Small town Americans love their harvest festivals. My town just finished one, so I've satisfied my jones for Polish sausage and funnel cake for another year. Here are eight more you may want to check out in the weeks ahead.
Great Outhouse Blowout
The Great Outhouse Blowout and Race 2008 at Penn's Store in Gravel Switch, Kentucky will be September 6th. The event began as a dedication of the first outhouse at the store in 1992. The outhouse race draws entrants from all over the country. A racing outhouse must be a certain size and have a seat with a hole. Up to five people can push or pull the outhouse, but one person must be seated inside. The Outhouse Blowout also has musical performances and a car show.
International Goat Days Festival
International Goat Days in Millington, Tennessee runs September 12th through the 14th. Bring your goat for the chariot races, the goat milking competition, and the best-dressed goat contest!
World Chicken Festival
The World Chicken Festival in London, Kentucky was named in honor of Kentucky Fried Chicken, which was founded in the same county (but not the same town). This year's festival is scheduled for September 25-28. Fried chicken is served from the World's Largest Skillet, which is over ten feet in diameter and required 300 gallons of cooking oil. It can fry 150 chickens at once!
The Obetz Zucchinifest begins today and runs through Sunday, August 24th in Obetz, Ohio. On the menu are zucchini burgers, zucchini fudge, zucchini chili, zucchini bread in many flavors, zucchini cookies, and deep fried beer battered zucchini chips. Enter your zucchini in any of several contests, including the best dressed zucchini. (image: cwalker71)
Kentucky Bourbon Festival
The Kentucky Bourbon Festival will run September 16-21 in Bardstown, Kentucky. The premiere competition at the festival is the World Championship Bourbon Barrel Relay, in which a 500 pound barrel must be pushed with speed and accuracy. There are divisions for men, woman, and teams. You'll also see barrel dancing during the race intermission.
This year's FireAnt Festival in Marshall, Texas will take place on October 11th. Events include a parade and the "Tour De Ant" bicycle race and foot race. There may well be fire ants there, too.
Woolly Worm Festival
The 31st Annual Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk, North Carolina will be October 18-19. People have tried to predict winter weather by studying the stripes on woolly bear caterpillars, but the stripes are different on each woolly worm. The festival takes care of that with a Woolly Worm Race, in which the race winner is the definitive caterpillar used to predict the severity of winter weather.
The Chitlin Strut 2008 in Salley, South Carolina is always the Saturday after Thanksgiving; this year on November 29th. Maybe people are more willing to eat chitlins when they are tired of Thanksgiving leftovers! Chitlins are boiled or fried pig intestines, a southern delicacy. The Chitlin Strut was born in 1966 as a civic fundraiser when Salley, a town of 450, needed new Christmas lights. Enjoy a parade, hog calling contest, pancake breakfast, and a beauty contest where a new Chitlin Queen will be crowned.
If you go to any of these festivals, be sure to tell us about it!