Perhaps you’ve dreamed of one day joining New Orleans residents for their Mardi Gras parties, but did you know that Nebraska celebrates Arbor Day in a big way? Or that in Utah they pay homage to Salt Lake City’s Mormon settlers with a Pioneer Day Festival? Unique regional holidays can be found throughout the United States. Make 2022 the year you experience a non-traditional holiday in one of these fun destinations.
Celebrate Frozen Dead Guy Days in Nederland, Colorado
The snow-capped Rocky Mountains make for a fitting backdrop to Nederland, Colorado’s annual celebration of one of their most unique inhabitants: A cryogenically-preserved Norwegian immigrant by the name of Bredo Morstøl. Bredo, who’s been on ice in a town shed since 1989, is the centerpiece of what’s been dubbed “Cryonics’ first Mardi Gras:” A three-day festival known as “Frozen Dead Guy Days.” Visitors to this chilly event, held the second weekend of March, can take part in coffin races, a polar plunge, frozen salmon toss, snowy beach volleyball, decorated hearse parade and more.
Where to Stay: Warm up after days of frosty fun in the nearby city of Boulder, where you can unwind by strolling the charming Pearl Street Mall or seek adventure by climbing the craggy Flatirons rock formations. Embassy Suites by Hilton Boulder offers toasty suites and a year-round rooftop pool with striking mountain views.
Join Reenactments During Gaspee Days in Warwick, Rhode Island
The town of Warwick, Rhode Island welcomes in summer each year during a special regional holiday: Gaspee Days. The event, which coincides with Memorial Day Weekend, recognizes the anniversary of the Gaspee Affair, a significant event that led up to the American Revolution and pre-dates the more well-known Boston Tea Party. Gaspee Days date back to 1772 when patriots burned a British schooner, the HMS Gaspee. Today, Warwick celebrates this important event by reenacting the ship burning each May.
Where to Stay: A visit to Warwick during Gaspee Days also provides the opportunity to view a parade, fireworks and road race. To stay close to the action, book a room at Homewood Suites Providence Downtown.
Honor King Kamehameha Day in Honolulu, Hawaii
Kamehameha the Great played a significant role in Hawaiian history. As the monarch who first established the unified Kingdom of Hawai’i in 1810, King Kamehameha is honored with a statue in downtown Honolulu, as well as an event held in his honor on June 11 each year. Attendees to the King Kamehameha Day festivities can enjoy a floral parade, hula competition and an important draping ceremony, whereby hundreds of feet of flower lei are placed onto the 15-foot statue of Kamehameha.
Where to Stay: When planning a visit to one of the most idyllic destinations in the United States, you’ll want to secure a room with a view. Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is perfectly positioned on 22 acres of white sand beach and offers five swimming pools, hula lessons, catamaran tours and more.
Fall in Love with Sweetest Day in Cleveland, Ohio
While Valentine’s Day is celebrated nationwide each February, in the Midwest there’s a second holiday devoted to love that takes place each fall: Sweetest Day. This saccharine regional holiday originated in Cleveland in 1922 when the city’s candy companies distributed more than 20,000 boxes of sweets to down-on-their-luck citizens. Today locals celebrate the holiday, which takes place on the third Saturday in October, by honoring the people they love and admire most.
Where to Stay: Sweetest Day is a chance to recognize anyone you care about, romantically or otherwise, making it the perfect holiday to celebrate with friends and family. Treat them to a stay at Hilton Cleveland Downtown where you’ll enjoy spacious rooms and easy access to the city’s top attractions and dining.
Travelers who are part of Hilton’s loyalty program, Hilton Honors, can use Points to cash in on a stay at one of these hotels as well as more than 6,700 Hilton hotels worldwide. In addition to instant benefits and exclusive discounts, members can use the Hilton Honors Points Explorer tool to help them plan their next trip to see just how far their Points will take them. And, when booking with Hilton Honors Points, the fifth night of a single stay is always free.