Left at the Fork

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Category: July (page 1 of 2)

Gilroy Garlic Festival, Gilroy CA, July 24th through 26th 2015

Yep, this is the one — the festival with the infamous garlic ice cream. They give the stuff away for free, no less, apparently confident in its limited novelty appeal. In the same way that Hershey, PA takes on the aroma of its famous roasted bean, Gilroy, CA will fill the air with the heady scent of the stinking rose this weekend, July 24th through 26th, as the town hosts the 37th annual Gilroy Garlic Festival. Continue reading

Kolacky Days, Montgomery MN, July 24th through 26th 2015

From The Kolacky Capital of the World comes the 81st annual Kolacky Festival in Montgomery, Minnesota! First held in 1929 when … what’s that? What’s a kolacky? We quote the festival website: “A kolacky is a small dinner roll-like pastry which is folded, enclosing filling in the center. The most common fillings include prune, poppyseed, apricot, apple, blueberry and raspberry.” They come from the Czech Republic or, to be more accurate, Bohemia, which is what that region of Europe was called when Montgomery was settled by Czechs in the mid-1800s. It’s been over 150 years and they have not forgotten! 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

Buffalo Barbecue, Grand Lake CO, July 18th and 19th 2015

The 68th Grand Lake Buffalo BBQ, held since 1947, this year takes place Saturday and Sunday, July 18th and 19th. On Saturday, the day begins at 7 a.m. with the Rotary pancake breakfast in the park, to be followed by a 5K run. Then, from noon until it runs out, farm-raised buffalo with all the fixin’s will be served at the lakefront. There’ll be entertainment, too: lots of music, beer and spirits, and plenty of activities for kids. Continue reading

Apple Pie Jamboree, Pateros WA, July 17th through 19th 2015

The Apple Pie Jamboree began in 1947 as way to raise money for the local hospital. The festival continued in fits and starts over the years – the next Jamboree was held in 1950 but stopped after the ’57 party. It wasn’t until 1969 that the festivities took hold for good in Pateros. Those early years featured raffles of refrigerators and an 800-pound steer. In a scene foreshadowing a classic episode of a ’70s sitcom, one year live chickens were tossed off the roofs of local buildings! Yes, much has changed over the years but the apple pie remains. Continue reading

Yarmouth Clam Festival, Yarmouth ME, July 17th through 19th 2015

Whole fried clams in crumbs. Fried clam strips. Fried clams in batter. Clam chowder. Clam cakes. Steamed clams. Yep, it’s time once again for that ultimate festival for clam-lovers: the 50th Annual Yarmouth Clam Festival in Maine. Over 100,000 visitors are expected in Yarmouth the weekend of July 17th through 19th. Continue reading

North Dakota State Fair, Minot ND, July 17th through 25th 2015

We love everything about state fairs, from the 4-H exhibits to the butter and cheese sculptures, from the headline country music concerts to the Sweet Adelines, but what really grabs us are the food possibilities. Unfortunately, some fairs treat food as an afterthought, offering nothing but standard carnival fare. The North Dakota State Fair, perhaps surprisingly, is not one of those. Interesting things to eat are front and center in Minot! Continue reading

Porter Peach Festival, Porter OK, July 16th through 18th 2015

Free peaches and ice cream! Do you need any other reason to attend the 49th Porter Peach Festival in Oklahoma? The festival dates are July 16th through 18th. The peaches and cream will be handed out Saturday at 1 p.m. When it comes to peaches, that’s not all: earlier Saturday, contestants will be competing at the Porter Civic Center in the annual peach cooking contests, in the categories of cobblers, desserts, and preserves. And you’ll be able to pick your own peaches (or purchase them already picked) at Livesay Orchards. Continue reading

Central Maine Egg Festival, Pittsfield ME, July 13th through 18th 2015

“Brown Eggs Are Local… And Local Eggs Are Fresh.” So says the website of the Central Maine Egg Festival. We guess that rule applies to Central Maine; don’t know if that’ll work in the rest of the country. Anyway, the town of Pittsfield, in Maine, is host to the egg fest, which begins Monday the 13th and will continue through Saturday the 18th. Continue reading

Kansas Wheat Festival, Wellington KS, July 8th through 12th 2015

Sumner County in Kansas is the Wheat Capital of the World. Wellington, Kansas is the county seat of Sumner. So it stands to reason that if you’re going to have a wheat festival, there’s no better place than Wellington. Wednesday, July 8th begins the 115th annual edition of the Kansas Wheat Festival, which runs through Sunday the 12th. The five festival days are jam-packed with events: Continue reading

Grand Bay Watermelon Festival, Grand Bay AL, July 3rd and 4th 2015

It was 1973 when Grand Bay, Alabama revived an early 20th-century local tradition and put on the first Grand Bay Watermelon Festival of the modern era. The festival is courtesy of the local Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and it begins today, with free admission, at 3 p.m. On the 4th, there’s a $5 per vehicle charge for the 8 a.m. till 4 p.m. festival but admission comes with all the locally grown, ice-cold watermelon you care to eat! Continue reading

