivals. There’s a huge range of events from music festivals including California’s Coachella, Lollopalooza in Chicago, SXSW in Austin, Texas, and Tennessee’s Bonnaroo to major sports events - and some quirky gems. Here’s our round up of some of the best festivals in the USA.
The country’s best carnivals
New Orleans’ Mardi Gras revelries span two weeks of parades and parties, but similar festivities take place nationwide. Louisiana’s
Lafayette and Lake Charles host their own versions while Mobile, Alabama, stages the oldest Mardi Gras and St Louis, Missouri, claims the biggest outside the Crescent City. Galveston (Texas), Pensacola (Florida), and San Diego (California) are also party cities.
Prepare to repel boarders during the Gasparilla Pirate Fest, held each January in Tampa
. The revelries feature an invasion by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, a colourful parade of pirate floats and marching bands plus music, food and drink. Pirates also hit the streets of Portland, Oregon, for June’s Plunderathon festival.
Hot air balloons
Over 500 hot-air balloons of all shapes fill the skies above New Mexico each October during the 10-day Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The fiesta also features laser shows, live music and family entertainment. Other ballooning events include Nevada’s
Great Reno Balloon Race, the Teton Valley Balloon Rally in Driggs, Idaho, and the National Balloon Classic in Iowa.
Delaware State Fair
The 10-day annual Delaware State Fair celebrates its centenary in 2020. Covering 300 acres in Harrington, the mid-July event attracts over 300,000 visitors to agricultural exhibits, harness racing, a rodeo, a demolition derby, an ice rink and concerts featuring star acts.
The world’s oldest car race, the Indianapolis 500, is a Memorial Day weekend extravaganza in Indiana. The 500 Festival’s downtown Indianapolis parade attracts up to 500,000 people. The city's zoo honours the 'Indy 500' with a race of its own called Zoopolis 500, featuring tortoises.
See a cowpat-throwing contest at the Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw & Festival in Prairie du Sac; see racing rubber ducks at Michigan’s Rubber Ducky Festival; and watch lawn- mower drills at the Arcola Broom Corn Festival, Illinois