Massachusetts is known throughout the country for being one of the original 13 colonies and one of just six New England states. But did you know they also have a never-ending list of food festivals? From oysters and apple cider to strawberries and wine, there’s something for everyone in the beautiful Bay State. Here are a few of our favorite Massachusetts food festivals happening throughout the year.
Photo credit: Facebook/Wellfleet SPAT
If you consider yourself an oyster aficionado, mark your calendar for the annual Wellfleet OysterFest in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. This annual celebration is dedicated to the oysters that put this town on the map. Because this is a family-friendly event that takes place over two days, you have plenty of time to savor local cuisine fresh out of the water, enjoy live musical performances and savor some of the finest New England brews along the coastline. You can even do some shopping with a multitude of artisan vendors selling their handmade jewelry, pottery and more.
Boston Veg Food Fest
There are all kinds of food festivals throughout the state (and the country), but have you ever attended one dedicated entirely to vegetarian dishes? The Boston Veg Food Fest has been thrilling vegetarians and vegetable enthusiasts alike for more than two decades. And with free admission, parking and food sampling, it’s easy to see why. This event features national food providers, speakers and chefs and a variety of educational exhibitors under one roof. Whether you’ve been a vegetarian for years or simply want to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, this is one Massachusetts food festival you want to put on your foodie bucket list.
Franklin County CiderDays
Is there any better way to celebrate the autumn harvest than with a festival dedicated to everything apple? From cider demonstrations and tastings to orchard tours and workshops, there is something for everyone at the beloved Franklin County CiderDays. While the main festival does not require a ticket purchase, a few of the specialized workshops and activities (like the cider and cheese pairing or the beginner’s cider making workshop) have a small fee, so be sure to check the event site before you arrive.
America’s Hometown Thanksgiving
Is there any better way to experience New England than to attend America’s Hometown Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts? This event is a favorite among locals and tourists alike, featuring a full weekend of festivities that celebrate our country’s heritage and history. Taking place on the renowned Plymouth Harbor and Waterfront, this is the place to be if you want to see history come to life. From parades and live music to a historic village and craft beer and wine garden, this is an absolute must if you find yourself in Massachusetts in November.
Garlic and Arts Festival
If you’re searching for a quirky and fun-filled Massachusetts food festival to put on your Bay State bucket list, look no further than the Garlic and Arts Festival in Orange, Massachusetts. After all, how can you go wrong with a festival that bears the tagline: “Still stinking’ after all these years”? Thousands of people flock to this event to celebrate their affection for all things garlic with a classic New England backdrop of fall foliage on a historic farm. Peruse booths featuring local artists, farms and garlic dishes as you enjoy live musical performances, attend chef demos and fill your belly with some delicious garlic-inspired cuisine.
Cranberry Harvest Celebration
Did you know that cranberries are the official state berry of Massachusetts? These tart and delicious fruits grow in bogs that are scattered throughout the southeastern region of the state. While farming logistics make it impossible for people to fully participate in the harvest, the Cranberry Harvest Celebration provides the perfect opportunity for cranberry lovers to better understand what it takes to get these berries from farm to table. With educational displays, cooking demonstrations, a lively marketplace and food vendors from all around the state, this is a family-friendly festival guaranteed to delight.
Nantucket Wine & Food Festival
For more than 20 years, the Nantucket Wine & Food Festival has been successfully wooing people from all around the country. With grand tastings, culinary demonstrations, educational seminars, luncheons and more, this event gives visitors an opportunity to explore all that the Massachusetts region has to offer when it comes to food and drinks. You can choose from one of more than 50 unique events, meet award-winning chefs from all around the country and even take home a few of your favorite discoveries when the festival comes to an end.
Annual Strawberry Festival
With bowls of fresh strawberries topped with whipped cream and plates piled high with strawberry shortcakes, the Annual Strawberry Festival is heaven for people with a penchant for this tasty fruit. The festival has been running for more than 50 years, giving tourists and locals a chance to savor the small-town charm of Topsfield while exploring community booths, picking up a book or two at the Friends of the Library sale and letting the kids enjoy a variety of family-friendly games.