Simple Pleasures

| August 01, 2005

Resource websites will also provide all of the necessary details, such as a brief description, features, location, dates and times, cost of admission and a link to the festival’s website, if there is one. This will enable you to not only find an appealing festival, but also tell you how to get there, when to be there, how much it will cost and what to expect.

Food festivals
Food festivals are perhaps the most common (and most filling) type of festival. They usually highlight an in-season food, or they’re held in an area known for that type of food. Here are some examples to tempt you:

Maine Lobster Festival
Get ready to crack some shells if you visit the Maine Lobster Festival. It features approximately 10 tons of fresh Maine lobster, live music, activities and games for only $7 a day. The festival is in Rockland, Maine, on Aug. 3-7. Visit this site for details.

The Beer Fest and Chili Cook-Off
From spicy chili competitions to original micro-brewed beer and even a classic car show, this savory festival is sure to please any driver passing through town. It’ll cost you $20 at the door, but the food, drinks and fun are well worth the money. The festival is on Aug. 14 in Lodi, Calif.

Music festivals
Music festivals are great for filling off-duty time because there are usually so many kinds of music festivals at reasonable prices. Most online event resources will allow you to search by music genre.

Big Muddy Blues Festival
The Big Muddy Blues Festival is a free event that pays tribute to the Blues and local bluesman Johnnie Johnson. The festival is located on Laclede’s Landing, the historic St. Louis riverfront that offers a wide variety of foods, drinks and activities. The event will be Sep. 3-4 in St. Louis. For additional details, visit this site.

Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Uncle Pen Days
For the bluegrass-loving driver, visit Bean Blossom, Ind., on Sep 21-24 for the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Uncle Pen Days. There will be instrument workshops, food concessions, vendors and more than 25 bands. Admission varies each day, so visit this site for ticket information.

State fairs
If you’re in the mood for ferris wheels, corndogs, lumberjack competitions, horse races and the like, then look for a state fair. State fairs have been occurring every year since the nation’s first state fair was held in Syracuse, N.Y., in September 1841. Nearly every state has a fair, many of which occur in the warm-weather months, so your chances of finding one wherever the job takes you are high. Most state fairs will have cheap admission charges, too.

The Illinois State Fair
The Illinois State Fair in Springfield, Ill., will hold its 153rd fair on Aug. 12-21. The fair will have tractor pulls, art exhibits, car races, workshops, competitions and other special events. There will also be many notable musicians such as the Blue Oyster Cult and Rascal Flatts with Blake Shelton. For concert schedules, visit this site. Admission is $3 for adults.

The State Fair of West Virginia
The State Fair of West Virginia has a variety of musicians lined up for its grandstand concerts, including Chubby Checker and the Wildcats, ZZ Top and Switchfoot. The fair will have competitions, shows, harness racing, food vendors, arts and crafts, and more. The fair will be on Aug. 12-21 in Lewisburg, W.Va., and admission is $9 for adults. Visit this site.

Art and culture festivals
If you are looking for a more intellectually stimulating experience, these festivals are for you as they celebrate all kinds of heritage, tradition and art forms. They have the power to inspire you, and you may even find an artsy gift to take home to your special someone.

Belly Dance Festival:
The Belly Dance Festival in West Valley City, Utah, is certainly an eye-catching way to enjoy your time off. Admission is free, and the celebration includes international food, a variety of vendors and, of course, live music and dancing. The festival will be on Aug. 27 and 28. Visit this site for details.

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