Thoughts From The Locals

My Asparagus Festival review at its new location – The County Fairgrounds

By Miguel Guillen

  • 24 April 2015
  • Author: Anonym
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My Asparagus Festival review at its new location – The County Fairgrounds

After hearing the Asparagus Festival being revived, when it was mentioned it would close after 30 years, well, I was darn right excited. The first hearings apparently would be that the festival would be managed by a different group people and to be held at the county fairgrounds, I was shocked. I was surprised since the San Joaquin County Fair was no longer operating due to low attendance and other reputations it might have received in years past.

As we made our way to the festival on Saturday, April 18 at about 1PM, traffic was heavy! As soon as we reached the fairgrounds, parking was a reasonable $5 bucks. When our car entered the fairgrounds, we were immediately directed to another lot which looked like a horseracing track. It was mentioned that the county fairground parking lot reached its maximum capacity! Whoa! The line to enter the festival was about 15 - 20 minutes.  Keep in mind, when it was in downtown Stockton there were about 4 entrances all around and no lines to enter. We only knew of two which were at the front to the fairgrounds at the time. Entrance fee was an economical $10.

As soon as we entered, we hustled our way through large crowds to find food and beer. Many were dressed in summer gear ready for festival food, entertainment and the many vendors it provided. It was tough finding the asparagus food booths since signage at the fairgrounds was not easy. In recent past, large signs were on display at major intersections at the festival which directed you to specific areas. When we found the deep-fried asparagus lines, there were about 6 lines total, all jammed packed! Many waiting to get that deep-fried dish - ASPARAGUS! We placed two orders which came up to $14 - $7 each for about 6 spears. They tasted great and provided ranch and other necessities like hot sauces at a table, all for free. We even went for Lockeford sausages, corn dogs, craft beer and other festival foods.

For pulling off their first aspara-fest in a new location, I congratulate them! There’s definitely room to grow and improve - especially parking and Asparagus Alley. The set up was confusing. I definitely will attend next year and see their new improvements. Thank you for bringing the festival back!


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