Festivals of Food
Everything's better with garlic! For 30 years, the good people of Gilroy, California, have been celebrating their favorite crop with parades, musical entertainment and arts and crafts. But the real show is the garlic itself. More than two tons of it is used to flavor everything from penne to pepper steak. In 2007 alone, festival goers consumed more than 8,000 servings of garlic fries, 11,000 stuffed mushrooms and over 16,000 slices of garlic bread. If you're feeling really adventurous, try the garlic ice cream!
Amateur chefs get into the action too with the Great Garlic Cook-Off, one of the most popular cooking competitions in the country. And, the Garlic Showdown pits four prominent Bay Area chefs in an Iron Chef competition for a $5,000 prize.
Since its inception, this three-day event—which requires the work of 4,000 community volunteers—has raised nearly $8 million for various local charities!
For more information, visit gilroygarlicfestival.com.
Visitors to this northern Indiana fest can spend their time carousing tables packed with arts and crafts, warm up their pitching arms at the dunking booth or dine on a variety of scrumptious snacks like polish sausages, fried corn on the cob and potato latkes. Even the family pet can get in on the act with special pooch-only pierogies flavored with puppy-friendly peanut butter.
No visit to Pierogi Fest would be complete without catching an afternoon performance by Mr. Pierogi and the Pieroguettes as well as the pierogi toss, polka parade and a game of Eastern Bloc Jeopardy.
Before packing up your "Hey, nice pierogies" T-shirt and hitting the road, make sure to grab a box of those delicious dumplings to go!
For more information, visit pierogifest.net.
July 29-August 2
While your there, don't miss King Neptune and his court arrive from the briny deep to raise the official lobster fest flag. So, grab your bib and get ready to dig in.
For more information, visit mainelobsterfestival.com.
Santa Paula, California
Pucker up for lemon juice drinking contests and lemon bobbing. Not to mention awards for largest citrus, fastest peeling and best lemon bars. Yum.
For more information, visit santapaulafestival.org.
Byron and Fort Valley, Georgia
From the "painting of the peaches" to water slides and fireworks, the peach fest has something for everyone. It's even home to "The World's Largest Peach Cobbler" which is served free to festival goers on the last day of the event.
For more information, visit gapeachfestival.com.
Doyle Park, Little Chute, Wisconsin
Ready for a break from all that gooey deliciousness? The event also has a petting zoo, balloon creations, a chainsaw artist and amusement rides. Want more? How about juggling, karate or wine tasting? No matter how you cut it, this is an event not to be missed.
For more information, visit littlechutewi.org.
For the first time this year, there will be a Project Runway-inspired candy-wrapper fashion design contest, a children's parade and a geocache treasure hunt. Not to mention culinary demonstrations and a chocolate bake-off. Mmmm...delicious.
For more information, visit chocolatefest.com.