Every corner of the world celebrates festivals that are significant to their specific culture, people and traditions. While Christmas, New Years, Easter, Thanksgiving etc. are common festivals celebrated the world over, there are some not so common festivals that are celebrated by individual countries, cities and communities. These festivals have a story behind them and over the years have become a significant event that the people of that country look forwards to and prepare for.
USA is home to many such festivals that have been organized, celebrated and reveled for many years now. For a traveler or a vacationer in USA, during any of the festival time, it can be a great opportunity to see the city come to life. While there are numerous of these festivals, here’s a list of the Top 10 Festivals to Visit in USA for an experience of a lifetime! Plan your holidays to catch the celebrations and excitement of any, if not all, of these unique and interesting festivals.
Where: New Orleans, LA, USA
When: Around February
Two experience two weeks of madness, fun, excitement and revelry head to New Orleans for the Mardi Gras Festival. You can witness the most flamboyant and enthralling parades through the city every single day, with the last 5 days being the grandest of all! The three colors of the Mardi Gras Flag- Purple (justice), gold (power) and green (faith); envelop the entire city. A masked ball signifies the beginning of the festival. There are several social workers who organize this parade and each group has a unique and significant statement to their parade. Thousands of people pour into New Orleans to view and be a part of one of the most fascinating festivals all through the USA. You can feel the thrill and fervor for weeks as the complete city is gripped by festivities and merry making. An absolute must attend for everyone to be a part of an energetic and vibrant parade and city.
Where: Sturgis, SD, USA
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally began in 1938 and till date remains one of the most awaited festival and event in USA. The original concept was to showcase stunts and races but today it has become bigger and serves as the world’s biggest platform for motorcycle enthusiasts to come together and share their common passion. The entire city is flooded by bikers and bike enthusiasts to be a part of the festival. The festival officially spreads across 7 days. Along with the original events several new events have been added to the festival like motocross races and drag races. The city also welcomes famous music bands to add to the entertainment and revelry. Opportunities for motorcycle customization and tattoo parlors are easily and widely available. If you are a bike enthusiast or wish to see some great bike action, plan 7 days or more in Sturgis during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Where: Chicago, IL, USA
This annual music festival attracts large crowds each year for the extravagant and exciting atmosphere and festivities it offers. Lollapalooza is an annual music festival that features popular alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock, hip hop, and EDM bands and artists. It also offers numerous dance performances that are a spectacle to watch and comedy performances that leave you rolling on the floor! Small craft booths line the festival offering much vibrancy and a display of visual arts. The festival was first organized in 1991 and since then each year has only seen it grow bigger and bigger. Spread across 2 to 3 days, the festival is organized over 115 acres of land between the iconic Chicago skyline and the shores of Lake Michigan. The impressive lineup of artists and bands combined with the high energy atmosphere make this a must visit festival!
Where: Fayetteville, WV, USA
The New River Gorge is adorned by the second highest bridge in Unites States. Each year in October, for just a day, BASE Jumpers jump off the bridge into the gorge. The jump is 876 feet! It is extreme adventure taken to the highest level, well quite literally! 450 jumpers display their courage and passion to over 200000 spectators. BASE is an acronym for Building, Antennae, Spans, Earth- the things that provide an opportunity to jump off! To be a BASE jumper each individual must jump off at least once in each category. While you may think it’s crazy, the jumpers consider it a passion! Make sure you catch this once a year and once in a lifetime experience! The whole atmosphere is filled with excitement and amazement!
Where: San Diego, CA, USA
The Comic- Con needs no introduction! Be a part of the world’s finest multi genre entertainment and comic convention, and be surrounded by like minded pop culture enthusiasts. The convention was founded in 1970 and today has over a million followers and fans across the globe! Science fiction, fantasy, horror, anime, manga, animation, toys, collectibles, video games, web comics, novels… you name it, it’s right there! It’s probably the largest congregation of enthusiasts and passionate followers. It’s four days of madness and excitement. Make sure you bring your unique costume!
Where: Denver, CO, USA
Well, you’ve probably heard about the famous famous beer festival in Germany but for an American touch and feel of beer drinking madness, visit the Great American Beer Festival. The festival is an annual celebration held during September and attracts a large crowd of revelers and merry makers! It offers some 3500 different kinds of beers from 500 brewers… a heaven for beer lovers! This is the country’s largest beer fest. This festival is also an occasion to award and recognize over 90 beer- style categories. The esteemed panel of judges includes some of the most famous connoisseurs. The silent disco is a major hit at the festival! You can make up your own playlist with your favorite songs and dance with the other on blaring music over your earphones. Great food and amazing beer are the main highlights complimented by music, dance, competitions and awards. The choice is unlimited and so is the fun!
Where: Monterey, CA, USA
The third complete weekend of September sees thousands of Jazz and music enthusiasts throng the city of Monterey for the annual Monterey Jazz Festival. The festival is being organized for over 50 years now and the excitement and crowds grow bigger and bigger every year. Not just jazz lovers but music enthusiasts of all genres attend the festival for the absolutely magical and enthralling experience and atmosphere. Over 500 world class artists perform at the festival, spread across eight stages, two days and three nights. Along with music there are numerous options for great food and good beer to add to the fun and excitement. You could also buy some unique jazz items and memorabilia as a souvenir from this world class festival. You could stock up on jazz movies and other items that fancy you. A complete treat for all your senses surrounded by an excited and passionate crowd.
Where: Las Vegas, NV, USA
The Electric Daisy Carnival, popularly known as EDC, is held across various cities and countries, with Las Vegas being the most extravagant and enthralling. It is probably the largest electronic dance music festival in the whole world! The festival was first held in 1997 and since then every year has seen the crowds growing in numbers by manifolds! The festival is spread across three days and houses the best of EDM, house, dance, electronic, drum and bass, techno, punk, trance, dubstep and few other genres of electrifying music and maddening crowds! It’s a heady mix of visuals and music that create an atmosphere of energy and enthusiasm. The festival is completely carnival themed and you can see carnival rides, interesting art, numerous costumed performers and a massive stage! Las Vegas is known for it’s pomp and show and EDC is no less than the perfect Vegas style and exuberance. Everyone needs to feel the music and soak in the atmosphere that only Las Vegas can offer at such a grand scale.
Where: Punxsutawney, PA, USA
When: February, 2nd
This is a completely American festival, the likes of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. the festival has been celebrated each year on 2nd February since 1886. So what is it? Interestingly it’s a weather forecast festival! Intrigued? Well, a weather forecast by a groundhog! Yes! The entire city and numerous travelers and vacationers collect together on 2nd February to watch the groundhog leave its burrow and predict the remainder of winter. If the groundhog sees its shadow it’s a sign for six more weeks of winter and if there isn’t a shadow, it signifies an early spring! The groundhog named, Phil, is the star of the city… go see him and the crowd’s reactions will tell you the remaining story!
Where: New York, NY, USA
Thanksgiving and the time around it is a time for family holidays and celebrations. New York is a great place to be celebrating thanksgiving and made even better by the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The signature helium balloons, floats, marching bands, performers, clowns and Santa Claus walk through the streets of New York lined by over 3.5 million spectators! You just have to be there to feel the fun and excitement and see the entire city out on the streets celebrating together!
USA is home to many various festivals that have been organized, celebrated and reveled for many years now. For a traveler or a vacationer in USA, during any of the festival time, it can be a great opportunity to see the city come to life.