Mmmmm…..food. It’s everyone’s favorite thing to eat. Wouldn’t it be great if you could spend a day eating delicious food with other people who appreciate eating delicious food? And if there were loads of food-themed activities to pair with your delicious meal? You can, and there are. Here are some of the best festivals for foodies across Massachusetts.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Bourne Scallop Festival, Bourne
Every year, this festival deep-fries over three tons of delicious scallops and seasoned chicken dinners. Both meals are served with french fries, cole slaw, a roll and butter plus your choice of soda. More than just scallops, this festival offers arts and crafts, children's rides, and fantastic live entertainment. Tickets are not necessary to enjoy the great line-up, and all performances can be enjoyed as part of the general admission price. Dates: September 23, 24, 25, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. .
2. Hot Dog Safari, Boston
Head down to Lansdowne Street on May 7 between noon and 4 p.m. for a hot dog extravaganza. Hosted by the Phantom Gourmet, the profits from this event benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This indoor and outdoor festival offers parties inside local restaurants, plus food and entertainment all over Lansdowne Street. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the event. Kids 12 and under are free.
3. Wellfleet Oyster Festival, Wellfleet
This two-day festival is a great way to sample lots of Wellfleet's delicious oysters, and clams. Natives and visitors alike love this celebration of classic New England fare, and there's a great range of activities available. Some of the things on offer include arts and crafts, cooking demonstrations, fun activities for kids, walking tours, live entertainment, a road race, and the annual Oyster Shuck-Off competition. This year's festival will be Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16.
4. Annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival
This festival brings together an incredible bounty of vegetarian natural food providers, exciting national speakers and chefs, and educational exhibits in a fun and accessible environment. There's lots of free food sampling, free parking, and free presentations. This event will run from October 22 to 23.
5. Boston Local Food Festival
Boston Local Food Festival is a free outdoor festival that highlights local farmers, restaurants, food trucks, and groups that champion healthy food and an active lifestyle from all across New England. The festival also features cooking demonstrations, plenty of great music and live entertainment, and kid-friendly activities. Pictured is the Taza Chocolate Guajillo Chili chocolate square, a popular festival treat. It's a spicy and sweet sensation you won't want to miss. Check out the event on September 18, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
6. Garlic and Arts Festival, Orange
Love garlic? Love art? Support both at this festival of over 100 booths, featuring regional artists, farmers, and community organizations. Kick back and celebrate garlic with awesome music, performance, spoken word, and dancing on solar-powered stages. Be a kid again with garlic games, including the famous (or maybe infamous) raw garlic-eating contest. It is tasty and smelly fun. The 18th Annual Garlic and Arts Festival will be held on September 24 and 25.
7. Rockport HarvestFest, Rockport
Ring in the autumn season in Rockport with lots of fresh local goodies. The festival serves up yummy pastries, cider doughnuts, classic New England clam chowder, home-made jams, and farm-fresh produce. HarvestFest also offer lots of live music and an annual Scarecrow Stroll, where artistically dressed and posed scarecrows are erected around town. This is a great event for families. This year’s HarvestFest will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 15.
8. World’s Largest Pancake Breakfast, Springfield
The menu for this event includes hot, hearty pancakes, coffee, juice and milk, and lots of local talent. The festival is a sweet and sticky way of celebrating the founding of the city of Springfield, and the whole community comes together to stage this impressive pancake production. This year's event will be held Saturday, May 14, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
9. Franklin County Cider Days
CiderDays is a annual community celebration of all things apple in beautiful Franklin County. The festival includes tours, cider-making and tastings, workshops and much more in orchards and venues county-wide from Ashfield, Deerfield, Charlemont and Colrain to New Salem and the towns in between. For all who love apples, fresh or hard cider, apple cuisine, apple orchards or just being in New England in the fall, CiderDays is not to be missed! The next CiderDays will be held in November.
10. Essex Clam Fest, Essex
Clams as far as the eye can see. If that sounds like paradise, then head down to the Essex Clam Fest. Besides delicious clams of all varieties and preparations, you'll find plenty of activities, including an arts and crafts area and vendors serving up hot and fresh treats. The highlight of the day is the Clam Chowder Tasting, a competition that that goodnaturedly lets local restaurants battle it out to see which place serves the finest chowder. This year's festival will likely be sometime in October.
11. Boston Jerkfest
Boston JerkFest is a family-friendly Caribbean style food festival that features Jamaican jerk spiced food and all things spicy hot! Vendors will be dishing up authentic Caribbean and local spicy food. You can grab plenty of spicy jams, nuts, and desserts as well. Boston Jerkfest is a great event for grownups and kids. This year's celebration is June 24 and 25.
12. Cape Cod Chowder Festival, Hyannis
This chowder festival is a Cape Cod tradition. It’s the recipe for a perfect day of sipping and slurping samples of chowder from many of the Cape’s best restaurants, all competing for the coveted “WCOD Chowder Bowl.” Savor the seaside flavor while listening to live music from the best local bands. This year's event starts June 26 at 12 p.m.
13. Cranberry Harvest Celebration, Wareham
This is definitely a nice way to experience a classic Massachusetts crop in a whole new way. The festival features cranberry cooking demonstrations, lots of local cranberry crafters and chefs, demonstrations of cranberry harvesting, and fun paddleboat rides. This year's festival will be in October.
My stomach is growling just thinking about these events. Have you been to any of these tasty festivals?