8 Upcoming September Festivals and Events

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Labor Day has come and gone, and the Coon Dog Graveyard Festival is over. But there are plenty of other things going on in the month of September, if you can get to them. Here are a few you might enjoy.

1. Great Outhouse Blowout

Photograph by Stephanie Mardis Weber.

The Penn's Store Great Outhouse Blowout and Race at Penn's Store in Gravel Switch, Kentucky will be September 14th. The event began as a dedication of the first outhouse at the store in 1992. The Outhouse 300 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, a car show, and an ugly legs contest (for men only).

2. Adirondack Balloon Festival

Photograph by Flickr user nick.cosimano.

The Adirondack Balloon Festival will happen September 19-22 in Glens Falls, New York. Thursday's events include the usual festival stuff: concerts, vendors, games, and fireworks. Then the festival moves to the Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport in Queensbury, New York for seriously big balloon launches each day (weather permitting).

3. Kentucky Bourbon Festival

The Kentucky Bourbon Festival will run September 17-22 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, women, and teams. You'll also see barrel dancing during the race intermission. Other events include a historic tour, a ghost tour, the Bourbon tasting event, a hot-air balloon launch, a poker tournament, a scavenger hunt, and plenty of other events you won't find at "normal" festivals.

4. Great Gorilla Run

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London, England, is the site for the Great Gorilla Run. Every year since 2003, people dressed in gorilla suits run through the city, raising money to help protect the Mountain Gorilla. This year's run will be on Saturday, September 21st, celebrating its tenth year and over £1.9 million raised for central African charities.

5. Johnny Appleseed Festival

Photograph by Flickr user SomeHoosier.

The 39th annual Johnny Appleseed Festival will take place September 21-22 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The festival is to celebrate John Chapman, a missionary who introduced apple trees to West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Chapman is buried in Fort Wayne. A large part of the festival is the living history area, with a military camp hosted by the 44th Indiana Civil War Historical Association, and a trappers and traders area, where festival volunteers reenact life in the 1840s. Craftsmen will be demonstrating their occupations, antiques will be displayed, and there will be plenty of apples to eat. In fact, all food vendors are required to prepare and serve food as it would have been made in the 19th century! That means no deep-fried bacon on a stick, but instead there will be caramel apples, chicken and dumplings, and delicious cider, among other treats.

6. The Aloha Festivals Floral Parade

The Aloha Festivals in Honolulu, Hawaii, have events scheduled through the month of September. The biggest of them, the Aloha Festivals Floral Parade, will be on September 28th, which should give you plenty of time to book a flight to Hawaii, but a hotel room might be hard to find: 100,000 people are expected to attend.

A colorful equestrian procession of female and male pā‘ū riders, extravagant floats with cascades of Hawaiian flowers, hula Hālau and marching bands will brighten Kalākaua Avenue from Ala Moana Park to Kapi‘iolani Park. This is a "must see" event! Free admission.

The Aloha Festivals were born in 1946 as a way of celebrating the culture of Hawaii.

7. Beef-a-Rama

Photo from Travel Wisconsin.

Minoqua, Wisconsin, hosts the annual Beef-a-Rama on September 27-28 this year. The festival started out as Fish-a-Rama in 1964, as a way to open the fishing season. It evolved from fish to beef to please the palates of festival attendees. Events include the Rump Roast Run (and the shorter Calf Mile), live music, a beer tent, a farmers market, a beef-eating contest, a parade, and a beef-roasting competition. There will be plenty to eat. Mostly beef!

8. The 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 26-29. Fried chicken is served from the World's Largest Skillet, which is over ten feet in diameter and requires 300 gallons of cooking oil. It can fry 150 chickens at once! Pictured is the annual Colonel Sanders Lookalike Contest. Don't think you can enter that one at the last minute, but there are plenty of other competitions and games at the festival.