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September 28, 2010 > Olive Festival

Olive Festival

By Fina Mora

Greek myth attributes the founding of Athens to an olive tree that sprung from barren rock as a gift from the goddess Athena; citizens of Attica were said to have named the city after her. Derived from the Greek word elaia, olive trees can grow an average of 50 feet with a life expectancy of 500 years, but scientists have documented that some olive trees are as much 1,000 years old. This Saturday is your chance to see the fruits of one of the oldest cultivated trees in the world at the annual Olive Festival.

"The Mission San Jose Chamber of Commerce wanted to do something for the community," says festival co-chair Sherri McGinnis of the Olive Festival's beginnings. Now in its 10th year, the celebration is still going strong. "Last year the community loved it; people look forward to it," adds McGinnis.

This year's festival will include cooking demonstrations and several wine tastings. Unique arts and crafts will be available, as well as a children's center in the middle of the festival featuring face painting so parents can enjoy the activities while keeping an eye on their kids. Vendors will be selling a variety of merchandise plus tri-tip and veggie burgers and, of course, olive oil.

If you are an olive fanatic, then this is the place for you. If not, the Olive Festival offers many other alternatives and an enjoyable afternoon in the olive orchards of Mission San Jose.

There is no cost to attend. Free parking is available at Ohlone College Parking Lot E.

Olive Festival
Saturday, October 2
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Behind Mission San Jose Museum
Mission Tierra and Mission Blvd., Fremont
(510) 873-7701

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