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Welcome to the — Harvest Edition! This is a very special time of year here in “Livable, Lovable Lodi” that, as a child, I always looked forward to with great anticipation and excitement. This coming Thursday through Sunday is the annual !

For the past 74 years, Lodi has boasted its very own festival and carnival, the purpose of which is to “promote the agriculture and agricultural products of San Joaquin County, and to offer diverse forms of agricultural education. The Festival strives to present unique, family–oriented exhibits that not only entertain, but educate and enlighten.”

The idea of an annual celebration of the grape harvest actually dates back to the Tokay Carnival which was held just once in 1907. There was a queen and king, band concerts, a Wild West show, vaudeville acts, numerous displays, and a parade down the dirt streets of downtown Lodi which had just become a city the previous year. The Carnival was so ambitious, in fact, that such an event was not attempted again until the Grape Festival was established in 1934.

The Lodi Business Men’s Association held a queen contest with customers voting to select the winner. The Lodi Chamber of Commerce sponsored competitions for the best and largest bunch of grapes, etc. There was a carnival and parades.

Grape murals first appeared in 1950 and remain the Festival’s trademark. Individual grapes are glued onto large display boards, creating beautiful designs in keeping with the Festival’s theme. Clubs, school groups, and individuals compete for cash prizes and the honor of draping a ribbon over the corner of their winning design.

In the early days, Lodi’s grape crop was harvested using small, curved knives and each bunch was cut by hand before being tossed into the heavy wood lug boxes. Red Flame Tokay grapes were the variety for which the city was best known. Hence, Lodi High’s mascot and teams are known as the Flames, and the school’s colors are red and white. In contrast, I graduated from Tokay High School, the official colors of which are purple and gold. Our school newspaper was the Tokay Press (an homage to wine and newspaper presses). My kids attended Vinewood School, and the names and logos of many local businesses and shopping centers reflect Lodi’s agricultural focus including Flame Liquor, Arbor Convalescent Hospital, Vintage senior living center, Wine Country Care Center, etc.  Our city transit system is known as the Grapeline, and many city streets bear names such as Tokay, Zinfandel, Chianti, Burgundy, etc.

Today, harvesting machines straddle the grapevines, moving up and down the rows day and night, mechanically stripping the grapes off. Few Flame Tokay grapes remain, having been replaced by zinfandels, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, chardonnay and merlots. In fact, the city’s motto is “Zinfandel Capital of the World.” Many people do not realize that Lodi produces more zinfandels than the Napa wine region and, in fact, many of the world’s finest wines can trace their origins to the vines that surround our fair village.

The Festival has changed over the years, as has the grape industry it honors each September  Although the Saturday morning Kiddie Parade remains extremely popular (yes, as a child, I was a participant), the Sunday afternoon parade was discontinued in 2002 due to a lack of interest.  And the last Grape Festival Queen was crowned in 1980, a sign of the changing roles and interests of Lodi’s young women.

The Festival features entertainment and I will be performing again this year. If you’re in the area, stop in and listen to the Lodi Community Band perform this Saturday, September 13, 2008, at 4:15 p.m. in the Grape Pavilion.  I’ll be in the front row playing my flute and piccolo so make sure you say “hello” after the concert! 


Becky presents 4 Shooting Stars and No School Supplies posted at Life Without School.

Rachel presents The 3 Biggest Thing to look for in a Utah Personal Injury Lawyer posted at Utah Personal Injury Lawyer.  “Legal issues can often leave a family aching and torn apart because they cost so much money,” Rachel advises.

Dad presents 11/4/2006 – The Party posted at Falsely Accused Dad, warning readers that “what happened to me is something all parents, especially fathers need to be aware of.”

Family Cooking & Recipes

MoneyNing presents Bartlett Farm Heirloom Tomato Salad posted at An Easy Recipe To Make Cooking Simple, describing how to make an easy tomato salad.

Deanna Caswell presents Peanut Butter Play-Doh! posted at Little House in the Suburbs.

Karen Lynch presents Low Prices? or Abundance? (Live The Power) posted at Live the Power.

Stephanie presents Crock Pot Apple Butter posted at Stop the Ride!

Family Crafts and Activities

Toni presents The Sentimental Garage Sale posted at Wifely Steps.  “My sisters and I prepared this garage sale,” Toni writes. “It was difficult letting go of some things, but we knew they’d find a better home someplace else. ”

light52 presents Buckets of Fun posted at Living On Less.

HowToMe presents How To Easily Make a Storage Sack posted at HowToMe. “Does anyone else store toys and seasonal clothing in plastic trash sacks?” she asks. She received a tip from her neighbor and discovered that it is very easy to make a fabric, drawstring sack from a pillowcase.  Stop by her site to learn how.

Family Finance

Fire Getters presents Knock Out Your Financial Problems Like Rocky posted at Fire Finance.

freefrombroke presents What Is Raising A Child Worth – We’re Going To One Income posted at Free From Broke. They recently made the decision to drop to one income so that the author’s wife can stay home to raise the kids.

Brice Hogan presents Independent Profit Center The Review posted at My World, a review he completed for a company with which he is currently working to earn extra income.

