Restaurant Food Festivals
15 Apr

Restaurant Food Festivals in April 2014

A local food festival is a food-lover’s dream: a place where multiple restaurants and chefs gather together to showcase their goods. And for the rest of this month, there are many great food festivals taking place throughout the nation! Whether you’re looking for a food-focused getaway or a fun festival in your town, here are a few upcoming events worth checking out.Austin Food & Wine Festival, April 25-27: Dubbed one of the greatest food festivals by Fodor’s, the Austin Food & Wine Festival showcases some of this Texas city’s finest foods.Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation Events: Designed to showcase local cuisine while also benefiting local causes, the Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation events include small bites from local chefs, restaurants, and culinary schools — with proceeds used to fight childhood hunger. These events occur in various cities throughout the month, including:

Taste of DeSoto, April 17: Held annually in Southaven, Miss., since 2004, the Taste of DeSoto is a unique food-sampling event that showcases around 50 of the local area’s best restaurants. Last year the event raised more than $40,000 for the American Liver Foundation.

Spring Beer & Wine Fest, April 18 & 19: Located at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore., the Spring Beer & Wine Fest features the area’s finest libations, served up alongside entertainment and specialty food items. Some of the participating breweries include Blue Dog Mead, Dick’s Brewing Company and Kilts Brewing Company; some of the participating wineries include Crater Lake Cellars, Maryhill Winery and Zerba Cellars.

11th Annual Gumbo Fest, April 19: Sponsored by the West Memphis Chamber of Commerce and other local businesses, Gumbo Fest is a big cooking contest centered around one of the area’s most ubiquitous cuisines. It is held in West Memphis, Ark., every year.

28th Annual Alma Spinach Festival, April 19: Creating a festival Popeye would be proud to participate in, Alma, Ark., celebrates spinach every spring. In this day-long festival, attendees can enjoy everything from a spinach-eating contest to an inflatable obstacle course the length of a football field.

Sacramento Beer and Chili Festival, April 19: Hosted by the Sacramento Artists Council, Inc., along with The Grid Agency and Dad’s Kitchen, this California fundraiser for art programs to benefit at-risk children offers a wide range of beer tastings and a chili cook-off.

14th Annual Taste of Hillcrest, April 19: At this San Diego food fest, participants can sample everything from Middle Eastern flavors to Indian spices.

5th Annual California Nut Festival, April 19: This event in Chico, Calif., offers gourmet food, musical entertainment, an art show, cooking demonstrations and more, all focused on the area’s strong heritage in producing nuts.

Smoky Mountain Oyster & Seafood Festival, April 19: Western North Carolina’s Maggie Valley Festival Grounds provide the perfect setting for this seafood festival filled with oysters, shrimp, clams and other treats.

World’s Biggest Fish Fry, April 19-27: Paris, Tenn., is where the world’s biggest fish fry is held each year, showcasing (along with fish) events such as beauty pageants, arts and crafts, music and a parade.

Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend 2014, April 22-26: At this foodie weekend held in Charlotte, N.C., guests enjoy tastings from local purveyors, chef demonstrations, wine tastings and more.

Colleton County Rice Festival, April 22-27: Celebrating the region’s heritage of rice, the Colleton County Rice Festival in Walterboro, S.C., is an annual event filled with arts and crafts, food, fireworks, bands, music and more.

Waltham Food & Wine Festival, April 23: Held at The Westin in Waltham, Mass., this 22nd annual festival features more than a dozen of the area’s best restaurants and hosts over 500 attendees.

Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair, April 23-27: Set in historic Sugar Land, Texas, just 15 minutes outside Houston, this wine and food festival draws 7,800 attendees every year. The five days of events include tastings, dinners, demonstrations and more.

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival, April 24-27: Held during the last full week of April every year, this Michigan food festival celebrates all things maple syrup. Festivities include a parade, a quilt show and a wide range of syrups, syrup candies and opportunities for enjoying maple syrup — including on pancakes at the local high school.

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