It’s festival season in Virginia Blue Ridge, and some of the best are those that are all about food. Sample international cuisine, classic American dishes, fruit-based delights, and more.
There’s plenty to choose from among these tasty and fun food festivals in Virginia’s Blue Ridge that deserve a spot on your calendar.
BaconFest | Roanoke
Bacon! It probably goes without saying that this particular food festival is a hit with the guys, but we know some ladies who would be tempted to eat their weight in bacon, too. Live music is an extra boost of happiness, plus there are activities for kids. It’s a family affair centered around the love of bacon.
WHEN: August 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
ADMISSION: $5 per person over age 12
TASTE PACKAGES: $10, $15 and $20
The Great Pumpkin Smash | Roanoke
For the love of all things pumpkin, The Great Pumpkin Smash comes to Dr Pepper Park @ The Bridges this fall. Pumpkin beer, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pies, pumpkin fill-in-the-blank … whatever tasty pumpkin concoction you can think of, you’ll probably find it at this fun food festival.
WHEN: October 6, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
ADMISSION: $5 per person over age 12
Smith Mountain Lake Chili & Craft Festival | Moneta
When chili makers compete, the rest of us win! Whether your palate prefers heat, outright spice, red meat, bean, red, or white, there’s bound to be a chili to please at this festival. Craft vendors offer beautiful creations to peruse while you sample and savor the day away at Smith Mountain Lake.
WHEN: November 8, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
ADMISSION: $5 per person over age 6
Strawberry Festival | Rocky Mount
This Friday night food festival features the sweetest, most delicious treat: strawberries! It’s a highlight of the Rocky Mount Farmers Market and includes children’s activities, rock climbing, face painting, and live music.
WHEN: May 11, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Gingerbread Festival | Salem
The holiday spirit is contagious at the annual Gingerbread Festival at the Salem Public Library. The free event includes the popular gingerbread house competition, marshmallow roasting, kids activities, and fun ways to share the magic of Christmas.
WHEN: December 1
Big Lick Burger Fest & Summer Jam | Roanoke
Juicy burgers are center stage (for a while) at the Big Lick Burger Fest & Summer Jam at Elmwood Park, but be ready for great music to possibly steal the show.
WHEN: June 16, 1 to 9 p.m.
Roanoke Wing Fest | Roanoke
Hot wings, barbecue wings, ranch wings, honey wings … there’s a wing for everyone at the Roanoke Wing Fest! Even our favorite area wing joints will compete for “Best Wing in Town.” Between plates, participate in the all-day cornhole tournament and enjoy the live entertainment.
WHEN: August 25, noon to 6 p.m.
ADMISSION: $5 per person age 12 and older
Pork by the James Seriously Smokin’ Barbeque Competition | Buchanan
How do you like your pork barbeque? The “right way” to enjoy it has been hotly debated for a very long time. Why not try a little bit of every “way” at Pork by the James? Competitors put their own spin on this southern favorite in hopes to leave with a cash prize at the end of the evening. Live music and a beer garden create a relaxed environment for enjoying the fruits of others’ labors.
WHEN: September 15, 5 to 9 p.m.
Community School Strawberry Festival | Roanoke
Held in Elmwood Park in Downtown Roanoke, the Community School Strawberry Festival is a two-day event that has grown to be one of the most popular annual events in Virginia's Blue Ridge. The iconic Strawberry Shortcake is a classic sign that summer is on the way!
WHEN: May 4-5
Lebanese Festival | Roanoke
A three-day delight at St. Elias Social Hall, the Lebanese Festival always includes the very best Lebanese dishes, as well as fun events that share the culture with festival-goers.
WHEN: June 1-2, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; June 3, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Roanoke Greek Festival | Roanoke
Also a three-day festival, the Roanoke Greek Festival is held at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Eat all the souvlaki, gyro, and dolmades your stomach can stand, and then come back for more on days two and three! Enjoy the cultural music and dance, as well as shopping opportunities this festival offers.
WHEN: September 21-22, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; September 23, noon to 7 p.m.
Local Colors | Roanoke
A true sampler, Local Colors brings together and celebrates all of the ethnic cultures of Roanoke with more than 50 nations represented. Not only will the flavors of these nations be shared, but their customs and traditions as well. Expect to see Kultura Pilipino Phillippine Dancers, Sauerkraut Band representing Germany, Shaolin Dragon representing China, and more. Local Colors is an excellent family-friendly event.
WHEN: May 19, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Are you ready for an incredibly tasty spring, summer, and fall food festival season? We are!
Show us what you’re tasting by sharing a pic on Instagram and tagging it #BlueRidgeDay. To find more festivals, see our Calendar of Events.