For nearly 100 years, the annual Capay Valley Almond Festival has showcased the charming Northern California region of Esparto and the Capay Valley. Collectively hosted by the communities of Rumsey, Guinda, Brooks, Capay and Esparto along bucolic Highway 16, this one-of-a-kind regional festival traverses a 21-mile route, with each location offering different activities and unique atmosphere. This year’s Almond Festival is scheduled for Sunday, March 11, 2012.
Early spring in the Capay Valley is one of the best times to experience the area’s distinct beauty. The almond blossoms begin to flower in February and continue through March, creating a stunning backdrop for the event’s numerous activities. To help navigate, the “Blossom Trail Map” was developed to provide a vibrant, spring-bloom tour of the event. View this guide at blossomtrail.org.
Festival highlights include:
- Kick things off with the “Almond Queen” dinner on Saturday, February 25, and help inaugurate the newly crowned event matriarch.
- Participate in a 10K Fun Run sponsored by the Esparto Unified School District. This race is on Saturday, March 10. Applications are available at espartok12.org.
- Meander through the Blossom Trail as you visit each of the five locations. As always, the festival will feature family-friendly fun, food and a variety of arts, crafts, local products and produce. Start off at either end of the valley with a homemade breakfast; whether you choose traditional pancakes or breakfast pizza. Or submit your mouth-watering almond recipes for consideration in the bake-off event.
- Come see how almonds are actually harvested, from shaking to sweeping, and experience the rich, significant agricultural history of the area.
- Enter your baby in the Diaper Derby. Maybe yours is the “Fastest Little Nut!” Applications and schedules can be found on our website.
- Nibble on “Granny Wyatt’s Legendary Almond Roca” while on a hayride across the historic Rumsey Bridge.
- Enjoy traditional and Hawaiian blues by performer Willie K. at Cache Creek Casino Resort. For tickets visit cachecreek.com.
- Experience additional goings-on, which include something for everyone: a mechanical bull, car show, BBQ and festival food, hot air balloon rides, local wine tasting, beer and margarita garden, live music and dancing in five locations, library book sale, farmers market, petting zoo, wool spinning demos and a blacksmith working his craft. Delicious festival food this year includes corndogs, caramel apples, tri-tip, BBQ oysters, soup bar with locally grown ingredients, and lots and lots of delicious almonds.
This just scratches the surface of activities at the 2012 Almond Festival in the Capay Valley.
“See you at the Almond Festival!”
For more information, times and complete details, including an event map, please visit capayvalleyalmondfestival.com