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August 17, 2010 > Hayward Zucchini Festival

Hayward Zucchini Festival

By Fina Mora
Photos By Bill Mancebo

Lean, crunchy, and delicious; what better way to spend a weekend than eating zucchini at the annual Zucchini Festival? Sponsored by South Hayward Lions Club and going strong for a 28th year, zucchini lovers will head to Hayward to sample this unique vegetable in variations that are totally unique. Attendees can sample the green squash in pasta, quiche, breads, sandwiches, ice cream, pizza, sausage, cakes, and more. Zucchini sampling along with various fine wines and quality beers will be available in the wine/micro-brew area.

For kids, the festival will also feature "Kid's Town" with rides, games, face painting, prizes and a giant slide. In addition, "there will be bouncers, a circle swing, rock climbing, spider like haunted house and games," says Rich Essi, General Manager for the Zucchini Festival. "Kids town is geared toward kids from kindergarten through 6th grade." It is the perfect opportunity to have some fun before the school year starts up again.

The Zucchini Festival is sure to be a popular event. "We expect between 18,000-20,000 people to attend. Over the years we have had as much as 25,000" says Essi. "The idea of the Zucchini Festival is to get the local community members to come out and support the city as we have been financially strapped for years," adds Essi. "The city only gives us $1,300, but it takes over $68,000 to put on the Festival."

To entice more people to attend, prices will be discounted one dollar on Saturday in exchange for one can of non perishable food which will be given to the Hayward Salvation Army. "We try to help all the charities, and decided on one that was in real need," says Essi. "We decided to help the Salvation Army and in turn, they help the poor."

This is more than a festival serving zucchini as there will also be over 150 arts and crafts booths set up in the park. Expect to see "painting, toys, leather goods, pictures and jewelry," says Essi. "Most of the crafts are handmade, but some are commercial."

"Out of the 24 food booths, 18 booths have something with zucchini, whether it is relish, deep fried or a kabob," says Essi. The two-day festival will offer something for everyone including a variety of entertainment and music. "There will be two stages," says Essi. "One in kid's town that will hold child acts and the main stage is where local and well known artists will perform."

Entertainment: (subject to change)

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Hard Cover
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Mike Maxwell Band
1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Jet Lag
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Blues Bottle Band
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Curtis Lawson
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Joni Morris Solo

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. The Other Guyse
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Elvis
1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Blues Bottle Band
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Lava Latin Rhythms
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Bobby Escovedo
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Jet Lag

Hayward Zucchini Festival
August 21-22
10:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Kennedy Park
19501 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward
(510) 278-2079

General Admission: $5
Children, Seniors & Handicapped: $2
Children under 5: Free

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