August 2010 Food Festivals, USA, UK and more, part one UPDATE

The best in food and drink festivals for the United States, the UK and even Australia are set to make August 2010 a memorable one.

Here are the festivals who contacted Monsters and Critics and want you to come and eat, drink and be merry, so sally forth and report back to us on the experience in the talk back section!  We want the real dirt.

If I missed anyone, please follow me on Twitter and direct message me HERE

Part two of the August 2010 list posts tomorrow!

August 1, 2010  Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Salt Lake City, Utah.  Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation is the nation’s premier culinary benefit, featuring top chefs and mixologists — all of whom are coming together to donate their time, talent and passion to end childhood hunger in America.

August 1, 2010  Taste of Dorset
Dorset, Minnesota
Family affair time: There’s a reason why thousands of people visit Dorset Minnesota each year. The decor of “The Restaurant Capital of the World” is small-town friendly, streets are lined with boardwalks, casual porch swings and flower baskets. The shops are filled with special items, from artistically-crafted pottery and lamps to unique decor and antiques, that turn houses into homes.

Whether in a casual or slightly formal setting, the restaurants serve the perfect meal around tables of happy friends and families that makes the trip to Dorset a must-do event.’ Restaurant Capital of the World’. Food fest, family entertainment, music, games. Dorset is the Place to Be! One day food extravaganza set in a town square-like atmosphere.

August 1, 2010  10th Annual Chocolate & Jazz
Waterville Valley, New Hampshire
Jazz drives me to eating chocolate so the combination is fortuitous: The Jazz tunes’ sweet strains will act as a perfect accompaniment to some of the tastiest treats available in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. An assortment of reasonably priced desserts will be available; a wine tasting at Jugtown, a wine cellar and country store in Town Square, and cappuccino drinks at the Coffee Emporium.

August 1, 2010  10th Annual Brats, Brews, Blues Event
Klamath Falls, Oregon
For the high falutin: Join us at the Yacht Club (!!) for an afternoon of blues, microbrew sampling & German bratwurst dinner! This event will benefit children’s programs.

August 1, 2010  Sardine Festival
Kalloni, Lesvos, Greece
Sardines are something I have in my earthquake kit. That, and a bottle of Dewars scotch and a bunch of Sudoko books, dental floss and crossword puzzles. When you lose all power you have to have some diversions. During the first week of August, the residents of Kalloni are to be found celebrating their most famous product: Kalloni sardines. On these days you can enjoy delicious sardines, accompanied by lots of ouzo and the sounds of local musicians. Traditional dancing and high summer spirits add to the festivities.

August 1, 2010  18th Annual Raspberry Festival
Cottonwood, Idaho
This is not the place to wear your Harley Festival gear. Come enjoy a fun-filled day for the whole family with an arts & crafts festival, car show, quilt show, and huge slices of homemade raspberry shortcake!
Attendance: 2,500.

August 1, 2010  Carroll County Farm Day & Ag Festival
Ossipee, New Hampshire
Aggies unite! Support local agriculture! Educational demonstrations, exhibits, farmers’ market, pie contests & hay rides.

August 1-21, 2010  Houston Restaurant Week 2010
Houston, Texas
Houston is a good eating town, and I personally have polished off at least 2 metric tons of oysters all by myself at Captain Tom’s oyster boat moored out on FM 1960. Restaurant Week showcases and promotes Houston’s incredible array of fine restaurants to the fine dining crowd while raising money for the Houston Food Bank.Diners will enjoy three or four course (depending on the restaurant) gourmet dinners for $35 per person (not including beverages, tax or gratuity). Participating restaurants pledge to donate $5 from each special dinner sold to the Houston Food Bank.  This is a wonderful opportunity for diners to try new restaurants or re-visit old favorites while helping to
fight hunger in Houston. HRW is planned by volunteers so that 100% of funds raised are donated to the Houston Food Bank.

August 2, 2010  Foodportunity Food Event
Seattle, Washington
Bring resumes: A food networking event connecting Seattle’s vibrant food community. Come connect with Seattle’s top restaurants and companies while networking over food.

August 2-5, 2010  ACF National Convention
Anaheim, California
Opening a restaurant? The American Culinary Federation National Convention & Trade Show is attended by culinarians from all walks who travel across the U.S. to stay current on the latest in food industry trends, witnessing educational seminars and cooking demonstrations by some of the nation’s top culinary talents. Recent presenters have included Patrick O’Connell, Charlie Trotter, Lorena Garcia, Martin Yan, Ann Cooper, John Folse and others.

