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The 50 Best Things to Do this Summer in All 50 States: The Southwest

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Summer is coming, and with it comes tons of great summer events. Every state has more than enough to do, but what can you absolutely not miss? We’ve collected iconic, quirky, and just plain fun things to do this summer from every state. Here, the best of the best in every state in the Southwest.

Red Earth Festival Photo by Kool Cats Photography (flickr.com/photos/katsrcool)

Red Earth Festival
Photo by Flickr/Kool Cats Photography

Where? Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
What? Red Earth Festival
When? June 5th-7th
Why Go? This award-winning festival honors Native American Indian culture. Over 1,200 American Indian artists and dancers from 200 tribes show off artwork and traditional dance by some of the most elite dancers in the world. Traditional jewelry, pottery, beadwork, and more will be for sale at the event. From $11. redearth.org.

Where? Prescott, Arizona
What? Prescott Frontier Days
When? June 29th-July 5th
Why Go? Alternatively known as the World’s Oldest Rodeo, this is the 128th installment of Prescott Frontier Days. Professional rodeo began in Prescott, so you know these events are the real deal. From $12 per event. worldsoldestrodeo.com.

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Where? Roswell, New Mexico
What? UFO Festival
When? July 3rd-5th
Why Go? You may recognize Roswell as the site of the hotly debated mysterious object crash in 1947. The town embraces its history annually with the UFO Festival. Not just for UFO enthusiasts, this festival brings in interesting guest speakers, authors, and lecturers to talk on the finer points of UFOs, aliens, and science (or science fiction). Free to attend. ufofestivalroswell.com.

Where? Clute, Texas
What? The Great Texas Mosquito Festival
When? July 23rd-25th
Why Go? Nowhere else in the world can you get a festival dedicated to mosquitos. The pesky bugs are all over Texas, so in 1981, the state decided to change its mindset and start celebrating. Events include a mosquito calling contest, where the winner is the one who can get the biggest bug to make an appearance, and the mosquito legs contest, where contestants strut their stuff in shorts for a panel of judges. From $1. mosquitofestival.com.

Check out our picks for the best things to do in the Northeast, Midwest, West, and Southeast

Top photo: Roswell, New Mexico, by Stephen Hanafin.

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