By VINCE REMBULAT
209 staff reporter
What’s in a name?
The Stockton Asparagus Festival is now the San Joaquin Asparagus Festival and Taste of the Valley Art & Food Festival has replaced the Tracy Dry Bean Festival.
Both events underwent changes a year ago yet drew enough interest and support for organizers to expect bigger and better for 2016.
Meanwhile, the twice annual Lodi Street Faire – the first is planned for May 1 and the second on Oct. 2 – remains one of the premier events in the state, attracting vendors from all over.
Here’s a look ahead:
Date: April 15-17
Location: SJC Fairgrounds, 1658 S. Airport Way, Stockton
Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Admission: Adults $10, teens / seniors 60 & older $7, children age 5 & under, free.
The skinny: Tabbed the biggest event of its kind, the San Joaquin Asparagus Festival has a little bit of something for everyone - live entertainment, health & wellness fair, craft beer & wine pavilion, recipe contest, and the Kids Zone with carnival rides, to name a few.
Let’s not forget about the food.
Asparagus dishes can be found in a centralized location on the fairgrounds.
It’s there that festival-goers will have a chance to deep fried asparagus, asparagus ice cream, asparagus lumpia, asparagus slaw, asparagus chili cheese fries, asparagus nachos and bacon-wrapped asparagus.
A variety of other food vendors will also be available.
“In the course of the 2015 festival, Asparagus Alley dished out over 10 tons of California grown asparagus – the remaining asparagus and parmesan cheese was donated to local charities,” according to the official website.
As far as proceeds, the Noceti family of Manteca gave back over $150,000 to non-profit groups and the SJC Fairgrounds.
Earth Day Festival
Date: Sunday, April 24
Location: Victory Park, North Pershing Avenue and Argonne Drive, Stockton
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The skinny: The Earth Day Festival has a long history of helping folks recognize the importance of caring for the earth and its natural resources.
Thanks to volunteers, this event provides educational programs and activities, promoting conservation and recycling.
To learn more, call 209.483.5199.
Lodi Grape Festival & Harvest Fair
Date: Sept. 15-18
Location: 413 E. Lockeford St.
Time: Thursday, Sept. 15 (4 p.m.-11 p.m.), Friday, Sept. 16 (noon to midnight), Saturday, Sept. 17 (noon to midnight), Sunday, Sept. 18 (noon to midnight).
Admission: Adults $9, children (ages 6-12) $5 / free for 5 and under.
The skinny: This annual event celebrates the grape harvest with four days of name entertainment, wine-tasting, grape murals, food and a carnival.
Lodi Street Faire
Date: Sunday, May 1 / Sunday, Oct. 2
Location: Downtown Lodi
The skinny: The Street Faire takes up 12-square block of Lodi, featuring more than 500 vendors.
Featured are everything from antiques and arts & crafts to commercial items.
Looking for a bite? The Street Faire has 25 food vendors in which to choose - hamburgers, hotdogs, sausages, pizza along with Mexican, Chinese and Filipino dishes.
Let's not forget the sweet treats and cold drinks.
Sponsored by the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce, the Street Faire also benefit local businesses such as the restaurants, winetasting rooms, and the various retailers.
Taste of the Valley
Date: September 10-11
Location: Downtown Tracy
The skinny: This is a celebration of the richness in culture, artistry and diversity of the Valley.
Unique works of art along with handmade crafts and fresh produce will again be featured here.
But for many, the Taste of the Valley is about sampling of the many foods from the best restaurants in the area.
The two-day event is also a showcase for local performers and musicians, playing at multiple venues in downtown.
A children's activity area is available for youngsters
Adults can enjoy the wine-tasting / tequila bars / brewery section.