As a country, America is known for its diversity. And we have a whole line of ancestors that we can thank for bringing different cuisine to the melting pot capitol of the world. Each state has its own claim to fame when it comes to food, and that particular food is taken very seriously. In fact, there are festivals held to celebrate said food during the year (I’m talking about you Watermelon Festival in Vincennes, Indiana).
So if you’re a “foodie”, then you’re in luck, because we’re about to give you the best festivals throughout our 50 states (And yes, DC is included because it’s beautiful and I’m impartial to the district).
Peanut Boil Festival—It’s the largest peanut broil in the world and broils 17 tons of peanuts annually
Salmon Festival—Fresh caught salmon from Alaska? Umm yes please!
Taco Festival—There’s a Chihuaua pageant and over 40 different tacos to taste. http://www.aztacofestival.com
World Championship Squirrel Cook Off—Yep, you read that right: Squirrel cook off. This makes the list because of major curiosity. You might not eat anything, but you’ll definitely have a crazy story! http://www.squirrelcookoff.com
California Wine Festival—California Vineyards are known far and wide for producing the best wines. So put down that $4 boxed wine and give your taste buds some class. http://www.californiawinefestival.com
Denver Oktoberfest—One of the largest Oktoberfests in the USA…enough said. http://www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-colorado.html
Chowder Days—New England clam chowder is a must while in Connecticut.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
National Cherry Blossom Festival—The fresh cherry blossoms on the trees provide the perfect scenery to enjoy all the cherry inspired dishes and menus.
Bridgeville Apple Scrapple Festival—‘Scrapple’ is a big deal to people in Delaware, and if you haven’t tried it then mark this down for your bucketlist!
Key Lime Pie Festival—Dedicated to the famous Florida treat.
Peach Festival—Home to the world’s largest peach cobbler and tons of peach inspired food (as well as some fresh peaches).
Kona Coffee Festival—A whole festival dedicated to the coffee harvest season. Get ready to be caffeinated!
Idaho Food Festival—This is a big deal to people in Idaho, and once you attend it will be a big deal to you too.
Taste of Chicago—It’s unlike any “Taste of” you’ve ever been to. Foodies rejoice, because Taste of Chicago hits the spot.
Valparaiso Popcorn Festival—Famous Hoosier, Orville Redenbacher, and popcorn go hand-in-hand.
Nothing compares to the Iowa State Fair. Every type of food you could imagine is either served on a stick or deep-fried to artery clogging goodness.
Kansas Sampler Festival- Another fair style food festival that offers visitors lots options. Apparently the smoked turkey legs are a crowd favorite! http://www.kansassampler.org/festival/page.php?id=168
Poke Sallet Festival- If you’ve ever seen cooked greens on a soul food menu, then you’ve seen sallet. Try sallet (or “cooked salad”) at different booths to sample each unique flavor. http://www.pokesalletfestival.com
The Jambalaya Festival- How could you travel to Louisiana and not try jambalaya? Get ready for some spice and lots of dancing. http://www.jambalayafestival.org
Maine Lobster Festival- Fresh lobster cooked in all its different delicious forms. http://www.mainelobsterfestival.com/schedule/
Chesapeake Crab Festival- Seafood is just too good to pass up while on the coast, so be sure to try crab cakes while you have the chance in Maryland. http://www.mdcrabfest.com
Boston Local Food Festival- Not only will you be tasting some local Boston treats, but this event is a zero-waste festival (meaning it diverts 91% of the waste and offsets 100% of energy use). Going green never tasted so good!
Baconfest- There had to be a bacon festival included in this list. Check out Michigan’s BaconFest in October. http://www.baconfestmichigan.com
Minnesota Garlic Festival- Okay so maybe don’t bring your significant other with you to this festival, but the dishes are well worth one day of garlic breath. http://www.sfa-mn.org/garlicfest/
World Catfish Festival- See if you like catfish…because why not? http://www.belzonims.com/catfishfest.htm
Cider Days- Nothing says fall like pumpkins and apple cider! http://www.springfieldmo.org/events/17144/cider-days
Billings Strawberry Festival- Strawberries are incorporated into every dish, and the color of choice throughout the festival is, of course, red! http://downtownbillings.com/events/strawberry-festival/
Sweet Corn Festival- Come celebrate summer with sweet corn in Omaha’s Botanical Garden. https://www.lauritzengardens.org/Visit/Events_and_Exhibits/Sweet_Corn_Festival/
Las Vegas Greek Food Festival-All I need to say is, “Oompa!”
