9 Can’t-Miss Food Events

We all have that one (okay, sometimes two or three) mouth-watering festival we hear about each and every year – be it on the radio, in the newspaper, on social media, or from the talk of the town.

Here’s a list of some of the must-attend extravaganzas for 2020. Get your calendars ready, and let us know which one is your all-time favorite, and why.

The Fellsmere Frogleg Festival – January 16-19, 2020

Frog legs are available in bite-size and dinner-size portions, as well as in combination with a variety of sides and gator tail.

A January tradition going on 29 years, the Fellsmere Frogleg Festival is all that and more. Catering to all demographics, this frog leg and gator tail savoring event has something for everyone, even if you aren’t too sure about the “tastes like chicken” gimmick. There’s live music, craft vendors, carnival-style rides, treats, and games. The four-day event starts on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 4 p.m. until 11 p.m., then Friday, Jan 17 4 p.m. until 11 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 18 10 a.m. until 11 p.m., and finishes up on Sunday, Jan. 19 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. According to festival organizers, Fellsmere has been proclaimed Frog Leg Capital of the World and The Frog Leg Festival holds two Guinness Book World Records for the most frog legs served in one business day and the Largest Frog Leg Festival in the world. The admission is free and so is parking, and prices for food and rides vary. The event is located at the Old School Complex in Fellsmere, 22. South Orange Street. For more information, visit www.froglegfestival.com or visit Facebook for the event page. All crafter, vendor, and artisan slots have been filled for the 2020 event.

Photo courtesy Fellsmere Frogleg Festival Facebook page.
The 29th Annual Fellsmere Frogleg Festival will take place Jan. 16-19, 2020. The event is free admission and free parking, so come hungry for frog legs, gator tail, hush-puppies, and more!

The Inaugural Golden Fork Awards – February 3, 2020

If you’re a fan of “The Food Guy”, aka the Vero Beach Foodie, or you’re a member of the Diner’s Club, this is a must-experience event for so many yummy reasons. For the first time in four years, Vero Beach Foodie is taking what used to be a solely digital event and making it into an event that the whole community can participate in – in person! Check out the lineup of food-tasting experiences from the following Treasure Coast restaurants:

  • The Green Marlin Restaurant & Raw Bar
  • Cobalt Restaurant
  • Mo-Bay Grill
  • Nino’s Italian Restaurant (Lakewood Park)
  • The Wave Kitchen & Bar from Costa d’Este
  • Sebastian Sandwich Shack
  • The Crab Stop Seafood Bar & Grill
  • The Italian Cousin
  • Riverside Cafe
  • Fire and Wine
  • Dinner Revolution
  • Lisa’s Confections
Purchase your tickets now before they run out for the inaugural event in February.

For just a $50 ticket price, you get to be a part of the celebration – and all the deliciousness that goes along with it. Tickets are limited, so be sure to get yours in advance. The celebratory event will take place at Walking Tree Brewery, located at 3209 Dodger Road in Vero Beach from 6-8 p.m. on Feb. 3, 2020. For more information, visit the Vero Beach Foodie on Facebook.

Florida Craft Brew and Wingfest – February 15, 2020

The Rotary Club of Very Beach Sunrise will host the Florida Craft Brew and Wingfest on February 15, 2020.

The Florida Craft Beer and Wingfest welcomes guests of age and proper identification to purchase a bracelet and taste up to 75 Craft and Micro Brews at this annual event located within Royal Palm Point in Vero Beach. Local restaurants will have the opportunity to participate in a “Wing Contest” by selling their own chicken wings to attendees, competing for “Best Vero Beach Wings” designation. Other food items from Royal Palm Point establishments, as well as sodas, wine, hot beverages, and beer will be available for purchase. Live entertainment, activities for all ages, and informational booths will be on site.

Proceeds from the annual event goes to Rotary Club of Vero Beach Sunrise to benefit the Homeless Center, the elderly project at St. Francis Manor, a water project in the Dominican Republic, an environmental project to place marker buoys in Indian River Lagoon to identify oyster beds to boaters, and the literacy project at Citrus Elementary School. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page or look at up-to-date details at their website.

Grant Seafood Festival – February 29 – March 1

2020 will be the 54th year of the Grant Seafood Festival. A tiny community, but a huge event!

The 54th Annual Grant Seafood Festival is a time-honored tradition like none other but what sets it apart is the total commitment from the community — the festival is run 100% by volunteers and many booths are made up of family members, often with several generations working alongside one another. All organizing, purchasing, preparation, cooking, and serving is accomplished by community members. All proceeds from the Grant Seafood Festival are put back into the community of Grant — for projects such as the Grant Seafood Festival scholarship fund, Grant Community Library, Grant Historical House and The Grant Community Center. Enjoy some of the best seafood in Florida while helping the community of Grant and keeping the great tradition of the festival alive!

