An Unforgettable Tour Of Loretta Lynn’s Childhood Home In Butcher Hollow, Kentucky

We were locked out of the humble home where country music legend Loretta Lynn grew up and were about to leave Butcher Hollow when someone pulled up in silver Chevy Silverado pickup truck. A trim man with neatly parted gray hair wearing a pair of jeans and a red-checked shirt stepped out of the truck and introduced himself.

“I’m Herman Webb,” he said, shaking my hand.

It took me a minute to realize that this was the brother of country music stars Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gale. But how did he know that we wanted to tour the home they grew up in?

“You were just down at the grocery shop,” he explained, sensing my confusion. “They called and said there was someone here to see the house. I live just 500 feet down the road there, so here I am.”I like old school country music but I’m not so hardcore that I would ordinarily seek out the childhood homes of well-known country music artists. Loretta Lynn, however, is another story. Even if you don’t like country music, you have to love her life story.

The daughter of a coal miner, she was the second of eight children who grew up poor in a place called Butcher Hollow in Van Lear, Kentucky. (It’s pronounced and sometimes spelled Butcher Holler and is named after her mother’s family whose surname was Butcher.) She got married at 15 and had three children by the time she was 19. At 29, she was already a grandmother. Not exactly a textbook formula for success, but after moving out west she was discovered at a talent show in Tacoma and went on to record 16 number one hits, winning four Grammy awards and countless other accolades along the way.


Three of her siblings, sisters Crystal Gayle and Peggy Sue, and brother Jay Lee Webb, also pursued careers in country music, though none were as successful as she was. But despite her fame she never forgot her humble roots. Indeed her most recent album is called Van Lear Rose and her best-known hit, “Coal Miner’s Daughter” is all about growing up in the Van Lear coal mines area.

Butcher Hollow is a destination, not a place you just happen to pass through. We were on our way back to Chicago after touring Hatfield-McCoy country in West Virginia and Kentucky and I convinced my wife that an excursion to Lynn’s childhood home was a worthy detour.

We got hopelessly lost but with a little help from some friendly locals we finally found Millers Creek Road, which meanders down to Butcher Hollow. It’s a narrow road that passes through this isolated community of trailers and modest homes. We passed a number of abandoned or burned out homes and shops, and in some ways, it almost seemed like a ghost town until we stopped into Webb Grocery, a small shop filled with Loretta Lynn memorabilia owned by Herman.

The narrow road leading down to the house is overgrown in places, and I kept stopping to get out and look at things that caught my eye: an old white school bus with “Kentucky” written in cursive script and a multicolored flag serving as someone’s curtains; a modest home with a cluttered front porch and a “God Bless America” sign; and a small home that was dwarfed by three huge satellite dishes. The nearest Starbucks, I later confirmed, is an hour and 20 minutes to the north in Huntington, West Virginia. Butcher Hollow is about as off the grid as you can get east of the Mississippi.

After a few minutes of small talk with Herman, 78, on the front porch of the old wooden cabin the family moved to when Loretta was a toddler, he put on one of his sister’s albums and we stepped into the house. The first floor has just two rooms, both with double beds, and a kitchen. (The attic bedrooms are off limits to visitors.) I was immediately struck by how tiny the place is, especially for a huge family, and by the fact that there was graffiti all over the walls.

“I can’t control what they do when they get ahead of you,” Herman explained.

The home is perched on a hilltop and is filled with period antiques the family actually used. Every inch of wall space that isn’t filled with family photos or memorabilia is covered in graffiti – people have signed their names and the date they visited the place or written other messages, like “Welcome to Butcher Holler” to mark their visit.

A trio of teenage girls turned up and Herman led us around the home, telling stories and pointing out the significance of various items on display.

“This is the best piece of furniture I got,” he said in his raspy, Kentucky twang, made horse by a lifetime of work in factories as a painter and welder, grasping a swing positioned in what was once his parent’s bedroom. “This swing was on the porch when I was a little kid.”


