Each U.S. state has its own history — a history that helped create and mold the state’s culture. Whether because of past events or influential people, each state also has traditions particular to that state.
Because they are so singular, these traditions may seem quirky, even peculiar, to outsiders. Regardless, states hold fast to these customs, even if they might seem odd — especially if there is a profit to be made.
24/7 Tempo decided to take a look at these unique traditions by tracking down the weirdest in each state.
Traditions are not the only part of history every state has and is proud of — here is the best thing about every state.
Some of the traditions on our list revolve around holidays such as New Year’s Eve and Independence Day. Many towns in these states have put their own spin on these traditional celebrations.
Not surprisingly, some of these offbeat traditions involve food. West Virginia hosts a cook-off for roadkill. In Minnesota, folks hold a meat raffle.
Some of these traditions include races in which fish, as opposed to horses or dogs, compete against each other. In Maryland, visitors can root for their favorite crustacean in the National Hard Crab Derby.
Though some places may balk at characterizing a particular custom as weird, many cities enjoy their offbeat description. For example, the cities of Portland, Oregon; Asheville, North Carolina; and Austin, Texas, have used the slogan of keeping their city weird on public buildings, signs, and bumper stickers as a way to boost tourism — these are the strangest roadside attractions in every state.
24/7 Tempo reviewed media sources, state and city websites, and cultural resources to compile a list of famous and weird traditions in each state. We looked at each tradition to assess its uniqueness in regard to the state as well as how unusual the tradition or custom is. Obviously, the peculiarity of a tradition is in the eye of the beholder. What is weird to one person may not be to another.
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