13 of the World’s Weirdest Conventions

Mer Fest

Mermaids… ahem, merfolk really do exist and they convene once a year to flop around in an Olympic-sized pool in Cary, North Carolina for Mer Fest. Young and old, ladies and gents slip on their tails and live out every little girl’s fantasy. If mermaids aren’t your thing, Pirates are also welcome.

6 merfestDeborah Kolb / Shutterstock.com


Dust off your stovepipe hat and start growing out those muttonchops if you want to attend the next convention held by the Association of Lincoln Presenters in Ohio. Members dress up like the noble statesman and, along with a gaggle of Mary Todds, retrace the former President’s footsteps around Columbus, visiting the locations where he spoke, stood and where he lay in state.

7 linconJose Gil / Shutterstock.com

Porc Fest

Just when you thought America couldn’t get any freer, along came the Porcupine Freedom Festival, aka Porc Fest. At this weeklong Libertarian gathering in New Hampshire pretty much anything goes whether it’s selling your homemade wares, exercising your right to free speech or openly toting your gun around. Go for it!

8 porcfestAnan Kaewkhammul / Shutterstock.com


If you’ve ever proclaimed yourself to be on either “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob” you might be interested in attending the Twilight­-themed Twi-Con. Wannabe vampires drag along their miserable boyfriends to talk about their favorite young adult “book” series and buy junk with Robert Pattinson’s face all over it.

9 twiconJoe Seer / Shutterstock.com

The Sideshow Gathering

You can really get your freak on at the yearly Sideshow Gathering in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  Carnies, sword-swallowers, barkers and human oddities gather to share their love of circus sideshow culture and nostalgia. Step right up for some good old-fashioned entertainment!

10 sideshowReal Deal Photo / Shutterstock.com

Elvis Festival

Looking for a place to wear your blue suede shoes? Check out the world’s biggest Elvis Festival held in Collingwood, Ontario where you’ll have hundreds of live Elvis sightings. You’ll see every version, from young G.I. Elvis to old and bloated “PB & J & Bacon” Elvis.

11 elvisfestMaridav / Shutterstock.com



Around the World in Holiday Baking

Every December, millions of pounds of butter, sugar, and flour contribute to the creation of spectacular treats for holiday celebrations. Even if you’re not ordinarily a baker, many people venture into the kitchen before the holidays to make sure that they’ve got plenty of treats to offer to family and friends.

The Most Unusual McDonald’s Menu Items from Around the World

If you’re a fast-food connoisseur, chances are you’re already familiar with the McDonald’s menu that’s typical in North America. They bring in new choices fairly frequently. However, most people stick with their usual order of Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, fries, McFlurries, and Apple Pies. It’s familiar food, and the bulk of the menu is essentially…

Big Brother China: A Look at China’s Social Credit System

This work of fiction is about to become a reality for the 1.4 billion residents of China where the government plans to roll out a “Social Credit System”. The Chinese government says it’s an attempt to raise “awareness for integrities and the level of credibility within society” through the use of mass surveillance and data collection.