Realism and D&D make for uncomfortable bedfellows, as we all know. We probably shouldn't devote too much time to trying to make the game emulate reality. Even so, I've occasionally wondered why more DM's don't include the sort of background flavour events - weddings, festivals, religious ceremonies - that can really add to the feeling that the players really are in a world, not just in a crudely drawn dungeon map.
What follows is an example "encounter": a town in the midst of celebrating the wedding of local celebreties followed by a random table of situations that might befall or attract the attention of the PCs.
Myself, I use stuff like this a lot. My calendars are peppered with special events and festivals. Even if the PCs don't get involved themselves, it's important that world clearly go on around them, and without them sometimes. Special events are also great times for the big revelation. Paizo's first Pathfinder adventure, "Burnt Offerings", uses a local ceremony to bring the party together and start things rolling with a bang.