What’s the most outrageous food festival you’ve ever been to? In this post, we bring you (drum roll) chocolate fashion shows, watermelon skiing, monkey buffets and a celebration of SPAM!
Did we say chocolate? Did we also say France? We sure did! If you’re a sweet-toothed chocoholic, this conference-style festival in Paris will have you hooking up with incredible chocolatiers, confectioners, pastry chefs from around the world.
What makes this event just a tad outrageous (but in a good way) is the Chocolate Fashion Show, where many of the outfits you’ll see will actually be made from chocolate. Our tip: Try not to eat anyone’s clothes off!
Next one: October 28 – November 1, 2016
Image: Joe Loong
Okay, let’s get one thing straight – no one is actually cooking roadkill here! This American festival, which is held each year in Marlinton, West Virginia, is a celebration of common animals that often end up sealing their fate on America’s highways. Hence you’ll find dishes at this fest made with rabbit, squirrel, snake, groundhog and deer. The winner also gets to take home US$1,200!
Next one: September 24, 2016
Image: Eli Duke
Cool music and crazy foods come together at this radical festival, which takes place on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. While here, you can take your pick of grubs, bugs, possums and even animal brains, all cooked and served to perfection. If you’re less adventurous, don’t worry – there are also dishes featuring fish, venison, oysters and even good old sausages!
Next one: March 12, 2016
Image: Sindre Wimberger
They say it repels vampires and gives you bad breath. So, why not create a festival about it? The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival spans an entire weekend and in contrary to how it sounds, it’s actually a celebration of all local produce and food (but especially garlic). You can’t book in advance for this one, so grab your tickets at the gate. Don’t forget to try out the ale and tea tents as well!
Next one: August 15 – 16, 2016
Image: Chris Gusen
Expect lots of monkey business here! This festival is an awesome one to attend, but be warned – there’s no buffet for you! Taking place each year in the Lopburi province (north of Bangkok), the Monkey Buffet is all about giving the local monkeys as much fruit, veggies and sweet treats (like ice cream) as they can eat.
You can get in the spirit by dressing up and dancing like a monkey, admiring the monkey statues or watching the inevitable and hilarious monkey food fight.
Next one: November 26 – 27, 2016
Image: Sophie Benjamin
Yeah, just when you thought we were in the clear – Aussies are food-weird too! Just head to Chinchilla in Queensland if you want to partake in this outrageous watermelon fest, apparently the world’s biggest. There’s watermelon-eating comps, water melon throwing, watermelon sliding and even skiing with watermelons on your feet.
Unfortunately, there’s no Melon Fest this year; the next one will be held in February, 2017.
Next one: February 16 – 19, 2017
Image: Graham McLellan
You’ve probably heard of this tomato-throwing festival in Buñol on the course of your travels and it’s become so popular that the ticket limit has now been set at 20,000 to help keep crowds at bay.
Tomatina has been a Valencian tradition since 1945 and funnily enough, it actually began as a real tomato and vegetable fight. The fight was replicated by locals on the same day every year until 1957, when they began to demand that the tomato fight be made official. Needless to say (almost 60 years later), it’s still going!
When: August 31, 2016
Ham in a can. It was invented in 1937 and today, it sports its very own festival. If you’re planning to travel to Hawaii in late April, you can be part of the SPAM Jam street food fest. Live music, tastings of SPAM dishes and the opportunity to buy SPAM merchandise are why we love this outrageous fest.
Next one: April 30, 2016