Raucous or restrained, artistic or irreverent, cultural festivals take on many faces and forms. We asked USA TODAY and 10Best readers to vote for their favorite festivals from a pool of 20 nominees, and the winners have been chosen.
It was a tight race between the top two festivals, but in the end, the Texas Renaissance Festival managed to hold onto the lead and secure a first place finish, while the always colorful Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta came in as runner-up.
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Nevada's National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Colorado's quirky Frozen Dead Guy Days rounded out the top five, proving just how diverse a category this was.
The top 10 winners in the category Best Cultural Festival are as follows:
- Texas Renaissance Festival - Todd Mission, Texas
- Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
- Oregon Shakespeare Festival - Ashland, Ore.
- National Cowboy Poetry Gathering - Elko, Nev.
- Frozen Dead Guy Days - Nederland, Colo.
- Aloha Festivals - Hawaii
- Cheyenne Frontier Days - Cheyenne, Wy.
- Fantasy Fest - Key West, Fla.
- Sturgis Motorcycle Rally - Sturgis, S.D.
- Festivals Acadiens et Créoles - Lafayette, La.
Additional nominees included Comic-Con International in San Diego, Washington's Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the UFO Festival in Roswell, New Orleans Mardi Gras, San Francisco's Chinese New Year celebrations, Calle Ocho Festival in Miami, Fiesta San Antonio, San Francisco Pride, the Kentucky Derby in Louisville and New York's Village Halloween Parade.
10Best and USA TODAY extend their congratulations to all the winners. The contest was promoted on 10Best and USA TODAY.License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo