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10 tasty summer food festivals
Photo courtesy of Gilroy Garlic Festival
Pyro-Chefs prepare Garlic Calimari at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, held July 29-31.
Two tons of garlic. 10,000 pounds of chicken. 2,000 loaves of zucchini bread. It's harvest time, and nowhere is the bounty of California's cornucopia more apparent than on a progressive dining tour of its many food-themed festivals. Have a hankering for fried green tomatoes, pear pie or... garlic ice cream? Mark your calendar and pack up the station wagon; here are 10 of our favorites among the region's annual food festivals.
Marysville Peach Festival
July 15-16 Historic downtown Marysville hosts this peach of a party, which highlights the fruit-full harvest of Yuba and Sutter county farms. Festival-goers can stock up on stone fruit from farmers like Sodaro Orchards, Urbina Farms and Tinoco Farms, and indulge in everything from peach milkshakes and peach cheesecake to peach salsa, peach barbecue burgers and peach tamales. Activities will include a hula hoop competition, a water balloon relay and a peach-pie-eating contest, as well as a Miss Peach Blossom pageant. Free. Fri. 4-10 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Downtown Marysville. 530-749-3954. marysvillepeachfest.com
July 23 The third annual Sacratomato Week (during which midtown restaurants present special tomato-centric menus) culminates with this outdoor festival at Sutter’s Fort highlighting the juicy red fruit (or vegetable, depending on your perspective). The celebration will include a salsa-making competition, live cooking demonstrations (using tomatoes, of course), a Bloody Mary bar and a “Tomato Patch,” where youngsters can get their faces painted and take photos with the midtown mascot dressed as a giant tomato. Paragary Restaurant Group’s executive chef Kurt Spataro and his wife, KFBK’s Kitty O’Neal, will take to the stage with their band Skyler’s Pool to perform indie-rock tunes. Free. 4-8 p.m. Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park. 2701 L St. exploremidtown.org