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Mountain Mandarin celebration will go on, with revisions

Renamed 'Marketplace,' former festival will host both live and virtual events

Mandarin vendor
All vendors will be outdoors this year at the Mountain Mandarin Marketplace,
but no sampling will be allowed. (Photo courtesy Mountain Mandarin Marketplace)

Renamed 'Marketplace,' former festival will host both live and virtual

With COVID restrictions in place, Placer County’s beloved Mountain Mandarin celebration will go on, but with a new name and online options.

Now called “Mountain Mandarin Marketplace” (instead of Mountain Mandarin Festival), the 27th annual event will be held Friday through Sunday, Nov. 20-22, at the Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High St., Auburn.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission: $4 Friday, $6 Saturday and Sunday. Children under age 12 admitted free. Parking: $3.

Attendees will be required to sign a liability waiver and must wear a face mask.

The focus will be totally on the fruit: Placer-grown mandarins. A dozen mandarin growers plus 110 vendors of mandarin-related products will be selling their crops and wares in mostly outdoor spaces.

The usual cooking demonstrations and stage shows have been canceled, but there will be lots and lots of food and gift ideas, say organizers. Plus expect a bountiful crop of early-ripening citrus.

By comparison, the 2019 festival boasted 224 vendors and 17 growers, attracting more than 25,000 patrons.

Don’t want to chance a large public gathering? A virtual version of the event is open online now through Christmas Day. About 30 Placer vendors and growers will offer their fruit and other goodies, shipped directly to your home or other recipients. The online shop is at

Event details and links: or .

— Debbie Arrington


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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Nov. 27

Before the rain comes later in the week, take advantage of sunny, calm days:

* This may be your last chance this season for the first application of copper fungicide spray to peach and nectarine trees. Leaf curl, which shows up in the spring, is caused by a fungus that winters as spores on the limbs and around the tree in fallen leaves. Sprays are most effective now, but they need a few days of dry weather after application to really “stick.” If you haven’t yet, spray now.

* Rake and compost leaves, but dispose of any diseased plant material. For example, if peach and nectarine trees showed signs of leaf curl this year, clean up under trees and dispose of those leaves instead of composting.

* Make sure storm drains are clear of any debris.

* Give your azaleas, gardenias and camellias a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim chrysanthemums to 6 to 8 inches above the ground after they’re done blooming. Keep potted mums in their containers until next spring. Then, they can be planted in the ground, if desired, or repotted.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while dormant.

* Plant bulbs for spring bloom. Don’t forget the tulips chilling in the refrigerator. Other suggestions: daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, anemones and scillas.

* Seed wildflowers including California poppies.

* Also from seed, plant sweet pea, sweet alyssum, bachelor buttons and other spring flowers.

* Plant most trees and shrubs. This gives them plenty of time for root development before spring growth. They also benefit from winter rains.

* Set out cool-weather annuals such as pansies and snapdragons.

* Lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and cool-season greens can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* If you decide to use a living Christmas tree this year, keep it outside in a sunny location until Christmas week. This reduces stress on the young tree.

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