Festivals Semester Project

[pdf of assignment guidelines: Festivals assignment guidelines]

HUM 473 Festivals: Culture in the Making

A COPLAC Distance Mentoring Seminar

Dr. Whitney Snow and Dr. Catherine Kroll

Spring 2016

An Ethnographic Study of a Local Festival and a Website Displaying Your Research

 What we call our data are really our own constructions of other people’s constructions of what they and their compatriots are up to.

–Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures (1973)

Important Due Dates:

Brief prospectus of project (as blog entry) due: Th, Feb. 18

Submit interview questions for IRB: no later than Tu, Feb. 23

Contracts due via Google Docs: Th, Mar. 3

Share field notes in class: Tu, Mar. 22 and Th, Mar. 24 (dates are flexible, based on choice of festival)

Polished, edited drafts of projects due: Th, April 21

Final projects due: Th, May 5

Points: 50

Overall description of project: “Ethno” refers to a human culture, while “graphy” signifies a written text. For this project, select a festival that you would like to learn about and write about. Ideally, you will choose a festival that is fairly new to you so you can approach it as someone who has lots of questions about it. In addition to your actual observations of the festival, find three or more cultural informants to interview (these individuals may be festival organizers, festival attendees, or others closely connected to the festival). Consult the Special Collections division of your university library and local historical societies for archival materials related to your chosen festival; you may find hidden treasures! Keep a research journal and blog weekly about your findings. As you work, be aware of how your ideas about the festival are developing, deepening, and causing you to see from multiple perspectives. Your written analysis of the cultural significance of the festival, as well as excerpts from your interviews, will form the basis of your website created in WordPress, a popular content management system (CMS).

Why do ethnography? Anthropologists, sociologists and other qualitative researchers seek to understand cultural events as well as groups of people that are often ignored, marginalized, or misunderstood. They endeavor to see the inner workings of these groups with fresh eyes in order to validate their realities; thus, they look at the group’s values, social practices, and motivations. This project on festivals will enhance crucial skills that all researchers and writers need to have: the close observation of details; open, honest reflection; probing analysis; and writing that is focused, cogent, and articulate.

The key objective of this project is to research and analyze a local festival—its patterns, rituals, participants’ behavior, values, status hierarchy among individuals, gestures, body language, clothing, vernacular speech, and so on—in order to understand the festival’s cultural and historical significance. Approach your study of the festival with an open, inquiring mind so that you will enhance your powers of observation and ability to empathize with those who may hold values different from your own. Note: while it is preferable to select a festival that will take place during the Spring 2016 semester so you can make audio or video recordings, it is not a requirement of the project. If you elect to research a festival that occurs outside of the spring time frame or that is no longer held, you are still responsible for conducting a minimum of three interviews with individuals closely associated with the festival and leaning more heavily on archival and library research, as you will not have the benefit of acting as a participant-observer or recording at the festival this spring.

How does one do ethnography? As we have seen in our reading of Geertz’s “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight,” ethnographers look for paradoxes and patterns; they consider their work a journey into undiscovered territory. They write detailed fieldnotes about what they are observing and keep reflecting on what they are seeing until patterns start to emerge: until they see the hidden story that perhaps not even the participants are fully aware of. Ethnographers keep asking analytical questions until they feel they have arrived at a rich understanding of the cultural event or group. You want to look for “what doesn’t add up,” what seems paradoxical, odd, or contradictory. Keep asking questions about your subject (“What does it MEAN?” “Why are people acting this way?” “What’s behind this?” “Why do people care about this?” until you feel you understand the festival fully. These questions, while apparently simple, will likely lead you to profound understandings.

Checklist of Specific Areas to Study

(Some of the following areas of investigation may be more relevant than others to your project.)

  • Budget your time so that you can conduct a minimum of three interviews in a relaxed setting and also spend a generous amount of time at the festival (if your festival takes place during the spring).
  • Listen to the language and observe the gestures (body language) and appearance of the participants and the people whom you are interviewing.
  • Observe relationships, status hierarchies, rivalries, and affiliations between people. How does power operate? Who officially holds power and who actually holds it?
  • Watch for patterns or repetition in activities, language, and rituals.
  • What is the “real” content of what you are observing at the festival? Just as Geertz saw meaning far beyond the mere outward activity of the cockfights, so should you, too, ask “what is this group or activity really about?”
  • What is the value system of those associated with the festival and its participants? What is meaningful and important to them and why? How do you know this?
  • What role does the festival play in the local area’s bid to attract tourism?
  • Does the festival commemorate an important historical event, agricultural product, or another element unique to the local area?
  • What is not seen or perhaps deliberately hidden and why? What is tacitly understood, but not talked about? Can you infer festival participants’ (and organizers’) values? What is it to be part of the “inner circle”?
  • What feels new, foreign, unfamiliar, or unclear to you?
  • You may wish to use subheadings to structure your observations, interviews, and writing.
  • Take lots of detailed notes both during and after your interviews and observations.


In accordance with Institutional Review Board (IRB) policy, you will need to submit your interview questions to your college or university’s IRB for review. Be sure to allow ten days to two weeks’ turn-around time to receive your campus’s IRB approval.

Prepare a written release form for each interviewee to sign before the interview. See the section Conducting Oral Interviews at the end of these assignment guidelines for a template of an Informed Consent form that you can modify and use.

Before the interview:

  • Decide how you will record the interview: video? portable digital recording device? GarageBand or Audacity? iPhone voice memo? All of these methods will allow you to import the interviews directly into your computer.
  • Bear in mind that your questions need to be respectful, tactful, and non-intrusive. Your cultural informants are doing you a great favor by being willing to devote time to the interview, and you must return the courtesy by doing your best to ensure that your questions do not make them uncomfortable.
  • Write out your interview questions ahead of time, but be prepared to let your cultural informant steer the way in the interview.

During the interview:

  • If you sense that an interviewee is feeling uncomfortable, anxious, or just plain annoyed, move on to other questions that are not likely to provoke these feelings. Often, you will learn the most by allowing your interviewees simply to speak about what they find important. Let him or her lead the way. It may be helpful to keep this in mind as your goal: “I want to know what you know in the way that you know it . . . Will you become my teacher and help me understand?” (Spradley, qtd. in Heyl 2001; Heyl’s emphasis). Above all, your interview should be guided by the highest ethical awareness and respect for the individual whom you are interviewing.

After the interview:

  • Transcribe your interviews so you have a text version to work with. This is the first step in your formal analysis of each interview and will be useful for many reasons: the transcript will ensure that you quote your interviewee accurately on your website; you will have a written record of the interview that you can show your interviewee, if he or she would like to read it; based on the transcript, you may find that you wish to ask your interviewee some follow-up questions, if logistically possible.

Questions to consider in your analysis:

  • What does this festival “say” about the local culture and its history, as well as about our larger American culture?
  • What does it “say” about the needs, values, or qualities of human nature?
  • Look for connections between the various aspects of your analysis: as Geertz says, “connect—and connect—and connect.”
  • Is there a central event, ritual, or other crowning experience in the festival of notable symbolic significance? (Here you are thinking along metonymic lines just as Geertz did when he singled out the cockfight as the starting point from which to “read” Balinese culture.)
  • Try to brainstorm a metaphor to describe and analyze what you are seeing.

 Drafting Your Analysis

The format of ethnographic writing is flexible, but be sure to use the kind of close analysis, attention to detail, and probing questions that Geertz does in “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight.” As you analyze your notes, allow a pattern of meaning emerge: the “what it is.” Watch out for this pitfall: Be sure to not only describe features of your chosen festival, but also analyze them, draw conclusions, and answer the “so what?” question. Your goal is to communicate meaning vividly for someone who does not have your insider’s knowledge.

Sharing Your Work

If at all possible, share a draft of your website with the festival participants whom you interviewed. Give them an opportunity to correct any inaccuracies and to flesh out what might be missing in your initial draft. Incorporate festival participants’ responses to your work into the final version of your project if you find these insightful and relevant.

Richard G. Mitchell, Jr.’s questions to guide ethnographic research may also be helpful for your analysis:

  • What is the setting of the action? When and how does action take place?
  • What is going on? What is the overall activity being studied, the relatively long-term behavior about which participants organize themselves? What specific acts comprise this activity?
  • How are members (participants) stratified? Who is ostensibly in charge? Does being in charge vary by activity? How is membership achieved and maintained?
  • What do actors pay attention to? What is important, preoccupying, critical?
  • What do they pointedly ignore that other persons might pay attention to?
  • What symbols do actors invoke to understand their worlds, the participants and processes within them, and the objects and events they encounter? What names do they attach to objects, events, persons, roles, settings, equipment?
  • What practices, skills and methods of operation do actors employ?
  • Which theories, motives, excuses, justifications or other explanations do actors use in accounting for their participation? How do they explain to each other, not to outside investigators, what they do and why they do it?
  • What goals do actors seek? When, from their perspective, is an act well or poorly done? How do they judge action—by what standards, developed and applied by whom? What are the group’s tacit understandings?
  • What rewards do various actors gain from their participation?

