Sunday, September 20, 2015

World's Best Festivals For October 2015

Alba, Italy—starting October 11, 2015
Alba is nestled in Northern Italy in the Piedmont region where the harvest period of the white truffle is early October to mid-November. Each year it hosts the Alba International White Truffle Fair, which welcomes international chefs, gastronomy buffs, oenophiles and travelers to taste the decadent, aromatic and wildly exclusive white truffle. At the entrance to the fair, visitors are handed a glass—wine plays a large role in the enjoyment of this festival and of the food itself.

filling a balloon for the hot air balloon festival 
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA—starting October 3, 2015
This is the world's largest hot air balloon festival. For the nine days of this October festival, the Albuquerque skies are filled with more than 500 colorful balloons. Be part of an amazing hot air balloon experience as you walk among the balloons as they lift through the crisp, fall air. I've never attended the Albuquerque festival, but I have attended the very large one in Reno, Nevada—a fun and interesting time. I was surprised at being able to actually walk among the balloons, watch them being filled and readied for launch.

Amsterdam, Netherlands—starting October 14, 2015
Every year the Amsterdam Dance Event Festival attracts 350,000 world wide visitors. This is the biggest international club festival and covers the entire spectrum of electronic sub-genres. It features 300 events and 2,000 DJ's over five days in 80 clubs and venues. The program features the biggest artists on the planet along with fresh, upcoming talent and everything in between.

Key West, Florida, USA—starting October 23, 2015
Fantasy Fest is an annual 10-day party in paradise for grown-ups, started in 1979. Each year a new theme is chosen to help inspire out of this world costumes and bone-chilling parade floats. This year's theme is All Hallows Intergalactic Freak Show. You can explore the traditional Halloween route of goblins and ghouls, let your freak flag fly as the bearded lady or the infamous lizard boy, or hop aboard a UFO with your Martian friends. This October, Key West will play host to thousands of haunted, interstellar freaks!

San Francisco, California, USA—starting October 2, 2015
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is an annual free and non-commercial music festival held the first weekend of October in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. The festival features over 100 musical artists on 7 stages.

Ibiza, Spain – starting September 16, 2015
At this time of year, the end of the summer tourist season, the island of Ibiza still has fabulous weather but with a more laid back atmosphere than earlier on in the season. That is, until the night time takes over. Base camp is set up at Ibiza Rocks Hotel, considered party central which means you are never more than five minutes away from your next event.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico—starting October 31, 2015
La Calaca Festival is a free and interactive event established in 2012 to celebrate Día de Muertos, the Day Of The Dead. The event features art exhibitions, live music, parades and workshops, all of which are interactive. The event is located in San Miguel de Allende, which is consistently regarded as one of the world’s top travel destinations.

Vadodara, India—starting October 13, 2015
Navratri, literally interpreted as 9 nights, is the most celebrated Hindu festival devoted to Goddess Durga symbolizing purity and power or shakti. Navratri festival combines ritualistic puja and fasting and is accompanied by dazzling celebrations for 9 consecutive days and nights. Navratri in India follows the lunar calendar and is celebrated in March/April as Chaitra Navratri and in September/October as Sharad Navratri.

Independence, Kansas, USA—starting October 23, 2015
The Neewollah celebration (Halloween spelled backwards) began in 1919 as a venue to provide positive activities for kids to replace the typical Halloween pranks that occurred in the community of Independence, Kansas. In the beginning the events centered on parades, morning, afternoon, and night on October 31. The parades consisted mainly of decorated cars and carriages. Queens and princesses from area festivals rode in the parades, along with our own Queen Neelah who was selected based on votes bought at a penny each. The Great Depression and World War II interrupted the Neewollah celebration but in 1958 four businessmen revived and elaborated on the Neewollah theme bringing it back as a 3-day celebration.

Today Neewollah is the largest annual celebration in Kansas. The city of Independence will grow from a town of just under 10,000 inhabitants to 75,000 in the final days of the now 10-day celebration. The 1955 movie, Picnic, starring William Holden, Kim Novak, Rosalind Russell, and Arthur O'Connell, was adapted from William Inge's Pulitzer Prize winning play. It was set at the Neewollah festival in the 1920s.

