->''"By the way, the festival was supposed to occur on the day ''the world ends up ending''. And it's the '''[[ColonyDrop Moon]]''' Festival, go figure. Yay, irony! ''(as {{Creator/Shigeru Miyamoto}})'' Miyamoto like irony."''
-->-- '''WebVideo/JesuOtaku''''s LetsPlay of ''[[{{VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask}} The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask]]''

A common plot in AttackOfTheKillerWhatever movies. The town that is under attack happens to be holding a festival. Generally this is accompanied by [[SuitWithVestedInterests an official that]] [[WhatAnIdiot refuses to cancel the town festival for economic reasons]]. This in turn puts the public at risk and the hero of the story now has a whole town to protect from the fearsome people-eating whatever.

Bonus points if the festival in question features some theme, object or commodity (besides potential victims) which would naturally attract the Killer Whatever.

See also HorrorDoesntSettleForSimpleTuesday for the holiday variant. Not to be confused with AFeteWorseThanDeath, where the festival is ''itself'' the threat.
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!!Examples:
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: {{Anime}} & {{Manga}}]]
* In ''[[Anime/AfroSamurai Afro Samurai: Resurrecton]]'', Afro battles the new Number Two during the town festival. At the same time, the BigBad sends a bunch of assassins to ambush him. [[KillEmAll Everyone but Afro, the DJ, and the Number Two dies.]] [[spoiler: Then Afro kills the other two.]]
* Happened in MahouSenseiNegima during the Mahora festival.
** Also Cosmo Entelecheia's attack during General-Governor's Ball.
* In ''Anime/ElfenLied'', one of [[spoiler: child-Lucy]]'s rampages, and the culminating endpoint of her StartOfDarkness, occurs during a local town festival.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: ComicBooks]]
* Very literal example happens in ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}'', where a pagan costume festival (which is also helping to revive the town) causes everyone in fancy dress to [[BecomingTheCostume become whatever they're dressed as]] and become murderously insane (new father in baby costume to infant: "You're taking all of mummy's attention and it's! not! fair!" *splat*; a dentist(?) with a rictus grin mask wants [[StepfordSmiler EVERYONE]] [[GlasgowGrin TO]] [[SlasherSmile SMILE!]]). John and his friend discover that [[ThePowerOfRock loud punk rock]] cancels the effect [[spoiler: a little too late: an ex-fighter pilot is "cured" just seconds after he releases a nuke, destroying the town and everyone in it (except John, of course).]]
* The ''OddThomas'' graphic novel by Dean Koontz has a subtle twist. The police chief, despite sincerly believing in the evidence, can't spare any cops to hunt down a child-killer because they are all working security for the festival. This, of course, leaves it up to the plucky teenage heros to save the day.
* Multiple [[Comicbook/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy]] comic books (Pre-Season 8) had festivals/celebrations become interupted by huge monster fights.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheCurseOfTheWereRabbit'' has a vegetable festival. Since the eponymous creature is a giant ''rabbit'', it's ''only'' the focus of the festival that will attract it, and the people are in no real danger. The festival is SeriousBusiness, though.
* ''WesternAnimation/CloudyWithAChanceOfMeatballs'', where the threat is the very reason for the festival. More specifically, the raining food which has made the town famous enough to become a tourist attraction is now overmutating, becoming bigger and more unstable.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* While it wasn't a festival, this was the reason the town officials tried to deny that there was a shark near the town in ''Film/{{Jaws}}''. Closing the beach would ruin the town's tourist business over the Fourth of July weekend. Then, ''Film/{{Jaws 2}}'' was centered around the opening of yet another summer season, ''Film/Jaws3D'' around the celebration of a theme park's opening, and the beginning of the fourth film was set against the backdrop of preparations for the Christmas festivities.
* ''Film/{{Alligator}}'' has its eponymous giant predator attack a wedding. The sequel-cum-remake has ''its'' mutant version attack a carnival.
