Summer is a time for homespun fun, and what seems like every town and city across the country sets aside a day to celebrate a historical event, a tasty local food, an ethnic heritage or simply good times.
Here's a sample of what you will find in any direction you travel: Annual Dulcimer Festival, Bar Harbor, Maine: Dulcimer tunes, workshops and handmade instrument displays on the Village Green, and a New England Contradance (like the Virginia reel) Saturday night. July 12 to 14. Dodge City Days, Dodge City, Kan.: Rodeos, pit barbeque, Wild West parade, roping contest and carnival, concluding with a costumed reenactment of the Great Train Robbery at Boot Hill Cemetery. July 26 to Aug. 3. Fur Trade Days, Chadron, Neb.: The trading post days of a century past come alive with Indian bull-boat races, a tomahawk throw, a Grand Parade down Main Street, a barbeque and a buffalo-chip tossing contest. July 12 to 14. Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering of the Scottish Clan, Linville, N.C.: The clans, at least 100 of them, gather in the Blue Ridge Mountains for bagpipe music, the Parade of Clans and the traditional Scottish caber- or pole-toss contest and other games. July 13 and 14. Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonies, Church Rock, N.M.: Hundreds of participants from tribes around the country come together for a rodeo, dances and an Indian crafts fair in Red Rock State Park. Aug. 8 to 11. National Tom Sawyer Days, Hannibal, Mo.: Parades, fireworks, jumping frog contest and other festivities to honor author Mark Twain and his fictional hero. June 30 to July 6. Old-Time Fiddlers Convention, Galax, Va.: A 50-year tradition in the southwestern mountains of Virginia. String music, folk songs and dancing. Aug. 7 to 10. West of the Pecos Rodeo, Pecos, Tex.: Square-dancing in Windmill Square, the Pecos Rodeo Parade, a barbeque, the championship rodeo dating from 1883 and country-western dancing nightly. July 3 to 6. Wilmington Catfish Days, Wilmington, Ill.: A river town fest on the banks of the Kankakee. Street dancing, a carnival, the big parade, mud volleyball "up to your knees" and, of course, fried catfish "served by the ton." July 31 to Aug. 4.