He pointed to a photo of his parents and said, “That’s mommy and daddy sittin’ in this swing in nineteen and fifty one. My dad died in 1959, at 52. Mommy remarried but she never did have no more kids.”

Herman told us that the town fell on hard times after the Van Lear coal mine closed in 1948.

“This used to be a thriving town,” he said. “We had plenty of stores, even a stoplight.”

The family moved to Wabash, Indiana, in 1955. Loretta and her husband didn’t care for Indiana so they gravitated west to Washington State where she was discovered. Herman said he returned to Van Lear for good in 1975.

“I don’t know why,” he joked. “Guess I was just homesick.”


A cousin lived in the place into the 70s and Herman started fixing it up, so he could open it to the public in 1986. The house had no electricity or running water, and everyone had to use an outhouse out back when nature called.

“We didn’t have much money,” Herman said. “But neither did anyone else we knew and there was always something to eat.”

He said that they learned how to forage for edible plants and berries on hikes around the surrounding hills. Herman played in a band called the Country Nighthawks; he played the “git-TAR,” but was never able to quit his day job.

“We played a lot of gigs but I could never go too far, because I couldn’t quit my job and we needed the money,” he explained. “But I still play now and again.”

His sisters still come back to Butcher Hollow for visits, and he enjoys visiting with tourists who come to see the place, especially since his wife died of Lou Gehrig’s Disease seven years back.

“This old stove, tea kettle and cabinets here are all the original things we had,” Herman said, leading us through the tiny kitchen. “That churn behind you – I’ve churned buttermilk in that, beat butter, I’ve done it all.”

He showed us a moonshine container, his dad’s coal mining helmet and a host of other items and after showing us around the living room, took a seat on a couch. As much as I enjoyed seeing the house and this unique little forgotten corner of the country, the real treasure in visiting Butcher Hollow was having a chance to meet Herman, who seemed to be in no hurry to go home.

After a nice long chat, we said our goodbyes and on the way back out of town I saw a bumper sticker on a parked car down at the grocery shop that read, “Y’all Been to Butcher Hollow?” I’ve traveled all around the world in the last four decades but I can’t remember ever getting a richer, more authentic slice of a fast vanishing culture than what we experienced in this forgotten little hamlet in the hills of eastern Kentucky.

Hell yeah, I’ve been to Butcher Hollow and I plan to come back around someday too. Hope to see you there.

Keeneland: Thoroughbred Horses, Free Coffee And Kentucky’s Best Cheap Breakfast

keeneland kentuckyIt was a rainy Monday, just after 7 a.m., when I pulled into the parking lot at Keeneland, one of the nation’s most venerable thoroughbred racetracks. I had read that watching the horses morning workout was one of the best free things to do in Lexington, Kentucky, but on a dreary, wet day, I figured the horses would probably be lounging in their stables, nibbling on carrots or catching up on their sleep.

But before I even made my way into the beautiful, old track, which is a National Historic Landmark, I could see the horses gracefully galloping through the mud, impervious to the rain. I walked up into the track past rows of wet, empty benches and positioned myself against the rail. There were about a dozen horses and jockeys out on the track working out. I looked around the empty grandstands and realized that I was the only spectator.

As the jockeys trotted past me on horseback, each said, “Good morning” to me on their way by, but other than that the only noise in the place was the oddly soothing sound of the horses’ hooves clip-clopping in and out of the mud. But as the rain intensified, I made a rookie mistake in popping open my umbrella.

“No umbrellas!” barked one of the jockeys.

“They scare the horses,” called out another, perhaps noticing my perplexed expression.

I had no idea. Seeking shelter from the rain, I walked down toward a little building next to the track, and realized there was one other spectator in the house, a Latino in his 60s who introduced himself as James.

“I’m surprised they’re still working out in the rain,” I said to him.

“They work out every morning,” he said. “Doesn’t matter what the weather is.”

James told me that he had spent his entire life around horses and had moved to the area from New Mexico because he wanted to live in Lexington, a hotbed for thoroughbred racing. He said that he spent every morning at Keeneland, watching the horses.

