Story and Photos by Elmer Martinez
MARYSVILLE, CA (MPG) – The Marysville Peach Festival is an annual event that takes over D Street in downtown Marysville in July. Local peach farms, food vendors, artisans, and businesses line up on both sides of the street, filling every cranny with their wares and delicious food. The Marysville Peach Festival began as a small street event in 1999, but has grown to become known throughout the state, catering to approximately 30,000 people in the region and all over California. This year, the festival also boasted a 5K Run/Walk, a FFA fundraising breakfast, a children’s carnival area, a local singing competition, and live music.
There are so many things happening at the Peach Festival that it can be overwhelming at times. It is easy to get lost looking through endless tables of produce, novelty items, and artisanal crafts. Between the peach-themed burgers, pizza, desserts, and drinks, it can be easy to fill up before even experiencing the rest of the festival’s offerings. Local restaurants offered special menu items for the event. AJ’s Burgers had a BBQ peach burger; The Candy Box had chocolate-covered peaches, ice cream, soda, floats, and shakes; and The Brick Coffeehouse Café offered cobbler, smoothies, and tea.
Though there are many vendors that are part of the summer festival circuit, this year many local businesses had booths up and running showing off their goods and services. Paul Collier of Start Tomorrow Screen Printing just announced his new business days before the festival. “I was really lucky that the festival let me set up on such short notice,” Collier said. “I now have a really good chance to promote my new business.”
To some residents the festival is a source of pride in that local farmers get to promote their homegrown product that consumers can appreciate. Davis resident Rachel Ulanowski was at the event on Saturday searching for the best produce the festival had to offer. “I’ve lived in the Yuba-Sutter area most of my life and I always look forward to the Peach Festival having really good-tasting peaches and fruits in general,” she said. Ulanowski was just one of the hundreds of people looking for the area’s best peaches. “I’m happy that our area has a lot of pride in what we produce, and it’s really nice that a lot of people feel that way.”
Proving that the festival has something for everyone, live music and festivities extended into the evening. One notable event was an amateur singing competition called “Mid Valley’s Got Talent.” Longtime local favorites Tijuana Taxi took the stage around 8 p.m., rounding out the festival with some entertainment for those who might be more inclined to take a short walk to The Wood Butcher or Casa Carlos for a well-deserved peach margarita after a day in the hot sun.
It takes a workforce of volunteers and effective leadership to run such a big event. “My position here at the Peach Festival is the volunteer coordinator,” said Carmen Smith, one of the event’s well-known leaders. “I’ve been doing this for at least eight years—for most of my adult life. We have volunteers from Beale Air Force base, Marysville High School, and the community at large who look forward to volunteering every year.” Smith is one of the many community members that make sure everything goes smoothly for the festival, leading to a fun and welcoming environment that attendants want to come back to enjoy year after year. With all of the activities and delicious smells, it is easy to forget that the Peach Festival is truly a celebration of a community that is proud of its labor.