On chuckwagons or at Oktoberfest
Up the Chisholm Trail Cattle Drive & Chuckwagon Cook-off: The local history museum sponsors this throwback to the Old West with cowboys in period costume herding longhorn cattle along the San Gabriel riverbanks, the cook-off, and an honest-to-goodness roping and riding rodeo. Chuckwagon teams in period costume (no zippers on the jeans) cook over wood fires. Meals consist of meat, potatoes, and beans — with peach cobbler for dessert. Musicians and cowboy poets entertain. Kids’ teams cook on Friday evening, adults on Saturday afternoon. San Gabriel Park; admission free, fees for food. 512-943-1670, www.upthechisholmtrail.org
Marion Popcorn Festival: For a last gasp of summer, join 250,000 people to see the parade, minigolf and bowling tournaments, 5K road and 100K bike races, popcorn cooking contest, and not one but four popcorn-themed beauty and talent pageants. In case you hadn’t guessed, Marion grows a lot of corn for popping. Food concessions include bourbon popcorn balls and old-fashioned kettle popcorn. And to wash down that popcorn, there are several beer gardens. Don’t miss the Wyandot Popcorn Museum at Heritage Hall, next to the festival grounds. Downtown Marion; admission free. 740-387-3378, www.popcornfestival.com
SEPT. 18-OCT. 4
177th Munich Oktoberfest: In 1810, the first Oktoberfest was held to celebrate the marriage of a Bavarian prince, and the crowning event of the five-day festivities was a horse race. Now Oktoberfest starts in September and lasts for more than two weeks with beer gardens, oompah bands, concerts, and consumption of Bavarian beer. We love the horse-drawn beer wagons leading some of the parades. Six million people attend, so get your lodging ASAP. Throughout Munich; admission free, fees for food and drink. 011-49-89-233-96-500, www.muenchen.de
LAS CRUCES, N.M.
The Whole Enchilada Fiesta: Now in its 30th year, this family-oriented festival revolves around the creation of the world’s largest flat enchilada. Imagine a corn tortilla that weighs 250 pounds and requires 14 men to carry it to a special vat of oil heated to 550 degrees. And that’s just the first step in making the enchilada, which, once finished, is cut into pieces and distributed to fiesta-goers. As befits the crossroads of the Southwest, concerts range from mariachi to funk, Spanish to jazz, cowboy to Tejano. We wager it’s the only food festival with a competitive horseshoes (huacas) tournament. 1600 East Hadley Ave.; general admission $3, children under age 7 free; beer garden admission $5. 575-526-1938, www.enchiladafiesta.com
Southern Foodways Symposium: Southerners have known for generations that it’s not enough just to love food — you should also love talking about it. This annual symposium is an excuse for cooks, chefs, food writers, critics, and just plain curious eaters to gather on the Ole Miss campus for hours of discussion and lots of lunches and dinners in and around Oxford. This year’s theme is “The Global South,’’ with an emphasis on links between Cuban and Southern cooking. Various campus locations; symposium fee $585 for nonmembers of the Southern Food Alliance. Online registration only. 662-915-5993, www.southernfoodways.com
PATRICIA HARRIS & DAVID LYON
Events are sometimes canceled, rescheduled, or sold out; check online. Patricia Harris and David Lyon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read their food and travel blog at www.hungrytravelers .com.