by Stacey Kuhns
Something For Everyone!
The Harvest Festival comes to our wonderful city in October every year. If you have not been and love gourmet food as well as arts and crafts, it is well worth seeing.
It used to be twice yearly but I did not see any mention of it earlier in the year so maybe they are down to just a Fall show now. It is held at the Del Mar fairgrounds (or should I say the San Diego fairgrounds?)
Parking is $10 and the entrance fee is $9 for adults. If you get on their mailing list, you will be sent a coupon for $2 off tickets plus a free shopping bag. A bargain! If you love shopping at these kinds of festivals, you may want to bring a pull along shopping cart as the bag can get very heavy when carrying around your purchases. (You can check for dates and times, as well as where the festival is appearing in other cities on harvestfestival.com).
There is a free tram service from the parking lot to the ticket booths.
The festival is held in two of the buildings. There is a food court outside, but not near as extensive as the San Diego Fair offerings. Two of us had the artichoke sandwiches from Roxy, (he is also at the fair every year), which comes with salad and my other friend had a bratwurst.
There are hundreds, maybe thousands of items available. Many compare the festival to Costco, as all of the vendors selling gourmet food items (soups, fudge, dips, olive oils, desserts, etc) give out samples!!! Saturday seems to be the most crowded and it is more difficult to get near the vendors tables (especially if they are giving out samples).
Something to note: the items are not cheap by any means. However, there are toys, jewelry, holiday items, pet items, artwork, health items, lotions, and many, many more things to check out. All the booths take credit cards and there is an ATM machine available if you need one.
Here is some of my loot from the festival.
My favorite thing, that I get every year, are the gourmet apples. This one was a toffee bits with chocolate apple that I split (they are gigantic and impossible to finish on your own).
Another favorite is the flavored pastas.
I would not recommend this festival for small children as it is a lot of walking, lots of people, and lots of breakable items; although they had hired a magician who was entertaining families outside near the food court.
This is a great place to find unusual holiday gifts or other items. Most all the vendors have websites and offer mail order service.
Mark it on your calendar for next October and check it out. My friend and I have been going every year for probably over 10 years and we love it.