The Akita Kanto Festival is Akita's best known summer festival and one of the top festivals in the Tohoku region, attracting large crowds. It is held every year in the 1st week of August in Akita City in hope for a good harvest. During the festival, over 200 bamboo poles each 5 to 12m long, bearing 24 or 46 lanterns, weighing up to 50kg, will be carried and balanced by individual performers as they parade down the city streets. The festival has long historical significance. It is believed to date back as far as 1789 where it was first referred to in a travel diary, "The Road where the Snow Falls." In 1980, the festival was designated by the Japanese Government as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property.