25. Somerville, Massachusetts — What the Fluff? Festival

Somerville's annual Fluff Festival
The Tufts Daily / YouTube

Somerville’s Union Square has celebrated the important invention of marshmallow fluff with its What the Fluff? Festival each year since 2005.

The city takes credit for the 1917 invention (although there’s been some debate over the true origins of fluff) and commemorates the “spirit of innovation” at this festival.

The 2021 event saw delightful, sugary confections such as fluff-fused momos, churros, macaroons and whoopie pies, reports Boston.com. And Himalayan Kitchen, known for its dumplings, came up with “flufflings” instead — offering pineapple and ricotta fluff flavors.

24. Austin, Texas — Eeyore's Birthday Party

Eeyore's Birthday Party, Austin TX
MarkScottAustinTX / Flickr

Almost every year since 1963, the city of Austin has commemorated the birthday of the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh character on the last Saturday of April.

People dress up in costumes and paint their faces, dance around the maypole and take part in drum circles at Eeyore's Birthday Party. Proceeds from the celebration go toward non-profit charities.

Unfortunately, the event had to be canceled in the past two years due to COVID-19. "Protecting our herd is the Eeyore way,” the Friends of the Forest Foundation posted on Facebook.

23. Chadron, Nebraska — Buffalo Chip Throw

Hot sunny weather, Beautiful Cow dung chips or Cow dung cakes placed on wooden sticks for dryness. Manure cakes for Havan kund and religious programme.
thala bhula / Shutterstock

We’re not talking buffalo wing-flavored potato chips here — instead, contestants in World Championship Buffalo Chip Throw toss pieces of dried buffalo dung.

The annual event is held during Chadron’s Fur Trade Days celebration, which honors Western Nebraska’s fur trade history. Chadron itself is named after French fur trader Louis Baptiste Chartran.

The record is currently held by Chadron State College track All-American Kail Bowman, who tossed the dung 204 feet in a (since-discontinued) team event in 1990.

22. Clark, South Dakota — Mashed Potato Wrestling Contest

Mashed Potato Wrestling, Clark, SD
Clark Area Chamber of Commerce / Facebook

South Dakota’s “Potato Capital,” Clark hosts an annual wrestling contest on Potato Day, in which contestants get down and dirty in mashed potatoes — yes, you read that right.

It takes roughly 500 pounds of potato flakes mixed with water to create a foot-deep pile of slimy sludge for wrestlers to tussle in, according to Williston Herald.

Local cattle usually get to dine on the leftover mush, says Atlas Obscura, which means there’s no excess waste either. Currently, Steve “O’Gratin” Barone reportedly holds the world record for most potato wrestling championship wins across the state.

21. Perdido Key, Florida — Mullet Toss

The Mullet Toss is the area’s wacky annual contest at the Flora-Bama Lounge in Perdido Key.
Visit Pensacola / YouTube

It actually has nothing to do with the distinctive ’80s hairdo — Perdido Key’s Mullet Toss has contestants throwing a dead mullet (fish) across the state line into Alabama.

The beach event raises over $20,000 for local charities each year, especially youth organizations, and also features live music and delicious food.

The rules stipulate that the mullet must be around one pound in weight, it must be thrown from a 10-inch circle down a designated alley and no gloves or sand on the mullet are permitted. Tossing the fish out of bounds results in an instant disqualification.

20. Des Moines, Iowa — Butter Sculptures

2019 Iowa State Fair butter Big Bird
Iowa PBS / YouTube

Everything’s better with butter — and, over the years, beloved characters like Big Bird and Superman have emerged in the form of dairy sculptures at Iowa’s annual State Fair.

The Butter Cow is always present at the event in the Agriculture Building. It is made of a wood, metal, wire and steel mesh frame and 600 pounds of low-moisture, pure-cream Iowa butter. The golden bovine measures about five-and-a-half feet high and eight feet long.

The first Butter Cow was introduced in 1911 by J.K. Daniels and, since then, four other sculptors have succeeded him.

