As 2019 and the “20-10s” decade comes to a close, it is important to reflect on the past as well as to look forward. Living in the present is crucial to our well-being, but we should also take stock of our past experiences to inform our future decisions. In LTD’s last post of the year, we decided to spotlight some small but mighty cool American towns that have flourished alongside a particular industry. Each year, these five towns host events to celebrate that heritage and promote future prosperity.
Expected Date: April 4, 2020
Whether you call them crawdads, craydads, crayfish, or crawfish, their capital is known to be in Central Alabama! These “not-quite-lobster” yet “more-than-shrimp” crustaceans are the centerpiece of a Springtime bonanza that includes carnival rides, crawfishing tournaments, and a sing-off! Bring your kids, bring your spouse, or just a friend, because there are going to be a lot of delicious delectables to go around. BONUS! For any history buffs, Central Alabama is home to Selma, the city from which MLK and other civil rights leaders led famous marches in support of voting rights for Black Americans. Be sure to visit the various historical landmarks and exhibits around town!
Dates: April 29 – May 3, 2020
Knitting is pretty neat for multiple reasons: 1) it combines art and function 2) it’s therapeutic 3) it’s a mainly wholesome industry that provides resources like food and shelter for animals that help produce yarn! The city of Loveland, Colorado and its neighboring towns are home to dozens of yarn-related businesses, including small craft shops with cute names like “The Loopy Ewe” and “From Farm to Yarn.” Various alpaca farms are based in Loveland, and the town is close to the headquarters of the country’s largest knitting publication, Interweave. Each May, Interweave hosts the premier American yarn festival, which brings together some of the top knitting artisans, yarn producers, and hobbyists alike. And, just in case you were wondering, it’s estimated that Loveland’s ski resort will still be open!
Expected Dates: June 18-20, 2020
Remember duck tape wallets? The people of Avon, Ohio sure do. In fact, they took that idea about 4 steps further! The Duck Tape Festival is a number of things: a parade, a costume contest, a concert series. As a town-wide event, it’s just about as versatile as, well, duck tape! Created in 2003, the sticky ceremony pays tribute to the Duck Brand company, which is headquartered in Avon. Every Father’s Day weekend, people from all over the country arrive with parade floats made of Duck Tape, dressed in outfits made of Duck Tape, to pay tribute to Duck Tape. Fun fact: “duck tape” is the correct spelling, not “duct tape” and it was invented during WWII by a woman named Vesta Stoudt.
Dates: June 19-21, 2020
“Jazz washes away the dust of every day life.” -Art Blakey
Every year, the town of Elkhart, Indiana hosts a festival that celebrates jazz music as well as the instruments that define the genre. The event features local and regional jazz artists and national jazz legends, as well as dancing, food, and drinks. Elkhart is well known for being the home of the Conn-Selmer company, which is America’s leading manufacturer and distributor of musical instruments, used by professionals and amateurs alike. Not only does the company make quality instruments, but also it has a robust education arm that partners with bands and orchestras around the world to help students realize their musical potential.
Expected Dates: September 16-20, 2020
Shelley farmers are known for producing a significant share of the 13 billion pounds of russet potatoes harvested in Idaho each year. Idaho has built quite an industry around the starchy veg, and the state has become all but synonymous with the word “potato.” In fact, if you start to search the word “Idaho” in Google, many of the top suggested terms are potato-based. In honor of the “tater,” Shelley, Idaho hosts Spud Day every year. Attendees of Spud Day can participate in a range of activities, like the “Spud Run 5K” or the “Spud Tug [of war],” or lend their tastebuds to the potato baking competition as a judge!