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Renae C. Byer /

Blooming almond trees form the backdrop for Sunday’s Capay Valley Almond Festival, which joins five towns on Highway 16 in day-long celebration of this major crop.

It’s blossom — and almond festival — time

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 - 5:01 pm

This food festival focuses on the beginning of a crop, not the harvest. But anyone who’s wandered the backroads of almond country knows that this is blossom season and a beautiful time to visit local orchards.

Sunday, Capay Valley goes a little nutty as it celebrates its star crop — almonds. Dating back to 1915, the annual Capay Valley Almond Festival joins together five towns on the “almond blossom trail” in a day-long culinary tour.

From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., special events will be held in Esparto, Capay, Brooks, Guinda and Rumsey. Connected by a 21-mile stretch of Highway 16, the towns each will offer almond-related events and festivities including food (of course), arts and crafts, music, dancing and more. Patrons may download a “passport” online and get it stamped at specific sites along the trail. Completed passports may be entered in a contest to win a farm-fresh dinner for two.

Festival headquarters are in Esparto at that town’s community park (on Highway 16) and coordinated by the Esparto Chamber of Commerce. Almonds and other nuts will be offered for sale. But there also will be olive oil tasting, an almond bake-off, vintage car show, family activities, book sale and many local craftspeople. Admission to most festival events are free.

For a complete schedule, click on or call (530) 787-3242.

Call The Bee’s Debbie Arrington, (916) 321-1075. Follow her on Twitter @debarrington.

Read more articles by Debbie Arrington

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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Note: The Appetizers blog switched blog platforms in August 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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