A Look Back – the 2016 Farm-to-Fork Festival

Festival_2015By Melanie Noel Light

If you’ve ever been to a mobile food truck event, you know that people in Sacramento love their food. If you’ve been to any of the annual (and free) Farm-to-Fork Festivals on Capitol Mall… well, you know that people in Sacramento love their food.

‘Who knew, really?!,’ I think to myself, being native to the area.  I never really saw this coming. And yet, it does seem perfectly fitting that we embrace our roots (both literal and figurative) as an agricultural area.

No. Agricultural powerhouse is probably more like it.

Early risers as we are, my husband and I hit the 2016 Farm-to-Fork Festival while the morning sun was still tucked behind a blue-mirrored skyscraper. As did a lot of other people hoping for farm-fresh samples, food truck bites, sustainability stuff, a scavenger hunt, raffles, coupons, free goodies, and an easy-breezy outdoor festival atmosphere.

The pre-noon crowd – many of whom had rolled up on bicycles or Lightrail train – enjoyed remnants of a morning breeze that spiraled up from the Old Sacramento waterfront. The area called ‘Capitol Mall Greens’ made for a spacious space in which to stroll the event people-watching or visiting with local merchants, winemakers, craft beer-makers and farm-fresh-food vendors. The “green” part – a grassy thread between the two pavement walkways (usually streets) – made for a great area with tables, chairs and shade structures, as well as a soft landing upon which the wee ones could safely romp.

A large cooking demonstration area toward the State Capitol – also aptly covered to shield from afternoon sun – was erected for local chefs and eager onlookers. To the west, wine and beer gardens, and a concert area for live music (with The Wallflowers headlining and local musicians in tow).

While it was not my first time at this ‘ravenous rodeo’, the 4th annual Farm-to-Fork Festival certainly showed signs of growth and fullness, dispensing an “Eat, Drink and Be Merry Here” message while embracing the kind of ‘local love’ vibes that really flourish when all the right elements come together.

What’s more important than fresh, nutrient-rich food and supporting local farmers in our community?! Lucky for us, there’s also a LOT of fun to be had in the process.