(Mitchell 1991 qtd. in Handbook of Ethnography, Sage Publications, 2001)

Conducting Oral Interviews

 An Introduction:

Performing oral interviews is an enlightening process which improves communication skills while contributing to the preservation of history. According to Donald Ritchie, author of Doing Oral History, “Memory is the core of oral history, from which meaning can be extracted and preserved. Simply put, oral history collects memories and personal commentaries of historical significance through recorded interviews. An oral history interview generally consists of a well-prepared interviewer questioning an interviewee and recording their exchange in audio or video-format. Recordings of the interview are transcribed, summarized, or indexed and then placed in a library or archives. These interviews may be used for research or excerpted in a publication, radio or video documentary, museum exhibition, dramatization or other form of public presentation. Recordings, transcripts, catalogs, photographs and related documentary materials can also be posted on the Internet. Oral history does not include random taping, such as President Richard Nixon’s surreptitious recording of his White House conversations, nor does it refer to recorded speeches, wiretapping, personal diaries on tape, or other sound recordings that lack the dialogue between interviewer and interviewee.”[1] Oral history is one of the rising specialties in academia, but it is not without controversy.

Critics often decry oral history as unreliable or weak because oftentimes, the subjects are discussing past rather than present events. Some opponents say the testimony is unfounded, hearsay, and/or remembered memory. In truth, oral history can be a wonderful complement to any research project as long as the interviewer understands and respects its strengths and limitations.

Creating a Format:

After deciding on your topic, compose a list of questions you would like to ask your interview subjects. When doing this, remember that these same queries will be asked to each subject so try to make them fairly broad and open-ended. As to the number of questions, that is flexible, but it is advisable to do at least 10. I recently received IRB approval for a project on Cathedral Caverns and here are the questions I used:

1.When and how did you first hear about Cathedral Caverns?

 2.What were your first impressions upon seeing the entrance, said to be one of the largest cave openings in the world?

 3.Tell me about the first time you toured the caverns.

 4.Did you ever hear any myths or tall tales about Cathedral Caverns or “Bat Cave” as it was once known?

 5.To what extent do you think the caverns have fueled local and state tourism?

 6.In your opinion, does Cathedral Caverns rival Mammoth Cave National Park or Carlsbad Caverns National Park. If so, why do you think it hasn’t gained the same amount of publicity?

 7.If Cathedral Caverns was reclassified as a national rather than state park, do you think it would attract more attention and tourists?

 8.Cathedral Caverns has been the site of several movies like Caves of Night, The Ravagers, Secrets of Phantom Cave, Tom and Huck among others. Why do you think it was chosen as a filming site?

 9.Do you remember when these movies were filmed? What was the local response to the caverns being used?

 10.During the Cold War, Cathedral Caverns was designated a fallout shelter. Did you ever hear any stories about the subject?

 11.After Gurley sold Cathedral Caverns, it went through a couple of owners before being purchased by the state. To what extent do you think Cathedral Caverns and its reputation changed upon becoming a state park?

 12.Do you have any Cathedral Caverns stories, anecdotes, or memories you would like to share?

IRB Approval:

In order to protect human research subjects, every scholar customarily must attain IRB approval BEFORE conducting oral interviews (check with your home university regarding its specific policies). This involves earning a Human Subjects Training Certificate and an application to your university’s IRB board. For a free online training course, go to http://phrp.nihtraining.com/users/login.php As to the application, typically, you will be asked to provide a summary of your project and why oral interviews would benefit your research. At this stage, you don’t have to have a list of names, just a rough number. Another point to consider, those over 65 are a protected class and require that you be more thorough on consent (meaning written). You might also be asked how you expect to find or contact subjects. The approval process can take time so it is preferable to apply sooner rather than later.

Consent Form:

The consent form is a vital piece of your project. In essence, it is the subject giving permission for you to use the interview in your research. It is possible to rely on verbal consent, providing it is recording at the start of the interview, but written consent is always a plus. Here is a sample of one of my verbal consent statement:

Hello, I am researching Cathedral Caverns and plan to write its history. I was wondering if you would consent to a telephone interview during which you would answer twelve questions on the subject. I will provide you with an audio and written transcript of the interview which I plan to use as a primary source in my article. The interview is completely voluntary and you may end our discourse at any time. If amenable, what are some possible dates/times for the interview?

Observe that the subject has been informed of their rights and that they may cease the interview at any time. So why did I opt for verbal and telephone interviews rather than written and face-to-face? Distance. I live in Texas so it is not always possible for me to do face-to-face interviews with subjects in Alabama. That, however, should not be an issue for you because you are doing local history.

When creating a written consent form, you can incorporate much of what I mentioned in the italicized excerpt above. Here is an example of a written consent form:



Title of Project:


I am conducting a research study using oral histories. An oral history is a method of gathering historical information through the use of a recorded interview.

The topic of this interview is:

The purposes of the research project are:

I expect the duration of your participation to be:

Below is a description of the procedures that will be followed:

An audio (or video) tape recording of your interview will be made by the interviewer. A typed script of the tape will be made and if you desire, may be made available to you for editing. The tape and the edited transcript will be placed in the (your university’s library). Both the tape and the transcript will be made available for the purposes of research, for instructional use, for scholarly publication, or for other related purposes.

It is possible the subject matter may be embarrassing or difficult for you to speak about. Please be assured that you can stop at any time and/or refuse to answer any question that makes you uncomfortable.

The information you provide will be identifiable, i.e. your name will be available along with what you said. This study is meant to benefit future researchers by providing a base of information from which they can draw. The information will be available to you as well as other members of the general public through

If you should have any questions about this research project, please feel free to contact (your name and phone number). For additional information regarding human participation in research, please feel free to contact (your university’s IRB office).

Please understand that your participation is voluntary.


_________________________________                                          ___________

Participant Signature                                                                           Date


_________________________________                                          ___________

Investigator Signature                                                                         Date


I,                                  , do hereby indicate my desire to edit the typed script of my oral history interview before it is made available (your university’s library).

I,                                    , do not wish to edit the typed script of the oral history interview before it is made available to (your university’s library).


Contact information for interviewee:





City                                         State                       Zip      

Devices Needed:

            When conducting oral interviews, how you choose to record the interview is important. Some interviewers use video cameras while others prefer audio recorders. For many of you, this is likely an introduction to oral interviews so you can easily purchase an audio recorder for $100 or less. Here is one example: Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Recorder ($100); Recording Capability (24-bit, 96kHz); Sound File Format (WAV). If you prefer a camcorder, you may already have one, may be able to borrow one from your university, or purchase one for $100+.


Now comes the fun!!! Oftentimes, the interview takes place at a location chosen by the subject. If using a camcorder, be sure to select a sitting place with plenty of light. If using a recorder, attempt to choose a quiet place where you will be less likely to be interrupted (one time, I did a face-to-face interview with a woman whose two poodles barked the entire time; I bit my tongue and didn’t say anything but probably should have because the noise hurt the recording). Begin each oral interview tape with a recorded introduction which includes the following:

This is (your name)

Today is (month/day/year)

I am interviewing for the (first, second, etc.) time (Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms., Dr., etc.)

This interview is taking place at (address; may include description, such as “home of” or “office of”) in (town, state).

This interview is sponsored by (name of university). It is part of the (title of your project).

If you would like, you can also ask the subject for verbal consent. Then proceed to ask your series of questions. Some questions will solicit longer responses than others. For example, a subject might spent fifteen minutes on one question and two on another. It depends on their interest and personality. The same goes for interview length. When I performed oral interviews for my dissertation, I had one subject, rather quiet and reserved, whose entire interview lasted 20 minutes. Another subject, one extremely boisterous, talked for almost 4 hours.

During the interview, the subject might divert the conversation to another topic not related to the question, but that’s fine. You want them to talk and that shows they are engaged in the interview process. Sometimes, the subjects will ask you questions about your experience and/or involvement with the research topic and while you should answer, try to turn the conversation back to the subject.

When each interview is completed, thank the subject for his or her participation. Even though your plans are detailed on the written consent form, be sure to reiterate what you plan to do with the interview and how much it will aid your project. Some of the subjects will want to edit the transcribed interview and you must respect their wishes.


Once you have your recorded interview, it might seem like a downhill slide but your work is just beginning. Transcribing the interview will provide more than one version and allow you to digest the information. Performing the transcription is a slow, arduous process. You must try to record every word, every sound, and even every silence or pause. I always transcribe the old-fashioned way by just playing the recording bit by bit and writing down the words. However, there is software available for transcribing oral recordings.

Don’t try Dragon because it only picks up every few words. Instead, experiment with StartStop Digital Transcription System at http://www.startstop.com/ or Express Scribe at http://www.nch.com.au/scribe/


Once you have transcribed your recording, you can begin to implement it into your writings. Whenever using interview content, cite the source. If using quotes, always mention the subject in the text. You will find that when it comes to many subjects, oral interviews are an invaluable contribution to your projects.


Final projects will be evaluated on:

  • The thoroughness of your observation (see the checklist above), extent of library, archival, and online research, level of detail in your writing, and evidence of your analysis of possible meanings behind what you have observed. Don’t be afraid to speculate on what you have discovered; creativity and risk-taking are part of engaging, provocative analysis.
  • The design and functionality of your WordPress website displaying your research. (More details about this as we move further into the semester.)

[1] Donald Ritchie, Doing Oral History: A Practical Guide (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 1.


