The melodic whine and wheeze of the bagpipes fill the August night air over a marshal drum beat. As British and commonwealth military bands file over the esplanade at Edinburgh Castle, another Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo unfolds. The nearly month-long event, which started in 1950, now draws over 200,000 people annually and is second only to the sprawling Festival Fringe in popularity as part of the larger Edinburgh Festival. Over the decades, the Tattoo has raised millions for veteran’s charities. Due to the popularity of the festival and the Tattoo, planning a trip in advance is highly recommended. The Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa is a top spot to stay while in town, but there are several other hotels in town open to visitors. The festival runs from August 1-23 and performances are nightly from Monday to Saturday. Tickets begin at $42. The Jacobite Package includes a three-course meal with wine, a backstage walk and premium seating for $385.
Royal Treatment :: edintattoo.co.uk :: edinburghfirst.co.uk :: edfringe.com
Duke Ellington put Rhode Island’s historic jazz festival on the tourist map in 1956 with his classic album. The Newport Jazz Festival, which runs August 1-3, draws the biggest names in jazz. With modern, bop, Dixieland, Latin jazz, and blues always in the mix, there is something at the festival for every kind of jazz fan. The current home of the festival is Fort Adams State Park, which allows the performers and fans alike a panorama of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay, complete with an ocean breeze blowing through every set. The Hotel Viking, Ocean Cliff, Newport Harbor Hotel, and the Newport Marriott are the most popular local accommodations; however visitors can also make day trips from Boston and New York City.
All That Jazz :: newportjazzfest.org
Some Canadians wear big, white cowboy hats too. You’ll find an awful lot of them gathered in Calgary, Alberta early July for the Calgary Stampede. The event is a tradition that dates back to 1886 and has become one of the nation’s biggest with over a million visitors each year. The western party theme spills out onto the greater streets of Calgary. Besides the usual rodeo activities, one of the Stampede’s most unique contributions to rodeo culture is chuck wagon racing. Also called the Rangeland Derby, it’s now the Stampede’s most popular event. Two-day packages start at $255.
Canadian Cowboys :: cs.calgarystampede.com