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5 Quirky Festivals to Visit in 2023

These unique events give you something to talk about

As you make your travel plans for this year, you could attend any number of music festivals or art fairs that pop up across the country. But for a truly unique experience, consider making your way to one of these wild and wacky gatherings.

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UFO Festival

spinner image alien cosplayers pose in front of the u f o museum in roswell new mexico during the u f o festival
AP Photo / Roswell Daily Record, Mark Wilson

Roswell, New Mexico

June 30–July 2 

Founded: 1995

Legend has it that an alien craft crashed in this community in 1947, and so it has been dubbed the UFO Capital of the World. Enjoy laser shows, sci-fi movies, a night SkyWatch and talks by­ UFOlogists. A family-friendly galaxy fair features fire dancers, an alien foam zone for children and a circus camp. Dress up for the costume contest and the 5K walk/run.

Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw

spinner image contestants at the cow chip festival prepare to throw dried discs of cow dung
Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw & Festival

Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin

September 1–2 

Founded: 1975

The event features a craft fair, a parade with bovine floats and the Cow Chip Throw, in which contestants hurl dried pieces of dung. Participants can’t wear gloves to throw two pieces that must be at least 6 inches in diameter. The chip thrown the farthest wins. Did you know the odorless chips became Wisconsin’s Unofficial State Muffin in 1989?

Avon Heritage Duck Tape Festival

spinner image a woman wearing duck tape crafts at the duck tape festival in avon ohio
Duck Tape Festival

Avon, Ohio

June 15–17 

Founded: 2004

Stick around for this free three-day extravaganza that showcases duct tape in various forms: sculptures, crafts, fashions, parade floats and more. This community, nearly 21 miles west of Cleveland, is the home of the Duck brand of tape and the self-proclaimed Duct Tape ​Capital of the World.

Oz-Stravaganza

spinner image the emerald city from the movie the wizard of oz and a woman dressed as dorothy at oz stravaganza in new york
Alamy / Oz-Stravaganza

Chittenango, New York

June 2–4 

Founded: 1978

Follow the yellow brick road to the birthplace of author L. Frank Baum to see landmarks from his life and memorabilia in the All Things Oz Museum, including original props, Munchkin costumes and Judy Garland’s autograph. Located about 16 miles east of Syracuse, New York, this is the longest-running Wizard of Oz festival. The weekend features rides, a silent auction, and costume, photo and writing contests.

spinner image two images of honey mushrooms celebrated in michigans humongous fungus festival
Wikimedia / Dan Molter

Humongous Fungus Fest

Crystal Falls, Michigan

August 25–26  

Founded: 1992

One of the world’s oldest living organisms (dating back to B.C.!) is a 440-ton honey mushroom that sprawls over 173 acres on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Events include a pie social, mushroom forage and cook-off.

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