Top Festival Picks for February 2016

As far as festivals go, the first month of 2016 was nothing short of spectacular. Per usual, time is flying by like a damn shooting star and we’re already gearing up for our next four weeks of revelry. With a slew of epic lineup announcements dropping these past couple weeks, it’s becoming quite apparent that summer festy season is within arms reach. We’re almost there, folks! And we can barely contain ourselves. But for now, check out our top fests for the month of February.

Midwest

Chicago Auto Show – Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Auto Show February 2016

Photo: Mustangs Daily

The largest and longest-running auto show in all of North America is held at Chicago’s very own McCormick Place Convention Center. The nine-day event celebrates all things cars, with over 1,000 unique exhibitions of sport utility vehicles, experimental cars, imported passenger trucks and much more.

Winter Bluegrass Festival – Wichita, Kansas

Celebrate the bluegrass music scene this February with workshops, live performances and more at Wichita’s Winter Bluegrass Festival. Vendors and a children’s classes make this event perfect for the whole family.

Winter Jam – Fort Wayne, Indiana (Multi-City)

This traveling music festival stops in dozens of cities all over the nation and features some of the top names in Christian music. This year’s Fort Wayne lineup includes big acts like Crowder, We Are Messengers and Trip Lee.

Winter Blast – Detroit, Michigan

For three days in mid-February, Campus Martius Park in Downtown Detroit becomes the playground for a slew of winter activities, live entertainment and delicious food vendors. Snowshoeing, ice skating, and marshmallow roasting are available to all who attend. Don’t forget to stop by the Taste of Detroit food and vendor tent!

Chicago Chinese New Year Parade – Chicago, Illinois

This February, celebrate the Year of the Monkey in the heart of Chicago’s Chinatown. Over 30,000 revelers are expected to partake in the festivities, which include marching bands, colorful floats, traditional lion and dragon dance performances and more!


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Northeast

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour US – Suffern, New York (Multi-City)

Banff Mountain Film Festival February

Photo: Gripped

Each year, The Banff Centre in Canada puts on a traveling film festival to bring action-packed sports films to adrenaline-loving cinephiliacs all over world. These unique films depict tales of adventure and life on the edge through the lens of intense activities like base jumping and arctic climbing.

Internet Cat Video Festival – Ithaca, New York (Multi-City)

What’s that you say? You want more cat videos, and you want them right meow? Your love for kitties has you ‘feline’ festive? The world-renowned Internet Cat Video Festival is your answer. The traveling film event is making a February stop in Ithaca, where it will feature 100 cat videos and kitty cat trivia!

Extreme Beer Fest – Boston, Massachusetts

What makes a beer “extreme,” you ask? According to Beer Advocate, the host of this two day event, an extreme beer is one “that pushes the boundaries of brewing.” And that is precisely what this festival is all about  – unrestrained creativity, progressive tastes and an appreciation for some of our favorite craft breweries.

Frozen Harbor Music Festival – Baltimore, Maryland

For two nights in February, over 150 acts perform on 10 different stages at some of the hottest venues around Baltimore. Whether you’re into country, hip-hop, rock or funk, there’s something for everyone at Frozen Harbor Music Festival.

Mid-Winter Scottish & Irish Music Festival and Fair – King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

Come for the authentic Scottish and Irish music; stay for the whiskey tastings, kilt workshops and live dance troops! If you’re over all that Valentine’s Day nonsense, The Mid-Winter Scottish & Irish Music Festival and Fair is the perfect way to spend a lovely weekend with friends.

Pacific

Color Fun Fest 5k – San Diego, California (Multi-City)

Color Fun Fest 5K San Diego February

Photo: Color Fun Fest 5k

Color Fun Fest is where the high energy beats of electronic dance music meet the explosive colors of Holi. This 5k race turned dance party takes place in major cities all across the nation, with both daytime and nighttime activities to keep the fun alive!

Oregon Shakespeare Festival – Ashland, Oregon

Ashland is home to one of the most popular and expansive theater performance festivals in the Pacific Northwest. Over the course of 10 months, Shakespearean and modern works take over the two indoor stages as well as the flagship outdoor stage. Workshops, educational seminars and backstage tours are available to enhance your play-going experience.

Bock Fest – Los Angeles, California

The people of Los Angeles prefer their warm weather, but that’s not to say they don’t love their cold, winter beers! Bock Fest brings together some of the top breweries in nation to pour their favorite craft creations in California. All proceeds from the festival go towards supporting various local charities.

Seattle Wine & Food Experience – Seattle, Washington

For two days in February, wine connoisseurs, beer enthusiasts and seasoned foodies come together to experience some of the best food and drink of the Pacific Northwest. Seafood is the star of the show for the first day, while guests have the opportunity to taste fine wines alongside top culinary creations on day two.

Los Angeles Golden Dragon Parade

Head to Downtown Los Angeles to celebrate the Lunar New Year and learn about traditional Asian cultures. Make sure to check out the decorative floats, live entertainment and other cultural festivities!

Rockies

First Friday Las Vegas – Las Vegas, Nevada

First Friday Las Vegas crowd February

Photo: Las Vegas Weekly

Celebrate art, culture and community in one of the craziest cities in the nation! On the first Friday of each month, festival goers gather downtown to check out the works of local artists, enjoy live music and munch on some delicious snacks from local food trucks.

GalaxyFest – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Independent film artists, cosplayers, anime enthusiasts and sci-fi lovers gather at the Antlers Hotel each year to celebrate today’s pop culture and bring the community together. Elaborate CosPlay is highly encouraged – especially if you want a chance at winning the costume contest!

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour US – Denver, Colorado (Multi-City)

This globe-trotting film festival must feel at home at its Denver stop, where adrenaline sports and outdoor adventures are commonplace. Whether you’re a cinephiliac, a sports freak or a combination of the two – you don’t want to sleep on this awesome festival!

Colorado Indulgence Festival – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Put on your finest cocktail attire and come indulge in the things you love! Creamy chocolate treats, fine wines, craft cocktails and delectable pastries are available for your enjoyment. Did we mention massages? See you there!

Chinese New Year in the Desert – Las Vegas, Nevada

This week-long, multi-venue festival in Las Vegas is a revelrous celebration of rich Asian culture and tradition. Now in its fifth and largest year, Chinese New Year in the Desert was named “one of the top 8 places in the United States to celebrate the Chinese New Year” by  Forbes Magazine.

Southeast

Bay Area Renaissance Festival – Tampa, Florida

Bay Area Renaissance Festival February

Photo: Sandbox News

Celebrating its 38th year this February, the Bay Area Renaissance Festival brings to life a charming 16th century village complete with armored jousting, 12 stages of live entertainment and themed weekends throughout the entire month. The lively entertainment is accompanied by an artisan marketplace, where attendees can peruse apparel, jewelry and more.

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival – Tampa, Florida (Multi-City)

From late January through mid-September, this mouthwatering celebration stops in cities all over the United States. At the end of February, the folks in Tampa can treat themselves to a taste of the [most important] three B’s – 60 beers, 40 bourbons and enough BBQ to feed an army. Live music goes all day long!

Repticon Reptile and Exotic Animal Convention – Birmingham, Alabama (Multi-City)

Reptiles and exotic pets from the top breeders in the nation are available for purchase at this traveling animal expo. Get up close and personal with these interesting creatures at Live Animal Encounters and participate in the various workshops and seminars throughout the day.

9 Mile Music Festival – Miami, Florida

At the surface, 9 Mile Music Festival is a vibrant reggae concert with performances by some of today’s biggest names in the genre. At the core, its an event about giving to those who are less fortunate. The festival – created by Bob Marley’s mother – has collected over three million canned goods for homeless shelters around Miami since its inception.

Winter Jam – Nashville, Tennessee (Multi-City)

Winter Jam is the place to be for all things Christian and gospel! This acclaimed traveling music festival is sure to make a splash at its stop in Nashville, one of the top live music cities in the nation!

Southwest

Austin Oyster Festival – Austin, Texas

austin oyster festival february 2016

Photo: Austin Oyster Festival

Roasted, grilled, raw, fried – however you like your oysters, you can have it at Austin Oyster Festival! Spend the day treating your taste buds to an array of fresh seafood while enjoying live Bluegrass and Cajun music from local talent. Don’t forget to hit up the Bloody Mary Bar!

Color Fun Fest 5k – Phoenix, Arizona (Multi-City)

The electric, LED-clad, multi-city celebration makes a stop in Phoenix! Run an revelrous 5k alongside friends and festival goers. When you get to the finish line, start preparing for a massive EDM party!

Lunar New Year Houston – Houston, Texas

Celebrate the Year of the Fire Monkey with a Texas twist! Check out the “Southern style” Lion Dances, Dragon Dances, traditional Chinese fare and elaborate fireworks shows at this two-day cultural event!

AFTM Mid-Winter Festival – Austin, Texas

On February 6, music lovers in Austin gather at the Dougherty Arts Center for a celebration of live music, good friends, positive vibes and cherished tradition. Silent auctions and educational workshops are available for kids and adults alike! Don’t sleep on this epic jam sesh!

Bites ‘N Brews – Phoenix, Arizona

What more could you want from a beer festival than tons of local and and nationally-crafted brews, delicious food from popular eateries and the hottest tunes to keep the party going? Add Beer-Karaoke, life-sized beer pong tournaments and corn-hole to the list, and I think you’ve got the ultimate festival! Don’t miss this craft beer extravaganza in the heart of Downtown Phoenix.

International

Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival – Pingxi, Taiwan

Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival 2016

Photo: WanderDiaries

The remote, hillside town of Pingxi is home to one of Taiwan’s most cherished festival traditions. Each year, locals and tourists come together to release thousands of candle-lit lanterns into the night sky to signify peace and good fortune. What a sight to see!

Internet Cat Video Festival – Düsseldorf, Germany (Multi-City)

If it ever seems like cat memes are taking over the internet, that’s because they are. And yep – you guessed it – there’s a festival for that. The Internet Cat Video Festival is a traveling film fest that stops in dozens of cities around the world. In February, thousands of feline fanatics in Düsseldorf will gather to watch the most hilarious, heart-melting German cat videos on the interweb.

Wanderlust – Taupō, New Zealand (Multi-City)

For four days in February, the gorgeous land surrounding Great Lake Taupō transforms into a yogi playground. Wanderlust is paradisiacal sanctuary for mindful living and positive change, where intimate acoustic shows, educational workshops and outdoor adventures keeps festival goers coming back for more. Namaste!

Sónar Stockholm – Stockholm, Sweden

This three day electronic music festival in Stockholm is a more intimate reincarnation of Barcelona’s pioneering annual event. Nobelberget, where the festival is held, is an intriguing warehouse space with appropriately industrial vibes to keep the Swedish techno beats bumping into the night.

Secret Garden – Orangeville, New South Wales

This enchanting gathering brings like-minded dreamers to the wilderness for two days of music, art, camping and creative exploration. The organizers reveal the “secret” location in February, and all proceeds from the fest go towards local and international charities.


 

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