August 3-5, 2010  FarmFest ’10
Redwood County, Minnesota
Aggies! Your Minnesota Ag Connection! 29th Annual Farmfest.Farmfest strives to provide both the traditional programs that bring attendees back year after year while also offering new dynamic events and programs which are designed both to entertain and entice new attendees. Join the Aggies for the 29th Annual Farmfest, August 3-5, 2010 at the Gilfillan Estate in Redwood County, Minnesota. New information will be posted as it becomes available. Check back often for the latest updates from Farmfest!

August 3-7, 2010  Food Expo Jordan
Amman, Jordan
Get your Halvah and Hummus on at the 13th annual food & beverage trade fair.expoJordan L.L.C one of the leading exhibitions and trade fairs company in the middle east, for more than 15 years expo Jordan has been assisting business in this area helping them to grow.

August 3-7, 2010  Great British Beer Festival
Earls Court, London, England, UK
Hello, Brits and Beer are like Wisconsin and cheese, a no brainer, The Great British Beer Festival at Earls Court is Britain’s biggest beer festival and brings together a wide range of real ales, ciders, perries and international beers.There’s plenty to occupy you at the festival, you can play on some traditional pub games, enjoy live music, sample some food, including good traditional pub snacks, and also attend tutored beer tastings.  Attendance: 64,000

August 4-8, 2010  28th Annual Testicle Festival
Clinton, Montana
They had me at “fried” and “balls.” You could fry a brick and I’m in.  Rocky Mountain Oyster festival, serving deep-fried bull testicles.

August 4-8, 2010  Digby Scallop Days
Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada
Please someone fly me to this, I adore scallops, especially fried ones (see post above).

The Town of Digby has been an active fishing community throughout the years. Famous for the delicious scallops harvested from their local waters. Grand Street Parade – Much Music Video Dance – Woodsmen Competition
 Street Car Show – Kids Pie Eating contest – Queens Coronation
to name a few, see our event days for more information. I am in, just need an angel from Nova Scotia to fly me there.

August 4-8, 2010  Maine Lobster Festival
Rockland, Maine
Ditto for this one, in fact if you’re smart you can do the scallop fest above and then drive on down to this one. Mystery Internet angel, fly me back east please! 9 tents, the world’s greatest lobster cooker, a sea goddess, a big parade, top notch entertainment, an international crate race, fine art, talented crafts people and vendors, US Navy ship tours, all you can eat pancakes, free shuttle service, US Coast Guard Station tours, professional and amateur cooking contests, marine heritage, road races, kids events, over 20,000 pounds of lobster.

August 4-8, 2010  Belfast Taste & Music Fest
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Okay, if I get the hookup on a fast speedboat from Maine, I can make the last day of this one: The ‘Eat Goes On’.  A selection of Northern Ireland’s finest chefs “cook up a storm”. Celebrating the best chefs, cuisine and food products that Northern Ireland has to offer. Sample wonderful food and enjoy great live staged entertainment. In addition guests can look forward to top chef cookery demonstrations and additional bar facilities including a new ’boutique’ bar serving specialty wines and champagne. Attendance: 30,000.

August 5, 2010  Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Napa Valley, California
Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation is the nation’s premier culinary benefit, featuring top chefs and mixologists — all of whom are coming together to donate their time, talent and passion to end childhood hunger in America.

August 5-7, 2010  Summer Wine Festival
Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada
Wine fest Wine fest! In gorgeous country no less. Somebody ship me out of the Belfast festival and get me over to ‘Oh Canada’ stat!  Enjoy gourmet meals, wine education seminars, a unique consumer wine tasting and a wide variety of on-mountain activities. Every second weekend in August.

August 5-7, 2010  57th Annual Brat Days
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
I am one of those silly asses that likes saying “Sheboygan” over and over until I get a smack in the head. If Brats are your thing. go to….SHEBOYGAN SheBOYgan SheBOYgan and git down on it.  Enjoy a brat in ‘The Bratwurst Capitol of the World’. Entertainment including national acts, parade, carnival, and the Brat Eating World Championship.

