Food Festivals Near Sacramento, CA
My family and I attended the Pear Fair in Courtland, CA recently and it got me thinking about a couple things…
- Of all the years I’ve lived in the Sacramento area (my whole life), I don’t recall ever having been to a food festival!
- Now that I think about it, there are a lot of food festivals in the area, from the Pear Fair in Courtland to the Asparagus Festival in Stockton. I hear about them all the time, but never really paid much attention to them.
So, I decided to look into it and see how many I could find, within a reasonable distance, since they are typically family-friendly and we’re trying to do things that are fun, healthy and educational for our family.
Please note: Some of the dates are for 2011 and some are for 2012 – click the names of the fair/festival to go to its respective web site for the latest information.
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California Artisan Cheese Festival – March 23-25, 2012
From Napa Valley (East): Take Highway 37 West to Highway 101 North. Exit at Highway 116 East/Lakeville Highway. Turn left at the exit onto Lakeville Highway (CA-116 East). Turn right onto Baywood Drive. The hotel entrance is located on the right.
California’s Artisan Cheese Festival is a nonprofit organization with the mission to educate people who want to learn more about artisan cheese, support the artisan cheesemaking community and its sustainability and celebrate and enjoy the creations of the artisan cheesemakers.
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California Nut Festival – April 16, 2011
Chico, CA (various locations – click here)
Admission: Tickets for children 7-12 available for $10 at the event. Children 6 and under are free! Event parking is $2/vehicle at the Patrick Ranch Museum
The mission of the California Nut Festival is to help consumers connect with local farmers and learn about the locally grown food available in the North Valley, and support the continued development of the Patrick Ranch Museum to preserve and interpret the agricultural history of the Sacramento Valley, including social, cultural and economic aspects.
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Stockton Asparagus Festival – April 27-29, 2012
From Sacramento: Take I-5 south towards Stockton. Take the Hwy 4 E exit toward Hwy 99/ Downtown Stockton.
Admission: Adults (18-59): $12, College Students with Proper ID: $7, Teens (13-17): $7, Children 12 & Under: FREE with paying adults, Seniors (60 and older): $7
In 2010, over 36,000 pounds of delicious asparagus was enjoyed by all. From delicious deep-fried asparagus (40,000 orders), Asparagus Tri-tip Sandwiches (9,000 orders), Asparagus Burritos (4,000 orders), and pasta dishes (8,500 orders), to refreshing drinks and more, the Stockton Asparagus Festival offers bushels of different treats sure to please!
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Galt Strawberry Festival – May 14 & 15, 2011
Veterans Field, 900 Caroline Ave, Galt, CA 95632
Admission: $5 per person, Children 5 and under are FREE, Parking is FREE
Strawberry themed food and retail items to be included in this years prime vendor location “Strawberry Alley.” the Festival will feature Arts & Crafts and Food vendors, we will have fun for the children in the Kids Zone, the Classic Car Show and fabulous Entertainment running throughout the event.
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Castroville Artichoke Festival – May 21 & 22, 2011
Coming South on US Highway 101 from San Jose/Santa Clara County: Southbound traffic on US Highway 101, should exit 101 in Prunedale (approximately 17 miles south of Gilroy) at the junction of State Route 156, continue west for approximately 6.2 miles to the Castroville exit, highway 183, turn right and follow signs to parking areas.
Admission: Adults $10, Active Military/Seniors $5, Children 3 & over $5
Children’s activities include games, face paints, clowns, stilt walkers, puppets and more! Food: artichokes fried, sautéed, grilled, marinated, pickled, fresh, and creamed in soup. Plus foods from the many ethnic groups that give this area its character. The area’s finest showcase the versatility and unique techniques for preparing and using artichokes.
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Marysville Peach Festival – July 15, 16, 2011
Scheduled from 4pm to 11pm on Friday and 10am to 11pm on Saturday, the event will be on D Street between First and Sixth streets in Downtown Marysville.
Admission: Free for Everyone, No Parking Charges
Come and enjoy the food, entertainment, arts and crafts with the thirty thousand plus other people who regularly visit the annual Marysville Peach Festival in Historic Downtown Marysville!
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Slice of Chico – July 16, 2011
Begins at 9am in Downtown Chico. Early Birds Shop Friday, July 15th too!!!
Pick up a slice of ice-cold watermelon from the event headquarters on 3rd Street between Main & Broadway. We’ll be slicing more than 2000 lbs courtesy of ProPacific Fresh!!! Long time events sponsor, Tres Hombres will be mixing up freshly made watermelon margaritas throughout the day as well.
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El Dorado Italian Festival – July 23, 2011
From Sacramento: Take Highway 50 East. Placerville is about 45 minutes out of Sacramento. Take Placerville Drive exit. Stay to the right and pass back over the highway.
Admission: Regular $7, Juniors (7-12 years) $5, Kids (6 and under) FREE, Parking $5
Beer and wine will be for sale. Nothing speaks excellence than Italian design. A few of the regions finest Italian automobiles will be on display. Fun and delicious Italian food, this is the place to find it. Bring the whole family! Lots of kids activities from climbing walls, slides and bounce houses.
