Celebrating harmony - and Elvis

California festival promotes spirituality and social change. California festival promotes spirituality and social change.
May 3, 2009
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JUNE 12-14


31st Annual Harmony Festival: Shiny, happy people will be in California next month to promote ecology, spirituality, and social change - and to listen to musicians who promote all of those things. Scheduled performers include India.Arie and Cake. Soul-searching guests can also visit a healing sanctuary with tea and a meditation garden, and an eco village, where they can learn about how to save the world. There will also be representatives spreading the word about their many, many causes - all good ones, of course. A highlight of the weekend should be a Jewish Shabbaton celebration led by Hasidic reggae musician Matisyahu. Ticket packages vary.

JUNE 5-7


Tupelo Elvis Festival: When you think of Elvis Presley, you think of Memphis, for obvious reasons. But Elvis was born in Tupelo, which is why the city hosts an annual celebration of the King. Events include an Elvis parade, tour of Presley's birthplace, and an Elvis look-alike pet parade with lots of little dogs wearing white, jewel-studded jumpsuits. Golfers can also take part in a "Fling with the King" tournament. 662-841-6598, www.tupe

JUNE 6-7


MoCCA Art Festival: The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art draws some of the best talent in the country for its annual fund-raising festival, which is why it's no surprise that this year's celebration includes an appearance by a man who helped make Batman what he is today. Jerry Robinson, who has drawn "Batman" for DC Comics, will get a special honor at the MoCCA event. You'll also meet a group of lesser-known illustrators, including Arnold Roth, who has drawn for the New Yorker and Playboy, and Raina Telgemeier, who has illustrated some of Ann M. Martin's "The Baby-sitters Club" books. 69th Regiment Armory, Lexington Ave., 212-254-3511.

JUNE 6-7


Troy Strawberry Festival: What do strawberries and Led Zeppelin have in common? Not much besides Troy. At the June celebration of the high-fiber fruit you'll be able to sample lots of strawberries and hear ZoSo, a Led Zeppelin cover band. The weekend is very family-friendly with all-ages pie-eating contests and something called a "diaper derby," which essentially is grown-ups racing their babies like cars. Weird - but entertaining. Various locations, 937-339-7714, www.troyohiostrawberryfest


SEPT. 4-7


Bullbash on the Wabash: To answer the obvious question ("What is a Bullbash?") a Bullbash is actually a "bull bash" - as in, a rodeo. Labor Day weekend in Palestine is all about bulls - bull riders and fighters. After the rodeo types wrangle, city slickers can check out the events for the non-riders, which usually include a popular Saturday morning "chuckwagon breakfast" featuring a menu with whole hog sausage, a parade, an arts and crafts fair, and quality time with the rodeo clowns. Pioneer City Arena, 618-586-2222.


Events are sometimes canceled, rescheduled, or sold out; check online to confirm. Christopher Muther can be reached at