Readers Choice
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    Maine Lobster Festival
    Rockland, Maine

    The Maine Lobster Festival, a quintessential Midcoast experience, welcomes thousands of lobster lovers each summer to get their hands dirty picking away at fresh steamed lobster. Also on the menu: lobster rolls, lobster wraps, lobster salads, steamed clams, crab cakes and fried seafood, all served alongside events like the sea goddess coronation, parade, cooking contest, live entertainment and a crafts market.

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    ChocolateFest
    Portland, Ore.

    In January 10,000 chocoholics from around the wold pack the Oregon Convention Center to taste and learn about the newest and most notable chocolate products on the market. Besides sweet tastings, Portland's ChocolateFest also hosts cooking and mixology demos (chocolate martini anyone?), chocolate and wine pairing talks, presentations on the chocolate-making process and health benefits of cocoa.

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    Kona Coffee Cultural Festival
    Kona, Hawaii

    The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, Hawaii's oldest food festival, takes place on the Big Island each November and explores roughly two centuries of the region's coffee history. Events include the crowning of Miss Kona Coffee, Coffee Belt farm tours, live cultural performances, coffee tastings from 30 area farms, a coffee picking contest and panel discussions on the coffee growing industry.

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    Hatch Chile Festival
    Hatch, N.M.

    Each Labor Day Weekend the Chile Capital of the World - Hatch, N.M. - hosts the Hatch Chile Festival to celebrate New Mexico's most beloved foodstuff. Visitors enjoy a parade, cook-off, crowning of the festival queen and tongue-tingling bites of traditional green and red chile recipes.

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    Louisiana Seafood Festival
    New Orleans

    The free and family-friendly Louisiana Seafood Festival brings fresh Gulf seafood, famous chefs and lively local entertainment to New Orleans each October. The three-day event includes a pavilion tent for live celebrity chef demos, a kids tent with activities from the Louisiana Children's Museum, an arts & crafts village, live music and vendors from around the state serving all variety of seafood treats.

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    Bayfield Apple Festival
    Bayfield, Wis.

    The inviting small town of Bayfield celebrates autumn harvest during its annual Apple Festival in October. Visitors can tour orchards and sample apple treats -- tarts, pies, ciders and candied apples -- from 60 vendors; enjoy live music; and watch the Grand Parade march down historic Rittenhouse Avenue to Lake Superior.

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    Whoopie Pie Festival
    Strasburg, Pa.

    The "Most Delicious Day in Lancaster County" is the annual Whoopie Pie Festival in September. The free festival, Pennsylvania Dutch Country's biggest annual party, lets visitors sample more than 100 flavors and varieties of the state's classic confection. Other events include eating contests, scavenger hunts, races, live music, a craft fair and the construction of the world's largest whoopie pie.

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    National Cherry Festival
    Traverse City, Mich.

    Northern Michigan's biggest annual event, the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, welcomes more than half a million people each July to celebrate all things cherry. Alongside cherry edibles, festival goers will find a host of family-friendly entertainment and activities, including a parade, volleyball tournament, air show and live music on the bay.

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    Mushroom Festival
    Kennett Square, Pa.

    The two-day Mushroom Festival takes over Kennett Square on the weekend after Labor Day. Visitors to the Mushroom Capital of the World during the event can learn about how mushrooms are cultivated through farm tours and growing exhibits, taste mushroom-inspired culinary creations, enjoy family fun at an old fashioned street carnival or participate in a variety of contests, like the National Fried Mushroom Eating Championship.

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    Keene Pumpkin Festival
    Keene, N.H.

    The small New England town of Keene becomes the pumpkin capital of the world for one day each October during the annual Keene Pumpkin Festival. Area schoolkids carve and decorate hundreds of pumpkins to form a towering wall of Jack-o-lanterns, and vendors serve up plenty of fall treats, such as apple crisp and maple cotton candy.

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