With the nickname “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital,” it’s only appropriate that Sacramento celebrates the bounty sourced from 1.4 million acres of surrounding farmland with September’s Farm-to-Fork Festival, a free-admission food event that is like a farmers market, county fair, music festival, and beer festival all rolled into one.
Filling several blocks of downtown’s Capitol Mall and spilling onto side streets, the late-summer foodie festival isn’t focused on a single fruit or vegetable. Instead, it honors the full range of foods grown or produced in California’s heartland (source of more than 300 individual crops, by the way). More than 80,000 people flock to the epic spread each year to sample locally sourced olive oil, cheese, fresh produce, and wine. Graze your way through a varied selection of food trucks and visit vendors representing many of the Sacramento region’s 40-plus breweries to wash it all down.
Though food and drink are the heart of the event, those offerings only scratch the surface. Watch cooking demonstrations by area chefs, or discover how to use seasonal ingredients in artisanal cocktails. There are interactive agricultural exhibits from farms and ranches, and a Kids Zone with family activities. Live musical acts performing country, indie rock, and other genres of music hit the stage nearly every hour (all concerts at the festival are free).
The festival is part of the larger two-week Farm-to-Fork Celebration that takes place throughout September and kicks off with a tractor parade and concludes with a truly amazing gala dinner served atop Sacramento’s iconic Tower Bridge.