Silicon Valley Blogger presents Save For College Using These Tools and Strategies posted at The Digerati Life.

The Smarter Wallet presents Eat Well for Cheap! How To Eat Out For Less posted at The Smarter Wallet, offering tips on how to bring down the cost of dining out, especially “when you have your family in tow.”

Abby Freedman presents It’s not skimping! posted at i pick up pennies. “Being a responsible parent includes knowing when to say ‘Enough!’ Specifically,” according to Abby, “it includes raising kids who know they don’t ‘deserve’ everything they see.”

Family Health and Wellness

Aparna presents Caring for your neck and some awesome neck-exercises posted at Beauty and Personality Grooming.  “The importance of a long, beautiful and elegant neck has been an integral part of conventional beauty from ancient days,” Aparna instructs. “In Africa, many tribes have a dreadful custom of putting copper rings around the necks of their baby girls to elongate them and show how prosperous they are!”

Family Humor

Pudgy Pencils presents You might be a lil’ redneck if . . . posted at Toddler @ Play! She suggested including it in the “Overheard at the Henhouse” category.

Anne Maybus presents The Great Sock Season posted at The Tall Poppy. “Winter has just finished in Australia so my socks might get a reprieve for a while . . . ” Anne writes.

Laura Scarborough presents bank of Dad posted at Adventures in Juggling.

BeThisWay presents Lessons in Patience posted at Are You Going To Be This Way The Rest of The Time I Know You?.

Family Relationships and Self-Improvement

MommaRalph presents My Baby’s first day of Kindergarten posted at Momma’s Blog.

Aahz presents Now That’s The Reaction I’ve Been Looking For posted at Philaahzophy, explaining, “It’s been a struggle getting my 12 yeard old daughter really excited about something. But I finally hit the nail on the head thanks to Miley Cyrus.”

Donna Freedman presents Family matters more than finance posted at Smart Spending.  Donna says, “Every year I spend my vacation days visiting family — I make room in my budget for plane tickets. The time to tell people you love them is now, and in person.”

Jennifer in OR presents …that holds a mother to life… posted at Diary of 1.

Desk Coder presents Get the Spouse On-Board! posted at Quitting The Day Job.

Family Spirituality/Belief/Worship

BeThisWay presents What Did I Give It All Up For? « Are You Going To Be This Way The Rest of The Time I Know You? posted at Are You Going To Be This Way The Rest of The Time I Know You?.

GP presents Nothing Succeeds Like Success posted at Manely Montana Memories.

Family Travel

Sandra Foyt presents Hunting Travel Memories At The Atlantis posted at On Living By Learning.  “The Atlantis is a fun-filled family travel destination, but it’s a challenge to explore the Bahamas’ island culture when you’re staying in the resort,” according to Sandra.

Parenting Tips and Advice

Lisa Mitchell presents My Baby: 9 Months (well almost 10 actually!) posted at Let’s Talk Babies.

Alex Smith presents Home Security Systems – How to Choose posted at TBO-TECH.

Nicholas Powiull presents Growth through Practicing Unconditional Love: Parenting: by Nicholas Powiull posted at Conscious Flex.

Joe presents GPS Kid Tracking Tip – Adventure is King posted at GPS Tracking Watches, saying, “Getting your child to buy into their GPS safety device and to value it can be difficult, but with this tip you can help give your child a vested interest in it – giving you some peace of mind while you have fun with your child.”

webrunner presents How To Sanitize Soft Baby Toys posted at Happy Giraffe Baby Site.

Kevin Heath presents 7 Strategies For Effective Timeouts posted at More4kids.

Csara presents Potty Training Day 1 posted at Baby Talkers, saying, “Potty Training Day 1. It’s official!”

Thank you all for participating in the Carnival this week!

Submit a blog article for the September 15, 2008, Edition of the Carnival by clicking here!

The Carnival archive can be viewed here.

Interested in hosting a future edition? Review the schedule here and then drop a line indicating the week you would like to have the Carnival visit your site!


  1. Great history lesson on Lodi! Local festivals are always fun and interesting. Thanks for hosting and including my article.

  2. Thanks for including me in this carnival. It has been fun to check out some of the other great posts listed here.

    Julie’s most recent blog post..First Carnival

  3. I had no clue there was so much to be done with grapes. The fruit has earned new respect in my eyes…

    Eva White’s most recent blog post..Another Horrifying Headline

  4. Pingback: Falsely Accused Dad » Blog Archive » Welcome Carnival of Family Life Readers

  5. Thank you so much for including my article and helping to promote awareness and spread the about my horrible situation.

    Excellent carnival with lots of great reads! Thanks again!

  6. Pingback: Low Prices? or Abundance? (Live The Power)

  7. I must say this is one big article and more over it was really interesting reading it. I think you are really a great writer. I am going to bookmark your blog and am going to be a regular reader. keep up the good work.

  8. Pingback: Over Contributions To Your 401k, High Unemployment Rate @ The Carnivals

  9. hot girl galleries

    Very interesting read, nice little break every year to go out to the local carnival. In my city we also have one called ‘Buffalo days’, it’s a funny name but that’s what happens once per year in the Queen city where I live. hehe


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