“It’s not a bad way to spend your retirement,” he said. “You know there’s free coffee right down the way inside that building over there.”

Sure enough, there was free coffee, along with two track employees, one watching a horse race from Churchill Downs from the previous day, and another having a cup of coffee.

“So they really do this every day?” I asked the coffee drinker.

“We work every day except for Christmas,” he said.

The man confirmed that the horses work out on two tracks, on the big track from 5:30 until 10, and on a smaller one from 5:30 until 11. It’s always free, and anyone can roam around the grounds to check out the horses in their stables.

I made my way over to the smaller track, where a dozen or so jockeys and their magnificent horses were trotting about in a light, early morning drizzle. The only spectator was a trainer named Stephen Lyster, who told me that there were some 500-600 thoroughbred horses living in 72 barns at Keeneland. Stephen trains 22 horses and travels around the region with them for races.

He said that wealthy people hire trainers like him to care for their horses, and it’s an expensive endeavor- it costs about $3,000 per month to board a horse at Keeneland. Only a few very successful horses can actually turn a profit for the owner. He said that the high stakes caused some small tracks to fix races, but asserted that in Kentucky and other big-time horse racing states like New York, Florida and Arkansas, the races are clean.

The rain eventually tapered off and my wife and kids met me at the track. Stephen invited us back to their barn after the workout and gave us an opportunity to feed some of the ponies carrots. I loved having a chance to see these beautiful creatures – horses with names like Bold North, Seattle Devil, Run Marvin Run and Two Ferdy Somewhere – up close but the most serendipitous experience of the morning was still to come. Stephen mentioned that we should try the track kitchen, a cafeteria-style restaurant behind the stables.

“It’s cheap and really good,” he said.

Everyone has a different definition of “cheap” but in this case, Stephen wasn’t kidding. I looked up at the menu and thought I’d died and gone to cheapskate heaven. Here are a few examples of the cheap grub on offer.

Egg and cheese breakfast sandwich- $1.70
Bacon, egg and cheese biscuit sandwich- $3.25
Sausage, egg and cheese breakfast burrito- $3.25
Four pancakes: $2.50
Two biscuits and gravy: $2.40
One egg: 90 cents
Breakfast special: scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, toast or biscuit, plus two of the following- potatoes, spiced apples, grits or gravy- $5.00

And things got even better when a gray-haired lady wearing a hat filled with racing pins said to me, “Hey, honey, wacha gunna have?” I don’t know why, but I like it when female servers address me as “honey,” and if I’m in the South, even better.

I ordered the breakfast burrito and assumed that, for the price, it would be puny or pre-made, but it was neither. The thing weighed about 4 pounds and was freshly made and superb. Manna from heaven at $3.25. As a variety of stable workers and trainers filed in and out of the place, I realized that the prices are low because they are catering to the people who work there every day, not tourists.


I know very little about horses and thoroughbred racing but I learned that Keeneland has sold more champions and stakes winners than any other company, including 78 Breeders’ Cup World Championship winners, 19 Kentucky Derby winners; 21 Preakness winners and 17 Belmont winners. In April and October, Keeneland hosts elite caliber races and everyone – even college students – get all dressed up for the occasions.
It’s a beautiful place and if you’re a frugal traveler, like me, there is no better place to while away a morning.

On The Road With NPR Music: Laura Shine At WFPK, Louisville Kentucky

Beyond travel, we’re also big music fans here at Gadling, largely because music is a great way to get to know a place.

This month happens to be Public Radio Music Month and we’re teaming up with NPR to bring you exclusive interviews from NPR music specialists around the country. We’ll be learning about local music culture and up and coming new regional artists, so be sure to follow along all month.

