Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday September 30th 2014

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Festival Feats

The best festivals are ones that revolve around food. Here are a few—local and day-travel distance—that occur throughout the year.

June: Creole Tomato Festival
To celebrate the crops of creole tomatoes and the inevitable dishes that follow, The French Market in New Orleans holds a two-day festival with eight blocks of food booths and cooking demonstrations.
DETAILS: frenchmarket.org/2012-creole-tomato-festival

32nd Annual Blueberry Festival
The blueberry festival is for one day, June 16. It’s worth the Saturday to travel to Brewton, Ala. to buy fresh blueberries and blueberry bushes. Cool off with a scoop of blueberry ice cream.
DETAILS: alabamablueberryfestival.com

July: Grand Bay Watermelon Festival
What’s more American than eating watermelon on July 4? Entering the watermelon eating and the seed spitting contests.
DETAILS: grandbaywatermelonfestival.com

August: Florida Scallop and Music Festival
If you happen to be traveling to Port St. Joe August 3-4 stop by the festival for mollusks in every which way desired.
DETAILS: scallopfest.com

September:  35th Annual Seafood Festival
Often times, Pensacola’s own Seafood Festival is a must-do for locals. The festival serves a variety of dishes from carefully selected vendors from September 28-30. Dishes you can look forward to include: grilled conch, seafood gumbo, oyster croquettes, soft shell crab, coconut shrimp, Caribbean crab cakes and more.
DETAILS: fiestaoffiveflags.org/pensacola-seafood-festival

October: Gulf Coast Oyster Festival
The Gulf Coast Oyster Festival celebrates the local oyster industry and promotes Gulf Coast shellfish farmers on October 6-7. For $40 you can eat all the oysters you want and wash them down with a beer from the Oktoberfest Beer Tent.
DETAILS: gulfcoastoysterfestival.com

Destin Seafood Festival
If you didn’t get your seafood fix in September, Destin holds their annual Seafood Festival in October featuring live music, chef demonstrations and of course, lots of seafood.
DETAILS: destinseafoodfestival.org

41st Annual Shrimp Festival
Pensacola honors crawfish and Gulf Shores, Ala. honors shrimp. This year’s festival takes place October 11-14. Admission is free and with over 300 vendors, there is something for everyone.
DETAILS: alagulfcoastchamber.com

53rd Greek Festival
The three day cultural event will take place October 12-14 and will feature plenty of authentic Greek dishes such as pastitso, souvlakia, and baklava. All dishes are under $10.
DETAILS: annunciationgoc.org

Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival
The festival offers up two of NOLA’s greatest attributes: food and music. Inventive barbecue dishes, desserts and even vegetarian options will be available. The festival will be held October 12-14.
DISHES: jazzandheritage.org/blues-fest

Elberta German Sausage Festival
The Elberta, Ala. festival usually sells about 7,000 pounds of German sausage at each festival. This year, the festival will be held on October 27. Other foods include German-style filled cabbage, potato salad, goulash, red beans and rice, barbecue sandwiches and the usually festival fare.
DETAILS: elbertafire.com

November: National Peanut Festival
Bet you didn’t know that half of the peanuts grown in the United States were grown within a 100-mile radius of Dothan, Ala. The National Peanut Festival is an eight day event, which will be held November 2-11, to honor peanut growers.
DETAILS: nationalpeanutfestival.com

Alabama Pecan Festival
Peanuts aren’t the only glorified nut. The Mobile, Ala. festival offers pecan goodies, candies, cakes and cookies to satisfy any sweet tooth.
DETAILS: alabamapecanfestival.com

Taste of the Beach
This three day festival in Walton County offers wine tastings, auctions and private dinners.
DETAILS: tasteofthebeachfl.com

December: Treme Creole Gumbo Festival
The two-day festival coincides with the city’s annual Jazz & Heritage Holiday Bazaar and features Treme residents such as Kermit Ruffins. Gumbo is the main attraction, but other dishes served include macaroni and cheese, shrimp and grits, fried catfish and desserts such as bread pudding.
DETAILS: jazzandheritage.org/treme-gumbo

March: BBQ Championship and Hog Wild Festival
Located in Mobile, Ala., this festival puts you in the judge’s chair, sampling vendor’s creations and naming the People’s Choice Champion.
DETAILS: bbqmobile.net

Beulahfest
It’s not called the Beulah Sausage Fest anymore, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deliver the same tasty fare. Go for the “Thompson Sausage” and stay for the live music.
DETAILS: beulahfest.com

Roadfood Festival
Held annually in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the Roadfood Festival offers up inexpensive food from around the country. Where else can you taste Maine lobster and Texas barbecue in one day?
DETAILS: neworleansroadfoodfestival.com

April: Baldwin County Strawberry Festival
The festival sells hundreds of thousands of flats of strawberries. The festival has fried, vendor foods, but the main draw is the strawberry shortcake.
DETAILS: strawberryfestival.askbis.com

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
Yes, Jazz Fest is mainly about music, but regular festival goers plan their day around the food. The festival features Louisiana fare such as crawfish bread, fried chicken and gumbo just to name a few.
DETAILS: nojazzfest.com

May: Crawfish Festival
The Crawfish Festival is one of the biggest crawfish boils in the state and also serves Cajun foods such as: crawfish poboys, crawfish pies and over 16,000 pounds of boiled crawfish.
DETAILS: fiestaoffiveflags.org/pensacola-crawfish-festival