Olive Festival Festivities set for Oct. 6

(Wade Barrett, Photographer)
A family at last year’s festival works on an arts and crafts project, with one guest showing off the signature olive crown.

    Turtles and goats and parrots, oh my! What could it be but the annual Olive Festival at Wagner Ranch Nature Area? In its 10th year, the festival celebrates the Nature Area and the olive grove planted in the 1800s.
    The festival includes samples of extra virgin olive oils, with local vendors sharing their expertise, and award-winning products including Amphora, Grumpy Goats Farm, and two new vendors: Olive Drop and McEvoy Ranch. The Friends of the Nature Area will host its “All About Olives” table that includes samples of olive oils and Lindsay Olives.
    Young festival-goers will have lots of activities to choose from including the Pit Spit Challenge and a plethora of arts and crafts such as making olive crowns, ceramic tile painting, face painting, Coyote Brush Studio’s Nature Tattoos and solar cooking with Wendy Helms.
    Dan Phillip’s returns with his popular Frontier Chemistry as well as hands-on activities with the Master Gardeners. The Bug Hunt will be back again this year as well as stories in the Olive Grove.
    And then there are the parrots. Thanks to the Contra Costa Avian Society, the beautiful birds will travel around the festival on the shoulders of their handlers greeting attendees.
    Throughout the day, the students from A.L.M.A. (Academy of Language & Music Arts) as well as Orinda’s Ukulele Band will provide entertainment. And, if you happen to be hungry, head over to one of four food trucks.
    Guided parties led by John Helms and Reg Barrett will take participants to the old Wagner Ranch homestead, blacksmith’s shop, olive grove and the pond.
    The festival is scheduled for 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Oct. 6. Wagner Ranch Nature Area is adjacent to Wagner Ranch Elementary School, 350 Camino Pablo. For more information, go to www.fwrna.org.

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