If you are a “foodie,” or even just want to learn more about the culinary offerings around the state, these 12 festivals in Pennsylvania are ones that any food lovers should NOT miss. We’ve included a little bit of everything here, from smaller local food fests to more widely known specialty shows, and even a few of the top-tier gourmet expos.
As we went searching for Pennsylvania’s best, we were blown away by how many amazing food-centric celebrations we have here! This is, by no means, a complete list, but we hope to inspire your inner foodie and share your stories (and favorite dishes)!
1. Pococno Garlic Festival
If you are like us and believe there is no such thing as “too much garlic,” the Pocono Garlic Festival is a dream come true.
With two full days celebrating all things garlic, it’s a pretty safe bet that no vampires will be showing up here anytime soon.
(Note to self: bring breath mints)
It’s hard to believe that small town Franklin (population: 6,500) can even pack 100,000 people inside city limits…but it’s one of Pennsylvania’s finest (and favorite!) food festivals.
Applefest brings in over 300 vendors, selling arts and crafts, artisan goods, and, of course, apple products. The Apple Pancake Breakfast is heavenly, and the festival also features a Classic Car Cruise with more than 500 cars, a 5K fun run, and live entertainment.
3. Endless Mountain Maple Syrup Festival
The Annual Maple Festival kicked off in 1981 and has been a PA favorite from day one.
With an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, cooking demonstrations, live music, and TONS of maple products that you might not even know existed, this flea market-style food festival is one of a kind and oh so sweet.
4. "Smoke in the Valley" Barbeque Competition
This festival, which is officially sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society and put on by the Green Lane Volunteer Fire Company, draws in more than 50 competitive BBQ teams to the city to face off in an amazingly tasty way!
These meat maestros have some serious grill skills, and you are sure to find a mind-blowingly delicious meal while you listen to free live music and explore the artisan vendors that gather together at this weekend-long affair.
5. Hometown - Homegrown
Hometown-Homegrown, an event put on by GoodTaste Pittsburg (who also run the excellent FoodTruck-A-Palooza and Pittssbrugh Brew n’ Chew events). Hometown-Homegrown celebrates Pittsburgh’s love for delicious food with an enormous expo, taking over five floors of the Senator John Heinz History Center with more than 50 local food vendors and chefs, wine and beer tasting, a cookbook exchange, instructional Kitchen Classroom events, cooking contests, and live music. It’s a true foodie paradise!
6. TASTE Philadelphia Festival of Food, Wine & Spirits
This event, organized by Gourmet Shows and held at the Valley Forge Casino Resort, is all about flavor.
Facebook / Philadelphia Food and Spirit Festival
Vintners show off their finest bottles, distilleries share their good spirits, and brewers offer happy, hoppy toasts to the gourmet food and drink industry.
Local and celebrity chefs show off their masterful techniques and perfect palate, and the expo even includes a special showcase of regional Zagat Rated restaurants!
7. Kennett Square Mushroom Festival
As the “Mushroom Capital of the World,” you know Kennett Square’s Mushroom Festival will be top-notch, but this annual event will wow you even if you are not a fungi fan!
With a whole weekend of mushroom-centric culinary events, a street fair with live entertainment, games and rides, an antique car show, as well as mushroom farm tours (they are fascinating!), you will be hard-pressed to pack all of the fun(gi) events into your visit!
8. Shippensburg Corn Festival
There is nothing quite as delicious as freshly picked sweet corn, which is why the Shippensburg Corn Festival has succeeded for 36 years as an entirely volunteer-run event.
The Corn Festival is always held on the last Saturday in August and is a delicious way to end the summer. If you are especially hungry (or just love corn), sign up for the Corn Eating Contest – but be prepared for some stiff competition!
With hundreds of vendors, a classic car show, and free live entertainment, the Corn Festival is a must-visit for a full day of delicious family fun.
9. Philadelphia Magazine’s Wine & Food Festival
This elegant event is easily the “King of All Food Festivals “– perfect for Pennsylvanians with a passion for food. There are more than 650 wines from around to world to sample, food served by Philadelphia’s favorite and highest rated restaurants, up-and-coming local vendors who showcase their latest creations, as well as a special, on-site Fine Wine & Good Spirits store where you can purchase your favorites from the evening
Philadelphia Magazine’s Wine & Food Festival isn’t cheap – tickets run from $150 - $225 (although Designated Drivers get in for only $25!), but when you take a look at their food and wine lineup…it’s totally worth it, especially for the finest foodies.
10. Pittson Tomato Festival
It’s not just amazing tomatoes that draws a crowd of nearly 50,000 people to Pittson each year…
This spirited festival also includes a parade, 5K run, live music, arts and crafts, games, rides AND an enormous tomato fight!
It’s probably best not to wear your finest outfit…just in case you get caught by a rogue flying tomato…
Have you been to any of these tasty celebrations? Is your favorite missing from this list? Tell us about it in the comments below!