It wasn’t that long ago that a small celebration called the Olive Festival began as an annual event at the Downtown City Park in Paso Robles. Yet this year will be marked as the 12th annual for the festivities, which venerate the olive in all its splendor.
The huge event is hosted every August by the Main Street Association and presents everything associated with olives along with a host of typical arts and crafts exhibits. From essential oils to soaps, foods, ice cream and of course olive tastings, there are countless olive related samples available for your enjoyment.
The downtown area in Paso Robles is flooded with gourmet restaurants and tasting rooms, and yet the Olive Festival will also offer up wine tastings in the park as well as beer – get your tickets at the information booth next to the fountain with no water.
The still growing promotional event is to unite support for the fruit, while raising awareness. There are contests and demonstrations of all sorts related to the olive, with many of the region’s producers offering up their inspired tastings.
Olives belong to a long history on the Central Coast and at one time was as popular as or more so than vineyards. There is a resurgence going on now and if you look around the rolling countryside here in Paso Robles, you’re bound to see orchards of olive trees dotting the landscape.
The health benefits of olive oil have become more known thanks in part to events like the Olive Festival. One big reason for this olive renaissance of sorts is the Paso Robles weather – which attracts so many great wines now – the same climate offers excellent conditions for olives.
By the way, I bet you didn’t know that the olive is a relative of jasmine and lilac.
Ranches and orchards once dotted the landscape as much as vineyards do now.
Paso Wine Barrels missed 2014’s event, but has acquired space this year at this extremely popular gathering. And when you look us up on 12th and Spring Street, you’ll notice we also will have essential oils available as well (and wine barrel stave holders for your essential oils). However, don’t be alarmed if you’re in town hoping to come by and purchase one of our barrels – we should have plenty available – but give us a call if you’re concerned. In any case, the festival runs from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturday (August 15th in 2015) and is free to the public.
Daryle W. Hier