Lamb on earth, kimchi in space
KETCHUM & HAILEY, Idaho
Trailing of the Sheep Festival: Not until 1970 did people outnumber sheep in Idaho, and this heritage festival celebrates a continuing way of life. In addition to weaving workshops, sheepdog trials, Scottish pipers, and Basque dancers, there’s plenty to eat: shepherd’s pie, lamb ragu with polenta, barbecued lamb, rack of lamb, and lamb tacos, samosas, fajitas, chorizo, and pizza. On Sunday, the Trailing of the Sheep parades the herds down Main Street en route to their winter pastures. Throughout Ketchum, with some events in Hailey, demonstrations and events free, small fees for workshops and meals. 208-720-0585, www.trailingofthesheep.org
PORT ANGELES, Wash.
Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival: Sweet crabs served with cole slaw and corn on the cob are reason enough to head as far northwest as you can get without entering Palin country. Named for a local fishing village, the Dungeness crab does not ship well, making it best when fresh from the sea. Try your hand in the Grab A Crab Derby; if you catch a tagged crab, it will be cooked for you on the spot. Washington wineries host a tasting, and eight seafood restaurants augment the festival Crab Feed. City Pier and Red Lion Hotel, admission free, Crab Feed $25, Grab A Crab Derby $5. 360-452-6300, www.crabfestival.org
10th Annual Wellfleet Oyster Festival: Gastronomes worldwide treasure Wellfleet oysters, and this folksy festival celebrates Cape Cod’s most prestigious bivalve. Live music, a 5K road race, and arts and crafts offer diversions, but the main focus is cooking, eating, and appreciating. Cooking demos and a tasting workshop offer low-effort appreciation, while gung-ho fans can enter the Shuck-Off (advance registration) or sign up for a Shucky’s Day program of walking an oyster grant and harvesting a few, followed by shucking and tasting (with wine) at a local restaurant. Throughout Wellfleet; admission free, fees for workshops, $75 fee for Shucky’s Day. 508-349-3499, www.wellfleetoysterfest.org
GWANGJU, South Korea
Gwangju Kimchi Culture Festival: Koreans so love their kimchi that the country’s space agency developed a version to send aloft with the first Korean cosmonaut to fly in a Russian Soyuz mission. This blowout celebrates the national dish with a free kimchi buffet, classes in making the fermented salad, and workshops on kimchi in fusion cuisine. Gwangju is also famous for its seafood cuisine, recognizing that one does not live by kimchi alone. Gwangju-si Worldcup Park, general admission free. 011-82-62-1330, www.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_2_1.jsp? cid=697371
KAILUA KONA, Hawaii
Kona Coffee Cultural Festival: Don’t sweat the jet lag. No one has trouble staying awake at a celebration of some of the world’s finest coffee. The cupping contest to select Kona’s best estate coffee is split into two days (probably so the judges can work off the jitters.) Count on a solid 10 days of dancing, music, a coffee-picking contest, beauty pageant, lantern parades, and a general good time. Kailua Kona and environs, Island of Hawaii; admission button $3. 808-326-7820, www.konacoffeefest.com.
PATRICIA HARRIS AND DAVID LYON
Events are sometimes canceled, rescheduled, or sold out; check online. Patricia Harris and David Lyon can be reached at email@example.com