Happening:

Summer food festivals are here!

Get in car. Drive to gastronomic delights. Put in mouth.
Food festival survival tips

If you’re going to hit up a food festival this year, be prepared. Here are the biggies to remember before you head out the door.
For the love of the food gods, wear sunscreen.
Know you’re obsessed with a food? Bring a carry-out tote bag.
Get there early to get parking.
Bring cash money. Nobody’s got time for your credit card, or worse, cards aren’t taken and you have to stop nomming to find an ATM.
Make a game plan. Most food fairs have restaurants listed and maps online.
Water is expensive. A lot of festivals will let you bring your own water bottle in. Especially if it is tucked away in your tote bag.
Depending on the fest, don’t wear your best. Unless you are going to a posh food expo, expect to get bumped or spilled on.
Have a fully-charged phone to taunt your friends with pics of the fab food you’re devouring.

Ar 170519683
BCI Media file

Nick Tachery flips flatiron steaks for the Ore House at the 2016 Taste Of Durango.
Ar 170519683
BCI Media file

Nick Tachery flips flatiron steaks for the Ore House at the 2016 Taste Of Durango.

Bacon. Beer. Wine. BBQ. What do all these things have in common? They all have FESTIVALS dedicated to them. Summer food fest season is here and you can be danged sure we are hitting up peach and taco tents to our dark heart’s content.

Here’s a bigass list of food festivals in or around Durango. None of these sweet and savory celebrations is more than a seven-hour road trip away.

Note: Cost is gate entry only. Food is not included in most ticket prices.

COLORADOTaste of Durango

When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Sunday, May 21

Where: 800 Main Ave Between 8th and 12th St., Durango

Cost: Free entry

What: Local breweries, artisan cocktails, and piles of delicious dishes you always meant to try while listening to live tunes from the likes of Elder Grown. Event benefits Manna Soup Kitchen.

Details: www.tasteofdurango.com

Taste of Fort Collins

When: Friday, June 9-11

Where: Fort Collins (7 hours from Durango)

Cost: $20

What: Plain White T’s, St. Lucia, and Gin Blossoms headline with food trucks, breweries, and restaurants aplenty to snack attack at.

Details: https://tasteoffortcollins.com

Men who Grill

When: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Saturday, June 10

Where: Buckley Park in Durango

Cost: $20 advance, $25 day of

What: An all-you-can-eat grilled foods extravaganza with music by the Kirk James Blues Band and proceeds benefiting the Women’s Resource Center.

Details: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/men-who-grill-2017-tickets-34037522145?aff=es2

Cochon555’s Heritage Fire

When: 4-7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 17

Where: Snowmass Village (5 hours from Durango)

Cost: $125 to $200 (VIP)

What: 50 chefs and butchers grill heritage-breed, ethically-raised animals with globally-inspired recipes. Boutique wine, craft beers, and artisan ciders will be paired with ingredients that include dry-aged beef, whole pig, squab, and heirloom vegetables.

Details: http://cochon555.com/2017-tour/snowmass/

Colorado BBQ Challenge

When: Thursday, June 15-17

Where: Frisco, (5 hours from Durango)

Cost: $20

What: The 24th Annual Colorado BBQ Challenge will feature over 70 BBQ aficionados cooking pork, ribs, brisket, chicken, and whatever else they can get grill marks on. There’ll be seven bands, pig races, a whiskey tour, a Bacon Burner 6K, and a hellton of eats.

Details: www.townoffrisco.com/play/colorado-bbq-challenge/general-info/

Keystone Bacon and Beer Festival

When: Saturday, June 24-25

Where: Keystone (7 hours from Durango)

Cost: $4 for a-la-carte items to $55 package deals

What: Get your bacon salted, dried, smoked – however you want it, they got it. Wash it down with the Jim Beam Bourbon Tour, specialty bloody Mary’s, and a rock and country lineup featuring bands like Panda’s and People and Hell’s Belles.

Details: www.keystonefestivals.com/festivals/bacon-and-bourbon-festival

ARIZONATaco Festival

When: Noon-6 p.m., Saturday, July 1

Where: Flagstaff, AZ (5 hours from Durango)

Cost: $12 general entry, plus $2 tacos inside

What: How many tacos can you eat? Find out in Flagstaff while watching a Chihuahua beauty pageant and swilling tequila.

