The Best Food Items at Upcoming Connecticut Fairs and Festivals
It's been a long couple of years, we've waited patiently in lines as our favorite Summertime fairs have done drive-thru events over the past 18 months. I don't want to jinx it, things are getting cancelled every day, but, it appears that we are about to have a slew of fairs and festivals around Connecticut over the next couple of months, in person, and I'm hungry. I started making a hit list of some of my favorite food items that are sold at upcoming Fairs and Harvest Festivals in our area, so here are a few ideas for you.
Just recently, I wrote about the Bridgewater Country Fair, who cancelled their in-person fair for 2021, and how they heroically postponed their planned drive-thru Roast Beef sandwich evening instead to help out the Roxbury Congregational Church, very classy move. The Bridgewater Fire Department will get us our roast beef sandwiches soon, they're rescheduling the event as I write this.
Greek Fest - Holy Trinity Church - Waterbury - Sept. 17-19, 2021
The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Waterbury's annual Greek Festival, which is normally held on Mother's Day weekend in May, is happening Sept 17-18-19, 2021 instead. I'm going all three days, it's right down the road from my place. I'm going to get a Gyro every time, they're the best I've ever had. I also recommend the large Greek salad, it's full of delicious Feta, also the roasted potatoes are outrageously good. Get an order of Loukoumades, they're honey-covered puffs of fried dough, and they're also amazing.
The Big E - W. Springfield, Mass - Sept. 17 - October 3, 2021
Technically a Massachusetts event, but it's on the border of Connecticut, literally, so, whatever, right? The Big E is the biggest fair that you'll ever attend, if you've never been, it's the size of like 3-5 typical harvest festivals going on at once, it's massive, and if there's a fair food that you've never tried before out there, someone there is going to sell it. The Big E is the first place that I ever saw someone selling huge turkey drumsticks, walking around chowing on a huge turkey leg made me feel like I was Henry the 8th.
The Big E's giant cream puffs are also legendary, and I've tried so many different fried things for the first time while I was there, like Oreos and Pepperoncini's. I haven't even mentioned the Avenue of New England states, I suggest you try the baked potato in the Maine building, the Rhode Island clam cakes, the lobster rolls in any of the buildings, they're all good, and I love shopping the Cabot cheese display in the Vermont building.
Connecticut Garlic & Harvest Festival - Bethlehem Fairgrounds - October 9-10, 2021
I'm so glad that this is coming back in person this year, the CT Garlic festival is my favorite CT event, they do such a wonderful job at diversity by not double or triple booking similar vendors selling the same product. Spacey Tracy's is typically my first food stop, she made a garlic-buttered fried corn on the cob the past few festivals, and I have dreams about it, it's so good. Have you ever tried garlic ice cream? it's better than you think.
The varieties of fresh garlic, shallots, oils & vinegars, fresh pickles, and dip mixes at the Garlic Festival are phenomenal. Bring at least $200 with you, you're going to need it.
Norwalk & Niantic Bay Oyster Festivals - Sept 10-12 & Sept 25, 2021
Two different Oyster Festivals are happening in September along the Connecticut shoreline, the first is the Norwalk Oster Festival, which is happening September 10-12, 2021, at Veteran's Memorial Park in Norwalk. The Niantic Bay oyster festival happens on Saturday Sept. 25, 2021, at 400 Main St in Niantic. The star attraction at both festivals is obviously fresh Connecticut, NY and RI oysters, but you can also grub down on lobster rolls, clams, mussels, shrimp, fried calamari, and plump scallops. If you are a seafood fan, these are the two events to go to.
As with anything nowadays, events are getting cancelled, or instituting a mask policy or social distancing, so check the event website or their social media pages before you clean out your bank account to buy 50 bushels of garlic, or 5 dozen oysters.