Discovering Northern California's
Fun Food Festivals

Fun Food Festivals Inspirational Idea:
Take a Favorite Food and Turn it into a Festival!

Don't you just love food festivals? We sure do! Anything is possible with a little imagination and creativity, like Garlic Ice Cream and Deep-fried Testicles. We're often pleasantly surprised that a dish actually tastes a lot better than it sounds!

Here are some of Northern California's most popular Festivals that center around a specific food. They're arranged month by month so you can find them easily.

Looking for something fun to do in Northern California in January, May, November - any month of the year, in fact? This list will help you with that!

January through March: Fun Food Festivals

Forest Mushroom; Photographer UnknownForest Mushroom; Photographer Unknown


Sonoma Valley Olive Festival - celebrating the fruit of the tree with a whole month of events! 

Santa Cruz Fungus Fair - as in mushrooms, which we love!

Napa Truffle Festival - world class cuisine & cutting edge truffle science!

Mendocino Crab and Wine Days - do be crabby! 

Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival - who doesn't like chocolate? 


Cloverdale Citrus Fair - honoring all things citrus! 

Madera's Wine and Chocolate Weekend - local wine, chocolate, and live music make for a great weekend! 

Lodi Wine and Chocolate - February's a natural for wine and chocolate! 

Isleton's Annual Spam Festival - that's right, Spam - the ham alternative! 

Santa Cruz Annual Clam Chowder Cook Off and Festival - the best clam chowders in the world! 


San Francisco International Chocolate Salon - the number 1 chocolate show on the West Coast! 

California's Artisan Cheese Festival - celebrating the art of cheesemaking in Petaluma!

Oakdale's Annual Testicle Festival - you read that right - and all reports are that they're delish! 

Pigs & Pinot Festival - celebrating a match made in Heaven (Healdsburg Heaven, that is)!

April through June: Fun Food Festivals


Chico's California Nut Festival - in Chico, we're proud of our nuts! 

Kelseyville Olive Festival - complete with and Olive Pit Spitting Contest! 

San Joaquin (formerly Stockton) Asparagus Festival - one of NorCal's BEST festivals (IMHO) - and they're BACK!!! 

Sacramento Beer & Chili Festival - listed in's 7 Best Craft Beer & Chili Festivals Across America in 2015

Lemoore Pizza Festival - did you know that the largest mozzarella producers in the world are in Lemoore? No wonder they like pizza!

Rivers of Chocolate in Saratoga - more chocolate to love! 

SactoMoFo Food Festival - which stands for Sacramento Mobile Food and involves 35 Food Trucks, celebrates the tasty food of local food trucks as well as their contributions to local economies!

Selma Raisin Festival - coming to you from the Raisin Capital of the World!


Great Petaluma Chili Cook-off, Salsa, and Beer Tasting - if you like it spicy! 

Monterey Street Food Festival - Food truck fare that foodies will love! 

BerryFest (formerly Roseville Strawberry Festival) - celebrating the strawberry harvest on Mother's Day Weekend! 

Galt Strawberry Festival - lots of fun for everyone while you explore the world of strawberries!

Paradise Chocolate Fest - chocolate in Paradise sounds just about perfect! 

Castroville Artichoke Festival - one of our absolute favorites, both the festival and the vegetable!! 

Oakdale Chocolate Festival - we're never far from a chocolate fest in NorCal! 

Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras - eat mushrooms stuffed, sandwiched, deep-fried, marinated, over rice, and more!


Gumbo Ya Ya Music & Food Festival - Laissez Les Bons Temps Roulez!  in Woodland

Patterson Apricot Fiesta - Nationally famous since it's 2008 New York Times write-up!

Red Bluff's Crawdad Festival - the best Crawdad Festival west of New Orleans has moved to Red Bluff! 

Arcata Oyster Festival - roasted, BBQ'd, fried, on the half shell and atop the pizza! 

King of the County BBQ Challenge & Music Festival - Tasty barbecue, live music, and all the things that go with in Martinez!

San Francisco's Oyster Fest - it's all about oysters - and beer - and music; I'm think YUUUMMM - what're YOU thinking! 

Silicon Valley Barbecue Championship - the best BBQers in the West will be cooking up BBQ at the 2nd largest championship on the West Coast!

July through September: Fun Food Festivals


The World's Largest Salmon Barbeque - grilled salmon, family,and friends, celebrating the 4th! 

Wine Country Big Q - a Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) nationally sanctioned competition at Sonoma Mountain Village in Rohnert Park!

Marysville Peach Fest - peaches, peaches everywhere! 

