Date & Time:
Friday, November 16, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Gold Country Fairgrounds
1273 High Street
Auburn, CA 95604
19th Annual Mountain Mandarin Festival
the Start of Holiday Harvest
When autumn days in the Placer County foothills are warm and the nights are cold, mandarin orange growers anxiously await the first blush of color on their fruit. Just before Thanksgiving, samples are eagerly tasted for sweetness and then long hours are spent hand-snipping each stem to bring in the first crop of the season for the Mountain Mandarin Festival.
The sweet and tangy citrus scent of Mandarin oranges permeates the crisp November air during the three-day Mountain Mandarin Festival held at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, California. The Sierra Foothills, long-known for the discovery of gold in California, are also known for their golden treasure, the Mandarin orange. The Festival, to be held November 16-18, celebrates the start of their harvest. The Mountain Mandarin Festival attracts 25,000 to 30,000 visitors who savor the juicy fruit, which is available only late November through January. Most growers offer the seedless Owari Satsuma variety, often called the zipper fruit because it is so easy to peel.
2012 is expected to be a bountiful harvest and a dozen or more Placer County growers will bring thousands of familiar, 10-pound, orange-mesh bags of the fruit, ready for travel home to friends and family. Mandarins should be plentiful, however it's a good idea to get your bags early and then enjoy the festival. Food vendors serve up mandarin infused drinks, salads, grilled meats, ice-creams, glazed nuts, chocolate-dipped mandarins, fudge, marinades and syrups. Many of the growers offer home made treats and gift baskets. Quality hand-crafted items are also for sale just in time for holiday giving and home trimming at more than 150 booths.
Cooking demonstrations throughout the festival, with Mandarins as an ingredient, will feature regionally known chefs, while the popular Mandarin Recipe Contest on Sunday attracts amateur cooks who bring their prepared dish to be judged. Day-long activities include free crafts and contests for children in the Mini Mandarin Grove, live music and dance on the Mandarin Main Stage, and a Thanksgiving centerpiece contest on Sunday. A newly published cookbook will be available featuring festival favorites, growers own family recipes, and dishes developed by professional chefs.
Mandarin Festival Media Contact:
(916) 663-3723 ph
(916) 663-2932 fax