Water, water everywhere, why not visit a Waterfront Fair?

While I looked over the events for this week’s blog, I noticed a good percentage of them take place on or near water. I guess it must be that it is finally at the point where we are willing to go in or near the water. No one wants to go into the ocean, rivers or lakes in Boston in January.

But this is a great time of year to celebrate our waterways and waterfronts. I have included not one, but two, count them, Dragon Boat Races.  If you do not know what Dragon Boats are think sculling boats, only with 22 rowers and some phenomenal decorations. If there is one near you, make sure to experience it at least once. If you like something a little faster there is the Tastin’and Racin’ Festival in Issaquah, WA which features hydroplane racing on the lake. These events couldn’t be more different. They are sort of a Man vs. Machine choice in which you like better.

If you are like me and you love food, (watch the comments please) this week is the New Jersey Seafood Festival in Belmar. Even though there are no less than a million jokes about NJ, the huge fishing and seafood industry is no joke. Trust me, this is really a delicious and fun way to spend the weekend. I spent many summers down the shore in NJ and it really has many exceptional beaches and events. All kidding aside!

Moving around the country, I found a few other “water themed events” I think are excellent choices this week. These include the Smoky Hill Riverfest in Salina KS, the Old Port Festival in Portland ME, Thunder on the Water Safeboating Festival in Grenada MS and the Riverfest in Gadsden, AL. Also there  are  two “water” festivals that take place in the same area, at the same time every  year, the Norwalk Harborfest in Norwalk, VA and the Seawall Festival in Portsmouth, VA. Any or all of these will certainly be a great family adventure this week.

It’s also the time of year where it gets more difficult to narrow down events to just one theme so I need to add a few “non water” themed events as well. They are the Superman Festival in Metropolis, IL (where else would you have a Superman Festival?), three huge neighborhood festivals in Chicago, the Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival in Frankenmuth, MI, the Allentown Art Festival in Buffalo, NY, the Taste of Charlotte in NC and the Texas Folklife Festival in San Antonio, TX.

I really could have added 100’s to this list. As we move into summer the festivals are more plentiful and creative and many deserve to be listed. The only problem is that I have limited space here and cannot list them all. However I certainly invite and encourage you to please use the search box to find some fun things to do in your own backyard this week! And most of all remember what I always say, grab someone to take along to share the experience and to make wonderful memories together!

Old Town Art Fair

Jun 09, 2012 – Jun 10, 2012

West Of Lincoln Park Chicago, IL US 60601

Since 1948. Old Town Art Fair is one of the country’s oldest juried outdoor art fairs, there are over 250 invited artists displaying fine arts in all mediums. Activities galore including a children’s corner, garden walk, food court, auction and merchandise marketplace. Takes place West Of Lincoln Park, Between North Lincoln Park West and Sedgwick.
50,000 Attendees

Allentown Outdoor Art Festival

Jun 09, 2012 – Jun 10, 2012

Downtown/Allenwood Section Buffalo, NY US 14201

Since 1959, over 400 artists with pieces made in ceramics, canvas, jewelry, wood, glass, etc. in one of nation`s largest historic preservation districts.
400,000 Attendees

Superman Celebration

Jun 07, 2012 – Jun 10, 2012

Downtown Metropolis, IL US 62960

Since 1980, Its a bird, no its a plane, no its the Superman Celebration. Activites include yard sales, music and entertainment, trivia, carnival rides, antique and classic cars from several surrounding states.
50,000 Attendees


Jun 08, 2012 – Jun 09, 2012

Along the Coosa River Gadsden, AL US 35901

Since 1985, family oriented event, includes musical entertainment, arts and crafts, water events, food, performing arts and more.
90,000 Attendees

