This weekend is a big one for the Valley's Oktoberfest scene. You'll have your pick between the three-day fest at Tempe Town Lake and a two-day event up at Salt River Fields. And don't worry, if lederhosen and bier aren't really your scene, there are plenty of other things to put in your mouth this weekend.
Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake Friday, October 11
The biggest Oktoberfest celebration in the Valley will take over Tempe Town Lake beginning this Friday for three days of beer drinking and brat eating. There's a long list of events to look forward to including the 22nd annual Frank Kush Oktoberfest Foot Race on Saturday, concerts from Keltic Cowboys and Elvis Before Noon and Dashchund races. Expect multiple beer gardens and tents that will offer a selection of local, craft and German beers. During beer sampling hours you can guy eight 4 oz. beer samples for $20. As for eats, they'll have bratwurst and a Bavarian Bakery with German strudel and other cookies and pastries. For more information visit the Tempe Oktoberfest website. Admission is free.
Octoberfest at Salt River Fields Saturday, October 12
Scottsdale is getting in on the Oktoberfest action this Satuday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.. The event will have four "Beers of the World" bars to choose from including a College Bar (where you can get an ice cold Keystone or Mickey's - and yes, we will be judging you) and one called Euro Hops and Grapes where you'll find the grown-up brews like Worthingtons Red Shield, Peroni and Pilsner Urquell. Expect more than 50 types of beverages and concessions that will include a dozen types of sausages, soft pretzels, fry bread and BBQ. And if you're looking to score big, the Octoberfest Cornhole Tournament brings a chance to win $5,000 in cash prizes. Tickets cost $10 for general admission and can be purchased online.
Getting Our Just Desserts Saturday, October 12
This Saturday some of the Valley's top female chefs will gather at the Art Institute of Phoenix to celebrate women chefs and culinary professionals. The third annual Getting Our Just Desserts event will bring Phoenix's leading women chefs including Charleen Badman of FnB; Amy Binkley of Binkley's Restaurant, Cafe Bink and Bink's Midtown; Hanna Gabrielsson of Beaver Choice; Tonya Saidi of Mama Toledo's Pies; and Tracey Dempsey of Tracey Dempsey Originals, together for an afternoon of food and drink. A $35 ticket includes sweet and savory tastings with wine samples available for an additional $10 at the door. The event will be from 2 to 5 p.m. and will benefit the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program. Tickets can be purchased at the event website.
Food Truck Olivepalooza Sunday, October 13
This Saturday and Sunday escape to the Queen Creek Olive Mill for the opening weekend of their Harvest Festival. To kick off the season they're partnering with local food trucks, each of which will create a special dish incorporating one of the mill's products such as olives, tapenades and extra virgin olive oils. Sunday's line up of trucks includes J-Licious Tasty Teazy Tacos, The Great Pho King and The Roasted Shallot, There will also be live music, Arizona artisan cold beers on tap and wines by the glass or bottle. While you're there you can also take an Olive Oil Tour 1010 for $5, tapenade and extra virgin olive oil tastings, wine tastings or check out a bocce ball tournament. Lawn chairs and blankets are allowed. No coolers or outside food or drink. Admission is free. For more information visit the Queen Creek Olive Mill website.
Bacon-Mania at the Arizona State Fair Friday, October 11 through Sunday, November 3
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See also: Food of the Arizona State Fair slideshow
It's your time to shine, guilty pleasure-ites. The state fair comes to town on Friday and that means there's going to be plenty of deep fried, fatty goodness to look forward to over the next few weeks. Our own JK Grence, guilty pleasure expert, will be hunting down all of the bacon creations debuting at this year's fair. They've got everything from bacon-wrapped corn dogs to bacon cotton candy. Other promising eats include the sweet potato corn dog and a gut-busting combo of corn dogs and onion rings.
Be sure to stay tuned for our photos and coverage of the fair's first few days and if you want to meet our resident bad-for-you-food maven, don't forget to enter the Chow Bella Pet Costume Contest before October 31!