Sacramento Farm-to-Fork Celebration Draws Thousands

 

The 2014 Farm-to-Fork Celebration in Sacramento, America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, is in the books, and it was an even bigger success than last year.

Festivities kicked off Sept. 12 with a tractor parade down Capitol Mall, showcasing a wide range of farming machines from as early as the 1920s to today’s technologically advanced tractors.

Tractor Parade kicks off farm-to-fork Celebration in Sacramento, America's Farm-to-Fork Capital

All told, nearly 40 tractors paraded down Capitol Mall and crossed Sacramento’s iconic Tower Bridge in front of a crowd of about 1,500 onlookers.

Once the tractor parade got the celebration rolling, local restaurants hosted a multitude of events during the Farm-to-Fork Restaurant Weeks. Sacramentans and visitors to California’s capital had their pick of events at restaurants featuring farm-fresh meals. The restaurant celebration was a great way to check out how farm-to-fork eating can be an everyday habit year-round in Sacramento.

A week after the tractor parade, the Farm-to-Fork Legends of Wine event at the Capitol brought 800 people to sample some of the region’s best wines, cheeses, bread and gelato. Wines were selected by two Sacramento culinary powerhouses, Darrell Corti, who was described by Saveur Magazine as being the man who knows more about food and wine than anyone else in the world, and David Berkley, who is credited with creating the White House wine list.

The weather was perfect as attendees fanned out to sample multiple wines from each of the 35 local wineries in front of the west steps of the State Capitol. Market lights strung across the open space, locally sourced flowers and the presence of many of the winemakers themselves combined with music from a baby grand piano in front of the Capitol itself to create a one-of-a-kind ambiance.

Farm-to-Fork Festival in Sacramento, America's Farm-to-Fork Capital

More than 35,000 people attended the second annual Farm-to-Fork Festival on Capitol Mall Sept. 27, which was free and is the largest farm-to-fork event of the year.

The fun-filled day celebrated all things local, from chef demonstrations and live music to a farmers market, free samples of local foods and local beers and wines for sale.

Chef Demonstration at Farm-to-Fork Festival in Sacramento, America's Farm-to-Fork Capital

Festivalgoers found a lot more to experience at the event than just sampling a few bites of local food. The wide variety of vendors and exhibits were educational and fun, including an agricultural science trailer with microscopes, education on how to cook for a King be the chef for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and many other exhibits celebrating both small boutique farms and the larger grocery stores that all contribute to Sacramento’s vibrant culinary scene.

Capping off the festivities was the second annual Farm-to-Fork Gala Dinner on Tower Bridge. Tickets for the dinner sold out in less than five minutes, bringing 740 guests to an unforgettable dinner on Tower Bridge, which links Sacramento and Yolo counties.

Tower Bridge Gala Dinner Farm-to-Fork Celebration in Sacramento

The dinner was a collaboration of dozens of local restaurants, wineries, breweries, farms, ranches and other purveyors led by Chef Jason Poole of Dawson’s in the Hyatt Regency and Chef Brian Mizner of Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co. Dinner culminated on the riverfront promenade in Sacramento in front of the Embassy Suites with dessert prepared by local culinary artists.

Desserts after Tower Bridge Gala Dinner in Sacramento, America's Farm-to-Fork Capital

The Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau team is already working on next year’s events, but there are farm-to-fork happenings year-round in Sacramento. Looking for something to do? Check the listing of farm-to-fork events.