Woody Guthrie Free Folk Music Festival
July 12-July 16
| Arlo Guthrie|
Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz
Now in its 9th year, The Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz is presented in Hartford, Connecticut's historic Bushnell Park Performance Pavilion. The festival draws more than 30,000 spectators a year to watch some of the top jazz acts in the world. This year, jazz trumpeter Chuck Mangione headlines.
Saturday in the Park
Performed at the bandshell in Grandview Park, Sioux City, Iowa's Saturday in the Park is one of the Midwest's premier rock music festivals. This year the directors of this free event expect an audience of more than 30,000. The Allman Brothers Band headlines this year.
Stern Grove Festival
Now through August 13
The Stern Grove Festival in San Francisco features free concerts every Sunday by internationally acclaimed musicians and dancers. The programs meander through the traditions of Japan, rural America, Romantic-era Italy, Latin America, jazz, Africa, the Middle East, Brazil, classical orchestral music and ballet, and the avant-garde.
Seattle Peace Concerts
Now through September 17
Moving among park settings throughout greater Seattle, the Seattle Peace Concerts bring music and a message to many urban centers. Spanning musical styles from folk-rock, reggae, and R&B to jazz and alternative contemporary, the Sunday concerts are family-friendly so that children can hear musicians who usually play the grown-up venues.
Vermont Reggae Festival
Located in Hardwick, the Vermont Reggae Festival is the largest and longest running free reggae concert in America.
The Taste of Chicago
June 30-July 9
Take your taste buds on an eating expedition at the 20th annual Taste of Chicago. Hundreds of local restaurants offer food ranging from all-American favorites to gourmet cuisine to exotic ethnic fare. Admission is free but the food will cost you. All the restaurants, however, offer small free samples.
The Taste of Buffalo
This "Taste" may not be free but at least it's cheap. All items are priced between 50 cents and $3. Try cuisine from the most popular restaurants in western New York or sample something new like ostrich or alligator. The Taste of Buffalo also provides continious entertainment featuring local and national artists on four stages.
Clark Potato Days
Every summer the residents of Clark, South Dakota give praise to their prized tubers. The locals vie for top honors in a potato sculpture contest and a potato cook-off. The Clark Potato Days offer free samples including potato-based desserts. And what potato festival would be complete without a few rounds of good old-fashioned mashed potato wrestling? That's right, grown adults battle it out in the fluffy white stuff. The winner claims the crown of Mashed Potato Wrestling Champion of the World.
Hope Watermelon Festival
Hope, Arkansas is more than just the birth-place of President William Jefferson Clinton, it is home to the annual Hope Watermelon Festival, featuring some of the largest watermelons in the world. The festival has hundreds of arts & crafts booths, food, entertainment and other family-oriented activities. Admission and activities are free and a slice of fresh Arkansas watermelon will run you just 75 cents.
Hot Air Balloon Festival
|Aspen, Colorado plays |
host to the Snowmass
Hot Air Balloon
Located in Santa Barbara's Oak Park, the French Festival lets Californians revel in the sights, sounds and foods of France at the largest French celebration in the Western United States.
There is continuous free entertainment on three stages, including cancan, Moroccan belly dancing, grand opera, Cajun and classical groups, folk dancing, jazz, and cabaret music and wandering mimes, jugglers, and accordion players.
Below are some Web sites that help users search for summer events, free and otherwise. They are listed roughly in order of size and scope - from a modest list of community and cultural events by state, to a world-wide mega-search site for arts and entertainment listings.
Events2000.com lists events for every state in the U.S.
FestivalFinder.com lets users search by genre or performer among listings for 1,500 U.S. arts festivals.
Festivals.com goes well beyond festivals, listing community and cultural celebrations of all descriptions worldwide.
wwevents.com bills itself as a world-wide events search site. It's not there yet, but it does have extensive listings for destinations throughout North America, Europe and Australia.
CultureFinder.com, for real overkill, claims to have listings for 350,000 arts events in 1,500 cities.