by Allen J. Sheinman | April 22, 2011

Some claim The List has been far too tilted toward the weird and wacky of late. Rather than fight the perception, we present...

1. Keep Austin Weird Fest & 5K, June 25, 2011, Austin, Texas ( If you missed Woodstock, this might be as close as you’ll ever get, with a program of psychedelic music, fab food and far-out vibes, not to mention a race that, organizers promise, “will leave you wondering why it’s even called a race.”

2. Twin Days Festival, Aug. 5-7, 2011, Twinsburg, Ohio ( More than 1,500 pairs of identical siblings from all over the world are expected to attend this fest, which includes an opening-night Welcome Wiener Roast, a twins’ golf tournament, a race/walk for charity, talent contests, much dancing and a “Double Take” parade. Imbibe alcohol at your own risk.

3. World Toilet Summit, Nov. 22-25, 2011, Haikou, Hainan Island, China ( Sponsored by the World Toilet Organization, this year’s summit (the 11th) expects to draw delegates from some 30 countries to explore the theme of “Toilet Civilization,” focusing on how sanitation can impact a country’s ability to evolve into a tourist destination. According to WTO founder Jack Sim, the host island of Hainan has ambitious plans to develop itself as a “center for world toilet culture.”

4. The International UFO Congress, Feb. 21-26, 2012, Scottsdale, Ariz. ( Established in 1991, this conference offers a wide variety of speakers (including, according to the literature,  “astrophysicists, nuclear physicists, abductees and former top-secret-clearance military personnel”) and exhibits that explore topics such as government cover-ups, crop circles, alien visitation and more.

5. International Convention for the Sons of the Desert, July 19-22, 2012, Manchester, N.H. ( If you’re a fan of the immortal comedy team of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, this is the event for you. Attendees will enjoy a live vaudeville show, a dinner buffet cruise, appearances by actual descendants of the daffy duo (last year’s convention starred Laurel’s daughter, grand-granddaughter and two great-great grandchildren), special presentations on supporting players and lots of film screenings. “Sons of the Desert,” we might note, is the name of the team’s very funny 1933 classic.

Source: Meetings & Conventions

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