scorecardresearch Skip to main content

10 New England food festivals guaranteed to leave you satisfied

From the perfect oyster to heavenly ribs, these road-trip-worthy food festivals around the region will delight your taste buds throughout the summer.

The Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland is one of many food-inspired events across New England this summer.Michael Whitman Photography/From Maine Lobster Festival

1. Maine Oyster Festival

Dozens of oyster farmers shuck and sell oysters farmed along the length of Maine’s coast at the Maine Oyster Festival, held June 24-26 in Freeport. Expect hands-on shucking lessons, a public shucking competition, and, of course, plenty of opportunities to enjoy oysters. L.L. Bean campus and other sites, 207-865-1212,

The Maine Oyster Festival will highlight the oysters farmed along the state’s coast.Thomas Henninger

2. The Wine, Cheese, & Chocolate Festival

Set for June 25, this festival offers up to four tastings from each of the dozen member wineries of the Coastal Wine Trail, which traverses Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Nibble on local cheeses and chocolates, too. A VIP evening session features premium pours. Westport Fairgrounds, 200 Pine Hill Road, Westport,


3. Harpoon Brewery BBQ Festival

Competition is fierce at the Harpoon Brewery BBQ Festival, July 23-24, at the company’s Vermont facility. On Saturday, over two dozen teams are expected to vie for best pork, chicken, pork ribs, and brisket barbecue. On Sunday, the professionals duke it out in a Kansas City BBQ Society-sanctioned competition. Live music both days. Harpoon Brewery Taproom and Beer Garden, 336 Ruth Carney Drive, Windsor, Vermont,

4. New England Taco Festival

A mariachi band, lucha libre wrestlers, and 20-plus taco trucks converge in Connecticut for a good time at the New England Taco Festival on July 30-31. Micheladas — a spicy drink with beer and Clamato — will be available at the bar, by popular request. Kids can enjoy donkey rides and bouncy houses. Guilford Fairgrounds, 111 Lovers Lane, Guilford, Connecticut,

5. Maine Lobster Festival

For this year’s festival, August 3-7, volunteers will have the drill down pat and be prepared to dish out thousands of lobster dinners. The parade and lobster crate race will both return, along with the Steins & Vines tastings of Maine beer, wine, and spirits. Harbor Park, Rockland, Maine, 800-576-7512 or 207-596-7126,

6. Charlestown Chamber of Commerce Seafood Festival

This favorite, marking its 37th annual installment August 5-7, is New England’s Super Bowl of seafood. Clams, oysters, mussels, shrimp, lobster, crab, and even crawfish appear in every imaginable preparation. That includes several chowders and bisques as well as classic Rhody clam cakes. Ninigret Park, 5 Park Lane, Charlestown, Rhode Island, 401-364-4031, ext. 3,


7. Taste of the Caribbean & Jerk Festival

Live reggae, soca, salsa, and calypso ring out on August 6. Feast on jerk chicken and fish, rice and peas, the fried plantain dish mofongo, patties made of meat and the tropical fruit ackee, and curry goat and chicken dishes. Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, 300 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, 860-830-2677,

Stars of the Machias Wild Blueberry Festival.Ellen Farnsworth

8. Machias Wild Blueberry Festival

Blue teeth will abound at the Machias Wild Blueberry Festival, August 19-21. Blueberries will be available by the pint, and four age groups will compete in the blueberry pie-eating contest. Dessert buffet served outdoors midday on Saturday and Sunday. Dress up for Saturday night’s Wild Blueberry Ball. Downtown Machias, Maine,

9. Wells Chili-Fest

Members of the International Chili Society will cook up a storm in Wells on August 27, as they vie to qualify for the World Championship Cook-Off. Attendees can purchase tasting kits to sample from each team competing for the People’s Choice award. Wells Junior High School, Route 1, Wells, Maine, 207-646-2451,

10. Eastport Salmon and Seafood Festival

A group of senior citizens will kick off the Eastport Salmon and Seafood Festival, September 3-4, with their homemade crab rolls. Then, the whole town gets involved as Water Street becomes lined with crafters and vendors, and musicians begin two days of concerts. The big finish comes with the Salmon Sunday barbecue. Buy a dinner and get a boat ride to check out the Cobscook Bay salmon pens. Downtown Historic District, Eastport, Maine, 207-853-4644,



> Back to Boston: Where to eat, what to do, what to see, where to stay, what not to miss

> From rock climbing to race car driving, let an expert be your guide for a New England adventure

> A great time to visit Amherst is after the students clear out

> The best way to explore Maine’s Acadia National Park is by bicycle

> Four great places to learn to surf in New England

Patricia Harris and David Lyon are frequent contributors to the Globe. Send comments to