Name: Laura Shine

Member station: 91.9 WFPK Radio Louisville, Kentucky

Regular Show/Contribution Beat: Assistant Program Director, On Air Host M-F 3-6pm, Host of Live Lunch (Fridays at Noon), Local Music Liaison

1. When people think of music in Louisville, what do they think of?

My Morning Jacket and front man Jim James who have done more for the image of Louisville having a vibrant music scene than any other ambassador out there. Second to that would be Will Oldham aka Bonnie Prince Billy who has an extremely loyal following worldwide. His songs have been covered by a diverse group of artists from Johnny Cash to Deer Tick. Also, a band that is cited quite often as a major influence to many Indie rock artists is Slint, who disbanded after their second landmark album Spiderland in 1990. People think of mainstream rock to underground alternative mostly when they think of Louisville.

2. How do you help curate the Louisville musical scene?

My part in helping curate the music scene involves my role as Local Music Liaison for WFPK. I listen to all of the demos we are sent by local artists and choose what will go into rotation from there. Air-play is still a big part of a band’s exposure to an audience which translates to CD or download sales of their music, being booked into local venues, local venues asking us for recommendations for opening acts for national artists in town and the connections that grow from there.

3. How has the Louisville music scene evolved over the last few decades?

The Louisville music scene has always had interesting and diverse genres expressed through some amazing bands. In the 70’s the whole New Grass Revival sound evolved from this town with artists like Sam Bush, John Cowan and Bela Fleck taking the traditional music of Kentucky known as Bluegrass and adding different instrumentation to the mix and then taking it into completely new directions.

The 80’s saw lots of New Wave bands form then toward the end of the decade the dark heavy alternative rock of Slint, Rodan and Kinghorse took over. WFPK started our new format known as Adult Album Alternative in 1996 and since then we’ve seen My Morning Jacket take flight and several other bands and artists make waves nationally and internationally from the non-traditional bluegrass of The 23 String Band to the dance-electro pop of VHS or Beta. I would also like to add that we now have a growing festival on our waterfront each July called the Forecastle Festival which features not only national artists like The Black Keys and Flaming Lips and many others, but local artists too and is increasingly becoming a destination for music lovers.

4. What would you say is the most unique thing about the Louisville music scene?

The most unique thing about our music scene to me is how all of these very different bands, different from each other, are able to play side by side and draw so much support from the community and from each other. There’s a lot of cheering each other on, helping each other out. Once upon a time, especially in the 80’s and 90’s it didn’t seem as much of an inclusive community but it certainly does now and that’s really cool. Everybody wins when a band does good!

5. What are three new up and coming bands on the Louisville scene right now and what makes them distinct?

Houndmouth, Cheyenne Mize and Ben Sollee are the three that come to mind. Houndmouth is a young band with a very old sound, reminiscent of The Band incorporating a Southern Gothic feel to their music, great harmonies, good story telling. They’ve recently signed with Rough Trade Records and will be doing a home show in April at a large venue that is sure to sell-out.

Cheyenne Mize is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter and has a new album coming out soon on Yep Roc records. She has great appeal to differing age groups and people who like everything from folk to indie rock.

Ben Sollee is now signed to Thirty Tigers Records. He’s a brilliant cellist and songwriter and absolutely magnetic performer. Who else is singing and playing Cello and drawing thousands to their shows of all ages? Only Ben that I know of!

6. For a Gadling playlist, what are your favorite tracks?

1. My Morning Jacket – “Mahgeetah”

2. Cheyenne Marie Mize – “Among The Grey”

3. Ben Sollee – “The Globe”

4. Houndmouth – “Penitentary”

5. VHS or Beta – “Can’t Believe A Single Word”

6. Bonnie Prince Billy – “The Sounds Are Always Begging”

Catch our entire On the Road With NPR Music series here.

[Photo Credit: Credit: Jessica Erin Higgins Photography]

Adventure Guide 2013: Lexington

Often referred to as the Horse Capital of the World, Lexington, Kentucky, lures in visitors for its horses, yes, but also for the incomparable surrounding landscape and the adventures that await within. The city itself is historic – it was founded in 1775 when it was still a part of the state of Virginia. Lexington was booming and cosmopolitan by 1820, and it impresses to this day.

