For nearly 50 years the west Stanislaus County community of Patterson, also known as the Apricot Capital of the World, has embraced that title and has thrown a three-day street festival celebrating the apricot every year. This June, Patterson will host its 46th annual Patterson Apricot Fiesta in the downtown area. June 3, 4 and 5 thousands of festival goers will gather in the streets for the annual extravaganza.
The weekend event kicks off on Friday evening with the crowning of the new Little Mister and Miss Apricot, along with the selection of Miss Patterson. Friday’s festivities run from 5 p.m. to 11p.m.
Perhaps the most anticipated day of the event is Saturday. Like most multi-day events, Saturday draws the largest attendance. In the past, the day began with a hot air balloon show and rides, however, the long tradition came to a close. At 10 a.m., though, downtown Patterson will be packed with spectators for the annual parade that goes through the downtown circle. Other featured entertainment during the fiesta includes live bands, student and adult arts and craft show, craft and commercial street faire, arm wrestling contest, firefighters challenge at the Patterson Fire Department, and the North Park hosts the kids games and teen zone.
“Saturday is my favorite day of the fiesta. It is an opportunity for me and my family to get out and enjoy the great weather and reconnect with friends that I have not seen in a long time,” said Patterson resident Dave Guerrero.
Nothing says street faire like deep fried food, barbecue, frozen treats and other tempting cuisine treats. Follow your nose to the north part of Plaza Park where you will find the Patterson Lions Club barbecue, as they fire up ribs and other grilled items. Deep fried food is all the rage and the Patterson Apricot Fiesta will have you covered. Numerous booths will carry deep fried items such as Oreos, bananas and even ice cream. Over the years the sun has shown down on fiesta goers, and along with several drink vendors, soda, water and beer, there are smoothie and sno-cone vendors to help quench your thirst as well as cooling you off on a hot early summer day.
The night comes to a close with a fantastic fireworks show, starting at dusk that can be seen for miles away in the Patterson night sky.
On Sunday the fiesta comes to a close but still has a lot to offer guests. Breakfast in the North Park kicks the day off bright and early beginning at 7 a.m. Like Saturday, the large street faire that covers nearly 10 blocks continues on Sunday. Both the North and South Parks will be full of delicious beverages and foods along with fun for the kids. Sunday’s feature of the day comes in the early afternoon with the annual Apricot Pie Eating Contest at Circle Stage.IF YOU'RE GOING
What: Patterson Apricot Fiesta
When: June 3, 4 and 5
Where: Center Circle Plaza in Downtown Patterson, to get to downtown Patterson take I-5 South to Del Puerto Canyon Road in Stanislaus County (Exit 434), then take Sperry Avenue to Park Center Drive.