Take your pick of US festivals this year -from barbecue to blues
Memphis, Tenn. - MAY 20-22
Memphis in May Barbecue Sample ribs and pork at the world's largest barbecue contest, where more than 240 international teams compete.
San Francisco, Calif. - June 5
Black and White Ball The Civic Center turns into a set from a glamorous black-and-white film for this symphony fund-raiser.
Chicago, Ill. - June 3-6
Chicago Blues Festival About 60 acts take to four stages in Grant Park, just off Lake Michigan.
Charleston, S.C. - May 28 - June 13
Spoleto This giant performing arts celebration combines talents of poets, painters, dancers, musicians, and actors.
Minneapolis, Minn. - July 16-25
Aquatennial Watch the Milk Carton Boat Races or catch some other off-beat entertainment at this celebration of rivers and lakes.
Albuquerque, N.M. - Oct. 2-10
Balloon Fiesta Take a balloon ride or watch nearly 1,000 multi-colored balloons ascend into the Southwestern sky.
Washington, D.C. - Oct. 8-11
Taste of D.C. Sample from a variety of local eateries that set up tasting booths along Pennsylvania Avenue and listen to free concerts.
Galveston, Texas - Dec. 2-5
Dickens on the Strand At one of the largest Victorian Christmas celebrations, visitors don period clothes and celebrate the literature and culture of 19th-century England.
Carmel/Monterey, Calif. - Aug. 27-29
Concours d' Elegance This vintage auto show draws car buffs from nationwide and is set against the Pacific at the Pebble Beach Golf Course.
Cheyenne, Wyo. - July 23 - Aug. 1
Cheyenne Frontier Days Watch cowboys wrangle, ride, and rope cattle at this Wild West rodeo show.
Note: Dates are subject to change. Be sure to check with your travel agent before planning your trip.
Source: 'The Fun Also Rises,' by Alan Davis (Greenline).