19. Santa Fe, New Mexico — The Burning Of Zozobra

Zozobra (Burning Man) in Santa Fe...before the burn 2014
osseous / Flickr

The Burning of Zozobra is staged by the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe on the Friday before Labor Day weekend as a way of purging the doom and gloom of the year.

People burn a 50-foot effigy made of wood, wire and cotton cloth, stuffed with parking tickets, divorce papers and crumpled notes.

While Zozobra usually dresses in a long white gown, his appearance updates with current events. For example, in 1943, he was a mishmash of Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito.

In 2020, he sported gold murder hornet cuff links and red-and-silver hair made to resemble the coronavirus.

18. Wetumka, Oklahoma — Sucker Day Festival

71st Annual Wetumka Sucker Day parade
71st Annual Wetumka Sucker Day / Facebook

This rather bizarre celebration recognizes the day Wetumka residents got “suckered” by a con man selling tickets to a circus that didn’t exist.

Once they realized they’d been swindled out of their money, the people of Wetumka decided to enjoy themselves anyway with the food and decorations they’d brought for the circus.

Sucker Day was first observed in 1953, but the festival continues on to this day. It currently features a parade of antique autos and tractors, a poker run, arts and crafts, music and horses.

17. Exeter, New Hampshire — UFO Festival

Exeter UFO Festival
Kiwanis International / YouTube

"The Incident at Exeter" in 1965 was never definitively explained, although it led to a U.S. Air Force investigation and became one of the most celebrated UFO sightings in the country, according to CBS News.

It started with 18-year-old Norman Muscarello telling police he had seen an unidentified flying object and strange lights moving toward him.

The Air Force said the sightings might have been a mirage caused by a temperature inversion or a B-47 plane flying over the area. But, no one knows for sure.

Exeter holds a family-friendly festival each year commemorating the event, with alien and space-themed memorabilia and speeches from known UFO researchers. It raises money for children’s charities but attracts a fair number of both non-believers and extraterrestrial enthusiasts.

16. Chandler, Arizona — Ostrich Festival

Chandler Ostrich Festival
ABC15 Arizona / YouTube

Since 1989, Chandler has honored its early history of ostrich ranching — yes, that was a thing — when the flightless birds were raised within city limits for their luxurious plumes.

Typically, 250,000 to 350,000 people attend the three-day celebration each spring, the city government website claims. It features live ostrich races and other ostrich-themed activities, a Saturday morning parade, arts and crafts, and other fun entertainment.

The Ostrich Festival usually also brings in local and regional talent to perform music and dance.

15. Damariscotta, Maine — Pumpkinfest and Regatta

Damariscotta Pumpkinfest
Paul VanDerWerf / Flickr

Damariscotta holds an annual Pumpkinfest and Regatta — where massive, hollowed-out pumpkins get transformed into boats. Take that, Cinderella.

While the “pumpkinboats” were barred this year, as part of COVID-19 restrictions, giant pumpkins decorated by local Maine artists still lined Main Street.

Growers are encouraged to bring in their winter squashes for the “weigh-offs,” which offer cash prizes up to $2,500 for the heaviest pumpkins. You can also purchase Pumpkinfest & Regatta T-shirts, hoodies, posters and magnets at the event.

14. Plymouth, Wisconsin — Big Sartori Cheese Drop

Cheese drop ushers in 2020 in Plymouth
WISN 12 News / YouTube

NYC might have the annual ball drop at Times Square to celebrate the New Year, but Plymouth — the “Cheese Capital of the World” — does things a little differently.

Plymouth counts down to the lowering of a giant replica wedge of Sartori’s Gold Cheese at 10 p.m.

The dairy company also hands out free (real) cheese wedges to the first 250 families that arrive at the event. The party continues inside the Plymouth Arts Center with complimentary champagne toast and cheese hors d’oeuvres.

13. Nederland, Colorado — Frozen Dead Guy Day

Frozen Dead Guy Days Coffin Race
Daniel Oberhaus / Flickr

The cryogenically frozen corpse of Bredo Morstoel in Nederland, Colorado, spawned an entire festival, complete with live music shows and activities like coffin races and frozen turkey bowling.

