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Love a good festival? You’re in luck because summer is a season where you’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore a wide variety of them. If you enjoy tasting local flavors as you travel, try visiting a summer food festival. If music and art are more your style, you can get crafty at a variety of events and fests featuring a wide variety of art, performing arts and musical talents too.
Aug. 3-7, Harbor Park, Rockland, Maine
You can’t visit Maine without trying lobster! If you’re a lobster fanatic, this event is for you. More than 20,000 pounds of lobster are served at this five-day festival, which also features concerts, fine art, a sea goddess coronation, cooking contests, carnival rides and a parade.
July 29-31 in Christmas Hill Park, Gilroy, California
What’s more enticing than the smell of garlic? It adds that savory flavor to so many of our favorite foods. At the Gilroy Garlic Festival, travelers will be in for a treat and a show, as “pyro chefs” flame up a variety of eats, including calamari and shrimp. Not a seafood fan? There are plenty of other garlic favorites, like garlic bread and garlic fries, to go around. For the adventurous foodies, why not try some garlic ice cream while you’re in Gilroy? (We suggest packing some mints for your drive home!)
April-October in the Fairgrounds of Washington, D.C.
Head to Truckeroo in the capital of the U.S. Located on the Washington, D.C. Fairgrounds near Nationals Park, families can bite into a variety of foods, from crepes and crabs to lobster rolls and cheesecake. This family-friendly event features food, drinks, games and live music from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. once a month. Check out the event’s website for exact dates and to see which food trucks will be available to you.
July 8-10 in Santa Fe, New Mexico
More than 750 artists from 92 countries display their artwork at the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, each summer. This is the world’s largest exhibition of master folk artists, according to the event’s website. Due to the overwhelming success of the market, Santa Fe became the first city in the U.S. to be named to UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network when UNESCO designated it a City of Folk Art. Some events are free, so check the market’s website before you go.
July 5 - August 31 in Laguna Beach, California
If you’re vacationing in Carlsbad in July or August this summer, drive less than an hour to check out one of the country’s oldest juried fine-arts events at the Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach. See paintings, jewelry, sculpture, woodwork, furniture and more. Check the calendar for special events, art demonstrations, workshops and other activities. General weekday admission is $8 and $5 for students and seniors; general weekend admission is $12 and $8 for students and seniors. Children 12 and under, members of the military and Laguna Beach residents are admitted free.
Mid-May through mid-October in New York City
From mid-May to mid-October, the SummerStage festival returns to one of the Big Apple’s most famous outdoor spaces: Central Park. The summer series, backed by the City Parks Foundation, features a variety of musical performances including indie, rock, blues, hip-hop and more. Better yet, most SummerStage events are absolutely free. Check out the SummerStage Calendar and then head to a show on the main stage at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park or to one of the many other parks and outdoor spaces hosting festival performances.
Aug. 5-29, Edinburgh, Scotland
In Scotland, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has something for everyone, including concerts, the ballet, opera, comedy and even fireworks. The event attracts artists from nearly 50 countries, and the festival’s program includes more than 40,000 performances with more than 3,000 unique performances.
*The Central Park SummerStage photo appearing at the top of this article is courtesy of William Avery Hudson, Flickr.
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