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What Is a Zucchini Festival?

Malysa Stratton Louk
Malysa Stratton Louk

A zucchini festival is an annual event, held in many different locations, to celebrate the zucchini and its harvest. Zucchini festivals are usually held in the fall, when zucchini is abundant and at the peak of harvest. The entire festival revolves around zucchini and often includes activities, merchant booths, demonstrations, contests, displays and live music. Although the exact date and specific activities will vary by location, a zucchini festival is usually designed to be an event for the entire family. Often sponsored by a local farmer’s market or university extension service, a zucchini festival typically is a free event paid for by merchant booth fees and sponsorships.

Every zucchini festival will differ by location, participants and available activities, although the overall theme — zucchini — remains the same. Activities geared toward the whole family often include demonstrations on preparing zucchini and samples of zucchini dishes. Contests are sometimes held for things such as the largest zucchini or the most creatively decorated zucchini. Activities are not always conventional or traditional and are intended to be both educational and fun. Other activities at such a festival might include zucchini catapulting, zucchini carving and zucchini racing, as well as non-zucchini-related activities such as antique car shows, face painting and other family-friendly activities.

Raw sliced zucchini.
Raw sliced zucchini.

Merchants and vendors often set up booths for both display and to promote sales during zucchini festivals. These are usually the same types of vendors available at farmer’s markets and craft shows, and are generally connected to handmade crafts or food. In addition to those selling handmade crafts, freshly baked goods made with zucchini are prominent. Some of the zucchini foods highlighted, for both demonstration and sale, often include common zucchini foods such as breads, muffins, cookies, cakes and fried, grilled or stuffed zucchini. Festival participants also may find unusual zucchini recipes, such as zucchini frittatas, pancakes, strudels, chocolate-zucchini milkshakes, puddings and more.

Grilled zucchini.
Grilled zucchini.

Efforts to find a nearby zucchini festival can start by asking at local farmer’s markets. Local growers often are the best source of information and up to date on local festivals and may know of any nearby. In the United States, a university cooperative extension office is another source of information for plant-related events and activities. Internet searches often provide random results from every location unless the specific location is specified in the search request.

Discussion Comments


@fBoyle-- My hometown in California has an annual zucchini festival too. It's mostly a charity event for non-profits but it is very entertaining since there are usually bands playing. My favorite food is the deep fried zucchini. I'm not a fan of zucchini normally, but it's pretty good when it's fried.

There is also a zucchini growing contest and the person with the largest and heaviest zucchini wins. My dad won one year. He was so proud.


@SteamLouis-- I'm surprised you haven't heard of it before. It's an annual even in many states actually. I have been to at least three of them in the past few years.

There is an annual one in Massachusetts, in West Stockbridge that's quite a lot of fun. You would be surprised what all can be made with zucchini. But that's not all that's available at zucchini festivals. They have other foods too. So you can have other popular festival foods as well. There is usually also entertainment, people dressed as zucchinis, music performances and even dance.

If you ever get the opportunity to attend a zucchini festival, I highly recommend it.


I never knew that such a thing existed until now! I've been to general food festivals, and I've hear of more specific ones, like "corn festival." But I never knew there was one for zucchini. I do love zucchini but I think a food festival based on it might be overwhelming. There are only so many things that can be done with zucchini. I certainly wouldn't want to eat it all day.

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    • Raw sliced zucchini.
      Raw sliced zucchini.
    • Grilled zucchini.
      Grilled zucchini.
    • Zucchini prior to slicing.
      By: fotomatrix
      Zucchini prior to slicing.