Hoes Down Harvest Festival

The Hoes Down Harvest Festival is October 7th & 8th. Registration begins August 1, 2017 and sells out fast!

Saturday, October 7, 2017
11am - 11 pm

Admission Prices
Adults: $25 online, $30 at the gate
Online ticket sales will begin August 1!
Children (2-12): $5
Under 2: Free
Saturday Night Camping: $25 per car- no reservations are needed! 

Sunday, October 8, 2017
Please note: The main festival day and a majority of the activities occur on Saturday, October 1. 
Specialized Hands-On Seminars on a variety of subjects. Pre-registration is required.

My daughter trembled at my feet while we listened to the storytellers speak of grain being harvested by crows and coyotes by the banks of the river. Sheet lightening was illuminating the sky in the distance while dozens of paper lanterns appeared to float to and fro during the strong gusts of wind. 

Then there was a big streak of lightening, and a crash of thunder and the skies opened up. The hundred people gathered sought cover in the sunshades set up as well as the enclosed changing room tents. But the rain was bouncing and coming in vertical so somehow we still managed to be getting wetter. From out of nowhere a group of drummers assembled under the canvas shade tent and started pounding away. The lanterns on sticks were leaned into the center of the structure and folks started dancing in tight circles. But then something got our attention in the river and we left the safety of the structure to take a closer look, getting wetter was no longer a concern. There was a fire dance going on in the middle of the river. Using a variety of LED lights, a team stood in the middle of the shallow river and performed a fire dance while the rain, thunder, lightening and drums beat along with them. 

My daughter and I have come to the Hoes Down a handful of times before but had never experiences anything like that. The Hoes Down Harvest Festival takes place the first weekend in October each year at the Full Belly Farm in Yolo County. It is a celebration of food, music, animals, land, and people. There are dozens of activities scheduled all day Saturday, with an old fashioned circus, all sorts of workshops, amazing crafts, hands on animals, delicious healthy food options, as well as beer and wine. There are three stages with live music throughout the day. A massive hay bail pyramid with tunnels throughout the many levels provides hours of entertainment. You can ride in a fun mini dunk roller coaster, grind your own pizza, make a head wreath, sculpt clay, carve or paint pumpkins, and go on a horse and buggy ride. If it is all too much, you can escape to the river for a dip. For those not ready to go at the end of the day, you can stay and camp. We like the walk in apple orchard for relaxed camping, but you can also drive in on the other side if that is more your style. All you need is a tent and a sleeping bag in either case. Some folks stay up and dance until the wee hours of the morning, while others crash out early exhausted from all the days activities. When you wake up the next morning you can head back over for a delicious cooked breakfast then join one of a number of day ours that are arranged, by foot or by bike. You can also sign your child up to go work the farm for a few hours in a summer camp like setting. 

No matter what you do, you are bound to eat well, learn, explore, indulge, dance, sleep like a baby, and count down the days to the next Hoes Down Harvest Festival. 

Article and images by Cara Guyot, The Cubby Coach