Travel Tips > Holiday Ideas > Visit an American festival

Visit an American festival that's out of this world!

Americans are renowned for being eccentric! If you are planning a trip to the States this summer, why not take part in a weird and wonderful American festival to kick start your holiday?

We've compiled a list of American festivals that could make your holiday in the USA unforgettable.

Twin Peaks Festival, Washington State: 6-8 August

Fans of the cult 90s hit series Twin Peaks should check out the American festival that's dedicated to the show. Held every year in Washington State, the festival also attracts celebrities connected to the series. This year, Jennifer Lynch, daughter of series creator David Lynch will be making an appearance. Twin Peaks stars Kimmy Robertson and Charlotte Stewart have also been invited.

Over three days, the festival gives fans the chance to mingle with other fans and take part in a trivia quiz. There's also a Lynch movie night and a Twin Peaks Sites tour. The festival site is a one hour drive from Seattle.

Elvis Week, Memphis: 10-16 August

Every year, Memphis celebrates the life of the King of Rock and Roll during Elvis Week, an American festival that takes place around the anniversary of his death.

On Tuesday night, an open air concert kick starts the event, featuring a fantastic Elvis impersonator. All proceeds go to the Alzheimer's Association and tickets for the concert can be bought online. Don't forget to pack a picnic and a bottle of wine.

For the ultimate Elvis party, head down to the Elvis Presley Car Museum in Graceland Plaza on Wednesday night for Club Elvis, an event that will make you want to shake your hips all night long!

Towards the end of the week, the 2010 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest gets underway, featuring some of the best Elvis Presley impersonators from around the world. Held in the Orpheum, the semi finals take place on Thursday followed by the finals on Friday.

There are bags of other events to enjoy during Elvis Week, including Elvis Bingo, karaoke, tours and more!

Tug Fest, Illinois & Iowa: 12-15 August

Every year since 1987, Tug Fest has attracted visitors from far and wide to watch a massive tug-of-war that spans the Mississippi River. Teams station themselves in Port Bryon on the Illinois side of the river and at LeClaire on the Iowa side and a total of 10 teams battle it out.

The Mississippi River is closed while a 2,400 foot rope is stretched across the water. The main event - the tug-of-war - takes place between 1pm and 3pm on Saturday 14 August, with other festivities taking place all weekend.

There's the Grand Parade on Friday followed by what's said to be the greatest fireworks display over the Mississippi. Meanwhile, on Saturday there's a one mile fun run and live entertainment in the evening after the great tug. Anyone visiting the area has a choice of hotels, B&Bs and campsites to choose from.

Burning Man, Nevada: 30 August - 6 September

Held in Nevada's Black Rock Desert, the American festival of the Burning Man is fairly self explanatory. Each year, a giant wooden statue is set alight, much like the burning of Guy Fawkes dummies on Bonfire Night in the UK.

The theme for this year's Burning Man festival is Metropolis, and participants can choose to adorn their vehicles and themselves with wacky themed decorations. This hot American Festival is all about self expression and creativity, and everywhere you look you'll find crazy art instillations that defy conformity. The Metropolis theme for this year's event will explore city life and the future of civilisation.

The Burning Man festival isn't a structured event. It's participant-driven and each year is different to the last. It's an engaging, entertaining experience, but it's also a lesson in survival. Temperatures in the Black Rock Desert soar by day before plummeting at night when revellers take to their tents so be sure to pack some woolly socks!

Lobster Festival, Los Angeles: 17-19 September

If you like seafood, then you'll love Lobster Festival, where you can chow down on a massive steamed Maine lobster meal - 15 tons of the critters are delivered to the festival each year. Vegetarians won't feel left out - they can enter the festival for free if they choose to eat at the salad bar at the nearby Ports O' Call restaurant.

In addition to the crunchy crustaceans, the Lobster Festival offers a varied mix of weird and wonderful music, including gigs from the likes of Shorty's KISS Band and the Los Straitjackets.

Get a Quote