Annual Chicken Festival Something to Crow About

Submitted by Mary Cattolica  |  2019-09-11

FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - At the Village of Fair Oaks, it’s time to start clucking, crowing and scratching the “Feed Court” floor for some grub at the 14th Annual Fair Oaks Chicken Festival on Saturday, September 21st.

You can join some 12,000 other villagers by attending the Fair Oaks Recreation & Park District presented festival and visiting an eclectic variety of craft vendors including painting, photography, glassworks, jewelry, woodcarvings, candles, lotions, clothing, and much more.

The main stage will be featuring live bands throughout the day (Jax Hammer, FBI, & Mullet Mechanix). The Fair Oaks Chicken Festival also features a kid’s park with kid friendly performances, games, and activities for the entire family!

The Fair Oaks Rotary Club will be providing Craft-Brew Tasting represented by local breweries in the Northern California Region. Over 10 different food vendors will be offering a wide range of food in our “Feed Court” sponsored by SactoMoFo.

The Fair Oaks Host Lions Club will host the 6th annual Cluck n’ Crow contest (chicken impersonating with a grand prize of $100!) and the Fair Oaks Recreation & Park District is happy to once again host the GREAT Chicken contest (wooden chicken decorating).

Brand new this year is a Pop-Up Paint class that will take place in Plaza Park, where participants will learn to paint their very own chicken.  Pre-registration for the class is required. Also don’t forget our Pancake Breakfast Saturday morning, presented by the Fair Oaks/Orangevale Grange #354. 

Admission & Parking are free from 10 am to 5 pm at the Village of Fair Oaks, 7003 Park Drive, Fair Oaks, CA 95628

For more information visit www.forpd.org

PHOENIX, AZ (MPG) - The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation announced $3 million in donations to nonprofit organizations that specialize in nutrition education and fresh food access. Funds include Neighborhood Grants that support grassroots children’s nutrition education programs, as well as large, multi-year Impact Grants designed to help partners increase organizational capacity and scale programs.

“Each year, our network of nonprofit partners continues to grow and our work in local communities continues to deepen,” said Lyndsey Waugh, Executive Director of the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation. “As a result, children and their families have greater exposure to nutrition education and hands-on cooking and gardening programs in their schools and community centers, and urban farms are increasing access to fresh, nutritious produce in food desert communities.”

This year, Sprouts will award 118 Neighborhood Grants totaling $725,000 to nonprofit organizations across the U.S. Recipients of these grants, ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, including programs in Sprouts’ new markets in Louisiana, New Jersey, and Virginia.

To culminate the nonprofit support, Sprouts and the Foundation will host the second annual Day of Service on Saturday, November 9 when hundreds of team members will participate in 40 volunteer events from coast to coast.

“Central to Sprouts’ identity is giving back to the communities we operate in, and the Day of Service gives team members the opportunity to engage with the organizations the Foundation supports firsthand,” said Waugh.

Day of Service volunteer events with 2019 grant recipients will include Soil Born Farms Urban Agriculture and Education Project (Sacramento, Calif.) – During the Day of Service activity, Sprouts team members will be on-site at an elementary school to install raised garden beds, plant and beautify the school garden. Soil Born Farms Urban Agriculture and Education Project empowers youth and adults to discover and participate in a local food system that encourages healthy living, nurtures the environment and grows a sustainable community.

Created in 2015, the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation focuses on empowering individuals, especially children, to live healthier lives by supporting programs that teach nutrition education and increase access to fresh, nutritious food. In five years, the Foundation, together with Sprouts’ vendors and customers, has donated over $10 million to more than 300 nonprofit partners. Sprouts covers 100 percent of the Foundation’s operational expenses, ensuring that every dollar raised is used to support their nonprofit partner agencies. To learn more, visit sprouts.com/foundation.

Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc., one of the fastest-growing retailers in the country, has made healthy living accessible to shoppers for nearly two decades by offering affordable, fresh, natural and organic products. True to its farmers market heritage, Sprouts is known for pioneering its unique grocery model by offering a welcoming store layout featuring fresh produce at the center of the store, an expansive bulk foods section, and a vitamin department focused on overall wellness. Sprouts also offers a unique assortment of healthier products with special attributes, such as plant-based, gluten-free, keto-friendly, and grass-fed, to meet the growing and diverse needs of today’s consumer. Headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., Sprouts employs more than 30,000 team members and operates approximately 340 stores in 22 states from coast to coast. Visit about.sprouts.com for more information. 

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Sunrise Waffle Celebrates Grand Opening

MPG Staff  |  2019-08-15

Michael Munareh cuts the ribbon to celebrate his grand opening. Photo by Paul Scholl

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) – Owner Michael Muhareh, along with his family, friends and restaurant staff recently celebrated their grand opening and move to their new location at 10433 Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova.

Sunrise Waffle has been a part of the community for many years and the move to the new home was long in the planning. “Thank you to everyone for coming today. We have had great support from the city and the community. We are so grateful to be in Rancho Cordova, said Michael.

