Georgia is known for its fresh fruits and vegetables like peaches, watermelon and Vidalia onions, as well as a long list of iconic Southern dishes like pecan pie, fried chicken, and shrimp and grits. Combine Georgia’s culinary variety with communities that enjoy a good celebration, and you have some delicious food festivals throughout the state. Pack up the car, grab the kids and head to Georgia for one (or all) of these family-friendly food festivals.
Peanut lovers rejoice! The annual Peanut Proud Festival honors Georgia's peanut industry and the city of Blakely. The day is jam packed with the ever-popular Peanut Proud Parade, free concerts, arts and craft vendors, activities for the kids, a 5K Fun Run and a Street Dance. And, of course, you’ll find delicious treats made with Georgia peanuts and peanut butter. Make sure to grab a bag of peanuts and a jar (or two) of Georgia-grown peanut butter while you're in town.
Vidalia Onion Festival (Vidalia, April)
Every spring, onion lovers across the nation wait with anticipation for the first Vidalia onion to make its appearance. The official state vegetable is sweet, crunchy and virtually tear-free. To celebrate its arrival, Vidalia puts on the four-day Vidalia Onion Festival packed with parades, pageants and the much-loved Vidalia Onion Culinary Extravaganza, during which competitors showcase Vidalia onions in everything from ketchup to onion rolls. Named as one of the "Five Don’t-Miss Festivals Across the U.S." by MSNBC, this onion festival is a huge draw for foodies and families alike.
Georgia Peach Festival (Peach County, June)
This festival is as unique as it tasty! Attracting more than 10,000 visitors, the Georgia Peach Festival splits events between two weekends and two cities, Byron and Fort Valley, which doubles your peach-eating fun. On the final Saturday morning of the festival, a team of volunteer bakers present Peach County's renowned culinary masterpiece, The World's Largest Peach Cobbler. Coming in at a whopping 11 feet by 5 feet long and 8 inches deep, people line up by the dozens for a sample of this sweet treat. Made with 90 pounds of butter, 150 pounds of sugar, 150 pounds of flour, 32 gallons of milk and 75 gallons of Georgia peaches, this giant dessert is the highlight of the festival.
Watermelon Days Festival (Cordele, June)
In the South Georgia community of Cordele, you'll find the biggest, sweetest watermelons in the world. To celebrate the watermelon harvest in June — and all good things grown in the South — Cordele's Watermelon Days Festival has parades; watermelon eating, seed spitting and chucking contests; and sweet, cold wedges of watermelon.
Shrimp & Grits Festival (Jekyll Island, November)
This favorite on the Georgia coast combines the iconic Southern dish of shrimp and grits with a weekend of family fun. The three-day Shrimp & Grits Festival has a unique mix of things to see, including shrimp-inspired artwork, family-friendly entertainment, a kids’ zone and Georgia wildlife demonstrations. Throughout the festival weekend, chefs and home cooks share their favorite shrimp and grits recipes.