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Road Kill, Duck Tape, & Testicles

A Parade in Every Town, the first adult contemporary fiction novel I'm releasing, is due out this summer. Set at the Sun Market and Trailer Park in an interesting little NH town, one of the main characters spends his spare time traveling to oddball festivals around the country, fulfilling a long ago promise to himself. While the book itself is fiction (of course, it's a novel), the festivals mentioned are in fact real things in various parts of the U.S. Many, or probably most, countries have their own unique festivals and traditions (the running of the bulls in Spain and the Tomato Festival in Italy come to mind), Parade is uniquely American and therefore so are the festivals.

Come with me and explore a bit of the strangeness that makes life worth, if not living, then worth having a stiff drink over.

Duck Tape Festival: Held Annually in Avon, OH (Update: Canceled for 2024, sadly). Celebrating all things duct/duck tape...and why doesn't someone just rename it officially to 'duck' since that's what we all call it? But regardless, while researching the all-things-tape gathering, I came across...

Metal Grass Music: Also referred to as Death Metal Grass and I'm sure other things. I haven't found a festival centered around this (yet) but my gods, what a revelation! I was a musician in a previous life and did a short stint as a drummer in a heavy metal band in my youth. It didn't last long since I'm an old folkie at heart, but this...this is amazing. The power of metal with the speed and intricacies of bluegrass - mind blowing stuff. And before I get lambasted for not being a metal fan and folks saying, You just need to listen Just no. You eat your peanut butter and pickles, I'll eat my liverwurst and honey, and we will agree to disagree and go our own separate taste-ways.

If you haven't had a chance to listen to metal grass, here's a sample:

Road Kill Cook-Off: My recent horror novel, Rathcrog, is set in West Virginia but

although various types of meat (or is it flesh?) were involved in the story, the festival sadly wasn't. In general, meats that could be road kill are commonly served at the Cook-Off, but actual road kill isn't..or so they say.

Mike the Headless Chicken Festival: Fruita, Colorado. Apparently, a farmer back in 1945 went hungry one night when the chicken he beheaded refused to die and walked around for over a year, only mostly dead. It was kept alive with an eyedropper and...look, I don't make this stuff up, check into it yourselves. One of the events at the festival, of course, is a chicken wing eating contest. I wonder if the winner gets a helping of head cheese.

Testicle Festival: Yes, it is a thing, and there are actually multiple ones held in various

places around the United States. Depending on which one you attend, you will be offered heaping servings of bull balls, rocky mountain oysters, cowboy caviar, tendergroin...the puns write themselves. Sources include but aren't limited to turkey, goat, and beef. My favorite festival name? The Testy Festy out in Montana.

These are just a few of the ones I've come across doing research and in my travels. What are some of your favorites or ones you've heard about, here, there, or anywhere?


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Jan 13

Bengalis love goat testicles!

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