Festivals assignment guidelines 1.19.16


Garden_Food_Festival_2015_by Palickap[pdf of syllabus: Festivals syllabus (FINALDRAFT) 1.22.16]

HUM 473 Festivals: Culture in the Making

A COPLAC Digital Liberal Arts Seminar

Spring 2016

Dr. Catherine Kroll, Sonoma State University

Dr. Whitney Snow, Midwestern State University

Class Meeting Times (web conference): T Th 2-3:15pm PST; 4-5:15 pm CST; 5-6:15pm EST

You will access to all course materials via the course website: https://festivalswordpresscom.wordpress.com.

Office hours:

Dr. Kroll: W, 2-3, Th 3:45-5:30 PST & by appt. Office phone: (707) 664-2966 kroll@sonoma.edu

Dr. Snow: M W 12-2; T Th 8-11 CST Office phone: (940) 397-8917 whitney.snow@mwsu.edu

Also available via Skype


Miranda Limonczenko, Sonoma State University  limoncze@sonoma.edu

George (Dale) Ralston, Midwestern State University  daleralston@yahoo.com

Leanne M. Ray, Midwestern State University  sgt.leanne.ray@gmail.com

Drew Roberson, Truman State University  ajr7648@truman.edu

Tanya Ruys, Sonoma State University  irvinta@sonoma.edu

Alexa Williams, Georgia College  alexa.williams@bobcats.gcsu.edu

Course Syllabus

Course Description

Festivals: Culture in the Making is an interdisciplinary course in the humanities centering on local festivals. The study of festivals straddles the fields of public history, oral history, rhetoric, ethnography, American studies, digital humanities, popular culture studies, and anthropology. In this course, students will select a local festival to research over the course of the semester. With the aid of the combined expertise of Dr. Whitney Snow and Dr. Cathy Kroll, students will learn to formulate original research questions, to conduct and digitally record oral interviews and videos, to use ethnographic research methods, to undertake archival research, and to build websites showcasing their research results. Through digital interaction, students will not only be preserving community history, but also providing a platform with which to better share these pieces of the past and present.

Student Learning Objectives

  • The creation of digital oral histories, including understanding the ethics of doing oral history; IRB certification of interview projects
  • Introduction to the work of major social theorists, anthropologists, and historians
  • Introduction to field research and ethnographic methods: close observation, fieldnotes, and analysis
  • Introduction to scholarly and archival research
  • Practice in deploying digital humanities tools for research and expressive projects, including weekly blogging on the course WordPress site and building a website for the recording and preservation of local history using WordPress
  • Development of writing and oral presentation skills
  • Collaborative work with a partner or independently; practice in providing constructive feedback on one another’s projects

Required Readings

Pdfs and links to most required readings will be posted on the course website: https://festivalswordpresscom.wordpress.com

Important note: You are expected to complete course readings prior to the day they will be discussed and to be prepared with questions and points for discussion.

Course Requirements and Grading

Mini-assignments (35 points total)

ethnographic observation assignment (due Week 3)

–prospectus of project, including rationale (due Week 4)

–contract (due Week 6)

–weekly blog postings about work in progress, including final blog post (or paper) of 500 words on project

–discussion leadership on an article chosen from the posted course readings on digital humanities, ethnography, or festivals (scheduled throughout semester)

–completion of course readings

–active participation in class discussions

Major assignment (50 points total) (due Week 15)

–a minimum of three interviews or oral histories of individuals associated with the festival, recorded in either audio or video format; submission of interview questions to local campus for IRB approval; transcription of interviews into text format

–library and/or archival research on festival

–website in WordPress showcasing your research on the festival; all sources (including images) cited in MLA format and captions included for all images and other media

Performance on contract (5 points)

Presentation of Final Project to course participants and COPLAC administrators (10 points)

Total Possible Points: 100

Final Grades

Final grades will be determined based on active class participation (including blogging, mini-assignments, and regular presentations to the class) (35%), on performance on the contract (5%) and project (50%), and on the quality of the final formal presentations on the projects (10%). Should your performance be unsatisfactory, your home campus advisor will be notified. Your final grade will be forwarded to your advisor at your home campus and recorded as an independent study course.

Important Course Policies

Policy on Late Work: Assignments are due on the date stated. Any late work will be graded down a half letter grade per day late and will receive minimal feedback; work overdue by one week will not be accepted.

Attendance and Communication: Attendance will be taken at each class meeting and a student’s final grade will be lowered for unexcused absences exceeding two. Important: students with excessive absences will not pass the course. Should an emergency arise that necessitates your missing class beyond the “free” absences, it is your responsibility to communicate promptly with your two instructors. Also please note: You are expected to log on and attend class during your Spring Break period if at all possible.

Academic Ethics:

Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at your home institution, requires you to be honest in all of your academic coursework. Instances of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Cheating or plagiarism (presenting the work of another as your own, or the use of another person’s ideas without giving proper credit) will result in a failing grade and sanctions by your home university. For this class, all assignments are to be completed by the individual student unless you are working as a pair on the website-building project.

Class Discussions: Students are expected to attend all classes and to have thoroughly read the assigned material or completed the assigned tasks beforehand. Prepare for each scheduled class meeting by writing out key points and questions for discussion: tease out the ideas from the readings that are particularly thought-provoking or relevant to your project; make links to previous readings and class discussions; take issue with the authors of the readings as appropriate, etc.

Blogging: HUM 473 Festivals is a distance mentoring course that connects the nine of us from points all around the country. To bring us closer, we will be “meeting” twice a week via web conferencing, blogging, posting, emailing, phoning, and, occasionally, Skyping. Use your weekly blog posts on your WordPress site to take stock of what you are learning and what challenges may lie ahead of you. These posts are a place for you to brainstorm ideas, to try out your analysis of the festival you are investigating, and to envision the form in which your research conclusions will be displayed on your website. Also be sure to set aside time each week to read your peers’ blogs: use the “Leave a Reply” function on one another’s blogs to provide feedback and support, as well as to problem-solve.

Project Contracts: Each student will create a contract with Professors Kroll and Snow describing the intended work for their project. The contracts are due in Week 6: Th, Mar. 3, though each contract will need to be approved by the course instructors and may need to be revised before approval. Each contract must include:

  • Mission statement (rationale for and description of project)
  • Tools you plan to use
  • Schedule of deadlines for presentation of key elements of your project

Note: These contracts may be revised as you work on your project, but you must first consult with your co-instructors.

Regular Presentations (Project Updates): Starting in Week 6, you will be expected to provide weekly status updates in class on Thursdays on your progress. These updates will range from quick check-ins to lengthier updates of 5 to 10 minutes.

End of the Semester (Public) Presentations: During the last week of class, you will make an 8- to 10-minute presentation on your research project. More details about these presentations will follow.

Final Blog Post (or Paper) Reflecting on Project: During the last week of class, you will complete a 500-word blog post (or paper) reflecting on your work over the semester and how well you fulfilled the plans you laid out in your contract. You should reflect both on your process as a digital humanities researcher and on your final project.

Accommodations: If you are a student with a disability, and think you may need academic accommodations, please contact your institution’s Disability Services for Students to obtain a copy of your accommodation letter. Please submit this to your instructors for the course as early as possible in order to avoid a delay in receiving accommodation services.

Schedule of Assignments and Readings 

Week 1

T, Jan. 26        Course introduction, including the distance mentoring set-up; student and instructor introductions; OK to share emails? student learning objectives; final project; the basics of WordPress: user accounts, blog posts, pages, menus. What do we mean by “digital humanities”?

Th, Jan. 28      Dr. Snow leads discussion on archival research; Dr. Kroll leads discussion on Geertz, “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” (pdf posted under Readings on Ethnography on course website). Preview ethnographic observation assignment (assignment posted under Syllabus; due as a blog post Th, Feb. 11); we’ll share our responses to Brown’s Ghost Dancing on the Cracker Circuit: The Culture of Festivals in the American South on Tuesday.

Assignments over the weekend:

  • Establish your WordPress site with a title and subtitle; customize the look of the site with theme, your profile, menus, and widgets (such as a tag cloud—or save this until you have more content written on your site). Be sure to choose from the list of ADA-accessible WordPress themes; that list is available here: https://wordpress.org/themes/tags/accessibility-ready/. (You can easily change your theme at any point later on in the semester, but use an accessible one.)
  • Write and publish first blog post about your progress so far (rationale for your likely choice of festival to research; websites on festivals you may have visited; thoughts about your project and the class, etc.).
  • Begin thinking about possibilities for your research on a festival
  • Plan for your 1-hour ethnographic observation assignment

Week 2

T, Feb. 2 Share your reactions to Brown’s Ghost Dancing on the Cracker Circuit: The Culture of Festivals in the American South. Your thoughts on WordPress’s basic functionality and affordances?

Th, Feb. 4 discuss Burdick et al., Ch 1_Digital Humanities and The Knotted Line project ; discussion leader ________________ (choose an article to present from one of our course reading lists; two days before it’s your turn to lead discussion, send out an email to course participants with author and title of your article). Assignments for weekend: ethnographic observation assignment; continue archival/library research on your festival; continue research on festivals. ADDITIONAL HELPFUL READING ON ETHNOGRAPHIC INTERVIEWINGMadison on ethnographic interviewing: “Do I Really Need a Method?” A Method . . . or Deep Hanging Out?

Week 3 T, Feb. 9 discuss Schlesinger_Reactions of Racquetball Players to Missed Points, a student ethnography; Roger D. Abrahams, American Vocab of Celebrations; and Jankowiak, William and Todd C. White, Carnival on the Clipboard.

Th, Feb. 11 DUE: Blog on ethnographic observation assignment; Discuss Heyl, Ethnographic Interviewing; recommended reading: Madison,  Intro to Critical Ethnography; over the weekend, view a few student projects from last year’s COPLAC Century America course: http://course.centuryamerica.org (click on a Project Contract on right sidebar, then click on the web address for an individual Project Site in the middle of the page in red).

Week 4

T, Feb. 16 Discuss student projects from Century America course; discuss Hale, Deadly Amusements; continue research on possible festivals, weighing pros and cons of each.

Th, Feb. 18 DUE: 250-word (1 page) prospectus of project, including rationale (as blog entry); discuss Prentice and Andersen, “Festival as Creative Destination,” and Emerson, Fieldnotes in Ethnogr Research; briefly present your highlights from your prospectus.

Week 5

T, Feb. 23 Feedback on prospectuses for projects; discuss Robinson, “No Spectators! The Art of Participation, from Burning Man to Boutique Festivals in Britain,” Robinson on Burning Man and Bungert, Bungert on German festivals in Milwaukee; discussion leader: Dale Ralston

Th, Feb. 25 Digital skills workshop: mapping and timeline tools: GoogleMaps; Timeline JS3 (http://timeline.knightlab.com); TimeToast; Tiki-Toki; discuss readings: tab

Week 6

T, Mar. 1 Discuss Cummings and Herborn, “Festival Bodies: The Corporeality of the Contemporary Music Festival Scene in Australia,” Cummings and Herborn; discussion leader: Alexa Williams

Th, Mar. 3 DUE: Contracts via our course site on Google Docs. Must include outline of your research plan, sources, and tools to be used, specific milestones/schedule with draft completed by April 21 and final revised version by May 5. Quick check-ins; other topics tba.

Week 7

T, Mar. 8 Discuss Coyle, Blessed with Dogwood; and Smith, The Re-establishment of Community); discussion leader: Leanne Ray

Th Mar. 10 Discuss Lewis, Celebrating Asparagus; Rotuno-Johnson, “The Marion Popcorn Festival” (posted under Readings on Festivals); and Snow, “Arab’s Poke Salat Festival” (posted under Readings on Festivals); discussion leader: Miranda Limonczenko. Quick check-ins.

Week 8

T, Mar. 15 Floating Spring Break. Please confirm the dates of your Spring Break with your instructors by email. Class will be held as usual this week. If you must miss a class session, you can catch up by watching it at a later date.  Discuss Wolcott, Ethnogr as a Way of Seeing

Th, Mar. 17 Discuss Emerson et al., Writing Fieldnotes and 1 festival reading, tea; discussion leader: Harrison Ratcliffe. Quick check-ins.

Week 9

T, Mar. 22 Share field notes; discuss Mayer, Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning; discuss principles of universal design relevant to website creation; <Alt text> for images; cognitive load; inductive and deductive presentation of content; redundancy; highlighting key ideas; one core task per page, etc.

Th, Mar. 24 Share field notes: discuss Procter, Victorian Days. Check-ins.

Week 10

T, Mar. 29 Discuss Gebhardt, “Let There Be Rock! Myth and Ideology in the Rock Festivals of the Transatlantic Counterculture,” Gebhardt on Rock Festivals; and Adler, “Bean Blossom”; discussion leader: Drew Roberson.

Th, Mar. 31 Discuss Branding, Sponsorship, & music fest and King, Blues Tourism;  Quick check-ins.

 Week 11

T, Apr. 5 Discuss Gabbert, Situating the Local; and Gabbert, Making Objects.

Th, Apr. 7 Discuss Pershing, “‘You Can’t Do That, You’re the Wrong Race’: African American Women Storytellers at a Contemporary Festival,”; and Skipper, Diasporic Kings and Queens; Quick check-ins. 

Week 12

T, Apr. 12 Discuss Regis and Walton, Producing the Folk; and Lindahl, Presence of the Past.

Th, Apr. 14 Discuss Schrift, Wildest Show in the South; and Bain, “Trashed: Music Festivals are Environmental Disasters”; Quick check-ins: looking toward next Thursday’s due date for project drafts. discussion leader: Tanya Ruys

 Week 13

T, Apr. 19 What questions do you have about completing your project draft for Thursday?  Discuss Laing, “How Green Was My Festival”; and Rubinstein, “Music Festivals are being Destroyed by Fans.”

Th, Apr. 21 DUE: Polished, edited projects; present 2-3 highlights of project

Week 14

T, Apr. 26 Feedback/workshop on writing and website design; other topics tba according to students’ needs

Th, Apr. 28 Quick check-ins; tba according to students’ needs

Week 15

T, May 3 tba according to students’ needs

Th, May 5 DUE: Final Projects

Week 16

T, May 10 3 public presentations of final projects; DUE: Reflection blog/paper.

Th, May 12 4 public presentations of final projects; DUE: Peer reviews of sites.


HUM 473 Festivals syllabus(FINALDRAFT).docx 1.20.16/ck & ws






Readings on Digital Humanities

book of future.JPG

Johanna Drucker, Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production (Harvard UP, 2014)

History of DH and General Background

Burdick, Anne and Johanna Drucker, Peter Lunenfeld, Todd Presner, and Jeffrey Schnapp. Digital Humanities. Cambridge: The MIT P, 2012. Ch 1_Digital Humanities

Digital Diversity 2015: Writing / Feminism / Culture. A Timeline of the Digital Humanities from 1937 – present. Well worth reading! http://cwrc.ca/digitaldiversity2015/

Drucker, Johanna. “Humanities Approaches to Graphical Display.” DHQ: Digital Humanities Quarterly 5.1 (2011). http://digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/5/1/000091/000091.html

Kirschenbaum, Matthew. “What is ‘Digital Humanities,’ and Why Are They Saying Such Terrible Things About It?” differences 25. 1 (2014). dhterriblethingskirschenbaum

Mayer, Richard E. “Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning.” in The Cambridge Companion to Multimedia Learning.

Mayer_Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning

Price, Kenneth M. and Ray Siemens, “Introduction,” Literary Studies in the Digital Age: An Evolving Anthology, MLA Commons. 2013. https://dlsanthology.commons.mla.org/introduction/

Sinclair, Stefan, and Stan Ruecker and Milena Radzikowska, “Information Visualization for  Humanities Scholars.” Literary Studies in the Digital Age: An Evolving Anthology, MLA Commons. 2013.  https://dlsanthology.commons.mla.org/information-visualization-for-humanities-scholars/

Stommel, Jesse. “Digital Pedagogy: A Geneology.” MLA Presentation using Tiki-Toki timeline software. Vancouver, B.C. January 2015.


—. “Interactive Criticism and the Embodied Digital Humanities.” Digital Pedagogy Lab, 20 Jan. 2016.

Some Current Projects

Bissell, Evan and Erik Loyer et al. The Knotted Line. Interactive site exploring freedom and confinement in the United States. Created using Scalar (developed by The Alliance for Networking Visual Culture and the University of Southern California). http://knottedline.com

Gil, Alex. Around DH in 80 Days. Web project showcasing digital humanities projects around the world. 2014. http://www.arounddh.org/about/

McClurken, Jeff and Ellen Holmes Pearson, Century America: The Course. COPLAC project on life in and around COPLAC institutions during World War I. 2014 – 2015. This course is the forerunner of our Festivals course. Click on this link to view students’ final web projects. http://course.centuryamerica.org

McGann, Jerome, and Johanna Drucker, et al. Ivanhoe, An Interactive Text Analysis Game. University of Virginia Scholars Lab. http://ivanhoe.scholarslab.org

The Re/Collecting Project: An Ethnic Studies Memory Project of California’s Central Coast. CSU Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Project created in Omeka, a content management system widely used by libraries and other institutions.  http://reco.calpoly.edu

Schuessler, Jennifer. “New York Public Library Invites a Deep Digital Dive.” The New York Times.  Jan. 6, 2015.  http://nyti.ms/1TVxMB1

DH Tools

DiRT Directory: Digital Research Tools. http://dirtdirectory.org

Posner, Miriam. “Build a Web Page from Scratch with HTML.” From her Digital Humanities 101 course at UCLA. Created in WordPress. http://miriamposner.com/dh101f15/index.php/build-a-webpage-from-scratch-with-html/

Coggle.it tool for mapping relationships. Sample coggle used for showing character relationships in Charles Dickens’s Bleak House, by Cathy Kroll: https://coggle.it/diagram/VgipoOP6UL89fIMd

HyperCities: Thick Mapping in the Digital Humanities. Harvard UP. http://www.hypercities.com

GoogleMaps. My Maps: tool for map creation.


Timeline JS3. http://timeline.knightlab.com

mp4 to mp3 converter:







WordPress Tutorial

WordPress Quick Start Tutorial (by catkroll)

This brief WordPress tutorial covers an Introduction to WP site architecture (Dashboard, Media Library, etc.), blogging on the Festivals course website, and developing your own WP site.

WordPress site architecture (or logical structure): WordPress is a free, open-source content management system (CMS) used by millions of individuals and businesses to host personal portfolios, blogs, academic and personal projects, and to sell merchandise and services. As you are getting to know how WP operates, it will be helpful to understand how this and many other popular CMSs operate. WordPress web designers offer users a wide variety of built-­in templates. For the Festivals course, we will be using only those templates that are fully accessible so that those who need visual or auditory accommodations will be able to experience and to appreciate your work.

