Parade for love, a cause — or popcorn
SEPT. 29-OCT. 2
LovEvolution: This dance and music festival, which is something like Berlin’s Love Parade, is more about causes. Expect to see booths aplenty representing the AIDS Emergency Fund, the Women’s Health Rights Coalition, and a number of other local and national groups that try to make the world a better place. After you’ve collected all the pamphlets, you can dance to electronic beats at various nightclubs and watch the main event, the LovEvolution parade, a lot of people in weird outfits walking down the city streets and riding on bright-colored floats. Consider it a gathering of the most well-meaning weirdos. www.sflovevolution.org
Pittsburgh Irish Festival: Of all of the music acts here, we’re probably most interested in the Screaming Orphans, who are far less upsetting to listen to and look at than the band’s name suggests. The quartet of County Donegal-bred musicians model themselves after the Cranberries, the Bangles, and the Indigo Girls. They do play traditional Irish music when it applies even though they started out playing Red Hot Chili Peppers covers. Other acts on the lineup for this year’s celebration of all things green and Celtic include Gaelic Storm, Michael Murphy and the Shannon River Band, and story-teller Alan Irvine, who’ll deliver “The Cattle Raid of Cooley: The Champion of Ulster.’’ Admission $3-$10. Various locations, 412-422-1113, www.pghirishfest.org
Valparaiso Popcorn Festival: Orville Redenbacher, the popcorn patriarch, may have passed on more than 10 years ago, but his memory lives on in this annual festival that allows people to celebrate their love of popped kernels by taking part in a parade, making crafts, and snacking. There’s also live music and a race called the Popcorn Panic — and because the Redenbacher brand lends its name to this celebration, there are plenty of Orville’s creations. It’s worth getting there for the parade — lots of floats made of, you guessed it, popcorn. 219-464-8332, www.valparaisoevents.com
Green County Cheese Days: Yes, there’s a lot to be tasted at Cheese Days, but there’s also the Cow Milking Contest, which pits four people and four cows against one another to see who can “pull and squirt’’ the most in four minutes. Before you go, we recommend going online and listening to the official Cheese Days song, which will be performed during the weekend. Lyrics include, “Come to Cheese Days in Monroe. That’s the place for you to go.’’ 608-325-7771, www.cheesedays.com
PALM BEACH, Fla.
The Palm Beaches Marathon Festival: This tourist spot hosts a number of races in December for athletic types who want to cycle and run somewhere warm during the winter. There’s a marathon for the ambitious. There’s a 5K for the less ambitious. There’s also a scenic bike tour, which burns calories without so much stress. Registration details online. www.pbmarathon.com MEREDITH GOLDSTEIN
Events are sometimes canceled, rescheduled, or sold out; check online. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.