Summer Food Festivals


The best of the fests happen in the summer when the livin’ is easy.

Easy for those without kiddos anyway! Need to rally the troupes? Get out of the neighborhood routines?

Start with some friendly food fests where there are activities and festivities galore. Summer is the worst to be indoors and cooking, so why not dine out and celebrate our short season because fall only lasts a few days and winter is coming (Game of Thrones).

Since food is always at the center of a good party, we’ll give you a rundown of some unique and tasty fests for the family, for friends, or the festivally-inclined. And because summer is the season for road trips, we’ve included some near and far destinations to see this great state of ours.

Minnesota Garlic Festival

August 12, 2017

840 Century Avenue Southwest
Hutchinson, MN 55350

Because garlic. A staple of the kitchen. Crazy antioxidants. Smelly-good stuff. Head to Hutchinson to see the featured garlic growers who have passed the University of Minnesota’s Plan Disease Clinic test for Garlic Bloat Nematode — OMG!

Lounge outdoors (alfresco) in The Great Scape Cafe, open 1 day a year, and go whole hog — because they roast a whole hog and serve it with a full dinner menu between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. for just $30 which also include a cooking demo.

You can also listen to music and be entertained to divert your attention from the garlic aroma, including the Brass Messengers and Light of the Moon Band. Whatever age you are, there will be much to do, smell, hear, and see.

Best of all, it is a ZERO Waste Event. Get your coupon here.

Barnesville Potato Days

August 25–26

202 Front Street North
PO Box 550
Barnesville, MN 56514

Where better to find a potato than in Barnesville? Aside from your everyday average grocery store, you need to check out this starchy spot on the Minnesota map on your way TO or FRO the cabin.

Not only will you find these tasty tubers aplenty, there are contests, sporting events, and even sculpting, peeling, eating, and even wrestling contests that do indeed involve potatoes.

Named one of the “Top 9 Strangest Food Festivals in the World” by Wanderlust Travel Magazine, you will find all eyes on the potato, small town hospitality, and more taters than anyone has a right to.

The Great Midwest Rib Fest

July 28–30

2400 Mystic Lake Boulevard
Prior Lake, MN 55372

Over the years, I have developed a taste for the BBQ and this fest is the guiltiest pleasure, especially after watching OKJA on Netflix recently.

With BBQ, music, and more, this is a nearby no brainer for Twin Cities carnivores. Free to get in, you can try some smoky deliciousness from contestants around the U.S. and then vote to see who has earned the title of the best ribs.

There’s a mechanical hog to ride (18+ with a waiver to sign) and there are VIP packages you can purchase if you want to go first-class porky.

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Sarah Steil is a Minnesotan by way of Denver, CO and hails from the metropolis of Algona, IA (once home to the world’s largest Cheeto). Sarah puts her visual and communication nose to the design and brand grindstone each day as founder of a local brand and design agency.