August 5-7, 2010  Raspberry Days Festival
Garden City, Utah
I dunno. Think this is one my Nana would love. No wieners, beer or fried bull balls here. The Raspberry Days Festival is an annual event held to celebrate the harvest of the world famous Bear Lake Raspberries. Continuous entertainment, craft fair, parade, rodeo, 5K run, and fireworks on the beach.

August 5-7, 2010  14th Annual Blackberry Festival
Clarksburg, West Virginia
Again, I repeat, Nana would love this one too, She is always trying to get me ot eat her Blackberry crumble and jam. I like tart marmalade. It’s tense at my house. This great 3-day food festival has lots of wonderful blackberry dishes and other foods, arts & crafts, 5K Run, fireworks, games and lots and lots of free entertainment.

August 5-8, 2010  Estherville Sweet Corn Days
Estherville, Iowa
I get into more fights at barbecues with my family over proper corn preparation, I swear. My cousins want to boil the bejesus out of it for 20 minutes or more, and I like mine Mexican style grilled inside foil with butter and a squeeze of lime. Free (FREE) sweet corn, car show, parade, art in the park, inflatables, duck derby on the Des Moines River, fireworks, street dances.

August 6, 2010  34th annual Mendocino County Fair Wine Competition
Philo, California
This looks like a high dollar deal for “Mad Men” viewers who make over $100K a year types with their Land Rovers and Priuses. 

Whenever you see “sommeliers” in a wine festival description, you need to shower and shave for this festival: Top wine writers, winemakers, educators, authors, and sommeliers convene to evaluate and award medals to the very best wines from “America’s Greenest Wine Region.”  Immediately following the judging, award winners will be announced at a grand reception and tasting open to the public.

August 6-7, 2010  Canal Winchester Blues & Ribfest
Canal Winchester, Ohio
Meat on a stick! (Bones count as sticks). The event will offer live blues music, rib and food vendors, a beer garden, and local arts/artisans. A great atmosphere for friends, and family to relax and enjoy Smokin’ Blues, Sizzlin’ Hot Ribs, & More! Admission is free!

A two day summer street celebration featuring live blues music, world-class ribs, a variety of quality non-rib food options, locally crafted items/art, children’s activities*, and a beer garden for our Blues/Rib-loving friends 21 and over. 

August 6-7, 2010  Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival
Cary, North Carolina
This is for people who like to lick their fingers and wear suspenders in public methinks. I’m a scotch girl, and I cannot drink the dark liquor in the heat of August. But if you can, get to it: Beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’, cigar smokin’, and barbeque eatin’.

August 6-7, 2010  Gluten Free Expo
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Apparently this is a huge issue for lots of folks, not me, but I still eat the gluten free snackies at the craft service tables on set and they are dee-lish. Returning to the Sydney Showground, the Gluten Free Expo is showcasing the best of gluten free food. Over 10,000 visitors.  (also: )

August 6-7, 2010  28th Annual Blueberry Festival
Wilton, Maine
Yes I am packing up Nana for this one too. My mother makes Blueberry pies and cuts out sailboats or some other New England-y nautical theme on the top crust to appease her inner Picasso. Pick your own blueberries! Food for sale at local church bazaars including blueberry muffins, cake, and pies. Blueberry cookoff and chili tasting contest. Parade, blacksmithing event, fire truck rides, boat tours, music and fireworks.

August 6-7, 2010  Vintage Ohio
Lake County, Ohio
I love Ohio. Drew Hastings, one of my favorite comics lives there. Chrissy Hynde sang a song about it and MTV star Rob Dyrdek is from Ohio. This is all I know about Ohio. Vintage Ohio is a two-day festival in Lake County, Ohio which will feature Ohio wineries, many food vendors, arts and music. Wine will be available to taste, by the glass and by the bottle. There is a designated driver program and all ages are welcome.

August 6-7, 2010  35th Annual Blueberry Arts Festival
Ketchikan, Alaska
You think Alaska is gonna let Maine one-up them on Blueberries? You Betcha they won’t.  Mama Grizzlies are turning out as thousands celebrate the blueberry in style with an art show, contests, Battle of the Bands, Gigglefeet Dance Festival, Trout Fishing in America Poetry Slam and many choices of blueberry cuisine.

August 6-8, 2010  15th Annual Bluesapalooza & Festival of Beers
Mammoth Lakes, California
Suds and meat! We’re in for Mammoth’s Festival of Beers features more than 70 of the country’s best microbreweries. Along with the beer and blues, a “Blues-style” BBQ and plenty of other food will satisfy the heartiest of appetites and keep the party going. Don’t forget the Sunday Morning Hangover Party.

