California Food Festival Events - Event Festivals California
 

 

California Food Festival Events are some of the most popular event attractions for tourists and travelers in California. Since California is one of the top producers of many fruits, vegetables and foods such as beef and milk, it's no surprise that there are hundreds of festival events celebrating one of our favorite activities, dining. Wine, strawberries, avocados, lemons, artichokes, garlic, mandarin, dates and other foods are the focus of events that normally run several days. Usually tied to the crop harvest, they are celebrated with food sales, samples, game booths, products, cooking contests and carnival rides, sometimes.  The most popular festivals in California are wine celebrations, tastings and events. Strawberries are celebrated in several cities, and chocolate is gaining in popularity as a favored food.  The tastes of the hungry public don't change drastically. Some of the food events have been held for decades. It was said that famed actress Marilyn Monroe launched her career at the Castroville Artichoke Festival. These hometown events can attract visitors from around the globe who share a passion for foods and wine. While most seem very localized and cling to the small-town atmosphere, some have become huge events requiring year-long planning.

 

  Date   California Food Festivals & Events  Also see: CALIFORNIA EVENTS
 
  November    AUBURN - Auburn Mountain Mandarin Festival - The sweet and tangy citrus scent of Mandarin oranges permeates the crisp November air during the two-day Mountain Mandarin Festival held at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, California. Food vendors serve up mandarin infused drinks, salads, grilled meats, ice-creams, marinades and syrups. Hand-crafted items are also for sale just in time for holiday giving and home trimming at more than 150 booths. Cooking demonstrations, amateur cooks who bring their prepared dish to be judged, free crafts and contests for children, live music and dance on the Mandarin Main Stage, and a Thanksgiving centerpiece contest on Sunday. contests center around mandarins, including Peel and Eat races, a Mandarin Toss, Mandarin Limbo and Mandarin Bowling. Admission to the Mountain Mandarin Festival is free, parking is $4. Hours for both days are 9 – 4. For more information visit www.mandarinfestival.com or call 916 663-1918.
      FERNDALE - Community Thanksgiving Service. Members of Ferndale's six churches join together to give thanks in an ecumenical service at Assumption Church, 10 a.m. 707-786-9551.
      YERMO - Heritage Fest (Thanksgiving Weekend) Old West Cowboy Encampment and Old Fashion Chuck Wagon. . Living History Displays and Demonstrations. Daily admission: Adults $8, Youth $5; Children Free. Call: (800) TO-CALICO. www.calicotown.com
   November    REDDING - Saloon Night at Turtle Bay Museum - A charming night of old fashioned western fun celebrating the opening of a new history exhibition Pleasurable Pastimes. Enjoy delicious food, a no-host bar, music, casino tables, and many surprises. Come in western attire and be eligible to win door prizes. Advance Tickets are $35 available at the Museum Store or $40 at the door. For more information call 530-242-3159.
  November    OAK GLEN - Butter Festival at Los Rios Rancho. Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho, in the beautiful hills of Oak Glen above Yucaipa, presents the second annual Apple Butter Festival Thanksgiving weekend. The festival is free to the public and includes a hands-on demonstration of apple butter making the old-time way, outdoor pioneer games, music, carriage rides, and more. Saturday’s events include the “Lighting of the Ranch” at dusk, when the giant pines at the entrance will be illuminated to welcome in the Christmas season. Guests are invited to make apple garlands and popcorn strings to help deck out the ranch for the holidays. An old-fashioned hoedown (tickets required) Saturday night will feature music by the Riley's Mountaineer Band. Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Los Rios Rancho is located at 39611 S. Oak Glen Road, Oak Glen. Take the Yucaipa Blvd. exit from I.S. 10; turn left on Oak Glen Road and follow the signs near the crest of the hill to Riley's at Los Rios Rancho. For information, or to purchase hoedown tickets, call (909) 797-1005. www.losriosrancho.com
  December    OAK GLEN (Yucaipa) - Hometown Jamborees at Los Rios Rancho. Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho, in the beautiful apple orchards of Oak Glen above Yucaipa, will be hosting several Hometown Jamborees on Saturday evenings throughout the 2005-2006 seasons. These events showcase the traditional music of the Riley’s Mountaineer Band in a relaxed country atmosphere full of food and fun. The Jamboree includes a supper of BBQ chicken or beef (menus will vary) and all the trimmings, served up family style. Families can eat a hearty meal and enjoy a hand-clapping, knee-slapping, toe-tapping good time as the Riley’s Mountaineers pick and fiddle some of their favorite old-time tunes. Time: 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under. For information, or to purchase tickets, call (909) 797-1005. Los Rios Rancho is located at 39611 S. Oak Glen Road, Oak Glen. Take the Yucaipa Blvd. exit from I.S. 10; turn left on Oak Glen Road and follow the signs near the crest of the hill to Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho. www.losriosrancho.com
