From Baby Food To Sardines To Possum: 10 Very Specific Food Festivals To Visit This Summer

There’s a food for everyone and apparently, judging by this list of interesting food festivals put together by the Chicago Tribune, there’s a festival for everyone’s particular favorite food.

It’s really only 9-ish, because even though the participants in the annual Tomatina tomato-hurling fracas in Spain certainly swallow their fair share of the red fruit, it’s really not about eating and more of an excuse just to get messy.

Without further caveats, here’s the list:

National Baby Food Festival: This event kicks off today in Freemont, MI, home to baby food behemoth Gerber. Feel free to take part in the Baby Food Eating Contest. I just hope there aren’t too many cosplay types at this particular fest, which runs through July 24.

Pierogi Fest:If you’re near Whiting, IN, between July 23-25 and you like Pierogies, join in the Pierogi tossing contest.

Gilroy Garlic Festival: This one’s pretty self-explanatory and if you’ve watched the Food Channel (or Food TV or Food Network, whatever it’s called this month), you’ve probably already heard about it. Regardless, if you want to keep Robert Pattinson and his sexy vampire fangs away, head over to stinky Gilroy, CA, from July 23-25.

Clark Potato Day: Sure, most people associate the potato with Idaho, but you’ll have to head to Clark, SD, on July 31 if you want to see the festival’s “world famous” Mashed Potato Wrestling.

Sardine Festival: For those traveling through Greece on Aug. 1, and who also happen to loooooove sardines, there’s this festival in Kalloni, Lesvos.

National Mustard Day & Festival: I love mustard, but had no idea there was a day dedicated to the stuff, let alone a musuem and a festival. It’s almost tempting enough to make me think about heading to the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisc on Aug. 7 to check it out. Almost.

Possum Festival: There’s really nothing I can say about this that the festival’s name didn’t already tell you. Regardless, if you’re in Wausau, FL, on Aug. 7 and want to try out some possum ice cream, head over to the 41st Funday & Possum Festival.

World Gravy Wrestling Championships: To our readers in the north of England (or the South of Scotland), here’s your chance to watch folks slather themselves up with gravy before they grapple. The event takes place on Aug. 30 and it’s all part of the Pennine Lancashire Festival of Food and Culture.

Humungus Fungus Fest: It’s all about ‘shrooms (the legal kind) at this festival in Crystal Falls, MI, home to the world’s largest fungus. The fun(gus) kicks off Aug. 12 and runs through Aug. 15.

La Tomatina As mentioned above, this isn’t exactly a food festival so much as it’s a mammoth food fight that has everyone hurling tomatoes at each other until there’s no more red stuff to fling. The tomato toss, which takes place on Aug. 25, is really the culmination of a week-long celebration. So if you’re in Bunol, Spain this summer, don’t even bother to bring a smock; this ain’t no Gallagher show.

Okay, the Tribune’s list has some good items, but I think — nay, I know — that you all have some better festivals to add to this list. Put ’em in the comments or e-mail them to the tipline and if we get a big enough list, we’ll post something more comprehensive for next year.

Ten at 10: Wacky food festivals [Chicago Tribune]


Edit Your Comment

  1. james.c.obrien says:

    What, no mention of Yarmouth Maine’s annual Clam festival? I’m shocked and appalled.

  2. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    None of those seem extremely appetizing, least of all the possum festival. Uggh. I would love to go to the La Tomatina, but all of those wonderful, delicious tomatoes wasted when you could’ve made the whole affair into a tomato festival in which attendees feast upon spaghetti, lasagna, bolognese, and anything else using tomatoes. Om nom nom.

  3. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Anyone eat woodchucks/groundhogs/whistle pigs/gophers? because I have been just feeding the to the turtles in my stream…

  4. tungstencoil says:

    I might have to head to Whiting.

  5. smo0 says:

    Mmmm food…

    but this… “Regardless, if you want to keep Robert Pattinson and his sexy vampire fangs away, head over to stinky Gilroy, CA, from July 23-25.”

    I hate you so hard right now, Chris!


  6. moyawyvern says:

    I was hoping for a mention of the Okra Strut in Irmo, South Carolina.

