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EVEN IN FEBRUARY, LOCAL FOODS ABOUND AT VIRGINIA FOOD FESTIVALS

 

            It’s February, that time of the year when you don’t need to cut the grass and don’t want to tackle those home improvement projects. It’s a great time to visit a Virginia Food Festival. Information is just a click away at www.vdacs.virginia.gov/news/festival.shtml, the Virginia Food Festivals website from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).

 

The site has been updated for 2012 and it features events that go through Christmas. Even in February, plenty of options abound. This month you can take in a wine and food festival in Newport News, and Ravishing Red Days of Winter and Chocolate Days at Fox Meadow, both in Linden. The Gray Ghost Irresistible Chocolates and Cabernet event in Amissville is February 11 – 12, and February 18 - 19 is the Virginia Wine Showcase in Arlington. The Southern Virginia Wine Festival takes place February 18 in Chatham and Richmond hosts the Virginia Wine Expo February 24 – 26.

 

            With so many Virginia foods represented, there is a special event to celebrate almost everyone’s favorites, from oysters to pork, beef to strawberries. Many events are seasonal: strawberries in May, blackberries in July and peaches in August.    

 

September and October are two of the busiest months for food festivals with featured products such as apples, wine, pumpkins and oysters. Chili Cook-offs and harvest festivals abound, and this is prime time for those special extras like hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin cannons, cider-making and antique tractors. You can end the year at Christmas festivals and food/craft fairs before the fun starts all over again in January 2013.

 

            The food festivities are listed online by month. Each listing includes the date, location, contact information and a link to the event website, if available. VDACS advises festival-goers to call ahead for hours, directions, admission charges and other costs.

 

            If your organization has planned a Virginia food-oriented event that is not included, please send the details to olivia.wilson@vdacs.virginia.gov. Event listings are free.