With gentle hills and the surrounding Bluegrass Region, much of Lexington stands erect on limestone, which births the famous poa pratensis grass, more commonly known as bluegrass, and helps to carve the world-renowned caves of Kentucky below. Travelers in Lexington enjoy the Kentucky River, a thriving landscape cushioning the city, abounding horse farms and enough bourbon for everyone. Since Lexington was named the fourth best city for “Businesses and Careers” by Forbes in 2011 and sixth in “Best Value Cities” in 2011 by Kiplinger, the city is expanding with the adventure community in tow. Before it gets too big, visit Lexington with a certainty that you’ll experience the charming downtown area and the unscathed natural beauty that made the city grand.

Hotels

Gratz Park Inn: Centrally located and more charming than your run-of-the-mill corporate chain, Gratz Park Inn gives you easy access to vibrant Lexington and just a short drive from the countryside. In true bed-and-breakfast style, the rooms and suites are all decorated tastefully but differently, yielding a unique experience for each guest. One of the packages at Gratz Park Inn includes a picnic in the park, which you can follow up with a bike ride through the trails of Lexington. From $179.
gratzparkinn.com 120 West 2nd Street

Essence of The Bluegrass: This elegant bed-and-breakfast hides within a large brick house in the country outside of Lexington’s center. A double-grand staircase hovers over a grand player piano – the whole place is grand. Just minutes away are some of the best bourbon distilleries and the Kentucky Horse Park, where you can spend the day riding. From $149.
essenceofthebluegrass.com 343 Mt Horeb Pike

Three Tress Campground: If you’re looking for an accommodations adventure and would rather sleep beneath the stars than a ceiling, check out the Three Trees Campground. Just 16 miles southeast of Lexington, this campground is just across the road from Fort Boonesborough State Park. Three Trees offers canoeing and kayaking, primitive sites, water and showers. The campground is beautifully situated along the Kentucky River. From $28.
threetreeskayak.com 300 Athens Boonsboro Road

Eat and Drink

Sahara Mediterranean Cuisine: For a Mediterranean food adventure, check out the lauded Sahara Mediterranean Cuisine, where well-executed staples are served at an affordable price. Grab stuffed grape leaves, falafel or Tabooli to start and finish off with lamb, beef or chicken sandwiches ($5) or dinner plates ($11). Whatever you get from Sahara will be good, but be sure you can get it when you want by checking the restaurant’s hours before you go (they’re closed on Sundays and open 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. all other days while hours in December vary). Stop in on your way south out of town toward the deepest lake in Kentucky, Herrington Lake.
sahara-lex.com 3061 Fieldstone Way, Suite #1200

Ramsey’s Diner: If you want southern food done right during your stay in Lexington, make sure to visit Ramsey’s Diner. The unsuspecting white building on the corner serves up dishes on mismatched plates in a room that will make you feel like you’re grabbing a bite to eat in your uncle’s house – the uncle who hangs American flags indoors. Whether you want the Catfish Sandwich, BBQ, Country Fried Pork Chops or one of the most decent selections of vegetarian options you could ask for at a comfort food joint, this is the place for you. Have a meal before or after spending the morning or afternoon at Jacobson Park fishing or kayaking.
ramseysdiners.com 500 East High Street

Bourbon n’ Toulouse: You can’t visit Lexington without exploring the area’s bourbon culture. Make a plan to have a meal at Bourbon n’ Toulouse and indulge in some great Creole/Cajon food while you’re sipping your whiskey. Jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish and other southern favorites help complete a menu here that also offers gluten-free and vegetarian options. Since the restaurant is located near downtown, dine before you dash off beyond the city center for fun.
bntlexington.com 829 East Euclid Avenue

Adventure Activities

Red River Gorge: Just about an hour outside of Lexington is the Daniel Boone National Forest, which features infinite opportunities for adventure. Red River Gorge, which lies within the park, is a canyon system known for its phenomenal climbs. The area offers sandstone cliffs, natural bridges, rock shelters and waterfalls, ranging in difficulties from the casual to the professional. Zip-lining and hiking are also available within the RRG. Meanwhile, the forest offers hiking, camping, boating and various water activities. redrivergorge.com