Attending were member of the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce and city staff. Mayor Bob McGarvey presented a special proclamation. The restaurant treated everyone to waffle and breakfast samples. Best of Luck Michael!

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The California State Fair ended its 2019 season with strong food, beverage and, amusement ride sales which is thanks in-part to an all-new food Festival Pass. The pass allowed Fair attendees to pick four items from over 30 different offerings ranging from mouth-watering appetizers, one-of-a-kind entrees, and to-die-for desserts from 30 food vendors at a low price of $28. Food sales from the Food Festival Pass generated roughly $380,000 in revenue alone.

“The Food Festival pass was popular every single day of the Fair,” says Wille Madaus, owner of Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls, whose Bacon & Pecan Cinnamon Roll won Best of Show in the Food Festival Competition. “We had our highest grossing Saturday ever and are up more than 20% this year.”

Barbecue sales, always a Fairgoer favorite, hit an all-time high with $1.3 million in gross sales while new, fresh food options such as the Fair’s first vegan stand, Frik’n Vegan, had a very successful debut. The food vendor has already confirmed plans to return to the fairgrounds next year. Non-profit organization Friends of the California State Fair program sold over 7,585 pounds of fruit during the California State Fair Farm.

“Food has a powerful way of bringing people together” said General Manager and CEO of Cal Expo & State Fair Rick Pickering. “We are grateful for the opportunity to provide a common place for Fairgoers of all backgrounds to come together and celebrate our state’s rich history, diverse cultures and some long-standing and new traditions that make California great.”

Overall, the total for food and beverage sales was $8.5 million this year, bringing local sales tax revenue to the city, county, and state over just 17 days of the Fair.

Butler Amusements, the CA State Fair vendor responsible for the amusement rides, also reported its highest weekend in history with sales of over $500,000 on Saturday, July 20 and more than $400,000 in sales for rides on Sunday, July 21, making it a $1,000,000 ride weekend. More than 100,000 people rode the monorail and Skyride, taking in views of the entire fairgrounds and the surrounding areas from high above.

The California State Fair closed out its 2019 season — where innovation was a major theme — with an exciting Drone Light Show presented by DISH. Other novel ideas were created at the Fairgrounds, including Esports gaming tournaments every day of the Fair, the unique Bank of America sponsored Selfie Experience, and other new and exciting exhibits.

“This year’s fair brought together the beauty and innovation that demonstrates the very best of California,” said Pickering.

The state-wide Youth Mariachi Competition returned for a second year as part of a celebration of Mexican culture's influence of the Golden State. The competition, held at the illustrious Golden 1 Stage, showcased talented youth mariachi ensembles from throughout the state. The competition gave participants an opportunity to win up to $5,000 in grants for their respective academy or school mariachi program.

The new Esports Gaming tournament sold out all of its tournament slots and first-ever California State Fair Bear Cup champions were crowned. The Esports Gaming tournament garnered more than 700,000 viewers around the country on the California State Fair’s very own Twitch channel; hosted on Twitch's front page. Esports is a new and booming video game competition and having this event showcases California’s robust tech industry.

An innovative Drone Light Show produced by The Great Lakes Drone Company, was followed by a traditional fireworks show that wrapped up the CA State Fair's events. The combination of the old, beloved fireworks and the new drone light show symbolizes the innovation and nostalgic activities the Fair provides.

The CA State Fair provided opportunities for community engagement by providing free entrance to 10,000 military, veterans and first responders. Attendees on Mondays who provided three non-perishable food items received free admission during SMUD Giving Monday. Attendees donated a total of 31,000 pounds of food; all of which went to the Elk Grove Food Bank. Fair guests also had multiple opportunities to adopt an animal from Front Street and SPCA animal shelters.

“We look forward to continuing this strong tradition of showcasing innovation and have already begun plans to ensure the 2020 California State Fair can achieve newer and greater entertainment heights,” added Pickering.

Despite an extremely hot final weekend, Californians from all regions of the state were welcomed and enjoyed the Fair, and all its activities, for 17 days! Total attendance at the California State Fair increased from the prior year, up more than 5%, for a total of 601,761 happy Fairgoers.

To stay up to date with all things California State Fair, please visit www.castatefair.org

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Donate Three, Non-Perishable Food Items and Get in for Free

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - As part of its ongoing community giving efforts, SMUD is sponsoring Giving Mondays at the Fair, an effort to collect needed items for the Elk Grove Food Bank. SMUD Giving Mondays at the Fair will accept three non-perishable, non-expired items per person in exchange for a free ticket into the California State Fair before 3 p.m. The first 5,000 people in the gates will also receive a free drawstring backpack.

“This partnership is a great way to give back to those in our community who need it most,” said Rhonda Staley-Brooks, SMUD’s community development manager. “Last year, this effort collected 28,000 pounds of food, and this year we hope to surpass that. It’s these types of community efforts that help lift up our entire community and we’re glad to be a part of it.”

