Food, games, music mark the return of the Newberry Springs Pistachio Festival


Musical performances, a petting zoo, an assortment of goodies and more will be taking place in Newberry Springs for the 23rd edition of what is billed as “the only pistachio festival in the United States” this weekend. .

The Historic Newberry Springs Pistachio Festival will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Community Park, 30884 Newberry Road.

A Summer Crank national anthem performance and “pistachio balloon launch” will open the event before a myriad of offerings unfold throughout the day, according to the Newberry Springs Chamber of Commerce, who is sponsoring the event.

Visitors will be able to exercise their own vocal muscles through karaoke from 10 a.m. to noon. Then, Chico and the band will take over with a live performance for the next four hours.

Kid-themed attractions such as face painting, coloring, and a petting zoo will also be among the entertainment offerings for visitors.

The Newberry Springs Pistachio Festival is about more than culinary nut-centric foods.

The Chamber of Commerce said it hopes to maintain the momentum that the Pistachio Festival has built for nearly a quarter of a century “as we begin to bring life back to the new normal after the COVID 19 pandemic” .

The first pistachio celebration was held in 1997 by a small group of local growers at a Newberry Springs processing plant, Big Al’s Pistachios, to toast this year’s harvest. The festival built a regional reputation over the following years, growing and attracting new vendors from Southern California each year.

The event is linked to an intimate part of the history of the unincorporated High Desert community: Newberry Springs became known for its ripe pistachio farms thanks to its unique access to water.

Along with various forms of entertainment, an array of tents will offer indulgences at the Pistachio Feast this Saturday.

Naturally, many pistachio-based foods will be on the menu. But treats distinct from the culinary nut will also be available, including Italian ice cream, baked goods and vegetables from Marco’s Produce.

The first Newberry Springs Pistachio Festival was hosted in 1997 by a small group of growers at a local processing plant, Big Al's Pistachios, to toast this year's harvest.

Other tents will offer goods that visitors can buy or just watch as they move around the festival grounds. These will include Native American jewelry, ponchos, farm signs, handcrafted crafts and ceramics.

For those who “are cautious and start with small events before jumping into massive crowds” as the COVID-19 lockdowns transition, the Chamber of Commerce said, “The Newberry Springs Pistachio Festival is for you and your family. “

Charlie McGee covers the town of Barstow and its surrounding communities for the Daily Press. He is also a member of the Report for America corps of the GroundTruth Project, an independent, non-partisan, non-profit news organization dedicated to supporting the next generation of journalists in the United States and around the world. McGee can be reached at 760-955-5341 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @bycharliemcgee.


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