Mon, Oct 1, 2012
We’re back with another edition of our “Where To Travel In…” series, where we tell you about the best places to travel each month. Things slow down in October as people rest and recuperate from a packed month of drinking, partying and feasting in September.
But it all leads up to everyone’s favorite misinterpreted holiday: Halloween! What used to be a celebration of the end of summer has now turned into an excuse to dress like a skank, overdose on candy and watch horror movies.
Here are some of the best places to celebrate Halloween:
Greenwich Village Halloween Parade – New York City
The Greenwich Village Halloween Parade attracts over 2 million people, making it the largest public Halloween celebration in the United States. You’ll see everything from dancers to circus performers and even floats and giant puppets. What you won’t see are ordinary, store bought costumes. Nope, this is the place to show off wildly creative custom costumes that look like they came right out of a Hollywood movie.
West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval – West Hollywood, California
Every Halloween, a one-and-a-half mile stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard shuts down and becomes the largest public Halloween celebration in America. It’s located in gay-friendly West Hollywood, so expect to see just as many men as women wearing revealing costumes. It’s also a great concert venue as popular bands come down to play free shows.
Fantasy Fest – Key West, Florida
October 19 – 28
Combine Mardis Gras with Halloween and you get Fantasy Fest. Just about anything goes at this event, including copious public nudity — from tasteful body painted costumes to less tasteful flashing for beads. In the 10 days leading up to the masquerade march, there’s a headdress ball, a pet costume contest, celebrity look-alike contest, wet t-shirt contest and fetish and toga parties.
Masquerotica – San Francisco
This 21-and-over adult themed party is a mixture of lingerie, fetish and masquerade ball, with erotic performers, music, and games like “Stripper Pole Olympics” and “Kinky Kostume Kontest.”
For more family-friendly cultural events taking place around the world in October, check this out…
China’s National Day – China
The entire country will celebrate the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1st, with the largest celebrations taking place in Beijing, Tiananmen Square and Vitoria Harbor in Hong Kong, where 20,000 fireworks will be set off.
Procession of the Lord of Miracles – Lima, Peru
Hundreds of thousands of religious devotees crowd the streets of Lima for this procession, making it one of the largest religious gatherings in the world. The streets are filled with purple as people watch a painting of Senor de los Milagros (Jesus to the rest of us) paraded through the streets. There’s singing, dancing, and of course vendors selling Jesus merchandise. It all leads up to the most important bullfight of the year in Peru.
Nottingham Goose Fair – Nottingham, England
October 3 – 7
The Nottingham Goose Fair is one of Europe’s largest and most famous traveling fairs, dating back over 700 years, and featuring over 500 rides, attractions and food stalls.
Frankfurt Book Fair
October 10 – 14
If you prefer something a little more intellectual, head to the largest trade fair for books in the world. Over 300,000 visitors, authors and people in the book industry show up to this event because it’s considered the most important book marketplace in the world.
Here’s the best of the rest in October (we said it was a slow month)…
Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational BBQ – Lynchburg, Tennessee
The town of Lynchburg usually only has about 6,400 residents, but it swells to over 25,000 when people come to stuff their face at one of the largest BBQ competitions in the world. Even better than sampling BBQ from 80 different teams is the entertainment, like an ugly dog contest, bung pitching and… butt bowling?
Banner Elk Woolly Worm Festival – Banner Elk, North Carolina
October 20 – 21
We’re not sure how entertaining worm racing could possibly be, but it’s the signature event at this festival. The winner not only gets $1,000, but that worm is used to predict the winter’s weather. The judges use the 13 stripes on the worm to determine how severe the weather will be in each of the 13 weeks during winter.
30th Annual Beanfest & Championship Outhouse Races – Mountain View, Arkansas
October 25 – 27
This Bean Fest is one of the world’s only bean cookoffs. When you’re not scarfing down on beans and tootin’ up a storm, check out the outhouse race where 30 teams drive decorated outhouses down a hill. The winner gets $225 (but not their dignity back).
World Conker Championship – Oundle, England
The only event from our list of 15 Strange Sports Festivals and World Championships that takes place in October is the World Conker Championship, in which two players try to hit a chestnut seed off the opposing player’s string first. Regrettably, organizers were unable to find a venue for the 2012 World Conker Championships, so the event has been cancelled for 2012. However, a number of local pubs are holding their own Conker Competitions, so if you’re in town, be sure to check out the list of locations.