Courtesy TripAdvisor
  • Wackiest Summer Events

    Summer is a time to let loose, relax and enjoy the good weather. In that spirit, the editors at travel site <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/" target="external">TripAdvisor</a> have come up with the top 10 wackiest summer events in the U.S.<p> #10: National Tom Sawyer Days -- July 1– 4, <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g44460-Hannibal_Missouri-Vacations.html" target="external">Hannibal, Miss.</a> Now in its 55th year, this annual celebration of the works of Mark Twain takes place in the river-side town of Hannibal, where the novelist spent his childhood. Some events are pulled straight from the pages of classic Twain tales, such as the fence painting competition, in which contestants try their hand at whitewashing a fence in the fastest time possible.
    Courtesy TripAdvisor
  • Wackiest Summer Events

    #9: World Championship Cardboard Boat Races -- July 31, <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g31660-Heber_Springs_Arkansas-Vacations.html" target="external">Heber Springs, Ark.</a><p> Now in their 24th year, the World Championship Cardboard Boat Races enjoy a picturesque setting on Greers Ferry Lake. Some 4,000 spectators gather to cheer on the competing corrugated cardboard crafts -- which have taken the form of planes, trains and even the Starship Enterprise in previous years -- as they race to be first across the line of a 200-yard course. Awards up for grabs include the Pride of Fleet trophy, presented to the best looking boat and the Titanic Award, presented to the vessel that makes it at least 50 yards before meeting the most dramatic watery end.
    Louis Short, The Sun Times
  • Wackiest Summer Events

    #8: Hemingway Days Festival -- July 20–25, <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g34345-Key_West_Florida_Keys_Florida-Vacations.html" target="external">Key West, Fla.</a><p> The 30th annual Hemingway Days Festival, honoring the life and works of former Key West resident and legendary author Ernest Hemingway, offers entertainment galore to literary enthusiasts and white-bearded travelers in search of the eclectic. More than 125 burly, bearded contestants are expected to compete in the "Papa" Hemingway Look-Alike Contest, while the bushy brotherhood will also compete in the annual "Running of the Bulls" -- a quirky take-off on Pamplona's famous run, featuring liquor barrels on wheels.
    Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau
  • Wackiest Summer Events

    #7: Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw – Sept. 3–4, <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g60211-Prairie_du_Sac_Wisconsin-Vacations.html" target="external">Prairie du Sac, Wis.</a><p> While cow chips were once used by the settlers as a fuel for cooking food and warming homes, dried dung takes on an altogether different use at this annual event, held in Marion Park and attended by some 40,000 people each year. Travelers can vie to secure the longest throw in the Chip Chuckin' competition -- and will truly have to go the distance, in order to beat the longstanding record of 248 feet -- in addition to enjoying clog dancing, live music, a 10-kilometer run and more.
    Handout
  • Wackiest Summer Events

    #6: Weird Contest Week – Aug. 16 –20, <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g46696-Ocean_City_New_Jersey-Vacations.html" target="external">Ocean City, N.J.</a> <p> This five-day extravaganza of eccentricity will see a quirky contest held at 11 a.m. daily in front of Ocean City's Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorly Terrace. Travelers with a sweet-tooth can try their hand at taffy sculpting, while those craving a crunch can sink their teeth in to the "That's the way the cookie crumbles" contest, in which contestants bite their way around an 8-inch cookie to create a work of art. With French fry sculpting also on the menu, together with a paperclip art contest and a Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous pageant, Weird Contest Week is a must for those with a quirky competitive streak.
    Courtesy Donald B. Kravitz, DBKphoto
  • Wackiest Summer Events

    #5: Roswell UFO Festival -- July 1– 4, <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g47182-Roswell_New_Mexico-Vacations.html" target="external">Roswell, N.M.</a><p> Travelers interested in rubbing elbows with 20,000 earthlings and alien fanatics should look no further than the annual Roswell UFO Festival. From promoting extraterrestrial education through expert speakers and workshops, to an alien pet costume contest featuring other-worldly couture, and an out-of-this-world Fourth of July fireworks show, festival goers are sure to experience a healthy dose of paranormal activity.
    City of Roswell
  • Wackiest Summer Events

    #4: The Wayne Chicken Show -- July 9–11, <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g45892-Wayne_Nebraska-Vacations.html" target="external">Wayne, Neb.</a><p> This annual celebration of feathered friends is a must for chicken-loving travelers, who can indulge in all things poultry during the three day fowl-fest. The roster of rooster fun includes the world's largest chicken dance, the best chicken legs competition, and the National Cluck Off, in which competitors have 15 seconds to win over the judges with their best chicken impersonation. Peckish attendees can also participate in the saucy hot wing eating contest or its hardboiled egg counterpart, while those with a flair for fashion can try their hand at creating the best chicken hat in show.
    Handout
  • Wackiest Summer Events

    #3: Mid-Atlantic Hermit Crab Challenge -- July 10, <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g58277-Virginia_Beach_Virginia-Vacations.html" target="external">Virginia Beach, Va.</a><p> While many beaches boast their share of brazen beauties strutting their stuff, the Miss Curvaceous Crustacean Beauty Pageant shines the spotlight on a different type of animal altogether. Competing hermit crabs are showcased in uniquely-decorated displays, with prizes awarded for the Friendliest Crab, Shyest Crab, Most Unique Crab Display, and more. Travelers seeking something a little more adrenaline-fueled can also enjoy the Crustacean 500 race, in which hundreds of crabs "race" on an eight-foot track on the beach, for the illustrious Order of the Mercury Claw trophy.
    Courtesy John M. Lesko
  • Wackiest Summer Events

    #2: Barnesville Potato Days – Aug. 27–28, <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g42845-Barnesville_Minnesota-Vacations.html" target="external">Barnesville, Minn.</a><p> Travelers with a soft-spot for spuds will be in their element at this annual celebration, which attracts over 16,000 tater lovers from across the country. In addition to feasting on potato produce, travelers can enjoy over 40 unique events, including mashed potato wrestling, a potato peeling competition, mashed potato sculpturing, and a mashed potato eating contest. Style-setters seeking to introduce their potato-print on the fashion scene can even showcase their designs in a potato sack fashion show.
    Barnesville Potato Days / The Record Review
  • Wackiest Summer Events

    #1: Summer Redneck Games -- July 10, <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g34911-Dublin_Georgia-Vacations.html" target="external">Dublin, Ga.</a><p> For travelers seeking something a little different to sink their teeth into this summer, Bobbin' for Pig's Feet could be the very thing. The hog-tastic event will be just one of many games at the 15th annual Summer Redneck games; a one day extravaganza, featuring a mud pit belly-flop contest, armpit serenade, watermelon seed spitting contest and Redneck Horseshoes, in which toilet seats are thrown. A coveted prize trophy is awarded for each of the day's events: a half crushed, empty mounted beer can.
    Courtesy Summer Redneck Games
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