The top event in 2017 is not human-made, but rather celestial — a total solar eclipse. This truly heads-up spectacle has not been seen from coast to coast across America in 99 years. Check out this heavenly sight on our annual calendar, which also touts anniversaries, sports spectaculars and other festivities coming in the new year.


6 to March 25: Lincoln, Neb. — “Bridges: Sharing Our Past to Enrich the Future.” Traveling photo exhibit celebrates the Cornhusker State’s sesquicentennial.

11: Hamburg, Germany — Debut performance at Europe’s much-anticipated new concert hall, Elbphilharmonie.

14 to Feb. 5: Gabon, four cities — Africa Cup of Nations 2017. Continentwide soccer showdown features top 16 teams.

20-21: Aarhus, Denmark — Cultural Capital of Europe 2017 Opening Weekend. Aarhus kicks off eventful year with angelic sounds and songs, its reign shared with Pafos, Cyprus.

21 to Feb. 19: San Francisco — Chinese New Year Festival & Parade. Year of the Rooster rouses revelers in Chinatown.


1-12: Sapporo, Japan — Sapporo Snow Festival. Massive statues and sculptures are icing on the cake at legendary snow fest.

3-12: Saranac Lake, N.Y. — Saranac Lake Winter Carnival. Arctic Golf and Ladies’ Fry Pan Toss highlight 120th edition.

5: Houston — Super Bowl LI. Gridiron gala, with Lady Gaga taking the snap at halftime.

11-25: Nice, France — Nice Carnival. A thousand dancers, singers and flower-tossers salute spring.

24-28: Rio de Janeiro — Carnival 2017. Samba reigns supreme at South America’s premier beach and street bash.


10-19: Austin, Texas — South by Southwest (SXSW). Launching pad for new music and media, with Lee Daniels, Nile Rodgers and Jill Soloway among keynote speakers.

11-19: Philadelphia — Philadelphia Flower Show. America’s big flower show focuses on Holland.

14-25: Graz and Schladming, Austria — Special Olympics World Winter Games. Three thousand athletes from 110 nations compete in Styrian ice and snow.

18: Rena to Lillehammer, Norway — Birkebeinerrennet. The 54K cross-country ski marathon finishes at the Olympic site.

31 to April 2: Norman, Okla. — Medieval Fair. Roundtable hangout with Art, Lance and Merl.


13 to Aug. 31: Royal Greenwich, England, to Le Havre, France — Rendez-vous 2017. Forty tall ships race back and forth across the Atlantic.

13 to Oct. 15: Berlin — IGA Berlin 2017 International Garden Festival. Worldwide green scene blooms all summer.

16-22: Hilo, Hawaii — Merrie Monarch Festival. World’s largest hula competition ends with Royal Parade.

26-29: Tucson, Ariz. — Tucson International Mariachi Conference. Music and dance of Mexico, with mariachi and folklorico workshops.

28-30, May 4-7: New Orleans — New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Two weekends with top-of-the-chart and over-the-top musicians.


5-28: Sardinia to Milan, Italy — Giro d’Italia. 100th running of bicycle race, with pink jersey to the winner.

24: Washington, D.C. — John F. Kennedy Centennial Celebration. JFK memorial brings Yo-Yo Ma to the Kennedy Center.

25-28: Montreal — 100 percent Montreal. 100 citizens portray city’s diversity during Montreal’s 375th anniversary.

25-28: Monte Carlo, Monaco — Grand Prix de Monaco. The 75th edition of the auto race squeezes through the city’s narrow streets.

26 to June 4: Miami — World OutGames Miami. LGBTQI athletes from 32 countries go all out.


2-4: Hong Kong — Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival. Victoria Harbour reverberates with the pounding of drums.

12 to Oct. 1: New York — “Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive.” The Wright stuff, on display at the Museum of Modern Art.

17-18 and 24-27: Hamilton, Bermuda — America’s Cup Finals. Oracle Team USA sailors defend “oldest trophy in international sport.”

24 to Sept. 3: Bad Segeberg, Germany — Karl May Festival. America’s Wild West re-created to celebrate popular German author.

