Special Report

Famous, Unique, and Even Weird Traditions in Every State

Source: SouthDakota Outdoors / Twitter

41. South Dakota
> Tradition: Mashed Potato Wrestling Contest
> When: Early August

Since 1997, Clark, South Dakota, has played host to Potato Day each August. One of the highlights of the event is the mashed potato wrestling contest, held in a large pit filled with …. mashed potatoes.

Source: Courtesy of Erick D. via Yelp

42. Tennessee
> Tradition: Cooking in century-old grease
> When: Ongoing

There is one place in Memphis — Dyer’s Burgers — that has been using the same grease since 1912, when the spot first opened, to fry its burgers. The grease is strained every day and is presumably safe. After all, people have enjoyed the burgers for more than a century.

Source: Peter Potrowl / Wikimedia Commons

43. Texas
> Tradition: Massive bat takeoff
> When: Mid-August

Around mid-August, about 1.5 million bats that had been roosting underneath the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge take off at dusk each night. Bat pups are born in June and are nursed by their mothers until mid-August, when they are ready to fly off. The bridge is the largest bat colony in the world and became attractive to the winged creatures following a redesign in 1980 that created more crevices for them to roost.

Source: Deloreanman14 (talk) / Wikimedia Commons

44. Utah
> Tradition: Leaving love notes in the desert
> When: Any time

Utahns like to show their affection for loved ones by putting notes in the sand along Route 80. Notes can be written into the dirt or formed with rocks. Using the landscape to communicate is a western tradition. People craft giant capital letters by painting stones on hillsides near cities.

Source: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

45. Vermont
> Tradition: Naked Bike Ride
> When: June 9

Vermont, which has been more tolerant of public nudity than other states, has hosted several naked bike rides. A significant one is Montpelier’s observance of World Naked Bike Ride that is held toward the end of spring. The ride, which has been held since 2007, starts at the Freeride Bike Co-op and goes through the center of Vermont’s capital.

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