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6 Summer Festivals Across America

Across the country, the summer months offer an eclectic range of activities that will entertain, amuse and baffle from Virginia to Washington state, California to Wisconsin.

 The specific promotions described in this article have now passed, but it remains online so that the resources named will be of future use to travelers.


It seems the warmer the weather, the stranger and more unique the events get as people head outdoors and on to the beaches. Across the country, the summer months offer an eclectic range of activities that will entertain, amuse and baffle from Virginia to Washington state, California to Wisconsin.

National Hollerin' Contest, Spivey's Corner, NC -- June 21, 2008

The usually quiet borough of Spivey's Corner in southeastern North Carolina gets decidedly loud on this one day of the year (the third Saturday in June) as locals and visitors celebrate North Carolina's rich folk life with a larger than life shouting match that pays homage to the lost art of hollering. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the event and one not to be missed. Contestants convene in Spivey's Corner on the Midway High School football field and the day's events feature five contests: the Whistlin' Contest, the Conch Shell and Fox Horn Blowin' Contest, the Junior Hollerin' Contest, the Ladies Callin' Contest, and, of course, the National Hollerin' Contest. A separate "calling contest" with wives calling their husbands in from the fields, was created for women hollerers in 1976 but the main contest remains a firmly men-only affair. Only once has an outside (someone not from Sampson County, NC) won this event. Part of the "down-home" appeal of the Hollerin' Contest is that there is no early entry deadline, or invitation-only or pre-qualifying. The contest is open to anyone brave enough to holler in front of thousands of total strangers. For more information visit the contest's semi-official website at

National Barbecue Battle, Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. -- June 21 to 22, 2008

The home of the American barbeque may well be in the south but it is the nation's capital that lays claim to this annual event. Now in its 16th lip-smacking year, carnivores unite and celebrate your love of all things basted, char-grilled and dipped. Restaurants and chefs from around the country cook-off for over $40,000 in prize money plus the chance to become National BBQ Champion. There are celebrity chefs, the Pork Stage, sampling stations, cooking demonstration and plenty of delicious ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, and all the trimmings. Performers scheduled include Chuck Brown, Fools and Horses, Leon Russell, and Ron Ayers. Save yourself a long line up by buying tickets in advance at the official website ( Adults are $10 per day and children are $5. Feeling hungry yet?

Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition, Imperial Beach, CA -- June 28, 2008


Dog and surf lovers will get a kick out of this annual event. This is your opportunity to watch 50 or so canines dressed in their finest board shorts compete for the title of top dog when it comes to tackling the fierce Pacific waves of Imperial Beach. Apart from participating and watching the surfing hounds, canines, their owners, and spectators can enjoy puppy portraits, mutt massages, goody bags, and a variety of burgers, dogs and snacks. All proceeds will benefit Loews Coronado Bay Resort's Good Neighbor Council. Last year over $10,000 was raised. The day starts early with optional 9:30am doggie style surf lessons by the Coronado Surfing Academy for less experienced canines. Then comes heat one for small surf dogs (40 pounds and under), followed by heat two for larger dogs and heat three, the Tandem event for surf dogs and their two legged companions. The first place winner of each heat wins great prizes plus a feature in Modern Dog Magazine, the leading lifestyle magazine for modern dogs and their companions. There's a Furry fashion show with doggie couture by Lucky Dog Boutique and the days wraps up with an official awards ceremony. Event entry fees are $45 to $50 and attendance is free. Register your pooch online at or call tel. 619/424-4416 for more information.

Mid-Atlantic Hermit Crab Challenge, Virginia Beach, VA -- July 12, 2008

Wake up early and head down to the beach at 29th Street for this claw-filled annual event. The day starts at 9am with preliminary judging for the Miss Curvaceous Crustacean Beauty Pageant that sees dozens of hermit crabs in intricately designed costumes presented in elaborate dioramas. Past winners have included themed entries like "Beauty and the Crab," "Spider Crab" and "Hermit the Hulk." After beauty comes brawn and a series of heats is followed by the Crustacean 500 where crabs are placed in the middle of a specially-designed circular track, with the aim being to make it out. The winner is crowned and awarded the "Order of the Mercury Claw" trophy Nearly 300 crabs were entered in last year's Mid-Atlantic Hermit Crab Challenge, 50 of those were from out of state. There are no entry fees, all participants receive a medal and "contestants" may be purchased at most shops along Atlantic Avenue at the Virginia Beach oceanfront. Apart from the highly coveted Miss Curvaceous Crustacean Beauty Pageant and Crustacean 500 race trophies, other awards include: Most Unique Crab Display, Most Creative Crab, Friendliest Crab, Biggest Crab, Shyest Crab, Prettiest Crab Shell, Most Athletic Crab and Most-Traveled Crab. For more information visit


Lumberjack World Championships, Hayward, WI -- July 25 to 27, 2008

Held at the appropriately named Lumberjack Bowl, in what was once a giant holding pond for logs of Weyerhaeuser's North Wisconsin Lumber Company, this annual event began in 1960 as a way to acknowledge the rich history of the logging industry across the United States. The Championship showcases over 20 world record events including men's and women's logrolling, chopping, the 90 foot tree climb and sawing. More than 100 competitors vie for $50,000 plus in prize money. The women's competition has proven to be one of the most popular crowd-pleasers with some of the most incredible female athletes competing in a variety of timber sports arena events. The events test competitors' strength, skill, agility, and endurance. There is also family entertainment of the non-wooden variety, in the form of clowns on 50-foot poles, demonstrations, displays and exhibits. For more information and to purchase tickets in advance, visit Three-day reserved admission is priced at $45 for adults or $40 for general admission. Children aged five to 12 pay $41 and $36 respectively. A single day ticket is priced from $16 to $18 for adults and $12 to $14 for children.

Omak Stampede, Omak, WA -- August 7 to 18, 2008

2008 is the Diamond Jubilee (75th year) of this classic rodeo and Native America cultural event in the town of Omak in north central Washington state. The world's best cowboys perform in four PRCA sanctioned rodeos, each beginning with the pageantry of a parade of flag, plus there's a motor rodeo (demolition derby and lawnmower races), the crowning of the Stampede Queen, a Kiddies' Parade, the Grand Parade, the Wrangler Kids Night, a Western and Native American Art Show, live musical performances, and Carnival rides. One of the signature events of the Stampede is the famed "Suicide Race," a horseback mountain race that originated from a Native American test of skill and courage on horseback. The original race was a half-mile down a nearly vertical, boulder-strewn chasm followed by a sprint across a dry channel of the Sanpoil River into the rodeo arena. The modern version is slightly tamer. The annual Indian Encampment and Pow Wow held at the Omak Stampede Grounds is a traditional gathering featuring an authentic teepee village, dancing, drumming, and singing competitions, and Native American stick games. The encampment grounds are open to the public throughout the weekend and allow visitors the opportunity to experience sacred Native American traditions. Daily tickets are available from $8 to $18 -- although some sections are already sold out. Contact or tel. 800/933-6625 to purchase tickets in advance. For more information visit