The season of sun and fun is here, and cities across the country will celebrate by throwing fabulous food festivals. Here are 10 festivals to visit if you want to eat and drink your way across the U.S. this summer.
Georgia Peach Festival
Fort Valley, Georgia; June 3-11
Enjoy concerts, fireworks, arts and crafts, and the event’s main draw—the world’s largest peach cobbler, at 5 x 11 feet and about eight inches deep.
Taste of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois; June 24-July 3
Said to be the world’s largest food festival, more than 2.5 million people attend this event each summer. Sample more than 300 local foods, listen to live music, and take part in family activities, including games and arts and crafts.
Corinth, Mississippi; July 7-9
A slugburger is a deep-fried beef and soy-meal patty served on a bun. The festival includes a carnival, live music, and the Slug Idol singing contest.
Vermont Cheesemakers Festival
Shelburne, Vermont; July 24
Taste more than 100 cheeses from 40 local creameries, along with artisanal smoked meats, breads, and cider. Other highlights include a cooking show and a cheesemaking demonstration.
Gilroy Garlic Festival
Gilroy, California; July 29-31
Eat garlic in every form you can think of! If you’re traditional, enjoy garlic fries and garlic bread. If you’re more bold, try garlic watermelon and garlic frog legs. Don’t forget to taste the free garlic ice cream!
Maine Lobster Festival
Rockland, Maine; August 3-7
This event will serve up more than 20,000 pounds of lobster. It’s also chock full of entertainment: a parade, U.S. Navy Ship tours, fine art, and more. You can sign up for the August 7 Lobster Crate Race, in which contestants try to run across 50 partially submerged lobster crates without falling into the Atlantic Ocean. There are also lobster-eating and codfish-carrying contests for kids.
Pittston Tomato Festival
Pittson, Pennsylvania; August 18-21
Enjoy food, entertainment, a parade, games, rides, and more. On August 20, challenge a friend to a Tomato Fight: For $5, you can bombard each other with as many rotten tomatoes as you can throw!
Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off
Sparks, Nevada; August 31-September 5
Half a million people flock to America’s biggest rib cook-off, which sells roughly 100 tons of ribs. A highlight is the rib-eating tournament, in which participants have 12 minutes to eat as many pounds of ribs as they can. The record is 9.8 pounds!
Lenexa, Kansas; September 10
Lenexa was hailed as the “Spinach Capital of the World” in the 1930s. Popeye would love this festival, which features the world’s largest spinach salad and lots of spinach dishes—even desserts! Kids will enjoy the green lemonade and popcorn.
Kentucky Bourbon Festival
Bardstown, Kentucky; September 13-18
This event’s main draw is Bourbon, made here since 1776. There’s also food, entertainment, and various tours. Kid-friendly activities include horseshoe pitching, barrel racing, locomotive rides, and lots more.