Sixth Annual Blossom Festival Takes Place
March 24 in Saratoga
Highlights of the upcoming Blossom Festival include a presentation by Anne-Marie Sayers on “Ohlone Territory;” original poem by Bill Peck son of Historian Willys Peck; and the sounds of rock and roll with Old School Rock N Roll band.
The festival will have a wide range of things to see and do including over 100 crafts and local organizations, antique cars, history, and live music taking place at the blossoming Saratoga Heritage Orchard and Civic Center at 13777 Fruitvale Avenue in Saratoga. The event is produced by the Saratoga Historical Foundation and sponsored by the City of Saratoga. The free event also includes free parking at parking lot 4 at West Valley College.
The SASCC (Saratoga Area Senior Center) will be conducting a tasty pancake breakfast for just $5.00 from 8:30- 11:30 AM and is within walking distance of the event at 19655 Allendale Avenue.
Anne-Marie Sayers, Tribal Chairwoman of Indian Canyon will give a presentation in the Warner Hutton house from 12-2 on Ohlone Territory. The popular speaker is known for actively working to revitalize the Ohlone culture. Ann Marie Sayers used the Indian Allotment Act of 1887 to reclaim land that had been in her family for at least 3600 years. She now resides on the same site as her great grand-father and his grandmother and her grandmothers in Indian Canyon located in Hollister.
Other interesting events include a book signing by Saratogan Tim Stanley of his new book, “the Peopling of Silicon Valley” which covers the transition period from the agriculture of the Valley of Hearts Delight to high tech when the valley became known as Silicon Valley.
Poet and Educator Bill Peck, son of the late historian Willys Peck, will read an original poem about the Blossom Festival to open the event. The Saratoga Taiko Drums will follow with their crisp performance under the direction of Aki Okuno.
A wide range of children’s activities including a petting zoo, storytime with Saratoga librarians at the Warner Hutton house, face painting and many free craft activities including origami, flower plate making and friendship bracelets by Girl Scout troop 6099. The Sunnyvale Rotary will sponsor the EZ Child ID program to prevent identity theft for the first time at the festival.
Music for all Tastes
Come sit and listen to a variety of music. The Saratoga Skillet Likkers provides country and western flavor music, followed by the memorable songs of the Old School Rock n Roll band. The jazz tunes of Toot Sweet will get everyone on their feet dancing. Other music includes Karen Fedor and Lovin’ Ukes from the Saratoga Senior Center Ukulele class, No Direction led by Tina Liddie, members of the Spirit of Sunnyvale Community jazz band, and the Celtic Harmony band.
Chuck Schoppe has organized a variety of cars and old time motors for the festival. The Santa Clara Valley Model A Ford Club and the Santa Clara Valley Model T Ford Club will showcase their shiny cars. The Early Days Gas Engine and Tractor Association will also provide an assortment of old time engines and farm equipment.
Talented Art and Craft people
Local artisans will be selling original art, lavender sachet and soap, hand crafted pillows and blankets, blown glass, wood turned bowls, cards, jewelry and more. Members of several award winning art organizations will be showcasing their work.
Organizations from Birds to Plants to Clean Environment
Want to learn more about the land—stop by the booths of Midpeninsula Regional Open Space, the Audubon Society and the UC Master Gardeners and the UC Master Composters who will be on hand to answer questions. Environmental issues can be addressed by the Consumer and Environmental Protection and Household Hazardous Waste Programs of Santa Clara Valley, West Valley Clean Air, Our City Forest, Silicon Valley Clean Energy, South Bay Clean Creek Coalition and West Valley Collection and Recycling.
Interested in Joining a Club or Volunteering?
See the American Association of University Women, Saratoga Foothill Club, Friends of the Library, Daughters of the American Revolution, Saratoga Rotary, Hakone Estate and Garden, Organization of Chinese American University Women, Saratoga Toastmasters or the Saratoga History Museum. All offer interesting programs and areas to volunteer.
City Organizations on Display
The City of Saratoga will offer brochures covering offerings of the parks and recreation department as well as other information about the city. The Heritage Preservation Commission will have literature and information on heritage homes and trees. The Youth Commission will offer face painting.
Learn About Local History
Learn about local history by meeting the 20 costumed historical figures walking around. Laurel Perusa has organized 20 costumed historical figures for you to ask questions or have your photo taken with. Take the orchard walk or stop by the Warner Hutton house and see aerial photos of Saratoga. You will also find a selection of local history books to purchase or and can see old films of the 1920s of the area from 2-4 PM. The San Lorenzo museum and eClampus Vitus organizations will also be on hand to answer questions about local history. Lisa Newman will also be promoting her cookbook on apricots.
The Santa Clara Fire Department will also be in attendance and include the Saratoga 1926 fire engine.
Gourmet Food Trucks for Varied Tastes
Asian Fusion and Hawaiian food will be offered by Three Brothers food trucks, try Capelo’s Barbecue, and sample Cookies n Cream food trucks.
History of the Festival
The Blossom Festival was first produced in Saratoga in 1900. The event was produced after several years of drought ended and a good crop was predicted. Sunshine Williams, the originator of the event, invited people from around the area to come to Saratoga to see the blossoming orchards and to enjoy the hospitality of Saratoga. Thousands attended the popular event which grew to include governors giving key note speeches, the Vice President being invited, ballet companies performing and the San Francisco Symphony. The event was so successful it was held each year until World War II.
For more information, go up to www.saratogahistory.com or call 408-867-4311.