Happy Belated First Day of Fall! Yesterday marked the official start of the pumpkin spice frenzy – lattes, pies, candies, Pringles…yes Pringles. But even though the food this time of year brings joy and a few extra pounds, fall also brings with it some amazing festivals. Regular harvest festivals are plentiful across the country, but as you can imagine, some towns’ annual fall festivities celebrate truly unique traditions and local quirks. Here are some of America’s funkiest fall festivals, from the whimsical to the totally bizarre.
Trailing of the Sheep Festival – Ketchum, Idaho – October 7-11, 2015
Did you know Ketchum, Idaho is one of the sheepherding capitals of the world? Throughout much of the town’s history, sheep have even outnumbered people! The Trailing of the Sheep is the culminating event of a four-day festival in Ketchum that celebrates the town’s rich history of livestock herding. Herders accompany over 1,500 sheep parade down Main Street as they complete their migration from summer to winter pastures. This amazing celebration of local culture, cuisine, and sheep takes place every October.
Wife Carrying Championship – Newre, Maine – October 10, 2015
Newre, Maine celebrates the end of summer with an annual Fall Festival at Sunday River Ski Resort. Live music and arts and crafts are dwarfed by the headlining event – The North American Wife-Carrying Championship. This race is based on a 19th century Finnish legend about “Ronkainen the Robber” who only accepted men into his band capable of carrying heavy weights or local women through a running course. Just as it sounds, the event challenges 50 couples to race through a 278-yard obstacle course with the woman being carried. The winner receives the wife’s weight in beer and three-times the wife’s weight in cash. Registration is still open, so don’t miss it!
Emma Crawford Coffin Races & Parade – Manitou Springs, Colorado – October 24, 2015
In the late 1800’s, Emma Crawford traveled to Manitou Springs to aid her tuberculosis with the town’s mineral springs. She passed away several years later and was buried on Red Mountain. After years of weather and erosion, however, Emma’s coffin was unearthed and slid down the mountain to the valley below. To remember Emma Crawford, thousands of people travel to Manitou Springs every year for the coffin races and parade. Teams of five construct rolling “coffins” with elaborate designs and decorations. One person dressed as Emma rides in the vehicle while four runners push her along a 195-foot course. Winners take home trophies for time and aesthetics. Registration is still open for this ghoulish race coming up in a few weeks!
No matter how you’re celebrating the start of fall, make sure you remember to keep your yard protected from mosquitoes right up until winter arrives, so you’ll be in much better shape when the warm weather returns next year. Mosquitoes will thrive and lay eggs until temperatures are consistently below 55 degrees, which is still months away for many. Taking care of mosquitoes with an end-of-season spray will allow you to enjoy your yard uninterrupted this fall and will dramatically decrease the amount of pests next season. Call your local Mosquito Joe for more information.