By Michele E. Buttelman
California’s food festivals are back! Last year many food festivals returned to operation, but some were scaled back events and other festivals relocated. In 2023 food festivals are returning in all their tasty glory across the state. Don’t miss the Santa Clarita Valley food fests, Taste of the Town on May 7 and SCV Veg Fest on June 3.
37th San Joaquin Asparagus Festival
April 14-16 Noon – 7 p.m.
San Joaquin County Fairgrounds,
1658 S. Airport Way,
Stockton, CA 95206
The San Joaquin Asparagus Festival is a family-friendly festival that offers chef demos, Asparagus Alley including deep fried asparagus, asparagus ice cream and other asparagus inspired dishes, Midway of Fun carnival, Monster Truck rides, live music and more.
Tickets on sale now online: $15 adult 18-64; $10 child 6-17, seniors and military with ID.
Fallbrook Avocado Festival
April 23 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
E. Alvarado Street and S. Main Avenue
Fallbrook, CA 92028
Charming setting in historic downtown Fallbrook, 350 booths, covered beer gardens with live bands, guacamole and costume contests, avocado everything, local artisans on the Artisan Walk, free parking, free shuttles, two food courts, Farmer’s Market with local produce and natives, avocado trees for sale, avocado education. Free.
Sacramento Grilled Cheese Festival
2115 6th St.,
Vendors from all over northern California and the surrounding area will be showcasing their talents with both standard and non-traditional grilled cheese recipes.
Saturday, April 29: Unlimited Grilled Cheese, Beer and Wine Tasting. Tickets $75 to $95. Adult 21+ only event. Advance ticket purchase required. Visit website for details.
Sunday, April 30: All ages festival tickets $8-$10. Purchase in advance on website.
34th Taste of the Town
May 7 2 p.m.-5 p.m.
15142 Sierra Highway,
Santa Clarita, CA 91390.
Enjoy unlimited samples from Santa Clarita’s finest restaurants, caterers, beer and wine purveyors. KTLA Channel 5 will be covering Taste of the Town live and KTLA Morning News Anchor Chris Schauble will serve as Taste of the Town emcee. The event benefits Child & Family Center and will feature a live band and an online silent auction.
VIP tickets are $150 per person and includes seat at a reserved umbrella table, from 1-5 p.m. (one-hour early access) and preferred parking.
General tickets are $95 per person 2-5 p.m.
Gator By the Bay
Spanish Landing Park,
3900 N Harbor Drive,
San Diego, CA 92101
The Zydeco Blues and Crawfish Festival celebrates with a fantastic lineup of music, Taste of Louisiana cooking demos, 10,000 lbs. of crawfish and many other food delights in the French Quarter Food Court, as well as fun family activities. More than 85 performances on seven stages. Ticket prices vary visit https://gatorbythebay.com/festival-tickets.
California Nut Festival
May 13 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Patrick Ranch Museum,
Chico, CA 95928
Sample and savor nut-inspired dishes by local restaurants, caterers and chefs, local wine, beers, coffees and juices. Chef demos, live music on two stages, art, vendors.
Tickets: General admission $35 online in advance (or $40 the day of the event); $15 children ages 7-12 are $15, children under 6 are free.
Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras Festival
May 27-28 Saturday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Morgan Hill Downtown Amphitheater,
17000 Monterey Highway,
Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Family fun festival. Enjoy food at more than 35 gourmet food booths in two food courts. Visit food vendors showcasing mushroom dishes from stuffed, sautéed, sandwiched, deep fried and grilled. Learn the health benefits and how mushrooms are grown in the Mushroom Expo. Learn the secrets and taste the flavors of local and regional chefs on the Chef Demonstration Stage. Amateur cooking contest and more than 300 booths including the “Artists Area” for handcrafted arts & crafts, commercial vendors and more. Live music on two stages, wines and microbrews, beer and wine gardens throughout the festival. Kids fun, games and rides in Munchkinland including strolling musicians and street performers. Tickets: adults $10, children under 16, military and first responders with ID are free.
Second Annual California Garlic Festival
Aug. 5-6 Noon – 7 p.m.
San Joaquin County Fairgrounds.
1658 S. Airport Way,
Stockton, CA 95206
With the unhappy news that the Gilroy Garlic Festival has been cancelled indefinitely (and replaced by a golf tournament) the Noceti Group, Inc., a family-owned business that offers family fun entertainment across California, has stepped up to offer garlic-lovers the new California Garlic Festival in Stockton.
Garlic Alley will feature dishes such as garlic fries, garlic pesto pasta, garlic mushroom and onion bread bowls and maple brown sugar garlic ice cream.
Admission will be available at the gate the day at the event: $15 adult, (ages 18-64); $10 child (6-17); seniors 65+ & military w/ID are free, children 5 and under are free. Parking: $10 cash.