Hopkins Raspberry Festival, Hopkins MN, July 11th through 19th 2015

What’s a raspberry festival without raspberries? Why, that would be the Hopkins Raspberry Festival in Minnesota! When the festival began, in 1934, the area was surrounded by raspberry farms. The farms are long gone and, while the festival continued to be held, the raspberries eventually disappeared from the raspberry festival as well. In 2009, for the 75th edition of the raspberry festival, they experimented with bringing the raspberries back – pints of berries were sold all over the festival, just like in the old days. But the gesture towards a new tradition didn’t take. Continue reading

Ballard SeafoodFest, Seattle WA, July 11th and 12th 2015

The fishing community of Ballard, a Seattle neighborhood that sits alongside Puget Sound, got together with the local Elks to hold a salmon barbeque dinner in 1971 to raise money for the Chamber of Commerce. That dinner has since grown into the two-day Ballard SeafoodFest, drawing over 60,000 people to what was once a center of Scandinavian-American salmon fishermen. This year’s festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, July 11th and 12th. Continue reading

California State Fair, Sacramento CA, July 10th through 26th 2015

California has the distinction of holding the summer’s first state fair (state fair geeks are aware that Florida’s fair, held in February, is the first of the calendar year). The California State Fair is one of the more popular state fairs as well, drawing almost a million people over its 17 days. This year’s edition opens in Sacramento on Friday, July 10th and runs through Sunday, July 26th. Continue reading

Turkey Rama, McMinnville OR, July 10th and 11th 2015

Over five tons of turkey is grilled outdoors over coals for McMinnville, Oregon’s annual Turkey Rama, held this year for the 55th time. The turkey is fantastic, smoky and seasoned to the bone, with luscious strips of skin. Choose white or dark. This is a huge festival that extends far beyond the consumption of the bird that was once, but is no longer, a major part of the local economy. Continue reading

Southeast Old Threshers’ Reunion, Denton NC, June 30th through July 4th 2015

All you city slickers are probably wondering: what’s a thresher? It’s a piece of farm machinery that separates the kernel of a grain from the stalk. The Southeast Old Threshers’ Reunion claims to be “The Greatest Steam, Gas Engine & Antique Farm Show in the Southeastern U.S.” and we don’t doubt them. The part of the festival that intrigues us the most is the Tractor Ride, at $25/person. See, you drive the tractor! It’s not clear to us if they supply the tractor or you are supposed to bring your own. In any case, the ride comes with a t-shirt and lunch afterwards  of BBQ pork or grilled chicken. Continue reading

National Cherry Festival, Traverse City MI, July 4th through 11th 2015

Traverse City, Michigan calls itself the Cherry Capital of the World and, judging by the eight-day cherry party they put on each summer, we’d have to agree. There are many, many opportunities to eat cherries at the National Cherry Festival. How about attending the Very Cherry Pancake Breakfast which will include locally sourced cherry topping? Or the Great American Picnic where the menu includes corn bread with dried cherries, cherry brats with cherry mustard chutney, smoked chicken wings with cherry-chipotle glaze, marinated green bean salad with cherry vinaigrette, pasta salad with dried cherry pesto, and a brownie with dried cherries! Continue reading

Lexington County Peach Festival, Gilbert SC, July 4th 2015

Peach ice cream, peach cobbler, peach sundaes, peach slush, peach tea, peach almond delights (what are they?!), and fresh peaches — that’s right, this isn’t one of those festivals where the local crop plays a strictly symbolic role. No, there WILL be peaches at the 57th annual Lexington County Peach Festival, and plenty of them! To go along with all those fresh peachy delights there will be plate lunches of barbecued pork and chicken.
Continue reading

Hillbilly Day, Mountain Rest SC, July 4th 2015

Mountain Rest, at the far western reaches of South Carolina, bordering Georgia, is certainly a part of Appalachia, but when they celebrate the 56th annual Hillbilly Day on the 4th of July you can be sure tongues are planted firmly in cheek. Which is not to say that the stereotypical “hillbilly” culture celebrated at this festival is entirely foreign to the thousands of folks who attend in fanciful getups each year. The old-timey banjo and fiddle music is for real, as are the cloggers. But don’t expect to run into the real Jed Clampett. Continue reading

47th Roasting of the Hog, Beech Mountain NC, July 4th 2015

Combine pig, hickory charcoal, and the High Country of North Carolina and what do you get? A 4th of July to remember, at the 47th Roasting of the Hog in Beech Mountain (the highest town in the United States east of the Rockies). The local fire department claims they’ve perfected their seasonings and charcoal blends over the years, to the point that they may just serve the finest barbecue in the High Country. Dinner (they do turkey as well as pork) is served from 6 until 8 p.m. and includes all the fixin’s, tea and lemonade, and even a Moon Pie for dessert! Continue reading

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