Dragon Boat Festival

Jun 10, 2012

Weeks Foot Bridge Cambridge, MA US 02138

Since 1979, beautifully decorated boats, food, arts, crafts and entertainment round out this festival. Spectators will be able to watch brightly colored dragon boats, piloted by paddlers from Greater Boston, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, Philadelphia, California, and Montreal, Canada as they race down the Charles River between JFK Street and the Western Avenue Bridge. While races start in the morning, cultural programs will begin at 12 Noon. All programs are free and family friendly for visitors.
30,000 Attendees

Old Port Festival

Jun 10, 2012

Waterfront – Old Port District Portland, ME US 04101

Since 1973, features 6 different stages set up throughout the district. Entertainment is continuous and includes everything from country music to rock, from a comedy stage to a children’s stage. Plus arts and crafts, children’s activities, ethnic displays, a variety of food vendors, exhibits and a parade. The festival takes place from Congress Street to Commercial Street. Parade takes place on Exchange Street at 11am.
63,000+ Attendees

Pride of the Fox River Fest

Jun 08, 2012 – Jun 10, 2012

Downtown Saint Charles, IL US 60174

Since 1983, the river comes alive with water ski shows, radio controlled boats, fun run, great selection of food, entertainment, music stage and a huge juried craft, fine art show, food and more. Held at various locations. RiverFest presents the annual running of the 2,000-year- old sport of dragon boat racing, the 40-ton Fantasy Sand Sculpture, water ski shows, separate juried craft and fine art shows, carnival and programs a wide variety of events and entertainment on two free stages at six activity sites from Pottawatomie Park on the north to First Ave. on the south and Lincoln Park on the west. RiverFest free shuttle bus serves major sites and off- site parking at Thompson Junior High School (W. Main and 7th St.) from 11am. to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.
45,000 Attendees

Smoky Hill River Festival

Jun 07, 2012 – Jun 10, 2012

Oakdale Park Salina, KS US 67402

Since 1977, this four day arts celebration features, 150 juried arts and crafts exhibitors displaying and selling their wares, over 100 concerts, family entertainment, storytelling, roving performances, childrens area includes facepainting, games and other just for kid’s activities, and a wide variety of food.
90,000 Attendees

Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival

Jun 07, 2012 – Jun 10, 2012

Heritage Park Frankenmuth, MI US 48787

Since 1959, this event honors Frankenmuth’s German heritage. Includes Bavarian Rock Night, Frankenmuth Night, Local Olympics, Kinderfest, Youth Parade and German-Polish Picnic and Grand Parade. Listen to music from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s along with polka and big band styles, watch an authentic Bavarian show, rides and amusements, and feast on great German foods and beers. Bavarian Parade Sunday 1pm Churchgrove at Genesee Street.
375,000+ Attendees

New Jersey Seafood Festival

Jun 08, 2012 – Jun 10, 2012

Silver Lake Park and Taylor Pavilion Belmar, NJ US 07719

Since 1988, a variety of seafood, some of New Jersey’s top restaurants, Garden State wineries, craft beers, live music, juried craft show, childrens activity tent, contests, demonstrations and more. Takes place at Silver Lake Park and Taylor Pavilion, Oceanfront between 5th and 6th Avenues. Free shuttle.
80,000 Attendees

Norfolk Harborfest

Jun 08, 2012 – Jun 11, 2012

Town Point Fountain Park Norfolk, VA US 23510

Since 1976, features a spectacular Parade of Sail into Norfolk’s harbor, go aboard tall ships, music and dancing in the Fiesta Zone, patriotic entertainment, national recording artist entertainment and fun for the entire family in the Pirate Jamboree. Plus a breathtaking fireworks show.
250,000+ Attendees

Texas Folklife Festival

Jun 08, 2012 – Jun 10, 2012

Institute of Texan Cultures at the University of Texas San Antonio, TX US 78205

Since 1973, celebration to emphasis the diversity and ethnicity of the population of Texas with food, dancing and displays. 45 cultural groups from over 60 counties in Texas are coming together to celebrate their heritage and love of Texas.
70,000 Attendees

