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With so many great winter festivals around the country, why not banish those post-holiday blues before they even begin? Whether it’s a mild-weather getaway in a temperate climate or a classic cold weather event, now is the time to plan on spicing up the off-season with one of the following five winter food festivals.

Chocolate Weekend, Kohler Wisconsin

To the delight of chocolate lovers, what used to be a one-night event is now a full weekend celebration this luscious festival in Kohler, Wisconsin. Held at the five-star American Club here, there are workshops, unique pairings (try beer and chocolate), and chocolate goodies created from original recipes. Look for this sweet food festival on Feb. 15-16.


South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Get away from the cold and head down to Miami for the SOBEWFF taking place between Feb. 22-25. Lots of Food Network personalities will lead sessions for the festival including Trisha Yearwood, Bobby Flay, and Geoffrey Zakarian. One of the highlights will be James Beard and the award-winning chef Andrew Zimmern from The Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods”. He will present Lucky Chopsticks, a feast of dim sum, sushi, and other favorites from The W Fort Lauderdale. Guests will get to sample all the dishes.


Lowcountry Oyster Festival, Mount Pleasant, S.C.

A visit to the Historic Charleston is always a treat, and the Lowcountry Food Festival makes it even better. Hailed by the Southeastern Tourism Society as one of the top 20 events in the Southeast, the festival celebrating the oyster is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 28 at Boone Hall Plantation. Get in on the fun with oyster-shucking and oyster-eating contests, live music, beer, and wine. There will be a play area with pony rides.


New York Ice Wine & Culinary Festival, Fairport, N.Y.

Sample ice wines and tour the vineyards at Casa Larga Vineyards in a horse-drawn wagon at this festival in Fairport. The food promises to be as tasty as the wines from New York wineries. Feast on seafood bisque, duck banh mi, and unique, tasty desserts like black pepper and almond macarons stuffed with mascarpone, taleggio cheeses, ice wine-infused dried apricots. This winter food fest takes place on Feb. 24.


Beaver Creek Food & Wine Weekend

A ski destination is always a welcomed winter getaway, especially when combined with a winter food & wine festival like the one at Beaver Creek resort in Colorado. The resort’s top chefs along with celebrity guest chefs will lead cooking sessions for gourmet meals for Winter Culinary Weekend, Jan. 18-21. Get tickets to a private dinner in one of the mountain cabins. Venues, prices, and times vary, so check their website for the details.


Hal Abramson is a food festival promoter based in Los Angeles and is always on the hunt for new events to explore. Check out his other food festival blogs or follow his travels on Twitter!