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Tennessee Food Festivals That Leave Mouths Watering

Take a bite out of Tennessee.

Forks around Tennessee are raised to endlessly eat at some of the renowned food festivals around the state. Take a bite out of the Volunteer State with these food festivals that will, no doubt, have your stomach growling for more. Book your own food festival road trip around these culinary celebrations.

World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, Memphis

Memphis welcomes more than 230 teams from 25 states and several foreign countries to smoke the best meats at one of the most prestigious barbecue competition in the U.S. May 16-19 at Tom Lee Park. While the 'cuers are working hard, head to BBQ Alley presented by Big Green Egg. For $15, which you can buy in advance or at the gate, sample three famous barbecue restaurants and Big Green Egg, all serving up delicious barbecue. Barbecue demos and the Cooker Caravan - a free guided tour of some of the best competition teams - are other events that can be experienced during the Cooking Contest. 

Tennessee Soybean Festival, Martin

The spirit of agriculture is embodied in the Soybean Festival Sept. 1-8, 2018 in Martin. Soybean and soybean farmers are celebrated and the soybean's economic impact on Martin and Tennessee are commemorated each year. The festival draws approximately 35,000-40,000 people in-state and from around the nation. Music fills the air every day of the festival. Past performers include Lynyrd Skynyrd, Air Supply, Echosmith and more. Arts, crafts and kids activities round out the fun offerings.

International Cowpea Festival & Cook-off, Charleston

In the early 1900s, Charleston, Tennessee was once known as the Cowpea Capital of the United States. Today, the town celebrates the cowpea with the International Cowpea Festival & Cook-off Sept. 8, 2018 at the Charleston City Park. The Cowpea Cook-off features professional chefs preparing appetizers, entrees and international flair that include any variety of pea in the cowpea family as the main ingredient. Cook-off tasting is available for visitors who purchase a $5 souvenir spatula.

Unicoi Apple Festival, Erwin

More than 110,000 visitors flock to the annual Unicoi Apple Festival 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 5-6, 2018 in Erwin. It's consistently been named one of the top 20 events in the Southeast by Southeast Tourism Society. It's a festival that also honors the arts with exhibitions in painting, photography, wood-turning, sculpture, and more. Since Tennessee is the Soundtrack of America, the festival wouldn't be complete without a stage, or in this case, three stages with live music that compliments the array of tournaments and activities.

Music City Food + Wine Festival, Nashville

Some of the biggest chefs will attend the Music City Food + Wine Festival Sept. 14-16, 2018 in downtown Nashville. Culinary greats like Maneet Chauhan, Hugh Acheson, Tim Love and Andrew Curren bring their expertise and talents on a variety of panel discussions and provide cooking demonstrations. Indulge in more than 60 food, spirits and wine vendors and have a night cap while enjoying live music.

Wine Over Water Food + Wine Festival, Chattanooga

Area restaurants and more than 100 wineries from around the world will come to 23rd annual Wine over Water Oct. 6, 2018 along the Walnut Street Bridge, which extends over the Tennessee River and is one of the world's longest pedestrian bridges. Regional musicians entertain the droves with music varying from jazz to classic bluegrass. Enjoy heavy hors d'oeuvres from restaurants like 121 Market, Foodworks, The Walden Club, Bluff View Bakery, St. John's Meeting Place and more. Wineries will be listed in the coming weeks.

Jack Daniel World Championship Invitational Barbecue, Lynchburg 

Called the most prestigious barbecue competition in the world, the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue welcomes world-class ‘cuers to compete for a substantial amount of prize money Oct. 22, 2018 in Lynchburg. Award-winning teams will smoke and seer meats like pork ribs, chicken, pork shoulder and butts, beef brisket and more. A dessert category is even included. Games include the country dog contest, butt bowling, cooking and grilling demonstrations, live music and a pie auction.

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