August 6-8, 2010  Taylor Street Festa Italiana
Chicago, Illinois
Hey mambo, Mambo Italiano, play the Como and Clooney and fuggedabout it. Only downside for me is Chi-town is thick crust town, and I like my Boston style slices thin and crisp. Live entertainment, Italian food specialties from the authentic restaurants in Chicago’s Little Italy area. Beer/Wine, merchandise from Italy, children’s activities, Sunday Mass. Parking Available.

August 6-8, 2010  26th Annual Charlestown Seafood Festival
Charlestown, Rhode Island
Close enough to my home turf of Cape Cod, this is a ‘wicked pissa’ little Rhody affair, so grab your coffee milk and take a Peter Griffin holiday to a gastronomic extravaganza of Rhode Island’s best seafood. Arts and crafts, rides, rock wall climbing, Hot Rod & Harley car show, kite exhibition, children’s shows, bungee jumping and lobster raffle. Continuous entertainment and events.

August 6-8, 2010  22nd Annual Taste in San Pedro
San Pedro, California
San Pedro is where a ton of cop dramas are shot in LA, and where over 30 restaurants, wineries, breweries, artists, merchants and live musicians at a magnificent seaside setting. Join us for San Pedro’s finest hometown festival!

August 6-8, 2010  The Worlds 13th Annual Elephant Garlic Festival
North Plains, Oregon
Fans of the stinking rose can celebrate at the annual civic event to celebrate ‘Elephant Garlic’. This year celebrating 100 years of North Plains. Come and join in all the festivities. “Fun Stinks!”

August 6-8, 2010  Bite of Oregon
Portland, Oregon
My favorite west coast city hands down is Portland. If it didn’t rain 70% of the time I would be there in a nano. Great food, the arts and a very liveable city. The premier showcase of Oregon food, beverage and music.

August 7, 2010  National Mustard Day & Festival
Mount Horeb, Wisconsin
My favorite mustard is Coleman’s powdered hot mustard. I buy it in the 16 ounce tins. Seriously, here’s the photographic evidence:

photo ©M&C

photo ©M&C

National Mustard Day is celebrated annually at the National Mustard Museum. It is a fun-filled day for the whole family and has traditionally included free hot dogs as well as music, games, other entertainment, mustard samples, and more.  People who put mayonnaise on hot dogs are lined up and shot (not really).

The Mustard Museum has been the official sponsor of this event since 1991 and this year will host the event at its new home in Middleton.

August 7, 2010  Vino & Notes – A Wine, Food & Jazz Festival
Woodland Park, Colorado
Okay this is another high dollar snooty looking festival for the “Mad Men” types. A good time I am sure, even without deep fried bull balls or a paper bib. Join us for outstanding food, wine and jazz at the base of Pikes Peak. Over 15 Colorado wineries give free tastings while you enjoy great food and incredible jazz sounds from live bands. This event benefits Charitable Treasures Workshop.

August 7, 2010  Vino & Notes – A Wine, Food & Jazz Festival
Woodland Park, Colorado
Join us at the base of Pikes Peak for wine from 15+ Colorado wineries, outstanding food and incredible jazz bands. All this benefits Charitable Treasures Workshop for special needs adults.

August 7, 2010  Tom Watson Watermelon Festival
Thomson, Georgia
Sticky mess alert: From seed spitting to melon rolling there will be games, contests, prizes, music, arts & crafts, and fun for the whole family. The Watermelon Festival is FREE.

August 7, 2010  12th Annual Winemakers’ Cookoff
Paso Robles, California
Paso Robles is lovely, and I went on a wine tour there once. Did you know that most of the Pinot Noir grapes are grown around those parts? It was just like “Sideways.” Come out for a casual evening of relaxed good times, where you’ll meet 30 of the area’s finest winemaker-chefs. You’ll have a chance to taste the tempting fare grilled for your dining pleasure and enjoy wines selected to pair with their culinary creations.

