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Food festivals around Ontario (excluding Toronto)

foxymoron Apr 6, 2008 11:08 AM

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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    Gourmando RE: foxymoron Apr 6, 2008 12:08 PM

    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. c
      cheesymama RE: foxymoron Apr 6, 2008 12:33 PM

      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. l
        lolly1 RE: foxymoron Apr 7, 2008 03:46 PM

        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. b
          Blueicus RE: foxymoron Apr 7, 2008 04:50 PM

          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
            Davwud RE: Blueicus Apr 8, 2008 04:07 AM

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


          2. m
            Michelle in T.O. RE: foxymoron Apr 7, 2008 06:59 PM

            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.
              foxymoron RE: Michelle in T.O. Apr 8, 2008 05:41 AM

              This is a great list, thank you!

              1. re: Michelle in T.O.
                julesrules RE: Michelle in T.O. Apr 11, 2008 01:17 PM

                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
                  foxymoron RE: julesrules Apr 16, 2008 11:39 AM

                  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. Poorboy RE: foxymoron Apr 7, 2008 07:53 PM

                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
                  Zengarden RE: Poorboy Apr 8, 2008 03:41 AM

                  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
                    foxymoron RE: Poorboy Apr 8, 2008 05:43 AM

                    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!

                  2. Davwud RE: foxymoron Apr 8, 2008 04:10 AM



                    1. m
                      Michelle in T.O. RE: foxymoron Apr 8, 2008 05:59 PM

                      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. kawarthagirl RE: foxymoron Apr 10, 2008 02:54 PM

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

                        Excellent nibbles!

                        1. JamieK RE: foxymoron Apr 16, 2008 12:33 PM

                          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 -

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                            fatman0000 RE: foxymoron Apr 16, 2008 06:07 PM

                            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. re: fatman0000
                              kawarthagirl RE: fatman0000 Apr 18, 2008 11:43 AM

                              Hot Belly Mama's.... On George Street.

                            2. JamieK RE: foxymoron Apr 17, 2008 10:16 AM

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

                              1. JamieK RE: foxymoron Apr 25, 2008 05:24 AM

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

                                1. Davwud RE: foxymoron Aug 11, 2008 07:18 AM

                                  Anyone been to Carrot fest??



                                  1. JamieK RE: foxymoron Aug 11, 2008 07:59 AM

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

                                    1. kawarthagirl RE: foxymoron Aug 12, 2008 07:57 AM

                                      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. JamieK RE: foxymoron Aug 16, 2008 12:58 PM

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

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: JamieK
                                          foxymoron RE: JamieK Aug 26, 2008 06:33 PM

                                          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...

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