Tuck your napkin into your shirt, grab your Wet-Naps, and get ready, because the Ulster County Fairgrounds are about to be taken over by the 12th Annual Hudson Valley Rib Fest, a yearly affair where more than 16,000 people converge to celebrate all things ribs-related. The day will include more ribs than that rack that flipped over the Flintstone’s car at the drive in PLUS live music, cooking demos, children’s country games, and a contest of 60 teams battling it out in the Empire State Barbecue Championship. There’s a little bit of heart behind all this rib-related activity, too — all proceeds from the event will go towards supporting Rotary activities at home and around the world. Friday 5pm-10pm, Saturday 11am-10pm Sunday 11am-5pm in New Paltz, New York.
More Experience Events
You’ve heard the names Joey Chesnut and Kobayashi for years. Their world series is pounding down hot dogs in the bottom of the BK on July 4th for Nathan’s 2016 Hot Dog Eating Contest. You should go watch it. It looks something like the above just live and in crazy motion. I promise you’ve never seen people eat food this fast. I’d suggest getting yourself a dog prior to the madness because after you see how they dip and slurp those poor wieners you might be of mind to skip the Nathan’s famous. Good news is, there is plenty more to do down in Coney Island pre and post eat off. Make a day. Hang old school Brooklyn style. 12 noon on July 4th in Brooklyn.
NYC has more food festivals than stomach space. Sometimes it’s hard to pick the one that will not only be tasty but be manageable. We’re not promising elbow room but with 50+ restaurants curated from all boroughs, the ninth annual Village Voice Choice Eats is one you should attend. Start those stomach aerobics, down some kombucha and grab tickets before they are gone. They sold out last year. Friday, March 11th @ Metropolitan Pavilion from 6-10pm.
For the fourth year in a row their will be more capscium concentrated in North Brooklyn than any where else on earth. With names like Naga Morich, Madame Jeanette, Dorset Naga, Bhut Jolokia and Moruga Scorpion, you might think it’s a South American ex-con reunion. The NYC Hot Sauce Expo burns their home into Greenpoint for two days this weekend with representation from India to Africa to Trinidad with sauces highlighting the hottest of the hot. With events like the Torch Bearers Gacumole Eating Contest and Defcon Sauces Chicken Wing Eating Competition, there is something for everyone. Even if you’re not a hot sauce enthusiast you can come down and watch people compete to burn their face and insides to win a pepper topped trophy. April 23rd and 24th from 10am-6pm in Brooklyn.
Don’t let the name fool you — the Phuket Vegetarian Festival may be the most hardcore festival we’ve ever heard of. While veggie-friendly eats do play a role in this firecracker-friendly affair on Thailand’s largest island, this nine-day religious festival is really known for its ceremonies that include acts of self-mutilation and face and body piercing with knives, stakes, and household items by entranced mediums — called mah song — who parade through the city in outfits of white. While these and other rituals like firewalking, bladed ladder climbing, and bathing in hot oil may make you cringe, they demonstrate a belief that the gods will heal any wounds and are part of a larger goal of purification that includes abstinence from sex, alcohol, and meat. But don’t worry — like any good festival, this one doesn’t forget the food, and je, special vegetarian dishes marked by red and yellow signs, is one festival tradition that’s easy to stomach. Although you may encounter a bleeding mah song or two as you chow down, that will be the only surprise — apparently je tastes just like the meat-based classics. October 1-9 in Phuket, Thailand.