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Over the last few years we’ve become a nation obsessed with food, and I don’t just mean we’re becoming a country that may consume a little too much of it. No I mean we’re consuming food in every aspect of our lives, aside from the dinner table.

For many of us, this love of food is a key ingredient of the perfect holiday too. We may head to food festivals in the UK or particular locations in Britain to try local delicacies, but we’re also heading a little further afield to get our food fix. If you’re a foodie that loves nothing better than travelling and eating, make sure you check out our top food festivals from around the world.

California Garlic Festival

August 30th – September 1st 2024, Merced Country Spring Fairgrounds: 403 F St., Los Banos, CA 93635

Do you love garlic? If you do, then head over to California where they hold a festival dedicated to a vampire’s worst nightmare every August. Previously the Gilroy Garlic Festival (cancelled after 2022), the California Garlic Festival Whilst here you can get creative with your food and revel with your fellow foodies, as you sample some proper garlic goodness, including garlic ice cream, garlic noodles, garlic wings, garlic popcorn – even garlic catfish. If you can make something garlic, they’ll have it here.

Don’t miss the Cali Garlic Alley, where you can actually try their Garlic Maple Brown Sugar Ice Cream – if you’re brave enough, anyway. Festival hours are 12pm-10pm all three days, whilst the Cali Garlic Alley closes at 7pm. Single day admission starts from $10 (at time of writing). Children under 5 go free. Bring gum. Lots of it.

Cheap flights to California

Chinchilla Melon Festival

Held biennially in February, Chinchilla, approx. 300km from Brisbane

Considered the ‘melon capital’ of Australia, Chinchilla apparently provides a whopping 25% of the nation’s melon crops. Because of this, celebration is obviously in order. Starting back in 1994 to lift the town’s spirits following a severe drought, the event has gone on to be named one of the best in Australia.

Whilst here, make sure you delve straight in and experience the delights of melon skiing, melon tossing, melon bungees, melon iron man, pip spitting and melon tossing. Melon everything. You’ll experience the vegetable – yes, watermelon is a vegetable, as the citizens of Chinchilla are very keen to stress – like never before.

Less than 300km from Brisbane, it’s easiest to reach by car using the Warrego Highway.

Cheap flights to Brisbane 

Maine Lobster Festival

July 31st – August 4th 2024, Harbor Park, Rockland, Maine

Lobster – the fanciest of all the seafood’s and often quite expensive. It’s not something many of us eat regularly, but in Maine they just looooove it. In fact, every August they steam up to 20,000 pounds of the crustaceans and indulge in their annual Lobster Festival with its fresh, local lobster dinners, nationally renowned entertainers, cooking contests, activities for all ages, and Maine craftsmen and artists.

There’s the Maine Lobster Festival Seafood Cooking Contest, the International Great Crate Race (where you run across a line of floating crates and try your hardest not to fall into the drink), and the Big Parade, the most popular event of the festival and which sees Main Street shut down for floats to pass through based on that year’s theme. Any excuse for a parade.

Admission to the Maine Lobster Festival is free.

Cheap flights to Maine

Potato Days

August 23rd – August 24th, Barnesville, Minnesota 

Barensville in Minnesota is renowned for potato production, and every year they take two days just to celebrate the joys of the spud. Hey, we get it!

Dating back to the 30s. there’s a whole crop of potato tastings going on as well as wacky events, including potato wrestling, potato picking and peeling contests (all those times your grandma made you do the spuds will come in handy here), a dog fashion show – even fireman’s water fights (👀) Of course, there’s a parade too.

You’ll see and taste the humble spud in ways you’d never imagined. Admission is free, but you can bag yourself some Potato Days merch while you’re there.

Cheap flights to Minnesota 

Food festivals around the world

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