For anyone who loves food and has a sense of frivolous adventure, these quirky and occasionally crazy food festivals are worth adding to your holiday bucket list.
1. One of the world’s most famous and messy festivals is La Tomatina. Essentially a town-sized food fight, it takes place on the last Wednesday of August every year in the Spanish town of Buñol, near Valencia. Due to enormous numbers of tourists arriving to take part each year, since 2013 participants have been restricted to 20,000 people.
2. Love Lobster? There’s almost 100,000kg of the stuff to enjoy at the Maine Lobster Fest held in New England each summer. There are seafood cooking contests, a Great International Lobster Crate Race, parades and pageants and much more.
3. Hawaiians love their spam so much that they hold an annual street festival, Waikiki Spam Jam, in April celebrating their love of the canned meat. Benefits from this unusual celebration go to Hawaii Foodbank, the archipelago’s main charity for feeding the needy.
4. Run, don’t walk to Paris in late October for France’s Salon du Chocolat Festival, a five-day event dedicated to all things chocolate. They even have chocolate fashion parades where the clothes are made of chocolate.
5. Where’s the cheese? If you’re in England’s Cooper’s Hill in May, you’ll find it by following the hordes of folk chasing a large mound of the stuff down a steep hill at a centuries old Cheese Rolling Festival. The first across the finishing line ends up going home with the dairy trophy. Watch this video of this crazy event and the crazier competitors:
6. Vampires should steer clear of England’s Isle of Wight in August as they serve up a feast of garlic-infused goodies at their annual Garlic Festival. The celebration is in honour of Britain’s ‘most pungent garlic,’ produced on a local farm. The kids will love the children’s entertainers, live music, archery stalls and huge fun fair.
7. February’s Battle of the Oranges in the Northern Italian town of Ivrea can get a little crazy as organised armies of festival goers go into battle against each other armed only with 500,000 kilograms of oranges.
8. Speaking of Italy, why not head to Naples, the birthplace of Pizza for their September Pizzafest where you can not only watch the world’s best pizza makers compete against the renowned local pizzaioli but also eat it until you burst!