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Celebrate citrus at Mountain Mandarin Festival

Popular event features tons of fresh fruit and more

Placer-grown fresh mandarins are plentiful this year. Buy them in bags or gift baskets.

Placer-grown fresh mandarins are plentiful this year. Buy them in bags or gift baskets. Photo courtesy Mountain Mandarin Festival

Here’s an annual event with plenty of local zest: The Mountain Mandarin Festival.

Starting Friday, enjoy the three-day citrus celebration at the 29th Mountain Mandarin Festival at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn.

“Live and in person,” proclaim the festival’s organizers. The popular event returned in 2021 after a year off due to Covid precautions. In 2019, the festival attracted more than 30,000 patrons over its three-day run and a similar crowd is expected this weekend.

“Placer County growers will sell thousands of pounds of fresh mandarin oranges and gift baskets, accompanied by all the free samples you like,” say the organizers. “Join in the fun with food, artisan crafts, and activities featuring the mandarin orange and music!”

This year, there will be plenty of fruit to enjoy. Tons of fresh Placer-grown mandarins are ready for the event as well as countless mandarin-related products.

Scores of farmers and other vendors will be on hand, offering their locally grown fruit and other products. Snack on mandarin-flavored treats. Enjoy live music and performances at the main stage.

“Thousands of filled orange mesh bags (of mandarins) await and jams, jellies, infused olive oils, balsamic vinegar, barbecue sauces and body care products are all available for purchase,” say the organizers. “Visitors are delighted to discover that the food vendors offer everything from mandarin pizza to mandarin glazed wings, mandarin doughnuts and mandarin pulled pork, just to name a few.”

In addition, Placer County master gardeners will staff a booth on Saturday and Sunday. Get your 2023 garden guide!

Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18; 9 a.m. to 5 pm. Saturday, Nov. 19; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20.

General admission is $10; children age 11 and younger are admitted free. Seniors: $7. Friday discount admission: $5.

Gold Country Fairgrounds is located at 209 Fairgate Road, Auburn.

For tickets and details: www.mandarinfestival.com.

-- Debbie Arrington

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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