Sponsored content by Sonoma County Farm Trails
Sonoma County’s beloved annual Gravenstein Apple Fair will be celebrating its Golden Anniversary on August 12 & 13 at Ragle Ranch Regional Park in Sebastopol, CA. This year’s 50th celebration is expected to draw 15,000 adults and children throughout the weekend. The Fair is an annual fundraising event produced by the local non-profit Sonoma County Farm Trails. All event proceeds support the goal of keeping farms forever in Sonoma County. Advanced tickets are available online and additional Fair information is available at GravensteinAppleFair.com.
Since 1973, Farm Trails and its signature event, the Gravenstein Apple Fair, have celebrated and helped preserve local farms in Sonoma County. Long known as the “sweetest little fair in Sonoma County,” the event was also named the “Best Festival in Sonoma County” for 2023 by the readers of Bohemian—the North Bay’s local source for quality news and arts coverage.
The Fair is a down-home celebration of farm life that honors the history of the Gravenstein apple and farming in the region. Guests can experience farm life through hands-on demonstrations, savor foods made by local chefs using local ingredients, sip locally made beverages, and taste all things Gravenstein, while enjoying live music from the two main stages.
“We’re excited to throw the biggest party in our 50-year history,” said Farm Trails Executive Director and Gravenstein Apple Fair Producer, Carmen Snyder. “This year we’re honoring the foresight of our founding farmers and their vision to preserve agriculture in Sonoma County. We’re also delighted to showcase the next generation of inspiring farmers and ranchers who are meeting the moment and cultivating a more resilient food system through regenerative agricultural practices.”
Some of the 2023 highlights include:
- 50-Year Celebration: Celebrate Farms Forever since 1973! This year’s Golden Anniversary will honor legacy farmers, today’s producers, and farm workers.
- Sonoma County Favorites: Many of Sonoma County’s celebrity vintners and chefs will be part of this year’s Fair Experience. Taste award-winning wines from Dutton-Goldfield, Kistler and Merry Edwards (to name just a few) or gold-medal awarded lager from Seismic (Great American Beer Festival, 2021 and World Beer Cup, 2022) or the best selection of local craft ciders in the region, including multi-year Slow Food “Snail of Approval” award-winning apple cider from Tilted Shed. Be sure to try amazing pork products from Good Food and James Beard award-winner Black Piglet.
- Live Music: Appreciate a diverse selection of 15 Bay Area bands including Poor Man’s Whiskey, Rainbow Girls, The Sam Chase and the Untraditional, SambaDá, and Royal Jelly Jive.
- Apple Alley: Find all the Fair’s wonderful Gravenstein products together in one “neighborhood” near the entrance.
- VIP Experience: Enjoy the best the Fair has to offer with the elevated VIP Experience—relax in luxury lounge tents with complimentary food and libations; mix and mingle with producers in the Artisan Tasting Alley; and take advantage of premium views of the North Coast Organic Apple Stage—all for one great price! This experience sold out in 2022.
- Food & Libations: Delight in locally produced gourmet foods, cider, wine and microbrews prepared by award-winning chefs and premium Sonoma County producers.
- Children’s Activities: Meet farm animals, participate in contests and ag activities, create art projects, chase giant bubbles and marvel at the wandering entertainers.
- Continued Commitment to Greening Initiatives: Focus on all the fun with a lot less waste. This year’s event will build on the Fair’s 2022 “Green Resolution” award from Zero Waste Sonoma for leadership in waste management (only 3 cubic yards of landfill generated by over 14,000 people!).
- Shade: Beat the August heat with the addition of shade structures where guests can cool off while touring the Fair. Bring a water bottle to fill up at Hydrologic’s multiple filtered water stations.
- Contests: The pie baking contest is back! Submit your home-baked apple pie Saturday morning (see details here at Sebastopol Chamber of Commerce) to be judged by local celebrities (Chef Preeti Mistry, Chef Leah Scurto, Master Culinary Gardener Tucker Taylor, Chef Liza Hinman, and James Beard Award-Winning Consultant and Radio Personality Clark Wolf). Participate in the inaugural costume contest Saturday afternoon: come dressed in your sparkly best … the theme is Golden Apples / Golden Anniversary! Sign up early in the Info Booth for the popular apple-themed contests for kids and adults (juggling, pie eating, caramel apple eating). Ag Games will be running all day, both days.
Thank you to Our Sponsors!
The Fair wouldn’t be possible without the support of our generous sponsors, including: Dutton Ranch, Richard Kunde and Saralee McClelland Kunde Endowment Fund, Northern California Public Media, Sonoma County Tourism, Exchange Bank, North Coast Organic, Shelter Co., American Ag Credit, Harmony Farm Supply and Nursery, Sonoma County Farm Bureau, Oliver’s Market, Golden State Cider and Seismic Brewing Co.
About Sonoma County Farm Trails
With its mission to help ensure the continuing economic viability of Sonoma County agriculture, Farm Trails was established in 1973 by local Sonoma County farmers to create community among food producers and establish a stronger connection between farmers and the public. Farm Trails continues to serve as a local resource, publishing Sonoma County’s premier agricultural Map & Guide and producing seasonal tours. Their primary annual fundraiser is the Gravenstein Apple Fair, celebrating the heirloom apple and Sonoma County’s rural traditions. Farm Trails is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization. Its sister organization, Farm Trails Foundation, is a 501(c)3 non-profit that funds scholarships for ag students and young farmers. For more information, visit www.farmtrails.org.