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It might have one of the worst names in festival history, but it sure has caught on and gathered attention as a pretty big deal in Austin, a city that doesn't take its music lightly. The Fun Fun Fun Fest returns for its 8th year on November 8-10 with a lineup that goes well beyond music to showcase stand-up comedy, alternative sports, and the local food scene.
In addition to big acts like Snoop Dog (Lion), M.I.A., and Slayer, the FFF Fest will feature dozens of musicians as well as comedians, led by Sarah Silverman and Tenacious D. You can see the full lineup here. There will also be some extreme sports on site, including vert ramp skating and biking, wrestling (there's apparently a ring), and the good ole' fashioned Texas favorite, the mechanical bull.
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Autumn is finally here, so grab one of those pumpkin spice latte beverages and make your way to one of the many fall festivals. This month we’re focusing on those events dedicated to all things pumpkin, so here are five picks for pumpkin festivals doing their thing this month:
Circleville Pumpkin Show – Circleville, Ohio
Between October 16 and October 19th, one Ohio town turns into all things pumpkin. There’s a Miss Pumpkin Show that crowns a new gourd-geous—couldn’t resist, sorry—to reign over the annual festival. Farmers from around the state and region roll their pumpkins to the festival, as past winners have weighed in at well over 1,300 pounds. There’s a parade, live music, arts and crafts, and creatively arranged pumpkins and gourds all over downtown. Admission is free, but we’d bring spending cash for some of the attractions or for pumpkin this or that when you’re hungry.
Keene Pumpkin Festival – Keene, New Hampshire
We try to be fair and balanced in our assessment of this year’s pumpkin festivals, but the one in Keene, New Hampshire might just be the best thing going on this fall. They’ve got a food and craft court and a pumpkin road race, but what sets this festival apart are all the jack-o-lanterns. The town carved and brought in nearly 30,000 jack-o-lanterns last year, and they illuminate each and every one right around the town’s center. As you can imagine things look pretty darn awesome once the sun goes down, so bring your own pumpkin and head to New Hampshire on October 19th—just bring cash for parking.
Things got a little messy this last week in the Spanish town of Buñol. The locals are used to it, however, as this was the celebration called La Tomatina, a fruit-hurling party that takes place on the last Wednesday of August. La Tomatina has gone on now for the past 68 years, attracting tourists from all corners of the globe, and only one thing has changed: there's now a fee to join the revelry.
There's no question that Spain is struggling a bit financially; even festival's host city is in debt over 4 million euros. Thus, organizers of the event looking to make a few extra coins. The cheapest way to experience the festival will not necessarily break the bank. The fee is 10 Euros just to be in the midst of the tomato-throwing but, if you do want to drop some cash, you can do it in style on the back of a tomato truck carrying 130 tons of the red fruit for 750 Euros.
The city of Frankfurt boasts the largest skyline in Europe (shown above in all its modesty), but that's not why it stands out amongst the crowd. No, this Germany city has an even bigger secret: It doesn't drink beer.
We know what you're thinking. A German city that doesn't drink beer? Blasphemy! But no, seriously, it's true. In Frankfurt, it's apfelwein (apple wine) that fills the glasses of the locals.
Apfelwein is made in the same way as wine -- by pressing apples and adding yeast -- but it tastes more like a cider and it drinks like a beer with an alcohol content of 4 to 7 percent. It is served to patrons in what's called a bembel (that blue and white pitcher in the photo below) and drank from a special glass called a geripptes, which has ridges cut into it to prevent it from slipping out of your hand (back in the day, the Germans ate pork and sausage with their hands while they drank, which made them greasy).
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Last night, while on a late run to the nearby 24-hour drugstore, we peeked in to the beer fridge and realizedholy smokesthat they're already stocking both pumpkin and Oktoberfest brews. You know what this means, right? Besides the fact that beer fans have a very limited time left to enjoy the summer varieties and shandies, it means travelers need to finalized Oktoberfest plans ASAP.
What to do:
· Book a flight/train
· Book a hotel, hostel, or Airbnb (yes, even the hostels fill up in advance, as we sadly discovered one year)
· Book a table in a beer tent (there's no bar and you need to be sitting at a table to get served)
· Pack shoes you don't mind throwing away at the end of everything, since the Wies'n often gets muddy and beer spilling during cheers is a part of the fun.
Hopefully you've checked off each item, but if the table reservations are proving particularly difficult there is a way to get around it provided you have some nerve.
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Mumford & Sons' Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers Festival Tour is in full swing and, surprisingly, tickets are still available for three upcoming shows.
