What will already be the third annual epicure.sb might fancy the lowercase title for style, but it’s an all-caps kind of food-centric throwdown for the month of October that you may as well start planning now. Restaurants run specials, 1st Thursday will have food on its artistic mind, CAF will end the month with its usual pumpkin-carving contest, and even The Indy will get in the act, awarding its second annual Foodie Awards at the SOL (Sustainable, Organic, Local) Food Festival on October 1 (more on both the Foodies and SOL in coming issues). Otherwise, the four main festivals within epicure.sb (epicuresb.com) are as follows:

California Avocado Festival, October 7-9, Linden Avenue, Carpinteria, avofest.com

While it might be holy guacamole, it’s not just wholly guacamole — there’s avo oil, avo ice cream, and a contest for the biggest avo. Last year’s winner tipped the scales at more than 3.5 pounds! Plus music and, as they like to say, family fun.

Harbor & Seafood Festival, October 8, Santa Barbara Harbor, harborfestival.org

The Santa Barbara Harbor is home to more than 1,100 boats, so that means a lot of finny friends are hauled from the sea. Sample some of those delicacies, learn how people are working to keep them sustainable, and tour ships. Plus music and, as they like to say, family fun.

California Lemon Festival, October 15-16, Girsh Park, Goleta, lemonfestival.com

The Good Land gets its pucker-on for the 20th anniversary of this fest that celebrates the lemon with everything from beer from Hollister Brewing to a pie-eating contest. This one’s big on cars like the harbor is on boats. Plus music and … oh, you know this line by now.

Santa Barbara Chowder Fest, October 23, Montecito Country Club (920 Summit Rd.), santabarbarachowderfest.com

Don’t clam up and miss this benefit for Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County. Area restaurants let you taste; judges select the super soup, plenty of good S.B. County wine will be poured, and we’ll get to see if the Boathouse can retain its crown from 2010.


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