Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Fun Day at the First San Benito Olive Festival

The first ever San Benito Olive Festival has come and gone. Did you have a chance to stop by?

It was quite a beautiful and magical day. Hundreds and hundreds of folks came from all over. Not only from throughout San Benito County, but also from the San Francisco Bay Area, Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo county, Sacramento, and other parts of the state. I heard that a few festival patrons were from New Zealand and Puerto Rico. Whoo-hooo! 

The Paicines Ranch was the perfect setting for the first San Benito Olive Festival. The old hippie in me just wanted to take off my shoes and run barefoot through the lawn and dance with the little joyful kids as they bounced and jumped and ran with the great sounds of Mr. O's Jazz Band, The Retrospect Band, David Huboi and The Architecturals, and Workhouse Poets.

Everywhere you looked, people were having fun sampling locally produced olive oils and wines, chocolates, fruit preserves, and other artisanal products by Brigantino Olio de Oliva, La Piedad Tortilla Factory, Jayse Wines, Marich Confectionary, Pietra Santa Winery, Calera Wine, San Benito Tea Company, Sharobed Grove, Casa de Fruta Winery, B&R Farms, Guerra Vineyards and Groves, Oils of Paicines, and many more.

Folks were also check out lovely, creative products from such merchants as M&M Plant Sales, Gioia Italian Art and Products, San Benito Bene, McAbee Feed, and Off the Chain Bikes.

And, the food, oooooh. I noticed quite a few people chomping happily into  tri-tip sandwiches by Vanguard Catering and the Philly cheese steak sandwiches by Philly Cheesesteak from Stockton. Myself, I ate a caprese panini sandwich from Grillin' and Chillin, while the Husband had a caprese salad made by Running Rooster. Ah, but the most delightful aroma came from Soul Sweets which offered fruit cobblers. The Husband continues to drool over the memory of consuming a blueberry cobbler with a big scoop of ice cream.

Yes, indeed!  To the tune of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, one, two, three: It was a beautiful day for a festival. A beautiful day for a festival. Hope you all had funnnn.

What did you like the most at the San Benito Olive Festival?

For more photos, check out these Facebook Albums. You don't need to be on Facebook or have a Facebook account to access them.
I'm looking forward to next year's San Benito Olive Festival. How about you?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

First Annual San Benito Olive Festival

Click here to go to the San Benito Olive Festival website

Agriculture has been the largest industry in San Benito County since. . .forever. In 2012, the industry grossed over $297 million, according to the San Benito County Agricultural Commissioner. That's definitely a big WOW! This includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, livestock, poultry, honey, whole grains, and nursery stock. It's only befitting that come October 19, 2013, we will be celebrating the abundant bounty of our land with the first annual San Benito Olive Festival.

It will be one humdinger of a gourmet celebration. Here's just a few of the olive oil producers, wineries, food artisans, restaurants, and merchants who will be participating: Brigantinto Olio de Oliva, Sons of Sicily, Oils of Paicines, Pietra Santa, Guerra Vineyards and Groves, Casa de Fruta, Marich Chocolates, San Benito Tea Company, Running Rooster, Paine's Restaurant, Grillin & Chillin, M&M Plant Sales, Soul Sweets, San Benito Bene, and McAbee Feed.

Food demonstrations will be given by foodie legend Dorothy McNett and the chef team of Gene Sakahara and Sam Bozzo (aka SakaBozzo). Other food demonstrators will be Chef Maurizio Cutrignelli of Maurizio’s Restaurant in Morgan Hill and Chef Matt Woolston of Supper Club/ Matteo’s in Sacramento.

Mr. O's Jazz Band, David Huboi and The Architecturals, RetroSpect, and Workhouse Poets will be some of the bands playing throughout the day. Other live entertainment will be offered as well.

Click here to go to the
San Benito Olive Festival website
Have I teased you too much with the what? Good. Then, you're ready for the when? where? how much?  and why?

When: October 19, 2013, 11 am to 5 pm

Where: Paicines Ranch, 13388 Airline Highway, Paicines 95043, about 12 miles south of Hollister  (Did you know that Judy Garland and Sid Luft got married at this working, historic ranch in 1952?)

How much: General admission tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children. VIP admission is $30, which includes access to the wine tasting.

You can purchase tickets online at Eventbrite.com. Tickets are also available at the door.

Why: The San Benito Olive Festival (SBOF) is a not-for-profit organization. Its mission is to  promote awareness and appreciation of the region's world-class culinary agriculture and premier artisans and to help support community causes with festival proceeds.

Program Schedule
The Music 
11 AM to 12 PM -- Mr. O's Jazz Band
12:30 to 1:30 PM -- Retrospect
2:00 to 3:00 PM  -- David Huboi and the Architecturals
3:30 to 4:30 PM -- Workhouse Poets
The Olive and Cooking Demonstrations
11:30 to 12:15 -- Don Landis, The Olive Guy
12:30 to 1:15 -- SakaBozzo, chef duo featured at the Gilroy Garlic Festival
1:30 to 2:15 -- Matt Woolston, chef/owner of Matteo's Pizza and Bistro and Supper Club in Sacramento area
2:30 to 3:15 -- Dorothy McNett, Central Coast Foodie, Chef and Instructor of the Cooking Club in Pacific Grove
3:30 to 4:30 -- Maurizio Cutrignelli, chef/owner of Maurizio`s Italian Restaurant in Morgan Hill

For more information about the first annual San Benito Olive Festival, visit www.sanbenitoolivefestival.com or its Facebook page.

Hope to see you there!

