Eel from Single-Food Festivals Worth a 1,000-Mile Journey Slideshow

Single-Food Festivals Worth a 1,000-Mile Journey Slideshow

Eelpout Festival
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Eel

When Jay Leno sends a crew to film an obscure midwinter fishing contest for his show, it's a reason for the whole state to celebrate and to stage a press campaign as well. Hence, 2012 is the year of the media blitz for the International Eelpout Festival. This Minnesota lake-fishing, eel-loving tradition is actually in its 33rd annual run this Feb. 16 to 19, and draws about 10,000 people. Even if you don't want to kiss an eel for luck or jump into an iced-over lake, you might enjoy the "frozen" wet T-shirt contest or the ice bar on the lake.