BRENTWOOD -- After years of public demand for a summer festival to return to the historic downtown, the inaugural Harvest Time Festival will debut Saturday and Sunday in City Park and celebrate local farming and agriculture.

In addition to recognizing far East County's farmlands and its multigenerational farming families, the quaint festival will include a touch of small town charm with tractor races, antique farm equipment, corn shucking, a quilt show, sand sculptures, a Little Veggie costume contest and a local jam and jelly contest. It will be a weekend to celebrate the past, present and future of agriculture, according to Harvest Time's director of marketing, Peggie Schuitemaker.

"We are finally bringing a nice, free venue to downtown at the new City Park. We are honored to be able to present such a premier event to the community, " she said.

"Our community is so tight-knit even as we grow every day, but we all belong together and we all want to celebrate the place we call home."

At the casual festival featuring live musical entertainment, wine tasting and a beer garden, attendees can also purchase fresh local produce and learn about local agriculture through booths and demonstrations in the neighboring Brentwood Civic Center.

A mini farmers market will be set up, and there will be cooking demonstrations, according to festival organizer Steve Barr.


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"We have had an extremely positive response from our original residents of Brentwood.

"We are having the next generation of our farmers running this event," Barr said.

"It is kind of a feel like old Brentwood with the addition of the new park and new residents. It should be a great blend."

The new festival was created after Brentwood Chamber of Commerce officials announced earlier this year that the annual Brentwood CornFest would be on hiatus in 2014.

The last CornFest experienced a 30 percent drop in attendance and revenue and drew criticism for its locations away from the original downtown venue. Dozens of farming families are participating so that Harvest Time Festival crowds can meet individual growers and learn about their products and agritourism in Contra Costa County, Schuitemaker noted.

The festival will follow the Saturday morning Pacific Coast Farmers Market and run from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday morning will feature a color guard presentation, the national anthem, raising of the festival flags, a blessing from Brentwood Vice Mayor Joel Bryant and a parade of the Little Veggies costume contestants.

"The city of Brentwood is embracing this project as if it were its firstborn baby," Schuitemaker said.

One of the highlights of the festival will be three Patriots Jet Team jets from Byron flying over City Park on Saturday morning.

The jet show is being sponsored by Bill Brandt Ford and Hot Line Construction.

"It should be very unique and a different experience than what has been seen in Brentwood for many years," Barr said.

"It is a big benefit for ag to be such a part of what we are doing in town."

Reach Paula King at 925-779-7174 or pking@bayareanewsgroup.com.

IF you Go
What: Brentwood Harvest Time Festival
When: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
Where: City Park, Oak and Second streets.
Details: Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs, but no outside alcohol is allowed. For more information, call 925-634-1228 or 925-858-6693 or email harvettimefestival@gmail.com. You can also visit the Harvest Time website at www.harvest4you.com for more details.