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Asparagus stalks from Jimenez Farms in Stockton await shoppers at the farmers market. Local asparagus is king of the annual Asparagus Festival in Stockton April 25-27, 2014. Patrons can take some home, too.

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    Where: Downtown Stockton; headquarters, 221 N. Center St., Stockton

    When: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. April 25-27

    Admission: $13 adults; $8 seniors (60 and up); $8 teens (ages 13-17); children age 12 and under admitted free.


Show your 'spear-it' at Asparagus Fest

Published: Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014 - 12:35 pm

Time to get into the “spear-it”; the Stockton Asparagus Festival is almost here.

Next week, downtown Stockton will once again embrace its favorite locally grown veggie in a celebration of all things asparagus. But this year’s fest will look a little different. After a switch in contractors, the circus-style striped tents will be replaced by more sophisticated basic white.

After some speculation that the event would move, the 2014 Asparagus Festival will be held at the same downtown waterfront location. Featuring lots of family entertainment as well as tons of asparagus, the fest will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 25 through 27. The festival grounds extend from Oak Street to Weber Avenue with downtown Stockton’s Center Street transformed into “Spear-it Lane.”

Nicknamed the “Best in the West Food Fest,” the Asparagus Festival offers a wide variety of asparagus-based cuisine. Housed in a humongous white tent, Asparagus Alley will offer such fan favorites as deep-fried asparagus and asparagus ice cream as well as asparagus pasta, asparagus burritos and asparagus-beef sandwiches.

Since its birth in 1987, the festival has raised more than $6 million for local charities. The asparagus salute attracted 104,158 patrons in 2012, but attendance slipped dramatically to 75,237 in 2013. That prompted organizers to make some tweaks to their festival recipe.

All the old favorites will be there such as “Chef of the Fest” cooking competitions and “Asparazone” carnival rides, but there also will be an expanded farmers market, zipline rides and the Skyy Dog Arena featuring extreme stunt canine shows.

For full details including maps and showtimes, click on For Dealsaver discount tickets to the festival, visit

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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