I am planning a mammoth trip for 2008, but this isnt going to be your normal see the sights and meet people type of trip...........
I live in Australia and by the end of this trip want to end up in the UK to start working. So the whole idea behind the trip is to leave Australia before the end of summer, travel through south america up to north america to arrive for the northern hemisphere summer and then onto europe. Along the way I want to organise being at as many life experience/time and place to be events as possible. Everything from huge rock concerts to sporting events to local cultural events to anything else random you can think of (such as a comet passing by or a full eclipse or something).
If anyone can offer advice of any amazing events they have attended in the americas, europe or the middle east then I would love to hear about them, and what time of year they happen. Also, if there is any specific once every four years, or once every decade things anyone can think of I would like to hear about them too.
I love the balloon rodeo in Steamboat Springs, CO. It's gorgeous - dozens and dozens of hot air balloons ascending as the sun rises over the Rocky Mountains. It's the same weekend as a pretty nice art festival as well.
There is a bigger Balloon Rodeo in Alberqueque, NM but it's not as pretty as the one up in the mountains.
Denver's National Western Stock Show, Rodeo & Horse Show happens in January, which is winter so I don't know if it will work with your schedule, but if you're hankerin' to hear people say ya'all and yee haw, this would be a really fun event for you (although I'm sure you can also find rodeo events in the summer as well, this one is the creme de la creme).
The summer in Chicago is one festival after another..blues festival, jazz festival, etc. But the "Taste of Chicago" is the most popular, featuring great entertainment and tons of fantastic food. It usually goes on in late June.
For Mexico, check out this site:
it lists the festivals that are going on and where they take place.
If I were you, I would try to get to some sporting events as well, but these can be easily squeezed in among your other events, a baseball game, an American football game, hockey are all fun options depending on the time of year you actually make it to the states.
It sounds like you have your work cut out for you planning this epic journey. I hope you find what you're looking for!
I`m an aussie living in switzerland, (european) summer 2008 u should check out the st gallen open air, it goes off, for such repressed people they sure do let their hair down for 3 days, it is bigger than the falls festival more communal than blues and roots and dirtier than splendour in the grass - plus they let u take in all your own alcohol so it is a cheap weekend compared to most of the german festivals.
You should check out Roskilde festival in Denmark which is normally in the first weekend of July. It's just a really really great festival with lots of good music and a great atmosphere! It is now said to be the best festival in Europe with 75000 tickets pre-sold this year! I can highly recommend it!
I've never been so don't take my word for it, but somebody was telling me about the Bonnaroo Music Festival the other day and it sounds pretty sweet. Check out www.bonnaroo.com.
I believe it takes place every June; which would mean being in Tennesse in June, which I can't say will necessarily be pleasant weather, but could be worth checking out for some pretty big names bands.
Sport-wise in the States, summer is a pretty slow time. You might get lucky and catch the NHL Playoffs somewhere, but more than likely, you'll have to settle for catching a baseball game; which will be about as exhilarating to watch as cricket is for me. Don't take that the wrong way; any slow-moving sport with the aid of beer can be quite entertaining.