By Sonya D. Lavett
Are you afraid that summer is escaping you and you have yet to do anything fun? No worries! You still have time to pack up your family for a fun road trip. There are plenty of interesting things going on all across the U.S. for the remainder of the summer and possibly in a city or a town near you.
Ragnar Relay Series
The Ragnar Relay Series has been going on since February and will continue until October 2016 throughout various cities across the U.S. and other parts of the world. If you are unfamiliar with Ragnar, groups of 12 enter to run a 200-mile relay over two days. Some teams are highly competitive, while others simply strive to finish.
Ragnar is all about encouraging one another to not only dream big, but actually conquer them together. Also, hilarious costumes are encouraged (because no one enjoys suffering in a serious manner). Here is a map for Ragnar in the U.S., including some of their plans for 2017 as well.
The Lantern Fest is another great event that takes place between March and October 2016. All over the U.S., people are invited to come out and join their communities to listen to live music, enjoy s’mores and, when the sun goes down, everyone lights beautiful lanterns and releases them into the night sky. The event has been described as magical and breathtaking. Here is a list of cities and corresponding dates so you can be sure to catch this amazing event near your hometown.
Utah Shakespeare Festival
The Utah Shakespeare Festival is happening now and will run through Oct. 22, 2016, in Cedar City, Utah. What began in 1962 with just a few thousand visitors now boasts an audience of 100,000 and growing. This festival has gained a lot of recognition and has even received both a Tony Award and an Emmy.
The gorgeous Southern Utah scenery is definitely part of the package if you make the trek here. It is only a quick drive to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. In fact, the entire idea was born from the desire for tourists to have something to do in the evenings after the parks closed for the day.
Newport Folk Festival
If you happen to be in the Northeast, the Newport Folk Festival is happening soon from July 22-24 in Newport, Rhode Island. What can be expected? Anything from old blues and folk to young indie music – and pretty much anything in between.
This festival is for music lovers and was made popular by musicians like Bob Dylan, Howlin’ Wolf, Johnny Cash and Muddy Waters. In more recent years, the festival has hosted big names like the Avett Brothers, the Decemberists, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Fleet Foxes. Going green is the basic premise of the festival and attendees are encouraged to get there by bike, water shuttle, or ride sharing. If folk music is your scene, the Newport Folk Festival is one event you need to attend this year.
The Lobster Festival began in 1947 and has been an annual event every year since. This year, it will take place Aug. 3-7 in Rockland, Maine. A widely-renowned event, the city does an excellent job of taking the money that is raised and giving back to the community. About 30,000 people attend each year and come from all over to enjoy the food, music and culture. If you are craving a lobster roll, this is the best place to get it.
Washington State International Kite Festival
If you are into flying kites, you certainly will not want to miss the Washington State International Kite Festival taking place the third week of August in Long Beach, Washington. Kite enthusiasts from all over the world will come out to compete for this week-long event and more than 10,000 spectators will get to enjoy this colorful festival while participating in their own kite-flying opportunities.
If festivals are not your family’s idea of fun, why not check out something closer to home? Mountains, lakes, beaches, waterfalls, national parks or even smaller parks are always right around the corner. Plan a day trip, pack up a cooler, your pets and a picnic basket, and just drive.
Whatever you do or wherever your inner wanderlust takes you, stop for just a moment to enjoy your surroundings and relish the experience. Even the smallest of experiences can become special with the right summer attitude. Happy travels!
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