August 16, 2011 > Zucchini Festival
By Isabella Ohlmeyer
Parents are always telling children to eat their vegetables; well, now they have a whole festival to help them! Zucchini is a green, summer squash that can be grown at home and fixed in a variety of ways, a fact clearly proven at Hayward's Zucchini Festival.
A sensational event for family and friends since 1983, the Zucchini Festival returns for the twenty-ninth year at Kennedy Park. With 20,000-30,000 attendees each year, the festival is preparing for another enormous turnout.
The year of the first festival and the Hayward location was a significant part of why the festival occurred in the first place according to the festival's website, considering that 1983 was a "low economic period in the nation and in Hayward." It was the consensus of former Hayward mayor Alex Guiliani and the Hayward community that "there was a need to bolster spirits of the people, provide a source of revenue for community groups, create a sense of pride and sport of cooperation in the community, and most importantly, find something fun, different and exciting to do right here in our own backyard." While looking at other city events and considering possibilities, it was discovered that many people in Hayward had gardens and grew zucchini... and so the festival was born.
From 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. guests can enjoy a sample of zucchini in pasta, bread, quiche, sandwiches, ice cream, pizza, sausages, and cakes. This two-day event also includes a kids' town with rides, over 150 arts and crafts booths, and live music entertainment announced by Councilman Olden Henson from the main stage.
Original bass guitar player for Paul Revere and the Raiders, Phil "Fang" Volk, and R&B singer from the Pointer Sisters, Bonnie Pointer, will perform for the first time at the festival, entertaining the audience with their powerful voices. Volk will be performing both days, while Pointer will appear only on Sunday.
Kids' town is popular every year at the festival, offering face painting, a Ferris wheel, giant slide, and much more.
Foothill Locksmith, South Hayward Lyons Club, and Red Arrow Printing are just a few of over fifty sponsors of the popular summer event.
General admission $6; children, seniors, and handicapped $3; and children under five get in free. On opening day, August 20, attendees may bring in a can of non-perishable food to donate to the Hayward Salvation Army in exchange for a $1 discount per ticket. If you already have plans for the weekend, individuals can still contribute tax deductible donations of $25 or more and have their names be included on the sponsor list for next year's festival. Proceeds from admission, food, beverage, and souvenir purchases go directly to local charities and non-profit organizations.
For more information on how to donate, become a selling or non-selling vendor at the festival or a price list on souvenirs at the festival, visit http://haywardzucchini.org/.
Hayward Zucchini Festival
Saturday and Sunday, August 20 and 21
10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
1951 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward
Tickets: $3 - $6
Saturday, August 20
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Reincarnated Revival
11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Willie G
1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. - Blues Bottle Band
2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Elvis
3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. - Bobby Escovedo
4:45 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Phil "Fang" Volk
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. - Curtis Lawson
Sunday, August 21
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. - Blind to Reason
11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Blue Hand Band
1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. - En Vivo
2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Lava Latin Rhythms
3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. - Phil "Fang" Volk
4:45 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Bonnie Pointer
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. - Jet Lag