DALLAS /PRNewswire/ -- From coast to coast, America is home to some of the most original and entertaining summer festivals founded by local communities celebrating their heritage. To inspire summer wanderlust and encourage travelers to experience these truly amazing events, the iconic all-American lodging brand and its famous voice, Tom Bodett, came together for the second consecutive year to curate a list of "Motel 6's Top Six Quirkiest Summer Festivals of 2017." Motel 6 looked beyond the traditional and typical events to recognize and award six exceptional summer festivals taking place across the United States. From the longest-running non-motorized parade to a seed-spitting competition, these quirky fairs will provide imaginative entertainment and sharable social media moments all summer long!
"Motel 6 has been inspiring travel for the past 55 years, and we want to continue doing so by providing not only budget-friendly accommodations across the nation, but also memorable road trip ideas for travelers to consider this season," said Jim Amorosia, president and CEO of G6 Hospitality. "We have so much fun discovering America's local communities through our annual roundup of 'Motel 6's Top Quirkiest Summer Festivals' and hope to encourage travelers to visit and check out these unique events as they start preparing for their summer travel adventure."
Motel 6 and Tom Bodett considered a long list of one-of-a-kind American summer festivals and selected six finalists based on individuality of theme and exemplary attendee offerings. In recognition of their achievement, each festival committee will receive an honorary plaque presented by Motel 6.
"No matter where you live in the United States, there's a fun and affordable festival around the corner for you to discover, support the community, and enjoy wacky activities and live entertainment," said brand-voice, Tom Bodett. "And with thousands of locations across the U.S., Motel 6 is the perfect go-to option for traveling festival fanatics to embrace all the thrills, not frills, the summer has to offer."
Travelers seeking off-the-beaten-path road trip ideas this summer are encouraged to visit the following fairs included on Motel 6's Top Six Quirkiest Festivals of 2017:
Mule Days Celebration in Bishop, California; May 23–May 28
More than 30,000 fans from around the world gather each Memorial Day Weekend for the 48th annual equestrian festival, which is part mule competition and part Wild West show. The annual Bishop Mule Days Celebration includes more than a dozen shows with over 700 mules. For five days, festival-goers can witness live equestrian skills events such as English jumping, dressage, team roping, western riding, and races. Additionally, fans can also enjoy a live country concert, the longest-running non-motorized parade, chariot racing, barbecues, musical tires, and more!
Watermelon Thump in Luling, Texas; June 22–June 25
Since the festival's inception in 1954, residents and out-of-towners alike have rallied around the four-day Luling Watermelon Thump. Paying tribute to the iconic summer fruit and its local growers, the festival also raises awareness for the town's thriving watermelon market. The annual extravaganza draws an estimated 25,000 visitors to the area each year. They can participate in a number of unique festivities including watermelon seed-spitting competitions, watermelon eating contests, a giant parade, queen's coronation, a wide variety of musical acts, food booths, arts and crafts, a classic car show, carnival rides, and even a watermelon auction to support the town's local farmers.
WestFest in Chicago, Illinois; July 7–July 9
The excitement in Chicago's West Town picks up every summer for the annual WestFest celebration, which reflects the city's hip local scene and highlights Chicago-based businesses and talent. All things West Town come together for Chicago's three-day street fair in July, where fans can enjoy a neighborhood-wide celebration featuring unique local offerings and live entertainment. For the family, WestFest's Kid Fest takes place on an adjacent street and offers activities such as pony rides, live music, local theatrical performances, and family-friendly games. WestFest's Pet Fest is another dog-friendly spot that's sure to get tails wagging with pet-related vendors and activities, obstacle courses, bathing pools, and mobile grooming stations for charity.
Colorado Dragon Boat Festival in Wheat Ridge, Colorado; July 29–July 3
The annual Colorado Dragon Boat Festival is a wildly popular cultural and athletic event that celebrates the diverse local Asian American Pacific Islander community. The festival boasts the largest Dragon Boat Festival in the country, featuring an epic lake race of more than 50 colorful dragon boat teams. Attendees can take part in two days of free festival activities, including: multiple stages for live performances, an Asian marketplace with gifts, crafts, and novelties from Asia and the Pacific, a spicy ramen eating contest, martial arts demonstrations, the Taste of Asia Food Courts, Dragonland for kids, a traditional lion dance, and much more.
Twins Days in Twinsburg, Ohio; August 4–August 6
No, you're not seeing double! Each year, hundreds of sets of twins travel to Twinsburg, Ohio, to celebrate their duality at the Twins Days festival―the largest gathering of twins and other multiples in the world. Double the fun of your ordinary festival, the Twins Days celebration welcomes identical and fraternal siblings, including twins, triplets, quads, to Twinsburg every August for a weekend filled with costume contests, talent shows, live entertainment, food, arts and crafts, games and rides for kids, and fireworks at night.
Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw & Festival in Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin; September 1–September 2
Every Labor Day weekend, fair-goers let their cow chips fly during the annual Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw & Festival, which was inspired by the region's ingenious settlers who used dried buffalo "cow chips" as a life-sustaining utility to fuel their home. Decades later, this one-of-a-kind festival draws in more than 40,000 attendees to see who can beat the 248-foot record for the longest cow chip throw! The light-hearted and entertaining chip-throwing practice is honored every summer during the Wisconsin State Cow Chip Festival, which also features live entertainment, arts and crafts, food, game booths, a 5K and 10K run, and fun activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Are you a festival fanatic looking to take part in the must-see summer action? Start planning your adventures – Motel 6 has a comfortable, affordable room nearby.
Festival fans can enjoy "Motel 6's Top Six Quirkiest Summer Festivals" by following the "6 from 6" list on the brand's social media pages. All summer long, Motel 6's social media channels will provide followers with a glimpse of each of the featured festivals and the towns they are based in, inspiring travelers to add these extraordinary happenings to their summer bucket list. Fans are also encouraged to share their summer festival experience using the hashtag #ThrillsNotFrills.
For more information, visit www.motel6.com.