Some truly wacky festivals are held in the South each fall. Perhaps your character is a contestant in the Great Outhouse Blowout and Race. Maybe he is researching the famous Colonel Sanders and travels to the World Chicken Festival. Does your character love bourbon? Would he want travel to Bardstown, Kentucky for the Kentucky Bourbon Festival?
The Great Outhouse Blowout and Race
takes place in Gravel Switch, Kentucky every October. Why would you want to race outhouses? Well, this event is a celebration. Penn's Store - located in Gravel Switch, Kentucky - is the oldest family store that has run continuously since at least 1845. The only thing this long-standing store lacked was a place to use the restroom. If you needed to visit the john, you had to use one of the many trees surrounding the place. The store still has no indoor plumbing, but in 1992 they finally had an outhouse installed. The celebration they held in honor of this event was such a success they have celebrated anew every year since.
The outhouses that are raced have a long handle that is held by a runner on each side of the privy. Of course, the one who is steering has the seat of honor inside the outhouse. Someone at the rear of the outhouse helps by pushing the potty along.
What if a something of great value was hidden in one of these outhouses? What if one of these outhouses had been the only place to hide what they had stolen to fool the police that were chasing them? What if they do enter the contest but see someone else find their loot?
The World Chicken Festival
takes place in London, Kentucky. Most everyone has heard of Colonel Sanders and Kentucky Fried Chicken. The legacy of this man and his restaurant is celebrated each September in London, Kentucky. Laurel County, where London is located, was home to the very first restaurant built by Colonel Sanders. Around 300 gallons of oil is used to fry chicken in a skillet whose diameter is 10'6”. This festival also has a Colonel Sanders look-alike contest and competitions in rooster crowing, strutting, and clucking.
What if the mascot chicken for the famous restaurant was stolen? What if the thieves are threatening to kill the mascot and eat it for dinner? What if there was a reason for kidnapping this chicken that doesn’t have anything to do with the famous restaurant?
The Kentucky Bourbon Festival
takes place in Bardstown, Kentucky every September. The festival lasts for six glorious days of bourbon tasting, scrumptious food, great entertainment, and some of that great Kentucky hospitality. Even though I live only 2 and a half hours from Bardstown, I have yet to attend this wonderful festival. Maybe one day. . .
What if there is a serial killer roaming the streets during this festival? He is searching for new victims. Or is it a he? It could be a female. It could even be an alien. No one notices when only one person disappears from the festival. After about three people disappear pretty quickly, it is noticed, and the search begins to find out what happened to them.
However you decide to use any of these festivals in your writing, have fun with it. Research the festival and the location where it is held. You should be able to find all kinds of things written about the festival on the Internet, and you may even be able to find videos of the festivities on YouTube. Just be careful not to get lost in your research.