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5 of fall's most unique festivals

Gone are the days of sunbathing and outdoor cookouts. Ready or not, summer is on its way out as fall comes roaring in. However, a handful of festivals throughout the country are here to celebrate the changing season -- chilly weather and all.

1. Trailing of the Sheep Festival -- Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley, Idaho

As an essential component to the region's history, residents in the area Idaho started a five-day festival full of exhibits, performances and classes, all centered around the ranching tradition. While there's much to see and do, the main event is the parade of roughly 1,500 sheep herded through Main Street as they wind through the towns.

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2. Bridge Day -- Fayette County, West Virginia

For anyone feeling the need to let out their inner daredevil, the Bridge Day Festival may be the destination of choice. Eighty thousand spectators watch from the New River Gorge Bridge above as participants jump from 876 feet in the air. The actual jump is considered BASE jumping, short for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth.

(Screen capture/OfficialBridgeDay.com)

3. Emma Crawford Festival -- Manitou Springs, Colorado

One displaced woman's remains would normally be thought of as a tragedy, but this town turned it into a celebration. After Emma Crawford died in 1890, her remains were moved not only once but twice, after they had accidentally been unearthed and slid down into a canyon.

(Photo/Manitou Springs)

The town reburied her in the cemetery, and now honors her memory with an annual parade and a coffin-carrying race. Teams push coffins of their own design the length of almost two football fields, and can win awards for Best Coffin and Best Emma.

4. Fantasy Fest -- Key West, Florida

For many, fall is meant to be a time of relaxation with cooler conditions, warm sweaters and muted Earth tones. However, the residents of Key West have rejected that notion.

Fantasy Fest started in 1979 by a few locals to attract visitors to the island during a slow tourist season, and it's been one big party ever since. Bright colors, glow sticks and crazy costumes fill the 10-day festival with every kind of event you can imagine but beware, while there are "family friendly" events, most of them are geared toward adults.

5. Punkin Chunkin -- Bridgeville, Delaware

Not everything is meant to fly; penguins, ostriches, people, but why not pumpkins? The World Championship Punkin Chunkin brings in contestants from all over to see how far their catapult, cannon, or some contraption of the like can fling a pumpkin. There are other elements to the festival as well, including a pageant, a chili cook-off and a pumpkin-cooking contest. The record for farthest pumpkin launched: 4,694.68 feet.

(Facebook photo/Team Smokin)