Celebrating food is an American pastime. Nobody does bizarre food festivals quite like the U.S. of A.
From biscuits to chicken wings to garlic, there is (almost guaranteed) a festival for your favorite food somewhere across the country.
So get ready because we proclaim this summer the summer of food.
Camp Bacon in Ann Arbor, Michigan
June 1-5, 2016
Five whole days of nothing but bacon. Seriously. The event draws bacon fans, bacon makers, journalists, sociologists (apparently), chefs, culinary historians and journalists.
Camp Bacon is coming! Join us June 1-5, 2016 for a five-day celebration of great pork. #bacon #campbacon #baconlovers #baconevents #ilovebacon #foodie #annarborfoodie #yum This event is a fundraiser for @southernfoodways and @washtenaw4hmi. Please visit our website to reserve your seat and for more information: http://zcob.me/campbacon
There’s a bacon street fair, a bacon ball withbacon, ham and prosciutto as appetizers and even a culinary film festival.
Egg Festival in Mentone, Indiana
June 2-4, 2016
Put all your eggs in one basket at a whole festival dedicated to the incredible, edible egg.
Every year,Mentone “Egg City” whips up a weekend of entertainment that includes a parade, car show, something called the “Miss Chick and Mr. Rooster” contest and an egg toss.
Strawberry Festival in Lebanon, Oregon
June 2-5, 2016
This year is the 107th annual strawberry festival in Oregon. The weekend-long extravaganza comes complete with obscure world record: The world’s largest strawberry shortcake.
The 5,700 pound shortcake which feeds over 15,000 attendees is paraded through Lebanon every year and is the main draw of the festival.
Oyster Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana
June 4-5, 2016
The salty gem of the sea should be celebrated all-year round. Luckily, New Orleans has taken the helm for the first weekend in June.
The two-day festival includes a shucking contest, cooking demonstrations, “eating championship” and plenty of live music this is New Orleans, after all.
Celebrate the oyster with some lemon or hot sauce or just enjoy its salty brine, you brazen oyster fiend.
Beer Cheese Festival in Winchester, Kentucky
June 11, 2016
Few foods are as mysterious and arcane as the legendary Beer Cheese. Is it alcohol? Is it dairy? Is it both?
However you classify it, go and celebrate it in Kentuckywith a blind taste test, live music and endless inspiration to add beer cheese to every single meal from now on.
National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan
July 2-9, 2016
Few things announce the arrival of summer better than when the grocery store produce aisles transform with an abundance of cherries.
Parade through an endless stream of the nation’s best cherries at the National Cherry Festivalin Michigan. The festival is over a century old and comes with a century of traditions, like the crowning of the Cherry Queen and the “blessing of the blossoms.”
It won’t be the pits.
Mango Festival in Coral Gables, Florida
July 9-10, 2016
A mango brunch, lectures, demonstrations and mango vendors round out this weekend-long celebration of the “King of Tropical Fruit.”
This year’s festival will be the 24th annual at Coral Gables Botanical Garden. For those inspired by the mango bounty, the garden will sell mango trees and provide lessons to ensure a fruitful tree-growing experience.
Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival in Atlanta, Georgia
July 17, 2016
There are cult movies and then there is Attack of the Killer Tomato.
Tomatoes appear in practically every dish, drink and carnival ride at the festival. And on top of a fun theme, the event raises money for Georgia Organics, a nonprofit working to connect Georgia residents with organic produce.
Vermont Cheesemakers Festival in Shelburne, Vermont
July 17, 2016
There are a few things that Vermont takes very seriously: asserting its differences from New Hampshire, maple syrup and cheddar cheese.
The state has the highest number of cheesemakers per capita and over one weekend in July, they all convene in Shelburne to celebrate their craft.
Festival attendees can partake in a cheesemaking demonstration, cheddar tasting course and endless cheese samples.
Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California
July 29-31, 2016
The Gilroy Garlic Festival rated their top 10 attractions so all attendees know exactly how to prioritize their schedules for the weekend.
While “free garlic ice cream” would be the number one attraction at any other festival, at the Gilroy Garlic Festival the main draw is Gourmet Alleywhere “pyro chefs” set garlicky foods on fire and put on an elaborate, flambeed spectacle.
Lobster Festival in Rockport, Maine
August 3-7, 2016
There is, of course, a lobster-eating contest, but plenty of other unexpected activities like an art show, “Sea Goddess Coronation,” pancake breakfast and parade.
Attendees can try their luck at the Great International Lobster Crate Race. The winner for the past two years has been an eight-year-old boy who ran on 3,000 wooden lobster crates across the Maine coastline.
Hot Dog Festival in Chicago, Illinois
August 5-7, 2016
Chicago Hot Dog Festival @ChubbyWieners Stand Half of a Chicago Style Wiener Half of a Back Yard Wiener – smoked bacon over country style potato salad & spicy chipotle aioli Half of a Southwest Wiener – spicy chipotle chili mayo topped with French fried onions #chicago #chicagodog #chubbywieners #saturday #chicagohotdogfest #hotdogfest #hotdog #lotsofwieners #wienerseverywhere
It may just be a tube of unidentifiable meat smushed in some bread, but the hot dog’s topping possibilities are endless.
Every year, the Chicago History Museum hosts an event around the food and its thousand iterations.
The museum hosts lectures by “the citys top hot dog historians and restaurateurs,” with plenty of additional activities for dogs and kids.
Ice Cream Festival in Austin, Texas
August 13, 2016
Ice cream and summer go together like summer and ice cream.
Austin’s Ice Cream Fest celebrates the most refreshing dessert of the summer with trucks, stalls and a popsicle stick sculpture contest.
I scream! You scream! We all eat too much ice cream and regret it the rest of the day!
Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival in Buffalo, New York
September 3-4, 2016
Every year, the baseball stadium in downtown Buffalo is taken over by rabid wing fans, looking to sample the best of this year’s wings.
Restaurants come from all over the country to compete in “The Superbowl of Chicken Wings” and competitive eaters show up to see who can eat the most of them.
And don’t call them “Buffalo Wings” unless you want a lecture about how they’re just called “wings” here.
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