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Summerlong Urban Festivals
Lou Stejskal
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  • States:
    New York
    Alaska
    Oregon
    Colorado
    Washington, D.C.

It's a sure sign of summer when festival season begins across the United States.

Many local festivals grow so popular that they morph from weekend events to weekly or monthly ones. Join locals this summer as they shop for handcrafted goods, dine on food truck fare and find a moment of Zen at these five beloved summerlong festivals.

Smorgasburg — Brooklyn, New York

Elbow your way through masses of Brooklynites for a decadent summer feast you'll remember: Smorgasburg, a gathering of more than 100 food vendors from New York City and the surrounding region. You'll dig into Hong Kong-style egg waffles filled with ice cream and toppings, Argentinian sausage sandwiches, mushroom coffee (yes, you read that right) and yakitori fondue. A spin-off of the popular Brooklyn Flea shopping extravaganza, this outdoor all-food fest takes place Saturdays in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood and Sundays in Prospect Park from April through November. Prepare to wait in lines. Smorgasburg organizers estimate their weekly event draws up to 10,000 people daily.

At Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg, you can sample eclectic foods from more than 100 vendors.

At Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg, you can sample eclectic foods from more than 100 vendors.
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Truckeroo — Washington, D.C.

Gourmet food trucks attract legions of food-obsessed fans across the United States, and the nation's capital is no exception. Truckeroo, a monthly food truck festival, takes place at the sprawling Fairgrounds outside Nationals Park baseball stadium. Held one Friday a month from April through September, the event showcases the best of four-wheeled food sellers in Washington, D.C.. Local favorites include lobster rolls, crab sandwiches and Spanish small plates. Before leaving Truckeroo, satisfy your sugar craving with a dessert, like a homemade ice cream sandwich.

Truckeroo brings together food lovers and food trucks outside Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

Truckeroo brings together food lovers and food trucks outside Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
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Georgetown Events
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Anchorage Market and Festival — Anchorage, Alaska

After a long and frigid Alaska winter, Anchorage locals celebrate warmer temperatures at the Anchorage Market and Festival, a weekly gathering of more than 300 vendors — many of whom are Alaska Natives — selling locally made goods and food. Tents pop up across seven acres of downtown, allowing locals and visitors to browse booths selling everything from hand-carved wood sculptures and Kachina dolls to artisan jewelry and fur-lined clothing. Watch live music performances and stay for fresh Alaskan halibut and salmon. The festival takes place Saturdays and Sundays from May through early September.

Portland Farmers Market — Portland, Oregon

PortlandOregon's thriving culinary scene makes it a favorite destination for food lovers, and it's no surprise the city plays host to an exceptional farmers market. Set in the midst of Portland State University's campus, the Portland Farmers Market is beloved for its locally grown and organic produce, as well as meats, fish and other homemade products. The Saturday market began in 1992 with just 13 vendors who hoped to offer Portlanders an alternative to mass-produced food. Today more than 200 purveyors rotate through the market. Fill your bags with fresh oysters, artisan chocolates and freshly roasted coffee beans. The market's offerings extend beyond edibles. Cooking demonstrations, kids' cooking classes, a children's play zone and live music from local bands all solidify the market as a community centerpiece.

The Portland Farmers Market functions as community centerpiece as well as a place to get great local food.

The Portland Farmers Market functions as community centerpiece as well as a place to get great local food.
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Allison Jones
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Yoga Rocks the Park — Denver, Colorado

Find your center and perfect your downward dog pose during health-conscious DenverColorado's free, outdoor yoga extravaganza, Yoga Rocks the Park. Held on Sundays in Sunken Gardens Park, a grassy expanse in the city's center, the event features an all-levels 75-minute yoga class taught by local and national instructors. Live music or a DJ provides the musical backdrop. Even kids can join the action; the monthly event includes a yoga program for children. Come for the yoga, but stay for the party, which features lawn games and local wellness vendors, plus healthy foods and drinks.

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