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September Fun: West Coast Food Festivals
From exploring Oregon's bounty at Feast Portland to discovering Washington artisan cheeses in Seattle, food festivals on the West Coast are in full swing this Fall.
Here's a preview with several events happening in September in the Pacific Northwest and California.
In its third year, the four-day Feast Portland is rapidly becoming a one-of-a-kind premiere food celebration not to be missed. The fun launches on Thursday, Sept. 18 with the Sandwich Invitational, an event that gives local and national chefs a chance to compete for the honor of having the most imaginative interpretation of a sandwich. On Friday-Saturday, Sept. 19-20, Pioneer Square (Portland's downtown "living room") turns into a giant tasting room featuring the best of Oregon's artisan food and drink coupled with demonstrations by celebrated chefs.
The lively waterfront Night Market on Friday celebrates global street food. On Sunday, Sept. 21, Feast Portland's newest event - Tillamook Brunch Village - is celebrating the best of brunch food and drink, complete with a cocktail competition.
Throughout Feast Portland, festival goers can enjoy special tastings, classes and dinners by renowned local and national chefs. For info and tickets to the September 18-21 event, visit Feast Portland's website.
The following weekend, cheese lovers can explore the best of the nearly 60 artisan cheeses being produced in the state of Washington. The Washington Artisan Cheesemakers Festival is on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 1-5 pm at the Seattle Design Center. Take a break from exploring the attractions in Seattle and meet the cheese makers and sample their cheeses along with other artisan foods from the state. A special seminar demystifies cheese and cheese pairings with wine and beer. For tickets and information, be sure to visit the Artisan Cheesemakers Festival website.
If chocolate is your fancy, head over to Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco on Saturday-Sunday, September 13-14, for the Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival. The two-day celebration features tastings, a chocolate and wine pavilion, chef demonstrations, seminars and even an ice cream eating contest.
If chocolate is not your thing, how about a celebration of all things Italian, including food, wine, music and entertainment? The Festa Coloniale Italiana is on Sept. 13 and celebrated in the North Beach Italian section of San Francisco. Presented by the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club, the free day-long event celebrates Italian culture and includes fun events including an exhibition of pizza tossing. Visitors can enjoy the festival along Stockton Street between Union and Filbert, and wander into the club ballroom, transformed into an Italian piazza with a fountain, wine tastings and entertainment.
Taste all kinds of Mexican spirits at The Spirits of Mexico tasting festival on Sept. 28 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego. Also, enjoy seminars and Latin-inspired cuisine, music and a cocktail competition. For more event information and tickets, visit Spirits of Mexico.
If you're into beer tastings, head over to the Adams Avenue Street Fair on Sept. 27-28 for a music festival where you can enjoy the beer gardens and craft beer tastings, along with other specialties. And outside of Los Angeles, check out the California Beer Festival at Mission Park in Ventura on September 20-21. Enjoy over 130 craft beers on tap, along with food trucks and live music on Sept 20. and blues and barbecue on the Sept. 21.
For other California festivals, click here.