Get Your Grub on at These Sacramento-Area Food Festivals
If there’s one thing about Sacramentans, it’s that we love our food. We also love to celebrate. Combine the two, and it’s no wonder we have so many food festivals. After all, not only are we surrounded by farmland, we’re also home to innovative chefs and foodies who love nothing more than to plan entire events around eating, drinking and having a good time! The greater Sacramento area has food festivals year-round, but they’re especially popular in summertime, when the weather is ideal for outdoor celebrations. Following are some of the best food festivals in the greater Sacramento area this summer.
May 24 – 26 | Saint Anna Greek Orthodox Church
Photo courtesy Roseville Greek Food Festival
Head to Roseville Memorial Day weekend and taste Greek dishes such as souvlaki, pastitsio, moussaka and loukoumades — and of course plenty of Greek beer and wine! Learn how to prepare Greek dishes during cooking demonstrations, browse the vendor mart for home décor and kitchen goods, and enjoy live music and Greek dancing. Tickets are $3 and children under 12 are free. Opa!
June 1, 10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. | Wonder Bread Building
Oh tacos! How do I love thee? Carne asada, al pastor, barbacoa — you name it, they have it at the Sacramento Taco Festival. Strut your stuff at the taco eating contest, watch luche libre (Mexican wrestling) and gawk at the slick cruisers at the car show. If you’re the proud parent of a Chihuahua, enter her (or him) in the Chihuahua beauty contest, where the winner gets a tiny crown and a basket of prizes. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door, and children under 12 are free.
July 6, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Miller Regional Park
What’s better than seafood or barbecue? Seafood AND barbecue of course! Both will take center stage at this annual event on the Sacramento waterfront. In addition to mouth-watering grub, the festival will also showcase live music, with two stages of soul, blues, zydeco and reggae. Headlining the festival this year is the funk and R & B legend, the Dazz Band. General admission is $15.
July 28, 2 – 6 p.m. | Southside Park
Photo courtesy Sactown Wings
Whether Buffalo or barbecue, show some respect to the staple of dive bars and Super Bowl parties at the chicken wing festival. More than 40,000 wings will be onsite, lovingly prepared by Fire Wings, Chicago Fire and Flaming Grill Café, among others. Wash them all down with a beer or margarita, enjoy live music and play a round or two of giant Jenga or cornhole. A VIP ticket ($45 in advance) gets you early entry, a souvenir mug and a chance to vote on the best wings!
Aug. 3, 2 – 11 p.m | Good Humus Produce
Peach pies, peach ice cream, peach salsa, peach pizza and even peach beer — this celebration of the fuzzy stonefruit has it all. The kiddos can participate in a treasure hunt based on peachy facts, make paving stones and catch insects. The whole family can take a tour of the farm and take a dip in the swimming hole. The evening features a potluck style picnic dinner, so bring your favorite seasonal recipe to share and enjoy some live music. You can even camp out on the farm and take advantage of a morning pancake breakfast! Admission is free, but a $10 donation is requested.
Aug. 10-11 | William Land Park
“Yes, we have no bananas” is not something you’ll hear at the banana festival, held in Sacramento’s Land Park neighborhood! Come celebrate the curved yellow fruit with a banana bake-off, banana pageant, Carmen Miranda hat contest and a banana eating contest. Plus, fill your belly with banana pudding, banana churros, banana kettle corn and of course, chocolate covered frozen bananas! Tickets are $8 in advance; children and seniors are $6.
Aug. 10, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Main Street
This free event in the heart of Yolo County’s tomato-growing region celebrates the shiny red fruit. Taste (and vote for) your favorite variety, sample salsas from area restaurants, and enjoy live music and entertainment. Plus, you can sink your teeth into fried green tomatoes, tomato cakes and tomato jams. There’s even a recipe competition among local chefs!
Aug. 24, 4 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | Cesar Chavez Plaza
Photo courtesy Sactown Nachos Festival
The concept is simple: take a pile of chips, plop some cheese and and meat on top, and forever change the world. The Sactown Nachos Festival celebrates this culinary innovation with nachos galore, including barbecue nachos, shrimp nachos, tater tot nachos — even ice cream nachos. There will be $3 nacho specials at every vendor, plus music and entertainment. Tickets are $10 in advance; VIP tickets are $40 and get you into a special lounge/bar area and two drink tickets.