07/04/2012 07:14 am ET | Updated Sep 03, 2012

Summer Festivals Offer Thrills Gratis (PHOTOS)

You've been planning this July 4th since well before Memorial Day -- the barbecue, the fireworks, maybe a community parade -- but what about the rest of the summer?

There are plenty of free festivals and events taking place across the country this July and August that are well worth a spot on your busy social calendar. We may not have been able to include every event we found (here's to you, Grainger County Tomato Festival), but we tried to pick a mix of unique fests in popular summer destinations.

From the country's oldest free Shakespeare festival to a Jerry Garcia tribute day, from rock concerts on the beach to movies under the stars, mark your calendars for the best free summer entertainment the U.S. has to offer.

Free Summer Festivals