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11 Quirky Spring Festivals in the United States

Spring inspires us to get out and about, to emerge from our winter slumber. Luckily, that’s when the biggest festival season begins, and this roundup doesn’t focus on just any old events. We are pulling together some fun, quirky events to fill our out-of-the-box bucket list for some serious springtime fun, and you’ll be both puzzled and intrigued at the same time. Mark your calendars and plan the road trip, because you don’t want to miss these bizarre celebrations in the United States this spring.

Frozen Dead Guy Days, Colorado Frozen Dead Guy Days, Nederland, Colorado
Credit: Frozen Dead Guy Days, Nederland, Colorado by mbeldyk via Flickr

Frozen Dead Guy Days, Colorado

Colorado hosts a festival seemingly more fit for Halloween than spring, but we’ve got to include it, because it’s so odd, and it takes place every March. Stemming from an actual frozen dead guy, the celebration consists of lots of creepy yet light-hearted costumes, a list of music acts in toasty warm tents, and downright kooky activities. Coffin races you guys—that’s all we need to say. For the curious, coffin races consist of a group of people carrying a brave passenger in a wooden contraption.

Elkfest, Wyoming Elkfest
Credit: Elkfest by Elkfest

Elkfest, Wyoming

A collecting of elk antlers that have been shredded through the winter takes place in the refuge at Jackson Hole in May, and yes, they’ve made an entire festival out of this. Visitors can participate in auctions to obtain these natural accents which can be used in furniture making or whatever else your imagination has in mind. Proceeds benefit the refuge which protects Elk through the frigid months. Attn: No elk are harmed in the preparation of this event.

Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival, Colorado Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival
Credit: Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival by BoulderDowntown.com

Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival, Colorado

Come April, Boulder, Colorado is flooded with fairies and elves that welcome thousands of colorful tulips that will add color to the city through the season. It’s a magical time for adults and children alike, and other activities like face painting add to the whimsical display. It’s quite a sight to see these sparkling characters take over the mountain-surrounded town.

Baltimore Mac and Cheese Festival, Maryland Baltimore Mac and Cheese Festival
Credit: Baltimore Mac and Cheese Festival by Rob Lee via Flickr

Baltimore Mac and Cheese Festival, Maryland

Whiskey, food trucks, and over the top Mac and cheese concoctions? Yes, please. Power Plant Live, the stunning venue featuring multiple restaurants and entertainment hubs in the city hosts this new cheesy event. Can you imagine that over 30 kinds of the noodle dish will be presented to attendees? And just think how good it will be with an ice-cold craft beer.

Duck Tape Festival, Ohio Duck Tape Festival
Credit: Duck Tape Festival by Ducktapefestival.com

Duck Tape Festival, Ohio

Something as useful as tape with the strength of steel deserves its own party, and Ohio gave it one. In June, fans pour into Veterans Memorial Park to spectate and participate in tape-infused fashion shows and crafts—a massive community-fueled parade of glorious colorful floats composed of, yes, tape, is front and center. As with any great festival, you’ll find delicious food and entertainment, along with the official duck mascot.

Waikiki Spam Jam, Hawaii Waikiki Spam Jam
Credit: Waikiki Spam Jam by spamjamhawaii.com

Waikiki Spam Jam, Hawaii

Strangely enough, Hawaiians consume more Spam than any state in the US, so it’s only natural that they center a big celebration around this beloved canned meat substance. Restaurants jump in to roll out genuinely delicious spam creations, and some Hawaiian culture and entertainment is intertwined into the fun. Don’t forget, you can buy some seriously awesome Spam gear while there, from t-shirts to slippers.

Atkins Picklefest, Arkansas Atkins Picklefest
Credit: Atkins Picklefest by Atkins Picklefest

Atkins Picklefest, Arkansas

Arkansas celebrates the delicious dill every May because it was the pickle factory that sustained their community since 1945. Today, a huge event centers around the marinated cucumber, and people love competing in pickle juice drinking and pickle eating contests. A pageant is even held to name Mr. Dill Pickle & Miss Sweet Pickle. We know you’re going for the pickles, but make sure to enjoy the vendors and rodeo too.

World Grits Festival, South Carolina World Grits Festival
Credit: World Grits Festival by Worldgritsfestival.com

World Grits Festival, South Carolina

Grits, a corn-based hot cereal typically served with butter, milk, and possibly cheese in the South is celebrated in South Carolina every April. The town of St. George gobbles up more grits than any other place in the world, so it makes total sense that this particular festival is located here. But what makes this festival so odd? It would have to be the grits rolling contest, where participants literally flounder in a blowup pool of gooey goodness.

Georgia Peach Festival, Georgia Georgia Peach Festival
Credit: Georgia Peach Festival by gapeachfestival.com

Georgia Peach Festival, Georgia

There’s nothing out of the ordinary for a great peach bash to take place in Georgia, but the Georgia Peach Festival takes it all to the next level with the creation of a dessert of astronomical proportions. Prepared in a giant brick oven, the southern treat Is 11 by 5 feet and eight inches deep. Ninety pounds of butter, 150 pounds of sugar, 150 pounds of flour, 32 gallons of milk, and 75 gallons of Lane Packing Co. peaches are used to make the masterpiece. Everyone gets a taste.

Barrow Whaling Festival, Alaska Barrow Whaling Festival,
Credit: Barrow Whaling Festival, by commons.wikimedia.org

Barrow Whaling Festival, Alaska

Also known as Nalukataq, the event takes place after whale hunting in the spring, as a way to show thanks for a bountiful season. Towns in the area all have their own individual celebrations of food and dancing, but the most bizarre celebration is the one where seal skins are used to toss daring human beings high into the air.

Fire Ant Festival, Georgia Fire Ant Festival
Credit: Fire Ant Festival by Fire Ant Festival

Fire Ant Festival, Georgia

It doesn’t sound appealing, but it’s basically a fair with some fire ant-themed activities, like a maze. Ashburn, Georgia puts on a locally fueled event with rides, art shows, character appearances including a friendly fire ant, and let’s not forget the pet parade featuring the town’s own beloved animals, from pups to pigs. In addition to classic fair food, we love that there will be a tantalizing barbecue cook-off. Just so you know, no actual fire ants are invited to the party.

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