August 7, 2010  Olathe Sweet Corn Festival
Olathe, Colorado
Olathe reminds me of Olaf. and then I think about St. Olaf’s and Betty White. And then I think about my friend Jim Colucci’s (St. Olaf Glee Club) awesome homage to Betty…
Right back to corn: All the ‘Olathe Sweet’ sweet corn you can eat. Free contests, games, over 150 food, arts and crafts, carnival games, commercial, ride and novelty booths. The Agricultural Center features informative and educational exhibits. Attendance: 16,000

August 7, 2010  Gnarly Barley Brew Festival
Loveland, Colorado
Animal lovers gather up: There’s a “Ham Bone Express pig race” where this little piggy goes wee wee wee all the way to the BBQ pit. The show has four races with four pigs in each race. The “swinemaster” introduces the celebrity contestants for each of four teams: Nashville Runners, Hollywood Runners, Political Runners, and World Champion Heavyweights. Before each race, he introduces the celebrity team’s contestants – including Synnona Judd, Arnold Schwarzenpigger, and Claude VanHam. A veterinarian inspects the racing pigs from snout to tail every 30 days, and they meet or exceed the requirements of the USDA Animal Welfare Act and state and local regulations. Dog contests are here too. Great brews, beer & food pairings, beer dinner, homebrew competition, live music.

August 7, 2010  Wine Under the Pines Festival
Nebraska City, Nebraska
When I think of Nebraska, I think of large sturdy people and fields of corn. There’s more I now see, as a celebration of southeast Nebraska’s vineyards and breweries. Grape stomp, apple wood smoked BBQ, live music and cooking demonstrations.

August 7, 2010  Lemon Days
Nebraska City, Nebraska
To be honest, I never think of lemons and Nebraska, but who am I to judge? Join Nebraskans for a very refreshing lemonade stand competition where area youth learn about entrepeneurism and small business ownership/operation. Coincides with the Wine Under the Pines community festival and local sidewalk sales.

August 7, 2010  41st Annual Funday & Possum Festival
Wausau, Florida
Stop, you had me at Possum Stew.  Road kill never tasted so good as the Possum Parade, possum stew, live music, dance, arts & crafts, 5K run, hog callin’, rosster crowin’ and cow lowin’ contests are the order of the day, in Wausau, Florida not Wisconsin BTW..

August 7, 2010 Watermelon Festival & “Jack Daniels Great American Grill-Off”
Vincennes, Indiana
I like when watermelons are injected with alcohol; it’s devious and a way to keep from having to wash a bunch of glasses and/or fill landfills with those pesky red plastic cups. Celebrate Vincennes’ community’s rich agriculture and fabulous watermelons! The day’s events include children’s pageants, children’s games, music and great food.

August 7, 2010  Art de Vin
Roscommon, Michigan
This is a dress-up festival, leave the Daisy Duke’s at home. First 300 receives a commemorative event wine glass. A celebration of Michigan Art, Wine, Hops and Harvest. Proceeds to benefit the Higgins Lake/Roscommon Non-Motorized Trailway System and Art du Jour, an after school and summer arts program for kids.

August 7, 2010  Brew HA HA
Morgantown, West Virginia
I like comics, especially when drinking. Here’s a perfect storm, a “one-of-a-kind” event that brings together comedians, food and beer. “Last Comic Standing” and beer sampling.

August 7, 2010  Art & Seafood Festival
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
My rich cousin vacations here every summer. She has never once invited me. So don’t tell her about this awesome festival as The Indian River Marina is hosting their 2nd Annual Arts and Seafood Festival. Come for a day full of art, seafood, live music and more!

August 7-8, 2010  Summer Flavors Festival
Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta has a cool underground that is a vestige from the Civil War. Tyler Perry movies and “Drop Dead Diva” film there. There’ a lot of streets that have the word “Peach” in them, and it’s confusing. The Festival serves up flavors from some of Atlanta’s best chef’s with a slant on very tasty health-conscious foods, best for the summer months.  Grilled meats and seafood, salads, desserts, cool drinks and more.  National and local entertainment.  The Event is also a fundraiser for diabetes awareness.

August 7, 2010  4th Annual Chili Cookoff
Montague, New Jersey
New Jersey and Chili? Wine and Chili? You must report back to me on this one: Westfall Winery. Bring a pot of your favorite Chili recipe and take home the prize! Or just attend our event and sample the Chili recipes and choose your favorite.

August 7, 2010  Cortland Arts & Wine Festival
Cortland, New York
Wine and art, music and mirth: The 4th annual festival will feature a juried art show, Finger Lakes wineries, food vendors and live music all day.