  December    SANTA MARIAChristmas in the Wine Caves - Cottonwood Canyon will fete guests with delicious fare by Sheila Holenda of Cat Canyon Catering, classical entertainment by the Righetti Madrigals and, of course, plenty of great wine. Guests are encouraged to dress for a party, but don’t forget wraps and jackets as temperatures are cool and crisp in this dramatic setting located at 3940 Dominion Road in Santa Maria. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Space is limited and reservations are required by Wednesday, November 23. Please call (805) 937-8463 or email cottonwoodevents@earthlink.net
  December    ARROYO GRANDEA Very Merry-Achi Christmas The Clark Center. Jose Hernandez with Mariachi Sol de Mexico is back and ready to be festive with classic Mexican tradition; Feliz Navidad! The Clark Center for the Performing Arts, 487 Fair Oaks Ave., Arroyo Grande, CA Phone: 805-489-9444 website: www.clarkcenter.org
HEALDSBURG - Downtown Santa Parade, Noon, Downtown Healdsburg. 707-433-6935/1-800-648-9922
VENTURA - Holiday Street Festival - This event which raises products and money for US Marines Toys for Tots includes over 300 artisans and fine artists, food vendors and free entertainment throughout the fair plus Santa Claus at the Midtown Community Council booth.
Admission is free.  Time: 10-4pm. Location: Main Street, Downtown. venturastreetfair.com
  Dec.    AVALON Annual New Year's Eve Celebration at the Casino Ballroom. Dance in the New Year in the world famous Casino Ballroom. Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce (310) 510-1520, or visit www.CatalinaChamber.com |
CARLSBAD - Kids' New Year's Eve at Legoland, New Year's Eve fun for children at Legoland begins with a 3pm party with fun entertainment in Miniland. Features a concert with special guests at 4pm and a 5pm year-in-revue. Then, at kids' midnight (6pm to the rest of us) there will be a 22-foot-tall "brick drop" and a spectacular fireworks show with special fireworks viewing glasses. 760-918-LEGO;  www.legoland.com
ESCONDIDO - Annual Welk Resort Theatre Musical Christmas Welk Resort Theatre presents popular and exciting musical comedies and revues at their theater in Escondido. Matinee and dinners shows available as well as evening performances. The 2004 schedule includes many favorites including the 10th Annual Welk Musical Christmas from Nov 11 to Dec 31, 2004. Tickets and information: 760-749-3000 or 800-932-9355
LOG BEACH -
New Year's Eve Reggae Boat Party with Fireworks. Location: 140 Marina Drive, Long Beach, California.  Call for information: (562) 799-7000.
LONG BEACH - Queen Mary Ship - New Year's Eve Celebration with Live Bands and Fireworks. Includes hot hors' d' oeuvres, parking, party favors and a spectacular midnight fireworks show. Tickets for the celebration will be on sale at ticketmaster. Guests must be at least 21 years of age. Included in the ticket price are 8 separate live musical and entertainment venues. Guests can dance from party to party while enjoying a variety of music. Party favors including hats and noisemakers will be available, as well as midnight balloon drops and a spectacular fireworks display at 12:20 a.m. Cost: TBD Call: (562) 435-3511. Location: 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, California.
SAN DIEGO - First Night San Diego Celebration: Alcohol free event, from 6pm-1am, for the entire family. Features food, entertainment, dancing & fireworks at midnight. Embarcadero Marina Park North, downtown San Diego. (619) 296-8731
  January   OAK GLEN (Yucaipa) - Hometown Jamborees at Los Rios Rancho. Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho, in the beautiful apple orchards of Oak Glen above Yucaipa, will be hosting several Hometown Jamborees on Saturday evenings throughout the 2005-2006 seasons. These events showcase the traditional music of the Riley’s Mountaineer Band in a relaxed country atmosphere full of food and fun. losriosrancho.com
  February   BELMONT SHORE - Chocolate Festival: Incorporating the love for chocolate and Valentine’s Day in a celebration of chocolate. Over 25 restaurants and 30 retail stores offer up their favorite concoctions. Chocolate lovers purchase tickets  and stroll down 2nd street tasting chocolate from all over the world. This event even has a “Homemade Chocolate Dessert Contest” with about 40 entries plus a chocolate pie-eating contest for kids! Sponsored by the Belmont Shore Association.
OAK GLEN
(Yucaipa) - Hometown Jamborees at Los Rios Rancho. Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho. losriosrancho.com
  February    MONTEREY - Wine Passport Weekend sponsored by Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association. Explore the wineries of Monterey County! You’ll be ready to navigate the region with a ‘passport’ that entitles you to wine tastings, entertainment, special offers and great prizes. The Monterey Wine Auction & Gala benefits charitable organizations and scholarship programs. Call: (831) 375-9400. www.montereywines.org
  Feb.   SAN DIEGO - Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp Quarter. The celebration of "Fat Tuesday", from 5pm -1am, features a Mardi Gras type parade on Fifth Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter and a fabulous block party featuring several stages with live music acts. The event goes on rain or shine in the Gaslamp Quarter. Ticketed event: ages 21+. Call: 619-233-5008 or www.gaslamp.org