SMUD Giving Mondays at the Fair will be on Monday, July 15th and Monday, July 22nd. Visit the booth by the Blue Gate to drop off your food items and receive a free ticket to the Fair.

The Elk Grove Food Bank is in need of the following items: Canned Meat (Chicken or Tuna), Peanut Butter, Disposable Adult Briefs, Ensure, Baby Diapers, Socks – All Sizes, Canned Fruit, Canned Veggies, Soup, Beans, Mac and Cheese, Pasta, Boxed Mashed Potatoes, Packaged Rice, Top Ramen and Cereal.

For more information about SMUD Giving Mondays at the Fair, visitcastatefair.org/smudgivingmonday, and to learn more about SMUD’s community giving, visit smud.org/en/in-our-community.

As the nation’s sixth-largest community-owned, not-for-profit, electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity for more than 70 years to Sacramento County and small adjoining portions of Placer and Yolo Counties. SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies, and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. SMUD’s power mix is about 50 percent non-carbon emitting. For more information, visit SMUD.org.

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Food Festival Passes on High Demand, More on Order

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - California State fairgoers appear to be hungry for more excitement, as this year’s brand new Fair Food Festival Pass sold so fast, that more were ordered even before the Fair opened its gates. The California State Fair & Food Festival officially opened this morning at 10 a.m. with big crowds, eagerly awaiting to get in.

“We’re so thrilled Opening Day was such a great success; it’s fun seeing so many people and families out having a good time, and of course, eating at our 100 food booths.” said Rick Pickering, Cal Expo General Manager and CEO. “We’ve worked hard to make this year’s State Fair the best yet – a fair for all Californians up and down the state. The food festival and the new Food Festival Pass are just part of what we have in store for the next two and a half weeks.”

The Food Festival Passes have been so popular that more have already been ordered for visitors to the fair in the weeks to come. People who purchase the Food Festival Pass can select four items from more than 30 different food vendors – including appetizers, entrees desserts, and more – all for only $28, (a $40 value). Nearly 30 food vendors created new food items for this year’s State Fair. A list of what you can get can be found here.

The Food Festival Pass can be purchased at the State Fair Box Office, Guest Services or at select State Fair Souvenir Shops. Food Festival Passes purchased online are picked up at the State Fair Box Office, prior to entering the Fair. It can be used by anyone, any day of the State Fair. The California State Fair & Food Festival runs through July  28th at Cal Expo.

Fairgoers are also encouraged to visit the website at CaStateFair.org or download the CA State Fair app where they can map out all of their eating adventures. 

The California State Fair is an international award-winning fair, receiving top honors at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions out of more than 1,100 fairs world-wide. The California State Fair is dedicated as a place to celebrate the best the state has to offer in agriculture, technology and the diversity of its people, traditions and trends that shape the Golden State's future. We invite you to join us for the 166th California State Fair, July 12-28, 2019. 

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Serving California's Veterans and their Families

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Can military sustenance become scrumptious? Can drab be transformed into delectable?

See for yourself at CalVet’s 7th Annual MRE Cooking Challenge, Thursday July 18 at the California State Fair, an event that promises to be tastefully done. The Challenge pairs military veterans and noted local chefs as they look to impress a panel of culinary experts by turning those Meal-Ready-To-Eat packages – often dreaded by folks in the Armed Forces – into gourmet dinners. Or at least into something close.

Considered to be the marquee event of the State Fair’s Military and Veteran Appreciation Day, the extravaganza begins at noon in Cal Expo’s Cooking Theater, California Building B.

Here’s the day’s menu for your viewing pleasure:               

Classic Culinary Cooking Challenge

Noon: To whet your appetite for the upcoming challenge, several members of the California National Guard will take turns in introducing the veterans and celebrity chefs, provide a brief culinary history of the MRE, and host a trivia session. You will also be able to meet with the participants and sample bites from an MRE, getting a taste of what our military men and women dine on in the field.

3 p.m. – Deborah Hoffman of CalVet will be the colorful analyst during the second course. Chefs will vie for three randomly chosen MREs placed in the pantry, or whatever remains. Using their culinary skills and available ingredients, we should be treated to edible works of art … or not!

6 p.m. – And then, the greatly-anticipated main course will be served up by V101 radio personality Big Al Sams. The veterans and chefs, whom you met earlier, will team up to complete their mission: To turn MREs into appealing and tasty meals, using their skills and available ingredients. Judges will pick the winner based upon taste, presentation, skill, and showmanship.

7:15 p.m. – Dessert is Ceremony de awards.

This year’s field includes four veterans: Bryce Palmer, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and chef at Mulvaney’s B&L; Michael Hedin, U.S. Marine Corps, member education unit manager at CalPERS; Rob Gomez, U.S. Army, a California Highway Patrol sergeant; and Shannon Terry, California National Guard and a program director for the non-profit Work for Warriors.

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