09/14/2010 11:02 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Lip Smacking Good Fall Food Festivals Across America

September breezes bring thoughts of crunchy leaves and savory aromas escaping through open kitchen windows. We rush to pick the bounty springing from our gardens, horde prime morsels like squirrels and preserve the abbondanza for chilly winter days ahead. Communities across the country celebrate their autumn bounty with Food & Wine Festivals, Apple Days, and Brew Fests galore. But a few discerning connoisseurs of remarkable ingredients and regional specialties pay homage to the delicious possibilities of a single element. Top chefs and home cooks compete in tandem to produce the very best culinary treats to please gathering crowds. This is the not-to-be-missed stuff of cook-off legends and carefully guarded secret recipes.

Here, then, are some of the best and most anticipated Fall Food Festivals taking place across the United States in the coming months. Oh what a road trip this would make!

September Food Festivals
Kentucky Bourbon Festival, 9/14-19, Bardtown KY, Distilling since 1776
Wild Shrinp and Grits Festival, 9/17-19, Jekyll Island GA
Chilsholm Trail Chuckwagon Cookoff, 9/17-18, Georgetown TX
Cheese Days, 9/17-19, Monroe Wisconsin
Blazin' Hog BBQ Competition, 9/18, Miraposa California
Whoopie Pie Fest, 9/18, Strasburg PA, Lancaster County favorite
Houston Hot Sauce Festival, 9/18-19, Houston TX
World Chicken Festival, 9/23-26, London Kentucky - Col. Sander's Hometown!
Okra Strut, 9/24-25, Irmo SC
Sugarbeet Festival, 9/24-25, Chinook MT
Cranberry Festival, 9/24-26, Warrens WI

October Food Festivals
Avocado Festival, 10/1-3, Carpinteria CA
Coconut Festival, 10/2-3, Kapaa Kauai Hawaii
National Shrimp Festival, 10/7-10, Gulfshores AL
Sauerkraut Festival, 10/9-10, Waynesville OH
Louisiana Gumbo Festival, 10/15-17, Chackbay LA
Wellfleet OysterFest, 10/16-17, Wellfleet MA
Bean Fest & Outhouse Race, 10/28-30, Mountain View AK
WurstFest, 10/29-11/7, New Braunfels TX
National Peanut Festival, 10/29 - 11/7, Dothan AL
Boston Vegetarian Food Festival, 10/30-31, Boston MA

November Food Festivals
Kona Coffee Festival, 11/5-14, Kona Hawaii
Pecan Festival, 11/6, Florence SC
Pistachio Festival, 11/6, Newberry Springs CA
Sweet Potato Festival, 11/2-13, Vardaman MS
The Chocolate Show, 11/11-14, New York NY
Chitlin' Strut, 11/27, Salley SC

So jump into your favorite ride and head out to follow your taste buds to culinary excellence and community revelry. See you there!