All WordPress sites operate according to a predictable, consistent site architecture. WordPress, like other CMSs, has a Dashboard of control options you can use to make global changes to your site (such as changing your theme template, categories, or font). All media files you upload will be stored in your Media Library permanently, so you can re­use, re­size, or rearrange them at will.

Important: as with other CMSs, your posts, edits, and site changes will not be effective until you hit the Save & Publish (or Update) button on the page. If you try to leave the page without saving, WordPress will remind you that you have unsaved changes.

Site navigation: As you become more familiar with WordPress navigation, you’ll notice that there is a fair amount of helpful redundancy in its operations: that is, you can access different areas and features of your site through a variety of pathways. For example, there are different ways to return to your home page and different ways to create new pages or posts.

Adding pages or posts is done by clicking on the blue pencil icon located at the top right­hand corner of any page. An html editor box with toolbars will open up (this will feel very much like the set­up in Microsoft Word). You have the option of typing or pasting in text when the Visual tab is activated (it defaults to this), or typing or pasting in html code. This can be useful if you need to customize something, check if a link is broken, or troubleshoot another issue. Normally, though, you’ll probably be leaving the html tab alone and just using the Visual tab. If you need special characters that are not supported by WordPress, I recommend that you type out that content in Word first (using Word’s Insert → Symbols → Advanced Symbols feature) and then paste it into the html editor box. After doing this, check your text and restore any formatting (or text) that has been lost.

Editing or updating individual pages or posts is done by clicking on the “Edit” link at the top left of the page under your profile photograph, or by clicking on the blue pencil by clicking on the blue pencil icon located at the bottom right corner of the particular page you’d like to edit.

WordPress has a variety of useful plug­ins already installed, such as Site Stats that records visits to your page; Akismet Stats that blocks spam; buttons that allow for links to Facebook, Google+, and other popular sites, and buttons for printing and emailing. You can customize your site further by adding plug­ins designed to be used with WordPress: https://wordpress.org/plugins/. For example, you can add a tag cloud widget that visually represents key words or terms on your site: https://en.support.wordpress.com/widgets/tag­cloud­widget/.

Blogging on our course website: Dr. Snow and I will assign you the role of Author so you can add blog posts to the Festivals course website. Most of your blogging will be done on your own individual sites, where you will be the site Administrator. Please see below for tips on adding blog posts to existing sites (topics #5 and #6).

Creating your own site in WordPress: WordPress has some tutorials embedded in its main site (and see https://learn.wordpress.com), but below I present a few tips to help you get started.

  1. Select your WordPress theme. Be sure to use themes that meet accessibility standards so your work can be experienced by all. You can find the current list of those themes here: Accessible WordPress Themes
  1. Select a free WordPress account and type in your site name (you can always change your actual site name later).
  1. At this point, you can access a variety of introductory tutorials, if you’d like: https://learn.wordpress.com. Alternatively, proceed with the quick­start instructions below.

4.  Customizing the appearance of your site:

  • Insert a header image (visit Wikimedia Commons for images that have been licensed through Creative Commons and are acceptable to use as long as you properly attribute them to their creator). From My Sites, click on WP Admin, which will take you to the Dashboard. Once there, click on Appearance, then Header, then Header Image. This action takes you to the Media Library, where you have the choice of using an existing image or of uploading a new image. Select the relevant image → Select & Crop → Save & Publish. You may need to crop your image so it views properly in the allotted space of the WP template you’re using. Important: below each image you insert on a page, be sure to insert a caption (in the html editor box) attributing the image to the original creator and cite the source where you located it. Ideally, use your own images, those licensed through Creative Commons (for example, those available on Wikimedia Commons), or those in the public domain.
  • To insert images, audio, and video files on a page or within a post: click on the “picture” icon on the top of the toolbar at the far left. This takes you to your Media Library. From there, click on the file you’d like to insert from your computer, or add a new file or a url link. Then click Insert. Crop as necessary.
  • At any point, you can change your WP theme (but remember to choose one that meets accessibility standards: Accessible WordPress Themes).
  • To get back to your current home page, click on My Site in the top left corner. You will see your site listed there. Hover over the name of your site and click on the blue “home” icon.
  • Change the title of your site (and subtitle) as needed. On the left hand side of the page, click My Site in the top left corner –> WP Admin → Appearance → Customize → Site Title. Fill in Site Title (main title) and Tagline (subtitle). Check that “Display Header Text” box is checked. Click Save & Publish. Click X to exit back to the Dashboard.
  • To change fonts and font sizes: From My Site –> WP Admin –>  Appearance → Customize → Fonts → select from dropdown menu of fonts. Then click Save & Publish.
  • Create a static front page (your landing page). From My Site –> WP Admin –> Appearance → Customize → Static Front Page → A static page. Click Save & Publish.
  • Create menus (tabs across top of your site): From My Site –> WP Admin –> Appearance → Menus → View All. Click the Pages and Posts you’d like to be visible. Click  Primary Menu, then Save Menu. Note: you can create both menus and submenus (see #8 below). Experiment!
  1. To create a new page or a blog post, click on the pencil icon in the top right­hand corner of the page. An html editor box will open up. Give that page or blog a title, then type (or paste in) your content. Click Save & Publish when you are finished.
  1. Editing an existing page or blog post: You can go back and edit a page or blog post at any point by clicking on the blue pencil icon at the far lower right corner of the page. Click Update and then View Post.
  1. Some handy keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl (or Command on Mac) X = cut

Ctrl (or Command on Mac) C = copy

Ctrl (or Command on Mac) V = paste

See also the complete list of WP keyboard shortcuts: https://codex.wordpress.org/Keyboard_Shortcuts. Sometimes, it will be useful to create content in Word and then insert it into an html editor box on a page in WordPress (especially if you are making use of lots of special characters or symbols). You may need to make some minor formatting adjustments after importing your content; also check to ensure that none of your text has been lost.

  1. Creating menus (tabs at the top of your site): from My Site → WP Admin → Appearance –> Menus. Give your menu a name. Click View All, then click which pages and posts should be visible as a menu. You can either align them all flush left or indent slightly to create submenus (drop-down menus). Click Primary Menu, then Save Menu. To delete a menu, click on the link in red at the bottom of the Menu page.
  1. Create your profile: from My Sites → WP Admin → Users → My Profile. Fill out the basic information, including a little bit about yourself. Upload a headshot or other image from your computer to customize your Gravatar (globally recognized avatar). You can crop the image so that it fits well in the available space.
  1. Insert email, print, Facebook, Google+, and other buttons by going to Settings → Sharing. Drag (and rearrange as you like) the Sharing buttons you wish to add to your pages into the “Enabled Services” area.
  1. License your site at Creative Commons to preserve your research and all of the hard work that went into the creation of your site: https://creativecommons.org/choose/. You can display the license in your sidebar. See the end of this tutorial for an example of what a Creative Commons license looks like.

Embedding Maps, Timelines, Audio, Video, and Plug­ins into Your WordPress Site: One of the great advantages of the digital humanities field is that it affords you many different ways to represent your ideas and, in fact, allows you to ask unique kinds of research questions and to creatively design the presentation of your findings. The medium in which you represent your ideas contributes to their communicative and aesthetic power. For example, embedding audio files of interviews into your site (by uploading them to SoundCloud and then displaying them on your site) affords your audience a sense of the intimacy and vibrant power of the human voice. The same holds true for video files: once you create them, import them into YouTube, and then link to them from your site, you add a visual and acoustic dimension beyond print. Further, you may find that maps or timelines help you narrate a particular aspect of your research, and these can be easily embedded in your site as well.

Deleting a Site: from the Dashboard → Tools → Delete Site.

A few tools for representing your ideas visually and acoustically, as well as textually:

Wordle: creates a word cloud to show the relationships between key words or terms; http://www.wordle.net

Timeline JS3 (considered one of the best pieces of timeline software): http://timeline.knightlab.com

TimeToast (easy ­to ­use timeline software): https://www.timetoast.com

Tiki­-Toki (more sophisticated timeline software): http://www.tiki­toki.com

Infographics: piktochart. http://piktochart.com

gifs: http://giphy.com

.mp4 to .mp3 converter: http://www.onlinevideoconverter.com/video­converter

GarageBand (available on Macs)

Audacity sound recording software (for both PC and Mac): http://audacityteam.org

Voice Memos on iPhone: for recording audio; easily imported to computer as .mp3 files

iMovie (available on Macs)

Camtasia:  simple video and screen recording software (many universities have this installed on computers in their labs; free trial available): https://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html



For an amazing blend of the artistic and the geographic, see Rebecca Solnit’s Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, which combines geographic information system (GIS) technology, cultural history, and spatial analysis of San Francisco’s communities: http://amzn.to/1TT3qz2

Creative Commons License
WordPress Quick Start Tutorial by Cathy Kroll is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Readings on Ethnography and Oral History

Boyd, Douglas A. and Mary A. Larson. Oral History and Digital Humanities: Voice, Access, and Engagement. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

Brown, S. G. & Dobrin, S. I. Ethnography Unbound: From Theory Shock to Critical Praxis. Albany: State University of New York P, 2004.

