Food festivals abound in the Puget Sound region. These popular events showcase food in Seattle as well as across agriculturally rich Washington State. All are well-established annual food festivals. Except where noted, they have free admission. Food and beverage (adult or otherwise) is, of course, extra. Current and past festivals are listed below in date order. We update this list throughout the year, pending an update of festival information–which is sometimes less than 30 days prior.
These food festivals include “Taste” and “Bite” events showcasing Puget Sound food vendors, as well as summer festivals, and themed events featuring international cuisines, seafood, barbecue, mushrooms, and more. In this list of free food festivals, we are after big food and big fun for the least possible cost. This means no admission free (or very, very small like $5), and lots and lots of food, plus other activities as a backdrop to the food (such as crafts, music, and kid’s fun).
- We don’t include festivals where the focus is beer, wine, and spirits, primarily because adult beverage events typically include a fairly hefty tasting fee, with food cost added on top of that.
- We don’t include festivals here where the focus is not food. We have a separate page for these, including arts and music festivals, cultural celebrations, community events, and county fairs, even though all of these events have plenty of food vendors and food trucks at the ready.
- We do include festivals with an admission fee above $15, if there is a discount available (such as early bird purchase, discount online advance purchase, or a coupon code). Hint: Volunteer at a food festival and you may get free food.
- We publish over 400 festivals in the Puget Sound region (and beyond) every month of the year, though summer has the largest number. Check out our big annual list of festivals.
Volunteer for free food and more. Whether or not there is an admission charge, if the cost of attending a food festival is too steep, consider becoming a volunteer. Most community festivals and events have volunteer opportunities. In fact, most couldn’t run without a large number of people willing to help with setup, breakdown, and everything in-between from taking tickets to bussing tables and a slew of other tasks. Most volunteers at a food festival can work a few hours, get a free meal, and usually a volunteer’s a t-shirt. Free food and free clothes–what’s not to like? To sign-up as a food festival volunteer, check their website menu for “volunteer” and get yourself signed up.
How to get the most out of food festivals
A great way to approach a food festival, that is spend less and enjoy more, is to go with one or more people. Two to four people sharing a plate can power through more variety and try some of everything. Note that you may not spend less money overall with this approach. But if food sampling is your goal, then plate sharing is the ideal strategy.
Personally, I find it hard to devour $20 (pun intended) and usually fill up before my Jackson (and sometime after 2020, the Tubman) is spent. Your needs may be vastly different, of course.
Pets are usually prohibited at food festivals, due to the food nature of the event. Before you go, it’s a good idea to check their website for these and other details (such as where to park for free).
Plan to have a whole day of food fun, family fun, adult fun, free entertainment, more food and more fun.
Upcoming Food Festivals
(If nothing is listed below, there are no upcoming food festivals in our calendar. Theoretically this shouldn’t happen. We update the food festival calendar on a rolling basis throughout the year. Most food festivals occur spring through fall.)
Monday, February 24, 2020
Saturday, February 29, 2020
Saturday, May 16, 2020
Sunday, May 17, 2020
Friday, June 19, 2020
Saturday, June 20, 2020
Sunday, June 21, 2020
Friday, July 10, 2020
Saturday, July 11, 2020
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Saturday, August 1, 2020
Sunday, August 2, 2020
Friday, September 11, 2020
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Sunday, September 13, 2020
But wait, there’s more!
- More festivals: Our big list of annual festivals, fairs, and parades.
- More always free things to do: 101+ always free things to do for fun.
- More free and cheap things to do every day: Greater Seattle on the Cheap event calendar.
- More ideas for frugal fun: Greater Seattle on the Cheap home page.
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