I think it's because the winter can seem so harsh here in the Midwest, that when Summer finally comes, we seize upon any reason as an excuse to be outside, drink beer and eat fried food.
In Traverse City, they have the Cherry Festival over July 4th even though the local cherries aren't blooming yet. Let's not let Mother Nature get in the way of taking advantage of the long holiday and the auto plant shutdowns. If you didn't know, the auto companies take two weeks for plant shut down at the start of July. The Cherry Festival is a big deal.
But it's the smaller, goofier festivals that appeal the most. The Cornfest in Auburn, Michigan and starts on July 12th. Of course the corn's not in yet, but it's the thought that counts. Yes, that's Corny the official mascot over there. Make your travel plans now.
There's the Munger Potato Festival. And while I've never been (despite my love of all things potato), doesn't "mungering" sound like something you could get arrested for? The big news out of Munger is that last year's Potato Queen was forced to give up her crown. Not for naked pictures or any racy conduct, just because she couldn't make enough events because she was in school. Man, I remember when Potato Queen wasn't such a political post. Can't we put bipartisan bickering aside for the sanctity and majesty of the Potato Crown? Luckily, they'll be picking a new Potato Queen from all the Potato Princesses (see how I avoided making a "tot" joke there?) at the end of July.
Finally, in Rittman it's the Sleepwalker Festival also at the end of July. This is a bit of an odd one in that it takes place on Thursday and Friday and doesn't even warrant weekend outdoor drinking. Luckily, there's plenty of fried food including fries, sweet potato fries (take that Munger), fried bananas, Blooming Onions, fried veggies, fried cheese, fried bologna, donuts, and pizza on a stick. Not sure how pizza on a stick works. Maybe it's friend so it stays on the stick. The best thing, you can also get free cholesterol and blood pressure checks from WRH Health System on Friday, July 27th. I can't make stuff up that's this good.
Oh, and there's a 3 on 3 basketball tournament because you'll want plenty of high humidity exercise after all that fried food.
What's the goofiest festival you have in your nape of the woods?