Hungry for a taste of the real Maine? Here’s a tasting portion of some of Maine’s best food-centric festivals and events.
• Pies on Parade, Rockland
Sample sweet and savory pies at businesses throughout downtown Rockland at this annual event on the Sunday closest to National Pie Day; sponsored by the Historic Inns of Rockland, Maine, to benefit the area food pantry.
• Flavors of Freeport, Freeport
Chef’s signature tasting event with Maine wines and brews and ice bar.
Restaurants from throughout Maine (although most are in Greater Portland) participate in this annual 10-day event featuring set-price menus and special food/drink oriented events.
• Chocolate Lovers Fling, Portland
Nirvana for chocolate lovers.
• Smelt Fry Dinner, Columbia Falls
Never tried a smelt? Here’s your opportunity. The menu at this annual community supper might include Pleasant River smelts, Maine Potato Growers potato, salad, moose stew,coleslaw, Maine grown baked beans & DSF grown organic blueberry cobbler; hatchery tours, music, and more
• Fishermen’s Festival, Boothbay Harbor
What the hake? Small-town fun with a cod relay, lobster-crate race, oyster shucking and Miss Shrimp contest, fish fry, and more; always last weekend of April
• Taste of Bar Harbor, Bar Harbor
Just as it sounds, tastings from area restaurants followed by a dessert tour at night; mid May.
• The Festival, Portland
Artisan and small producers of beer, mead, cider from around the world.
• Taste of Brunswick, Brunswick
Nibble and taste during this one-day outdoor event featuring area restaurants; music, too. Benefits hunger prevention program.
Maine chapter’s annual event highlights local chefs and restaurants; benefits efforts to fight childhood hunger.
• Maine Whoopie Pie Festival, Dover-Foxcroft
Make whoopie! No, that that. More than 20 bakers from throughout Maine offer their versions of the famed Maine sweet, also concerts, activities, and other whoopie-themed fun.
• Maine Lobster Festival, Rockland
The Jaws of claws when it comes to Maine’s lobster festivals (small ones in Winter Harbor and on Frenchboro Island, info).
• Maine Potato Blossom Festival, Fort Fairfield
Celebrating the Maine spud since 1937 with farmer olympics, road races, arts & crafts, fireworks, river races, mashed potato wrestling, and more.
• Maine Brewers Craft Beer Festival, Portland
Annual Maine brewhaha; just as promised, craft beers from Maine
• Yarmouth Clam Festival, Yarmouth
Awe shucks, always the third Friday in July, always crowded, always worth it.
• The Kneading Conference & Artisan Bread Fair, Skowhegan
You knead to attend this: Promotes grain traditions from earth to hearth. A must for bread bakers and/or lovers.
• Ployes Festival, Fort Kent
Celebrating the traditional buckwheat pancake: world’s -largest, ploye-eating, and ploye-wrestling contests.
• Machias Wild Blueberry Festival, Machias
Feeling blue? This will cure ya. Wild times in Machias with blueberry-themed events including a musical, baking and eating contests, food vendors, public breakfasts and suppers, and blueberry everything.
Annual Maine stop on national tour highlighting farm-to-table fare; highlights Maine farm and chef. Ticket (usually around $200) includes a reception with wine and passed appetizers, four seated courses with wine pairings, all gratuities, producer discussions, and a tour of the farm.
• Maine Salmon Festival, Eastport
Celebrating the salmon; always Labor Day weekend
• MDI Garlic Festival, Southwest Harbor
The stinking rose gets some love.
• Common Ground Fair, Unity
Agricultural fair sponsored by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association: Organic foods, progressive organizations, traditional fair fun without the carnival, side shows, or usual fried fare. Always the third weekend in September.
• Foliage Food & Wine Festival, Blue Hill
Week-long food-centric event with highlight being The Taste of the Peninsula
• Great Maine Apple Day, Unity
Keep the doctor away with apples, workshops, tastings, cider, and more; late October.
• Harvest on the Harbor, Portland
Maine’s biggest foodie event, with workshops, tastings, celebrity chefs, cook-offs, and more.
• Maine Brewers Festival, Portland
Another Maine brewhaha; sample Maine craft beers on tap