Details: https://thetacofestival.com

CornFest

When: Friday, July 14- 15

Where: Camp Verde, AZ ( 6 hours from Durango)

Cost: Free entry

What: Cornhole tournament, craft fair, birding excursion, river rafting, and all the dang corn you can eat awaits you.

Details: http://www.campverdepromotions.org/events/cornfest

NEW MEXICOVintage Albuquerque

When: Wednesday, June 21-25

Where: Albuquerque (4 hours from Durango)

Cost: $125 and up

What: Posh-tastic wine and food tastings in varied locations will cater to your oh-my-god-it’s-like-the-Food-Channel dreams.

Details: www.vintagealbuquerque.org

Mac and Cheese Festival

When: 1-5 p.m., Saturday, June 24

Where: Farmington (1 hour from Durango)

Cost: $35 plus tax

What: Berg Park along the Animas River will be packed with MAC! Get a lovely form of too-full, eating every variety of mac and cheese imaginable. And hooch it all down, at this 21-plus event.

Details: www.themacandcheesefest.com/

Rio Rancho Pork and Brew

When: Saturday, July 1-3

Where: Rio Rancho, NM (3.5 hours from Durango)

Cost: $0 to $6

What: A hog heaven of BBQ, beer, and live music that draws 15,000 visitors a year.

Details: http://www.visitriorancho.org/

Taste and Toast of Albuquerque

When: Noon-5 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 13

Where: Albuquerque (4 hours from Durango)

Cost: $20

What: More than 20 eateries and eight breweries raise money for charity through delectable fest food with live music all day in the heart of Albuquerque’s premium shopping district.

Details: www.eventbrite.com/e/taste-and-toast-of-abq-tickets-25359431743#

Hot Chili Days, Cool Mountain Nights

When: Wednesday, Aug. 16-19

Where: Red River, NM (4.5 hours from Durango)

Cost: TBD

What: Munch all day on BBQ while watching the New Mexico State Green Chile Championship and the Lone Star BBQ Society cook-off then chill out all night to roots and rock tunes.

Details: http://www.larryjoetaylor.com/red_river.htm

UTAHStrawberry Days

When: Saturday, June 10-18

Where: Pleasant Grove, UT (6 hours from Durango)

Cost: TBD

What: A freakin’ carnival, a rodeo, a tea party, pie eating contests, car show, and strawberries up the WAZOO!

Details: www.strawberrydays.org

Park City Food and Wine Classic

When: Thursday, July 6-9

Where: Park City, UT (7 hours from Durango)

Cost: $95 to $265

What: Destination deliciousness for winelovers and foodies, featuring more than 100 food artisans, wineries, breweries, and epicurean eateries. 21-plus.

Details: https://parkcityfoodandwineclassic.com

Wasatch International Food Festival

When: Friday, Aug. 18-19

Where: West Valley City, UT ( 6.5 hours from Durango)

Cost: $5

What: This international food fest mixes haute cuisine and street food, plus arts, live music, and beer garden, with proceeds benefiting local arts programming.

Details: www.foodfestutah.org/about.html

Peach Days

When: Thursday, Aug. 31-Sept. 2

Where: Hurricane, UT (6.5 hours from Durango)

Cost: TBD

What: Peaches EVERYWHERE! A peach cook-off, food booths, a rodeo, 12K run, live entertainment, and a quilt and craft show.

Details: www.cityofhurricane.com/categories/about/events/peach-days/

Patty TempletonDGO Staff Writer

Ar 170519683

BCI Media file

Nick Tachery flips flatiron steaks for the Ore House at the 2016 Taste Of Durango.

Food festival survival tips

If you’re going to hit up a food festival this year, be prepared. Here are the biggies to remember before you head out the door.
For the love of the food gods, wear sunscreen.
Know you’re obsessed with a food? Bring a carry-out tote bag.
Get there early to get parking.
Bring cash money. Nobody’s got time for your credit card, or worse, cards aren’t taken and you have to stop nomming to find an ATM.
Make a game plan. Most food fairs have restaurants listed and maps online.
Water is expensive. A lot of festivals will let you bring your own water bottle in. Especially if it is tucked away in your tote bag.
Depending on the fest, don’t wear your best. Unless you are going to a posh food expo, expect to get bumped or spilled on.
Have a fully-charged phone to taunt your friends with pics of the fab food you’re devouring.