With the weather heating up, summer fruits and vegetables are beginning to ripen and you’re probably on your second or third barbecue already. Here in the foothills, it’s time for another season of farmers markets and fun outdoor food and wine events.
Image: Angels Camp Farmers Market
June’s first Friday (the 6th) marks the kick off of Fresh Fridays, a weekly evening farmers market running every Friday June through September at Utica Park in Angels Camp. From 5pm to dusk you can mingle with local farmers, sample all kinds of Calaveras grown produce (and if you’re lucky, wild mushrooms from the surrounding hills) and local crafts, and enjoy prepared foods, including Mexican Food from the wildly popular food truck Rico’s Tacos. Robert Rico adds his own creative twist to classics like tacos, quesadillas, burritos, tri-tip and more.
Each week the Fresh Fridays features a different Calaveras winery and a new live musical act, plus there’s a great playground for the kids and many local families make this their Friday night out. You’ll find several other farmers markets each week in other parts of the county too – including a new addition to this year’s line up – Thursdays at Outer Aisle Foods in Murphys from 4pm to dusk beginning June 5, so no matter where you are staying, you can get a taste of what’s in season in Calaveras.
Image: Outer Aisle Foods Garlic Tastings
Speaking of Friday evenings for the whole family, First Fridays in Murphys Park has become a summertime institution, and June’s event comes with a little twist – it’s actually the second Friday! Presented by the Murphys Community Club as a park fundraiser, the first Friday of summer months (yes, except for June 13) through September features a live band, dinner by a local restaurant or catering company and a different winery each month. Bring a blanket to sit on and a comfortable pair of dancing shoes. Get there early as food tickets do sell out – and the food is always good! Tickets are $10 for dinner but you can enjoy the music for free. Wine and other beverages are available for purchase as well. Musical acts generally go from 5:30pm – 8pm.
Image: A line-up of Calaveras Wines at Murphys Park
Rounding out June’s tasty Fridays is the June 20 opening of Behind the Bottle, a full weekend of education and entertainment focusing on Calaveras wines, presented by the Calaveras Winegrape Alliance. Beginning at 6pm, swing band Swing Gitane will perform a concert in Murphys Park, where dinner and wines will be available for purchase. Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 5pm you’ll have the chance to visit wineries all over Murphys and surrounding areas for workshops on winemaking, blending, food pairing, cheese, charcuterie and more. Tickets for the weekend are $40 and include a commemorative glass. This is your chance to get an inside look at Calaveras wineries, chat with the winemakers and sample some of their finest selections. Go here for a full schedule of the Behind the Bottle weekend. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.
Here’s another gourmet bonus – ok, it’s not on a Friday, but since Mondays are very quiet around here, we thought you should also know about Roquefort restaurant’s Chef’s Market, opening at 5pm, Monday June 9. Join local chefs in the Roquefort garden – located behind the Main Street restaurant – to sample their latest organic creations, along with live music and local wines. For more info call Roquefort at 209-728-9743.
Check in with the CVB Calendar for other Friday night options around the county, including open mic nights at Hotel Leger in Mokelumne Hill, special events at Zucca Wines, Victoria Inn and Alchemy Restaurant in Murphys, as well as more outdoor concerts at both Twisted Oak and Ironstone Vineyards.