Mon, Apr 1, 2013
Welcome to the April edition of the “Where To Travel In…” series, where we break down the biggest, the best, and the downright weirdest events going around the globe. Here’s what’s happening in April…
April Fools’ Day – Various Countries
A personal favorite of TheJetpacker, April 1 is April Fools’ Day in the Western world. It’s marked by hilarity, hoaxes, and practical jokes being played throughout the day. Some travel-related April Fools’ pranks that have occurred over the years include the Dutch television news report in the 1950s that the Leaning Tower of Pisa had fallen over; the BBC reporting in 1980 that Big Ben would be going digital; and Expedia offering flights to Mars. This year, Richard Branson’s airline, Virgin Atlantic, announced that it was introducing the world’s first glass-bottomed airplane to coincide with their first ever domestic service to Scotland. (Clearly, so you can get a better view of the Loch Ness Monster!)
Songkran – Thailand
April 16 – 17
The Songkran festival is celebrated in Thailand as the traditional New Year’s Day, coinciding with the New Year of many calendars of Southeast Asia. Since Songkran occurs during the hottest time of the year in Thailand, the most famous celebration of Songkran is the throwing of water. It’s basically the biggest Super Soaker fight you could ever find yourself in.
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival – Indio, California
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is a massive music and arts festival, held in the California desert in Indio, California. The event features many genres of music including alternative rock, indie, and electronic music, as well as large sculptural art. The event started in 1999, and now attracts over 200,000 people.
London Marathon – London, England
The London Marathon has been held each spring since 1981. The course is set around the River Thames and finishes in The Mall alongside St. James’s Palace. And here’s a tidbit you probably didn’t know: The London Marathon holds the Guinness world record as the largest annual fund raising event in the world. The record was set when the 2009 participants raised more than £47.2 million for charity.
Boston Marathon – Boston, Massachusetts
Now in its 117th year, the Boston Marathon is held annually on Patriots’ Day. It was inspired by the success of the first modern-day marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics, and is now the world’s oldest annual marathon. On average, 20,000 runners participate each year.
Marathon des Sables – Morocco
The only thing worse than running a marathon is running an ultramarathon. And the only thing worse than running an ultramarathon is running an ultramarathon in the desert. And that’s exactly what the Marathon des Sables is: an insane six-day, 156-mile ultramarathon held in the southern Moroccan desert. It’s considered the toughest foot race on Earth.
Tribeca Film Festival – New York City
April 17 – 28
The Tribeca Film Festival was started in 2002 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in a response to the September 11 attacks, and is now one of the most prominent film festivals in the world.
Earth Day – International
There’s not really any big “event” you should travel to see on Earth Day. If fact, you probably should AVOID travelling altogether on Earth Day, unless you own a Pruis or walk to your destination.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – New Orleans, Louisiana
April 26 – May 5
Get your jazz on at one of the biggest events in New Orleans outside of Mardi Gras. Jazz Fest at its core is a celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. But with the 2011 lineup including names like Bon Jovi, Kid Rock, Fantasia, John Mellencamp and The Strokes, just to name a few, you’re bound to find something for every musical taste.
Walpurgis Night – Central and Northern Europe
Walpurgis Night is a spring festival that’s associated with dancing and with bonfires, and is held in countries like Sweden, Finland, Germany and the Czech Republic.
RoboGames – San Mateo, California
The RoboGames is the Olympics of robots. People, and their bots, come from around the world to to compete in over 50 different events, including combat, soccer, sumo, and kung-fu. Winners are given medals with scrolling LEDs displaying their name. You can watch a 10-minute documentary about the Games here.
Angola Prison Rodeo – West Feliciana, Louisiana
April 20 – 21
The Angola Prison Rodeo has been held every year at the Louisiana State Penitentiary since 1964. Originally it was a recreational activity for the inmates and officers and was closed to the public. But within a few years people began to flock to the rodeo and, being the capitalist society we are, the prison began selling tickets and building seating for the spectators. It’s now the longest-running prison rodeo in the United States, which implies there’s other prison rodeos elsewhere in the U.S. Who knew?
The 29th Annual Interstate Mullet Toss – Pensacola, Florida
April 26 – 28
Since 1984, locals and tourists alike descend on the border between Florida and Alabama for the Interstate Mullet Toss. And contrary to what you may be thinking, the mullets involved here are of the fish variety, not the bad-hairstyle variety. It’s held in conjunction with the “Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party,” which includes classy events like a bikini contest, a tug of war, and a keg toss.
World Cow Chip Throwing Championship – Beaver, Oklahoma
Holy crap this is awesome! Yes, there actually exists an event thats sole purpose is to have participants fling a piece of poo as far as they can. And if you thought it couldn’t get any funnier, the event takes place in BEAVER, Oklahoma.
Know of a cool event that should be added to the list? Leave us a comment and we’ll make sure to add it!