Appetizers

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Show your 'spear-it' at Asparagus Fest

04/16/2014 12:35 PM

04/16/2014 12:36 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 http://asparagusfest.com/. For Dealsaver discount tickets to the festival, visit http://sacramento.dealsaver.com/engine/Splash.aspx?contestid=30392.

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