Summer's Wackiest Food Fests

Your taste buds won't know what hit them.

Anxious to get out of the expected ice cream and hamburger tastes of summer this year? Look no further than these unique food festivals. From a weekend of sauerkraut to a festival all about beer cheese, these summer fetes offer food and fun you may not find anywhere else. Take your taste buds on a tour across the country with these four wacky summer food festivals.

 Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival

Erik Meadows Photography

 Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival

Erik Meadows Photography

You don’t have to be a fan of the horror musical classic to love this namesake festival. Presented for the 8th year by Atlanta star chef Ford Fry, this festival celebrates the summer standard right in its peak season. More than 50 farmers and 70 Southern chefs and mixologists will put together tomato-based tipples and dishes to help raise money for Georgia Organics. Man-eating tomatoes not included.

Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival, Monterey, California

Ocean Mist Farms

If you’re looking for an artichoke in California, Castroville is the place to go. This annual fest has already happened, but mark your calendar for next year's celebration of all things artichoke. This self-proclaimed Center of the Artichoke World produces 75% of California’s artichokes and the Castroville Artichoke Festival itself began in 1959. Past festivals have featured beer and wine tastings with selections from across the state, a farmers' market, chef demos, live entertainment and tours of artichoke fields. The highlight may be the Agro Art competition where competitors create pieces of art out of fruit and vegetables.

Sauerkraut Weekend, August 5-7: Phelps, NY

Starting in 1967, the Sauerkraut Weekend in Phelps, NY, began as a one-day event all because the town was one of the largest producers of the product in the world. Now expanded to a weekend festival, the event celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The festival includes a parade (including sauerkraut royalty), a cabbage decorating contest, a car show featuring Ford Mustangs, an art show and a food court with—you guessed it—plenty of sauerkraut. And don’t miss the festival’s sauerkraut eating contests and cabbage bowling.

Beer Cheese Festival, June 11: Winchester, KY

Wisconsin isn’t the only American home to cheese. In fact, beer cheese spread (a mix of cheddar cheese, spices and, of course, beer) is a Kentucky staple and this festival 30 minutes from Lexington celebrates all things beer cheese. The festival offers all sorts of varieties of beer cheese from professionals and amateur beer cheese connoisseurs plus a beer garden and arts and crafts vendors for guests to peruse.

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