Tastin’ n Racin’

Jun 09, 2012 – Jun 10, 2012

Lake Sammamish State Park Issaquah, WA US 98027

Since 1997, festival includes arts and crafts, food booths, live music on the main stage and children’s stage, youth circus, beer garden, custom car and hot rod display, children’s rides and inflatables, vintage mahogany runabouts and hydroplane museum. Plus there will be boat races.
40,000+ Attendees

Seawall Festival in Association with OPSail VA 2012

Jun 08, 2012 – Jun 09, 2012

Olde Towne Portsmouth Waterfront Portsmouth, VA US 23704

Since 1977, a family festival featuring free waterfront concerts and family festivities.. Come out and enjoy free entertainment from local and regional acts. Coincides with Norfolk’s Harborfest. In 2012, the event is held in association with OpSail Virginia.
25,000 Attendees

Taste of Charlotte

Jun 08, 2012 – Jun 10, 2012

The Square at Trade and Tryon Charlotte, NC US 28202

The Taste of Charlotte is a 3 day, food and entertainment festival, which is 6 blocks long and takes place in the heart of Charlotte. Once there you can buy samples of menu items from a variety of different restaurants from around the city and surrounding areas. There is free entertainment throughout the weekend, including live music and a block long Kid’s Area.
125,000 Attendees

Thunder on Water Safeboating Festival

Jun 06, 2012 – Jun 10, 2012

Grenada Lake Grenada, MS US 38901

Over 150 Arts and Crafts, Retail, and Food Vendors. Over 100 entries in Car, Truck and Bike Show. Entertainment for all ages. Zambelli Fireworks Extravaganza over Grenada Lake. Rebel Amusements Midway Carnival. 10K Run / 5K Walk, Children’s Fishing Rodeo, Softball Tournament. Rodeo, Bike Rally, and Boat Light Parade. Water Events such as Speed Boat Races, Poker Run and Jet Ski Races. First Street Gallery Arts In Action Arts Fine Arts Festival.
146,000 Attendees

Andersonville Midsommarfest

Jun 09, 2012 – Jun 10, 2012

Downtown Andersonville Chicago, IL US 60601

Since 1965, great international food, stellar family activities, lively entertainment on four stages, and over 100 quality artisans showcasing their wares. Midsommarfest is one of Chicago´s most unique street fairs. Born out of Andersonville´s Swedish heritage, Midsommarfest retains its quaint, international flavor. Old-world Swedish traditions, including a festive dance around the Maypole, are incorporated into an unrivaled array of entertainment for families and adults. A special family area includes face painting, games and a family stage with entertainment such as Little Nashville, Nordic Folk dancers, the Barefoot Hawaiian Dancers, a pet parade and much more. The other three stages are filled all day with spirited music, including nationally- renowned acts, guaranteed to get the crowd dancing. A special family area includes face painting,
50,000 Attendees

Ribfest Chicago

Jun 08, 2012 – Jun 10, 2012

Northcenter Neighborhood Chicago, IL US 60618

Since 1999. Averaging 50,000 pounds of ribs and BBQ from more than 30 restaurants. As a nationally recognized music festival, we host a hot blend of Indie, pop, Roots, rock and alt country for one of the most unique band lineups in the city. The Rib Mania features professional eaters in the Midwest’s only sanctioned rib-eating contest on Friday night, and families can spend the weekend in Kids Square to enjoy live entertainment, inflatables, games and more. $5 Donation requested. Kids Square open Saturday – Noon to 8 pm and Sunday – Noon to 7 pm. Proceeds benefit Northcenter Chamber initiatives, annual community programming, greening and beautification efforts, the School Grant Program and charitable funding approved by the Chamber Philanthropy Committee.
55,000 Attendees

Maria can be reached directly at eventsblog@eventcrazy.com or visit her website at www.eventcrazy.com
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