Citrus doesn't get much better than sweet, juicy mandarin oranges, and the first harvest of the season is upon us. So it's natural that the 18th annual Mountain Mandarin Festival invites fruit-lovers to the hills for a celebration of taste.
Look for a mandarin cooking contest, a peel-and-eat throwdown, demonstrations by chefs, 200 vendors selling art, crafts and holiday items, live entertainment, a children's play area, food booths (wings, pulled pork, pizza) and a few tons of mandarins (and gift baskets) for sale by local growers. Don't forget the dozens of made-from-mandarins sauces, marinades, syrups and dressings.
The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High St., Auburn. Admission: $2 on Friday only. Saturday and Sunday, it will be $6 general, $4 seniors. Free for ages 12 and younger. Parking is $5.
For information: (916) 663-1918, or www.mandarinfestival.com.