Do you like almonds, walnuts and pistachios? Do you appreciate the local nut industry, and the local farmers who make it all happen?
Well … now is your time to celebrate!
The Merced County Nut Festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., rain or shine, at the Merced County Fairgrounds. Admission is FREE.
“There are so many things happening in Merced,” said Necola Adams, the festival founder, “and this is one of the really good things to bring Merced together. Not only as a city but a county. The one thing that unites all the cities of the county is agriculture and the nut industry. … This is the legacy that Merced can present. … This is going to be a fabulous event. I promise you within five years, we will be one of the largest festivals on the West Coast. And it will be right here in Merced.”
The goal of the Nut Festival is to celebrate Merced County’s prominent history of supplying the entire world with the best walnuts, almonds, and pistachios. California is the No. 1 producer of almonds and pistachios in the world, producing over 80 percent of the world’s almonds and around 40 percent of the world’s pistachios in 2012. Almonds, both meats and hulls, added over $821 million to Merced county’s economy in 2014. Almonds ranked second in agricultural production with nearly 100,000 producing acres. These figures make the celebration of one of California’s most important commodities, nuts, a must.
So far, several local bands are set to perform at the Nut Festival, including Merced’s own G Street Revolution. A cooking demonstration will be presented by local Chef Rob Matsuo. Enter your best recipes in the “Bake Off!” There will be prizes for Best Sweet and Best Savory Nut entries. There will also be industry education demonstrations to educate visitors about how nuts are grown, harvested and processed by Merced County farmers.
Organizers plan fun activities for all ages. Features include a zip line, rock climbing, a kids art corner, face painting and more. And, of course, local food and product vendors will be on hand.
Local vendors, businesses, and artists have been invited to participate. If you are interested in having a booth at this festival, call (209) 761-8279, or email: [email protected] These spaces are limited and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.