As spring turns into summer, the time is ripe for communities across the country to celebrate regional and traditional foods. From crawfish fests to chili cook-offs to watermelon giveaways, food festivals are still a staple of American life, whether they consist of a Saturday afternoon picnic or a weeklong jamboree.
You can't have a decent food fest without music, though, and dates have been rolling in for concerts at eat-offs everywhere. If you're taking a road trip in the coming months, or especially if you happen to live in the area, make sure to sample at least one afternoon's worth of tasty treats and tunes.
The Crawfish Festival in Birmingham, Ala., for example, will feature Blue Merle, Hootie & The Blowfish, Drivin' N' Cryin', The Wallflowers, Shinedown, and the Dunks May 13-14. The next month, nearly 20 bands including the Funky Meters, ReBirth Brass Band, Sony Landretti, Buckwheat Zydeco, and the Subdudes will play another Crawfish Festival in Augusta, N.J.
Ville Platte, La.'s Smoked Meat Festival will feature Percy Sledge and Wayne Toups June 24-25, and Arlo Guthrie will perform at the Chili Cook Off in Vero Beach, Fla.
Eddie Money, Foghat, Orleans, Starship Featuring Mickey Thomas, and Survivor willprovide the rock for Rockin' Ribfest at Van Hoy Campground in Union Grove, N.C., May 14 as a benefit for child sexual assault victims.
Rib fans can also check out the Blind Boys of Alabama and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the Rhythm & Ribs Festival in Kansas City, Mo., June 18-19, and the Edgar Winter Band at Liberty Ribfest June 24 in Saint Cloud, Minn.
Julie Roberts plays Gaffney, S.C.'s Peach Festival July 15, and Emerson Drive and Trick Pony will rock the Winterville Watermelon Festival in North Carolina August 25-27.
Lest you think West Coasters are missing out on all the fun, Marcia Ball, Susan Tedeschi, Little Feat, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Del McCoury Band and more will play Yosemite, Calif.'s Strawberry Music Festival May 26-29.