Eight Summer Food Festivals Worth the Schlep

Adult baby food eating contest.

Did you miss San Francisco's Oyster Fest last month? Fear not. There are plenty of larger food festivals to satiate you — if you're willing to travel. We've put together a roundup of some of the best.

Maine Lobster Festival (July 29-August 2)
Made famous by David Foster Wallace's essay Consider the Lobster, this festival in Rockland features over 20,000 pounds of crustaceans for the taking, along with steamed and fried clams, fried Maine shrimp, shrimp cocktail, and steamed mussels. The massive lobster cooker allows you to watch the clawed critters get cooked to death in real time. Admission: $8.

Gilroy Garlic Festival (July 24-26)
This popular festival (over 107,000 attended last year) located south of San Jose is a vampire's worst nightmare. Garlic bread, garlic fries, garlic almonds, garlic salmon, even garlic ice cream –name the garlic pairing, the Gilroy Garlic Festival serves it up. Make sure to stick around for the garlic cook-off. Winning recipes have included a walnut-garlic tart with garlic-infused ice cream, and garlic seafood soup. Admission is $12.

National Capital BBQ Battle (June 27-28)
The yearly barbecue battle in Washington, D.C., brings together 'cue lovers from across the country to compete for $40,000 in cash and prizes. If you've ever harbored dreams of being crowned National Pork Champion, this is your Woodstock. Admission? $10.


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