What’s better than good food? Good food with friends, and good music to top it off. That’s what you can expect at these 15 festivals, which celebrate everything from chocolate to beer. So round up your crew and get ready to eat your way around the world. Just don’t forget to pace yourself, you have a lot of food to discover.
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Pizzafest, Italy is a highly anticipated annual event that has been taking local and international visitors by storm. Every year in September, the small mountain town of Abruzzo is filled with delicious aromas as streets are lined with outdoor ovens firing up all kinds of pizzas. From classic Margherita topped with fresh mozzarella to more daring combinations such as wild boar and goat cheese pizza, there are many things ar Pizzafest! Attendees can sample exquisite wood-fired creations from over 50 pizza makers. There’s also a special late night carnival featuring rides and carnival games ranging from dart toss to ring tests. Of course, no visit to Pizzafest would be complete without a helping of limoncello, the traditional local liqueur. For those looking for more than just pizza and carnivals, Abruzzo offers so many other diverse activities including hiking trails around Monte Velino, exploring cultural heritage sites and tasting dozens of delicious Italian wines.
Maine Lobster Festival, USA
The Maine Lobster Festival is a well-known seafood festival held annually in the small fishing town of Rockland, Maine. This five day event has become a very popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. Enjoy eating delicious lobster in all sorts of preparations or take part in the many fun activities like competitive speed shell shucking contests, cooking shows, boat cruises, live music, art exhibits and more. The entire town comes to life with hundreds of vendors and other festivities like tug-of-war, pie eating contests and carnival rides. Celebrate the rich seafaring culture of Maine at the historic Harbor Park venue and enjoy this spectacular event that runs in August.
Oktoberfest is one of the most famous festivals in the world and takes place annually in Munich, Germany. It has been a cultural tradition for over 200 years, ever since Crown Prince Ludwig hosted a grand celebration back in 1810. During the 17-day event, revelers from all around the world come together to enjoy traditional Bavarian food such as roasted chicken and sausage, while sipping on beer brewed specially by local breweries. There are plenty of activities to partake in at Munich’s Theresienwiese fairgrounds, like carnival rides, live music performances and special competitions. Onlookers can take part in games such as nail hammering and beer stein hoisting at various tents set up around the grounds that serve some of the finest German beers and foods. While traditionally celebrated in September or October each year, Oktoberfest is the best experience that can also bring friends closer together throughout the year.
Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling, England
Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling is an English tradition that has been celebrated for centuries. Every year, participants travel from afar to gather on this hill in Gloucestershire, England, to watch and participate in this unique event. Competitors race down the steep hill while rolling a 7-8 pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese – the loser of each competition recieves the cheese as a prize! Although it appears to be a wild event, there are actually strict rules in place, allowing participants to remain safe while also providing spectators with an exciting experience. Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling is definitely unlike any other festival in Europe.
Dumpling Festival, China
The Dumpling Festival, celebrated in China every June, is an exciting time of year. Hundreds of years old and filled with tradition, this annual event is one of the most colorful and joyous celebrations on the Chinese calendar. During the festival, dumplings made from wheat flour and stuffed with a variety of veggies, meats, seeds, and nuts are cooked in boiling water. While recipes vary from region to region, these delicious treats are regarded as symbols of wealth and prosperity throughout China, the more dumplings you can eat during the festival, the more good luck you have. In addition to enjoying piles of warm dumplings together as a family or community group, many people also partake in activities such as singing traditional songs and playing games like tug-of-war and dragon boat races. The Dumpling Festival is truly a wonderful experience that stands as testament to Chinese culture’s enduring spirit for generations.
Maslenitsa Pancake Festival, Russia
The Maslenitsa Pancake Festival is an annual Russian celebration of the start of spring. Dating back to the 13th century, this festive period marks the end of winter and serves as a reminder that spring is just around the corner. During the festival, locals gather together to make and eat blini (or pancakes) which are believed to bring luck and ensure a good harvest in the coming months.
People also take part in traditional folk dancing and other activities like sledding. One interesting ritual involves housewives making seven varieties of pancakes based on ingredients that had been gathered during winter, each containing fruits or grains associated with different parts of Russia. This symbolic gesture brings joy and hope to everyone involved – reminding them that brighter days are ahead! It is an incredibly lively event that brings people from all walks of life together for a week-long party filled with feasting, singing and plenty of laughter. The Maslenitsa Pancake Festival is a must-see event for anyone who wants to experience the unique culture of Russia.
Salon du Chocolat, France
The Salon du Chocolat in France is known as the premier global chocolate event. Each year, chocolatiers, pastry chefs, and artisans from around the world come together to showcase their craft. Over five thousand visitors attend the event each year to discover and taste hundreds of flavors, styles, and shapes of chocolate. It’s not just a place where you can sample tasty treats, there are also educational activities such as workshops, cooking demonstrations, and book signings.
Despite its name, Salon du Chocolat is much more than just a series of tastings; it’s an immersive experience that celebrates the artistry involved in creating exquisite chocolate confection. Visitors can browse through stalls filled with mouth-watering treats from dark chocolate truffles to flavoured caramels; sample delicious cakes; and enjoy tasting sessions hosted by some of France’s finest chocolatiers. With its atmosphere and outstanding selection of goodies, Salon du Chocolat is an absolute must for any sweet tooth.
