Agriculture

Foodies & Families: Get Ready to Eat, Drink and Dance at the San Benito Olive Festival

The Fourth Annual San Benito Olive Festival will take place on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the San Benito County Historical Park in Tres Pinos.
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Celebrating local harvest and culinary delights, the Fourth Annual San Benito Olive Festival will take place on Saturday, Oct.14 at the San Benito County Historical Park. The park was once a working ranch, located just eight miles south of downtown Hollister in Tres Pinos. 

This one day fresh culinary event will delight visitors with samples offered by award-winning olive growers, world-class vintners and craft brewers. Festivalgoers can catch up with friends and family as they eat, drink, stroll through the Historical Village and enjoy a wide variety of entertaining activities, such as cooking demonstrations, hands on crafts, live bands and cultural dance performances.

Renowned olive oil producers as MoonShadow Grove, Trabia Farms, Oils of Paicines, Brigantino Olive Oil, Big Paw Olive Oil Company and Papa Joe's Spicy Products will serve their recent harvest and creations. Olive lovers will be able to sidle up to the olive bar inside an old-time saloon in the village. More culinary delights will include organic tapas presented by the Farmhouse Café, Mediterranean cuisine by Mr. Falafel, gourmet cheeses (chocolate, toffee and bacon, for example) by Tres Bien Creamery, pesto pasta and garlic chicken by Hog Tie Catering and fresh juice and fruit kabobs by Gaspachos.

In the VIP Tasting Grove, guests will be able to savor fine wine and craft beers, while meeting and chatting with Calera Wine Company, DeRose Winery, Bonny Doon Vineyard, Kori Wines, Fortino Winery, Morgan Winery, Grillin' and Chillin' Alehouse, Anchor Brewing Company, 18th Barrel Tasting Room and other selected wineries and craft breweries. Tastings will include rosé, chardonnay, pinot noir, pale ale, IPA and other tempting samples.

On the cooking demonstration stage, professional chefs will engage foodies with their unique olive and olive oil inspired recipes. Among the featured chefs are Executive Chef Jeff Walker of San Juan Oaks Golf Club in Hollister and Chef Carlos Pineda of the Culinary Academy and Kneaded Bakery in Gilroy, who was the Garlic Showdown winner at this year's Gilroy Garlic Festival. The highly respected International Culinary Center, formerly known as The French Culinary Institute, which alumni include Chef Bobby Flay and Chef Antonia Lofaso, will be represented with a surprise chef from its Campbell campus.

Admission to the gourmet celebration includes Botanical Family Fun (BFF), a program of agriculturally themed interactive activities, in which festivalgoers can delight in by themselves, or with friends and family. They will be able to create olive wreaths with Bea and Malia Chang, have fun rock painting with ARTI-Culture, make a fall flower bouquet with Judy Hess of the Gilroy Demonstration Garden and take part in Paint and Plant with The Garden Mart, to name a few of the creative projects.

Visitors will be able to indulge in early holiday shopping at this gourmet celebration. Among the variety of endearing artisanal products will be bohemian chic jewelry by L. Vanderhurst Designs, handcrafted goat milk soaps and lotions by Bell Hill Farm, Italian ceramics and Venetian masks from Gioia Italian Art and Products and one-of-a-kind flower sculptures created with re-purposed materials by Yard Art from the Heart. In addition, there will be a General Store where the Gilroy Demonstration Garden will sell lavender, wreaths and seasonal produce.

For a scenic overview of the county park, Jim Ostdick, who hiked across America earlier this year, will give a walk and geology talk. It will be just over a mile long including a gentle climb up the trail behind the historic village to a view overlooking the park and the rolling foothills of the Diablo Range. Ostdick will lead participants back down and through the historic village to Tres Pinos Creek.

Live entertainment will begin with the Star Spangled Banner sung by young Joe Fata, who turned the judges' heads in La Voz Kids 2015. Lively musicians such as Mr. O's Jazz Band, Absurdum and Midnight Sun will surely have the olive crowd moving and dancing. Also performing will be Mariachi Juvenil Alma de Mexico, young musicians who perform Mexican folklore and modern music, and Calpulli Itzpapalotl Danza Azteca, a pre-Columbian Aztec dance group. The popular DJ Sergio will be the festival’s master of ceremony and spin master throughout the day.

Tickets for the San Benito Olive Festival are available in Hollister at Postal Graphics, 1760 Airline Highway, and San Benito Bene, 615-B San Benito Street, as well as online at Eventbrite–San Benito Olive Festival. For more information, visit www.SanBenitoOliveFestival.com or www.facebook.com/sanbenitoolivefestival, or call 831-537-7270, or email team@sanbenitoolivefestival.com.

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