How-To On Festivals

Alert reader Lorretta Reed of Pittsburgh wrote last week to point out that the annual Twins Days festival ( is fast approaching in Twinsburg, Ohio. Set for August 3-5, the festival expects to break last year's attendance mark of 2,064 identical and fraternal twin attendees. Lorretta will be attending with her twin, Lorraine, and if you can't tell the two of them apart, then join the club. I don't have a twin, but I would bring George Clooney, who looks so much like me that I should make Oceans 14. If seeing thousands of pairs of people who look exactly alike floats your boat, then head to Twinsburg you must. Book early, because the twins are sucking up all the hotel rooms in town.

Lorretta got me to thinking about festivals and how much fun they can be. There are festivals devoted to onions. There is a festival in Gilroy, California devoted to garlic (and who wouldn't love to spend a weekend eating garlic?). There are festivals devoted to the arts, to bluegrass music, and to celebrating the births of towns. devotes a whole web page to finding festivals in your neck of the woods.

Bring water. Festivals get crowded and warm, and there are rarely enough chairs for everyone. Be prepared with a plan. At the annual Bumbershoot festival in Seattle, for example, which is held over Labor Day weekend every year, tens of thousands of people cram into Seattle Center to watch hundreds of music, dance, theater, literary and fine arts performances. It is crucial to buy tickets in advance and plan which events you want to see, or you'll be swept along in huge crowds and long lines all day. Get there early and try to carpool or take public transportation, because parking is always tough.

And finally, buy a scorecard. You just can't tell the twins without a scorecard. Right, Lorretta? Or is it Lorraine?

What are some of the festivals you'll be attending this summer?