Sunday, July 27, 2014

10 Must-Do Events in August

There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in August:
  • Take a deep dive into Australasia’s contemporary art scene at the 25th annual Melbourne Art Fair (August 13-17) in suburban Carlton. Held in the Royal Exhibition Building, a World Heritage site, this well-regarded festival provides a stunning platform for 70 regional galleries and hundreds of leading artists. Lectures, free public performances, and a pop-up restaurant make this event a travel-worthy affair.
  • Get down and dirty at the world’s biggest food fight, La Tomatina (August 27), in Buñol, Spain. Don’t miss your chance to join tens of thousands of people armed with tons of the overripe fruit as they paint the town—and each other—red.
  • Stouts, ales, saisons, oh my! The Portland International Beerfest (August 8-10) is back with more than 200 brews from all over the world. Enjoy live music and mean local eats with a cold beer in hand—and take solace in the fact that you can do it all over again at the Seattle edition (August 22-24) two weeks later.
  • But if fermented grapes float your boat, make a beeline for the Hermanus Wine and Food Festival (August 8-10) in South Africa. Attendees can sample hundreds of varietals in the famous whale-watching city, as well as regional cuisine ranging from olives to organic cheeses. Puppet shows, face painting, a jumping castle, and free shuttle service make this event a big win for the entire family.
    The band The Verve performs at the Summer Sonic Festival in Tokyo.  (Photograph by luxtonnerre, Flickr)
    The band The Verve performs at the Summer Sonic Festival in Tokyo. (Photograph by luxtonnerre, Flickr)
  • Feel like cutting a rug? Put on your dancing shoes and head to Japan for two days of live music at the Summer Sonic Festival (August 16-17). The mega concert is split between the major metropolises of Tokyo and Osaka, with many artists—including headliners Queen, Arctic Monkeys, and Robert Plant—appearing in both cities in back-to-back performances. Trust us: This is one music festival you’ll want to add to your radar.
  • Celebrate a simpler way of life at the 25th annual Pennsylvania Dutch Festival (August 7-9) in Philadelphia. For three days, the city’s beloved Reading Terminal Market will become a showcase for handmade Amish crafts and traditional foods. Buggy and wagon rides, a petting zoo, and live music round out this unique cultural experience.
  • What better time to visit the City of Eternal Spring than during the annual Medellín Flower Fair? For ten days (August 1-10), Colombia‘s second largest city celebrates its colorful natural bounty with fireworks, live music, and the famous silleteros (flower vendors) parade.  
    A woman plays the tuba at the Guča Festival, an annual celebration of brass band music in western Serbia. (Photograph by Marko Djurica, Corbis)
    A woman plays a horn at the Guča Festival, an annual celebration of brass band music in western Serbia. (Photograph by Marko Djurica, Corbis)
  • If you think a trumpet festival sounds like a one-note affair, think again. Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to a tiny town in western Serbia to experience the cacophony (that’s meant in a good way) at the Guča Festival (August 6-10). The spirited event has been going strong for more than 50 years to celebrate brass bands and their enduring cultural significance in the Balkans and beyond.
  • Express yourself, support equality, and have fun doing it at Amsterdam Gay Pride 2014 (August 1-3) in the Netherlands. Street parties, live music, a drag queen Olympics, and the always raucous annual Canal Parade round out this spectacular event—all in the name of love. 
  • The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta returns (August 7-10) for its 36th year of atmospheric entertainment in one of England‘s most picturesque port cities. Cast your gaze skyward for mass ascents each morning or—if you’re feeling brave—go for a ride and take in the bird’s-eye view. Luminary shows, carnival rides, and live music complete this family-friendly event.
What would you add to the list? Let us know what we’re missing by leaving a comment.
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