  March    OAK GLEN (Yucaipa) - Hometown Jamborees at Los Rios Rancho. Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho, in the beautiful apple orchards of Oak Glen above Yucaipa, will be hosting several Hometown Jamborees on Saturday evenings throughout the seasons. These events showcase the traditional music of the Riley’s Mountaineer Band in a relaxed country atmosphere full of food and fun. The Jamboree includes a supper of BBQ chicken or beef (menus will vary) and all the trimmings, served up family style. Families can eat a hearty meal and enjoy a hand-clapping, knee-slapping, toe-tapping good time as the Riley’s Mountaineers pick and fiddle some of their favorite old-time tunes. Time: 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under. For information, or to purchase tickets, call (909) 797-1005. Los Rios Rancho is located at 39611 S. Oak Glen Road, Oak Glen. Take the Yucaipa Blvd. exit from I.S. 10; turn left on Oak Glen Road and follow the signs near the crest of the hill to Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho. www.losriosrancho.com
RUSSIAN RIVER - Crab and Fennel Festival - The Russian River Valley Winegrowers Crab & Fennel Fest gives guests a chance to roll up their shirt sleeves, crack fresh, local Dungeness crab, quaff Russian River Valley wine and experience culinary creations of fennel made by local chefs in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. The event will be held in tandem with the Russian River Wine Road's Barrel Tasting Weekend, in 2006. www.rrvw.org
  April    OAK GLEN (Yucaipa) - Hometown Jamborees at Los Rios Rancho. Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho, in the beautiful apple orchards of Oak Glen above Yucaipa, will be hosting several Hometown Jamborees on Saturday evenings throughout the 2005-2006 seasons. These events showcase the traditional music of the Riley’s Mountaineer Band in a relaxed country atmosphere full of food and fun. The Jamboree includes a supper of BBQ chicken or beef (menus will vary) and all the trimmings, served up family style. Families can eat a hearty meal and enjoy a hand-clapping, knee-slapping, toe-tapping good time as the Riley’s Mountaineers pick and fiddle some of their favorite old-time tunes. Time: 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under. For information, or to purchase tickets, call (909) 797-1005. Los Rios Rancho is located at 39611 S. Oak Glen Road, Oak Glen. Take the Yucaipa Blvd. exit from I.S. 10; turn left on Oak Glen Road and follow the signs near the crest of the hill to Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho. www.losriosrancho.com
  May    CONCORD - Chocolate Extravaganza - Stroll through the atrium of a swanky hotel sampling chocolate from local and national chocolate vendors, such as Main Street Chocolate. Crowne Plaza Hotel, 45 John Glenn Dr. at Concord Avenue, Concord, Ca . Schedule: 1–5 p.m. Cost: $25. Primary Phone: (925) 685-1181 Information and tickets. www.concordchamber.com
  April    SANTA MARIA - Strawberry Festival. Food, fun, rides. http://santamariafairpark.com | Santa Maria Hotels |
  May    ARROYO GRANDE - Annual Strawberry Festival is an extremely popular festival. Arts & Crafts. Food & Games. Ten entertainment areas with continuous entertainment. Strawberry Treats of every variety. (Hotel reservations recommended during this busy weekend. Time: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Location: Downtown Arroyo Grande. Admission: Free. Phone: 805-473-2250.
MORGAN HILL -  Annual Mushroom Mardi Gras. The Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras is a great family fun-filled festival including arts & crafts, gourmet food, entertainment, strolling musicians and street performers, Mardi Gras Parade and Stage Show daily, Munchkinland for the Kids including rides, games and kids entertainment, Antique Auto Row, Wine Tent and Beer Garden and much, much more!
10am - 6pm each day, Free Admission at Downtown Morgan Hill on Monterey between Main & Dunne Avenues. www.mhmushroommardigras.com Contact: Sunday Minnich, Event Director at 408-778-1786 or mmgf@mhmushroommardigras.com
  July   OAK GLEN (Yucaipa) - Hometown Jamborees at Los Rios Rancho. Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho, in the beautiful apple orchards of Oak Glen above Yucaipa, will be hosting several Hometown Jamborees on Saturday evenings throughout the seasons. These events showcase the traditional music of the Riley’s Mountaineer Band in a relaxed country atmosphere full of food and fun. The Jamboree includes a supper of BBQ chicken or beef (menus will vary) and all the trimmings, served up family style. Families can eat a hearty meal and enjoy a hand-clapping, knee-slapping, toe-tapping good time as the Riley’s Mountaineers pick and fiddle some of their favorite old-time tunes. Time: 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under. For information, or to purchase tickets, call (909) 797-1005. Los Rios Rancho is located at 39611 S. Oak Glen Road, Oak Glen. Take the Yucaipa Blvd. exit from I.S. 10; turn left on Oak Glen Road and follow the signs near the crest of the hill to Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho. www.losriosrancho.com
  August    MONTEREY - Annual Winemakers' Celebration sponsored by Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association. Over 40 Monterey County wineries will pour new releases and special wines in Monterey's historic Custom House Plaza. This outdoor festival showcases the best of Monterey and also features educational seminars, barrel building, live music and silent auction. Call: (831) 375-9400. montereywines.org