Bizarre Traditions in the United States
By: Chaundra Yarbrough

The United States has a rich history. As a result, many traditions have been developed throughout the years. A tradition is the passing down of a belief, custom, or information. Many popular traditions, such as celebrating Independence Day (July 4th), are enjoyed throughout the country. However, there are many unique individuals that live within this country. As a result, other unique traditions have emerged. Some of these traditions are a way to bring in tourism to a town. Another reason for unique traditions is for individuals with similar interests to meet and share their hobbies. Below, you will find unique traditions listed by the state that hosts them. Unique traditions are yet another way that the United States of America defines itself as a country that believes in the freedom to choose, no matter how odd your tradition may seem!




ARIZONA: Art Car World (Douglas, year round)
Purpose: Owners decorate their cars, motorbikes, and boats to express their artistic side. The show travels throughout the western United States.


CALIFORNIA: The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire (Irwindile, April-May)
Purpose: Forty years ago California was the birthplace of Renaissance Festivals. These festivals celebrate the work, religion, and music of the English Renaissance. People dress in costume to help recreate this period in time.

6th Annual Mooning of Amtrak (Laguna Niguel, July)
Purpose: Participants moon an Amtrak train as it passes by. Train passes are booked months in advance. There are no sponsors.

COLORADO: Frozen Dead Guy Day (Nederland, March)
Purpose: A conflict over a grandson trying to preserve his grandfather’s body in ice led to a dispute with the town. Due to immigration issues, the grandson was deported and grandpa was left. A secretive caregiver kept up the ice box until it was made illegal to hold a corpse on private property. Today the town celebrates their history with coffin races, snow-sculpting contest, parade, and tours of the shed.



FLORIDA: The Chicken Store (Key West, year round)
Purpose: This chicken lover rescues chickens and keeps them in her store. The owner sells various items, all chicken related except for the creatures themselves.

Interstate Mullet Toss (Pensacola, April)
Purpose:A festival in which participants throw a 1-pound dead fish from the Florida stateline across into Alabama. The winner is the individual with the longest toss.

GEORGIA: Redneck Games (Dublin, July)
Purpose: A festival in which participants participate in events such as bobbing for pig’s feet, seed spitting, dumpster diving, mud pit belly flop, and much more.



ILLINOIS: Rib-Fest Chicago’s Rib Mania Eating Championships (Chicago, June)
Purpose: To try and eat as many baby back ribs in eight minutes. Winner gets $2,100.

Lakeview Museum’s Community Solar System (Lakeview, year round)
Purpose: Spreading 60 miles, they have the largest complete solar system model in the world.

INDIANA: Demolition Derby Nationals (Indianapolis, May)
Purpose: To smash as many vehicles with your vehicle and remain the last car standing.


KANSAS: J. Stephen O’Laughlin Memorial Restroom (Kansas City, year round)
Purpose: A mock-memorial set up for an employee that wasn’t feeling well. It stayed and grew with time as a joke.


LOUISIANA: ACME Oyster Eating World Championships (New Orleans, June)
Purpose:To try and eat as many oysters as possible in eight minutes. Winner takes home $1,750.

MAINE: Umbrella Cover Museum (Peaks Island, open summer only)
Purpose:A museum dedicated to umbrella covers and appreciating the beauty in everydaylife.

MARYLAND: Presidential Pet Museum (Lothian, year round)
Purpose:A museum dedicated to the memory of 400 presidential pets, ranging from horses and dogs to raccoons and elephants.

MASSACHUSETTS: Museum of Bad Art (Dedham, year round)
Purpose:A museum dedicated to the artwork of bad artists everywhere.



MISSISSIPPI: The Sweet Potato Queens Zippity Do Dah Parade (Jackson, March)
Purpose:The Sweet Potato Queens are a group of ladies from around the country that wearbig wigs to go along with their big personalities. They wear crowns to identify themselves andmeet once a year to enjoy putting on a show of a variety of behaviors wherever they go.




NEVADA: 32nd Annual National Tattoo Convention (Sparks, April)
Purpose:To share new ideas/technology in tattooing, compete, and celebrate the art of tattooing.

Festival in the Pit (Battle Mountain, August)
Purpose:The town, dubbed “Armpit of America” by a writer, decided to create a festivalto celebrate. They host various events such as deodorant toss, “quick-dry” contest, and beauty contest.




NEW YORK: Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest(Coney Island, July 4th)
Purpose:The contestants try to see how many hot dogs they can eat in ten minutes. The winner takes home $40, 000.

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum (New York City, year round)
Purpose: To give people the opportunity to see their favorite celebrities up close. However, these are simply wax models of the celebrities.

NORTH CAROLINA: Museum of the Alphabet (Waxhaw, year round)
Purpose: A museum dedicated to the world’s alphabet and follows the development of writing systems worldwide.



OKLAHOMA: Storm Chasing Adventure Tours (Oklahoma City, May)
Purpose:To give people a chance to be up close and personal with a tornado.

OREGON: Portland Alien Museum (Portland, year round)
Purpose:To share with others the research and evidence that has been collected throughout the years on aliens.

Out‘n’ About Tree Resort (Takilma, year round)
Purpose:To offer individuals seeking a unique bed ‘n’ bath experience the opportunity to stay in a treehouse.

PENNSYLVANIA: Lawn Mower Racing Nationals (Greensburg, August)
Purpose: To race lawn mowers. Stock races can go from 6-8 mph.

Mutter Museum (Philadelphia, year round)
Purpose: This museum hold a collection of 20,000 medical experiments and body oddities.


SOUTH CAROLINA: Figure 8 Madness (Anderson Speedway, July 4th)
Purpose:To race school buses in figure eight patterns without getting hit.


TENNESSEE: Canine Freestyle Federation Titling Event (East Ridge, April)
Purpose: A dog and a handler perform to music.

TEXAS: 14th Annual International Mars Society Convention (Dallas, August)
Purpose: The Mars Society is a group of individuals dedicated to learning more about how humans can survive on Mars. Their mission is to educate the public, and look for private-enterprises for development on Mars.

ToiletSeat Art Museum (San Antonio, year round)
Purpose:A museum dedicated to artwork created on toiled seats.

National Museum of Funeral History (Houston, year round)
Purpose: A museum dedicated to bizarre caskets.




WASHINGTON: Annual Rainbow Gathering (Woodland, July)
Purpose: The Rainbow Nation is a group of people who are trying to achieve peace andlove on Earth. They consider themselvesto be family and meet annually to share their ideas.

Annual D.B. Cooper Party (Aerial, November)
Purpose: D.B. Cooper is famous for having hijacked a jet in 1971. With $200,000 in ransom money tied to hiswaist, he parachuted down. It wasbelieved that he was near Aerial, as this was the headquarters for the searchteam. Since 1974, the town has held aparty to honor their new claim to fame.




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