The 8 Weirdest Fall Festivals in America

There's a reason why hundreds of sheep take to the streets of Idaho every autumn.

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The Trailing of the Sheep Festival

When autumn rolls around, some of us respond with a piping hot pumpkin spice latte, some cider donuts and a sweater. Others prefer to kick off the season by letting sheep run through their main streets. Here's just a sampler of the unusual sights you can see around the country this fall.

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Bridge Day, Fayetteville, West Virginia

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When: October 15, 2016

The views may be stunning from the top of the New River Gorge Bridge, but participating in this festival is not for the faint of heart. Every year, BASE jumpers make the leap from the 800+-foot-high bridge (rappelling is also an option), proving that some of us were just born fearless.

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Woolly Worm Festival, Banner Elk, North Carolina

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When: October 15 and 16, 2016

February has the groundhog, October has the ...woolly worm? Yep, this weather-predicting critter is part of the local lure. (Apparently, the color of a the black-and-brown worm's brown sections determine the severity of the upcoming winter.) Every year, participants enter woolly worms in a race — and the winning worm is the one who gets to predict the winter. 

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Corgi Con, Ocean Beach, San Francisco

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When: October 22, 2016

If you love corgis, you're in good company at this adorable one-day fest. Cute area pups will convene on the beach, with many wearing delightful costumes. 

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Emma Crawford Coffin Race & Parade, Manitou Springs, Colorado
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Historic Manitou Springs

When: October 29, 2016

The quaint town of Manitou Springs had a bit of an incident back in 1929, when the coffin of Emma Crawford washed down a very steep mountain after years of stormy weather. Her remains were properly buried after the fact, but the unusual event inspired this yearly event decades later. Over 70 teams participate in the coffin race, with each team having their own "Emma." 

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PABaconfest, Easton, Pennsylvania

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When: November 5 and 6, 2016

For those whose BLTs are really just all B, PABaconfest is your heaven. For one shining weekend, you can indulge in all things bacon in a safe, judgment-free zone. Go hog wild.

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The World's Largest Disco, Buffalo, New York

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When: November 26, 2016

Of all the places we'd expect to find a giant disco (Las Vegas?), Buffalo didn't immediately come to mind. But, every year, the Buffalo Convention Center becomes Saturday Night Fever times a thousand for one night, to benefit Camp Good Days (a charity that improves the quality of life for children, adults, and families whose lives have been touched by cancer). What better excuse to dust off those platforms?

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Wisconsin Cow Chip Throw & Festival, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin
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Cow Chip

When: September 2 and 3, 2016

This quirky festival pays tribute to the humble cow chip, which is essentially a dried round of cow droppings that early settlers used to utilize as fuel. The most anticipated part of this event is the toss, which is exactly what it sounds like. (Picture frisbee-throwing.) Perhaps you'll get around to this idea by the time next year's festival rolls around. 


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The Trailing of the Sheep, Ketchum and Hailey, Idaho
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The Trailing of the Sheep Festival

When: October 5-9, 2016

While the festival itself isn't so weird (it's an event that celebrates sheep ranching), the sight of 1,500 sheep parading down Main Street ranks as one of the most unusual sights you can see. The weekend also includes culinary, wool, and cultural festivals. Definitely mark your calendars for next year.

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