For good, regional food, there’s a festival, fair or competition almost every week and in nearly every state.
Rock ’n Ribs: April 18-19, Springfield, MO
Sixty teams compete for the best barbecue. Teams like Pig Pimpin, Swine Dining and The Garden of Eatin’ get saucy for prizewinning chicken, pork shoulder or beef brisket.
Great American Pie Festival: April 19-20, Celebration, FL
With the “Never Ending Pie Buffet” guests can gorge on everything from banana cream to key lime and sweet potato. Last year’s winning pie was Plantation Caramel Apple Crunch.
Crawfish Fest: May 30-June 1, Augusta, NJ
Sample grilled alligator sausage or crawfish pie while listening to zydeco or Delta blues. If you can’t get enough during the day, camp out on the festival grounds.
National Hamburger Festival: July 19-20, Akron, OH
Everything from cook-offs to eating contests to the Miss Hamburger pageant. A highlight is Bobbing for Burgers: pluck as many as you can from a wading pool filled with ketchup.
Maine Lobster Festival: July 30-August 3, Rockland, ME
Lobster, served steamed, battered or mixed with fettuccini. At the lobster crate race, the daring navigate 50 partially submerged crates, trying to not fall into the chilly Maine waters.