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Hope You’re Hungry - Here’s a Baker’s Dozen Regional Food and Brew Fests

September 8, 2018
Chilifest - the West Virginia State Chili Championship

Chilifest - the West Virginia State Chili Championship is set for Saturday, Sept. 15 in downtown Huntington.

Hope you’re hungry because we have a full plate of late summer and early fall food fests coming our way.Here’s a look at a few incoming food festivals around the region.Gallia County BBQ FestivalRuns noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8 at Gallipolis City Park, 334 2nd Ave, Gallipolis, Ohio.Enjoy BBQ by a range of vendors as well as live music, and more. This event is by Gallia County Convention & Visitors Bureau.For more information please visit the website at www.visitgallia.com, Facebook page (Gallia County Convention & Visitors Bureau) or call 740-446-6882Chilifest - The West Virginia State Chili Championship Set for Saturday, Sept. 15, in downtown Huntington along 3rd Avenue and Pullman Square, the 35th annual West Virginia State Chili Championship is sanctioned by the International Chili Society. ChiliFest is a charity cook-off event benefiting the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Tri-State. All chili sample tickets are $1 each or six for $5. Since its beginnings at Ritter Park in 1983, the event has grown to more than 20,000 people jamming into Pullman Square in search of their favorite cup of chili from chili cooks from the community and from around the U.S. trying to win cash prizes, Blenko Glass and a ticket to cook in the World’s Championship Chili Cookoff in St. Louis, Missouri on Sept. 28–30 for a $20,000 First Place prize.Go to www.chilicookoff.com for more information including the new category Home-Style Chili and http://www.chilifestwv.com/ for more info on Huntington’s ChiliFest which has raised more than $488,000 for the Ronald McDonald House in Huntington.Downtown Throwdown BBQ & BrewfestOn Saturday, Sept. 15 at Bicentennial Park (between the Blennerhassett Hotel and the Parkersburg City Building) in downtown Parkersburg from 6-10 p.m. and features various BBQ favorites and craft beers from around the state. www.downtownpkb.com Oktoberfest Bahnhof The Tri-State destination German-Appalachian gastropub, Bahnhof WVrsthaus & Biergarten, 745 7th Ave., will be hosting live music, food specials and events at the Biergarten during traditional Oktoberfest season in late September including live polka from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturdays, Sept. 22 and Sept. 29. Find Bahnhof on Facebook or Twitter @BAHNHOFWV.

5th Annual River Valley Craft Beer FestTaking place from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, The Party Connection, 2034 11th St, Portsmouth, Ohio, will be hosting the fifth annual River Valley Craft Beer Fest with more than 30 breweries serving up over 300 beers at This years entertainment includes Frank Grasso and Devil’s Creek and food trucks will be available.The event is rain or shine. There are General admission and VIP tickets (hour early admission). Go online at https://www.facebook.com/rivervalleycraftbeerfest/ for more info. Nature Wonder Weekend - Wild Foods Conference. North Bend State Park’s Nature Wonder Weekend, North America’s premier and longest-running wild foods event, will celebrate its 51st annual event Sept. 21-23. The theme of this year’s event is “Forage and Feast.”Wild food foragers from across the country attend the Nature Wonder Weekend every year. This year’s keynote speaker will be Doug Elliott, naturalist, herbalist, storyteller and author from Union Mills, North Carolina. Other guest speakers will include Mike Krebill, wild foods author and teacher from Keokuk, Iowa, and Sam England, chief of West Virginia State Parks.Events begin Friday evening and conclude Sunday morning. There are scheduled speakers, presentations, nature walks, the event’s first-ever bike hike and collection and preparation of wild foods. Activities include a park tour, wild food identification instruction, the Hazel Wood Commemorative Wild Food Cooking Contest and the Bill Faust Wild Cake Contest. The Wild Drink Contest winner is awarded the honorary Maxine Scarbro Friendship Cup.To register, contact Wendy Greene by calling 304-558-2754 or send an email to Wendy.L.Greene@wv.gov. A registration form is available at and overnight lodging reservation information is available at wvstateparks.com/event/nature-wonder-weekend-north-bend/. The 36th annual Greek Fest The 36th annual Greek Festival is set for Friday-Sunday, Sept. 28-30, on Huntington’s Southside neighborhood at the historic St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 701 11th Ave., Huntington. The fest runs 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and features Greek foods, music, dancing, a Greek gift shop, tours of the historic church and more. Visit www.stgeorgehwv.org/festival/.OktoberWest 2018 Set for 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, in Charleston’s West Side, it’s the 11th annual OktoberWest with more than 100 craft brews, and several limited Octoberfest and German varieties, listen to three incredible bands at this year’s festival including Lucky Chops, and Rev Peyton’s Big Damn Band. There’s also Stein holding and best traditional dress contests and new this year is the keg rolling contest.Admission is $35 GA, $20 for non-drinkers and $10 for kids 12 and under. Tickets increase by $5 at the gate.Go online at charlestonwestside.org/events/.