Grandpa Bredo died of a heart condition back in 1989, but his family decided against a traditional burial and packed him up in dry ice instead.

While he was (obviously) never brought back to life, he’s never been thawed out either, and his frozen body currently resides in a Tuff Shed in the hills above Nederland.

Volunteers load his casket with 1,600 pounds of dry ice every month to ensure he’s kept at a constant -60 degrees Fahrenheit.

12. Waikiki, Hawaii – Spam Jam

Spam Jam 2009
Kyle Nishioka / Flickr

Hawaiians have become notorious for their love of Spam — they consume more of the canned cooked pork than any other state — so much so that they host a dedicated Spam festival each year.

The street festival occurs on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki, where top Honolulu restaurants serve Spam-inspired creations, merchandisers sell Spam-themed clothing and craft booths set up shop around the area.

Volunteers also have booths around the street to collect donations of Spam for the Hawaii Food Bank.

11. Mobile, Alabama — MoonPie Over Mobile

2020 MoonPie Drop
WKRG / YouTube

Mobile drops a 600-pound electric MoonPie to ring in the New Year and residents get to dig into a giant edible one as well.

Why a MoonPie, you may ask? The city reportedly consumes over 4 million MoonPies annually and the packaged confection usually gets tossed around at its annual Mardi Gras parade.

The MoonPie Over Mobile event also features a fireworks display and live entertainment, and around 50,000 people typically show up to enjoy the free festivities.

10. Beavertown, Pennsylvania — Hillbilly Fever Days

Mahoney Brothers at Hillbilly Fever Days, Possum Hollow Park - Beavertown, PA
cashqueen25 / YouTube

The small town of Beavertown, Pennsylvania, holds a Hillbilly Fever Days celebration at Possum Hollow Park each year (and yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like).

The Mahoney Brothers usually perform at the event, which also features gospel and patriotic music, golden hits and classic rock and roll. There are even local vendors for you to shop at, hayrides, carnival games and the hillbilly parade.

Funds go toward the operating needs of Beavertown Rescue Hose Company No. 20, which sponsors the event.

9. Guilford, Connecticut — Colorful Turkeys

Gozzi's Turkey Farm in Guilford
WTNH News8 / YouTube

If you pass by Gozzi’s Turkey Farm in Guilford around Thanksgiving, you might spot a neon-colored flock in its pen.

Bill Gozzi, who currently owns the farm, told ABC News that his grandmother began the tradition of displaying turkeys in shades of pink, orange, yellow and green around the holiday season.

No one knows how the birds get their distinctive coloring, however, aside from the Gozzi family, who keep it secret.

“Kids always ask us if it is in the eggs or the food,” Gozzi said. “That’s the beauty of it. Everyone has their own ideas.”

8. Crisfield, Maryland — National Hard Crab Derby

Crisfield's 65th Annual National Hard Crab Derby Parade
Travis Young / YouTube

Forget the horses — head to Somers Cove Marina in the waterside town of Crisfield for its annual crab racing competition over Labor Day weekend.

The race begins when 50 live crabs are dropped from the “Crab Cake Track” onto an inclined wet, flat surface. They then scuttle down to the finish line, 47 ABC says.

The event also features other crab-themed activities, like crab cooking and picking contests, arts and crafts, live entertainment, a crab parade and fireworks.

You can even take part in a Miss Crustacean Pageant and purchase crab-based goods from local vendors.

7. Minot, North Dakota — Redneck Relay Race

North Dakota State Fair Redneck Relay
The Bismarck Tribune / YouTube

The North Dakota State Fair in Minot has held a Redneck Relay Race each year since 2012.

Tasks include drinking an unknown liquid out of a mason jar, sprinting to the next table and spitting it into another jar and face-planting in whipped cream to find candy, according to The Washington Times.

As the North Dakota State Fair blog proclaims, “If you and a friend would like to put your Redneckin’ skills to the test or prove that you truly are a Redneck at heart, then this is the contest for you!”