National Cherry Festival, USA
The National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan is an annual extravaganza of cherry-related activities that spans a week every summer. Held for over 100 years, this beloved event celebrates the region’s renowned tart cherry harvest. During the festival, enjoy a variety of local products from orchards, farms, and wineries as well as national brands during the Taste of Cherries culinary showcase. You can also enjoy movie nights, sports tournaments and live music performances from regional acts and nationally recognized artists. Kids will love the carnival rides and games scattered around town, plus a parade honoring cherry farmers and local heroes alongside twirling dancers, marching bands, choreographed floats and more! The festivities end with the spectacular air show featuring military fighter jets performing heart-stopping aeronautical stunts as F-18s spray clouds of red smoke across the skies above Traverse City. It’s sure to be a memory for visitors of all ages.
Olney Pancake Race, England
Every Easter Monday in the town of Olney, England, the annual pancake race takes place. Unlike most races where the participants typically compete in running shoes, those who take part in this peculiar race run with a pancake held in a pan each year. The tradition is said to have first begun almost 600 years ago when a housewife on Shrove Tuesday forgot to attend church because she was cooking pancakes. Since then, the Olney Pancake Race has become an iconic event that continues to bring visitors from around the world each year. Participants must run 415 yards wearing an apron and scarf and holding their frying pan with a tossed pancake inside. It is a joyous race that concludes with prize-giving ceremony which makes it one of thousands of unique local festivals worth visiting when exploring England’s historic countryside.
Monkey Buffet Festival, Thailand
The Monkey Buffet Festival in Thailand is an annual event that celebrates the primates living in Lopburi province. Every year, locals gather to serve up delicious dishes and treats to honor the primates of the area. Thousands of monkeys are invited to join a buffet table filled with fresh fruits, vegetables and other tasty treats. Visitors join the celebration, providing entertainment and watching as the monkeys enjoy the unique event. This festival isn’t only about fun; it’s also a way for people to recognize their debt of gratitude towards these animals for their symbolic place in Thai culture.
Vegetarian Festival, Thailand
The annual vegetarian festival held throughout Thailand is one of the country’s most popular and exciting cultural events. This nine day celebration is filled with colorful parades, vegan feasts, and vibrant spiritual rituals all honoring the devotion of at least temporary vegetarianism. Within this time traditional meats and fish are not consumed, but rather dishes featuring tofu, squash, kale, eggplant, and other plant-based ingredients are enjoyed. At night dancing, bonfires, street performances, and even firewalking take place offering a unique way to honor the deities responsible for this joyous time each year. Furthermore, locals wearing yellow or white clothing while offering prayers of prosperity make the event even more special. For those in attendance this is an incomparable experience that should not be missed.
St. Moritz Gourmet Festival, Switzerland
Every year, the magnificent city of St. Moritz plays host to the spectacular St. Moritz Gourmet Festival, a celebration of fine cuisine from all over the world. Visitors can sample delicacies from Michelin-starred chefs, mingle with world-renowned restaurateurs, and take interactive classes to learn new cooking techniques and recipes. The festival is highly immersive and offers something for everyone, while some revel in the food and drink offerings, others enjoy listening to speeches by celebrated culinary experts or artfully admiring the stunning mountain landscape that serves as a backdrop for the event. Each one of these experiences creates an exciting yet sophisticated atmosphere, it’s no wonder why thousands come each year to partake in this gourmet paradise.
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Australia
The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is an event showcasing the best of Victoria’s culinary scene. Held over 10 days in March, it draws hundreds of thousands of foodies and wine lovers from around Australia and provides them with a unique opportunity to get hands-on with some of the finest wines, local produce and cuisines from across the state.
The festival offers a range of activities for visitors including masterclasses, long table dinners, wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and food markets. With so many offerings at the festival, everyone is sure to find something that piques their interest. For adventurous eaters, there are an array of exciting dishes featuring regional specialties like regional cheeses or native ingredients. Visitors can also take part in urban winery tours to sample some of the best Victorian wines in a unique setting. For those who want to explore even more, there are special events such as masterclasses led by top chefs and exclusive dining experiences across the city. The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is a wonderful occasion to discover all that Victoria has to offer and appreciate its rich culinary culture.
New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, USA
The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience is an annual festival that celebrates the unique culinary heritage of the city. Held annually since 1990, it is the premier gathering of chefs and food professionals in the region offering a diverse range of experiences like cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, celebrity chef dinners, and more. Each event showcases the richness and variety of New Orleans cuisine while highlighting sustainable initiatives in a contemporary context, making it a truly remarkable experience.
One can sample some of the finest wines from around the world at exclusive wine-tasting events while listening to live music performances. At the same time, attendees can participate in classes to learn about traditional New Orleans dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, red beans & rice and po’boys. From signature dishes such as beignets and muffulettas to creative cocktail offerings like hurricanes or Sazeracs, there’s something for everyone at this vibrant celebration. With over 80 participating restaurants and wineries, plus live cooking demonstrations from renowned chefs each year, thee New Orleans Wine & Food Experience waits for you.
Gilroy Garlic Festival, USA
The Gilroy Garlic Festival, held in Gilroy, California each year, is one of America’s premier annual food festivals. Since 1979, this beloved event has attracted thousands of people from the Bay Area and beyond to enjoy the delicious garlic dishes and all that the festival has to offer from garlic-themed games and activities for kids to live music and entertainment for adults. The signature dish of the festival is a dish called “The Gilroy Garlic Bowl”, an aromatic mix of stir-fried garlic, butter, olive oil, potatoes, mushrooms and bell peppers.
Visitors can also sample unique garlic creations such as roasted garlic ice cream or savory garlic scones. The highlight of this celebration is undoubtedly the Culinary Competition, where local chefs compete for prizes in creative cooking with garlic at its core. There are also fun events like the Great Garlic Cook-Off challenge between professional chefs that bring out the best in their dishes. If you’re a food enthusiast looking to indulge your taste buds or simply wanting to have a great time with family and friends, it’s worth visiting the Gilroy Garlic Festival every year.