Travel Picks: Top 10 wacky U.S. summer events

Fri Jun 8, 2012 7:27am EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) — If you're heading on holiday in the United States and enjoy a bit of eccentricity, then you're in luck because summer turns to silly season with these off-the-wall events chosen by online travel adviser TripAdvisor for its top 10 list of wacky U.S. summer events. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. Great Texas Mosquito Festival - June 26-28, Clute, Texas

Located 55 miles southeast of Houston, Clute will be a-buzz with excitement at the 32nd annual Great Texas Mosquito Festival. Presided over by festival mascot Willie-Man-Chew - the world's largest mosquito, standing at 26 feet tall (and rest assured it's fake) - some 13,000 attendees will find themselves bitten by the bug for summertime fun at this al fresco fiesta. Thick-skinned contestants can vie to summon a bevy of bugs in the mosquito calling competition, or simply strut their stuff in a mosquito legs contest. Meanwhile, a big-time BBQ cook-off competition will serve up proof that the ultimate delicacies at this event are not the attendees. Admission is $5 - $15 for adults, and $3 - $5 for senior citizens and children alike (ages five and under are free).

2. Slugburger Festival - July 12-14, Corinth, Mississippi

Now in its 25th year, the annual Slugburger Festival pays tribute to Corinth's local culinary delight. Comprising a deep-fried patty formed of beef and soy meal, the "slugburger" may be an acquired taste - but fervent fans of the unique sliders will be in their element at this three-day celebration in northeast Mississippi. This year's not so fat-free festivities include the inaugural World Slugburger Eating Championship, in addition to a Slug Idol talent contest, carnival rides and more. General admission is free of charge on Thursday, $6 on Friday and $10 on Saturday.

3. World Chicken Festival - London, Kentucky, September 27-30

Home to the very first restaurant established by Kentucky Fried Chicken founder, Colonel Harland Sanders, Laurel County throws this annual eggs-travaganza in celebration of its fine feathered heritage. The poultry party features a hot wing eating contest, a clucking competition, and the event's famous "Chicken Scratch", in which children dig through 600 pounds of flour in search of cash. And, with crowds of up to 150,000 attendees, chicken meals are in plentiful supply, thanks to the world's largest stainless steel skillet. With a diameter of 10 feet, six inches, the hefty pan can cook 600 chicken quarters at one time. General admission is free of charge.

4. Humungus Fungus Fest - August 3-5, Crystal Falls, Michigan

This fungus-filled fete honors the largest mushroom in the world, which weighs in at 11 tons and lies beneath the ground, just south of this town in northern Michigan. Earth-enthusiasts can get their fill of mouthwatering mold at the mushroom cook off, or nosh on a slice of the world's largest mushroom pizza. And to work up an appetite for another piece, attendees can compete in the Strong Man Contest, in which tires are tossed and kegs are catapulted. General admission is free of charge.   Continued...