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Chefs show off their skills at the 36th Annual Tacoma Holiday Food and Gift Festival. Photo from last year’s festivities. Photo courtesy of Cooking for the Holidays

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I know, I know, it's barely Halloween and I'm all in. It's time for pumpkin spice everything that will soon segue to Egg Nog obsession and forced family meals slathered in gravy and tryptophan. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though, let's talk gumbo, pumpkin brews and chef appearances.

I love food holidays -- any excuse to indulge and there's literally a holiday for just about any grub. Gumbo included. National Gumbo Day falls on Friday, Oct. 12, and Doyle's Public House is doing it up. Chef Ben is dishing out his crave-able Chicken and Sausage Gumbo from Oct. 11-13. If that isn't enough to get you a little giddy, his famous Etouffee will be served up Friday and Saturday, as well. Commit to taking a seat to dine, these specials will not be available to-go. But hey, look at it as an excuse to try a new bourbon or two -- their selection is top notch. 208 Saint Helen's Ave., Tacoma

Tis the season for an adult beverage you can chew your way through, and Wingman Brewers gives you a plethora of reasons to get your drink on. On Oct. 12 they release their Mayan Chocolate P-51 Porter. This P-51 is brewed with cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean, cayenne pepper AND chocolate. Uh, count me in! Then on Oct. 20, Wingman transforms into a "Boo-ery" with their Haunted Boo-ery Pumpkin Beer Night, from 6-11 p.m. I'm not afraid to say it, I love all things pumpkin, basic or not -- if you're anything like me a Pumpkin Spice P-51 Porter, Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake P-51 Porter and the Pumpkin Spice Latte Ale are gonna get your autumn amore all fired up. 509 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma

If beer isn't your thing, maybe fermented, boozy grape juices will excite you. Also occurring Oct. 20 is the North Pearl Wine Walk. For $25, you can peruse local hot spots and sample local wine varietals while enjoying live music, locally-crafted art and maybe score rad prizes. The $25 ticket price includes 10 taster tokens, a commemorative glass, map of the neighborhood and five prize tickets. Search for North Pearl Wine Walk on to purchase your tickets today.

Oct. 18-21 marks the 36th Annual Tacoma Holiday Food and Gift Festival at the Tacoma Dome. Children 12 and younger are free, while adult ticket prices are $16.50. Aside from being an opportunity to shop local wares from Christmas decorations to clothing, toys, and more on a spectacular scale, they also host cooking demos featuring local chefs each day. LaDonna Olmstead, The Tea Madame, shares a wealth of knowledge about loose leaf teas; Chef Hudson Slater, now with Asado, presents Christmas Eve Empanadas; Aura Mae delights with a holiday-themed breakfast in Pumpkin Pancakes with Pear Compote and Cider Syrup; and there's even a Q&A Chef Panel featuring Chef Slater, Chef Jon Maley and Abigail Bardwell slinging their expertise to the masses. And that's just the beginning. Four days of recipes and chef expertise is sure to up your game at the Thanksgiving day table. See full details and schedule at

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