August 7, 2010  Blackberry Harvest Festival
Nelson County, Virginia
You had me at “Pig Pickin’ Meal” (I have no idea either) Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery. Family festivities including live music and crafts. Pick your own blackberries or taste wine. Pig pickin’ meal available.

August 7, 2010  Taste of New York Farm and Wine Market
Sackets Harbor, New York
This is high falutin’ and be prepared to buy a lot of comestibles: An opportunity to sample and purchase wines and farm products from across New York State. Nearly 40 Farms and Wineries from across the state will attend to sample and sell their products and educate spectators on how the products are produced. Wines, Cheeses, Maple Syrups, Ice Cream, Meats, Sauces and More!!

August 7, 2010  Brew at the Zoo
Columbia, South Carolina
Drinking and large predator animals in captivity usually don’t mix well, be sure to bring a Designated Thinker: South Carolina’s coolest suds sippin’ safari returns to Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.

August 7, 2010  Soul Food Extravaganza
Boise, Idaho
When I think of “soul food,” Idaho usually doesn’t jump to mind.  Now in its 18th year (!!), the festival is a celebration of our diversity with a fabulous variety of soul food and a profusion of entertainment. Jazz, gospel and hip hop music; kids’ activities, arts, vendors, dominos tournament, beer garden.

August 7, 2010  2010 Snowden Beer Festival
Southaven, Mississippi
Beer and the Mississippi. Relaxed dress code for this one: This one-day event offers food, live entertainment and a chance to sample over 70 beers, which will be selected to reflect the spirit of Mississippi and the Mid-South.

August 7-8, 2010  Celebrate Maine Festival
Eliot, Maine
Beer with the down home Mainers.  Celebrate Maine Festival featuring the Mainely Grillin’ & Chillin’ BBQ Competition.  CMF/MGCB is a family festival featuring great food including BBQ, homemade strawberry shortcake, and the popular Shipyard Brew Garden.  Also features continuous live entertainment, childrens activities, and artisans.  Plenty of food and fun for the entire family.

August 7-8, 2010  Long Beach Crawfish Festival
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is the home of the band “Sublime.” Eating Cajun food is also sublime. It’s all I got. This fest combines the best Cajun, Zydeco, and New Orleans sounds of music, tons of fresh crawfish prepared Louisiana style and served by authentic Cajun chefs, giant food court, children’s area, dance floor, two stages and beach bars to create the largest Crawfish Festival outside of Louisiana.

August 7-8, 2010  The Feel Good Festival
College Park, Georgia
No fried bull balls or copious amounts of booze here: The Feel Good Festival: A Celebration of Music, Art, Food, Health, and Sustainable Living.

August 7-8, 2010  18th Annual Garlic Festival
Fox Run Vineyards, Penn Yan, New York
Garlic has varieties? Not just the huge Elephant garlic vs regular kind you buy, check it out: Like grapes, some varieties of garlic do better in certain places. Such a place is the Finger Lakes, where at present between 70 and 100 strains are cultivated. Garlic food tent, cooking demonstrations, garlic vendors, beverage tent, music. Bring Altoids.

August 7-8, 2010  VeggieFest Chicago 2010
Naperville, Illinois
Don’t be looking for the smokers, hot wings or the Gyro guys. The largest free vegetarian food festival in the country, you know you’re looking at a huge success.They promise vendors, exciting food demos, expert speakers, wonderful children’s programs, fantastic live music and a fabulous food court. Attendance: 17,000.

August 7-8, 2010  Threshing Days
Urbandale, Iowa
Take the kids for some tough love learning, make them appreciate electricity and modern technology: Experience demonstrations of the many methods used to harvest oats and wheat from 1850 to the present and help bring in the Children”s craft center in the barn and free popcorn and lemonade.

August 7-9, 2010  57th Annual Louisiana Foodservice EXPO
New Orleans, Louisiana
Louisiana is crazy steeped in good eats. There’s a reason some of the fattest people in America live there. “Carnival in the Kitchen 2010″. With hundreds of booths, the EXPO is the premier foodservice gathering in the Gulf South.  Attendance: 11,000.

