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Six weird things to do in New England (USA) this year

The region of New England in the North-East of North American is made up of six states; Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. It shares a border with New York, yet it’s often overlooked on the tourist trail. The region is seriously rich in history, so here are 6 unusual yet culturally enriching New England events you can get involved in this year.

Chili Cook-Off - Newport, Rhode Island (February 12 -21)

The chili cook-off happens in Rhode Island in February is part of the region’s biggest winter festival. Called the Newport Winter Festival, the event is now in its 28th year. In the chili cook-off, restaurants and caterers will compete for the honor of having the best pot of chili in town, and you can sample the goods. More info HERE

St Patrick’s Day in Boston - Massachusetts (March 17)

Home of America’s largest Irish community, Boston is the place to be on March 17. Get amongst Irish dancing, parades, marching bands and most importantly, a pint of Guinness at one of the cities many Irish pubs. More information HERE

Take Pirate Lessons – Boothbay Harbor, Maine (June 27)

Actually called the Windjammer Days Festival, every June the town of Boothbay Harbor celebrates it’s maritime history with a parade of sail boats coasting by. Part of the festival is the Pirate Recruit Training where – dressing in pirate gear from head to toe – you can play your part in helping the ‘Pirates Of The Dark Rose’ to prevent the British from “attacking”. 2016 marks the 52th annual festival. More info HERE

Halloween with the witches - Salem, Massachusetts (October)

The town of Salem is home to the famous witch trials of the 17th Century, so it’s the perfect backdrop for your true American Halloween experience. The town puts on quite show for the month of October, including a hunted street fair, ghost tours, creepy theatre productions and costume balls. More info HERE

Giant Helium Balloon Parade – Stamford, Connecticut (November)

In Stamford, Connecticut you can play witness to one of the biggest parades of helium balloons. Each year over 10,000 people attend the event. You can expect to see all your favourite characters in enormous helium balloon form, including Nemo, Gumby, Mr. Potato Head, Bart Simpson, SpongeBob and more. Plus expect the involvement of a few all-American marching bands to supply the soundtrack. The 2016 date is still to be confirmed but keep a look out somewhere around Thanksgiving in November. More info HERE

Take a vintage train through the snow with Santa - New Hampshire (November/December)

Since 1987 a vintage train has chugged its way through the New Hampshire snow with a special guest on board. During late-November until mid-December the Hobo Railroad Santa Express travels 80 minutes cross the state and back. With views outside of snow-covered landscapes, the train serves hot chocolates, cookies, and Christmas cheer. More info HERE.

For further information on New England, visit http://www.discovernewengland.org/