Life is good when you can spend your Friday evening at an Avocado Festival. Seriously. Last night, the HOTY, Finally Five and I headed to the charming town of Carpinteria to partake in the 25th Anniversary Avocado celebration.
The idea of the California Avocado Festival began in 1986 at a meeting of community leaders.
Why Avocados, I wondered. Well, because Santa Barbara County is the third largest avocado producer in North America, with Carpinteria being a major contributor. Betcha didn’t know that!
Oddly (to a girl from the Midwest), the festival has evolved into one of the largest in California with three days of fabulous food, terrific music, and family fun right in the heart of downtown Carpenteria.
According to the festival website (yes there is an entire website dedicated to this festival!), the California avocado is a native American plant with a long, distinguished history. Today, the most popular variety is the Hass. The mother tree of all Hass avocados was born in a backyard in La Habra Heights, California.
Today, California is the leading producer of domestic avocados and home to about 90% of the nation’s crop. Most California avocados are harvested on 60,000 acres between San Luis Obispo and the Mexican border, by about 6,800 growers. San Diego County, which produces 60% of all California avocados, is the acknowledged avocado capital of the nation.
More interesting tidbits: California avocados are grown year-round. A single California avocado tree can produce up to 200 pounds of fresh fruit each year, approximately 500 pieces, although most average around 60 pounds or 150 pieces of fruit (which is a really, really good thing because Finally Five LOVES avocados!).
Speaking of Finally Five, she and the HOTY busted some serious moves to “Rock Lobster” in one of the music tents.
I think that Finally Five’s adoration of street festivals has officially been instilled in her genes. The HOTY and I love everything about street festivals: the music, the tents, the food, the people watching. A street festival, in our opinion, never disappoints.
It was SO HARD to pass on a funnel cake (a/k/a fried dough); however after my face plant in the Toffee Bark this week, I knew that my body would shut DOWN in a big way if I jumped off the vegan train again! So, all I could do is drool (& snap a photo).
Watching the HOTY and Finally Five dancing and then pigging out on junk food gave me so much joy. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel an immense amount of gratitude for each experience. I have to say that this appreciation for the little things is a great and wonderful Silver Lining of my FBC experience.
Life is a festival only to the wise.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson