Since 1915, the Capay Valley Almond Festival has been hosted by the communities of Guinda, Rumsey, Brooks, Capay, and Esparto. Held every spring for almost a century, the event has become a Northern California tradition and a showcase for the entire Capay Valley region. Cache Creek Casino Resort is proud to once again sponsor this year’s festival, held on Sunday, March 13. As always, the festival will feature fun, music, food, and a variety of arts, crafts, local products, and produce for your shopping adventure.
A family affair you will not want to miss, annual events planned include a Farmer’s Market with locally grown products, a climbable hay pyramid, Friends of The Esparto Library (FERL) Book Sale, Madison Fire Department’s “Ultimate Car Show” featuring both modern and classic cars, a petting zoo, a live blacksmith and bee keeper working their crafts, agricultural education, along with genuine farm equipment and a “chugger” engine.
Fun new additions to this year’s schedule are the “Fastest Little Nut” diaper derby contest, Almond Baking contest and the FFA Cow Plot Bingo contest.
The children’s area will be even larger this year thanks to Michael’s Craft & Art Supply and will once again include free children’s activities. Local non-profits booths will feature free children’s activities and identification kits including finger printing.
Other activities include:
- Countryside Community Church’s annual rummage and bake sale
- FFA pancake breakfast in Esparto at 7 am
- VFW Hall’s Festival lunch
- Zumba, Folk-Lorico and Karate demonstrations
- Dilly Dally the Clown
- Five live bands planned along the 29 mile route from Esparto to Rumsey, including classic rock and roll, oldies, country and blues.
Participating local restaurants include the historic Capay Junction Saloon and Road Trip Bar & Grill in Capay, where more live music and great food await you. Delicious festival food this year includes corndogs, caramel apples, tri-tip, BBQ oysters, hand pulled pork sandwiches, delicious BBQ fare, Hawaiian, Cuban, and Indian cuisine, and of course Granny Wyatt’s legendary Almond Roca.
Other stops up the valley worth a look include Rumsey, where their famous and traditional barbecued “Rumsey Ribs” served with local greens promise to be smokin’ good!
In Brooks, Capay Valley Vineyards will be open for wine tasting while a wine, beer and margarita garden will be set up in downtown Esparto at the fire department.
Other events held in conjunction with the festival include:
- The 2011 Almond Queen Dinner, held at the newly renovated Western Yolo Grange in Guinda on Saturday, March 5th www.westernyologrange.org. Rumsey Improvement Association sponsors the event and is accepting donations for the scholarships that are presented.
- Additional festivities prior to the Sunday festival include the 1st Annual Esparto Unified School District Almond Festival 10K Fun Run on Saturday, March 12th
- Capay Organics will also host the first free second Saturday farm tour of 2011 including fun activities and live music on March 12.
- Local restaurants will includes special menu items along with live music entertainment as a kick off to the Almond Festival.
The celebration falls during the perfect time of the year to take a spring “color tour” through the valley and observe the beautiful variety of almond blossoms found in orchards along the roads leading to Cache Creek. A map available is to help visitors find the best routes for viewing the blossoms beginning in February through March, depending on the varieties.
With the map, the Blossom Trail is easy to follow as a self-guided tour. For more information on the festival or to obtain an Almond Blossom Tour Map, surf to www.blossomtrail.org or call (530) 787-3242.
Almond Festival schedules and applications for the diaper derby, baking contest, car show and 10K fun run can also be can be downloaded at www.espartoregionalchamber.com under the Almond Festival tab.
For more information on any of the Almond Festival events surf to the Esparto Regional Chamber website at: www.espartoregionalchamber.com or call: (530) 787-3242.
Almond Blossom photo credits go to: © Tony Novelozo