The Biggest Food Festival You’ve Never Heard Of

And the name gives no clues into the enormous culinary adventure that it really is

Can you name what's been called "the nation’s biggest street festival after Mardi Gras"? We didn’t think so. Well, grab a Munchie Map and get educated — it’s called the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival and it’s now in its 90th year in Evansville, Ind.

With more than 130 food trucks and hundreds of thousands of attendees each year, it is tough to say why so few (outside of Indiana, it seems) have heard of this wild festival. It is a culinary adventure to behold, where everything’s fried and nothing’s off-limits. Fried Oreos and green beans are for amateurs, but what about fried turkey testicles? Fried butter is gaining traction, too, but perhaps brain sandwiches and alligator stews are still a bit niche. Of course, classic festival fare is available, from hot dogs to caramel apples, for the less audacious. (Photo courtsesy of iStock/RASimon)

So where does the name come from? In 1921, a group of local businessmen banded together to form the West Side Nut Club and started hosting an annual festival to raise money for local charities and hospitals, and to promote the well-being of the community.

Tons of rides, games of tug-of-war, parades, and amateur hours in the evenings make the whole event a family-friendly activity. This year’s festival will be held October 2–8 and, per usual, entry is free.

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So few have heard of it because it is in Indiana, not Illinois!

Nicole Campoy-Leffler's picture

Red-faced apologies! The story has been updated, thanks!

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