Top 10 Central California Foodie Events You Must Check Out This Year!
By Amy Fuentes,
Fresno Food Expo Manager
As we head into spring our sights are set on the great outdoors because let’s face it, here in Central California, we live in the mecca of nature’s finest assets. But before you make a straight shot to the mountains or beach, make sure you stop and smell the foods along the way, because they’re everywhere, and they’re calling your name. Here’s a list of the Top 10 local foodie events happening right here in our own backyard that you must check out this year!
1. Bakersfield Country & Craft Beer Festival– Bakersfield, California - April 1, 2017
Presented by Lengthwise Brewery, the 3rd Annual Bakersfield Country & Craft Beer Festival will feature over 40 different craft breweries, local restaurant vendors, live bands and fun-filled games with an expected attendance of over 2,000 people. This event sounds too good to be true, but we promise it’s no April Fools joke, and 100% of the profits from this event will be donated to local children charities in Kern County. Find them on Facebook
2. San Joaquin Asparagus Festival – Stockton, California - April 21 – 23, 2017
What do Asparagus Ice Cream, Asparagus Lumpia, a Pulled Pork Sandwich with Asparagus Slaw and Asparagus Chili Cheese Fries all have in common? They can all be found in the Asparagus Plaza, outside of Asparagus Alley at this year’s San Joaquin Asparagus Festival. It was noted that in 2016 between the deep fried asparagus and the asparagus ice cream, this event dished out over 10 tons of California grown asparagus. That’s a lot of asparagus! Find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
3. Porterville Iris Festival & Chili Cook-Off – Porterville, California - April 22, 2017
Did you know that Porterville is home to the world’s largest distributor of re-blooming iris, Sutton’s Iris Garden? Then it’s no wonder the city’s official flower is the purple iris, and this annual event draws more than 20,000 people to the charming city of Porterville. Complete with a Chili-Cook Off and 5k Run, this annual event sounds like a must see in 2017.
4. Selma Raisin Festival – Selma, California - May 3-7, 2017
With raisin flavored foods and the crowning of Raisin Royalty, this five day event celebrates the 3,000 raisin growers throughout the San Joaquin Valley who produce 100% of the U.S. raisins. Now that’s a reason to celebrate!
5. Lodi Zinfest – Lodi, California - May 19 – 21, 2017
This ‘Zinful’ event starts with a Vintner’s Dinner on Friday evening that offers a limited number of guests an opportunity to dine with Lodi’s finest vintners accompanied with locally paired foods, wines and dancing under the stars. Saturday is spent at Lodi Lake where 40 different wineries will be offering tastings of over 200 different wines, and if you’re still looking for more come Sunday, enjoy a self-guided tour to participating Lodi wineries who will be hosting special tastings and activities. Find them on Facebook and Twitter
6. Linden Cherry Festival – Linden, California - May 20, 2017
Hosted at the beginning of the much anticipated Cherry season, this fun event includes a pie eating contest, a cherry bake-off, and of course LOTS of fresh cherries. Admission is free so don’t miss your chance to get your cherry-fill this summer!
7. Fresno Greek Fest – Fresno, California - August 25 – 27, 2017
Did someone say OPA?! If so, they’re heading to Fresno’s wildly popular Greek Fest. After 56 years this event is still going strong and they don’t plan on stopping now. Greek food is the main attraction here and offers everything from Dolmades, Gyros, Lamb Shanks, and Halloumi, all of which pair perfectly with Ouzo. Parking is limited, but the walk is worth it. Find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
8. Baconfest – Lathrop, California - September 9 – 10, 2017
Dell’Osso Family Farm’s is proud to host their 2nd annual Baconfest, featuring Bacon, Beer and Bands. This fun-filled two day event will include a Bacon eating contest, 20 bacon-inspired food vendors, 20 Micro-Breweries, cooking demos, live music and fun family attractions. Last year’s inaugural event brought out Guy Fieri, so we can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeve this year! Find them on Facebook and Twitter
9. Springville Apple Festival – Springville, California - October 21-22, 2017
Springville sure knows what they’re doing with their apple celebration, offering a two-day event with an Apple Run, an Apple Baking Contest and two Apple Pie Eating Contests. Sign me up! This annual event attracts more than 30,000 visitors each year and apparently the live music and entertainment happens from sun up to sun down, both days.
10. Madera’s Annual Pomegranate Festival – Madera, California - November 4, 2017
“Go nuts at the Madera Pomegranate Festival,” is the slogan for this year’s annual Pomegranate Festival, so they must have something fun in the works for this annual event! Hosted at the Madera Municipal Airport, this annual event is an opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate Madera’s agricultural roots and enjoy some pomegranate flavored goodness. Find them on Facebook and Twitter
P.S. Do you know what I absolutely love about all of these fun foodie events happening right here in our own backyard? They all celebrate the different cultures and foods that make the Central California region so unique. From asparagus to pomegranates, make it a point to get out and celebrate all of the great foods we grow here.