The end of June may mark the end of Long Island’s classic strawberry festivals, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty more local food-filled fairs that guarantee upcoming weekends of fun, games and deliciousness. Mark the calendar, here’s eight classic LI food fests for each month through October.
Sweet Corn Festival
For those who simply can’t get enough of Long Island’s fabulous corn, there’s the 25th annual Sweet Corn Festival at Harbes Family Farm and Vineyard in Mattituck, which will be a jam-packed weekend July 13-14. Run for the past 13 generations by the Harbes family, it includes all the corn-fest classics such as various corn-based foods, corn-eating contests, crafts and games for kids, as well as some unique attractions such as “What’s all the buzz about bees?” bee education. The Harbes’ also offer wine tasting, live music, and working border collie demonstrations for a weekend of corn-filled family fun.
Long Island Animal Rights and VegFest
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Huntington kicks off a day of healthy vegan fun at the Long Island Animal Rights and VegFest on Saturday, July 13. Bring animal companions on “non-retractable leashes only” to the vegan picnic to see musical performances and educational lectures. In addition to speakers like vegan Victoria Moran and animal rights activist Jenny Brown, the fellowship will be holding an art show and auction. Bring reusable water bottles and organic snacks for an enjoyable and educational afternoon.
The the Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck and the Harbes Western Farm in Jamesport will be hosting the Long Island Watermelon Festival the weekend of August 10-11. Both locations will host watermelon-eating contests, seed-spitting contests and other family friendly games such as corn mazes and hayrides. Cool down in the hot summer sun with some fresh watermelon juice while enjoying a picnic in the beautiful fields, or listen to live musical performances by local bands.
Greenlawn/Centerport Pickle Festival
The Greenlawn-Centerport Historical Association is sponsoring the 34th annual Pickle festival this September. This tradition was started in honor of Alexander Gardiner, the “pickle pioneer,” who produced enough pickles in on his farm in Greenland to supply all of New York City. Now, almost two centuries later, pickle lovers from all around the island flock to that very same farm for a taste of those famous pickled cucumbers. The festival sells not only a wide variety of pickles, but all sorts of pickle paraphernalia, from t-shirts and pickle ornaments, to pickle flavored popcorn.
Long Island Wine Harvest Festival
The Laurel Lake Vineyards will hold their annual wine harvest festival in what has become known as the “jewel of Long Island” on Sept. 22. This North Fork vineyard was founded by a group of Chilean and American friends who not only provide tours of the facility, but also offer demonstrations of the winemaking process. At this festival, attendees can clip vines, pick their own grapes or create their own bottle of wine, all before enjoying a wine-and-cheese tasting on the beautiful balcony overlooking the breathtaking scenery.
Long Island Apple Festival
The Sherwood Jayne Farm in East Setauket will once again host their Apple Festival for a day full of apple picking, cider, pies and cakes, and old fashioned games and crafts for people of all ages this fall. Bring the whole family for the apple pie baking contest and the apple relay race, or relax at a picnic table and watch the pony rides and face painting.
Suffolk County Pumpkinfest
Cornell Cooperative Extension sponsors a Pumpkinfest every September at the Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank, where families can come pick and paint their own pumpkins, play in the corn maze, go on wagon and pony rides, and enjoy other children’s crafts and activities. Other events include farm trivia games, a parent calling contest and cow chip bingo. Not only is this fair fun for family and friends, but the funds also go to benefit educational programs at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Suffolk County.
This October marks the 30th anniversary of the Oyster Bay Oyster Fest. Starting with the annual parade honoring Teddy Roosevelt, this festival has evolved into the largest outdoor festival on Long Island. Each year the Oyster Bay streets are filled with live entertainment, artisan booths, gigantic ships docked in the bay and of course, the famous local oysters cooked every which way imaginable. Or raw, as usual.