The Grape Day Festival returns to Escondido this fall
Escondido’s century-old tradition returns this fall.
Escondido’s oldest and most famous event, the Grape Day Festival, returns Saturday, September 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The festival will take place in Grape Day Park, home to the original festivals in the heart of Escondido and next to City Hall. and the California Center for the Arts.
The festival will once again celebrate Escondido’s beginnings, when agriculture was “king” and festival-goers came from across the state to see why Escondido was hailed as a great place to grow sweet grapes and a central hub citrus and other crops. .
From 1908 to 1950, it drew thousands of Southern Californians and rivaled Pasadena’s Festival of Roses. Revived by the Escondido History Center in 1990, it continued through 2018. This year, with the pandemic closures behind us and a renewed sense of community, the History Center is once again bringing the Grape Day Festival, with an emphasis on celebrating the traditions of Escondido’s glorious past.
Robin Fox, Executive Director of the Escondido History Center, recalls, “Grape Day is Escondido’s one-day history lesson, as well as a fun time for the whole family. And it’s free.
The 2022 festival is a family-friendly event, featuring old-world entertainment from Swing Jazz to Bluegrass and other early 1900s musical acts throughout the event. Across Grape Day Park, craftsmen and artisans will show how things were done back in the day, with live demonstrations of things like spinning, weaving, ginning and grinding corn, and making butter . Children can participate in old-fashioned children’s games, make-up and twist balloons. Old agricultural and mining machinery as well as turn-of-the-century vehicles will be on display for all to see.
Take off your shoes and crush some grapes. Eat free table grapes, as they did in the original festival. Let the kids enjoy the 4-H Petting Zoo and encounter exotic animals up close. Hollandia Dairy will also be on site with a cow milking stand.
Get a taste of local flavor and head to the Wine and Beer Garden to sample the region’s finest local wines and craft beers, with participating wineries from all over San Diego. “It’s a great opportunity to sample local wines all in one place, and San Diego is where California’s first grapes were grown,” said event coordinator Samantha Nawrocki.
There will also be a food court, with tasty dishes for everyone to enjoy, from Mexican cuisine to barbecue. Also enjoy ice cream, hot popcorn, roasted peanuts, shaved ice, and cold drinks while you attend the festival. Local Native Americans, first responders and other community organizations will be there to showcase their contributions to the community.
The Grape Day Festival is produced by the Escondido History Center, in partnership with the Brothers of 6 Charities, a local organization dedicated to preserving history, honoring veterans and improving the community. Bill McNaughton, President of Brothers of 6, said, “We are thrilled to join the History Center in bringing Grape Day to life. We hope to once again make this year’s Grape Day a fun and memorable celebration of Escondido’s farming heritage.