Thanks to the Michelin Guide, the world is beginning to recognize how special Sacramento’s local food scene really is. The last half of September is your chance to revel in the Sacramento region’s tradition with farm-to-fork fun for families and adults alike.
True to its agricultural roots, Sacramento’s annual, admission-free Farm-to-Fork Street Festival continues to grow in its seventh year. The anticipated crowd of over 100,000 attendees can look forward to bigger names coming to the Bank of America Music Stage and more bites (and sips) of the region’s harvest on Capitol Mall.
Friday’s opening night festivities give attendees an opportunity to indulge in local farm-to-fork flavors with some of the Sacramento region’s best wines, craft beer, bites, and bands. This first night of fun offers a taste of what’s to come as the region’s largest fresh-food party continues Saturday with more than a mile of vendors that will fully transform Capitol Mall into an urban farmscape.
Interactive exhibits, a petting zoo, and a kids’ zone ensure fun for all ages alongside more live music and cooking demonstrations on multiple stages. And, of course, an abundance of the region’s freshest food, wine, and beer will be the main draw.
When: Friday (Sept. 27) 4 pm-9pm & Saturday (Sept. 28) 11am-6pm
Where: Capitol Mall between Third and Eighth streets
A Few “Not-to-be-Missed” Recommendations:
Opening Night: Start your weekend with Sacramento’s biggest farm-to-fork party on Friday night. This admission-free event will exclusively pour wines of Clarksburg Wine Country alongside craft beer and cocktails, and some locally-sourced tunes will make this night into the perfect drink paring as ZZ Ward, Barns Courtney, and me&you take the Bank of America Music Stage.
The Street Festival Music Lineup: Saturday’s street festival soundtrack begins with Paradise singer Nate Smith at 12:30pm followed by Samantha Fish at 2pm. Headliner and inspiration for Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real hit the stage at 4:30pm to close out this full day of farm-to-fork festivities.
Interactive Cooking Fun: Multiple stages throughout the Farm-to-Fork Street Festival will feature a variety of cooking demonstrations, competitions, and discussions:
- The UC Davis Health Stage will offer a diverse selection of panels and events throughout the day, including the Sous Chef Challenge at 1pm, which will highlight the region’s up-and-coming talent in the restaurant industry as they go head-to-head in creating a unique, improvised dish.
- Make your next trip to the grocery store extra bountiful after attending Fresh-to-Market Beef 101 at noon on the Nugget Markets Stage.
- Sacramento County will bring a four-legged friend to the Norcal Acura Dealers Stage at 11am giving you the opportunity to meet Taz, Sac County’s newest pest detection dog who will perform his specialty live!
Getting There: If you are going by car, there is plenty of street parking and/or parking lots and garages within a few blocks of Capitol Mall surrounding the festival footprint including downtown, Old Sacramento Waterfront, and even West Sacramento. You can use the City of Sacramento’s SacPark system to pre-reserve your parking space in city garages near the event. Just be prepared for slow traffic coming off I-5 and J Street.
If you’re biking, the American River Parkway is convenient from the north or from the east. A free bike valet will be on Eighth Street & Capitol Mall on Saturday.
On Saturday, Sacramento Regional Transit will be offering free rides to the festival on both bus and light rail. Check FarmtoFork.com for more information.
All Aboard! The Farm-to-Fork Cocktail Train
For the full farm-to-fork experience, be sure to grab tickets to the California State Railroad Museum’s Farm-To-Fork Cocktail Train. Travel along the picturesque Sacramento River in beautifully restored luxury train cars while enjoying a wine and food paring courtesy of Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand winner Frank Fats.
When: Friday (Sept. 27) 6pm & Saturday (Sept. 28) 6pm
Where: California State Railroad Museum
Be sure to follow the Visit Sacramento Podcast for insider knowledge on Sacramento’s Farm-to-Fork scene and upcoming events.
Header photo credit: Eli Margetich