July is bursting with great events (and fireworks!) at state parks around the country. We’ve combed through the event calendars and uncovered the ones that you won’t want to miss:
Three Rivers Regatta
Point State Park, Pennsylvania
July 2 – 4, 2014
Point State Park
Three Rivers Regatta [Image: www.brooklineconnection.com]
is the place to be this summer! Just a few weeks after holding the Three Rivers Arts Festival, Point State Park gears up for another colossal event: the Three Rivers Regatta
. Work on your summer tan while at Regatta Beach (one of only two makeshift inner city beaches in the world), then mosey on over to the larger-than-life replica of the Battle of Ft. McHenry made entirely of sand. Don’t blink or you could miss the powerboat races, where boats frequently top speeds of 125 mph!
Looking for more excitement? This year, the Regatta is hosting the XPogo World Championships in addition to BMX and agility dog stunt shows. A fan favorite is “Anything that Floats,” a parade of handmade, crazily decorated parade floats that bob down the river. This year’s headliners include American rock singer Steve Augeri, former lead vocalist for the rock group Journey, jazz musician Kenny Blake, and Beatlemania Magic. The Regatta culminates with Pittsburgh’s Official 4th of July Celebration fireworks, widely considered to be one of the Top 10 Fourth of July fireworks displays in the country. And did we mention that all of this fun is free? There is no admission fee and no charge for any of the Regatta’s concerts, acts, activities, or events!
Festival for the Eno
Durham City Park, North Carolina
July 4 – 5, 2014
Festival for the Eno [Image: blog.fmrealty.com]
Looking for fantastic music this Independence Day weekend? Check out the 35th Annual Festival for the Eno
in Durham, North Carolina. With over 65 acts on four stages, there’s sure to be something that strikes your fancy. All proceeds of ticket sales go towards funding important conservation of the Eno River Basin. An assortment of local food trucks will be serving up some great bites, and the Sweetwater Beer Garden at the heart of the festival will be happy to pour you a local brew. Be sure to rent a kayak or canoe so you can spend some quality time paddling around on the festival’s namesake! Need a place to crash for the night? Using Pocket Ranger®’s Official Guide for North Carolina State Parks
, you can easily rent a campsite or vacation cabin at Eno River State Park
World Championship of Catfishing & Independence Day Celebration
Pickwick Landing State Park, Tennessee
July 4 – 6, 2014
World Championship of Catfishing [Image: www.tnvacation.com]
Catfish, fireworks, bluegrass, golf. What better way to celebrate Independence Day? Pickwick Landing State Park
will present an excellent fireworks display over Pickwick Lake on July 4th
. Spend the night at Pickwick Landing’s inn
, so you can tee up at the golf course or lounge at the beach bright and early the next day.
Nearby Savannah, Tennessee, also known as “Catfish Capital of the World,” is currently hosting the National Catfish Derby. Through July 5, any catfish caught in the Tennessee River is eligible to win. (Don’t forget to upload photos of your own monster catch onto Pocket Ranger Trophy Case®!) On July 6, the World Championship of Catfishing will have its final weigh-in at Pickwick Landing State Park with cash and prizes awarded to the winner. Not so interested in noodling for your own catfish? Then stick around for the after-party for free catfish and live music. Or grab a lawn chair and head to the 35th Annual Savannah Bluegrass Festival to listen to the best that Tennessee has to offer.
11th Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival
Maumee Bay State Park, Ohio
July 12 – 13, 2014
Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival [Image: www.toledoblade.com]
Looking to tour the inside of a 100-year old lighthouse this summer? Head to the 11th Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival
at Maumee Bay State Park
! Since Toledo Lighthouse remains active, this festival is one of only two times annually that the lighthouse is open to visitors. Afterwards, visit the Nautical Village arts & crafts show to pick up some lighthouse-inspired souvenirs and try your luck at the silent auction. With over 200 items at the auction, you’re bound to win something! Help yourself to delicious food like brats, homemade fries, shrimp, and funnel cake while listening to Jimmy Buffet-style musical entertainment at the park’s amphitheatre. And while you can’t spend the night in the lighthouse, you can reserve a campsite (or a yurt!)
at Maumee Bay State Park.
Bannack State Park, Montana
July 19 – 20, 2014
Bannack Days [Image: blog.rv.net]
A fun-filled weekend celebrating 152 years of history, Bannack Days
at Bannack State Park
is something you don’t want to miss! Learn how to shoot a black-powder rifle, pan for gold, and hand-dip a souvenir candle. Watch the local blacksmith forge incredible works of art and take a wagon ride along Bannack’s historic main street. Get ready for good eats like ice cream, kettle corn, fry bread, corn on the cob, and fresh lemonade. Throughout both days, there will be plenty of live bluegrass, gospel, and old-time fiddler music. And keep your eyes peeled for a few staged gunfights!
4th Annual Wakonda Indian Festival
Glen Elder State Park, Kansas
July 19 – 20, 2014
Wakonda Indian Festival [Image: www.sparkpeople.com]
Dancing, drumming, storytelling: Learn all about Native American culture firsthand at the 4th Annual Wakonda Indian Festival
at Glen Elder State Park
. Waconda Lake was once a spring, believed to hold great healing powers. On the shores of this lake, there will be traditional and contemporary Native American drumming and dances, such as the Hoop Dance and Crow Hop Dance. Stories and legends will be told by master storyteller Ron Brave in the festival’s tipi. Help yourself to delicious Indian tacos, fry bread, and buffalo burgers, and browse the fine silverwork, leatherwork, jewelry, and dreamcatchers on display. Since it’s sure to be a bit warm that day, bring along a bathing suit so you can take a dip in Waconda Lake.