Special Report

Famous, Unique, and Even Weird Traditions in Every State

Source: Phil Mislinski / Getty Images

11. Hawaii
> Tradition: Eating Spam
> When: Any time

Spam, the canned cooked meat, has been ridiculed since its inception. But don’t make fun of it in Hawaii, where it is eaten all over the islands. Spam, short for spiced ham, was introduced to the islands during World War II when it was served to American soldiers. The meat did not need to be refrigerated and has a long shelf life. Spam can be found on McDonald’s and Burger King menus in Hawaii.

Source: Terrance Welch / Idaho Potato Drop

12. Idaho
> Tradition: Potato drop
> When: New Year’s

At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, Idahoans lower a glowing potato replica from a crane in front of the capitol building in Boise. The tradition is less than 10 years old, but it has grown in popularity, with around 35,000 people attending festivities in 2017.

Source: Snejana Iordanova / Flickr

13. Illinois
> Tradition: No Pants Subway Ride
> When: Once a year

The merry pranksters at art troupe Improv Everywhere organize an annual no-pants subway ride on Chicago’s subway cars. Participants have to be hearty folks, because this year’s event is held in January. The ride took place on the city’s Red Line this year.

Source: Chris Graythen / Getty Images

14. Indiana
> Tradition: Pouring milk on Indy 500 winners
> When: Every year at Indy 500

Indianapolis 500 winners pour milk on themselves — much like NFL coaches whose teams win the Super Bowl get a huge bucket of Gatorade poured over them. The custom started back in the 1930s, when three-time winner Louis Meyer drank some buttermilk after winning a race. This is such a popular tradition today that on race day Indiana farmers select the Milk Person who is charged with delivering the milk to the winning driver.

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

15. Iowa
> Tradition: Butter Cow Sculpture
> When: At Iowa State Fair

The Iowa State Fair is a very big deal. And for a lot of people, one of the highlights is seeing a cow made of pure Iowan butter. Thousands of people visit the festival to see the massive 600-pound bovine masterpiece.