Northern Californians are a fun bunch. We grow some of the best produce and make some of the best wine in the entire world, so it makes sense that we love to celebrate it. There’s not a month on the calendar without a city or small town making any excuse to throw a fantastic shindig. And what better reason is there than food and wine?
1. ZinFest – Lodi – May 15th
On Sunday, May 15th; Sip, swirl and savor from a selection of 200 handcrafted wines from over 40 Lodi wineries. Passionate winemakers and winery representatives welcome guests, offering practical knowledge and sharing their delicious wines. Enjoy local provisions, learn some new tips at the ZinFest Wine and Cooking Schools, or relax along the beautiful Mokelumne River to an eclectic mix of live music. There is no better way to celebrate the fantastic wines of Lodi Wine Country!
2. Mushroom Mardi Gras Festival – Morgan Hill – May 28th & 29th
Morgan Hill knows about mushrooms! It’s their biggest crop. The Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras Festival is now in its 37th year of turning Memorial Day weekend into a celebration of the mushroom. The free event is May 28-29 in downtown Morgan Hill, California.
The two-day festival of family-fun includes live entertainment on two stages, arts and crafts, gourmet offerings, mushroom education, strolling musicians, street performers, and several city blocks of unique booths. For children, Munchkinland captivates kids with rides, games and continuous entertainment. And, who doesn’t want a portobello and cheese burger?
3. San Ramon Art & Wind Festival – San Ramon – May 29th & 30th
Yes, I know we’re supposed to be talking about food, but c’mon – how cool is this? The San Ramon Art & Wind Festival blows into town on Sun. and Mon. May 29-30th at San Ramon Central Park. The festival includes over 200 arts & crafts booths, entertainment on three stages, kite-flying demos, free kite making workshops, kids’ activities, a non-profit info alley, displays, and more!
4. Barbera Festival – Plymouth – June 11th
You can’t say festivals without mentioning wine, and we know California does wine right! That makes the Barbera Festival in Plymouth especially hard to miss. The June 11th festival includes more than 80 wineries from all over California, top area restaurants and chefs offering gourmet food, live music by Knucklehead, local artists and vendors, and of course beer and white wine available for purchase!
5. The Garlic Festival – Gilroy – July 29th – 31st
Vampires beware: this is one garlic-infused weekend that creatures of the night may want to miss. Everyone else: go, at least once, to this unforgettably odiferous and one-of-a-kind event. See how creative chefs can be when it comes using this iconic flavoring: you’ll find garlicky stir-fried shrimp and chicken, breads slathered with every kind of garlic butter, and addictive garlic fries – as well as more adventurous offerings like garlic ice cream. This years Garlic Festival will take place July 29th, 30th and 31st.
6. 22nd Annual Watsonville Strawberry Festival – Watsonville, CA
Join the action in Watsonville, CA on August 6 and August 7, 2016 as they celebrate the Strawberry! Check out the image above to see what you can expect in their event video. The food looks incredible, and who doesn’t love strawberries?
7. Hayward Zucchini Festival – Hayward – August 20th – 21st
Are you ready for all things zucchini? Here’s our chance! Clear your calendar for the third weekend of August when the annual Hayward Zucchini Festival swings into action. There’s sure to be something for the entire family including live music, arts & crafts and a Kids’ Town area with fun games, cool prizes, face painting and rides. Join in the fun on August 20th – 21st, 2016!
8. California Capitol Airshow – Mather Airport – October 1st & 2nd
Merica! We can’t enjoy our foodie freedom without these guys! Have you ever wanted to be a pilot or see the underbelly of a cargo plane? Now you can! Get up close and personal with aircraft, talk with pilots and crew and experience unique exhibits. On October 1-2, 2016, explore miles of entertainment, music, food, exhibits and FUN along the ramp. This thrilling, family-friendly and patriotic event has something for everyone. But, let’s be honest – you had me at “Blue Angels.”
9. Oktoberfest – Alameda – October 1st
The City of Alameda may be known for its adorable Victorian homes and bayside location, but these folks LOVE their Oktoberfest. On the first Saturday in October, come and enjoy some great beer and pretend you’re German for the day!
10. Pumpkin Festival – Half Moon Bay – October 15th – 16th
The Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival began in 1971 with the formation of the Main Street Beautification Committee. The group was formed to raise funds for the revitalization of Main Street, which was beginning to show signs of decay. With an abundance of pumpkin patches in the area, the committee organized an old-fashioned harvest-style pumpkin festival. The first festival attracted 30,000 people. The festivities will take place on October 15th – 16th, 2016.
11. Sacramento Food Truck Events – Sacramento – Calendar
Here’s the thing: food trucks are the “it” place to be. Call it a festival, call it a gathering – whatever it is, there’s one near you if you’re in Sacramento. We don’t even know what this food is, but it’s delicious, we’re sure of it!