From beer, to music, to motorcycles, this list of festivals all claim the rights to the title “The World’s Largest…Festival”. Spanning the globe, I have tried to capture some of the best festivals that take place each year. Planning any one of these massive festivals is a colossal undertaking that requires a huge amount of collaboration by everyone involved. For example, at Oktoberfest, the world’s biggest people’s fair, food and drink vendors work overtime to supply the unbelievable quantities consumed throughout the festival. Over the course of the three weeks, visitors drink over 7 million liters of beer, 200,000 liters of coffee, 140,000 pork sausages, and over 500,000 chickens. In addition, prior to the event organizers prepare and deliver more than 1000 toilets and 100 pay telephones. Effective teamwork and collaboration makes all of these “World’s Largest & Best Festivals” possible, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors.

So next time you’re planning your next trip, might as well schedule it around one of these massive, unusual, famous, wonderful & the best festivals. I’ll see you there!

Oktoberfest – The World’s Largest Fair and Beer Festival

Where: Munich, Germany

When: Late September to Early October

Oktoberfest is a sixteen-day festival held each year in Munich, Germany. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and the world’s largest fair, with some sixteen million people attending every year. Oktoberfest is famous for its traditional foods and of course beer! Hendl (chicken), Würstel (sausages), Brezels (pretzels), and German beers are all favorites. 2010 marks the 200th year of the festival!

Photo: StrudelMonkey

Photo: xrrr

Love parade – The Oldest and Largest Festival of Electronic Music

Where: Various Cities Around the World, Held Traditionally in Berlin, Germany

When: TBD

The Love Parade was started in 1989, with aspirations to change the spirit of Europe. Held just four months before the demolition of the Berlin Wall, the festival was held as a political demonstration for peace and international understanding through love and music. Over the years, it’s popularity has grown tremendously, with a reported 1.6 million visitors attending in 2008. The music is predominately electronic dance music, with sound trucks scattered throughout the festival. The finale of the demonstration is by the so-called “Abschlusskundgebung” which are half-hour sets of the world’s leading top DJs such as DJ Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk, Carl Cox, Armin Van Buuren, DJ Rush, DJ Hell, Westbam, Drum Connection, Miss Djax or Chris Liebing. During this time all trucks (usually about 40) are connected to each other and set online to the statue of victory where the turntables are. This is one of the few chances a DJ can ever have to play for a crowd of about one million people.

Photo: icomercial

Photo: kotofoto

Taste of Chicago –World’s Largest Food Festival

Where: Chicago, IL

When: 10 days from the Friday before July 4 through the following Sunday

The Taste of Chicago is the world’s largest food festival attracting more than 3.5 million people and over 70 food vendors. The first Taste of Chicago was held in 1980, the idea of the then mayor Jane Byrne, intended to showcase Chicago’s diverse cuisines.

Photo: Peter Fuchs

Edinburgh International Book Festival – World’s Largest Literary Festival

Where: Edinburgh, Scotland

When: The last three weeks of August every year

The Edinburgh International Book Festival hosts over 700 events for both adults and children including writing workshops, political talks and debates, and talks by renown writers, poets, musicians, and thinkers.

Photo: jovike

Gilroy Garlic Festival – World’s Largest Garlic Festival

Where: Gilroy, California

When: Last full weekend in July

Gilroy’s nickname is “Garlic Capital of the World,” although Gilroy does not lead the world in garlic production. While garlic is grown in Gilroy, its nickname comes from the fact that Gilroy Foods processes more garlic than any other factory in the world; most pickled, minced, and powdered garlic come from Gilroy. The festival was founded in 1979, and has been a fundraiser for local charities. Don’t forget to pick up some garlic ice cream while you’re there!

photo: besighyawn

photo: besighyawn

Summerfest –The World’s Largest Music Festival

Where: Mulwaukee, Wisconsin

When: 11 days from late June through early July

Summerfest is a yearly music festival that features up to 11 stages with performances from over 700 bands. Summerfest attracts over 1 million people each year. Inspired by his visit to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, then mayor Henry Maier, envisioned a similar ethnic-themed festival in Milwaukee. In 1962 Maier formed a panel of business and civic leaders to study the feasibility of a large-scale summer festival.The inaugural festival was held in 1968 and featured Bob Hope as the opening headliner.

photo: Sonnett

Sziget Festival – World’s Largest Cultural Festival

Where: Budapest, Hungary

When: August

The Sziget Festival, held annually in Budapest, takes place on Óbudai-sziget (“Old-Buda Island”), a leafy island of 266 acres on the Danube, and hosts more than 1000 performances each year. The festival is unique in that it contains acts from many different genres of music.

Photo: Balazs H

Photo: Aldo

Sundance Film Festival: World’s Largest Independent Film Festival

Where: Utah

When: January

The festival comprises competitive sections for American and international dramatic and documentary films, both feature-length films and short films. Sundance began in Salt Lake City in 1978 as the Utah/US Film Festival in an effort to attract more filmmakers to Utah. Despite the Festival’s tremendous growth in popularity and notoriety in recent years, the Festival continues to work hard to promote small-budget, independent creators.

photo: atp_tyreseus

Daytona Bike Week – World’s Largest Motorcycle Festival

Where: Daytona Beach, Flordia

When: First week of March

Over 500,000 people attend the 10-day Daytona Beach Bike Week motorcycle rally each year. The festivities include motorcycle racing, concerts, parties, and street festivals. The rally started as the Daytona 200, a 3.2 mile beach-front race back in 1937. Even though the racing has moved to paved ovals, motorcycle enthusiasts remain drawn to the rally.

Photo: DeusXFlorida

Photo: DeusXFlorida

Rio Carnival – World’s Largest Street Festival

Where: Rio De Janeiro, Brasil

When: Four days 40 days before Easter

The Rio Carnival is not only the biggest Carnival, it as also a benchmark against which every other carnival is compared and one of the most interesting artistic events on the Globe. Visitors to each years festivities total more than 500,000 every year.Rio Carnival is a wild 4 day celebration, 40 days before Easter. The Carnival is best known for its street parades. The carnival parade is filled with people and floats from various samba schools. A samba school can either be an actual school or just a collaboration of local neighbors that want to attend carnival. The purpose of carnival is for samba schools to compete with fellow rival schools; this competition is the climax of the whole carnival festival. The samba schools compete by attempting to build the most dramatic parade floats and costumes to represent their themes.

photo: jACK TWO

Calgary Stampede – World’s Largest Outdoor Rodeo

Where: Calgary, Alberta

When: mid-July

For 10 days every summer from early to mid-July, more than 1.2 million visitors attend the Calgary Stampede. It is one of Canada’s largest annual events, and the world’s largest outdoor rodeo. The festival features rodeo competition, stage shows, parades, and chuckwagon races, among other events.

Photo: LesPaulSupreme

Photo: djcamacho

Goodwood Festival of Speed – World’s Largest Motorsport and Car Culture Festival

Where: Goodwood House, West Sussex, England

When: Typically late June or early July

The Festival of Speed, is an annual hill climb featuring historic motor racing vehicles. Since the early days of several tens of thousands of visitors over the weekend it has grown to attracting daily crowds of more than 100,000. Motor racing legends and modern day stars line up alongside their friends and adversaries at the celebrated 1.16 mile hill climb, in a tribute to great feats of endurance in competition and legendary racing cars.

Photo: .kol tregaskes

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