New York City, New York, USA—starting October 15, 2015
To date, the New York City Wine and Food Festival has raised $8.5 million over its 7 successful years to help fight hunger. It is the only Festival in New York to bring together both legendary culinary icons from around the globe and America’s most beloved television chefs. The festival began as a one-night event in the fall of 2007. In 2008, it was launched as the festival it is today.

Munich, Germany—starting September 19, 2015
There are many Oktoberfest celebrations held world wide, but this is the original. At precisely 12 noon on Saturday, September 19th, Munich’s mayor taps the first barrel to declare the Wiesn—as the Munich people call it—officially open. The festivities continue until Sunday, October 4th, 2015. It all started with a horse race on August 17, 1810, staged by the national guard for the people to mark the wedding of the Ludwig Crown Prince of Bavaria (later King Ludwig I) to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The race was such a success that it was staged again the following year. From 1870 onwards the event grew larger and in 1896 the very first beer tents were erected. They sold only beer brewed in Munich, a tradition which has remained to the present day. Due to lack of space the horse races which started it all were held for the last time in 1936.

New York City, New York, USA—starting October 31, 2015
This year marks the 42nd annual Parade. In 1974, the parade was started by Greenwich Village mask maker and puppeteer Ralph Lee as a walk from house to house in his neighborhood for his children and their friends. After the second year of this local promenade, Theater for the New City stepped in and produced the event on a larger scale as part of their City in the Streets program. After the third year, the Parade formed itself into a non-profit organization and produced the Parade on its own. Today the Parade is the largest celebration of its kind in the world and has been picked by Festivals International as The Best Event in the World for October 31. Now, 40 years later, the Parade draws more than 60,000 costumed participants and spectators estimated at 2 million.

San Francisco, California, USA—starting October 17, 2015
Treasure Island Music Festival is an annual two day music festival that takes place on Treasure Island, located in San Francisco Bay. The first day of the festival consists of electronica and hip hop/rap influenced performers and the second day consists of rock and indie rock influenced performers. Parking on the island is limited so a shuttle service is provided from AT&T Park to the island. The organizers also claim this reduces traffic congestion on the island. The Treasure Island Music Festival has also been noted for its emphasis on reducing carbon emissions. Organizers provide zero emission bus services to the island from the city of San Francisco and emphasize the use of composting.

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA—starting October 30, 2015
Voodoo is a musical gumbo stirring together music, art, community, cuisine, and everything else under the sun (and above the Louisiana swamps). The Experience attracts the mystics, madmen, femme fatales, gods, goddess, and music lovers of all kinds under one concept known as The Ritual.

For anyone deciding to visit any of these festivals…have a great time!


Ashantay said...

Dang! My bucket list just enlarged with more items. Great listing!

Samantha Gentry said...

Ashantay: Thanks. There are several on the list that I'd like to attend. Maybe someday...

Thanks for your comment.

Mary Morgan said...

Thanks for sharing! Now I want to pack my bags and see them all! I attend many festivals here in California during the autumn months. I'm more a autumn/winter gal and love traveling during this time.

Samantha Gentry said...

Mary: Having lived many, many years in California I've visited my share of festivals there. And autumn...definitely numerous wine/grape festivals happening with the annual crush. I'm envious of you being able to attend so many festivals. Wish I was there right now.

Thanks for your comment.

Barbara Bettis said...

I love your lists, Samantha, and this one is terrific, too. Wish I could visit a few!

Angelina Jameson said...

Great list. Thanks to the USAF moving me around I have been to The Balloon Fiesta and Fantasy Fest. My hubby has been to Oktoberfest in Munich and I hope to go with him someday.

Samantha Gentry said...

Barbara: There are several on the list that I'd love to visit. And several that I cut from the list in trying to keep it down to 10. Maybe some day.

Thanks for your comment.

Samantha Gentry said...

Angelina: Fantasy Fest must be incredibly interesting, especially since Key West is unique even without a festival going on. :)

Thanks for your comment.