The band dubs the tour "a music festival that celebrates local people, food and culture, where everyone pitches in and everybody gets something back." For the second year in a row they've spent months selecting unique places, creating venues, building lineups, planning the after-parties, and getting to know the locals.
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Summer is winding down and so is the number of upcoming music festivals but there are still a few worth checking out, including the infamous Burning Man festival.
Burning Man, which takes place in the Nevada desert August 26 - September 2, is more of a small city, dubbed Black Rock City, than a traditional music festival with a main stage and a food court. Everything that happens in BRC is thanks to its residents who bring along their music, art projects, and entertainment to share with the larger community.
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If you’ve ever wanted to get drunk with a skunk now is the time to do it. August seems to be a hit with zoos across the country, as they’re rolling out the beer as well as the animals. Here are a few spots to cool off with a sudsy drink while checking out some critters:
WaZoo – Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
You’ll need to start planning sooner than later, as this weekend is when the beers and the bears come together at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo during this year’s WaZoo event on August between 7:30 and 10:30pm. This beer festival features plenty of food from local restaurants, live music, and of course all the animals you care to view. Tickets are pricey—$70 per person in advance—but it does include plenty of beer, your tasting cup, as well as some food sampling. Local breweries like Cigar City Brewing are even cooking up something special for the event, so be sure to arrive thirsty.
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What are you doing this weekend?
Waitdon't answer, because if it's not "heading to Oshkosh, Wisconsin," then it's the wrong reply. What's so cool about Oshkosh, exactly? Well, all this week runs the "world's greatest aviation celebration," called EAA AirVenture, and this weekend will see the bulk of the tens of thousands of participating aircraft in the skies and on the ground at OSH. The impressive numbers of flying machines and visitors (nearly half a million!) bestows upon Oshkosh's Wittman Regional Airport the title of busiest control tower in the world for the week of the festival.
Although we flew in last year, this time we road-tripped up from Chicago to see if doing Oshkosh in a day would be possible. And it totally is. Three hours driving each way, $35 in gas, a pit stop to buy cheese curds, $10 in parking at Oshkosh and lots of listening to Sirius radio was all it took to spend the day amongst fields of aircraft (from brand new Honda private jets to vintage warplanes) and under loop-de-loops of the nearly constant aerobatic action.
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Midnight Madness is one of the fest's most popular programs, featuring the best of the horror, gore, and haunted genres. Among this year's movies is All Cheerleaders Die, about a group of girls who become cheerleaders and end up fighting supernatural forces, the bloodbath The Green Inferno, Joe Begos' Almost Human, and Afflicted, about two friends on a trip of a lifetime that turns into a nightmare.
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For the first time foodies are getting their own panel at San Diego Comic-Con. A Feast For Your Eyes: Creativity In Comics and Cuisine will bring together 5 panelists to discuss the similarities in the creative processes of artists and chefs.
The panel's official description reads, "Cooking is creativity. Food is art. In so many ways, the connections between food and comics on a creative level are everywhere. A chef's knife is the equivalent of an artist's pencil or brush. Their kitchens are their canvases. Both chefs and artists are only limited by their own imaginations; they both use their tools to take what is in their minds and create masterpieces in different mediums. But the processes are the same, and that's what panelists will be exploring in this open discussion."
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If you’ve ever wanted to get drunk with a skunk this weekend is the time to do it. Memorial Day weekend seems to be a hit with zoos across the country, as they’re rolling out the beer as well as the animals. Here are a few spots to cool off with a sudsy drink while checking out some critters:
Brew at the Zoo - Atlanta
In addition to the bears and the beers there will also be live music, free rides on the train and on the carousel, and games like Pongo Ping Pong. (We have no idea what that last one is, but after a few samples we’ll be up for a game.) The zoo's got more than 1,500 animals on hand to entertain you while you're busy sipping and sampling your way through each and every exhibit. Advance tickets will set you back $43, and that’ll get you access to unlimited opportunities to enjoy both wine and beer (5:30-9:30pm, Saturday, May 25.).
Zoo Brew – Memphis
Cut out of work a little bit early on Friday, as the brew at the zoo fun in Memphis does its thing between 7pm and 10pm on May 24. That means you can get in some quality time with the animals—and alcohol—and still have the weekend to attend family picnics and other less than fun activities. Here the tickets will go for $40, but there are always VIP options ($60) as well. Live music and plenty of food round out the options, so be sure to raise a glass to the aardvarks, zebras, and everything in between.