A WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES
A globetrotter’s guide to the world’s big events in 2019
A full calendar of 2019 celebrations, commemorations and festivals offers something for every globetrotter.
Where in the world do you think you’re going?
The coming year’s celebrations, commemorations and festivals will entertain journeyers to every corner of North America, as well as to Asia, South America and Europe.
Check out our annual calendar for some of the best pairings of place and event in 2019.
■ 16-24: Berlin — 100 Years Bauhaus: The Opening Festival. Art movement jumpstarts centennial with 100 artists at the throttle.
■ 19-27: Detroit — North American International Auto Show. The future of motor vehicles charges up in Motor City.
■ 31 to Feb. 11: Sapporo, Japan — Sapporo Snow Festival. Millions chill out at showcase of ice and snow sculpture, 70th edition.
■ 15-24: Indio, Calif. — National Date Festival. Ostrich races are just one of 1,001 Arabian Nights-themed delights.
■ 16 to March 2: Nice, France — Carnival of Nice. French Riviera forecast: intermittent parades and heavy showers of confetti.
■ 26: Grand Canyon, Ariz. — Grand Canyon National Park 100th Birthday. Natural Wonder hosts party with a view.
■ 1-9: Rio de Janeiro — Carnival. The ultimate street party beguiles upward of 2 million revelers a day.
■ 2-10: Philadelphia — Philadelphia Flower Show. This year’s infusion of “Flower Power” knocks the edge off winter.
■ 16-24: Maastricht, Netherlands — European Fine Art Fair. 260 dealers push museum-quality pieces into the marketplace.
■ 13 to Sept. 2: Seattle — “Destination Moon — The Apollo 11 Mission.” Exhibit touches down with relics and displays from first moon landing 50 years back.
■ 21-27: Hilo, Hawaii — Merrie Monarch Festival. Big Island stages “world’s largest hula competition.”
■ 26-28: St. Albans, Vt. — Vermont Maple Festival. The sweet events stick with you.
■ 4-11: Seville, Spain — April Fair of Seville. Andalusian arts and antics prevail.
■ 24 to June 9: Charleston, S.C. — Spoleto Festival USA. Performers of opera, drama, theater and jazz bedazzle crowd of 80,000.
■ 24 to Oct. 13: London — “Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing.” Buckingham Palace presents 200 masterpieces on 500th anniversary of the artist’s demise.
■ 1-2: Monterey, Calif. — Castroville Artichoke Festival. “Artichoke Center of the World” sizzles with thistles, California’s state vegetable.
■ 7 to July 7: Nine cities in France — FIFA Women’s World Cup. “Largest women’s sporting event on Earth” features 23 soccer-crazed nations, plus champion USA.
■ 26-30: New York — WorldPride NYC/ Stonewall 50. WorldPride makes first U.S. visit to mark 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.
■ 4-7: New Orleans — Essence Festival. This “party with a purpose,” addressing African-American issues and experiences, turns 25, with 500,000 on hand.
■ 19-21: Baltimore — Artscape. Free festival is all art: performed, photographed, sounded, sculpted and seen.
■ 26 to Aug. 11: Lima, Peru — Pan American Games. Athletes of the Americas compete in 39 sports, including BMX cycling and Basque pelota.
■ 8-18: Chengdu, China — World Police and Fire Games. Olympics for firefighters and police covers archery, angling, darts and dragon boat races.
■ 9-11: Abbotsford, British Columbia — Abbotsford International Airshow. Feats of flight are performed by Thunderbirds, Snowbirds and CF-18 Hornets.
■ 17-18: Santa Fe, N.M. —Santa Fe Indian Market. Ten thousand shoppers buy authentic Southwest treasures from 1,000 artists on the Plaza.
■ 6-10; 13-16: Bad Durkheim, Germany — Wurstmarkt. Six-century-old festival is to wine what Oktoberfest is to beer.
■ 16-22: Bardstown, Ky. — Kentucky Bourbon Festival. 50,000 visitors take a sip, then watch the bourbon barrel-rolling races.
■ 20 to Nov. 2: Twelve cities in Japan — Rugby World Cup. “World’s third-largest sporting event” scrimmages from Tokyo to the samurai town of Kanazawa.
■ 5-13: Albuquerque, N.M. — Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Mass ascensions and the Special Shape Rodeo add up to “the world’s largest hot-air balloon gathering.”
■ 17-20: Plovdiv, Bulgaria — European Capital of Culture, “100% Plovdiv.” Stage play continues Plovdiv’s reign as the coCultural Capital of Europe with Matera, Italy.
■ 26-28: Galway, Ireland — Galway Aboo Halloween Festival. Ireland’s most haunting event materializes on the medieval streets of Galway.
■ 2: Terlingua, Texas — Terlingua International Chili Championship. Granddaddy of all chili contests fires up in Big Bend country.
■ 16-24: Lucerne, Switzerland — Lucerne Piano Festival. Nine days of keyboard wizardry zip from classical to jazz.
■ 16 to Dec. 31: Copenhagen — Christmas in Tivoli. Holiday season culminates in parades, fireworks and rides at Denmark’s landmark amusement park.
■ 28 to Dec. 31: Coos Bay, Ore. — Holiday Lights at Shore Acres. Lighted sculptures of whales and puffins illuminate seaside gardens.
■ 1-12: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico — Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration. Aztec and Christian motifs mesh as thousands parade through the streets nightly.
■ 4: New York — Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Midtown Manhattan.
■ 26-31: Sydney — Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Diamond edition attracts scores of yachts, mainly sloops, to the devilish Tasmanian Sea.
Dates are subject to change.
Margaret Backenheimer is a freelance writer.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the largest balloon event in the world.