Friday, July 30, 2010

Eat Across America

From sea to shining sea, Americans know how to celebrate their food. Cities across this great land pay homage to the sustainable goods that make their region famous with parades, contests, and of course, festivals, often sponsored by CPG companies.

Take for example, the Cheese Curd Festival, hosted in – you guessed it – Wisconsin! This year, the village of Ellsworth, 30 miles east of Minneapolis/St. Paul, held their ninth annual event June 25-27. The event included a scavenger hunt for "The Great Cheese Curd Medallion," a cheese carving contest, and fireworks, thanks to sponsors including the Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery and Nash Finch.

Wisconsin isn't the only state having all the fun with cheese, though! On July 25, the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival organized its fourteenth annual event where attendees sampled cheese, learned from educational seminars, and watched cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs. Sponsors such as Cabot Cheese and Ben & Jerry's made the day possible.

In Georgia, they take their peaches very having a lot of fun! This year, the Georgia Peach Festival took place June 11-19. The first Georgia Peach festival was staged in Peach County's Fort Valley in 1986. Events during the week-long event included the Miss Georgia Peach Pageant and sampling of the world's largest peach cobbler, all presented with the help of local sponsors, many orchards and farms.

If strawberries are more your thing, the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival is for you! From May 28-31, participants celebrated the 52nd annual fair with carnival rides, a redhead contest, and a parade that has boasted a celebrity grand marshal since 1959. Foster Farms, Sam's Club, and Seattle's Best Coffee were just three of the festival's many sponsors this year.

Moving on to main dishes, you'll want to head to Maine to commemorate the mighty lobster. Sponsored by such companies as PepsiCo and Green Mountain Coffee, the Maine Lobster Festival is right around the corner – August 4-8. In addition to a lobster-eating contest, a lecture on the evolution of lobsters, and a codfish carry competition for kids, participants can take in free concerts by artists ranging from Clint Black to the Wicked Good Band.

For those who like their food a bit spicier, try the National Buffalo Wing Festival in Buffalo, New York, brought to you by none other than Frank's RedHot, among others. On September 4 and 5, more than 91,000 attendees will feast on 40 tons of wings. In addition to sampling the best wings in the area, attendees can bob for wings in a blue cheese bowl, enter the amateur creative sauce-off, and salute the newest members of the National Buffalo Wing Hall of Flame.

Other food festivals include:What food festivals take place where you live? Please, leave a message and tell me all about the wonderful fairs you have attended that pay tribute to local fare!

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