Below is a list of the fun, unique food festivals and eating opportunities taking place in October 2023. It’s part of The Takeout’s 2023 Eats Calendar, a rundown of the year’s best events. To return to the calendar and check out other months, click here.
National Fried Chicken Festival
No matter how you eat it, fried chicken deserves to be savored and celebrated. That’s why New Orleans mounts the National Fried Chicken Festival every fall in honor of the crispy, crunchy culinary joys of everyone’s favorite bird. From September 30 to October 1, expect a pretty fantastic lineup of musicians and restaurants from across the country, as well as a Custom Car Showcase and a VIP lounge. And yes, we can confirm the children’s play area is called the Kids Coop.
Agriculture is a leading industry in the area of Bridgeview, Delaware, and the Apple-Scrapple Festival, which just celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2022, was created to celebrate two different specialties of the region. Scrapple, for the uninitiated, is—look away if you’re squeamish—a loaf made of pork scraps boiled with bones, grains, and spices, then sliced and pan fried. Trust us, it’s delicious. From October 13-14, head to Bridgeview to enjoy apple dumplings, scrapple sandwiches, oyster sandwiches, barbecue beef, ice cream, and, oh yeah, fun stuff besides food as well. If this highlights reel doesn’t have you booking a plane ticket, then we just don’t understand you.
Ohio Sauerkraut Festival
Mmm… sauerkraut. We can smell it now—but we don’t think we’ve ever sniffed this much of it in one go. The Ohio Sauerkraut Festival will be held in Waynesville this year from October 14-15. Founded in 1970, this celebration now serves seven whopping tons of sauerkraut to 350,000 attendees annually, hosting hundreds of vendors from across the country to gather in appreciation of the fermented cabbage dish. One of the best parts about this event is Waynesville’s sense of community; the whole area comes together to fundraise for scholarships, charities, and civic organizations, “for the support and good of all,” as organizers declare. If you’re going to celebrate food, you might as well celebrate the people who make and eat it, too.
New Hampshire Pumpkin Fest
A walk among the pumpkins is inevitable, if not required, in the fall, and the New Hampshire Pumpkin Fest intends to deliver that experience. The fest is scheduled for October 27-28, perfect for a pre-Halloween outing. In 2022, the event featured spooky season activities like a Jack-o’-Lantern lighting and a zombie walk. This is the only festival we know of that builds the teardown into the activities schedule: At the Pumpkin Dump Derby, the last of the weekend’s events, teams compete to clean up all the pumpkins downtown the fastest, chucking them in a dumpster.