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Food festivals around Ontario (excluding Toronto)

Hello foodies,

Now that the weather is warmer, I'm interested in finding out where Ontario's best food festivals are OUTSIDE of Toronto. While I live in TO, this is not a search for the Taste of Little Italy or the Danforth. I'm looking for reasons to get out of the city (2-3 hours drive) and find events like Perth's Garlic Festival (http://www.perthgarlicfestival.com) or the fishing derby fish fry mentioned in this topic: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/399599. It seems every town or country a festival in the summer, if you have suggestions on when/where to go, please share them.


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  1. The Niagara Food Festival will be held October 3-5 this year, one week after the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival.

    The NFF will be bigger and better this year, so come check it out! Information about this year's festival will be online soon at http://www.niagarafoodfestival.com/, but for now you can read about last year's event.

    1. I spent most of last summer in Huron county, so here are some of the festivals in that area. Clinton has a Pluckinfest, you guessed it, chicken wings, in early July, Lucknow has a Strawberry Festival in late June, Zurich has a bean (as in baked) in late August and Wellesley has an Apple Butter and Cheese festival in late September. Don't know if any of them are worth a trip on their own, but the area is beautiful and you can actually swim in Lake Huron!

      1. Ribfest in Sarnia is a lot of fun. Here's the link http://www.sarniaribfest.com It is July 17 -20 this year. Link still has last year's info.

        1. Although it already passed, you may want to mark it on your calender next year. The Elmira Maple Syrup festival was last Saturday, on April 5th. There was a place that sold roast pig sandwiches (like pulled pork but this one was excellent). Mmmm... also roasted corn, funnel cakes, apple fritters, fudge and other carnival-y foods... also lots of maple syrup.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Blueicus

            We've been before and it's a lot of fun.


          2. The Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival is on April 19. Amusement rides,pancake breakfasts(with the requisite HUGE line-ups),lots of crafts and food.Also,sugarbush tours. The first weekend in August is the Alliston Potato Festival. Big parade on Friday evening(starts 6 ish) with lots of food including home baked pies from a local Church with a booth in the fairground area(rides & games) plus steak sandwiches from the Fire Dept. Markdale has an Ice Cream Festival in July and Zurich has a bean festival (I think it's at the end of August).Lots of smoked pork chops & HOME-MADE baked beans.There's also a Cranberry Festival the weekend AFTER Thanksgiving in Bala that has the most wonderful Pumpkin or Cranberry fudge. The local Church sells home-made turkey soup and scones with peameal bacon(& cranberries of course!) Hope you enjoy all the good eats. Cheers!

            3 Replies
              1. re: Michelle in T.O.

                Have you been to the ice-cream festival in Markdale? I kind of always figured it wasn't a *chowish* event (could certainly still be fun) because I assumed it is sponsored by Chapman's.

                1. re: julesrules

                  Yes, I've heard of the ice cream festival here, but wondered if it was sponsored by an ice cream company. Thanks for the tip anyway...

              2. There are many wonderful Food Festivals within Toronto that should not be discounted.
                I would not want to exclude any of them.
                I try to attend the Greektown festival every year.
                Crowded, but a pass on the scale.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Poorboy

                  Glad that someone enjoys this particular fest as it drives the residents mad with traffic difficulties and overpacked street pedestrian traffic. Most of us try to leave that weekend.

                  1. re: Poorboy

                    It's not that I am avoiding festivals in the city, I'm just looking for reasons to get out of the city and spend some time in the country. Thanks!

                    1. Found a site for you @ www.ontariotravel.net that has a listing of events.Forgot to mention that Waterford has a pumpkinfest in (wait for it) October.www.pumpkinfest.com. Also, the website for Alliston is www.allistonpotatofestival.com(I LOVE THIS ONE...so do my kids).Starts Friday and runs again on Saturday. Regards,Michelle

                      1. Fiesta Buckhorn, in Buckhorn (Kawarthas, N. of Peterborough) www.fiestabuckhorn.com

                        Excellent nibbles!

                        1. Not realy outside Toronto and probably not the kind of festival you had in mind but there's something called the Good Food Festival happening at the International Centre this weekend -

                          1. Hey Jamie,
                            Take a leisure drive to Peterborough on saturday's they have a farmers market.
                            There is a great cajun restaurant called fat belly mamas downtown. Food is great, especially the sweet potatoe fries. A must try !!!!

                            1 Reply
                            1. There's the Flavours of Niagara Food Wine and Jazz Festival coming up in June -

                              1. Another Niagara festival coming up -- the Wine and Herb Festival where local wines are paired to specific herbs -- four weekends in May

                                  1. Too late for this year, but Alliston just held its 35th annual potato festival -

                                    1. Bobcaygeon Wine & Food Festival

                                      September 13 @ Noon to 7:30 p.m. Located at Kawartha Settler's Village, this annual event is worth a visit! This year, they are featuring: Celebrity Chef Corbin Tomaszeski from the Food Network's Restaurant Makeover! Cooking demonstrations at 1:30pm, 3:30pm and 5:30pm. Visit www.bobcaygeonwinefestival.com for more information!

                                      1. Peach Festival coming up next week in Winona (Niagara Peninsula) -

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: JamieK

                                          We actually stopped in on the Peach Festival this year and it was much bigger than I thought it would be. Though there were peach pies, sundaes and well, peaches, there were a lot of other yummy things to eat too: ribbon fries, Pop Shoppe pop, mini panzerotti, etc. Nothing was of amazing quality, but the peaches we took home are delicious! I wrote more about the day here: http://mefoodbelly.wordpress.com/2008...