the road | the food | a new direction

Category: August

Minnesota State Fair, St. Paul MN, August 24th through September 4th 2017


Let us tell you a little story: years ago, while we were waiting for a flight out of Austin, TX, we stopped into the airport Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (yes, we know, what can we say?) for something to eat. As we were waiting for our food, a businessman-looking fellow walked up:

African-American kid taking orders: Can I help you?

Businessman (with that unmistakably cheerful uffda accent, pointing at a smoked sausage):  Let me have one of those red weenies on a stick!

Kid (looking confused): Excuse me?

Businessman: Put one of those red weenies on a stick for me, willya?

Kid sheepishly looks left, right, behind him, then turns back to his customer with a helpless look on his face: I don’t understand what you’re saying. Continue reading

Wild Rice Days, McGregor MN, August 31st through September 4th 2017


It’s funny to consider the luxury foods of your childhood. Of course, that all depends on the era, and the part of the country, in which your childhood falls. For us, that would be the proverbial ’60s in the Northeast. What were the luxuries to us? Port-wine stained cheese spread in ceramic crocks, from WisPride and Kaukauna Klub; little metal-lidded glasses of refrigerated Sau-Sea baby shrimp cocktail in sauce; Rice-A-Roni wild rice pilaf. Continue reading

Askov Rutabaga Festival & Fair, Askov MN, August 25th through 27th 2017


What’s America’s least-favorite vegetable? It’s hard to pick just one but certainly in the running are turnips, okra, Brussels sprouts, and rutabaga. We’d have included beets on that list until the last few years, which have seen an explosion of interest in the vegetable – beet salads with chevre and walnuts are on every other upscale menu today. Continue reading

Watermelon Day, Rocky Ford CO, August 22nd 2015

G.W. Swink held the first Watermelon Day in Rocky Ford, CO in 1878. He had a particularly bountiful crop of watermelons that year, so he thought he would share the melons with his neighbors. Lately, 50,000 pounds of free watermelons are given away on Watermelon Day, at the famed Watermelon Pile. The Watermelon Pile will be preceded by the Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest. That morning, there’ll also be a watermelon carving contest. Continue reading

Milford Oyster Festival, Milford CT, August 14th and 15th 2015

The 41st annual Milford Oyster Festival, in Connecticut, begins Friday night (known as Oyster Eve) with four events: Party-All-Eve (live music, oysters, beer), Sail-All-Eve (schooner cruises), Ride-All-Eve (carnival rides), and Stroll-All-Eve (sidewalk sale). Saturday’s Food Courts at Fowler Field and Lisman Landing will offer a wide selection, including foot long hot dogs, lobster rolls, crab cakes, corn on the cob, clam chowder, fried clams, fried oysters, fried shrimp, fresh clams, fried dough, crab rolls, and grinders. Continue reading

Indiana State Fair, Indianapolis IN, August 7th through 23rd 2015

It’s the Year of the Farmer at the 2015 Indiana State Fair, as a different farmer will be spotlighted during each day of the fair. Add in a Wild West Show, acrobats from China, pogo stick stunts, and the great cheese sculpture and you’re certain to have an entertaining and wide-ranging fair day in Indianapolis. The first Indiana State Fair was held in 1852, making it the sixth oldest state fair in the country. Among its many claims to fame: the Beatles actually performed at the fair in 1964! Continue reading

Tontitown Grape Festival, Tontitown AR, August 4th through 8th 2015

The year was 1898. 18 families from Genoa, Italy had arrived in Arkansas over the previous three years, That summer they held a harvest celebration of thanks, an annual tradition which continues to this day as the Tontitown Grape Festival in Tontitown, Arkansas. The 117th edition of that celebration begins tomorrow, Tuesday, August 4th and runs through Saturday the 8th. It’s a grape festival, alright, and there are plenty of grapes to be found, but the festival is perhaps most famous for their spaghetti dinners. Continue reading

Old-Fashioned Corn Roast Festival, Union Mills MD, August 1st 2015

For the 45th consecutive summer, the Union Mills Homestead will be hosting their annual Old-Fashioned Corn Roast Festival. The date is Saturday, August 1st, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Local corn roasted in the husk over coals is really something special, and your meal ticket gets you all the corn you care to eat! Along with that corn: fried chicken, applesauce, sliced tomatoes, roll and butter, and iced tea or lemonade. Continue reading

Delaware State Fair, Harrington DE, July 23rd through August 1st

Delaware used to hold the first state fair of summer until California jumped ahead of them by two weeks. So what is now the 2nd state fair of the season will begin on Thursday, July 23rd and will continue through Saturday, August 1st. If a Livestock Extravaganza (July 28th), the Dairy Goat Milking Contest (July 29th), harness racing (July 30th), or a Chickin Pickin’ Contest (July 25th) is your kind of fun (it’s ours!), start making plans now. Continue reading

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