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Cactus focus of Sunday festival
Thousands expected at Ceres Flea Market venue event on Sunday
Cactus is considered a filler food that is used predominantly in Mexico and Latin America and will be the focus of Sundays Festival de Nopal at the Ceres Flea Market. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

The Latino Community Roundtable will be sponsoring the second annual Cactus Festival (Festival de Nopal) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept 7 at the Ceres Flea Market.
Last year's free event drew 4,000 people, said LCR officials.

This year's event, which is co-sponsored by the city of Ceres, will include live music, food using cactus, and arts and crafts vendors. There will be a recipe contest, which is free to enter and a queen contest during the festival.

Tony Madrigal, a member of the LCR and a member of the Modesto City Council, said cactus is a "filler food" in Latin countries and used often with scrambled eggs and chorizo for breakfast. He likened the taste of cactus to asparagus and said it has been widely reported to counteract with diabetes.

"For anyone that grew up eating cactus, the festival will bring back memories of their childhood," said Madrigal. "Cactus is a good old-fashioned comfort food for many who know Mexican cuisine."

Festival goers can expect to find fried cactus, a barbecue booth with a cactus relish, and prickly pear jam.

"With Stockton shutting down its Asparagus Festival, this will probably be the only food festival up and down the Valley," Maggie Mejia told the Ceres City Council earlier this year when she asked for city sponsorship.