6. New York City, New York — No Pants Subway Ride

18th Annual No Pants Subway Ride 2019
SVfrosTV / YouTube

Bring your MetroCard, your winter gear and your best pair of undies if you’re taking part in this annual public transportation prank.

Now a global event held in cities around the world, NYC’s No Pants Subway Ride began back in 2002 with just seven participants.

Performance art group Improv Everywhere organizes the event, which takes place sometime in January. The group asks that pantless participants board the subway at separate stops and behave as though they don’t know each other.

Along with NYC, the No Pants Subway Ride has also taken place in Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and Dallas.

5. Nenana, Alaska — Nenana Ice Classic

Nenana Ice Classic watchtower
James Brooks / YouTube

The Nenana Ice Classic began back in 1917 when a group of railroad workers bet $800 to guess the exact time the ice on the Tanana River would break up.

The ice on the river typically breaks up in late April or early May, according to Alaska’s government website, but residents no longer rely on wild guesses to figure out the exact time the ice melts. Instead, they now use a clock that’s connected by string to a tripod on the ice.

The clock is set to stop as soon as the tripod moves, which it does as soon as the ice shifts as it breaks up.

Tickets cost just $2.50 each, but the lucky guesser could earn thousands of dollars as their prize.

4. Oatman, Arizona — Sidewalk Egg Frying Contest

summer sidewalk hot enough to
mikeledray / Shutterstock

Americans get up to all sorts of fun activities on the Fourth of July, but Oatman, Arizona, takes advantage of its scorching weather to hold a Sidewalk Egg Frying Contest each year.

The town gives contestants 15 minutes to fry their eggs on the pavement and then hands out a prize to the one with the best-looking fried egg.

Despite the heat, plain old sunshine on concrete won’t do the trick, so participants are allowed to bring tools such as magnifying glasses, aluminum foil and mirrors to get their eggs cooking.

NBC News reported in 2013 that one dedicated contestant brought in a four-foot solar mirror and managed to scramble his eggs at 360 degrees Fahrenheit in two minutes.

3. Eau Claire, Michigan — International Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship

International Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship
VOA News / YouTube

Ptui. Head over to the Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm in Eau Claire on July 7 to take part in the International Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship.

It’s been held almost every year since 1974, when Herb Teichman, who ran the farm with his family, came up with the idea to put leftover cherry pits to use.

Brian “Young Gun” Krause holds the world record for the longest spit at over 93 feet in 2003, however his father, Rick “Pellet Gun” Krause has won the competition numerous times, says the Detroit Free Press.

2. Columbus, Ohio — Doo Dah Parade

Man riding a monowheel in the 2011 Doo Dah Parade, Columbus, Ohio.
User:Postdlf / Wikimedia Commons

Celebrate “liberty and lunacy” at the annual Doo Dah Parade and Block Party in the Short North.

Participants don’t need to sign up or pay to attend the political satire parade, which features costumed characters, funny debates, singing the National Anthem, readings from satirists and live music.

The volunteer group “Friends of Doo Dah" is responsible for organizing the event, which has taken place nearly every year on the Fourth of July since 1984.

1. Marlinton, West Virginia — Roadkill Cookoff

West Virginia Roadkill Cook-Off.
Delish / YouTube

Squirrel gravy, anyone?

Marlinton’s annual Roadkill Cookoff has chefs compete to make the best meals out of (what’s left of) animals found on the side of the road.

The ingredients don’t have to be victims of traffic accidents themselves, but they need to be animals that would commonly get hit by a vehicle — such as bears, deer, rabbits and birds — says Atlas Obscura. The first-place winner receives $1,200.

Contestants can’t pre-cook their meat, but they are supposed to pre-clean and pre-skin their ingredients before the contest begins. Judges can’t be vegetarian and must have “cast-iron stomachs.”

About the Author

Serah Louis

Serah Louis

Staff Writer

Serah Louis is a staff writer with MoneyWise.com. She has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, where she double majored in Biology and Professional Writing and Communications.

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