Special Report

Famous, Unique, and Even Weird Traditions in Every State

31. New Mexico
> Tradition: Zozobra
> When: Friday before Labor Day

Zozobra, also called “Old Man Gloom,” is a 50-foot ghostlike statue that is lit on fire in Santa Fe during the first weekend in September. Zozobra was created as a 6-foot puppet by artist Will Shuster in the 1920s and has since grown to its present height. The burning of Zozobra represents the extinguishing of gloom from the prior year.

Source: Courtesy of The Genesee Brewery

32. New York
> Tradition: The Keg Tree
> When: Holiday season

New York City has the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, Coney Island has a mermaid parade in the summer, and Rochester, in upstate New York, has a 27-foot-tall Christmas tree made from 520 empty beer kegs. The tree was not lit in 2020 due to the pandemic and so locals competed by building their own keg trees in their homes.

33. North Carolina
> Tradition: National Hollerin’ Contest
> When: October

The National Hollerin’ Contest pays homage to a unique form of communication used in the southeastern part of the United States. Started in 1969, the contest was held annually at Spivey’s Corner, North Carolina. Several times the winner would appear on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson. The event was discontinued after 47 years in 2016, but it was revived and is now held in Hope Mills, North Carolina.

Source: Courtesy of North Dakota State Fair via Facebook

34. North Dakota
> Tradition: Redneck Relay at State Fair
> When: July 20-28

At the North Dakota State Fair, teams compete in a relay that includes the moonshine spit, the corn toss, planting one’s face in a pie to find candy, and carrying a watermelon slathered in Crisco.

Source: Courtesy of Doo Dah Parade via Facebook

35. Ohio
> Tradition: Doo Dah Parade
> When: July 4

The Doo Dah Parade in Columbus, Ohio, is a colorful event that is open for anyone. It provides marchers an opportunity to express their opinions on any issue they choose and to dress as they like.

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