Free, family fun can be found in Hughson this weekend at the annual Fruit and Nut Festival — a beloved tradition in the town which celebrates the area’s rich agriculture industry.
Originally established in 1988 to raise funds for the town’s community center, the Hughson Fruit and Nut Festival features scores of food, arts, crafts and commercial vendor booths along Hughson Avenue all weekend long. For a brief few years the event was renamed the Hughson Harvest Festival, but returned to its former title in 2015.
“The festival is a much-loved and long-standing tradition that plays an important role in the Hughson community,” Hughson Chamber of Commerce Acting President Ramon Bawanan said. “Thanks to the Festival, the Chamber donates thousands of dollars every year to support community programs, including the Hughson Senior Community Center maintenance program, the senior lunch program, scholarships for local students and the Hughson Arboretum. Chamber of Commerce donations to community program in 2018 totaled over $15,000.”
The festival features live entertainment on two stages, which will be provided this year by acts like California Outlaws, Johnny Rocket and the Thrust and Big Earl’s Poorhouse Millionaires. A barrel room featuring beer and cider will be open both days, and, of course, free fruit and nut samples will be available in the event’s Taste of Central Valley Ag area. Visitors are also invited to tour the Hughson Historical Museum.
For children, the festival offers a huge Kidz Zone, Hughson 4-H petting zoo, pony rides, a kiddie tractor pull, face painting, games and even a free, make-your-own ice cream booth that the whole family can enjoy.
Sunday will feature a Pancake Breakfast by the Hughson Oilers Youth Football and Cheer, a Downtown Mile Fun Run (sign up at runsignup.com) and a Classic Car Show with entertainment by Rob Ely as Elvis.
This year’s festival honors Col. (Ret.) John and June Rogers for their generous and longstanding support of the Hughson Community and the American Legion Scranton and Qualle Post 872, which is celebrating the centennial of the American Legion organization.
The festival’s Premier Sponsors are John and June Rogers, and VIP Sponsors are Grower Direct Nut Company, Ron Martella Farms and Samaritan Village.
The Hughson Fruit and Nut Festival will take place beginning at 10 a.m. on April 27 and 28. A schedule of events and more information is available at HughsonChamber.org.