In honour of today's hot festival in Texas, Eli Orzessek also takes a look at other weird and wonderful events around the United States.
The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival
If you carry hot sauce in your bag, this is the festival for you. With humble beginnings as a small hot sauce contest in 1990, the Austin Hot Sauce Festival has grown into the largest competition of its kind, drawing as many as 10,000 spectators and more than 350 entries every year. As you'd imagine, bucketloads of hot sauce is consumed, with plenty of cold drinks on offer to cool the overheated. You'll also find tastings from local restaurants, culinary demonstrations, hot sauce for sale and live music to accompany it all.
Shrimp and Petroleum Festival
Morgan City, Louisiana
It may seem an unusual combination, but shrimp and petroleum are two of the state's biggest industries and somehow they've been turned into a festival. A five-day event, the festival began more than 80 years ago as a way to bless the annual shrimp harvest and, in 1967, the petroleum industry began to be honoured as well. The celebrations include free live music, arts and crafts, a parade, and plenty of great Cajun food.
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WHEN: August 30-September 3
Road Kill Cook-Off Festival
Pocahontas County, West Virginia
A food festival with a country twist, this competition between amateur chefs may leave you a bit squeamish. Cooking and eating animals hit on the road is a tradition in the mountains of West Virginia, although it is rarely practiced today. The Road Kill Cook-Off keeps the tradition alive and gives guests the chance to sample everything from black bear to possum and even snapping turtle.
WHEN: September 29
Roswell UFO Festival
Roswell, New Mexico
Whether or not you believe or not that aliens crash landed in Roswell, New Mexico, you're still bound to have a lot of fun at this annual festival. Aliens are big business in this town and the UFO Festival has grown to be the world's biggest convention for alien truthers and UFO hunters — last year it attracted more than 38,000 people from 16 different countries. The festival features stalls, a petting zoo and parades — but the crown jewel is the UFO costume contest, where animals and humans alike dress up and act out otherworldly scenarios on stage.
WHEN: Takes place each July. Next year's dates still TBC.