28 to July 2, July 4-9: Milwaukee — Summerfest. The 50th edition of “world’s largest music festival” features 800 bands on 11 stages.


1: Ottawa — Canada Day. Music, theater and fireworks signal 150 years of Canada’s Confederation.

13-16: Benicassim, Spain — Festival Internacional de Benicassim. The Red Hot Chili Peppers spice up annual pop and rock camping fest.

16-23: Southport, England — The Open. Royal Birkdale hosts golf’s best at the 146th British Open.

20-23: San Diego — Comic-Con International. 700 events concentrate on comics, costumes, anime and more.

28-30: McMinnville, Ore. — International Pinot Noir Celebration. This year, a special focus on Burgundians making wine in Oregon.


3-6: Addison, Mich., to Gadsden, Ala. — World’s Longest Yard Sale. “The 127 Corridor Sale” offers back-road bargains across six states.

4-13: Bethlehem, Pa. — Musikfest. Five hundred performers on 14 stages provide a soundtrack for food and fireworks.

4-28: Edinburgh, Scotland — Edinburgh International Festival. The 70th edition of opera, theater and dance runs concurrently with Festival Fringe.

21: Oregon to South Carolina — Total solar eclipse. Heavenly headliner sweeps across the nation for the first time since 1918.

31 to Sept. 4: Morgan City, La. — Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival. Salute to top two regional resources.


4: St. Ignace to Mackinaw City, Mich. — Mackinac Bridge Walk. The 60th annual chance to connect the Upper and Lower peninsulas on foot.

15-17: Monterey, Calif. — Monterey Jazz Festival. The 60th annual gathering features eight stages’ worth of legends and headliners.

16 to Oct. 3: Munich, Germany — Oktoberfest. Tapping well over a million gallons, this is the biggest beer blast on Earth.

16 to Nov. 12: Istanbul — Istanbul Biennial. Contemporary arts feast, curated by Scandinavian duo Elmgreen and Dragset.

23-30: Toronto — Invictus Games. Recovering service men and women from numerous nations compete in 12 sports.


1-8: Fryeburg, Maine — Fryeburg Fair. Agricultural show features Woodsmen’s Field Day, with the requisite log-rolling and ax-throwing.

4-8: Nottingham, England — Nottingham Goose Fair. Long-standing country fair combines old-fashioned carousel rides with today’s white-knuckle versions.

7-15: Albuquerque, N.M. — Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Hundreds of hot-air and gas balloons rise to the occasion.

11-15: Oakland, Md. — Autumn Glory Festival. Leaf-peepers flock to western Maryland as fall fest celebrates its golden anniversary.

18-21: Circleville, Ohio — Circleville Pumpkin Show. Bigger is better here, after last year’s winner weighed in at over 1,500 pounds.


5: New York — New York City Marathon. Two million onlookers cheer on 50,000 runners borough by borough.

10 to Jan. 6: Williams, Ariz. — The Polar Express. Magical ride on Grand Canyon Railway recalls Chris Van Allsburg’s children’s classic.

17-19: West Allis, Wis. — Holiday Folk Fair International. Indoor folkloric festival puts 65 cultures on display.

19: El Cajon, Calif. — Mother Goose Parade. Fairy-tale floats, balloons and clowns cast their spell.

25 to Dec. 3: Guadalajara, Mexico — Guadalajara International Book Fair. Writers and publishers open their books to Spanish-speaking readers.


1-3: Galveston, Texas — Dickens on the Strand. A Victorian Christmas comes alive in the Strand National Historic Landmark District.

2-3: Chichibu, Japan — Chichibu Night Festival. Major traditional float festival ends in fireworks.

6: Halifax, Nova Scotia — Halifax Explosion 100. Ceremonies mark centenary of devastating harbor explosion.

7-9: Ithaca, N.Y. — Ithaca Ice Festival. Cold-water sculptors shape up with chain saws, chisels and blowtorches.

31: Boston — First Night Boston. A thousand performers see out the old year and usher in the new.

Dates are subject to change. Always check in advance to confirm details.

(Margaret Backenheimer is a freelance writer.)


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