Festivals Worth Traveling For
I have to confess, I'm not overly fond of festivals. Crowds make me crazy; throw in overpriced food, ho-hum themes, overhyped attractions and bigtime traffic jams, and I'd just as soon stay home. But there is one big gathering that I really look forward to every year: the Library of Congress's National Book Festival, when the Washington Mall turns into one giant book fair each September. The seventh annual festival took place this past weekend, with perfect sunny weather and thousands of bookbag-toting attendees swarming around the huge white tents set up along the Mall -- where world-famous authors talked about everything from 1,000 places to see before you die (Patricia Schultz) to covering the war in Iraq (Martha Raddatz of ABC News). How cool to see the Mall overrun with thousands of book nuts, all celebrating the joy of reading in one of the most stirring settings in the country.
It got me thinking: What are some other really special festivals around the country that are worth traveling for? Heck, let's open it up to the world. It may be time to rethink my misanthropic ways. I just need some incentive.
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