The annual event is free admission, free parking, and will have over 125 vendors exhibiting, live continuous entertainment, along with a vast menu of delicious seafood (and food for the landlubbers) makes this a tradition that is marked on thousands of folks’ calendars.

ShrimpFest & Craft Brew Hullabaloo – March 20-22, 2020

The ShrimpFest & Craft Brew Hullabaloo will take place in March 2020.

The 5th Annual ShrimpFest & Craft Brew Hullabaloo is an annual three-day celebration of America’s most loved seafood, held in the historic city of Sebastian, FL. The weekend-long festival is hosted by the Rotary Club of Sebastian and the Exchange Club of Fellsmere, and will raise funds to support youth sports and organizations throughout North Indian River County. The ShrimpFest event is free admission and free parking, and the craft brew tasting is $30 in advance or $35 the day of the event. Succulent shrimp will be prepared in a variety of mouth-watering recipes by local restaurants and a variety of food trucks from the area. Non-seafood and kid-friendly food options will be available throughout the festival as well.

For more information visit their website or find the ShrimpFest & Craft Brew Hullabaloo page on Facebook. Vendor spots are still available and applications are available on the website. Sponsorships are also available.

Fort Pierce Oyster Festival – April 4-5, 2020

The 9th Annual Fort Pierce Oyster Festival is April 4-5, 2020.

The 9th Annual Fort Pierce Oyster Festival celebrates the Fort Pierce Waterfront and all of its bounty with delicious oysters, tasty seafood dishes, landlubber foods, live entertainment and a bevy of arts & craft and merchandise vendors.

Oyster specialties include raw shucked oysters, oysters on the half shell, steamed oysters, oysters Rockefeller, fried oysters, grilled oysters, oyster po boy, oysters casino, oysters Dupont, oyster mac and cheese, oyster stuffing, oyster jambalaya, oyster fritters, and oysters Italiano. This event is pet-friendly and admission is free. For more information, visit their website at Fort Pierce Oyster Festival or find them on Facebook.

Burgers and Brews – An American Heritage Celebration June 27, 2020

Burgers, brews, and a coming together event to support IRC’s United Against Poverty. This annual event takes place in June of 2020.

Want to be a part of the vote for the best burger in town? Mark the annual Burgers and Brews Celebration on your calendar and look forward to street entertainment, kids’ zone, live music, a VIP Pavilion, live music, demonstrations, vendors, displays, a celebrity dunk tank, and so much more. Proceeds from the event go to benefit Indian River County’s United Against Poverty Program, empowering men and women living in poverty to lift themselves and their families to economic self-sufficiency. For more information and upcoming details on this event, follow Indian River County’s United Against Poverty page on Facebook or visit their website.

Vero Beach Wine & Film Festival – June 11-14, 2020

While wine and films may be the feature of this 5th annual event, there is, of course, food involved. The four-day event that benefits Suncoast Mental Health features the following:

The 5th Annual Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival will take place June 11-14, 2020, and proceeds will benefit Suncoast Mental Health.
  • 100+ Wines at the Al Fresco Wine Bar at WOW! (World of Wine) Tasting Pavilion
  • Hollywood + WINE Grand Tasting
  • Craft Brews + Fine Wines: The New Tastemakers Vintner Dinner
  • Devour! Vero Beach Chefs and Shorts
  • 100+ Multi-Award Winning Films Including US & Florida Premieres
  • Dining With Directors
  • Sip! See! Savor Gospel Brunch
  • Filmmakers and Industry Talent From All Over the World
  • NEXT UP! Young Filmmakers Competition
  • Sold Out Memory-Making Special Events
  • Private Pass Holder Parties
  • Screenings and events at 12 Top-Tier Theatre, Restaurant and Museum Venues Around the City

For tickets and more information about the festival, visit their website or check out their Facebook page. Tickets range in price from $35 to $595.

Treasure Coast Bacon Fest – November 2020

Any and everything bacon-themed you will find at the Treasure Coast Bacon Festival.

“For the Love of Bacon” – that’s the motto of the Treasure Coast Bacon Fest, which originated in 2018 in Fort Pierce and moved in 2019 to host the two-day baconized festival at Riverside Park in Vero Beach. The Treasure Coast Bacon Festival was created for people who have a mutual love for the great taste of bacon. There are a plethora of dishes and treats and even delicacies that can be created with that one pork-derived delight that everybody loves to love. From thick cut, deep fried bacon to chocolate-covered bacon strips, and bacon-wrapped scallops to bacon mac-n-cheese and bacon-wrapped pickles. Yes, pickles!

In addition to all of the aforementioned succulent bacon dishes and tasty libations, this family friendly festival will also have Interactive Bacon Games, live entertainment, a Kid’s Fun Zone, and a variety of vendors and exhibits to shop and explore. Admission and parking is free. To find out more about the event including 2020’s dates, visit their website or see information on the Treasure Coast Bacon Festival’s Facebook page.

Jennifer Stockdale
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