Herrington Lake: Whether you’re looking for a place to fish, wakeboard, waterski, tube or boat, Herrington Lake is a perfect day trip. Herrington Lake is the deepest lake in the state of Kentucky, and it’s also just 25 miles outside of Lexington. If you like to golf, try the Peninsula Golf Resort or if you just want to play in and near the water, there are several marinas near the Peninsula Golf Resort for entry. kentuckytourism.com/lakes_rivers/herrington-lake/12/

McConnell Springs Park: Home of the county’s only known sinking springs, McConnell Springs Park is a 26-acre lush and well-preserved natural area within Lexington. Spend the day exploring the trails that run through the park or participating in one of the many educational and community-centric events that take place at McConnell. mcconnellsprings.org 416 Rebmann Lane

Get Around

Fly into the Blue Grass Airport and get into Lexington’s downtown area by renting a car, taking a taxi or hopping on a LexTran bus, which offers express transportation from the airport to downtown. There’s a curbside designated pickup waiting area for the bus right outside of the Blue Grass Airport – follow the signs. You can also utilize the LexTran buses while navigating your way around town, and Google transit integrates well with the network. A $3 day pass will give you unlimited rides for the day. You can also rent a bike from Scheller’s Fitness & Cycles downtown for as low as $29 per day.

Adventure Tip

There are great biking trails running through Lexington and the county, but Legacy Trail is one of the most notable. The 12-mile trail runs from downtown to the Kentucky Horse Park. Other than crossing the busy Newtown Pike, you don’t have to worry about traffic while on this trail, but make sure you take note of this intersection before you begin your journey.

[Photo credit: J.M. Giordano]

Events Worth Planning A Trip Around In 2013

Have you ever landed in a place to find out you arrived just after the town’s can’t-miss event of the year? Well, hopefully that won’t happen again this year. Gadling bloggers racked their brains to make sure our readers don’t overlook the best parties to be had throughout the world in 2013. Below are more than 60 music festivals, cultural events, pilgrimages and celebrations you should consider adding to your travel calendar this year – trust us, we’ve been there.

Above image: Throughout Asia, Lunar New Year is celebrated with lantern festivals, the most spectacular of which is possibly Pingxi. [Photo credit: Creative Commons]

Kumbh Mela, a 55-day festival in India, is expected to draw more than 100 million people in 2013. [Photo credit: Creative Commons]

January
January 7–27: Sundance Film Festival (Park City, Utah)
January 10–February 26: Kumbh Mela (Allahabad, India)
January 21: Presidential Inauguration (Washington, DC)
January 26–February 12: Carnival of Venice (Venice, Italy)
January 26–February 13: Battle of the Oranges (Ivrea, Italy)
During Busójárás in Hungary, visitors can expect folk music, masquerading, parades and dancing. [Photo credit: Creative Commons]
February
February 3: Super Bowl XLVII (New Orleans, Louisiana)
February 5–11: Sapporo Snow Festival (Sapporo, Japan)
February 7–12: Busójárás (Mohács, Hungary)
February 10: Chinese New Year/Tet (Worldwide)
February 9–12: Rio Carnival (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
February 12: Mardi Gras (Worldwide)
February 14: Pingxi Lantern Festival (Taipei, Taiwan)
February 24: Lunar New Year (Worldwide)


Several cities in India and Nepal increase tourist volume during Holi, when people enjoy spring’s vibrant colors. [Photo credit: Creative Commons]
March
March 1-14: Omizutori (Nara, Japan)
March 8–17: South by Southwest (Austin, Texas)
March 20–April 14: Cherry Blossom Festival (Washington, DC)
March 27: Holi (Worldwide, especially India & Nepal)


Many Dutch people wear orange – the national color – and sell their secondhand items in a “free market” during Koninginnendag, a national holiday in the Netherlands. [Photo credit: Creative Commons]
April
April 12–14 & April 19–21: Coachella (Indio, California)
April 11-14: Masters Golf Tournament (Augusta, Georgia)
April 13–15: Songkran Water Festival (Thailand)
April 17–28: TriBeCa Film Festival (New York, New York)
April 25–28: 5Point Film Festival (Carbondale, Colorado)
April 30: Koninginnendag or Queen’s Day (Netherlands)


