About the Almond Fest

Ben Toasted, the Almost Festival mascot

Ben Toasted, the Almond Festival mascot

Many people have been asking recently about the Oakley Almond Festival. Because the Chamber of Commerce was one of the main sponsors we would like to update the residents of Oakley on the status. Sadly, we will not be holding the Almond Festival this year.

The Almond Fest in its familiar form came to an end because it was no longer possible to get the carnival, and the rides were the biggest attraction. The carnival pulled out of the 2011 Almond Fest at the last minute, leaving the Chamber in an awkward financial position and the citizens with a disappointing event.

There’s also been some debate as to whether “Almond Fest” represents who we are as a city and a chamber. Older residents feel nostalgia for the almonds; newer residents may never have seen an almond tree in Oakley. The primary crop grown in Oakley for the past several decades has been grapes; hence the new “Water and Wine” theme the City is pursuing. Yet, with only one small winery actually located in Oakley, we’re not ready for a full-scale wine festival.

The City of Oakley will be holding its new Heart of Oakley Festival downtown on Main Street on September 14th, 2013–approximately the time of year at which the Almond Fest normally took place. The Chamber of Commerce is one of the sponsors of the Heart of Oakley Festival and will be providing the Beer and Wine Garden, offering wines made from Oakley grapes.

This should not be taken to mean that the Heart of Oakley Festival is a replacement for the Almond Festival. Heart of Oakley is essentially a City event. Admission is free and revenue from booth rentals goes to the City.

We’d love to hear your suggestions for an event to replace the Almond Fest—one that would attract locals, out-of-town visitors, and vendors. Please contact us!


  1. stephanna barrett says:

    what if oakley hosted a giant outdoor battle of the bands at ohara park. we could do a kickstarted or crowd fundraising to get it started. Many music shops in the area I’m sure would love to help, maybe by lending cords, soundboards, and maybe even a drum set for the bands to use. at the same time we advertise it throughout alameda, tri-country, and Contra costa. have space for vendors, to sell food and drinks. even the bands could get recognition here. charge a small fee at the gate or have advance tickets available. there could even be a kids area with jumps and face painting. you could have awards for different genres and have a final showdown with the 3 most favourited bands play for the success. An event catered to music tends to bring mass amounts of older generations as well as newer generations together. This is also something that if happened i feel a call to the news station could make the event go even bigger. thats my idea 🙂

  2. nicole Spencer says:

    Make the booths available and cheap enough for local out of house businesses to be able to participate.

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