Americans, we’re a people who enjoy a good gathering. It’s right there in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution: the right of the people to peaceably assemble, adopted on December 15, 1791 — and darn it we’ve been doing it something serious since then. We caucus to select political representation, we gather around grills on July 4, we congregate in town squares to see who grew the biggest pumpkin. Most of all, we just like to get together and have a rollicking good time. That’s what this story is all about. It’s a survey of America’s greatest festivals, from a small-town California celebration of the local garlic crop to a skull-rattling military air show to the greatest collection of musical performers at one venue, on Earth. We’ve taken certain liberties in defining a festival, so you’ll also find a few conferences that have made an important impact in popular culture. Mark your calendars. Fill up your gas tanks. Pack some beef jerky. These are the 50 best festivals in America.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Art Basel Miami Beach
Aspen Food and Wine Festival
Austin City Limits
Battle of Gettysburg Reenactment
Bonnaroo
Bratwurst Days
Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival
Bumbershoot
Burning Man
Cheyenne Frontier Days
Coachella
Comic-Con International
Coney Island Mermaid Parade
Daytona Bike Week
DEF CON Hacking Convention
Electric Daisy Carnival: Las Vegas
Extreme Beer Fest
Feast Portland
Gilroy Garlic Festival
Groundhog Day
La Quinta Arts Festival
Lebowski Fest
Lollapalooza
Maine Lobster Festival
Mardi Gras
Memphis in May BBQ Fest
Meatopia
Miramar Air Show
National Buffalo Wing Festival
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
New York International Fringe Festival
Newport Folk Festival
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Outside Lands
Oyster Bake
Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance
Pennsylvania Farm Show
San Francisco Pride
Sasquatch
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
Summerfest
Sundance
SXSW
Texas Renaissance Festival
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
The Armory Show
Tribeca Film Festival
Ultra Music Festival and Winter Music Conference
Wellfleet Oysterfest

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