Event-o-Rama: 10 Must-Dos in July

There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in July:

  • Tap into Portland‘s love for beer at the 26th annual Oregon Brewers Festival (July 24-28). Sample more than 80 different beers from scores of craft breweries, listen to live music, mingle with fellow enthusiasts, and learn how to be a home-brew guru on the banks of the Willamette River at this beloved event.
  • Want to be a kid again? The Cadbury Chocolate Carnival (July 20-26) in Dunedin, New Zealand is about as close to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as you can get. This chocolate lover’s dream includes sensory tours, chocolate facials, live demos, and a see-it-to-believe-it “race” where 25,000 Jaffas cascade down the steepest street in the world!
  • Vienna may be known as the City of Music, but it’s dancing that takes center stage at ImPulsTanz (July 11-August 11). Dancers, choreographers, and artists from all over the world come together to celebrate contemporary dance (and push the limits of the genre) with spectacular live performances staged in the city’s most impressive venues. 
  • Join the melting pot at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival (through July 7) in Washington, D.C. Trek down to the National Mall to get a taste of cultural traditions from the world over. This year’s festival spotlights Hungarian heritage, vanishing languages, and African-American expression. Don’t forget to stop by the Marketplace to pick up unique crafts.
  • Panafest (July 26-August 3) brings Africans on the continent and in the diaspora to Ghana to celebrate and document African history and the experiences of the African people through theater, music, and art. Tour memorial sites, take in cultural performances, and enjoy traditional cuisines at this prestigious biennial event.
  • If you want to experience Canada’s Wild West, look no further than the Calgary Stampede (July 5-14). The “greatest outdoor show on Earth” features rodeos, agricultural exhibitions, chuck-wagon racing, rides, live music, and blacksmith competitions. So put on your white hat, and join the fun. 
  • Where can you find hoards of people flinging tons (literally) of tomatoes at each other? The famous La Tomatina festival may come to mind, but Chicago will be following Spain’s lead by playing host to its the first Tomato Blast (July 27). After hours of tomato-based carnage, you can cool off with a cold beer and listen to live music. But don’t forget your goggles.
  • Feeling patriotic? Travel to “the Cradle of Liberty” to take part in the Boston Harborfest (July 2-7) and celebrate America’s independence where it all began. With more than 200 events daily all over the city — including reenactments, concerts, tours, and the 32nd annual Chowderfest — you’re sure to go home as happy as a clam.
  • Feeling competitive? Head for the hills — to the Loch Lomand Highland Games (July 13) in Balloch, Scotland (just outside Glasgow). In addition to watching participants compete in traditional events like the caber toss, attendees enjoy a pipe band contest and Scottish country dancing.
  • If you enjoy a good blague, check out the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal (July 10-28). This bilingual (Francophone and Anglophone) event draws some of the biggest stand-up acts (including Joan Rivers and Kathy Griffin this year) as well as yet-undiscovered talent. But the laughs don’t end there: In addition to free street performances daily, the rest of the city gets in on the act by hosting satellite events around town. 

What would you add to the list? Let us know what we’re missing by leaving a comment.