North America's biggest anime festival takes over the Los Angeles Convention Center over the holiday weekend.

Anime Expo 2011
July 1-4
Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California

The largest gathering of anime and manga artists, industry and fans in the US is organized by the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation. The exposition includes seminars, workshops, and panels with industry experts. The Los Angeles Convention Center will attract almost 50,000 anime and manga fans when it hosts the Anime Expo i.e. AX 2011.

17th Essence Music Festival
July 1-3
New Orleans, Louisiana

Over the July 4th holiday weekend, this year's festival calls for a celebration of R&B with acts such as Usher, Jill Scott, Jennifer Hudson, a reunited New Edition and funk diva Chaka Khan. Hip hop artists headlining inside the Superdome are Kanye West, Mary J. Blige and Trey Songz. The Super Lounge series features singers Macy Gray, Mavis Staples and more. Organized by Essence magazine, the event includes seminars on heath and beauty for women as well as men, and the unveiling a new Mary J. Blige fragrance and Pharrell Williams' Billionaire Boys Club fashion label.


Just for Laughs Festival
July 5-31
Montreal, Quebec

Almost a month-long event, Montreal's comedy festival, Just for Laughs, features stand-up comedians, sketch and improv events and free street shows, throughout July. Craig Ferguson and his International House of Comedy, as well as Eddie Izzard, Louis CK, Colin Quinn, and Maria Bamford are set to perform. Skit shows include Best of the Fest, The Ethnic Show, The Nasty Show and new faces at various venues throughout the city. Other comedy events include Just for Laughs in Chicago, the Edinburgh Fringe in August and Comedy Central's New York Comedy in November.

Calgary Stampede
July 8-17
Calgary, Alberta

This major festival of rodeo events features tournaments for bull riding, steer wrestling, roping, barrel races, bareback and other cowboy and cowgirl competitions. The festivities kick off with a parade, stage shows, races and First Nation Native American exhibitions. Since 1923, the event has grown and now attracts more than one million visitors.


41st Comic-Con International
July 21-24
San Diego, California

The Comic-Con conference of comic books, science fiction and fantasy is one of the world's largest, attracting 130,000 attendees. Sessions feature well-known artists and writers from Marvel, DC Comics and graphic novelists as well as stars of film and television with directors previewing superhero and fantasy movies and shows. A preview night takes place July 20. Other highlights of this otherworldly event are the exclusive collectibles on the exhibit floor and the masquerade. New York hosts a fall Comic-Con and WonderCon happens in San Francisco in April. Passes sold-out last December.

58th EAA AirVenture Show
July 25-31
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

America's largest annual aviation gathering attracts 700,000 enthusiasts and up to 15,000 aircraft at the Wittman Regional Airport. Also known as The Oshkosh, the event is presented by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), an international organization that features homemade and vintage aircraft, exhibits, showcases of new commercial aircraft and military 'warbirds,' ultralights, and a daily aerobatics show. The airport's control tower is the busiest control tower in the world during the event.