Festivals And Events Coming Up This Month

Festivals and Events
didy b/ Flickr

Summer weather brings festivals and events that range from open-air concerts and outdoor car shows to group hikes and more. In June, there are a number of notable summer festivals and events. Some are held annually, others are starting up for the first time this year. Count on good food, warm summer fun and great memories to be made at any of these must-see events.

Gettysburg Festival
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – June 8
It’s blues, beer and barbecue at the Gettysburg Festival this weekend featuring legendary bluesman Big Jack Johnson’s backing band, the Cornlickers, PA’s First Lady of Blues, Octavia and the U.S. Army Field Band Volunteers. Since 1981, the soldier-musicians of The Field Band Volunteers have performed for millions of listeners around the planet, representing their fellow soldiers through music.

Richmond Bacon Festival
Richmond, Virginia – June 9
A first for the 17th street farmers market, 20 restaurants will compete with bacon-centric dishes and Devils Backbone Brewery and Bold Rock Hard Cider will be pouring more than 20 craft beers. Held by a local brewer and beer distributor, the idea is to design bacon-oriented culinary creations then wash them down with a craft beer.Emmett Cherry Festival
Emmett, Idaho – June 12-15, 2013
Held since the 1930s and always during the second full week of June, the Emmett Cherry Festival serves up a taste of tradition. Cherry Festival events, concerts and carnival all happen in the Emmett City Park starting Wednesday through Saturday. Looking for some down-home goodness? This may be it. Featured are a cherry pit-spitting contest, a pie eating contest and entertainment. Nearly 40,000 people are expected to attend this family-oriented event that celebrates the arrival of the cherries.

Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters
Little Rock, Arkansas – June 27
Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters are the greatest living link to what can best be described as a gumbo of Cajun/Acadian music, Afro-Caribbean rhythms and melodies, and the blues. Held at
Wildwood Park for the Arts in western Little Rock’s Chenal Valley, the event’s gates open at 6 p.m. for outdoor
picnicking, and the concert begins at 8 p.m.

Orion Music and More Festival
Detroit, Michigan – June 6-8
Over 20,000 fans are expected to attend each of the three days of the festival, headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers on Saturday and Metallica on Sunday with a total of 39 acts scheduled to perform. In addition to five stages, all set up on the Belle Isle baseball fields, there will be a car show, film screenings, horror movie memorabilia, food vendors from around Detroit and more. Featured at Orion Music and More is a 30-foot skate ramp where pro riders will tear up the Vans Vert Ramp while bands perform live.

Tickets for the Nomading Film Festival in New York go on sale Friday

After a successful run this past June, the Nomading Film Festival is returning to New York this summer, June 23, 2012. Nomading Film Festival is an event that showcases stories caught on film during peoples’ travels, giving new talent a chance to share their stories and viewers a chance to travel all over the world without leaving Brooklyn.

The really early bird tickets will be sold at a very discounted price this Friday, November 11, 2011. Not only that, but travelers of all ages from all over the world can begin submitting their travel videos (must be under 15 minutes). Until April 30, 2012, submissions are only $10, and selected filmmakers will be notified by May 15, 2012. Prizes, such as trips, flights, and gear, are awarded in three categories:

  • The nomad I want to travel with
  • The most enlightening trip
  • Simply put, that trip makes me want to travel, now!

Guest speakers, workshops, games, and music will also be part of the fun. For more information, visit their official website. To get a better idea of what to expect, check out one of Nomading’s travel-inspired films:


Celebrate National Day of the American Cowboy

American cowboyYes, Virginia, there are cowboys. And thanks to the efforts of American Cowboy magazine, the tough, hardworking, salt-of-the-earth men and women who make your juicy T-bone possible are getting their own day of recognition. I’m not talking about your wannabe, Keith Urban-listening, jacked-up pick-up driving, tight jeans-wearing, soft-handed yahoos. I’m referring to the real deal: people who work the land for a living, and actually know how to ride a horse, throw a lariat, and mend a fence.

The National Day of the American Cowboy, held this year on July 23rd, was founded by the magazine in 2004 to “preserve, protect, and promote our Western heritage.”

Full disclosure: I’m a contributor to American Cowboy, but not just because I grew up on a ranch and immersed in the Western lifestyle. It’s because I spent my formative years around ranchers, wranglers, packers, and rodeo folk that I have the respect I do for these people, and have dedicated myself to helping preserve their way of life. I may not agree with industrial livestock production and certain ecological aspects (which don’t pertain to all ranchers, anyway) but I can separate that from the need to feed millions–if not billions–of people, and the respect cowboys and ranchers have for the land, their animals, and their heritage.

Few people are more invested in preserving open space than cowboys. Their livelihood depends upon it. And without a deep investment in the welfare of their livestock they can’t make ends meet. So this year, think about thanking our cowboys by joining a local event (click here for listings). Or put on Sons of the Pioneers, fire up the barbecue, and offer a toast with a bottle of Coors or shot of Jack.

[Photo credit: Flickr user mharrsch]

Paris brings the beach to the people

The last time I checked, Paris had more cobbled streets than sandy shores, so I was a bit surprised to find out about the Paris Plage project, a man-made beach created every summer (for the last seven) right in the heart of the city.

The project costs about 1.5 million euros each year and uses nearly 2,000 tons of sand to transform busy roadways into sandy beaches along the Seine River. The project came about when the mayor decided that everyone should be able to take a summer beach vacation, even if they can’t leave the city. The project was so popular, it has grown from year to year and now encompasses three locations and attracts nearly 4 million visitors. The Louvre/Pont de Sully beach features a climbing wall, swimming pool, and outdoor concert space. The Port de la Gare beach offers free wi-fi and art classes. And the Bassin de la Villette beach features free water sports like sailing and kayaking.

Beaches are open from 8 a.m. – midnight from late July to late August.

The Mermaid Parade at Coney Island

There are certain events that are purely connected to the place where they are held. The Mermaid Parade at Coney Island in Brooklyn is one of them. Tomorrow, June 20 starting at 2 p.m. is the big event. Since 1983, people have been dressing up in over the top creative costumes– mermaid related or not, to join in on one of the largest art parades in the United States. There are floats, bands and generally a whole lot of join-in-the-fun sea-themed hoopla.

People who come to the parade as spectators could just as well join in; it’s that kind of event. The idea is to be creative in a celebration of the artistic and summer. The parade is held the first Saturday after the summer solstice. In effect, hooray for summer, the mermaids are here. Come dressed as a creature of the sea or a mermaid and join in.

Don’t know what to wear? Here’s an idea. Get a baseball hat and glue natural sponges on it. Or go as a coral “wreath” by getting coral from a pet store and hot glue gun it to a wreath form that goes around your head like a crown.

According to the Mermaid Parade Web site, the parade is family friendly, kids are even in the parade. This year the parade route has changed slightly. For details, click here. The viewing stand is still in the same location.