Charmaz, Kathy. Logic of Grounded Theory Coding Practices. In Constructing Grounded Theory. Second Edition. Los Angeles: Sage, 2014.

Emerson, Robert M., Fretz, Rachel I., and Shaw, Linda L. Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes. Second Edition. Chicago: U Chicago P, 2004.

—.  “Fieldnotes in Research.” Emerson_Fieldnotes in Ethnogr Research

—. “Writing Fieldnotes.” Emerson_Writing Fieldnotes

Geertz, Clifford. “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight.” In The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays. New York: Basic Books, 1973. Web. 3 Jan. 2016. Also reprinted in Daedalus 134.4 (Fall 2005): 56-86.


Heyl, Barbara Sherman. “Ethnographic Interviewing.” In Handbook of Ethnography. Ed. Paul Atkinson, Amanda Coffey, Sara Delamont, John Lofland, and Lyn Lofland. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2001. Heyl, Ethnographic Interviewing

Ritchie, Donald A. Doing Oral History. Third Edition. New York: Oxford UP, 2015.

Schlesinger, Kenneth. “Reactions of Racquetball Players to Lost Points.” In Researching American Culture: A Guide for Student Anthropologists. Ed. Conrad Phillip Kottak. Ann Arbor: U Michigan P, 1982. Schlesinger_Reactions of Racquetball Players

Soyini Madison, D. “Introduction to Critical Ethnography.” In Critical Ethnography: Method, Ethics, and Performance. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2005.Madison, Intro. to Critical Ethnography

—. Madison on ethnographic interviewing: “Do I Really Need a Method?” A Method . . . or Deep Hanging Out? in Critical Ethnography: Method, Ethics, and Performance. Second edition. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2014.

Wolcott, Harry F.”Ethnography as a Way of Seeing.” In Ethnography: A Way of Seeing. Second Edition. Lanham, MD: AltaMira P, 2008. Print. Wolcott_Ethnogr as a Way of Seeing

Yow, Valerie Raleigh. Recording Oral History: A Guide for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Third Edition. Walnut Creek: Alta Mira P, 2014.

Festivals Around the Country

The West

Alaska Folk Festival (Juneau, AK)

American Graffiti Car Show and Parade, Petaluma, May

Anchorage Folk Festival (Anchorage, AK)

Apple Blossom Festival, Sebastopol, April

Arizona Wild West Festival (Cave Creek, AZ)

Avocado Festival (Fallbrook, CA)

Bald Eagle Festival (Haines, AK)

Balloon Festival and Fair (Lake Havasu City, AZ)

Bear Lake Raspberry Days (Garden City, UT)

Burning Man, Black Rock City, Nevada, September

California’s Artisan Cheese Festival, March 18-20, 2016 (10th annual; hosted by Sheraton Sonoma County, Petaluma)

Canon City Music and Blossom Festival (Canon City, CO)

Cheyenne Frontier Days (Cheyenne, WY)

Chocolate Festival (Portland, OR)

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Indio, California, April

Coconut Festival (Kauai, HI)

Cotati Accordion Festival, August

Cowboy Days (Las Cruces, NM)

Daffodil Festival (Tacoma, WA)

Date Festival (Indio, CA)

East Maui Taro Festival (Hana, HI)

Elkfest (Jackson, WY)

Fort Bridger Rendezvous (Fort Bridger, WY)

Gay Pride Weekend, SF, June

Gilroy Garlic Festival, July

Gold Rush Days (Juneau, AK)

Grand Teton Music Festival (Teton Village, WY)

Gravenstein Apple Fair, Sebastopol, August

Hatch Valley Chile Festival (Hatch Valley, NM)

Helldorado Days (Las Vegas, NV)

Huckleberry Festival (Swan Valley, MT)

Idaho Spud Day (Shelly, ID)

International Balloon Fiesta (Albuquerque, NM)

Issaquah Salmon Days Festival (Seattle, WA)

Jackson Hole Old West Days (Jackson Hole, WY)

Kauai Orchid & Art Festival (Hanapepe, HI)

Little Bighorn Days (Hardin, MT)

Madrona Fiber Arts Festival (Tacoma, WA)

Merrie Monarch Festival (Hilo, HI)

Moab Festival (Moab, UT)

North American Indian Days (Browning, MT)

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, SF, April

Oakdale Testicle Festival [Rocky Mountain Oysters](Oakdale, CA)

Olive Festival (Corning, CA)

Ouray Ice Festival (Ouray, CO)

Petaluma Butter and Egg Days, April

Pig Out in the Park (Spokane, WA)

Pomegranate Festival (Madera, CA)

Portland Pirate Festival (Portland, OR)

Portland Rose Festival (Portland, OR)

Reno Jazz Festival (Reno, NV)

Salsa Festival (Oxnard, CA)

Sebastopol Cajun Zydeco Festival, September

Sitka Summer Music Festival (Sitka, AK)

Sitka Whalefest (Sitka, AK)

Snake River Stampede (Nampa, ID)

Sonoma County Harvest Fair, October

Stikine River Migratory Bird and Garnet Festival (Wrangell, AK)

Sundance Film Festival (Salt Lake City, UT)

Sweet Pea Festival (Bozeman, MT)

Trailing the Sheep (Sun Valley, ID)

Tucson Jazz Festival (Tucson, AZ)

Tulip Festival (Thanksgiving Point, UT)

UFO Festival (Roswell, NM)

Ullr Fest (Breckenridge, CO)

Victorian Heritage Festival (Port Townsend, WA)

Viva Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV)

Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival (Waimea, HI)

Waterfront Blues Festival (Portland, OR)

Western Legends Roundup (Kanab, UT)

Wild Wild West Festival (Puebla, CO)

Yellowstone Ski Festival (Yellowstone Park, MT)

The South

Arab Poke Salat Festival (Arab, AL)

Atlanta Dogwood Festival (Atlanta, GA)

Batfest (Austin, TX)

Bikes, Blues & BBQ (Fayetteville, AR)

Biloxi Seafood Festival (Biloxi, MS)

Borderfest (Hidalgo, TX)

Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival (Breaux Bridge, LA)

Burkville Okra Festival (Burkville, AL)

Chattanooga Riverbend Music Festival (Chattanooga, TN)

Chitlin Strut (Salley, SC)

Cullman Strawberry Festival (Cullman, AL)

Cullman Sweet Tater Festival (Cullman, AL)

Destin Seafood Festival (Destin, FL)

Fayetteville Dogwood Festival (Fayetteville, NC)

Folkmoot (Waynesville, NC)

Georgia Peach Festival (Peach County, GA)

Grapefest (Grapevine, TX)

Great Texas Mosquito Festival (Clute, TX)

Gullah Festival (Beauford, SC)

Hank Williams Festival (Georgiana, AL)

Hillbilly Days (Pikeville, KY)

Hotter’N Hell Hundred Bicycle Ride, Wichita Falls, TX, August

International Mango Festival (Coral Gables, FL)

Johnny Cash Music Festival (Ozark, AR)

Kentucky Bourbon Festival (Bardstown, KY)

Kentucky Derby Festival (Louisville, KY)

Kite Fest (Baton Rouge, LA)

Lake Apopka Wildlife Festival (Apopka, FL)

Louisiana Earth Day Festival (Baton Rouge, FL)

Mardi Gras Texas Style (Dallas, TX)

Market Street Festival (Columbus, MS)

Memphis Music & Heritage Festival (Memphis, TN)

Miami Reggae Festival (Miami, FL)

Mississippi Delta Blues Festival (Greenville, MS)

Mule Day (Columbia, TN)

National Storytelling Festival (Jonesborough, TN)

Neptune Festival (Virginia Beach, VA)

New Orleans Mardi Gras (New Orleans, LA)

Norfolk NATO Festival (Norfolk, VA)

North Carolina Apple Festival (Hendersonville, NC)

North Carolina Azalea Festival (Wilmington, NC)

North Carolina Pickle Festival (Mount Olive, NC)

Pecan Street Festival (Austin, TX)

Pungo Strawberry Festival (Virginia Beach, VA)

Red River Wine Festival (Wichita Falls, TX)

Richmond Folk Festival (Richmond, VA)

Scottsboro Catfish Festival (Scottsboro, AL)

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival (Winchester, VA)

Slugburger Festival (Corinth, MS)

Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree (Smithville, TN)

South Carolina Festival of Flowers (Greenwood, SC)

Spoleto Festival (Charleston, SC)

Springtime Tallahassee Fall Festival (Tallahassee, FL)

Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival (Mount Pleasance, SC)

Texas Sandfest (Port Aransas, TX)

Thunder on the Mountain (Ozark, AR)

Tifton Rhythm and Ribs (Tifton, GA)

Trail of Tears Pow-Wow (Hopkinsville, KY)

Tupelo Elvis Festival (Tupelo, MS)

Virginia Highlands Festival (Abingdon, VA)

Voodoo Experience (New Orleans, LA)

Wakarusa (Ozark, AR)

Woolly Worm Festival (Banner Elk, NC)

The Midwest

Abraham Lincoln Freedom Festival (Rockport, IN)

Apple Festival (Bayfield, WI)

Amelia Earhart Festival (Atchison, KS)

American Birkebeiner (Hayward, WI)

Beef Empire Days (Garden City, KS)

Black Hills Pow Wow (Rapid City, SD)

Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival (Des Moines, IA)

Buffalo Roundup and Arts Festival (Custer, SD)

