Festivals and events are an important motivator of tourism across the world. They have come a long way in the past years into becoming huge events, attracting thousands and millions of visitors. No matter if it’s a music festival or a food one, these events attract all kinds of tourists who make an exciting experience out of it. We found several pretty interesting (some of which rather bizarre) food festivals around the globe. If you are planning on an unusual trip which involves lots of food and fun times, here are some suggestions.

Oktoberfest (Munich, Germany)

16th September – 3rd October 2017

Probably the most famous European food/drink festival – Oktoberfest – which takes place annually from mid or late September to the first weekend of October in Munich, Germany. During the 16-to 18-day beer festival, millions of visitors enjoy millions of litres of fine German beer. They can also enjoy numerous attractions, such as amusement parks, games and sidestalls, as well as all kinds of traditional German foods. Oktoberfest is a must for every beer-lover!

Chinchilla Melon Festival (Chinchilla, Australia)

16th – 19th February 2017

Chinchilla, Queensland, also known as the “Melon capital” of Australia (their watermelon accounts for 25 percent of the nation’s crop), holds a Melon Festival every two years. But this is not a common food festival. Why? Because the festival goers can not only eat the melons, they can also engage in different kinds of “sports” like seed spitting, melon tossing, melon-skiing and even get involved in a “melon chariot race”.

La Tomatina (Buñol, Spain)

30th August 2017

La Tomatina is a world-famous festival held in the Valencian town of Buñol in Spain, which takes place on the last Wednesday of August each year. The festival is rumored to have originated as a local brawl, possibly an attack on the city council member by disgruntled townspeople. But today it has turned into the world’s largest food fight with tens of thousands of tourists and locals throwing more than 100 000 kg of tomatoes at each other. Our best advice? Leave your white clothes at home!

Battle of the Oranges (Ivrea, Italy)

25th – 28th February 2017

More like a food war than a food festival, the Battle of Oranges is the largest food fight in Italy which you can visit every February. Thousands of townspeople, divided into nine combat teams, throw tons of fresh oranges oranges at each other in order to reenact an age old battle. The story begins centuries ago, when commoners rose up against an oppressive ruler. At the Carnevale di Ivrea , however, the battle wasn’t waged with guns and swords—oranges were the weapon of choice.

The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake (Gloucester, UK)

29th May 2017

The Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake is an annually held cheese festival near Gloucester, England. A 4kg round of Double Gloucester cheese is rolled down a hill and competitors start racing down the hill after it. The first person to reach the finnish line wins the cheese. So if you want to watch a group of men chase a large mound of cheese down a hill… and invariably cause themselves injury, then this is the right place for you!

Menton Lemon Festival (Menton, France)

11th February – 1st March 2017

Another unique festival is the Menton Lemon Festival which takes place at the charming seaside town of Menton, on the Côte D’Azur, France. For three weeks every winter, the streets and gardens of the town are decorated with tons of lemons and oranges. The festival, also known as Fête du Citron, attracts more than 200 00 visitors, who come to marvel at the amazing sculptures and huge displays made of citrus fruits. There is nothing fresher than a whole town covered in lemons!

Maine Lobster Fest (Maine, USA)

2nd – 6th August 2017

Held in the New England town of Rockland every summer, the Maine Lobster Fest features live music, parades and over 9 000 kg of lobster to be enjoyed at the first full weekend in August. Another great attraction is the Great Inernational William Atwood Lobster Crate Race, where participants run across a “bridge” made of partially submerged lobster crates in the Atlantic.

Isle of Wight Garlic Festival (Isle of Wight, UK)

19th and 20th August 2017

If you are a fan of all-things-garlic, then this is your festival. Located in the bright and sunny Isle of Wight in summer, this festival has loads to offer food-wise – from garlic beer to garlic fudge. Visitors can also enjoy live music and plenty of arts and crafts. Another great thing about it is that the event is affiliated with more than 65 charities, so you can donate money for many good causes.

Bacon Festival (Sacramento, California)

23rd – 29th January 2017

Sacramento, California offers a delicious festival for the foodie travelers, which focuses on everyone’s favourite – the bacon! Visitors can enjoy traditional bacon dishes, as well as some more interesting ones like bacon gelato, bacon salad and bacon ramen. There’s even a Kevin Bacon tribute band on the third night of the January festival.

BugFest (North Carolina, USA)

September 2017 (date to be announced)

Each year over 35 000 visitors attend the North Carolina BugFest which offer a unique experience with over 100 exhibits, crafts, games and activities. But what we find most interesting is the Café Insecta where, if you are brave enough, you can sample “buggy” dishes prepared by local chefs. Attendees of this festival held by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh can also spectate at Roach Race 5000 where they cheer on bugs, participating in the race.

So whether you want to engage in a fun food fight, chase a cheese down a hill or sample dishes made from bugs, there are some pretty amazing festivals for you to visit!