Trazee In-Depth: Not Your Usual Spring and Summer Festivals, 2019

by Angelique Platas

Apr 18, 2019

© Thomaskelley |
While the Kentucky Derby itself is one of the most popular springtime events, there are several festivities worth checking out. The Kentucky Derby Festival is a multiweek celebration, including steamboat and hot air balloon races. The International Bar-B-Q and World Chicken festivals are a foodie’s paradise, and the Festival of the Bluegrass is the oldest music event of its kind in Kentucky.

Trends / Top Trends

With the early days of spring behind us, the busy days of summer festivals and events will be here before you know it. Most festival favorites, like Bonnaroo, Firefly, Coachella, Lollapalooza, CMA Music Festival and Austin City Limits, have lineups already announced, early-bird pricing expired and tickets mostly sold out or close to it, but, don’t worry, there are far more unique events taking place all over the world. If not this year, at least keep them on your radar for next.


World Art Dubai in Dubai, U.A.E.

Boasting a fun mix of art and retail, World Art Dubai is a fair of extraordinary proportions. Hosted at the Dubai World Trade Centre, art collectors check out contemporary pieces, including sculptures, paintings, digital art and mixed media. Spend big and pick up a few pieces to take home or just peruse and learn the tricks of the trade with live painting exhibits, art talks and VR art shows.


Sant Jordi Festival in Barcelona

As if you needed another reason to visit Barcelona, travelers can ring in spring during Sant Jordi Festival. Dive into some fun cultural traditions and 15th-century folklore, as this festival celebrates well wishes, romance and the exchanging of gifts — traditionally books for men and roses for women. Held in the Catalonia region, this tradition is for couples and loved ones and includes mass for locals with a rose blessing ceremony, friends and family exchanging small gifts and life music.


National Spanish Cheese Festival, Spain

Cheese please! Do as the Spanish do and celebrate spring with the National Spanish Cheese Festival in Trujillo. For anyone who loves cheese or considers themselves a foodie, this festival is a must. While on the more historic, quieter side of the festival spectrum, travelers and locals flock to the historic home of the conquistadors in the main square in Trujillo, Spain, to sample more than 500 different cheeses.


The Kentucky Derby in Louisville

Known as the greatest two minutes in sports, the 145th Kentucky Derby shakes up the Churchill Downs again in Louisville, Kentucky, this May. Ladies, grab your biggest hat; gentleman, brush-up your spring suits; and, everyone else, sip a mint julep and place your bets. Check out the schedule for the big day here, or plan for the whole week of celebrations beforehand.


Indianapolis 500 in Indiana

Known as the “greatest spectacle in racing,” the Indy 500 brings professional racecar drivers around 500 miles of track in just 200 laps throughout the month of May. Check out a variety of racing events, but stick around for the grand finale when the winner takes all, including a cold cup of milk poured over their head in celebration.


Bordeaux Wine Festival, France

Get fancy and celebrate fine French wine in its home region during the Bordeaux Wine Festival in Bordeaux, France. Sip wine on the scenic banks of the Garonne while watching the Tall Ships Regatta sail into port. If you plan wisely, you can even get on the ship from Liverpool — either way, prepare for four days of expertly crafted food and wine pairings.


FIFA Women’s World Cup, France

Women’s soccer has dominated the FIFA world in the last few years and all that work culminates in the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament in France, June 7–July 7. Sure, you can watch the epic tournament on television, but wouldn’t it be so much more enjoyable in the



Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland

Get weird in Edinburgh during the annual Fringe Festival. Celebrated since 1947, this festival is an art experience for the ages. Watch live shows, dance and party in the streets alongside eccentric street performers and acts all over the city.


Braemar Gathering in the Scottish Highlands

A unique sporting event to say the least, the Highland Games of the Braemar Gathering in Scotland is a historic tradition and a feat to behold. Typical guests include locals and the Royal Family, so you’ll be in good company watching athletes compete in unique games and 1800s tradition, while often in kilts and bagpipes, of course.


Whitianga Scallop Festival in Whitianga, New Zealand

Finally, on to the seafood festival only New Zealand could pull off: Whitianga Scallop Festival brings all the region’s best fresh seafood, shellfish and Coromandel cuisine to town. Guests dine and enjoy live entertainment, vibrant vendors and celebrations, all with a beautiful view of the Mercury Bay.



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