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Great Texas Mosquito Festival

 

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In most places, to be called “mosquito legs” would be considered an insult. But skinny stems are a prize-worthy commodity in Clute, home of the Great Texas Mosquito Festival (and its annual Mosquito Legs competition). The 37th annual event, July 27-29, celebrates the summer nuisance in style with the help of Willie-Man-Chew, a 26-foot-tall mosquito dressed in a cowboy hat and boots, who greets thousands of visitors as they enter Clute Municipal Park. Festival organizers—who cleverly call themselves the “Swat Team”—plan three full days of events, including carnival rides, the mosquito chase (a 5K race), barbecue and fajita cook-offs, horseshoe and washer throwing tournaments, games, and live entertainment to cap off each evening from the likes of Jack Ingram, Rodney Atkins, the Spazmatics, and Parmalee. The buzziest sight, perhaps, is the Mosquito Calling competition, where for some maniacal reason, contestants vie to summon the biggest bloodsucker in town.

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