5 Crazy Real Festivals/Events We Need in Halton

When it comes to festivals and events, Halton - especially Burlington - has no shortage of offerings. We’re home to a phenomenal Ribfest, the Sound of Music festival, and so much more.

In short, there’s a lot to do here.

That said, sometimes you hear about a festival or event that’s so insane you can’t help but wonder if your town or city could pull it off — and bring people in from far and wide to experience it. I mean, there’s certainly nothing wrong with Songs of Summer (you should totally check it out this weekend), but Halton has more than enough space for a guinea pig picnic.

So, here are five crazy festivals and events (that are, hand to God, totally real and not made up at all) that we could either host or re-create in our own unique image.

5) A Cheese Rolling Festival

Did you know that various cities around the world host cheese-rolling festivals? While lots of cities worship at the altar of delicious cheese, one of the more famous festivals is Cheese-Rolling in Gloucestershire in the U.K. At the festival, contestants chase a wheel of cheese down Cooper’s Hill and one lucky dairy-chaser wins and is recognized for his or her cheese-chasing prowess. It’s basically amazing and something we should consider doing, just for the silliness alone.

Our take: We could just steal the concept outright and chase a big wheel of Camembert down an awesome hill in the spring, summer or fall.

4) A Guinea Pig Picnic

Last year, there was a guinea pig picnic at Greenwood Park in Toronto. That's right, guinea pig owners — and people who just straight up love guinea pigs — were welcome to attend a pig-oriented picnic to raise money for the Toronto Humane Society and Piggles Rescue (all donations were voluntary) and just celebrate life with guinea pigs. It’s basically the silliest and more adorable thing ever and there’s no reason we shouldn’t be celebrating cute domestic rodents on the west side.

Our take: A hedgehog festival in Milton. Because they are THE CUTEST!

3) Wife Carrying World Championships

In Finland, there’s a competition that revolves around successfully carrying your wife over obstacles. In the competition, husbands carry their wives over a sizeable distance and dodge (or deal with) obstacles along the way. Although it sounds archaic, it’s probably 40 per cent fun, 30 per cent sexy and 30 per cent hard. How impressed would you be with your husband or partner if he successfully climbed a tree or jumped a makeshift moat with you on his back? Boys — how impressed would you be with yourselves?

Our take: Maybe we should start slow with a formal piggyback race at one of our many gorgeous outdoor spaces.

2) La Tomatina

Spain is known for crazy festivals and we should never dare try to steal their thunder when it comes to the running of the bulls (not to be confused with bull fighting) for two reasons: 1) it’s dangerous and 2) it’s, like, really dangerous. What we could do, however, is have our own little La Tomatina tomato fight festival (pic seens above) at a park in Oakville. As the summer draws to a close and our tomatoes start to turn, we should give them a proper send off with a raucous and messy Halton food fight. It’ll only bring us closer together.

Our take: We should just copy it outright, as only 20,000 people can attend Bunol, Spain’s acclaimed festival. We’ll bring a little taste of Europe to your backyard.

1) Spiritual Half-Naked Man Festival

We’re kind of boring, law-abiding citizen so in that vein, it might do us some good — and raise some eyebrows — to co-opt one of Japan’s more unorthodox festivals. At the Saidai-ji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri festival, more than 10,000 scantily-clad men (no one is actually fully naked, sorry) gather at the Saidai-ji temple to compete for “the lucky man” title. To win, participants must catch shingi (sacred lucky sticks) and place them in rice-filled containers. The winner gets a cash prize.

Our take: This activity should absolutely be part of a summer lineup in Burlington. It sounds incredibly liberating!

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