SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Farm-to-Fork Festival events like the Tower Bridge Dinner, Street Festival and Legends of the Wine that were scheduled for September have been canceled due to the coronavirus with plans for the full series to resume next year, Visit Sacramento announced on Thursday.
The organization said it will work to ensure that the food and agricultural community in the Fark-to-Fork Capital will still be supported and recognized although proceeds from these events will be absent due to the pandemic.
“With everything going on with COVID and with the advice from county health and other health officials it was the right decision to make, though very tough,” Visit Sacramento President and CEO Mike Testa said.
Testa says the Farm-to-Fork festival brings in about 155,000 people every year, and it would be too difficult to maintain proper social distancing with a crowd that big.
“Certainly, it’s disappointing on our end too, we had a really cool event program this year we had some great bands coming in that we hadn’t announced yet the goal is just to push that to 2021,” Testa said.
Visit Sacramento said part of the Tower Bridge Dinner proceeds helps fund scholarships for CAMP students at Sacramento State, whose parents are migrant farmworkers, but instead, Farm-to-Fork Festival sponsor Bank of America will cover this year’s scholarships.
“We know this is a disappointment not just for the attendees, but the farmers, chefs, restaurateurs and many other vendors and hospitality workers who take part in the festival every year. We look forward to coming back together to celebrate Sacramento as America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital in 2021,” Testa said.
In the meantime, Testa says just because the week-long event in the fall has been postponed, Sacramento is Farm-to-Fork year-round. And you can still support your local restaurants.
“We encourage people to do the curbside dining, pick up something to go if you normally eat out on a Saturday night, still go eat out on a Saturday night, just bring it back home,” Testa said.
The organization said there are plans to collaborate with local restaurants to create an alternative way for diners to experience farm-to-fork cuisine during September. Visit Sacramento said more details on this will come later.
“These things aren’t canceled, they’re paused — we’ll get back to this, we’ll get back to celebrating Sacramento and being with our friends and family in this community we encourage folks, don’t give up hope. Better times are ahead, and we’ll get there,” Testa said.
The Farm-to-Fork Festival was started by Visit Sacramento in 2013 and has grown to draw in thousands of visitors each year.