Sanger’s Blossom Festival: Sun, Fun, Food, Booths & Visitors from Taiwan

Mar 26, 2011 | 2011 Articles, Community, Contributors

by Toni Pacini

This article is made up of thoughts and experiences from the Sanger Blossom Festival Event on March 5, 2011, shared by members of the Sanger Open-Mic Group & compiled by Toni Pacini.

Annual Blossom Trail Run by Karen and Don Steinhauer
The morning air was cool and welcomed by the 1,184 athletes gathering for the 14th Annual Blossom Trail Run. The day started with the first wave of runners dashing through the streets of downtown Sanger where they passed a multitude of vendors erecting canopies and starting fires in their grills, preparing for the crowds that were already arriving. Jolene Zamudio and Galvin Gonzales had the best time in the 10K. Athenia Hetherington and Teagam McNair took the top spots for the 2M Run and Jeri Garoogian and Jim McCall walked their way into first place in the 2M Walk.

Sanger Women’s Club Activities by Connie Amesbury
As always Sanger’s Woman’s Club members were out on the porch of the club cheering runners as they passed by and welcoming neighbors and visitors. Their breakfast burritos were wonderful this year and they also served warm chili beans, coffee, hot chocolate and mini cakes for the kids. Some visitors were comfortable enough to go inside the clubhouse and eat. I enjoyed getting to know people from Sanger and visitors from all over. All profits will go toward scholarships for local students.

Food Booths by Marjorie Galloway
The food booths were numerous and it was wonderful visiting each booth and sampling what they had to offer. I had so much fun visiting with old friends and making new ones and was pleased to see Sanger’s Mayor Joshua Mitchell and city council member Rodney Nielson in the crowd acting as welcoming ambassadors for our city.

The food booths offered something for everyone, no matter what you were in the mood for. Sadie Mae’s Catering served incredible Southern style home cooked chicken, tri-tip that melted in you mouth, ribs, steak and salmon, with all the fixings. Mattie’s Mobile Woodfired Pizza served breakfast pizzas with egg and sausage or bacon and later in the day they offered lunch pizzas that had folks lining up. La Crepe-a-Moi came again this year because they were so welcomed last year. No one can say no to breakfast, lunch and dessert crepes handmade by Rebekka and Dj from France.

People enjoyed tacos, hamburgers, hot dogs, shaved ice lemonade, Jamba Juice, cinnamon rolls, fresh-fruit cups, Girl Scout cookies, pasta and much more. You couldn’t ask for a yummier day.

Car Show by Walt Bacharowski
There were approximately 70-cars competing in 19 categories; each one a winner in its own right. The categories included Best of Show, Best Muscle Car, Best Truck, Best Interior, Best Engine, Best Convertible, Best Paint, and the Art Park Memorial Award, just to name a few.

Ron Berglund won the Art Park Memorial Award with his 1970 Pontiac Bonneville. This award was established two years ago by Larry Park in honor of his father Art, who was an avid collector of classic Mustangs. JJ Brown’s 1957 Chevy won Best Interior and Tony and Marcia Guiterrez won Best Truck with their 1941 Ford. People clearly enjoyed having an opportunity to see all the amazing cars.

Sanger’s Depot Museum & Library Book Sale by Doris Knowlton
The museum was open all day for the Blossom Festival. Sanger Depot Museum is an old train station that was moved to its current location, next to the Sanger Library, in 1977. They have a wonderful exhibit of Sanger’s History in the Timber industry and a Native American Basket Collection that must be the envy of many larger facilities. I enjoyed the model trains collection, which are on display at the museum on loan from Alvin Costa. The museum is open Friday’s 9:30am until 12:30pm and Sunday’s 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. Special group tours may be arranged by calling Bob Bosserman at 559-875-2848.

Not all Blossom Festival Activities are downtown, like the museum and the library book sale, where I stopped on my way back to the festival itself. The Sanger Library has a huge Book Sale which they hold each year during the Blossom Festival. There is truly something for everyone and I found a crowd of festival-goers in the library taking advantage of the great deals on a wonderful selection of books. Many people donated the books and students from Sanger High School, R.O.T.C., and a local English Class volunteered to set up the room and unpack the tons of books to be sold. The sale was a success and the library plans to use the money toward their very popular Summer Musicals.

And Even A Bit More by Toni Pacini
As if all of the above were not enough to delight everyone there were at least fifty Arts, Crafts, and informational booths. Beautiful pottery by Reedley Clayworks, Art by Chieko Delgado, floral designs, woodwork, knick-knack’s, jewelry, children’s clothes and little girl bows, Tupperware, hats and candles, sunglasses, mushroom art, crocheted items, aprons, and so much more.

The Sanger Masonic Lodge had a booth where they provided, on the spot, a Hi Tec Child ID Program. They were able to photograph and fingerprint a child and enter that information in a data bank that could save your child’s life in an emergency. There was no charge for this service and the Lodge members who manned the booth made the process fun, not scary, for the children.

Members of the Museum of the Central Sierra’s were available to share about their “Museum without Walls.”

It had been a long day and as close to perfect as you can get–great weather, food and people. Several members of our group were relaxing in Sam Gutierrez Park watching the festival wind down when a group of young men who I thought to be of Asian decent, entered the park. I had noticed these young men several times throughout the day as they appeared to really be enjoying the festival and I wondered who they were and where they were from. My curiosity took over as they filled the park benches. I approached one bench and asked if anyone spoke English, since they were not speaking English at the time, and one young man cheerfully said, “Yes I speak English” and to my astonishment he was not only fluent but he had what sounded like a British accent.

Leopold Tsai, Zhbyuan You Cheng & Chich Huang

It turned out that they are from Taiwan and are attending school in Fresno. Leopold, the young man who spoke English, told us that he had spent part of his childhood in New Zealand, which explained the accent. We told Leopold that our group was covering the festival for Kings River Life Magazine and his face lit up. Apparently he had found out about the festival online when he ran across Kings River Life Magazine!

What a great way to end a perfect day. Sanger Blossom Festival and Kings River Life Magazine are successful internationally. Don’t miss it next year.

Toni Pacini lives in Sanger where she started Sanger Open-Mic “Writers, Readers and Storytellers” Group, which meets once each month at the Sanger Library. She is an author, poet and storyteller who is writing a memoir of her childhood in Alabama called Alabama Blue. Toni covers all things Sanger.


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