August 8, 2010  Share Our Strength’s ‘A Tasteful Pursuit’ Touring Dinner Series
Dallas, Texas
Bring your wallet and your heart: The food and company of the country’s top chefs. The thrill of an auction of incredible items. Enjoy the company of culinary icons and award-winning chefs like Michelle Bernstein, Daniel Boulud, Charlie Palmer, Michael Symon, David Burke  and many others, indulge in unparalleled cuisine and bid on fabulous auction items — all to help end childhood hunger in America. All in one evening and all to help fight childhood hunger in America.

August 8, 2010  Carytown Watermelon Festival
Richmond, Virginia
Imagine…every surface sticky with watermelon juice as 115,000 people, over 2500 watermelons and you mill about! With 80 musicians, over 100 exhibitors, one of the largest kids areas of any festival and all of the great Carytown style, the Watermelon Festival has become the largest one day festival in the state of Virginia. Attendance: 115,000.

August 8, 2010  8th Annual Whole Hog BBQ & Music Festival
North Haverhill, New Hampshire
Pigs and watermelons don’t have it easy in the summer. New–Backyard BBQ competition, rib cook-off for backyard pitmasters. Music, food & craft vendors, raffle, Ms. Piggie contest. Lipstick provided.

August 9-10, 2010  Restaurant Sydney
Sydney, Australia
Deal face to face with some of Australia’s leading food & wine producers at restaurant 2010, a trade-only show created by the industry for the industry. Uncover the latest culinary trends, hear from leading industry figures and discover new ideas to maximise your restaurant’s bottom line with a targeted series of seminars and demonstrations.

August 9-11, 2010  61st Annual Cokato Corn Carnival
Cokato, Minnesota
You had me a tractors and corn. They feature a Parade, Free corn, carnival, tractor show and entertainment.

August 9-15, 2010  SF Chefs 2010
San Francisco, California
“Mad Men” high falutin’ time, bring a lot of money. Highlighting local talent, regional ingredients and Northern Californian flair with tastings, classes, dinners, and events. During the weekend, a tented tasting pavilion will be housed on the historic Union Square, with culinary, wine and cocktail classes and events held at The Westin St. Francis Hotel.  1500 per day.

August 12, 2010  Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Chicago, Illinois
Good cause, see descriptions above. Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation is the nation’s premier culinary benefit, featuring top chefs and mixologists — all of whom are coming together to donate their time, talent and passion to end childhood hunger in America.

August 12-14, 2010  34th Annual Hope Watermelon Festival
Hope, Arkansas
Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee’s home towns! Melon judging (stop snickering)  & auction, watermelon eating contest, seed spitting contest, antique engine show, entertainment and Southwest Arkansas’ largest arts and crafts show. The website even features pictures of the two politicians to entice you to come on down.

August 12-14, 2010  31st Annual Cave City Watermelon Festival
Cave City, Arkansas
Apparently watermelons are a big dang deal in Arkansas. Entertainment, parade, contests, and a watermelon feast. A rind thumpin’ good time!

August 12-14, 2010  101st Annual Lisbon Sauerkraut Days
Lisbon, Iowa
Who knew there was a Lisbon in Iowa? I am part Portuguese and all my relatives told me the Portugees can only live near Oceans (a DNA thing), which would eliminate Iowa. Anyhow, Sauerkraut King and Queen, parade, street dances, golf and softball tournaments, cabbage weigh-off and more!

August 12-15, 2010  International Cake Exploration Societé Convention
San Diego, California
Cake is good food. There are at least 10 shows on all the food channels right now devoted to cakes, cupcakes and more cake. International Cake Exploration Societé (ICES), an organization comprised of over 3500 sugar artists, cake decorators and vendors from all over the world.

August 12-15, 2010  63rd Annual Mendota Sweet Corn Festival
Mendota, Illinois
Paula Deen you are warned: Tons of free, hot, buttered, delicious Del Monte sweet corn will be the highlight of the 61st annual Sweet Corn Festival. 60,000 visitors, who consume nearly 50 tons of sweet corn and BUTTER during the festival weekend.