Devils Backbone HooplaJust over the mountains in Roseland, Virginia, Devils Backbone Hoopla is set for Sept. 28-30 with nearly 20 musical acts (including Tyler Childers and Larry Keel, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers) as well as camping, workshops & outdoor activities, award-winning craft beer and great eats. Kids 12 and under get in free. Two day adult passes range from $60 (for Saturday and Sunday) to $95 for Friday and Saturday.The West Virginia Pumpkin Festival Set for Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 4-7 at Milton’s West Virginia Pumpkin Park, the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival features all things pumpkin from baking and cooking contests, to pumpkin food booths, contests and, of course, the giant pumpkin auction to raise money for scholarships. Held since 1986, the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival, which has turned into one of the state’s largest fests with more than 50,000 people travel to Milton to participate in our celebration of the pumpkin harvest. There’s also one of the largest arts and crafts selections in the region with more than 100 crafters as well as food and business vendors, and a wide variety of demonstrations as area master craftsmen share their expertise in areas such as blacksmithing, pottery making, quilting and woodworking, a mountain men encampment, and lots of old-time demonstrations like sorghum making, and much more, along with many business booths.Hours will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 Thursday and Friday and $10 on Saturday and Sunday. Children 5 and under are free. There’s a group rate, as well. Parking is free.Call 304-743-8774 for more information or visit wvpumpkinpark.com.HoptoberFestHoptoberfest is set to run 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville, Ky. Enjoy more than 80 craft beers from all over the globe paired with local music and food vendors.GA tickets are $30 and include 15 sample tickets and a free sampling glass. VIP is $50 for early entry, free wings for one hour, t-shirt and a sampling glass. Designated driver tickets are $10 and includes entry and free soft drinks.Wing Fling The SMG managed Big Sandy Superstore Arena’s 2018 Wing Fling is set for noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13 with what football tailgate fans will recognize as both food groups - chicken wings and beer.The 2018 Wing Fling sponsored in part by Huntington Bank, Republic Services, Sprint and media sponsors Kindred Communications, WOWK and the Herald Dispatch. The event will feature all-you-can-eat wings with special sauces and dry rubs from a who’s who of Tri State area restaurants including, Roosters, SAVOR Big Sandy, Texas Roadhouse and many more to be added by event day. The event includes a “King of the Wings” wing eating contest sponsored by Roosters. A Battle for Bragging Rights, the fan favorite contest in which the restaurant crowned fan favorite will receive a traveling trophy. Tickets are $20 for all-you-can-eat wings. There will also be a limited number of VIP tickets for $30, which includes two drink vouchers (for beer or soft drinks), 30 minutes early entry and special seating inside the Arena. If you are interested in your restaurant becoming a participant, contact Jennifer Sturgeon at 304-696-5563 or Jennifer@bigsandyarena.com . The Cast Iron Cook-Off Get your cast-iron in the fire and the grease melting for the eighth annual Cast-Iron Cook-Off as part of the Way Back Weekend series at Heritage Farm Museum and Village.This year’s event is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at the village, 3300 Harvey Road, Huntington, as part of the Fall Fest which also features the Mountain Games, during which teams compete in an obstacle course run, a tomahawk throw, coal shoveling, rock climbing and other mountain-themed tasks.Fall Fest will also feature wagon rides, cider, and lots of farm fall fun.Hops and Heat The East End Bazaar in Charleston will host Hop & Heat from 2 to 6 p.m. Oct. 20 as a FestivALL Fall event. Hops & Heat, an Appalachian Craft Beer and Chili Cookoff celebrating the close to the Open-Air Bazaar season, will encompass more than 80 craft beers from more than 20 Appalachian breweries and crown the Bazaar’s best chili in a chili cookoff competition between 10+ Bazaar cooks. The Hops & Heat Chili Cookoff winner will receive an award created by an East End Bazaar artisan.Featured again this year is the “Best Chili Beer Competition.” Won last year by Pubstomper and in 2016 by Big Timber, the competition was a big hit. It will see returning competitors such as Big Timber, Country Boy, and Foothills. Several new breweries will enter the competition in 2018.Only 500 tickets will be sold. Drinker tickets cost $35 and include 5 oz. samples of beer, unlimited chili samples, three 12 oz. beer tickets, and one branded tasting cup. Nondrinker tickets are $20 and include unlimited chili samples and access to East End Bazaar food and artisan vendors and the Hops & Heat concert featuring Suga Grits from Washington D.C.Go online at https://www.cwvmainstreets.org/hops--heat.html for more info.

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