Sunday, April 12, 2015

What are the Best Food Festivals in United States to Get Free Booze or Food and Watch Awesome Shows?



More than 1,000 food festivals are held annually across the United States. A food festival is an event, usually held annually, that uses food, often produce, as its central theme.

These festivals have always been a means of uniting communities through celebrations of harvests and giving thanks for a abundant farming season. They can be traced back thousands of years to celebrating the arrival of harvest time, the autumnal equinox, and the honoring of earth gods.

Top Food Festivals in America

1) The world's largest food festival is the 12-day Taste of Chicago (mostly known as The Taste), held annually in June at Chicago in Grant Park, and attended by more than 3.6 million people. The 32nd Taste of Chicago (2012) collected more than $12 million in ticket revenue.

Non-food-related events include live music on multiple stages, including the Petrillo Music Shell, pavilions, and film performances. Musical acts vary from local artists to nationally known artists like Robin Thicke, Carlos Santana, LL Cool J, Moby, Kenny Rogers or Robert Plant. Since 2008, The Chicago Country Music Festival no longer occurs simultaneously with Taste of Chicago as it departed the Taste of Chicago for its own two-day festival typically held in the fall. Rides are also present, such as a Ferris wheel and the Jump to Be Fit.

2) One of the grandest food festivals is three-day The Food & Wine Classic (, held in Aspen, Colorado, which will celebrate its 32nd year in 2013. Approximately 5,000 participants pay $1,000 or more to sample wine, attend cooking seminars, and rub elbows with celebrity chefs at the event.

3) The Food Network’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival ( is a four-day, star-studded destination event. Tickets may be purchased for the entire festival or individually for the approximately 60 events. In its 12th year, the 2013 festival was held February 21-24. Over 30,000 people attended the main events and another 20,000 attended separate, lower cost family-oriented festival events. 

The event features wine tasting, cooking demonstrations, featured speakers, as well as a cooking competition.

4) Increasingly, vegetarian food festivals are becoming some of the largest food celebrations in the country. Vegfest (, a series of annual vegetarian food festivals in various locations in USA including Seattle, Portland, Detroit,Denver, Austin, Salt Lake City, Boston, New York, Washington, DC, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Albany, Northampton, Worcester, Tampere and similar events in San Francisco, Toronto, Ottawa and St. Catharines. The festivals promote veganism and vegetarianism, healthy lifestyles, environmentalism, community spirit and animal rights.

Related Blog Post: 9 Best Cookbooks for Sous Vide Cooking Technique

5) The following are other popular or top food festivals, many of which have annual attendance of 100,000 or more:

A Taste of Colorado (Denver, CO;

ArtFeast (Santa Fe, NM;

Bite of Seattle (Seattle, WA;

Bridge City Gumbo Festival (Bridge City, LA;

Charleston Food & Wine Festival (Charleston, SC;

Culinary Festival (Scottsdale, AZ;

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (Lake Buena Vista, FL;

Finger Lakes Wine Festival (Watkins Glen, NY;

Food Network Wine & Food Festival (New York, NY;

Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest (Rhinebeck, NY;

Minnesota Monthly Food & Wine Experience (Minneapolis, MN;

Mohegan Sun Winefest (Uncasville, CT;

National Shrimp Festival (Gulf Shores, AL;

Pebble Beach Food & Wine (Carmel, CA;

Pensacola Seafood Festival (

RoadKill Cook-Off (Marlinton, WV;

Sugarland Wine & Food Affair (Houston, TX;

Taste of Atlanta (Atlanta, GA;

Taste of Buffalo (Buffalo, NY;

Taste of Dallas (Dallas, TX;

Taste of Main (Bellevue, WA;

Taste of Vail (Vail, CO;

Taste Washington (Seattle, WA;

Vintage Ohio (Kirtland, OH;

Vintage Virginia (Centreville, VA;

Wine and Food Experience (New Orleans, LA;

Wine and Food Festival (Dallas, TX;

Wine Expo (Boston, MA;

Wine Festival (Nantucket, MA;

Winter Wine Festival (Naples, FL;

World Chicken Festival (London, KY;

Zinfandel Festival (San Francisco, CA;


Mckechnie, Gary. 2009. USA 101: A Guide to America's Iconic Places, Events, and Festivals. National Geographic.  ASIN: B002AKPB98

Carlson, Barbara W. 1997. Food Festivals: Eating Your Way from Coast to Coast. Visible Ink Pr. ISBN-10: 1578590035

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