Up to 50 men work together to carry their church’s patron saint around the main square in Cusco, Peru during Corpus Christi. [Photo credit: Blogger Libby Zay]
May
May 4: Kentucky Derby (Louisville, Kentucky)
May 15–16: Festival de Cannes (Cannes, France)
May 20: Corpus Christi (Worldwide)
May 23–26: Art Basel (Hong Kong)
May 24–27: Mountainfilm Film Festival (Telluride, Colorado)
May 25-28: Sasquatch Festival (Quincy, Washington)
May 26: Indianapolis 500 (Speedway, Indiana)

2013 marks the 100th anniversary for the Tour de France. [Photo credit: Creative Commons]

June
June 13–16: Bonnaroo (Manchester, Tennessee)
June 13–16: Art Basel (Basel, Switzerland)
June 14–16: Food & Wine Classic (Aspen, Colorado)
June 21: St. John’s Night (Poznan, Poland)
June 24: Inti Raymi (Cusco, Peru)
June 28–30: Comfest (Columbus, Ohio)
June 29–July 21: Tour de France (France)

The annual observance of Ramadan is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Visit Istanbul, Turkey, at this time and see a festival-like atmosphere when pious Muslims break their fasts with lively iftar feasts at night. [Photo credit: Creative Commons]
July
July 6–14: San Fermin Festival (Pamplona, Spain)
July 9–August 2: Ramadan (Worldwide)
July 12–14: Pitchfork (Chicago, Illinois)
July 17: Gion Festival Parade (Kyoto, Japan)
July 18–21: International Comic Con (San Diego, California)
July 19–22: Artscape (Baltimore, Maryland)
July 24–28: Fete de Bayonne (Bayonne, France)

Festival-goers get their picture taken at a photo booth during Foo Fest, an arts and culture festival held annually in Providence, Rhode Island. [Photo credit: Flickr user AS220]
August
August 2–4: Lollapalooza (Chicago, Illinois)
August 10: Foo Fest (Providence, Rhode Island)
August 26–September 2: Burning Man (Black Rock Desert, Nevada)
August 31–September 2: Bumbershoot (Seattle, Washington)


More than six million people head to Munich, Germany, for beer-related festivities during the 16-day Oktoberfest. [Photo credit: Creative Commons]
September
September 5–15: Toronto International Film Festival (Toronto, Canada)
September 13–15: Telluride Blues & Brews Festival (Telluride, Colorado)
September 21–October 6: Oktoberfest (Munich, Germany)

Around 750 hot air balloons are launched during the nine-day Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. [Photo credit: Flickr user Randy Pertiet]

October
October 4–6 & 11–13: Austin City Limits (Austin, Texas)
October 5–13: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
October 10–14: United States Sailboat Show (Annapolis, Maryland)


During Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), family and friends get together to remember loved ones they have lost. Although practiced throughout Mexico, many festivals take place in the United States, such as this festival at La Villita in San Antonio, Texas. [Photo credit: Blogger Libby Zay]
November
November 1–2: Dia de los Muertos (Worldwide, especially Mexico)
November 3: Diwali (Worldwide)
November 8–10: Fun Fun Fun Fest (Austin, Texas)
November 11: Cologne Carnival (Cologne, Germany)
November 28: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (New York, New York)
TBA: Punkin Chunkin (Long Neck, Delaware)

The colorful holiday of Junkanoo is the most elaborate festivals of the Bahamian islands. [Photo credit: Flickr user MissChatter]
December
December 2–3: Chichibu Yomatsuri (Chichibu City, Japan)
December 5–8: Art Basel (Miami, Florida)
December 26–January 1: Junkanoo (Bahamas)

So, what did we miss? Let us know what travel-worthy events you’re thinking about journeying to in the coming year in the comments below.