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Weird Festival Weekend

It's not too late to go to the 15th annual Cucumber Day Festival in Suzdal, the town about three hours from Moscow that considers itself the cucumber capital of Russia. The festival, which will take over most of the picturesque town on Saturday, will have parades, lots of music and dancing, concerts and contests, auctions and airborne cucumbers, games and raffles, and of course cucumbers prepared in every way possible to be eaten on the spot or brought home for delectation later. This year, the festival is turning international with an official delegation from Azerbaijan. If a delegation can fly up from Baku, surely you can take the train from Moscow.

For more information about the festival and travel to Suzdal, see

And in the "Only in Russia" festival category, if you are in the Urals this weekend — or if you have some frequent-flyer miles you are dying to use up — don't miss the Russian Mosquito Festival — that is, the Third Annual Russian Mosquito Festival. Held at the Usolye Stroganovskoye historical complex, the festival will provide music, concerts, and various competitions, from the sublime — best shashlyk — to the ridiculously painful — the Most Delicious Girl contest, in which judges will count up mosquito bites and crown the young woman the local flying blood-suckers bit the most.

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