Great American Blues & Barbeque Festival -  celebrating America's outstanding heritage of Blues and Roots music and tasty barbecue in San Rafael!

Gilroy Garlic Festival - who hasn't heard of this Festival of Festivals! 

Courtland Pear Fair - Bartlett pears are everywhere in "Pear"adise! 


Watsonville Strawberry Festival at Monterey Bay - strawberry lovers unite!

Soul Food Festival - soul food, entertainment, art, and culture in Stockton! 

Sacramento Banana Festival - banana treats, a Smashed Chef Challenge, Carmen Miranda Hat Contest, and much more fun in Sacramento! 

Sebastopol's Gravenstein Apple Fair - The Sweetest Little Fair in Sonoma County!

Fresno FigFest - Fig Feast, Figalicious Recipes, and Figatastic Facts! 

Woodland Tomato Festival - tomatoes don't get any better or fresher, even if you grow them yourself! 

Fairfield Tomato Festival - always FREE admission! 

San Francisco Street Food Festival - now in the Dogpatch Neighborhood, this fest is still bringing the best of SF's street food!

Klamath Salmon Festival - visit with the Yurok people at a traditional open pit salmon bar-b-que! 

Round Valley Blackberry Festival in Covelo - another Mendocino County Food Fest. 

Hayward Zucchini Festival - if you love zucchini, help save this festival! 

Corning Olive Festival - "Corning does it bedder"! 

Bodega Seafood, Art, and Wine Festival - Cedar Plank Salmon to BBQ Oysters, plus music, art, and rubber ducky racing! 

Eat Drink SF - four days of delicious events including the signature Grand Tasting experience in Fort Mason! 

San Jose's Assyrian Food Festival - showcasing Assyrian food, traditions, and heritage! 

Jewish Food Faire - you don't have to be Jewish to love great food in Sacramento!


Tracy Dry Bean Festival - don't miss strolling through Bean Town! NOTE: The Tracy Dry Bean Festival has been discontinued as of 2014. It's looking more and more like it won't be back, but I've learned never to say, "Never," so we'll keep you posted if there's a change.

Rough & Ready Chili Cook-off - Chili cooked the Rough & Ready way under Rough & Ready rules!

Coors Light Crawfish & Catfish Festival - authentic Louisiana food, music, and family fun in Woodland! 

Pittsburg Seafood & Music Festival - a seafood extravaganza at the beautiful Pittsburg Marina! 

California Sweets Festival 2015 - the first of its kind in Northern California, celebrating all things sweet in Pleasanton!

Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival - more chocolate coming your way! 

A Taste of Greece - San Francisco's only Greek Food Festival in San Francisco!

Kelseyville Pear Festival - "Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first." 

Oroville Salmon Festival - fish-flavored activities celebrating the spawning of the salmon! 

Dinuba Raisin Harvest Festival - nicknamed Raisin City and Raisinland U.S.A., Dinuba is the perfect place to celebrate raisin! 

Walnut Festival -78 years of community contributions in the name of the almighty walnut in - wait for it - Walnut Creek!

October through December: Fun Food Festivals


Dixon's Lambtown Festival - Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, have you any wool? 

Los Banos Tomato Festival - let me count the ways we like our tomatoes! 

Apple Harvest Festival in Fortuna - it's all about all things apple!

Johnny Appleseed Days in Paradise - it all began in 1888 and it's the oldest harvest celebration in California! 

St. Matthew Church Assyrian Chaldean Food Festival in Ceres - enjoy ethnic Mediterranean food, folkloric dancing and more! 

Fort Bragg Abalone Cook-off and Festival - wild abalone; you be the judge! 

Weaverville Salmon Festival - celebrating the return of the salmon to home waters! 

Anderson's Return of the Salmon Festival - their name says it all! (Me thinks there's a salmon theme somewhere!) 


Mendocino Wine and Mushroom Festival - celebrating over 3000 mushroom varieties! 

Auburn's Mountain Mandarin Festival - Owari Satsuma Mandarin oranges - Yumm! 

Oak Glen's Apple Butter Festival - learn to start the snitz and add the money while celebrating the end of apple season!


Sonoma Valley Olive Season - cured olives, olive oils, olive martinis; this festival celebrates one of the world's oldest fruits for three full months! 

Does your town or neighborhood have a Fun Food Festival that we've missed? We'd really like to get the word out, so Let Us Know!

For more about Northern California Events and Festivals, be sure to visit's: Events and Festivals

You'll find Northern California events and festivals every month of the year, all year round!

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