Food Truck Festival- I’m a bit (okay extremely) obsessed with the whole food truck movement. And after this festival, you will be too! http://foodtruckfestivalsofne.com/wordpress/new-hampshire-food-truck-festival/
Clam Festival- New Jersey has more to offer than you’ve seen on the Jersey Shore. Learn how to eat clams and enjoy the accents. http://www.highlandsnj.com/HBP/calendar/html/clamfestA.html
Southwest Tequila & Taco Fest- There are 50 different types of tequilas to taste, a variety of tacos, and free mechanical bull rides. My advice, ride the bull before you take any tequila shots. http://tequilaandtacofest.com
Best Pizza on Long Island Contest- Sample a variety of pizza flavors and decide who’s pizza deserves to be crowned “Best Pizza on Long Island”. http://www.longisland.com/best-pizza-rules.html
Barbecue Festival- Lexington, North Carolina is known as the barbecue capital of the world (or so they say), but we’ll let you be the judge. http://www.barbecuefestival.com
Lobster & Lefse Festival- Sort of an odd combination, but it caught my curiosity (Lefse is a traditional Norweigan flatbread). http://www.fargomoorhead.org/blog/?p=704
Germantown Pretzel Festival- If you haven’t heard of pretzel bread, then get ready for a life changing moment. German pretzels are notoriously good. http://pretzelfestival.com/live/
OkraFest- Fried Okra is a Oklahoma specialty, so why not give it a go?! http://checotahokrafest.blogspot.com
Mushroom Festival- You can try all different kinds of mushrooms, and they even have a kombucha vendor (and isn’t kombucha magical?). http://www.mountpisgaharboretum.com/festivals-events/mushroom-festival/
Pennsylvania Dutch Festival- You can catch some Dutch culture while you chow down on a Philly Cheesesteak. http://readingterminalmarket.org/market-events/event/3/91kcs660agm624b48o7649869k
Local Food Fest- Stop by the festival and celebrate Rhode Island farmers, fisherman, and food artisans. http://www.farmfreshri.org/about/localfoodfest.php
South Carolina Chili Cook-Off- Chili cook-offs are amazing, because you get to sample family recipes from almost every vendor. Everyone has a secret ingredient, and everyone takes cooking chili very seriously. http://www.scchilicookoff.com
The Great Dakota Wine Fest- I realize that there are wine festivals in every state, but something about saying you went to a wine festival in South Dakota just sounds right. http://www.greatdakotawinefest.com
Grainger County Tomato Festival- Tomatoes are the main crop in this county, so a big celebration happens every year in honor of the ripe tomatoes. http://www.graingercountytomatofestival.com
Houston Hot Sauce Festival- You can set your taste buds on fire, or decide to permanently burn them off. http://houstonhotsauce.com
JiggleFest- A whole festival dedicated to Jell-O. http://thanksgivingpoint.org/events/jigglefest?
Vermont Maple Festival- This one comes as no surprise, since Vermont and maple are one in the same. Try and buy all the maple flavored foods/condiments your little heart desires. http://www.vtmaplefestival.org
Apple Harvest & Apple Butter Festival- An apple a day keeps the doctor away. http://www.virginia.org/Listings/Events/AppleHarvestAppleButterFestivalatDrumhellersOrchard/
Seattle Street Food Fest- I’m all for street food, because choices are everything. http://www.seattlestfoodfest.com
Chocolate Festival- I shouldn’t have to explain this one to convince you to check it out….chocolate. http://www.lewisburgchocolatefestival.com
Cheese Curd Festival- Wisconsin loves its cheese, and when it comes to cheese curds, well, they invented the stuff! Also, the festival slogan is Peace, Love, Cheese Curds.
Beer, Brats, and Bluegrass- Welcome to Wyoming. What’s not to love? http://bluegrassevanston.com