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Summer’s long, hot sunny days are suited to baseball games, hitting the beach—and eating and drinking outdoors, of course. Whether it’s peaches in Georgia, garlic in California, oysters in Connecticut or pierogi in Indiana, summer food festivals are a fun, delicious way to explore regional food traditions while getting to see a new place. Here are a few of our favorites.

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International Biscuit Festival | Flickr photo courtesy of Joel Kramer

International Biscuit Festival, Knoxville, TN: May 20, 2017
If you love warm, flaky biscuits, there’s no better place to be than Knoxville. The annual festival features biscuit brunches, a street lined with biscuit tastings, biscuit art and songwriting competitions to pay homage to the baked treat.

Trenton Pork Roll Festival: Trenton, NJ: May 27, 2017
Unless you’re a New Jersey native, you may not be aware that the pork roll is a state delicacy. Learn about—and devour—the processed, sliced pork at the festival, where vendors serve pork roll sandwiches, pork roll pizza, and much more.

Flickr photo courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski

Great Wisconsin Cheese Fest, Little Chute, WI: June 2-4, 2017
Cheeseheads—and plain old cheese lovers—unite at the Wisconsin Cheese Fest, where visitors sample cheeses, take in a cheese carving demo, face off in a cheese curd eating contest and cheer on the cheese parade.

Georgia Peach Festival, Fort Valley, GA: June 10, 2017
Georgia is known for its sweet, juicy peaches, and the fest is held during harvest season to celebrate the crop. Start the day with peach pancakes and end with taking a bite out of the World’s Largest Peach Cobbler.

Key Lime Festival, Key West, FL, July 1-4: 2017
Florida’s tiny, tart limes are on display at this quirky Key West fest, which features a Key lime martini and margarita bar crawl, samples of five variations on Key lime pie, a Key lime pie-eating contest and many more delicious events.

The Moxie Festival, Lisbon, ME: July 7–9, 2017
Moxie, Maine’s herbal soft drink, may be an acquired taste, but with a Moxie parade, Moxie recipe contest, and a Moxie chugging competition, you’ll be well on your way to understanding the cult favorite soda.

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Garlic Festival | Flickr photo courtesy of Eugene Kim

Gilroy Garlic Festival, Gilroy, CA: July 28-30, 2017
If garlic ice cream sounds tasty, score tickets to the Gilroy Garlic Festival now. The weekend fest celebrates all things garlic, with snacks likes garlic fries, garlic calamari and garlic popcorn, plus celebrity chef cook-offs, a garlic-eating contest and more.

Pierogi Fest, Whiting, IN: July 28-30, 2017
Whiting celebrates Eastern European heritage in many forms at the annual Pierogi Fest—participate in a polka dance-off, watch Slovak dancers and, of course, sample a wide range of meat and cheese–stuffed pierogi, as well as other Polish dishes.

Blueberry festival | Flickr photo courtesy of Chattanooga Market

National Blueberry Festival, South Haven, MI: August 10-13, 2017
Blueberries rule in Michigan, where the National Blueberry Festival celebrates the berries with all-you-can-eat blueberry pancake breakfasts, a blueberry pie-eating contest, other blueberry snacks, and a 5k and 10k race to run some of the treats off.

Milford Oyster Festival, Milford, CT: August 19, 2017
If nothing sounds better than a dozen chilled oysters and an ice-cold beer, head to Milford, where this year’s fest features 35,000 oysters and clams. The bivalves include 19 different varieties from eight Eastern states, so slurp some new-to-you oysters and round out the day with a lobster roll.

Hatch Chile Festival, Hatch, NM: September 2-3, 2017
Lovers of spicy food can head to the Chile Capital of the World for the Hatch Chile Festival, which challenges eaters with dishes like green chile cheeseburgers, a chile toss and chile-eating contest. Take home freshly roasted green chiles or unique chile powders as souvenirs.

What the Fluff? Marshmallow Fluff Festival, Somerville, MA: September 23, 2017
Wind down your summer festival-going with Somerville‘s Marshmallow Fluff Festival, devoted to the sticky marshmallow spread. Play a marshmallow toss or Fluff jousting before snacking on Fluffernutter milkshakes, Fluff-covered strawberries—even Fluff with pickles. Yum?


Tagged: California, Cheap Tips, Events, Festivals, Food & drink

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Amy Cavanaugh

Amy Cavanaugh

Amy is Senior Editor at Plate Magazine, where she covers chefs and bartenders across the country. Based in Chicago, she has also written for Time Out Chicago, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Serious Eats and Saveur.

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