Arts & Entertainment

Pickle Party is the "Real Dill" In National Festival Contest

Beat out dozens of big-city and travelling festivals to be named #1 in the nation

(Images: Picklesburgh/Renee Rosensteel)

USA Today has announced this year's winners in their readers' choice "Best Specialty Food Festival" contest. And a festival in Pittsburgh, that celebrates, of all things, the pickle, won top honors.

Picklesburgh is a free, three-day festival held in July in downtown Pittsburgh (home of pickle-producer HJ Heinz Co.) and on one of the city's bridges which is closed for the event. Of course there are plenty of dill pickles. But the event also serves handcrafted dishes from local chefs that feature house-cured pickled vegetables, and creative pickle preparations that fit the carnival atmosphere.

Other features include how-to demonstrations which highlight the rising popularity of DIY canning, pickle themed merchandise, live music, and even a competitive pickle juice drinking contest.

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership says Pittsburghers played a significant role in the win by voting daily to ensure that this uniquely Pittsburgh event won the top spot against competition from multi-city touring festivals and festivals from cities such as Miami, Houston, Louisville, and Baltimore.

"Thank you so much to the thousands of Pittsburghers who feel passionately about Picklesburgh and brought home another win for the City of Champions," said Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO of the PDP, which organizes the festival.

Here are the top 10 winners in the USAToday Best Specialty Food Festival competition:

  1. Picklesburgh - Pittsburgh
  2. Bacon and Beer Classic - Multiple Locations
  3. Pismo Beach Clam Festival - Pismo Beach, Calif.
  4. South Beach Seafood Festival - Miami
  5. Vermont Cheesemakers Festival - Shelburne, Vt.
  6. The Bloody Mary Festival - Multiple Locations
  7. Oregon Truffle Festival - Willamette Valley, Ore.
  8. Kentucky Bourbon Festival - Bardstown, Ky.
  9. Tamale Festival Houston - Houston
  10. National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show - Albuquerque

A panel of experts partnered with 10 Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

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