Best Spring Produce Festivals

Ah, spring. No matter what part of the country you call home, there’s something magically refreshing and re-invigorating about the season. The gray and white of snow and ice give way to green grass and tulips of red, yellow and orange in the north. In the south, the blue sky lingers a little longer into the evening, and sunsets explode with nature’s palette.

Fresh fruits and vegetables become available across the country.

Yes, spring is a wonderful time of year–to travel, to enjoy the warmer weather and to enjoy fresh produce at local festivals.

Here’s a list of three wonderfully surprising places to enjoy some of the freshest local produce available anywhere in the United States:

California Strawberry FestivalThe California Strawberry Festival
Saturday and Sunday, May 17 and 18
Oxnard, Calif.

Southern California is more famous for making blockbuster movies than for produce, but its climate makes it the perfect place to grow sweet, luscious berries that will steal the show.

Every year, thousands of people make their way to Oxnard, a city about an hour up the coast from Los Angeles for the California Strawberry Festival. They dress as strawberries, enjoy free music, throw strawberry tarts at one another and enjoy as many of the succulent berries as they can possibly eat. Photo Credit to Sharon Mollerus


Morel Mushroom FestivalThe Morel Mushroom Festival
Saturday and Sunday, May 17 and 18
Muscoda, Wisc.

Halfway across the country from the California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard, people in Muscoda, Wisc., will be gathering to celebrate an entirely different–but every bit as delicious–treat: the morel mushroom.

Each spring, these honeycomb-looking mushrooms appear across the Midwest once the snow has finally melted. They grow to a height of a few inches and draw fans from across the country, who include gourmet cooks, fans of French cuisine (where morel mushrooms are frequently featured) and people who enjoy fresh produce.

Muscoda, Wisc., which is located in the heart of the Midwest–about two hours from Milwaukee and three from Minneapolis–claims to be the morel capital of the U.S. The festival includes activities for kids, races, softball tournaments, cooking contests and mushroom hunting excursions (of course). Photo Credit to Jim Ehle

Georgia Peach FestivalThe Georgia Peach Festival
Friday and Saturday, June 6 and 7 in Byron, Ga.
Friday and Saturday, June 13 and 14 in Ft. Valley, Ga.

When you think of peaches, you naturally think of the great state of Georgia. Peaches are such a big deal in Georgia that the state holds two festivals to celebrate the contributions the delectable little beauties have made to the state–and country.

The events are held in Byron and Fort Valley, Ga., which are both located in Peach County and both about 90 minutes south of Atlanta. You’ll have an opportunity to help make the world’s largest peach cobbler, enjoy free live music, and watch the next Miss Georgia Peach be crowned (if you attend the festival in Fort Valley). Photo Credit to Jack Dykinga

These are just a few of the annual spring festivals held around the country to celebrate spring–and the arrival of fresh fruits and vegetables. There are more, of course, and the best way to find them is to head out on the road, follow the warmth and keep your eyes open for the bright, vibrant colors of fresh produce growing in fields and gardens across the country.