North America agenda: Summer X-Games

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The Independent Travel

Gatherings are scheduled for extreme sports fans, bikers, aircraft enthusiasts, and music aficionados including jazz, rock and folk, stretching from Edmonton in Canada to Newport, Rhode Island.

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.

17th Summer X-Games
July 28-31
Los Angeles, California

Three days of extreme sports action at the biggest X-Games event features BMX, skateboarding, motocross, and even rally car racing on the streets of downtown Los Angeles. Hosted by sports broadcaster ESPN, the 17 events will attract more than 138,000 spectators and be telecast live from the Staples Center and surrounding venues. Also available on,, and YouTube, viewed last year by 35.4 million in the US as well as across 175 countries.

6th BlogHer Conference
August 4-6
San Diego, California

This three-day conference for women who blog attracts 3,000 attendees from around the world to the San Diego Marriott and Convention Center, to share information and opportunities, meet with brands and network with the blog community in person. Launched in 2005, BlogHer's directory includes 25,000 influential blogs covering family, feminism, food and fashion, and more, reaching 20 million visitors monthly. The Expo floor opens August 4, and panels cover topics from Twitterholics to Mobile Multimedia.

31st Edmonton Folk Festival

August 4-7
Edmonton, Alberta

Located in "Festival City," this annual four-day festival in Gallagher Park features an array of folk music from bluegrass and blues to Celtic, roots and worldbeat acts from Europe, Latin America, the US and Africa. Attracting more than 100,000 attendees, six stages include one dedicated to children's entertainment. Headliners this year feature the Gipsy Kings, KT Tunstall, Angelique Kidjo, John Mayall, Lyle Lovett, Taj Mahal and actor Tim Robbins and his band among many Canadian acts such as kd lang.


57th Newport Jazz Festival
August 5-7
Newport, RI

The first-ever jazz festival in the US has featured renowned artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Jazz impresario and pianist George Wein keeps the tradition alive with Wynton Marsalis, Esperanza Spaulding, Al DiMeola's World Sinfonia, Trombone Shorty, Eddie Palmieri, and singer-saxophonist Grace Kelly. It is preceded by the Newport Folk Festival with Elvis Costello and The Decemberists also located at Fort Adams State Park.

20th Lollapalooza Festival
August 5-7
Chicago, Illinois

First launched in 1991 by Perry Farrell, lead singer of Jane's Addiction, Lollapalooza is an iconic American festival with its roots in the alternative music scene. This year the eight stages in Grant Park will feature headliners including Eminem, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Cee Lo Green and Muse, Arctic Monkeys, among many others.

71st Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
August 8-14
Sturgis, North Dakota

The annual Black Hills Motor Classic, aka Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, where bikers meet to race and party, has grown from 19 participants in 1938 to approximately 750,000 attendees. Based a the site of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum, the event includs races on tracks and hillclimbs, motocross and stunts, crashes and jumps. Concerts feature rock acts from the 1970s and ‘80s with this year's lineup including Alice Cooper, Stevie Nicks, Def Leppard, Leon Russell, Greg Allman and actor Jeff Bridges' band.

27th IDEA World Fitness Convention
August 11-14
Los Angeles Convention Center, LA, California

The 27th annual IDEA World Fitness Convention is the largest and oldest trade event for fitness professionals. More than 5,000 influential fitness and wellness professionals from 65 nations will participate in 350 sessions devoted to new fitness trends (Bollywood Step, Alphabics, Kranking). 2010 highlight events included celebrity Mario Lopez, tennis star Andre Agassi and the US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD. After this event, fitness centers globally will be introducing new classes, techniques and products.

D23 Disney Expo
August 19-23
Anaheim, California

This fan event, a Disney-centric version of Comic-Con, provides an exclusive look at the studio's productions from film to television, as well as what's new at the theme parks. Behind-the-scenes panels of upcoming 2011-12 releases, such as a preview of The Muppets, with excerpted footage, filmmaker discussions and star appearances will include panels with the head of production at Disney, John Lasseter of Pixar Animation and the president of Marvel Studios. Events for kids include a trivia tournament, a sneak peek at new toys, video games and collectors items.