back to top

14 Summer Food Festivals You Won't Believe Exist

What's America up to this summer?

Posted on

When: May

Reason for the season: Almost seven million cans of this meat product are eaten every year in Hawaii, and that ought to be commended.

Festivities of note: You can eat special SPAM dishes like the SPAM and macadamia nut sundae and SPAM fried rice.

Festival royalty: "Spammy" the SPAM

2. BISCUIT FEST: Knoxville, TN

When: May

Reason for the season: Biscuits are the unsung hero of breakfast.

Festivities of note: This festival includes The Southern Food Writing Conference, Biscuit Art Exhibition, and Biscuit Baking Contests.

Festival royalty: Miss and Mr. Biscuit, who are judged on biscuit-making, fashion, poise, and a "biscuit-related talent."

When: June

Reason for the season: This year's Milk Days marked the 72nd time the people of Harvard have converged to celebrate Harvard, Illinois as the "Milk Center of the World."

Festivities of note: There's a milk drinking contest, a cattle show, and a bed race.

Festival royalty: The Milk Days Queen


When: June

Reason for the season: For the love of cereal

Festivities of note: The world's longest breakfast table.

When: June

Reason for the season: A week to give Watermelon the attention it undoubtedly deserves all summer long.

Festivities of note: Watermelon judging in the categories of "best crimson sweet," "best jubilee," and "heaviest"

Festival royalty: Miss H.C. Watermelon


When: June

Reason for the season: Two beloved Southern products RC Cola and Moon Pies unite to celebrate their "Southern tradition."

Festivities of note: Clogging, Bluegrass music, and the annual cutting of the "World's Largest Moon Pie."

Festival royalty: The RC King and Moon Pie Queen.

When: June

Reason for the season: One of newest of those listed, this festival began in 2008 with the goal of enhancing the enjoyment of "all things bacon" through education, advocacy, and general appreciation.

Festivities of note: Bacon Pizza, Bacon Bloody Mary's, Bacon T-shirts and the new Whiskey Tour.

Festival royalty: The Bacon Queen


When: July

Reason for the season: Entering its 49th year, the Yarmouth Clam Festival anticipates selling 6,000 pounds of clams this year, as well as huge quantities of lobster, strawberry shortcake, and "Lime Rickeys," a popular festival beverage.

Festivities of note: The Maine State Clam Shucking Contest, the Firefighter team competition, and the Diaper Derby (pictured).

Festival royalty: Steamer the Clam

When: July

Reason for the season: Anyone who has made the drive from Northern California to Southern California has likely passed through the 20-mile stretch of road that reeks of garlic. This, friends, is Gilroy, and at their summer festival, visitors can taste items like last year's cook-off winner garlic fish sticks or the infamous garlic ice cream.

Festivities of note: Great Garlic Cook-off

Festival royalty: The Miss Gilroy Garlic Queen


When: July

Reason for the season: In case you've never tried one, Pierogis are an Eastern-European fried or baked dumpling, typically filled with ground meat, potato, and cheese. At Whiting's Pierogi Fest, visitors can try a variety of Pierogis, from Sauerkraut to Sliced Mushroom to Apricot-Filled.

Festivities of note: The Polka Dance Off (Hosted by Polkahontas)

Festival royalty: Mr. Pierogi and Ms. Paczki

When: July or August

Reason for the season: The 32nd annual celebration of the culinary delight that is "Rocky Mountain Oysters," or bull calf testicles. Not for the faint of heart or the under 21 set.

Festivities of note: Ball eating and wet t-shirt contests, as well as the "Undie 500," in which (adult) participants tricycle race in their underwear

Festival royalty: Mr. Fun Buns and Miss Testy Fest

When: July or August

Reason for the season: Serving over 20,000 lbs of lobster to over 80,000 attendees, the MLF is one of the largest small-town food festivals.

Festivities of note: The Lobster Crate Race (pictured above, right), in which people race across floating crates and try not to fall off

Festival royalty: The Maine Sea Goddess

When: August

Reason for the season: The 51st South Haven celebration of blueberries.

Festivities of note: A pie eating and sand sculpture contest.

Festival royalty: Miss South Haven

When: August

Reason for the season: Attendance at the annual Hatch Chile Festival is around 30,000– more than 10 times the year-round population of the small New Mexico village. Chile lovers from across the country flock to the village to celebrate the bounty.

Festivities of note:A chile eating competition, salsa/chile cook offs, and a mariachi competition.

Festival royalty: The Chile Queen


Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!