5 quirky festivals to add to your bucket list
Date Posted: 16/07/2015
Tired of doing the same old trips and following the same old itineraries? Pep up your next group holiday by factoring in one of these one-of-a-kind festivals…
Lorraine Mondial Air Balloon Festival
At the end of July every year hot air balloonists from 70 nations come together in Chambley in eastern France, for the annual Lorraine Mondial Festival.
Visitors can watch the mass balloon take-off every morning of the week-long festival. Plus, they can sample their own flights, visit a series of air workshops, look around a museum dedicated to flight, and take part in star gazing after the sun sets.
This festival is great for groups, because it’s set within a 30,000 square metre Balloon Village with 15,000 parking spots, including coach stops.
Festival of Near Death Experiences
Not for the faint hearted, this festival celebrates life’s close shaves. The festival, which takes place in Pontevedra, Spain, every July, is officially called The Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme and it’s held to commemorate the Patron Saint of Resurrection.
Visitors can watch a parade of open coffins with living people inside proceed through the streets, watch fireworks, and sample traditional Galacian cuisine like pulpo a feira – a traditional octopus dish.
The festival gets busy, but the local area is used to group visits. Hotels like the Infinnit are used to welcoming conference groups at other times of year.
Every August competitors from around the world descend on Llanwrtyd in Wales too see who can snorkel through the Waen Rhydd bog in the shortest time.
The competition is a spectacle in itself, as some participants take part in fancy dress, but visitors also have access to a fair, food stalls, live music and real ale stands.
Groups can extend their visit to this part of Wales with Red Kite spotting, hiking, and visits to local attractions like the Dolaucothi Gold Mine.
2015 will mark the 20th anniversary of this annual festival, which takes place in Oulu, Finland, every August.
Visitors to the festival can buy tickets to the qualifying rounds, the final or the musical comedy show that runs alongside the festival.
Groups can also arrange to see local sights during their visit to the event. Trips can be arranged to places like Iso Syote National Park, where you can take nature safaris – groups of up to 150 can be accommodated here.
Taking place in Australia’s Port Lincoln – the twin town of Lincoln in the UK – Tunarama takes place in January every year.
The talking point of the festival is the tuna toss, in which competitors try to throw a tunafish as far as they can in the fashion of a traditional hammer.
The Long Table, meanwhile, offers groups the opportunity to sample food and drink typical of the Eyre Peninsula of Australia. Fireworks, live music and a fairground are other attractions of the festival.