10 Georgia Food Festivals That Are Worth a Trip

Taste Georgia's best barbecue, sweet shrimp, locally brewed beer and much more at these highlights on the food festival calendar.

Mar 13, 2016 - 18:47
Oct 2, 2022 - 17:09
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10 Georgia Food Festivals That Are Worth a Trip

Taste Georgia\'s best barbecue, sweet shrimp, locally brewed beer and much more at these highlights on the food festival calendar.

City of Kennesaw's Pigs & Peaches BBQ Festival 

It\'s time once again for festival fans and music lovers to converge in Kennesaw for two days of smoked and seasoned barbeque bliss!

Check out up-and-coming artists and established talent on three stages of entertainment while chowing down on some of the best festival food in the Southeast. Stroll around and savor the smells. Shop, eat, drink and interact with over 200 vendors and exhibitors. Keep the little ones laughing and playing for hours in the Kid Zone - a family-friendly playground of inflatable jumpers, amusements and attractions.

The festival features a Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned competition, recognized as a Georgia State Championship event, as well as Backyard BBQ, Anything Butt and Peach Dessert Contests. New for 2016 is a Kids\' Que cook-off for budding young pitmasters. Over $16,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to contest winners.

The festival will be capped off on Saturday with a spectacular fireworks finale at 9:30pm.

Rhythm & Ribs BBQ Festival 

The Rhythm & Ribs BBQ Festival, Tifton\'s newest festival, brings the smell of BBQ cooking and the sounds of bands jamming from the stage! This festival partners with the Georgia BBQ Association to host a BBQ Competition, featuring professional and backyard cooking teams. The festival also features arts and crafts vendors, informational booths, a kids area and tons of free entertainment all day long! This event will be held in Fulwood Park on the first Saturday in March. It promises to be a day full of fun and food! For more information or to enter the competition, visit www.tiftonribsfest.com or call (229) 386-0216. 

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival 

Get ready to eat, drink, and indulge as the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival! Venture South for a decadent weekend of Southern food and drink while exploring the traditions and global influences that make the South the destination for culinary explorers. The first festival to celebrate the South as a culinary destination, this four‐day event is designed to lead guests on a culinary journey through the region with a weekend of learning experiences and tasting tents, as well as dinners and events. 

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.atlfoodandwinefestival.com. The South has never tasted so good.

Watermelon Days Festival 

Revered as the watermelon capital of the world, Cordele in South Georgia grows bigger and more luscious fruit than anywhere else. To celebrate the watermelon harvest — and all good things grown in the South — Cordele’s Watermelon Days Festival (June 2016) has parades; watermelon eating, seed spitting and chucking contests; and sweet, cold wedges of watermelon.

Shrimp & Grits Festival

Looking for a Shrimp Extravaganza? Come out to the coast and eat your way through Georgia’s Golden Isles-starting with The 2015 Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival! The Golden Isles are nestled on the Georgia coast, making a breathtaking view of the four barrier islands of St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island, and Jekyll Island. Running from Friday, September 18th through Sunday, September 20th, this 3-day festival marks the 10th anniversary of Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival! To celebrate this milestone, they are gearing up for a weekend jammed packed with both amateur and professional cooking competitions, cooking demonstrations, and lots and lots of Wild Caught Georgia Shrimp! There will also be live entertainment, goodies for sale, and tons of family fun to be had by all. But in my opinion the highlight of the festival is being able to eat your weight in sweet Georgia shrimp. You’ll also, be able to sample all of the creative and delicious ways people cook shrimp & grits. I’ve seen it deep fried, stewed, pickled, barbequed, stuffed . . . well, you get the idea! In the meantime, you can whet your appetite with my take on Shrimp & Grits. Enjoy!

Georgia Apple Festival

If you’re looking for a food festival that’s geared toward family fun, then the Georgia Apple Festival in Ellijay (Oct. 8-9 & 15-16, 2016) is the perfect fit. Families from all over the country flock to this North Georgia town for two exciting fall weekends. Vendors offering food, art and crafts, and all things apples are ready to serve you. Stick around for the craft and apple cooking demonstrations, parade and the annual classic car show.

Taste of Atlanta October 2016

Prepare yourself to taste all of Atlanta’s top restaurants and neighborhood favorites at Taste of Atlanta (October 2016). This food festival, located in Midtown Atlanta, takes you on a culinary adventure with blocks upon blocks of food stalls, live cooking demonstrations, and celebrity chef sightings. Come early, try your favorites and find some new ones.


Decatur Craft Beer Festival

Enjoy an afternoon of beer tasting on the square in downtown Decatur, Georgia. Each ticket includes a special tasting glass and unlimited sips from more than 80 breweries. Take it up a notch with a VIP ticket for the ultimate beer festival experience. Celebrate all things beer at the annual Decatur Craft Beer Festival (October 2016). A ticket will get you a souvenir glass and tastings from more than 80 craft breweries. While you’re there, be sure to grab a bite at one of the outstanding local restaurants just a few steps from the festival. 


Tucked in the North Georgia mountains, you will find a little slice of Bavaria and the longest running Oktoberfest in the United States in the Alpine town of Helen. It\'s Helen\'s biggest celebration! Enjoy German music, food, drinks and dancing, including waltzes, polkas and the chicken dance! Oktoberfest will run from Sept. 8-11, 2016, then Sept. 15-18, 2016, and then reopens daily beginning Sept. 22 and continues through Oct. 30, 2016.

Savannah Food & Wine Festival

Experience Southern charm and hospitality during the weeklong Savannah Food & Wine Festival(November 2016). Savannah is the perfect backdrop for this festival, offering hundreds of foods to sample, regional and international wine and cocktail tastings, and dozens of culinary events — like the largest low country boil, master cooking classes, and bubbles and brunch — in between tastings.


Delight in a mix of unique gift ideas, old-world charm, and holiday cheer as the Dublin Christkindlmarket brings a taste of Germany to Dublin during weekends in November and December.

Located in the Dublin Carnegie in beautiful Downtown Dublin, Christkindlmarket Christmas cheer will spill over into Bicentennial Plaza and Downtown\'s neighboring shops. The cheer extends throughout the season on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Chriskindlmarket or Christmas Market is a place where friends and family come together for good food and drinks, fun, fellowship, and of course to find the perfect holiday gifts. All decorations and gifts are festive and related to Christmas and Advent. Per German tradition, stollen, cookies, waffles, fried sausages, hot spiced wine, apple cider and more scent the crisp air. Punch and hot apple juice are given to the children to enjoy. Santa will appear on selected dates for added joy!

When you think of old-world charm and traditional holiday cheer, then you’re probably thinking of Christmas in Dublin, Georgia. In November and December, downtown Dublin transforms itself into Christkindlmarket, a holiday bazaar complete with festive decorations and holiday treats like hot spiced wine, mulled cider, German-style waffles, pastries, and fried sausages.

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Mike Gallagher Freelance writer with a passion for travelling