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From San Jose and areas north: Christmas Hill Park; Gilroy, CA (30 miles south of San Jose off Highway 101) – Watch for the Caltrans sign trucks on US 101 as you enter Gilroy. Use the exit suggested on the sign truck. Follow the signs and watch for traffic control officers on roadways.
Admission: Adult General $ 17, children (ages 6-12) $ 8, under age 6 – Free
10 tons of beef… 4 tons of pasta… 4 tons of calamari… 2 tons of scampi… 2 TONS of fresh Christopher Ranch garlic… & $8.5 million raised for local charity
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Sacramento TomatoFest – July 30, 2011
Town & Country Village from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 30
There’s something for everyone – live music, art, cooking demonstrations, wine-tasting, demonstrations by Master Gardeners, a Kid’s Area (sponsored by Emigh’s Hardware), face-painting, kettle korn, performances by Sacramento Theatre Co., and don’t miss the tomato truffles and tomato gelato and much more!
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Courtland Pear Fair – July 31, 2011
From Sacramento: Take I-5 south to the Hood Franklin Road Exit. Turn right off the freeway and follow the signs to the town of Hood. Turn left on Hwy 160 and continue about six miles until you come to the town of Courtland.
Admission: Free; $10 to park
Lose yourself all day for fun in the California Delta to celebrate the Delta’s famous fruit, along with a variety of live music, great food and wine, classic car exhibit, parade, fun rides for the kids and more at a genuine down-home country setting in the small river town of Courtland, just 20 miles south of Sacramento on the river Hwy 160.
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Woodland Tomato Festival – August 13, 2011
Accessible via I-5, Hwy 113, or 505. Exit for all freeways is Main St, Downtown Woodland. Freeman Park on Main St. in Downtown Woodland – 1001 Main St. Woodland CA 95695
Free tasting of some 30 varieties of heirloom and hybrid locally grown tomatoes – Green Zebra, Sungold, Costoluto Genovese, Celebrity, etc – help select the best tasting tomatoes and come to the Master Gardener plant sale next spring and grow them yourself next year! Some of the top chefs in the area will be creating their favorite tomato based dishes. Judges will be selecting the 2011 Top Tomato Chefs.
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Sacramento Banana Festival – August 13 – 14, 2011
William Land Park (Village Green Area) 4200 Freeport Boulevard. (On the corner of Sutterville Road and Freeport Blvd)
Admission: $5 for Adults and Kids 5 and under are FREE all weekend!
Join us at Sacramento’s William Land Park for a weekend full of music, food, art, dance, films, and family fun. Taste banana breads, cakes, pies, ice cream, muffins, puddings, cookies, shakes, fritters, soups. And see artwork, costumes, trinkets, live performances and much more.
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Lodi Grape Festival – September 15-18, 2011
Located in Lodi, California, situated between Highway 99 and Interstate 5, 40 miles south of Sacramento and 10 miles north of Stockton.
Admission: Adults: $8, Youth 6 – 12: $4 (Free on Thursday, Kids Day), Children 5 & Under: Free
The Festival’s mission and main purpose is to promote the agriculture and agricultural products of San Joaquin County, and to offer diverse forms of agricultural education. The Festival strives to present unique, family – oriented exhibits that not only entertain, but educate and enlighten.
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Fair Oaks Chicken Festival – September 17, 2011
Village of Fair Oaks from 10am – 6pm
Pre-Festival BBQ & Egg Dance, Kids Park, Craft and food vendors, Great bands and dancing in the street, Microbrew Area, An old fashioned country breakfast, and much more.
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Walnut Creek Walnut Festival – September 22 – 25, 2011
Held the third Thursday after the first Monday in September at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek, CA.
As Walnut Creek as grown, and suburban developments have replaced walnut groves, the Walnut Festival Association has maintained the tradition of producing fundraising events for the benefit of the community.
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California Candy Festival – September 24, 2011
Jelly Belly Candy Company and “The Lots of Fun” Fairfield, California
Tasty treats! Sweet music! Big fun!
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Loomis Eggplant Festival – October 1, 2011
Admission: Free + Free Parking
Featuring: Arts & Crafts, Live Entertainment, Gourmet Food & Drink, Local Wines in Wine Garden and Kids Activities
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World Vegitable Festival – October 1 & 2, 2011
San Francisco County Fair Building, 9th Avenue at Lincoln, Inside Golden Gate Park
Admission: $8 suggested door donation, kids/students/seniors free, everyone free before 10:30am
International vegan cuisine, healthy food demos, live entertainment, Veghealth awards ceremony, children’s corner, vegan speed dating.
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Mountain Mandarin Festival – November 19 – 21, 2011
Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, CA
Celebrates the new crop of locally grown Mandarin oranges, a Mandarin Recipe cooking contest, professional chef demonstrations, food, AGRO Art, local farmers selling freshly harvested Mandarin oranges, crafts and activities, free children’s area, live music and entertainment. The weekend before Thanksgiving.
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