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Three March Food Festivals to Get You in the Mood for Spring

March 1, 2012 at 11:36 AM | by | ()

It’s finally March and that means that spring is right around the corner. The warmer weather brings us plenty of outdoor opportunity, but it also means that Mother Nature is ready to grow some tasty goodies. So get ready for spring with a few food festivals that show off the seasonal harvest:

Yuma Lettuce Days - Yuma, Arizona

It’s definitely a sort of BYODressing event, as Lettuce Days arrives in Yuma in just a little more than a week. This year’s lettuce festival—known as Yuma Lettuce Days—runs its course over a Saturday and Sunday through March 10 and March 11. Sure a festival dedicated to leafy greens might not exactly excite the taste buds, but of course there’s way more than just lettuce at this month’s food festival. There’s ice carving, vegetable carving, and even a really huge salad bar where you can get your fix of farm fresh fixings.

Tickets are just $5 per person, and if you’ve got little ones under the age of 5 they’ll get in for free. Celeb chefs will be in attendance along with the 40,000 lettuce fans that organizers are expecting. Brian Malarkey from Top Chef will be there to do his thing with all the lettuce, and when you’re sick of feasting on vegetables there’ll be some live music to keep you going. Our only complaint is that there doesn’t seem to be a lettuce eating contest, because that would be hilarious—especially with a side of ranch dressing.

Florida Strawberry Festival – Plant City, Florida

You’re right in the middle of the Florida Strawberry Festival, and you probably didn’t even realize it. That’s okay—that’s what we’re here for—thank us later. The juicy fruits are starring in their own festival between March 1 and March 11, and all the overindulging takes place in Plant City, Florida. It’s not that far from the beach, so maybe you can even add a festival field trip as part of your Spring Break plans.

Obviously there’s plenty of berry this and berry that, and you won’t have to go far to score a few—or a couple hundred—chocolate dipped strawberries. There’s always the option to work up a little more hunger by trying your luck at the festival’s strawberry stemming contest. There’s only 15 lucky pickers chosen, and winners will score a trophy—awesome—as well as a $25 gift card. Tickets are just $8 in advance, but it’ll be a couple more bucks—$10—if you’re stuck with getting tickets at the gate. There’s plenty of free entertainment throughout the week, but you will have to pony up some extra cash if you want to attend one of the festival concerts like the performances from Demi Lovato, Gretchen Wilson, or The Band Berry (Perry)—ha.

Texas Onion Fest - Weslaco, Texas

Don’t shed a tear, as the Texas Onion Fest is only a few weeks away in Weslaco. Everyone cooks with onions in one way or another, but now it’s time for the mighty onion to star as the main ingredient. Expect plenty of onion rings, onion strings, and onion fried this and that. There’s even an onion recipe contest where you can finally reveal that onion ice cream that you’ve been working on for years. Just be sure to bring along plenty of mints for the ride back home.

Admission to the onion party is $5 for the big kids and $3 for the little kids. That’ll get you access into the festival, but be sure to bring along some extra spending cash for all the onion treats that you’ll just need to sample and snack. Arts and crafts, live music, and even an appearance by Miss Onion Fest will all round out the festival offerings. So if you’ve always wanted to show your love for the mighty onion this is your chance to do so. Just be sure to pick up one of the $10 festival t-shirts to prove that you were there.

[Photos: wwwesb and Svadilfari]

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