August 12-15, 2010  Huddersfield Food & Drink Festival
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK
Someone get me a ticket to the UK stat, this is the “special relationship” I am talking about: West Yorkshire’s biggest food and drink festival. Tastes and products from all around the world. Cookery demonstrations with chefs from local restaurants and different cultures sharing their secrets and recipes. Children can learn about food in a cookery theatre; children’s story telling, balloon modelling and face painting.
Attendance: 50,000

August 12-15, 2010  West Point Sweet Corn Festival
West Point, Iowa
Add corn to the list of endangered food items that have it rough in the summer: Iowa’s largest Sweet Corn Festival. All you can eat sweet corn, free entertainment, midway and more. Pull up a seat and help volunteers shuck nearly 17 tons of sweet corn at Shuckfest held the day before the Sweet Corn Festival.
Attendance: 25,000

August 12-15, 2010  100th Annual Fisherman’s Feast
Boston, Massachusetts
I have been to this one in the past, and its amazing, In Honor of Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca, this is Boston’s oldest continuous Italian festival. Not for nuthin,’ this is an annual event that began in Boston in 1910 and is based on a tradition that goes back to the 16th century in Sciacca Sicily. Wear a fedora and don’t even think about wearing denim cut-offs or a trucker hat. Attendance: 100,000 to 200,000

August 12-15, 2010  National Blueberry Festival
South Haven, Michigan
I always think about the kid who turned into a blueberry in “Willy Wonka” and my mom’s sailboat crust blueberry pies: Celebrating the blueberry industry in and around South Haven. Featuring fish boil, blueberries, pancake breakfasts, chicken dinner, arts & crafts, live entertainment, pie eating contest, parade, 5k walk/run and more.

August 12-15, 2010  2010 Humungus Fungus Fest
Crystal Falls, Michigan
I really prefer people not call mushrooms fungus. Crystal Falls is ‘Home of the Humungous Fungus’, perhaps the world’s largest and oldest living organism. It covers 38 acres beneath an Iron County forest near the Wisconsin border. It is believed to be 1,500 to 10,000 years old and weighs about 100 tons – about the same as an adult blue whale. (This is shades of a horror film!!) It is the species called Armillaria Bulbosa and the mushrooms it produces are commonly called ‘honey mushroom.’ Activities include making and eating a humungous fungus pizza. Bahh!!

August 13-14, 2010  Summer Sizzle
Springfield, Missouri
Okay, you can wear your denim cut-offs and a trucker hat for this one: KCBS BBQ Contest, Kickball Tournament and RiverJam. “It’s Kinda Like Recess…With Beer.”

August 13-14, 2010  LaVernia Park Foundation BBQ
La Vernia, Texas
This is hard core Red State red meat fun: Saturday begins when the gates open at 10 am. The carnival, vendors and food booths will open and the fun will start. Don’t forget the auction Saturday afternoon. We always have some great items and this year shouldn’t be any different! The excitement continues into the evening with The Clay Wilson Band opening for KYLE PARK!!!! That’s something you don’t want to miss!IBCA-sanctioned BBQ cooking competition, where teams from across the state compete for the best BBQ chicken, beef, and ribs. A 2-day family event with something for everyone. All proceeds from this event go towards helping the La Vernia Park Foundation meet it’s main goal and objective: Making park improvements!

August 13-15, 2010  Huckleberry Days Arts Festival & Bake-Off Contest
Whitefish, Montana
I always thought Huckleberries were a made up name for a berry. I also thought Rancho Cucamonga was a made up name for a city by Warner Bros. Looney Tunes until I moved to California.

The 21st Annual Huckleberry Days Arts Festival and Dessert Bake-Off.  The Bake-off contest has two divisions (Commercial and Non-Commercial) and all entries must contain Huckleberries in some form (fresh, frozen, jam, syrup, etc.)  Cash prizes & bragging rights will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd & 3rd place winners in each division.

August 13-15, 2010  Chicago’s West Suburban Italian Festival
Chicago, Illinois
Again, if you are a thick pizza crust fan, check out Chi-town’s live entertainment, Italian food specialties from Western Suburban Italian restaurants. Beer/Wine, merchandise from Italy, children’s activities, Sunday Mass. Parking Available.

August 13-15, 2010  49th Annual Watermelon Festival
Sunland-Tujunga, California
Sticky stuff, bring wipes and sanitizer: Seed spitting contests ongoing throughout the fest. Greased melon relay race, watermelon carving display, music and marketplace. Enjoy free watermelon–a healthy treat!

Part two for the rest of August posts tomorrow!!

April MacIntyre is Monsters and Critics’ smallscreen and people/celebrity editor who loves all Greek and Italian festivals and is wary of the Wurstfest down in the San Marcos area of Texas (all it takes is one bad wiener). You can follow her on Twitter.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.