By Luis Centeno
Between the East End farms, local fisheries and many creative cooks on Long Island, there are plenty more local food-filled fairs that guarantee upcoming weekends of fun, games and deliciousness.
Some of the most popular local food fairs of the year haven’t been scheduled yet, including the Greenlawn Pickle Festival, several apple festivals and the annual pumpkin festival. The annual chowder contest at Oakdale’s The Snapper Inn returns in February.
Mark the calendar: here’s 11 classic LI food fests for each month through October.
Mattituck Lions Club’s 62nd Annual Strawberry Festival
On the menu for this year’s Mattituck Lions Club’s Strawberry Festival are heavenly strawberries dipped in chocolate, strawberry shortcakes and many other concoctions that involve the freshest strawberries on Long Island. This family event will include live music, fireworks and food from around the world. 1175 Route 48, Mattituck. mattituckstrawberryfestival.org $5, children under 5 free. 5-11 p.m. June 16 and 17. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. June 18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. June 19.
Long Island Hot Dog Festival
Calling all weiner fans! Amateur cooks, professionals and those who simply love hot dogs will love this event, which includes a hot dog eating contest, best gourmet dog contest, worst and best tattoos, pin up contest and live music. Bring the family and come with an empty belly, because all those hot dogs aren’t going to eat themselves! Mike’s Bar and Grill, 742 Middle County Road, Selden. thelongislandhotdogfestival.com Admission is FREE. 12 p.m. July 9.
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Sweet Corn Festival
Beside strawberries is there anything sweeter than Long Island corn? Celebrate this crop at Harbes Annual Sweet Corn Festival, where there will be a corn-eating contest, pig races, pony rides, relay races and all kinds of corn recipes along with country music all day long. This event will also be offering tastings of their award winning wines. Harbes Family Farm, 715 Sound Ave., Mattituck. harbesfamilyfarm.com July 23 and 24.
SUMAQ Peruvian Food Festival
Get ready to enjoy the best ceviche of your life, along with lomo saltado and aji de gallina. With Chef Ezequiel Valencia of Panca Restaurant in NYC leading the way, these plates are sure to bring the original spices and flavors straight from Peru. This chef worked for the Peruvian Embassy, where he cooked for Presidents and Ministers. Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City. sumaqpff.com $15-$20 adults; $7-$10 kids from 2-12. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. August 13, 14.
Harbes Tomato Festival
You say tomato, I say tomato. Come celebrate the Annual Tomato Festival and try special samplings of the different recipes created over the years. Take part in potato sack races, tomato relay races, and tug of war contests. It’s a perfect day for the whole family, with lots of food and fun games to play. Harbes Family Farm, 715 Sound Ave., Mattituck. harbesfamilyfarm.com Free. August 13,14.
Great Food Truck Derby
Come hungry, because all kinds of food will be available at this event, from all ethnicities. Best part is, after paying the entrance, patrons get to try them all. Favorites like Eat Me, Drink Me, Kannoli Kings, Blondies Bakeshop and Whole Le Crepe are just some of the many options this event will offer. This event will also benefit the Hayground schoolyard projects in the region, including culinary arts training for kids. A family event with everyone’s favorite food trucks; count us in. 151 Mitchell Lane, Bridgehampton. edibleeastend.com $20-$100 4-7 p.m. August 19.
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Tomatofest hits is back! With 20 types of tomatoes to choose from, tomato-lovers can expect to be tasting and eating all kinds of new dishes. And for those bringing kids, there will be plenty of games and bouncy houses. From tomato tasting, to games, live music, and even pony rides. This family event is all about eating and having fun at the same time. Garden of Eve, 4558 Sound Ave., Riverhead. gardenofevefarm.com $3 per person, kids under 6 free. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. August 27, 28.
Watermelon eating contest. Seed Spitting Contest. Watermelon rolling contest. These types of activities are what highlight this event. Fun family festivities. The Annual Watermelon Festival will be happening towards the end of this hot summer, so come cool off with a big slice of fresh watermelon. Harbes Family Farm, 715 Sound Ave., Mattituck. harbesfamilyfarm.com Free. August 27, 28.
25th Annual Seafood Festival
This family event is bound to make a splash with various activities other than just eating seafood. Kids are welcomed to participate in a pirate re-enactment show as well as a treasure hunt. Parents can also take part in the arts and crafts fair. There will also be live music from a variety of bands, such as Almost Queen and The Como Brothers Band. Long Island Maritime Museum, 88 West Ave., West Sayville. liseafoodfestival.org $10, kids under 12 free. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. August 27, 28.
Tasty. Healthy. Garlic. This event has a variety of activities: garlic eating contests, junior chefs creating an original sauce, learning new cooking techniques, live music and tours of the farm. Bring your kids, bring your parents and come enjoy this garlic-centered gathering. Garden of Eve, 4558 Sound Ave., Riverhead. gardenofevefarm.com $5 adults, kids under 6 free. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. September 19 and 20.
33rd Annual Oyster Festival
There’s a reason this is one of the biggest annual events on LI. With dozens of volunteering chefs and culinary pros cooking side by side with unique seafood recipes involving oysters and clams, it’s guaranteed the food is going to be delicious. Profits from all food court sales, carnival rides and merchandise sales will proceed to local charities. So come enjoy the food, have a good time with the family and help support the community. 1 West End Ave., Oyster Bay. theoysterfestival.org Free. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. October 15, 16.