6. Boulder Kinetics – August 27
Teams race handmade human-powered vehicles over land and water, accompanied by elaborate costumes, whimsical songs, and over-the-top vehicular decoration. Farmers riding in a tractor floating on buoys; people in Big Bird costumes riding in a giant rubber duckie catamaran; knights riding in a welded dragon — at Boulder Kinetics, anything goes.
As many as 45,000 people have come for years to the Union Reservoir in Longmont, lured by live bands, rollicking spectators, and incredible mobile sculptures. The Kineticists website has a wealth of information to help you build a vessel that will convey your body and your vision of creativity across water, prairie, mud, and roads, and past spectators and reporters.
7. Running of the Bulls in Huamantla, Mexico – August 20
North American thrill-seekers don’t need to travel to all the way to Spain to feel the rush of staring down an angry, snarling bull. Huamantla and its insanely dangerous festival is a mere 100 miles east of Mexico City! Here, individual streets are blocked off and bulls are released to roam at will rather than running down one long route.
If you dare, join the crowd of young men (and some women, too) pressing up against the plywood fence that barely separates the bulls from the onlookers. Get your courage up, climb over, and take your chances. The pay-off? Nothing but bragging rights to having outrun 1,000 pounds of beefy muscle.