For more than 40 years the Linden community has been celebrating their agricultural roots with the Linden Cherry Festival. After a temporary pause because of the pandemic, the Linden-Peters Chamber of Commerce is once again ready to celebrate their beloved fruit and this year’s theme in Unmask the Sweetness.
“We thought it was an appropriate them after the last two years,” said Vic Solari, the Chamber president.
The Linden Cherry Festival will be held on May 21 and will incorporate a day full of activities, including a parade, contests, games, carnival rides, live music, performances, a car show, and of course lots of cherries in all kinds of forms. Admission is free.
“It’s a great family-friendly day of fun,” Solari said.
Linden’s roots with cherries goes back to the late 1800s, when the town’s early farmers started to switch from fields of wheat to row crops of vegetables and fruit and nut trees, with walnuts and cherries accounting for the most acreage.
The festival’s origin goes back to the Linden Future Farmers Community Day Fair, according to the Linden Historical Society’s research. It was primarily a school activity until the town started thinking about turning it into a community-wide event. The Linden-Peters Chamber of Commerce got involved and in 1973 the newly named Linden Cherry Festival was held.
Some of the traditions born back in the early days continue with the current festival, including the naming of the Cherry Queen, a cherry bake-off and a cherry pie eating contest.
The festival also remains a key supporter of the FFA. The student organization hosts a cow plop contest, which Solari described is a game of chance based on what square a cow decides to do its “business” in.
“It may not sound pretty, but it’s a lot of fun,” Solari said.
There will be performances from the Linden High School cheer squad, the show choir and a demonstration from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department K9 unit.
The festival kicks off at 10 a.m. with a parade that winds along Front Street and ends at the festival grounds at 18100 Front Street.
“The cherry festival has been a long-standing tradition in Linden and we’re excited to welcome everyone back to it this year,” Solari said.
For more information about the festival visit lindenchamber.net.