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WEB EXCLUSIVE! 10 More 2011 group-friendly events

Courtesy Fiesta San Antonio

1.) Fiesta San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas
April 7-17, 2011

San Antonio doesn’t forget to remember the Alamo each April when a celebration honors the memory of the battle’s heroes. For 11 days, up to 3.5 million people come to party San Antonio-style with parades, craft fairs, historical events, military parades and many other extravaganzas.

2.) The Magic of Lanterns
Montreal, Canada
Sept. 9 – Oct. 31, 2011

You’ll think you are dreaming of inside a Chinese painting when surrounded by 700 huge lantern displays in the Chinese Garden of the Montreal Botanical Garden. The Magic of Lanterns takes handcrafted lanterns made in Shanghai and covers them with lights for a stunning effect every year.

3.) Pops by the Sea
Centerville, Mass.
Aug. 7, 2011

A day at the beach with remarkable classical music playing in the background entices 15,000 people to annually attend the Pops by the Sea. The famous Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra holds this event every summer to raise money for Cape Cod’s arts scene all year.

4.) Kentucky Bourbon Festival
Bardstown, Ky.
Sept. 13-18, 2011

Bourbon has influenced the Bardstown area of Kentucky, the town decided to start celebrating the Kentucky-made drink in 1992. The festival now includes 35 events bent on bringing the fun, such as the Barrel Relay, Bourbon Tasting and Gala.

5.) Edison Festival of Lights
Fort Myers, Fla.
Jan. 29 – Feb. 20, 2011

A day wasn’t long enough, so the city of Fort Myers turned Thomas Edison’s birthday celebration into a three-week birthday bash. To honor the inventor of the light bulb, the town holds a lighted night parade, invention competitions and craft shows.

6.) St. Charles Scarecrow Festival
St. Charles, Ill.
Oct. 7-9, 2011

No pesky crow will come within miles of the annual St. Charles Scarecrow Festival where 150 hand-made scarecrows compete in a popularity contests. Visitors can browse the imaginative scarecrows before taking advantage of the event’s other offerings, such as the crafts show, live entertainment, model railroad show and paddlewheel riverboat cruise.

7.) Buffalo Roundup Arts Festival
Custer, S.D.
Sept. 24-26, 2011

About 1,300 head of buffalo stampede past two viewing areas at the yearly Buffalo Roundup and Arts Festival. Groups can listen to the ancient roar of hooves, as well as experience the local art, entertainment and food. After cowboys and cowgirls herd the buffalo into the corral, visitors can also watch the branding and sorting preparations for the November auction.

8.) Trailing of the Sheep
Hailey, Idaho
Oct. 7-9, 2011

Sheepdogs proudly help parade 1,500 sheep down Main Street in Ketchum, Idaho for the Trailing Of the Sheep Festival. Idaho sheep ranchers participate in the event honoring them with sheepdog championship trials, demonstrations and culinary events revolving around lamb. The Folklife Fair also features storytelling, historical exhibits, dancers and musicians.

9.) Gettysburg Civil War Re-enactment
Gettysburg, Pa.
July 1-3, 2011

Groups can relive three important days in history, which helped decide the fate of a nation at the Gettysburg Civil War Re-encactment. Volunteers ensure every aspect of the battle is brought to life, including camp life, mortar fire demonstration and living history villages.

10.) Quilt Gardens Tour

Elkhart, Ind.
May 30 – Oct. 1, 2011

Guests have months to make it out to the Quilt Gardens Tour in Northern Indiana Amish Country. The 90-mile Heritage Trail takes groups to every one of the blooming quilt-patterns and hand-painting quilt murals.Step-on guides can take groups back and forth between lovely quilt gardens and attractions highlighting the region’s Amish culture and history.

For more festivals:

U.S. Festivals: Join the crowd

WEB EXCLUSIVE! 10 More 2011 group-friendly events