* ''Film/{{Batman}}'' (1989). The Gotham 200th Anniversary Festival is in trouble because people are scared of high crime in the city, and the conflict between the Joker and the gangsters and the Joker's poisoning of the population make it worse. Despite all this, the mayor insists that the Festival must occur so businesses will come back to the city.
** Eventually, the mayor does give in when it becomes obvious that it's simply too dangerous to hold a festival... which is The Joker's cue to pick up the slack. And he's giving out free money! Why, how could ''that'' hurt anyone?
* ''Film/TheSwarm'' featured killer bees attacking a small-town "Flower Festival".
** The TV-movie ''Killer Bees'' had the swarm attacking during a honey festival.
* In ''Film/DantesPeak'', the volcano begins "waking up" during the town's "Pioneer Festival". Which happens just when a new factory is being moved to the town, and the town's naming as one of the best places to live in the United States. The town's officials are a little hesitant to declare an emergency. Which works real well.
* ''Lightning Strikes'': In this SciFiChannel MadeForTVMovie the pumpkin festival in interrupted by killer lightning after the mayor refuses the cancel it after being warned.
* ''Film/KingdomOfTheSpiders''. The town is preparing for the county fair, and the mayor tries to keep a lid on reports of tarantula attacks on livestock.
* In John Carpenter's ''Film/TheFog'', the target town is holding its bicentennial celebration - which happens to be the anniversary of a revenge-worthy event, resulting in the FogOfDoom.
* ''Film/TheGiantSpiderInvasion'' has the spider attack a town festival. However, there's no "refusing to cancel the festival" subplot, because the festival is literally never mentioned until the spider shows up to crash it.
* In ''Film/FrankensteinMeetsTheWolfMan'' all the monstrous doins' in Frankenstein's ruins take place during the village's "Festival of the New Wine."
* In ''[[Film/TransylvaniaSixFiveThousand Transylvania 6-5000]]'', town officials frantically attempt to get rid of the local monsters so they can boost revenues from festivals and expand the tourist trade. Unusual in that [[spoiler: the "monsters", none of which are genuine, only become a problem ''because'' the local busybodies are trying to chase them off.]]
* The big fishman attack in ''Film/HumanoidsFromTheDeep'' occurs at the town festival.
* In Uwe Boll's rendition of ''Film/HouseOfTheDead'', zombies attack an open rave held on the island the movie takes place; the main cast is LateToTheTragedy.
* The 1997 Italian film ''Tentacles'' starring Henry Fonda has the Giant Octopus attack the sea resort during a big sailing event, snatching many helpless kids from their boats in the process. The fact that the creature moves at jet drive speed isn't helping at all.
* In ''Film/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen'', the Fantom tries to sink Venice during a carnival.
* SleepingWithTheEnemy: Laura's abusive ex stalks her and her new boyfriend through a local carnival.
* Similarly, ''Literature/SafeHaven'' has the heroine's abusive husband stalking her through the Fourth of July festivities of the small town she's fled to.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature]]
* The '''Darke''' outbreak in ''Literature/SeptimusHeap Darke'' occurs right during Septimus's and Jenna's birthday and Longest Night.
* Bizarre variant from Creator/CliveBarker's "In The Hills, The Cities": the monster actually ''is'' a town, whose citizens have all lashed themselves together into a gigantic humanoid figure as part of an annual ceremonial "battle" between their gestalt-giant and a neighboring town's. This festival didn't just attract a monster, it ''built'' the darn thing.
* In OneHundredYearsOfSolitude, guerrillas open fire on the citizens of Macondo as they're holding a carnival.
* In the novel ''Literature/TheRelic'', the New York Museum of Natural History is gearing up for the grand opening of its "Superstition" exhibition. All of the city's most influential people will be there, and the Museum would very much like to have this dreadful business about the murders dealt with as quietly as possible.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: {{Live Action TV}}]]
* ''Series/MidsomerMurders'' featured this nearly every episode. If it wasn't a festival, it was a regatta, or a fair, or a carnival...
