Central California to hold pomegranate celebration - The Packer

Central California to hold pomegranate celebration

10/12/2011 05:13:00 PM
Don Schrack

The pomegranate, a fruit that has garnered headlines in recent years for its health benefits, is to be honored with its own festival.

The week-long first Madera Pomegranate Celebration & Festival is scheduled Oct. 29-Nov. 5, said Debi Bray, president and chief executive officer of the Madera District Chamber of Commerce, Madera.

Madera County is in the heart of California’s San Joaquin Valley — stretching from the valley floor east into the Sierra Nevada Mountains and includes Yosemite National Park.

To lure tourists to the valley floor, the chamber created in 2010 a tourism alliance committee, which gave birth to the pomegranate festival, Bray said.

“We’ve been very pleasantly pleased with the number of sponsors who’ve come aboard,” she said.

Sponsors include two Madera-based pomegranate grower-shippers, Stellar Distributing Inc. and Stiebs, Bray said.

The timing is perfect for the Madera County pomegranate deal, said Casey Hollnagel, salesman at Stellar Distributing.

“Because we’re at the northern end of the growing region, we’re kind of the last game in town,” he said. “The cooler nights towards the latter part of deal give us good color and good size.”

November is the peak pomegranate harvest period for Stellar, Hollnagel said.

Starting with a five kilometer run Oct. 29, events are scheduled daily through Nov. 5 at the Appellation California Wine Tasting & Visitors Center, Madera.

A National Pomegranate Recipe contest is under way with prizes for best recipe by a home cook, best recipe by a food professional and best pomegranate beverage/cocktail.

Contest details and entry forms are available at www.stiebs.com/contest.html.

Though 2011 will be the inaugural Madera Pomegranate Celebration & Festival, the word is apparently spreading through its website, www.pomegranatefestival.com.

“We already have participants coming from San Diego up to the Bay Area,” Bray said.

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Lisa Wright    
Arkansas  |  October, 25, 2011 at 03:37 PM

Are CA pomegranates GMO? (Genetically Modified) It is a shame that a lot of our foods are GMO. The health concerns are numerous! There are online petitions that can be signed to label the foods that are GMO for those of you who are interested. Google or Bing it. We NEED to know just what we are buying and deserve to have a choice. Eventually GMO's will most likely be world wide. What does this say for our children? Health problems. Medical cost will sky rocket but I wonder if this is in part of the reasoning behind it although they say it is to prevent world hunger. Pharmaceutical companies will profit. You get the picture. Back to my question. Are CA pomegrnates GMO?

Chris Koger    
Lenexa, Kan.  |  October, 26, 2011 at 07:48 AM

Lisa, I've never heard of a GMO pomegranate. Chris Koger News Editor

January, 09, 2014 at 10:39 PM

Lisa, not world-wide. UK, Europe, Japan, several or all countries in Africa? much of the world will not touch GMO foods.

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