Disclosure: Just so you, dear readers, know, I'm volunteering on the SBOF's marketing committee. Hello, FCC: No money or free products were given me to write about the upcoming gourmet celebration.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

San Benito County from the Bus

This year the Husband and I took the San Benito County Express's free shuttle to the San Benito County Fair. It was the best way to travel. The only stress for us was making sure we got down to the bus stop in time. We could've driven and parked next to the stop, but the whole idea was to experience getting from here to there and back by just walking and riding the bus.

The final assessment: We would do it again. The bus was clean, comfortable, and safe. Every seat had a seat belt. The drivers were friendly and courteous. The fair had someone on board to sell us our tickets. Convenient, yes? And, the shuttle stop at the fairgrounds was precisely in front of the Pavilion. Hello, no hiking a fair distance from the car over uneven ground. A very nice plus for young old fogeys like the Husband and me.

We got on at Veterans Park, the first stop, so that we could see the sights on the shuttle's full loop around Hollister. To see the photos I took from the shuttle, head over to the album Riding the Free Shuttle to the County Fair at Take 25 to Hollister's Facebook page. You don't need to be signed on or even be a Facebook member to access this link.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Saturday, October 12th Happenings in San Benito County

How often have you heard -- or said it yourself -- there's nothing to do around here?

Ha! Can't say that tomorrow, Saturday, October 12. You can pick and choose of things to do, even at this late date.

24th Annual Red Ribbon Run
Feel like taking part in a run?  Since 1989, San Benito County Behavioral Health has hosted a 5K Run/Walk and 10K Run to bring awareness to the problem, as well as prevention, of alcohol and drug abuse. The races start and ends in San Juan Bautista. You can still register to enter on Saturday. The event hours are 7 AM to 12 PM. For more information, including the maps of the runs, click here.

Open House  at Luck Park
From 9 AM to 2 PM, the San Juan Bautista Historical Society Luck Museum and the Carl M. Luck Memorial Library Auxiliary will be hosting an open house at Luck Park in San Juan Bautista. The event will showcase projects of San Juan Bautista organizations and nonprofits. A BBQ lunch will be available. Funds raised from the BBQ will be used for renovations of Luck Park. For more information, click here.

Women's Center Open House
Hazel Hawkins Hospital invites the community to visit the newly built Women's Center on Saturday, from 10 AM to 1 PM, at 911 Sunset Drive in Hollister. Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the facility and meet obstetrical staff, as well as take advantage of free health screenings and participate in giveaways and other activities. For more info, read this article at BenitoLink.com.  

Northern California Renaissance Faire
This will be the last weekend of the Renaissance Faire at Casa de Fruta. Hours of the festival on both Saturday and Sunday are 10 AM to 6 PM. Head over to the Renaissance Faire's website for all the details you may want to know.  


Relay for Life Pumpkin Patch
The Casillas Garner Family and Friends Team are holding their annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life on both Saturday and Sunday (10/13), from 10 AM to 7 PM,  at the old Ferry Morse Ranch on Highway 156. People can purchase pumpkins, fresh produce, baked goods, and a barbecue lunch. For more details, click here.

Swank Farms Corn Maze, Pumpkin Patch, and Haunted House Event
Every year Swank Farms creates a new elaborate and crazed corn maze for folks to make their way through. They also have a pumpkin patch, a kiddie corral, pedal go carts, and other fun activities for young and old. They're open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM through October. And, this Saturday night, from 6 PM to midnight, their haunted event called Terror in the Corn, Alien Invasion will be open for the brave of heart. To get all the details, click here.

Downtown Wine & Beer Stroll 
Taking place in historical downtown Hollister from 1 to 5 PM tomorrow afternoon will be a wine and beer stroll hosted by the Hollister Downtown Association. The event will provide an opportunity to learn about both downtown merchants and local wineries and breweries. Stroll participants will visit businesses and restaurants to taste samples of wines and beer. For more details, check out this Hollister Downtown Association web page.

BenitoLink.com Launch Party
BenitoLink.com is a free online resource for local news and information. Tomorrow evening, the nonprofit group will hold a launch party to formally introduce its website to the community. The party will be from 5 to 7 PM at  the Blak Sage Gallery, 727 San Benito Street. There will be live music and complimentary food and drinks. For more information, click here.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Another Great County Fair!

Who else went to the San Benito County Fair this past weekend? The Husband and I had lots of fun. Hope you all did, too.

There's nothing like wandering about the grounds. . .watching people. . . picking up free stuff. . .walking around the livestock. . .seeing the 4-H and FAA kids in their crisp uniforms. . .eating Silva hot link sandwiches. . .checking out the  entries. . .being amazed at the clever entrants' interpretations of themes. . .wishing we could eat the ribbon-winning cookies and cakes on display. . .bumping into friends. . .learning about new things around our county. . .hearing ribbon winners squeal in delight. . . and much, much more.

A huge round of applause to Kelly Ferreira, the manager of the San Benito County Fairgrounds, to his dedicated staff, and to the many volunteers for putting together another wonderful county fair for us. Thank you very much!

Would you like to see more photos of the 2013 San Benito County Fair? You're welcome to view my Facebook album by clicking here.  You won't need to sign on or even have a Facebook account to view it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The 2013 San Benito County Fair

Whooo-hooo! It's the San Benito County Fair this weekend -- Friday, October 4 through Sunday, October 6. Are you excited, too? For information about this year's hours, ticket prices, and schedule, head over to the County Fair's website.

This year, the County Express will be offering a free shuttle to the fair. It drops off passengers near the Pavilion. That's rather convenient. Just think, no hiking a distance over uneven lawn. For the County Fair shuttle schedule, click here.

What do you like best about the fair? Me? I like it all.  To see some of my favorite things, check out the 2012 San Benito County Fair album at Facebook. (You don't need to have a Facebook account, or even be signed on, to view the album.)



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