5 Cool, Off-the-Beaten-Path Summer Festivals

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Get in touch with your playful side at these annual offbeat summer festivals around the country. Celebrate everything from Kool-Aid to duct tape at these wacky events. You'll dazzle your friends with pictures of you dressed like an alien at the Roswell UFO Festival. And how impressed will your next date be when you tell him you participated in a cherry-spitting contest at the National Cherry Festival? These annual festivals are fun way to spend a summer weekend and guaranteed to make you feel like a kid again.

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Duct Tape Festival June 18-20th 2010, Avon, OH. Who knew there was a festival dedicated to tape? The seventh annual Duct Tape Festival, held in the "Duct Tape Capital" of the world, includes a parade, displays of duct tape sculptures, and other events.

National Wooly Willy Wonderdaze June 22-26th, Smethport, PA. Remember Wooly Willy, the magnetic toy where you can put hair and a moustache on a bald man? Well, this second annual festival pays tribute to the magnetic toy with tours of the Wooly Willy factory and much more!

Kool-Aid Days August 15-16, Hastings, NE. Still can't forget those commercials where the Kool-Aid guy came crashing through the wall? Then head to Nebraska for the 13th annual celebration of this classic beverage that's a staple in American pop culture. Activities include a bike tour, food festival, etc.

National Cherry Festival July 3-10th, Traverse City, MI. See who is crowned National Cherry Queen or enter a cherry-pit spitting competition at this annual event that pays homage to the beloved cherry.

Roswell UFO Festival July 1-5 2010, Roswell, NM. Find out everything you ever wanted to know about UFOS but were afraid to ask at the Roswell festival, where you can partake in Alien BBQ competitions and other spacey activities.

Alison Lowenstein is the author of three NYC-area guidebooks, including City Weekends: The Greatest Escapes and Getaways in and Around NYC. She also runs the site Brooklyn Baby.

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