The Festival of Fibs

Each November, the best liars on the planet gather in the isolated hamlet of Santon Bridge in western Cumbria, UK, to tell the most elaborate fibs. The contest is open to all but Members of Parliament, who are deemed to be “professional” liars in the amateur arena. The contest has its roots in the 19th century, when a pub owner named Will Ritson became known for serving up a yarn with every pint at his pub. Almost 130 years after Ritson’s death, the contest now takes place in the Bridge Inn and has become a more formal affair. Tickets sell for $17, which includes a hearty stew of mystery meat and potatoes. Entrants are given five minutes to tell the biggest and most convincing untruth they can muster, and no cue cards are allowed. The competition is open to both men and women, though men tend to dominate. In fact, British comedian Sue Perkins is the only female victor, winning in 2006. Winners receive a world’s biggest liar trophy, a tie and a beanie hat.