Highlights & Hotspots

A selection of the season's noteworthy events

The question doesn't rank up there with, say, What is gravity? But where was the hamburger invented? To promote its claim, Akron, Ohio, hosts the National Hamburger Festival on July 21 and 22. Over 20,000 people served, including competitive eater Dave "Coondog" O'Karma. (National Hamburger Festival)
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Black Rock Desert, Nevada
A non-conformists' convention? From August 27 to September 3, some 40,000 people will camp out at Burning Man, a free-form art festival marked by the conflagration of a 40-foot-tall wooden man. Bring sunscreen—clothing is optional.

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Glens Falls, New York
More than 90 hot-air balloons lift off over Lake George and the Adirondack Mountains September 20 to 23. The Balloon Festival specializes in unusual shapes—the star of 2006 was Old MacDonald's inflatable farm. Expected in 2007: flying squirrels.

Akron, Ohio
The question doesn't rank up there with, say, What is gravity? But where was the hamburger invented? To promote its claim, Akron hosts the National Hamburger Festival on July 21 and 22. Over 20,000 people served, including competitive eater Dave "Coondog" O'Karma.

Mobile, Alabama
Bike the Underground Railroad—on which as many as 100,000 slaves traveled to freedom from 1810 to 1850—following a new map created by the Missoula, Montana-based Adventure Cycling Association. From the Gulf of Mexico, the trip covers 2,058 miles to Owen Sound, Ontario.

Austin, Texas
The largest urban bat colony in North America—1.5 million of the Mexican free-tailed species—lives under the downtown Congress Avenue Bridge. On September 1 and 2, the city pays tribute to its insectivore denizens with Batfest 2007, featuring live music on two stages, a street fair and bat-watching at dusk.

Laguna Beach, California
Take a closer look: that's not a painting. From July 7 to August 31, meticulously costumed actors strike poses on elaborate sets to re-create 35 works of art. It's the Pageant of the Masters, home to tableau vivant since 1932.

About Amy Crawford
Amy Crawford

Amy Crawford is a Boston-based freelance journalist writing about government, education and ideas. Her writing has appeared in Smithsonian, Slate, Boston Magazine and the Boston Globe.

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