Capay Valley's Almond Festival history is covered extensively in many Journal volumes published to date. Basically, it all started about 100 years ago in 1915, when the locals decided they needed a way to celebrate their extensive Almond history during the September harvest. Later, they changed the celebration to February and March depending on the weather--to attract visitors to enjoy the blossoms. At various times the Festival was suspended--such as during WWII--but in 1964 the local chamber of commerce started it up again!
Esparto Regional Chamber of Commerce (ERCC) --the local chamber's official name today--began as a district chamber among many within Yolo County. Having promoted the “annual” Almond Festival to draw attention to the Capay Valley and its agriculture, ERCC today sees itself as representative of the whole “region,” not just the largest town of Esparto. In that way, it tries to embrace the whole “greater Capay Valley region”--and sees the annual Almond Festival as one perfect way to do so.
Festivities begin in the town of Esparto the last Sunday of February, but everyone is encouraged to take the traditional and beautiful drive up to the valley towns of Capay, Brooks, Guinda and Rumsey, stopping to enjoy the music, food, crafts, and entertainment all along the way!
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