Festivals across the USA
A great way to experience our wonderful country is to attend one of the hundreds of festivals held annually in cities across the country. Whether you’re into music, arts & crafts, food & wine, film & the arts or even pets, there is bound to be something, somewhere in the country that will pique your interest. Here are some of our favorites. One of the most well-known festivals in the USA is the Cherry Blossom Festival that happens in early spring each year in Washington, DC. This festival, a welcome event after cold, snowy winters, commemorates the gift of thousands of Japanese cherry trees from the city of Tokyo to DC, in 1912. While the peak bloom date changes year to year, based on the weather, you’ll usually be able to see the stunning blossoms from late March into the first week of April. Both bike and boat tours are offered around the Tidal Basin and other city tours will often have stops located nearby for prime viewing while you’re also seeing other parts of the city. Many restaurants in town, and in surrounding areas, participate in Cherry Picks, offering special menus of food and beverages during the festival. Hotel rooms tend to book up very quickly so if you’re planning to attend, set your travel plans as early as possible. To learn more, visit www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org. For music lovers, there’s nothing better than the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, held in late April/Early May. Whether it’s food, crafts or music-Jazz Fest is an event that will please everyone. With artists ranging from Harry Connick, Jr to Aaron Neville, Meghan Trainor to Maroon 5, Darius Rucker to Alabama or Pitbull to Usher, every musical taste will be satisfied. As for food? Jambalaya, crawfish, beignets, po-boys, lemonade, sweet potato pie, ice cream…if you go hungry, well, don’t blame us. New Orleans is a foodie’s delight and even the most discriminating palate will find something yummy. Make your travel and concert ticket plans early as Jazz Fest is very popular and many of the headline acts will sell out quickly. Cruise over to http://www.nojazzfest.com/ to learn more. Each February, Food Network sponsors the South Beach Wine and Food Festival in Miami. This star stuffed event, featuring celebrity chefs including Anne Burrell, Giada De Laurentiis, Guy Fieri, Rachael Ray and more is the place to see and be seen for the foodies in the country. Rom wine seminars, tastings and cooking demos, brunches and lunches hosted by famous chefs, book signings and more, the SoBe WFF is the perfect event for fans of the Food Network and yummy eats. Since February is peak tourist season in South Florida, and the Wine & Food Fest is a premier event, hotel rooms sell out fast, at a premium rate. Book early, buy your tickets ahead and check out their website so you can start planning for next year’s SoBe WFF as soon as sales open. Visit http://sobefest.com/ to stay up to date. Every August, the city of Bethlehem, Pa hosts MusikFest. Running for 9 days, this annual event offers both free and paid music of many genres. See well known acts, including, for 2017 Chicago, Santana and more. Plenty of vendors will also be selling their wares and then there’s the food! Yes, many people (myself included) attend MusikFest to eat! Regardless of your favorite type of food, be it German, Mexican, Italian or even the locally famous Aw Shucks roasted corn on the cob (totally a must have-topped with butter, parmesan cheese and secret Aw Shucks seasoning!!), you will NOT go hungry! Plus, buy a souvenir, insulated MusikFest reusable mug and enjoy special prices on beer refills! The festival is spread throughout the entire city and there is shuttle service available to get you around town. Hotels are available both in town, and in the surrounding areas but they fill up fast. The festival is held rain or shine and there’s plenty of fun for the entire family. The full schedule for MusikFest comes together in the spring, so check www.musikfest.org often for updates. You’re likely to run into some of the Travel Experts at MusikFest! This writer attends annually and can always be seen carrying her insulated mug and corn on the cob! That’s just a short list of festivals in the USA. Regardless of what you like to do, there’s probably a festival or county fair that will entertain you and your family. For additional information about other festivals in the country (there are thousands!) check out https://www.everfest.com/.