American Festivals Project


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The American Festivals Project, partially funded by a National Geographic Young Explorer’s Grant, is led by photographers Ross McDermott and Andrew Owen.

The project explores America’s variety of small-town festivals, with the aim of discovering a rich diversity of culture that has in part remained hidden. Traveling in a truck powered by Waste Vegetable Oil, and living in a 1964 truck camper, Ross and Andrew are covering an extensive array of unique festival life from forty-nine of America’s states.

Americans have heard of Mardi Gras and music festivals like Bonnaroo. But most of us know very little of the National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa, and have never heard of the Middle of Nowhere celebration in Ainsworth, Nebraska. Some festivals, such as the infamous Rattlesnake Roundups, date back to the 1940s. There are an endless number of colorful, mind-blowing events that span the calendar from January to December.

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