Casey Popcorn Festival (Casey, IL)

Chicago Jazz Festival (Chicago, IL)

Cleveland Garlic Festival (Cleveland, OH)

Cobden Peach Festival (Cobden, IL)

Cranberry Festival (Warrens, WI)

Country USA (Oshkosh, WI)

Detroit Downtown Hoedown (Detroit, MI)

Detroit River Days (Detroit, MI)

Dickens Village Festival (Garrison, ND)

Dixon Petunia Festival (Dixon, IL)

Dodge City Days (Dodge City, KS)

Dogwood Days Festival (Idabel, OK)

Fort Sisseton Historical Festival (Fort Sisseton, SD)

Fried Onion Burger Day Festival (El Reno, OK)

Gold Discovery Days (Custer, SD)

Grand Cities Art Fest (Grand Forks, ND)

Great Lakes Folk Festival (East Lansing, MI)

Grumpy Old Men Festival (Wabash, MN)

Grundy County Corn Festival (Morris, IL)

Indian Summer Festival (Milwaukee, WI)

Jackson County Watermelon Festival (Brownstown, IN)

John C. Fremont (Fremont, NE)

Kansas City Irish Festival (Kansas City, MO)

Kook-Aid Days (Hastings, NE)

Mandan Rodeo Days (Mandan, ND)

Maple Leaf Festival (Carthage, MO)

Mayberry in the Midwest (Danville, IN)

Milwaukee Summerfest (Milwaukee, WI)

National Cherry Festival (Traverse City, MI)

National Harvest and Cowboy Festival (Branson, MO)

National Tom Sawyer Days (Hannibal, MO)

Nebraskaland Days (North Platte, NE)

NEMO Fair, Kirksville, MO, July

North American Snow Festival (Cadillac, MI)

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati (Cincinnati, OH)

Orange City Tulip Festival (Orange City, IA)

Oztoberfest (Wamego, KS)

Parke County Maple Syrup Fair (Rockville, IN)

Red Earth Festival (Oklahoma City, OK)

Redfern Festival (Tahlequah, OK)

Ribs & Bluegrass Festival (Medora, ND)

Saint Paul Winter Carnival (Saint Paul, MN)

Scandinavian Festival (Moorhead, MN)

Strawberry Festival (Farmington, IA)

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally (Sturgis, SD)

Sweet Corn Festival (West Point, IA)

Tulsa International Mayfest (Tulsa, OK)

Watonga Cheese Festival (Watonga, OK)

Wayne Chicken Show (Wayne, NE)

Wild Bill Days (Deadwood, SD)

The North

African-American Festival (Baltimore, MD)

Apple Pie Festival (Dummerston, VT)

Atlantic Antic (Brooklyn, NY)

Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival (Atlantic City, NJ)

Boast-the-Coast Maritime Festival (Lewes, DE)

Boston Dragon Boat Festival (Boston, MA)

Boston Harvest Fest (Boston, MA)

Celebrate Brooklyn (Brooklyn, NY)

Dover Days Festival (Dover, DE)

Festival of the Sea (Point Pleasant Beach, NJ)

Freyburg Fair (Freyburg, ME)

Gaspee Days (Warwick, RI)

Gettysburg Festival (Gettysburg, PA)

Goshen Blueberry Festival (CT)

Horseshoe Crab and Shorebird Festival (Milton, DE)

Hudson Valley Garlic Festival (Saugerties, NY)

Keene Pumpkin Festival (Keene, NH)

Kutztown Folk Festival (Kutztown, PA)

Lambertville Shad Festival (Lambertville, NJ)

Lowell Folk Fest (Lowell, MA)

Lupine Festival (Franconia, NH)

Milford Oyster Festival (CT)

Moose Mania (Greenville, ME)

Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival (Martinsburg, WV)

Mountain State Forest Festival (Elkins, WV)

Musikfest (Bethlehem, PA)

National Hard Crab Derby and Fair (Baltimore, MD)

Newport Folk Festival (Newport, RI)

Newport Winter Festival (Newport, RI)

Odunde Festival (Philadelphia, PA)

Old Fashioned Ice Cream Festival (Wilmington, DE)

Oswego Harborfest (Oswego, NY)

Plymouth Cheese and Harvest Festival (Plymouth Notch, VT)

Rochester Fair (Rochester, NH)

Scallop Fest (Cape Cod, MA)

Seafood Festival (Hampton Beach, NH)

Seymour Pumpkin Festival (CT)

Southington Apple Harvest Festival (CT)

Square Applefest (Franklin, PA)

Tulip Festival (Albany, NY)

Vermont Fine Furniture & Woodworking Festival (Woodstock, VT)

Vermont Maple Festival (Saint Albans, VT)

Waterfowl Festival (Easton, MD)

WheatonArts Festival of Fine Craft (Millville, NJ)

Yarmouth Clam Festival (Yarmouth, ME)

Washington, D.C.

National Book Festival

National Cherry Blossom Festival

Smithsonian Folklife Festival



Readings on Festivals

General Readings on Festivals

Abrahams, Roger D. “An American Vocabulary of Celebrations.” In Time Out of Time: Essays on the Festival. Ed. Alessandro Falassi. Albuquerque: U New Mexico P, 1987. Abrahams_American Vocab of Celebrations

Crompton, John L.  “Motives of Visitors Attending Festival Events.”  Annals of Tourism Research 24, no. 2 (1997): 425-439. Crompton

Ehrenreich, Barbara.  Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy.  Holt Paperbacks, 2007.

Klaic, Dragan. Festivals in Focus. Budapest: Central European UP, 2014.

Maeng, Hae Yeong, Hyeong Yu Jang, and Jinxi Michelle Li.  “A Critical Review of the Motivational Factors for Festival Attendance based on Meta-Analysis.”  Tourism Management Perspectives 17 (Jan 2016): 16-25. Maeng

Turner, Victor, “Introduction.” In Celebration: Studies in Festivity and Ritual. Ed. Victor Turner. Washington, D. C. : Smithsonian Institution P, 1982: 11-30. Print.

Turner, intro to Celebration

Race and Ethnicity

Brown, Rodger Lyle. Ghost Dancing on the Cracker Circuit: The Culture of Festivals in the American South. U Mississippi P, 1997.

Bungert, Heike. “Demonstrating the Values of ‘Gemütlichkeit’and ‘Cultur’: The Festivals of German Americans in Milwaukee, 1870-1910. In Celebrating Ethnicity and Nation: American Festive Culture from the Revolution to the Early Twentieth Century. Ed. Geneviève Fabre, Jürgen Heideking, and Kai Dreisbach. New York: Berghahn, 2001: 175-193.

Bungert on German festivals in Milwaukee

Hale, Grace Elizabeth. Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890-1940. New York: Vintage, 1999.

Hale, Deadly Amusements

Kurashige, Lon. “The Problem of Biculturalism: Japanese American Identity and Festivals before World War II.” Journal of American History 86, no. 4 (Mar 2000): 1632-1654.

Mason, Courtney W.  “The Banff Indian Days tourism festivals.”  Annals of Tourism Research 53 (July 2015): 77-95. Mason

Olmstead, Brett. “Mexican Fiestas in Central Michigan: Celebrations and Identity Formations, 1920-1930.” Michigan Historical Review 41, no. 2 (Fall 2015): 33-57.

Pershing, Linda. “You can’t do that, you’re the wrong race”: African American women storytellers at a contemporary festival.” Women & Language 19 (Spring 1996): 57-63.  Pershing(YouCantDoThat)

Skipper, Jodi and David Wharton. “Diasporic Kings and Queens: Lafayette’s Black Mardi Gras Performances in Historical and Hemispheric Contexts.” Southern Quarterly 52, no. 4 (Summer 2015): 133-154.  Skipper(DiasporicKingsandQueens)

Tolney, Stewart and E.M. Beck. A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings, 1882-1930. Urbana: U Illinois P, 1995.

Turner, Victor. “Carnival, Ritual, and Play in Rio de Janeiro.” In Time Out of Time: Essays on the Festival. Ed. Alessandro Falassi. Albuquerque: U New Mexico P, 1987.

Walker, William. “We Don’t Live Like that Anymore”: Native Peoples at the Smithsonian’s Festival of American Folklife, 1970-1976.” American Indian Quarterly 35, no. 4 (Fall 2011): 479-514.

White, Shane. “It was a proud day”: African Americans, festivals, and parades in the North, 1741-1834.” Journal of American History 81 (June 1994): 13-50.

Wiggins, William H. “‘They Closed the Town Up, Man!’: Reflections on the Civic and Political Dimensions of Juneteenth.” In Celebration: Studies in Festivity and Ritual. Ed. Victor Turner. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian P, 1982.  Wiggins on Juneteenth

Food/Subject Festivals

Coyle, Kitty. “Blessed with Dogwood: The Story of a Small Town Festival.” North Louisiana History 33, no. 4 (Fall 2003): 103-123.   Coyle(BlessedwithDogwood)

Lewis, George. “Celebrating Asparagus: Community and the Rationally constructed food festival.” Journal of American Culture 20, no. 4 (Winter 1997): 73-78.  Lewis(CelebratingAsparagus)

Organ, Kate, Nicole Koenig-Lewis, Adrian Palmer, and Jane Probert. “Festivals as agents for behavior change: A study of food festival engagement and subsequent food choices.”  Tourism Management 48 (June 2015): 84-99. Organ

Procter, David E. “Victorian Days: Performing Community through Local Festival.” In We Are What We Celebrate: Understanding Holidays and Rituals. Ed. Amitai Etzioni and Jared Bloom. New York: New York UP, 2004. Procter, Victorian Days

Rotuno-Johnson, Michelle.  The Marion Popcorn Festival.  The History Press, 2014.

