The Main Event
From a free Festival for more than 30,000 hungry fans, to dinner for 800 on the Tower Bridge, America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital is known for hosting world-class events that showcase the best of the region’s food and agriculture. While many enjoy these festivities, few know the people who make the events come to life. The team of Sacramento natives that specializes in bringing us the farm-to-fork experience are Event Managers Carolyn Blucher and Sidney Scheideman of the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Dig In: Hi, ladies! Let’s start with your background – can you tell us a bit about how you came to be at the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau?
Carolyn: I was born and raised in Sacramento and graduated from St. Francis High School and University of California, Davis. While at UCD, I worked for the Sacramento Sports Commission. After leaving Davis, I toured through eleven countries in Europe for a month and worked as a nanny before taking a position as the Alumni Coordinator at St. Francis in January of 2013.
Sidney: I’m also from Sacramento and attended Christian Brothers High School. I lived in Oregon after high school and graduated from the University of Oregon in May of 2011.
Dig In: What drew you to the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau?
Sidney: I came to the SCVB on an informational interview and ended up getting a position (Editor’s Note – Sidney began her career at the SCVB in 2012 serving as the communications and public affairs coordinator). Before coming here, I had no idea that the Visitors Bureau existed. After sitting down with then Sr. Vice President, Mike Testa, I learned that the Visitors Bureau had several different departments, but all working towards the common goal of promoting Sacramento. I was immediately intrigued by this and was thrilled when I received my first position.
Carolyn: What attracted me was the diversity of events that the SCVB puts on (Editor’s Note – Carolyn joined the SCVB as the events coordinator in May 2013). I had attended Grape Escape many times and knew about New Year’s Eve and several others.
Dig In: We know you put on several events throughout the year, but what do you like about working on farm-to-fork projects, specifically?
Carolyn: Growing up, my family always had a garden, and my Dad always started the vegetables by seed in our green house, so having farm-to-fork become a part of my job is really special. Watching the farm-to-fork program and our events grow and evolve has been really interesting.
Sidney: The diversity of the people we get to work with is really what stands out. The chefs and the farmers, they’re all really neat people, and working with them is what got me excited about farm-to-fork and working in events. Living a healthy lifestyle was always part of me; we had our own garden at the Waldorf School I attended from K-8th grade, so this has always been a part of who I am.
Dig In: What do you think sets the SCVB’s farm-to-fork events apart from all of the other events happening in the community?
Sidney: We really try to tell the entire story of what the farm-to-fork movement means. We don’t just focus on one facet of the movement, we work hard to have representations from all sorts of people and things that are part of the movement. We don’t just tell the story of the local food grown in our region. We dig deeper and show what local food can do for our community, our schools, and our livelihood. We’re always trying to showcase the whole lifestyle associated with farm-to-fork.
Carolyn: We make it a point to include everyone, well beyond Sacramento. We showcase all seven counties and really highlight all of what both our region and California have to offer. When looking at the events we offer, we go above and beyond what no other city has accomplished. The Tower Bridge Dinner has become the hottest ticket in town, and one of the most unique events this city has ever seen.
Look forward to hearing more from Carolyn and Sidney as they plan the 2015 Farm-to-Fork Celebration, that promises to be the best yet! If you’d like to be a part of this year’s festivities, please email them at [email protected] and [email protected].