    • Hoss says:

      I’d go to that one — i love gumbo

      • moyawyvern says:

        Sadly, it seems that it may not happen this year. I do understand, since it makes “downtown” Irmo almost impassible for 2 days, and it is right on top of a major commercial thoroughfare. I am fine if it happens, as long as it doesn’t block the way to my house.

  7. pop top says:

    It may have been last month but you guys didn’t mentioned Gizzard Fest in Potterville, MI. :D

  8. DAK says:

    The Gilroy Garlic Festival is incredible. Kind of a pain to get in and out, but there’s some amazing food there, especially the garlic pepper/steak sandwiches.

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      It’s a pain in the neck to get ANYWHERE around here during the Garlic Festival.
      And don’t forget the Garlic Ice Cream!

  9. xspook says:

    Frog leg festival – Fellsmere, FL Yummy! (Not in the summer, though).

  10. JulesNoctambule says:

    What? No mention of Salley, SC’s Chitlin Strut? There’s even a beauty pageant. Who wouldn’t want to be the Chitlin Queen?

  11. Speedstr says:

    That possum looks deceptively cute. Must have gotten up early and put on it’s make up before it went out. Shhh! Don’t tell PETA.

  12. Sardis says:

    Pumpkintown SC has a pumpkin festival.

  13. NotAppealing says:

    The Baby Food Festival is actually in Fremont, MI. It’s a fun time, very small-town Americana.

  14. Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

    My hometown of Crowley, LA has an annual Rice Festival. There’s plenty of good Cajun food there.

  15. RandomHookup says:
  16. emt888 says:

    “National Mustard Day & Festival: I love mustard, but had no idea there was a day dedicated to the stuff, let alone a musuem and a festival. It’s almost tempting enough to make me think about heading to the National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisc on Aug. 7 to check it out. Almost.”

    I read this while wearing my National Mustard Day t-shirt. Seriously, if you’re in the Middleton area on Aug. 7th and you want a down home, hokey, inexpensive festival, you should think about going.

  17. hotdogsunrise says:

    Don’t forget about the Garlic Festival in Cuba…. NY.

  18. DragonflyLotus says:

    World’s Largest Calf Fry and Festival, Venita, Oklahoma. Every August.

  19. WagTheDog says:

    What about the Lentil Festival? I smell curry now…..

  20. onthebases says:

    What about the Livermush Festival in Shelby, NC? Grape jelly or mustard with your livermush sandwich?

  21. Azagthoth says:

    It is over already but you should never miss the Testicle Festival in Woodruff Utah.

  22. FrugalFreak says:
  23. fuzzmanmatt says:

    Two festivals in Michigan? That’s awesome! Here’s some more: Bay Port’s Fish Sandwich Festival, the first weekend in August, celebrates fried fish sandwiches. It’s delicious! Next weekend is the Munger Potato Fest, celebrating potatoes, . Back in June Sebewaing celebrated the Michigan Sugar Festival. Sugar processing stinks, but it’s fun! . These are just the festivals in the Thumb that I remember, I know there’s more!

  24. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I want to go to the tomato fight. That needs to go on my bucket list. I’ve been to the Garlic Festival. It’s pretty neat, but usually boiling hot that time of year.

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      It was brutal last week, but the weather is behaving itself this week so far.
      Part of the “fun” of the festival is trying to figure out if certain people are intoxicated or suffering from heat exhaustion.

  25. MsFab says:

    No mention of Potterville’s Gizzard Festival? That is the best!

  26. Patricia says:

    Y’all come to Anahuac, Texas (The Alligator Capital of Texas) Sept. 10-12, 2010 for the Texas Gatorfest!

  27. honeybee says:

    I went to the Horseradish Festival in Collinsville, IL one summer. Good times! Two things I remember were the rather large helium horseradish-shaped balloon and various contests involving horseradish roots (I don’t believe there was a horseradish eating contest, thankfully).

    Also, Morton, IL has a pumpkin festival each fall. And later in the season is the pumpkin chuckin’ contest also in Morton. (I believe there’s one in Deleware too?)