** The episode ''The Straw Woman'' had a village deciding to go ahead with a festival despite the vicar being burnt to death. The replacement vicar was then also murdered.
* A variation on this occurs in the ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' episode "Ring-a-ding Girl". An actress leaves her press tour to stop off at her home town, where the big annual town picnic is going to be held that very afternoon. She convinces the powers that be to move the scheduled picnic to the high school gymnasium, where she will appear as a surprise guest. At the end, a plane (the very plane Ringading Girl was flying in) crashes in the field where the picnic was supposed to take place.
* The Pioneer Days celebration in Juniper, NV, is menaced by shriekers in an episode of ''[[Series/{{Tremors}} Tremors: The Series]]''. The townsfolk actually ''do'' know about the shriekers, they just have no idea how dangerous they are and don't expect wild animals to come into town.
* ''Series/AlfredHitchcockPresents'' did a revised version of ''Film/TheLadyVanishes'' for one episode. In it, this trope provides the reason for the mysterious disappearance of the eponymous lady and the town's collusion with it: the lady died of some highly communicable disease. Because the town's well-being rests on the success of a world's fair (or some such event) they're putting on at great expense, they attempt to suppress news of the death. The episode starred Hitchcock's daughter Patricia who'd appeared in some of his 50's era movies. "How'd you like the little leading lady?" he asks in the epilogue.
* ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'' does this. A lot. One gets the impression that the constant festivities are a desperate attempt to distract people from all the murders.
* On ''Series/{{Banshee}}'' the town is having a festival when a biker gang comes into town. The bikers have come through the area before without serious incidents but this time they decide to have some fun and one of them tries to rape Carrie. A sheriff's deputy kills the would-be-rapist and the other bikers decide to exact revenge on the town by riding their bikes through the festival and attacking people.
* In ''Series/CougarTown'', the town's annual Buccaneer Week festival is endangered when Bobby reports being attacked by giant jellyfish. Andy, as mayor, is torn between closing the beach on rumors from a known CloudCuckoolander or keeping it open and losing the trust of his best friend. In the end they both go into the water to prove that the beach is safe... and are badly stung by jellyfish.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: {{Tabletop Games}}]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}:'' The first adventure of the first Adventure Path, ''Rise of the Runelords,'' begins during the Swallowtail Festival being celebrated in the small town of Sandpoint. The [=PC=]s first come to prominence when they have to defend the town against a goblin raid that happens during the festivities.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: {{Video Games}}]]
* The plot of ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' was kicked off by an invention being exhibited at one, the Millenia Fair, in 1000 AD. However, it was not attacked.
** The festival in 65,000,000 B.C. was attacked by reptites, though.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'' had a town continue a festival despite the moon dropping on them. Not that running would help anything, but seeing a guard not leave his post, just looking at the moon, really gives a "this is the end" feeling.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheMinishCap'' opened with a festival. The winner of its contest caused quite a bit of trouble...
* Played with in ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2''. West Harbor's Harvest Festival is the JustifiedTutorial; the githyanki attack that kicks off the plot happens that night.
* The plot in ''VideoGame/DarkCloud'' was kicked off when the genie attacked our hero's town, during a festival.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVII'' has Engow's Festival of Flame, which involves throwing torches into a volcano as part of a whole symbolic "returning the God of Flame's gifts" exercise. [[FortuneTeller Pamela]] had a vision of the volcano erupting right after the ceremony ends, but their leader refuses to listen, playing this trope to the hilt.
** This then gets flipped around when [[spoiler: PresentDay Engow no longer holds the Festival of Flame, and the God of Flame turns out to be real after all, and less than pleased with their lapse of worship.]]
* This happens at the beginning of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'', where the Star Festival in Toad Town is brutally interrupted by Bowser and his flying Airships.
** Also happens in the [[VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2 sequel]].
* Similarly, in ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006'', Soleanna's Festival Of Light gets interrupted by Eggman's arrival.
