Home Suburbs The Top Ten Most Peculiar Festivals in the US
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The Top Ten Most Peculiar Festivals in the US

The Top Ten Most Peculiar Festivals in the US
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#7 Bat Fest and Night of the Bat – Austin, TX

Where can you see 1.5 million bats at one place and one time emerging from under the bridge at dusk?.  Only in Austin, TX. The fur-tail bats in Austin are the largest urban bat colony in America.

Bat Fest Creator, French Smith, noted how big a part of Austin’s identity the bats have become. He developed a festival that celebrated the bats importance to the city.

The Bat Fest has grown over the years and attracts about 15,000 attendees annually.

In addition to the viewing of the extraordinary appearance of 1.5 million bats, there are also three stages set up for music, over 75 arts and crafts vendors and plenty of food, drink, and a costume contest. All the musicians and the vendors are all local to Austin.

Austin - bats watching 3.jpg
By Peter PotrowlOwn work, CC BY 3.0

There are over 4 million visitors to Austin annually, and some of the proceeds of their tourism go to the preservation of the bat colony. The bats are not just for entertainment, but help save the Texas farmers over 3.7 billion dollars annually in reduced crop damage and lower use of pesticides – bats eat corn earworm moths, as well as a variety of insects. They pollinate plants valuable to tropical and desert ecosystems.

As you can see that the bats are more than a tourist attraction. Come and experience something that is extraordinary.


#6 Mothman Festival – Point Pleasant, WV

Some rights reserved by tribbles1971
Some rights reserved by tribbles1971

The Mothman Phenomena began on November 12, 1966, when five men were digging a grave at a cemetery near Clendenin, WV and claimed to see a man-like figure fly low from the trees over their heads. This was the first sighting of what became known as Mothman.

Over the years there have been others who claim to have seen a “large man with ten-foot wings and red eyes.” There have been all kinds of speculation about the numerous sightings from Mothman being an alien to a sandhill crane which is almost the size of a grown man.

It was in 2002 that the annual Mothman Festival began, and it was in 2003 that the festival received a 12-foot tall metallic statue of the creature created by artist and sculptor Bob Roach which has been part of the festival ever since.

The Mothman Festival has grown over time and has a 5K road race and a “Miss Mothman Festival” Pageant. You can visit the Mothman Museum and get caught up on the folklore of Mothman. You can have your picture taken by the Mothman Statue, which is right outside of the museum.

The Festival is a destination for a variety of bands for your entertainment. When you go to Disney, you are greeted by Mickey, and when you go to the Mothman Festival you are greeted by Mothman.

There are all kinds of things for the kids as well. There is the Hillbilly Zipline, inflatable bouncing toys, face painting, Horse and carriage rides and so much more. There is a hayride, good food, and what is described as an eclectic group of vendors. For the real adventurous there is a private bus tour that will lead to the infamous TNT Area where there were actual sightings of Mothman.

If you are looking for something out of the ordinary and a place where you and your kids can have fun – the Mothman Festival will provide more than you could imagine.

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Jamie Stewart America Unraveled's resident expert on all things higher ed!

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