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Slideshow: Every Food Festival and Event You Need to Know for 2017

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Make this list your guide to the must-visit food festivals of the year
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Bacon Festival (Sacramento, Calif.)

Bacon Festival (Sacramento, Calif.)

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Every foodie knows that whatever you wrap in bacon is bound to be an instant hit. With that logic, it’s no wonder Sacramento’s Bacon Festival has become so popular. The event has grown substantially since its inception, bringing in about 100 restaurants last year from only 20 in 2012. The festival will begin in a couple of weeks (Jan. 23) at East Sacramento restaurant and end on Jan. 29 with a bacon competition at Mulvaney’s Building and Loan.

Here’s how bacon is eaten around the world.  

South Beach Wine and Food Festival (Miami, Fla.)

South Beach Wine and Food Festival

Photo by Glenn G. via Yelp

The South Beach Wine and Food Festival is an annual event that you won’t want to miss this year, from Feb. 22 to 26. With more than 65,000 guests, this festival hosts 90 events in five days and welcomes dozens of culinary celebrities from outlets such as the Food Network and Cooking Channel.

Click here for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival 2017 lineup

Annual Food and Fun Festival (Reykjavik, Iceland)

Annual Food and Fun Festival

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Engage in Iceland’s culinary scene at Reykjavik’s Food and Fun Festival, where gourmet menus are created in collaboration between local restaurants and chefs that come in from America and Europe. The dishes are made with local, sustainable produce and the region’s freshest ingredients. The festival will take place from March 1 to 5 this year.

Here are five reasons Reykjavik should already be on your bucket list

Wildfoods Festival (Hokitika, New Zealand)

Wildfoods Festival (Hokitika, New Zealand)

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The countdown to New Zealand’s Wildfoods Festival on March 11 has already begun. International, gourmet, and traditional dishes will all be served during this festival. Menu items will include gourmet sausages, Maori hangi, duck heads, scorpions, and fried pig ears, making this event an absolute must for the adventurous foodie. With such a vast range of options, you’re bound to find something new to love outside of your comfort zone.

Here’s a look at past dishes of Hokitika’s Wildfoods Festival.

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (Melbourne, Australia)

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

Photo Modified: flickr / Tourism Victoria / CC by 2.0

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has come a long way since its comparably small festival in 1993. From March 31 to April 9, experience the fresh produce, food markets, restaurants, and wines that come from Melbourne and surrounding areas.

Click here for Melbourne’s five best pubs

Savour Gourmet (Multiple Locations, Singapore)

Savour Gourmet, Singapore

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Savour puts on three events throughout the year (Savour Gourmet, Savour Wines, and Savour Christmas), but Savour Gourmet kicks off the year of festivals in early May. Restaurants create new dishes for the occasion; you’ll enjoy live music and drinks and you can taste products from all over the world that are flown in specifically for Savour’s Gourmet Markets.

Click here for a taste of Singapore.

Ottawa Poutine Festival (Ottawa, Canada)

This is the ultimate Canadian comfort food festival. Ottawa’s Poutine Festival celebrates this delicious staple with different versions and styles of poutine from around the world, all in downtown Ottawa from May 4 to 7. There will be poutine and beer pairings and a contest to judge the best poutine. You may have to go for a run or two following the festival, but it will be worth it.

Find out the top 10 things only people from Canada say.

Pizzafest (Naples, Italy)

Pizzafest (Naples, Italy)

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Naples celebrates its famous Neapolitan pizza with a 10-day Pizzafest in late May or early June. During this time there are pizza contests naming the best pizzaiolo, master classes to take, and countless pizzas to devour of all shapes and sizes. Be sure you’ve packed your appetite for this one.

Click here for 15 of Italy’s best pizza places.

Michigan Cherry Festival (Grand Traverse County, Mich.)

Michigan Cherry Festival

Photo modified: flickr / Brett Neilson/ CC by 2.0

From July 1 to 8, take part in celebrating the Grand Traverse region of Michigan at the National Cherry Festival. There will be an air show kicking off the event plus several more throughout the week, countless farmers markets, beer tents, wine excursions, food trucks, and festival races to run off all your great eats.

Taste of Chicago (Chicago)

Taste of Chicago

photo modified: flickr / Sharan Mohandoss/ CC by 2.0

Taste of Chicago is a free food event held during the summer in Grant Park with not only amazing Chicago dishes and chef demonstrations but also a star-studded concert lineup (previous artists have included The Roots and Billy Idol). This year, the outdoor food festival will be held from July 5 to 9. 

Click here to learn how to eat like a Chicagoan.

International Mango Festival (Delhi)

International Mango Festival (Delhi)

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The International Mango Festival in Delhi, India is a two-day festival in early July that should be kept on your radar if you love all things mango. The festival includes mango-carving, mango-eating competitions, and the chance to try countless varieties of the fruit.

Maine Lobster Festival (Rockland, Maine)

Maine Lobster Festival (Rockland, Maine)

Photo Modified: flickr / manray3/ CC by 2.0

Occurring annually in the first week of August, the Maine Lobster Festival has everything from arts and crafts tents to food trucks and fried dough. The main attraction, however, are the lobsters. With 20,000 pounds of lobster at the festival, you can practically hear all those shells cracking open already.

Click here for Maine’s 20 best lobster rolls.

La Tomatina (Buñol, Spain)

La Tomatina (Spain)

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Every year, on the last Wednesday of August, there is a tomato fight in the town of Buñol, Spain. This isn’t so much a food festival as it is an annual food fight; but it’s an event you’ll definitely want to be part of at least once. It’s considered the world’s largest food fight. 

Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off (Sparks, Nev.)

Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off (Sparks, Nev.)

Photo by Michael T. via Yelp

More than 240,000 pounds of barbecue ribs are served to the public at the Nugget Rib Cook-Off in Sparks, Nevada. Dozens of barbecue competitors from across the country will come together from Aug. 30 to Sept. 4 to compete for the title of “Best in the West.”

Here are some of the best barbecue spots across America.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival (Orlando)

A one-stop-shop for global cuisines, Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World in Florida will have something for literally everyone. There are 30 venues to eat at, concerts, book signings, culinary demonstrations, seminars, pairings… the list goes on. In 2017, the festival will be from Aug. 31 to Nov. 13.

For the 20 best restaurants at Epcot, click here

Hillsborough Oyster Festival (County Down, Northern Ireland)

Hillsborough Oyster Festival (County Down, Northern Ireland)

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The Hillsborough International Oyster Festival will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year between Sept. 5 and 9. Although this year’s events have yet to be released, previous festival events have included vibrant parades, seafood cooking lessons, an oyster master golf day, and the World Oyster Eating Championship. If the thought of oysters and seafood makes your mouth water, make sure to be in Northern Ireland’s County Down.

Learn how to shuck an oyster here.

Mid-Autumn Festival (Multiple Locations, China)

Mid-Autumn Festival (China)

Photo Modified: flickr / Jimmie/ CC by 2.0

The harvest celebration goes by many names for various historic and traditional reasons, but the literal translation of the Chinese characters for its most common name is “mid-autumn festival.” The festival’s most popular food item is the mooncake, which is a round pastry with a sweet filling like lotus seed paste. You’ll have plenty of other foods to try during this festival, like river snails, taro, duck, hairy crab, and pumpkin. The festival will begin this year on Oct. 4.

Celebrate the harvest season wherever you are with these harvest festival cocktails.

Alba White Truffle Festival (Alba, Italy)

Alba White Truffle Festival

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During the brief truffle season, the Alba White Truffle Festival takes place every weekend for the six weeks between Oct. 7 and Nov. 26 in Alba, Italy. Even if you don’t plan on buying whole truffles, any fan of the delectable (and extremely pricey) tuber should head on over to Italy for this fair. If the aromas make you hungry (which they will), you will have the option to add truffle shavings to any almost dish at area restaurants.

Fun fact: Italy is also home to the world’s rarest pasta

Vegetarian Festival (Phuket, Thailand)

Vegetarian Festival (Phuket, Thailand)

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In the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, the Vegetarian Festival was born out of the traditional Chinese Tao Nine Emperor Gods Festivals. The Vegetarian Festival is held throughout Thailand but is most prominent in Phuket due to the high volume of Chinese residents there. For nine days, street vendors and restaurants serve completely meatless dishes; but to be sure you haven’t stepped into one of the few meat-serving restaurants, look out for the yellow flags at each place indicating the dishes are in fact meatless.

Here are the world’s top 25 vegetarian restaurants.

Hawaii Food and Wine Festival (Multiple Locations, Hawaii)

Hawaii Food and Wine Festival, Hawaii

Photo Modified: flickr / Kanu Hawaii/  CC by 2.0

Over the course of three weekends, the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival features culinary personalities and master chefs from around the world. The festival will take place on the Big Island, Maui, and Oahu from Oct. 20 to Nov. 5.

To brush up on your Hawaiian phrases before the festival, click here

Salon du Chocolat Festival (Paris, France)

Salon du Chocolat Festival

Photo Modified: flickr / phalenebdlv / CC by 2.0

Chocolate-lovers, pay attention: The Salon du Chocolat Festival gives you the opportunity to try a variety of chocolates from five continents in one place. The event will host pastry-makers, confectioners, and chocolatiers, along with various activities such as workshops, conferences, and demonstrations. There’s even a chocolate fashion show. (Only in France, right?)

New York City Wine and Food Festival (New York City)

New York City Wine and Food Festival (New York City)

Photo by Eliana W. via Yelp

Aside from hosting food and drink celebrities for four days in New York’s bustling city, the New York City Wine and Food Festival is a must-visit fall event because it is one of the few (if not only) food festivals that gives 100 percent of its earnings to charity. Sure, there will be plenty to eat at this event, but you don’t want to miss out on the various seminars, workshops, and classes offered with A-list celebs like Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray. The exact dates for 2017 haven’t been confirmed, but the festival will be in October.

To check out some highlights from last year’s NYC Wine and Food Festival, click here

Texas Monthly BBQ Fest (Austin)

Texas Monthly BBQ Fest (Austin)

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The barbecue editor for Texas Monthly brings together some of Texas’ best barbecue chefs from the magazine’s list of “The 50 Best BBQ Joints in the World” (which really means the top 50 in Texas). This is a one-day event that barbecue fans will not want to skip. However, you can’t plan that trip to Austin just yet since 2017’s date has not been released.

If you can’t commit to only one day, here are several other barbecue festivals in America to visit

Foodies Festival (Multiple Locations, United Kingdom)

Foodies Festival (Multiple Locations, United Kingdom)

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Foodies Festival, held in cities across the UK, hosts Michelin star and top chefs that cook their favorite recipes for guests. There are a total of 13 festivals across the country featuring new events each year to give returning visitors new things to look forward to. Bake with Great British Bake Off winners, visit artisan food markets, enjoy street food, and take a cocktail class when you attend this festival.