Don a cowboy hat and boots at the Calgary Stampede, sample some jazz in New Orleans or head to Pennyslvania and check out the groundhog’s weather predictions. There’s a variety of festivities and fun across this great land.
- New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival, USA
Top bands play year round in the clubs of New Orleans but it’s hard to beat those of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, held April/May. Any time of year you’re guaranteed easy-going rhythms and the colorful culture of the Deep South.
- Calgary Stampede, Canada
Pack your hat and boots for the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” that takes place every year in July. This 10 day event is a feast of rodeo, concerts, chuck wagon races, agricultural competitions, pancake breakfasts and many other events that transform Calgary into a cowboy heaven.
- International Jazz festival, Montreal, Canada
The Guinness Book of World Records lists this as the largest event of its kind on the planet. Kudus indeed for this annual concert that lights up the summer with hundreds of free concerts. The most famous musician to play here is also a Montreal local, the famous jazz pianist Oscar Peterson.
- Burning man, Nevada, USA
Breathe in art at this annual event that attracts thousands of participants to the wastes of the Black Rock Desert. This event is all about participation where any form of self-expression is valued and appreciated. There are no vendors out here so self-reliance is encouraged for the week long sojourn and to finally leave the area without a trace.
- Groundhog Day, Pennyslvania
Do a Bill Murray and come to Pennyslvania on February 2 to find out if winter will end soon. This vacation is all about weather lore. The groundhog emerges from its burrow and if it fails to see its shadow it means winter will soon end. If it does see its shadow and returns to the burrow, winter will continue for six more weeks.
- Fourth of July, USA
American patriotism climaxes around the July 4th celebrations, when the Declaration of Independence was adopted and independence from Great Britain declared. In the morning there is the Fourth of July Presidential Address over the radio and then communities enjoy day-long barbecues, picnics and family gatherings. Some cities have parades with people dressed as the original founding fathers and at dusk there is a fireworks display.
- 24-hour marriage marathon, New York
It could only happen in America but surprisingly this isn’t one of those Vegas drive thru’s. Picture being on top of the world at 110 stories and 1377 feet and you’ve got one of the most romantic decks on which to get married – yes, that’s the Empire State Building. On Valentines Day ever year, couples tie the knot before a New York State Supreme Court Justice in a specially constructed wedding chapel.
- Toronto International Film Festival, Canada
This is one of the top film festivals in the world and where the Oscar buzz first begins every year in September. Famously independent and not-for-profit it is generally considered second only to Cannes in terms of high profile pictures, stars and market activity. It usually includes mainstream films, but also the highlights of Canadian cinema and a variety of African, South American and Asian films.
- Sundance Film Festival, Utah
This is the largest independent cinema festival in the US. It is held annually in January and is the premier showcase for new work from American and international independent filmmakers. Famously chaired by Robert Redford, the goal is to showcase what the potential of independent film could be.
- Beer festival, Montreal, Canada
If you like all things ale, hops and lager, you’ll want to be one of the 50,000 beer enthusiasts in the old port of Montreal in June. The Mondial de la Biere offers more than 340 brews on tap from all around the world.