Change city

Know what’s happening in your city.

Sign up for Rally’s weekly round-up.

Bizarre and Unusual Californian Festivals for a Super Weird 2019

By / November 29, 2018

If you’ve done all the music festivals, the food festivals, and the film festivals, and you still find yourself wanting more, it’s time to take a trip off the beaten track.

California just happens to be full of eccentric people who love to celebrate their eccentricities. So, if you’re looking for a festival that’s a little “different,” you’re in the right place.

Whether you’re intrigued by the idea of extraterrestrial life, want to take in a Bigfoot parade, or check out some oddball folk art made from pine cones, make sure you visit one of these unique, under-the-radar Californian festivals.

AlienCon 2019

Los Angeles Convention Center

AlienCon brings together ufologists and science fiction stars for a series of panel discussions, celebrity appearances, fan competitions, and parties.

$49 - $1300 / RSVP

Bigfoot Daze

Veterans Park

Enjoy games, food, festivities, and a special bigfoot parade at this Northern Californian festival in honor of the mysterious hairy hominid.


Trinity County Bigfoot BBQ

Trinity County Fairgrounds

Watch pro and amateur BBQ lovers battle it out for cash prizes at this Bigfoot themed cookout.

$1 / RSVP

Calico Burro Run

Ghost Town Road, Calico

Each year, Calico celebrates its rich history as a gold rush mining town with a burro race, a costume contest, a miner's triathlon, and a parade.


Pacific Coast Fog Fest

Palmetto Ave, Pacifica

Each year the town of Pacifica celebrates the *lack* of fog in September with the Pacific Coast Fog Fest, featuring parades, food, music, and competitions.


Coulterville Coyotefest

Main Street, Coulterville

Coyotefest features a car show, a parade, music, and a horse shoe contest, but the real draw is the Coyote Howl Contest where kids and adults yowl it out for prizes.


Lake Arrowhead Pinecone Festival

Rim Nordic

The Lake Arrowhead Pinecone Festival was established to raise awareness about fire danger and includes several pinecone contests, including a craft competition and world's largest pinecone.


Twentynine Palms Weed Show

Twentynine Palms Historical Society and Museum

The Weed Show is one of Twentynine Palms’ oldest and most unique artistic traditions. This annual display features artistic arrangements of indigenous desert vegetation and found objects.


Pasadena Doo Dah Parade

Colorado Boulevard

Known as the twisted sister of the Rose Parade, the Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade began as a grassroots event in 1978 and gained national attention for its eccentric costumes and satire.



Matthew O’Shannessy is a writer living in Los Angeles. He grew up in Tasmania, Australia and moved to LA via Melbourne where he joined an art collective and worked for the Melbourne International Film Festival. His work has been published in various magazines and he’s currently co-editing an arts anthology. He lives in Echo Park, but you can often find him scouting out the San Fernando Valley.

More articles by Matthew O'Shannessy



Leave a Reply