Skipper, Jodi and David Wharton. “Diasporic Kings and Queens: Lafayette’s Black Mardi Gras Performances in Historical and Hemispheric Contexts.” Southern Quarterly 52, no. 4 (Summer 2015): 133-154.

Snow, Whitney.   “Arab’s Poke Salat Festival.”  Alabama Living 68, no. 5 (May 2015): 16.   http://alabamaliving.coop/article/poke-salat/

White, Shane. “ ‘It was a proud day’: African Americans, festivals, and parades in the North, 1741-1834.”   Journal of American History 81, no. 1 (June 1994): 13-50.

Music Festivals

Adler, Thomas.  Bean Blossom: The Brown County Jamboree and Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Festivals.  University of Illinois Press, 2011.

Anderton, Chris.  “Branding, Sponsorship, and the Music Festival.”  In The Pop Festival: History, Music, Media, Culture.  Ed. George McKay.  New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015.

Cummings, Joanne and Jacinta Herborn. “Festival Bodies: The Corporeality of the Contemporary Music Festival Scene in Australia.” In The Pop Festival: History, Music, Media, Culture. Ed. George McKay. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015. Cummings and Herborn

Gebhardt, Nicholas. “‘Let There Be Rock’! Myth and Ideology in the Rock Festivals of the Transatlantic Counterculture.” In The Pop Festival: History, Music, Media, Culture. Ed. George McKay. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015.

Gebhardt on Rock Festivals

Hudson, Simon, Martin S. Roth, Thomas J. Madden, and Rupert Hudson.  “The effects of social media on emotions, brand relationship quality, and word of mouth: An empirical study of music festival attendees.”  Tourism Management 47 (Apr 2015): 68-76. Hudson

King, Stephen A. “Blues Tourism in the Mississippi Delta: The Functions of Blues Festivals.” Popular Music & Society 27, no. 4 (Dec 2004): 455-475.  King(BluesTourism)

McKay, George. “Introduction.” In The Pop Festival: History, Music, Media, Culture.  Ed. George McKay. New York: Bloomsbury, 2015. McKay_Intro to The Pop Festival

Regis, Helen, et al. “Producing the Folk at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.” Journal of American Folklore 121, no. 482 (Fall 2008): 400-440.  Regis(ProducingtheFolk)

Robinson, Roxy. “No Spectators! The Art of Participation, from Burning Man to Boutique Festivals in Britain.” In The Pop Festival: History, Music, Media, Culture. Ed. George McKay. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015. Robinson on Burning Man

Rubinstein, Peter.  “Music Festivals are Being Destroyed by Fans & It Needs to Change.”  Electronic Dance Music News, http://www.youredm.com/2015/07/02/having-fun-at-festivals-should-not-be-at-the-environments-expense/ (accessed January 15, 2016).

Sheehy, Michael. “Woodstock.” Journalism History 37, no. 4 (Winter 2012): 238-246.

Film Festivals

Film Festival Research Network

de Valck, Marijke. “Film Festivals, Bourdieu, and the Economization of Culture.” Canadian Journal of Film Studies 23.1 (2014).

—. Film Festivals: From European Geopolitics to Global Cinephilia. Amsterdam: Amsterdam UP, 2008.


Smith, Sheldon. “The Re-Establishment of Community: The Emerging Festival System of the American West.” Journal of American Culture 8, no. 3 (Fall 1985): 91-100.  Smith(TheRe-establishmentofcommunity)

Cultural Festivals

del Barrio, Maria Jose, Maria Devesa, and Luis Cesar Herrero.  “Evaluating intangible cultural heritage: The case of cultural festivals.”  City, Culture and Society 3, no. 4 (Dec 2012): 235-244. delBarrio

Jankowiak, William and Todd C. White. “Carnival on the Clipboard: An Ethnological Study of New Orleans Mardi Gras.” Ethnology 38, no. 4 (Fall 2009): 335-349.  Jankowiak(CarnivalontheClipboard)

Lindahl, Carl. “The Presence of the Past in the Cajun Country Mardi Gras.” Journal of Folklore Research 33, no. 2 (May-Aug 1996): 125-153.  Lindahl(PresenceofthePast)


Akhoondnejad, Arman.  “Tourist loyalty to a local cultural event: The case of Turkmen handicrafts festival.”  Tourism Management 52 (Feb 2016): 468-477. Akhoondnejad

Kim, Samuel Seongseop, Sangsoo Choi, Jerome Agrusa, Kuo-Ching Wang, and Youngmi Kim.  “The role of family decision makers in festival tourism.”  International Journal of Hospitality Management 29, no. 2 (June 2010): 308-318. Kim

Kruger, Stefan.  “Examining the Influence of the Wine Festival Experience on Tourists’ Quality of Life.”  Social Indicators Research 111, no. 2 (Apr 2013): 435-452. Kruger

Prentice, Richard and Vivien Andersen.  “Festival as Creative Destination.”  Annals of Tourism Research 30, no. 1 (Jan 2003): 7-30. Prentice


Bain, Katie.  “Trashed: Music Festivals are Environmental Disasters.”  LAWeekly, July 11, 2013.  http://www.laweekly.com/music/trashed-music-festivals-are-environmental-disasters-2614424

Laing, Jennifer and Warwick Frost.  “How green was my festival: Exploring challenges and opportunities associated with staging green events.”  International Journal of Hospitality Management 29, no. 2 (June 2010): 261-267. Laing

McKay, George. “Introduction.” In The Pop Festival: History, Music, Media, Culture.  Ed. George McKay. New York: Bloomsbury, 2015. McKay_Intro to The Pop Festival

Rubinstein, Peter.  “Music Festivals are Being Destroyed by Fans & It Needs to Change.”  Electronic Dance Music News, http://www.youredm.com/2015/07/02/having-fun-at-festivals-should-not-be-at-the-environments-expense/ (accessed January 15, 2016).

Sakurai, Ryo, Susan K. Jacobson, Hiromi Kobori, Richard Primack, Kohei Oka, Naoya Komatsu, and Ryo Machida.  “Culture and climate change: Japanese cherry blossom festivals and stakeholders’ knowledge and attitudes about global climate change.”  Biological Conservation 144, no. 1 (Jan 2011): 654-658. Sakurai

Song, Hak Jun, Choong-Ki Lee, Soo K. Kang, and Sug-jin Boo.  “The effect of environmentally friendly perceptions on festival visitors’ decision-making process using an extended model of goal-directed behavior.”  Tourism Management 33, no. 6 (Dec 2012): 1417-1428. Song


Gabbert, Lisa. “Making Objects, Creating Places: McCall Winter Carnival.” Folklore Forum 33, no ½ (2002): 7-33.  Gabbert(MakingObjects)

—. “Situating the Local by Inventing the Global: Community Festival and Social Change.” Western Folklore 66, no. ¾ (Summer/Fall 2007): 259-280.  Gabbert(SituatingtheLocal)

Santino, Jack. “The Ritualesque: Festival, Politics, and Popular Culture.” Western Folklore 68, no. 1 (Winter 2009): 9-26.

Schrift, Melissa R. “The Wildest Show in the South: The Politics and Poetics of the Angola [Louisiana] Prison Rodeo and Inmate Arts Festival.” Southern Cultures 14, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 22-41.  Schrift(WildestShowintheSouth)

Selberg, Torunn. “Festivals as Celebrations of Place in Modern Society: Two Examples from Norway.” Folklore 117, no. 3 (Dec 2006): 297-312.
















Butter and Eggs Day, Petaluma: Through Ethnographic Eyes

For nearly the past one hundred years, Petaluma has hosted the Butter and Eggs Day festival and parade each April. Last year’s parade on April 25, 2015 boasted over 30,000 attendees at an event that lasted nearly five hours. Historians of the festival can find rich archival holdings in local collections. Among the many documents about the festival in the Sonoma County Library archives are photographs of a Charlie Chaplin impersonator at the 1923 Butter and Eggs Day Parade: Butter & Eggs day parade Charlie Chaplin 1923.png

While the vogue for Charlie Chaplin impersonators may have faded, there has always been plenty of popular appeal at the parade: in the 1990s, briefcase-toting downtown merchants dressed up in suits and marched in fancy formation; today, the tradition of the Cutest Chick Contest continues along with floats showcasing everything from Clo the Cow to techno bands. The appeal to tradition is visible everywhere, with all major agricultural industries in the surrounding area contributing to the spirit of home-town pride.


Straus Family Creamery press release, 2011

Gilroy Garlic Festival

The_Great_Morgani-_Gilroy_Garlic_Fest_2009_Animalparty_CC BY 2.0.jpgThe Great Morgani, 2009, by Animalparty, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Festival-goers on their way to the Gilroy Garlic Festival in northern California swear they can smell the garlic growing in the fields as they approach the town. This annual festival boasts dramatic cooking demonstrations (with flames from the grill pans shooting twenty feet in the air), several bands, dancing, and, for refreshments: garlic ice cream.