Charlie & Debbie

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So, just when I think, “Okay, there’s no weird festival anywhere in the country I haven’t heard of,” another rears its head.  And this one kind of embarrasses me as it’s in our home state of Texas.  This year marks the return (full) of The Luling Watermelon Thump.  Growing up, I’d been through Luling several times on my way to San Marcos and New Braunfels.  All I remember about Luling is it had a Dairy Queen, a gas station, and well, that’s about it.  So what’s it all about?

For the record, Luling is roughly 25 miles east of San Antonio, and “The Thump” will feature watermelon eating and seed spitting contests and of course a “Thump Queen” will be crowned.  I know you’re wondering about the name (me too).  Here goes the tale.  In 1954 an elementary school principal wanted to shine the celebration spotlight on watermelon growers and to promote Luling’s watermelon market.  A contest was staged to name the event, and the winner was a guy from Luling High School.  WHAT?!  That’s it?  I was hoping/expecting more, right?

The Craziest Festivals You Can Attend In North Carolina and Elsewhere

  • Frozen Dead Guy Days (March)

    Come to Nederland, Colorado, for this event featuring coffin races, costumed polar plunges, icy turkey bowling, and even a frozen T-shirt contest!  Sounds like fun, but also sounds REAL cold (not my jam).  Still too cold in March in Colorado for me.

  • Hillbilly Days (April)

    Grab up all your kin folk and head to Pikeville, Kentucky for this celebration of Appalachian culture.  Featured events include:  a cornhole tournament, quilt show, hillbilly music, food and local crafts.

  • Duct Tape Festival (June)

    Ever wonder who makes-and where-Duct Tape?  The answer is Shurtape Technologies in Avon, Ohio (suburb of Cleveland).   Each June the locals pay homage to their hometown product that none of us can live without.

  • Humungus Fungus Fest (August)

    EASILY, my favorite name for a festival, this takes place in Crystal Falls, Michigan.  People come from all over the world to pay homage to the world’s largest, oldest living organism, a 200,000-pound shoestring mushroom occupying 38 acres of land and dating back anywhere from 1,500 to 10,000 years.  Food, fun, and falderal abounds.

  • Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw And Festival (September)

    What better way to honor the bovine that drive the Wisconsin dairy industry than with a party set around cow chips.  There’s a cow chip parade and or course the spectacle of watching competitors vie for the state’s cow chip toss record-live from Prairie du Sac.

  • Cream Cheese Festival (September)

    Lest you think cow chips are the only things that can be flung at a festival.  Welcome to Lowville, New York and September’s Cream Cheese Festival.  In addition to the “Flinging Cream Cheese Toss,” you can paint murals with the spread, participate in an all-you-can-eat contest and even take a bite from the world’s largest cheesecake.

  • Tarantula Awareness Festival (October)

    Coarsegold, California is where you’ll find this celebration of arachnid-inspired poems, music, crafts, and events.  Some of which include a hairy legs contest, a tarantula hat dance, and a tarantula derby.  And since Halloween is right around the corner on the calendar, the festival also features trick-or-treating and pumpkin decorating

  • Woolly Worm Festival (October)

    And since we opened this by mentioning the Tar Heel State’s contribution to this list, if you’ve never seen a woolly worm race, here ya go.  And make plans to head up to Banner Elk in the fall.  You won’t regret it for a second!