Four local Food Festivals you won't want to miss

If your big day out needs to include food, wine or both, here's a list of local festivals to mark on your calendar.

Regional Flavours

Brisbane's signature food and wine event will rock South Bank on July 19 and 20 with over 70,000 visitors taking advantage of the culinary experience.  It's all about recognising the amazing array of fresh produce, everything from cheese and wine to chocolate, produced locally.  Work your way through taste-test free samples from over 100 stalls, stop for a drink at The Grove where local wines are the star, learn at the Eat-Show-Tell stage, sample craft beer at The Hunting Club, dine from the Eat Fleet Food Trucks stocked by local restaurants and enjoy breakfast all day, just because you can.

Here's what it looked like last year. 

Aguila Columbian Independence Day Festival

Try Columbian food at this festival which celebrates the uprising against Spanish rule in the Colombian capital Bogota on July 20 1810, leading to Colombia becoming a self-governing republic. It promises to be a vibrant street style festival hosted by Kip and Luttsy from Nova and Colombian Ambassador Daniela Pinoa.

Colombian Independence Day is celebrated annually across the world with Colombian food, beverages, music and dancing, all of which can be expected at Brisbane’s festival. Find it in Ballow Street outside of the GPO Hotel and the gates will be open from 12pm till late.Entrance is $20 with tickets available via Moshtix.

Food and Wine Trail in James Street

This is not the sort of food and wine trail where you travel great distances to search out the gems.  Instead the gems all come to or are located in James Street, Fortitude Valley and your only chance of getting lost would result from a food or wine coma.

It's on from Thursday, July 31 to Sunday, August 3 and will see a culinary market hosted by the Standard Market Company, cooking demonstrations at ILVE pop-up kitchen and a degustation dinner hosted by Harveys Bar Bistro and Gerard's Bistro.

Last year there were 5000 people roaming the streets over the four days.  This year with a Urban Picnic Zone, a Mojito Emabasy and an Aperol Spritz Lounge I expect there will be more.  Hopefully all  children will be fully occupied at the interactive kids zone. Watch the James Street website for more details.

Real Food Festival

You don't need much of an excuse to head to the rolling green vistas of Maleny, but the Real Food Festival on the weekend of September 13 and 14 is certainly worth checking out.  You'll discover an abundance of good foods from Sunshine Coast producers, manufacturers and restaurants and a program that includes thought stimulating discussion as well.  Check out the full program at Real Food Festival.

Kerry Heaney