15 of the Coolest Street Fairs and Festivals in America!
There's something about the sights, sounds, smells and vibrant energy of a great local street fair. It's a fantastic way to check out (and support) local artists, craftspeople and merchants you might otherwise never have known about. It's also a great place to stuff your face on cuisine from other cultures, learn something new and best of all, enjoy some quality family time.
In any given month or weekend, there's a street fair or festival happening near you - but here are some worth making the extra trip for.
Enjoy a beautiful fall day in Beantown with this great street fair. Over 100 local artists and merchants display their wares. There are two stages for live music and dance performances, no lack of great food and a ton of stuff for kids to enjoy. Plus, your dog can come along, too! (September)
A summer institution since 1979, this 6th Avenue street fair brings together over 500 international vendors. Chow down on dishes from around the world, check out the crafts and enjoy plenty of free entertainment. (July)
For almost a century, the streets of Little Italy have been the backdrop for the annual salute to the patron saint of Naples. Over 11 days, you'll have plenty of chances to take in the parades and processions, play some cheesy games and try to win the cannoli-eating contest. (September)
About 15,000 people attend this fun festival over each of its two days. The music alone is worth it, with performers playing everything from salsa to samba to cumbia. Crafts, food and entertainment from many Latin countries serve up a spicy experience. (July)
Established in 1960, it was one of the first art fairs in America and regularly makes the "top ten" list of fairs. Among the hundreds of artists, there are street performances, demonstrations and more, all set within a beautiful outdoor setting. (July)
Greeks have been a fixture in the Windy City since the mid-19th century. This festival, one of the biggest in the country, features so much great Greek food, music and dancers, you'll think you're in Athens. (August)
The first show, in 1956, was designed to raise funds for repairs and preservation of this historic part of the city. It's since blossomed into a must-see event, with the work of nearly 750 exhibitors displayed in one of the loveliest parts of this Southern town. (September/October)
Two great Southern traditions come together in this free festival set in Lafayette Square. After you've explored the many vendors, settle in for some of the best barbecue in the world - while top blues artists perform on two stages. (October)
Since 1994, it's been attracting established artists in all mediums, plus hot up-and-comers. Great local music and food is the backdrop for this super-popular event. The "Creative Castle" allows kids to explore their own creativity; maybe one day they'll be a featured artist? (September)
Just outside of San Antonio is a festival that is heaven for sausage fans. During 10 days, get your fill of links, brats and every other variation. There are also games, rides, craft beers and naturally, a polka contest. (November)
This three-day fair gives you plenty of time to explore the 500 vendors and take in all the live music and local cuisine. Kids will love the carnival rides, and everyone can take part in the Rubber Duck Race! (May)
About 200 leading artists from around the country descend on this desert city for what's considered one of the top arts festivals in America. As you browse their works, enjoy live music and grub from gourmet food trucks. There are also lots of art-related activities for kids. (March)
The Japantown section of the city comes alive with performances, food, art and music from the Asian-Pacific community. Their "Children's World" engages little ones in Asian crafts and games, while "Doggie World" involves pets in the fun. (August)
Food trucks, face painting and being sprayed with confetti while you're dancing to live music. There are celebrity chefs doing cooking demos, craft beer gardens and about a million different vendors. This is just a tiny taste of this super-popular event that happens the last weekends during the summer months. (June/July/August)
The mystery meat product is enormously popular in Hawaii, with seven million cans of the stuff eaten there each year. This fun festival pays tribute, with lots of Spam-influenced dishes, crafts and themed merchandise, hula contests and more. (April)