** In ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations'', when Sonic goes back to [[VideoGame/SonicUnleashed Spagonia]], there is some type of celebration happening.
* The plot of AlanWake is set in the week before [[TownWithADarkSecret Bright Falls']] "Deerfest". [[spoiler:And in one level, the town float gets possessed and tries to run you over, potentially becoming [[AttackOfTheKillerWhatever Attack Of The Killer Town Festival]].]]
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII: DirgeOfCerberus'', a town is celebrating the whole Sephiroth fiasco. What happens? Soldiers arrive and start shooting and capturing anything that moved.
** Cue Vincent Valentine to go into BadAss stalker mode and wiping most of the force out with a triple-barreled pistol.
** [[CutscenePowerToTheMax ...in cutscenes.]]
* In ''WildArms'', a devastating demon attack strikes Adlehyde during a major festival. Everyone in the festival grounds was killed, and only a handful of survivors can be rescued from the main town.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Ys}} VI'', the Rehdan Village is raided by the Romun army just before the Festival of Alma.
* In ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert3'', the first mission in the Empire campaign has the player leading an attack on a Russian town in the midst of New Year's celebrations. The opposing commander berates you over the comlink for this, saying that he'll defeat you quickly so that his men will still have time to celebrate.
* The final mission of ''VideoGame/RainbowSix 3: Raven Shield'' is to stop a GrimReaper parade float from unleashing a mustard gas bomb on the Festas Juninas.
* ''[[VideoGame/GoldenSun Golden Sun: The Lost Age]]'' does this off-screen. The Great Serpent of Mount Mikage attacked the town of Izumo in the middle of an unspecified festival. It is implied that that the Serpent woke up because of either [[NiceJobBreakingItHero your actions in the first game (as Isaac)]] or [[AnotherSideAnotherStory your actions in the first game (as Felix)]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The first 'Kitten' arc of ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' parodied the ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' example with the local sheriff refusing to make any serious investigation into some murders because it might scare away the tourists. The person who is trying to get an investigation counters that the town's tourist trade consists of renting a few cabins to college kids, and that she could cover the town's loss out of her own pocket. She is promptly ignored.
* In the ''Webcomic/BadMachinery'' side-story "THAT", the town of Heaven, Arizona is attacked by giant moths during its Lemon Festival.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]

* In the two-part pilot of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', Twilight is sent to to [[{{Descriptiveville}} Ponyville]] to make sure the Summer Sun Celebration goes well... only to have it coincide with [[SealedEvilInACan Nightmare Moon's return]] and subsequent attempt to bring about TheNightThatNeverEnds.
** In the Season 4 two-part premiere, Ponyville comes under attack on the eve of the Celebration again, this time by [[ManEatingPlant killer vines]] planted by Discord before the princesses first sealed him in stone.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Averted in UsefulNotes/WW1. Both the German and English armies decided to exchange presents between the trenches at Christmas.
* At the Marathon campaign, the Spartan army delayed its intervention because of a festival.
** When they arrived they found that they were too late and the Athenians were resting AtopAMountainOfCorpses.
* The Yom Kippur War. Which of course started during Yom Kippur. (Arguably HorrorDoesntSettleForSimpleTuesday, since the invaders ''purposely'' chose to attack when they knew everyone would be fasting and off duty.)
** And the Tet Offensive.
* When you think about it Pearl Harbor was about at the beginning of the Christmas season. Which did not soften the recipients [[ThisMeansWar expected reaction]].
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Pel%C3%A9e Mont Pelée]] was about to erupt. The local government, which was facing an election, tried to keep everyone from panicking. The town of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint-Pierre,_Martinique Saint-Pierre]] was not only the largest city in Martinique at the time, but its population swelled to several times its size as people migrated from the countryside to vote in elections. This contributed to the death toll of 30121 people.
* The fire-bombing of Dresden in 1945 occurred over the Shrove Tuesday festivities.
* Washington's Christmas attack on the Hessian encampment during the Revolutionary War.
[[/folder]]

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