Napa Valley Mustard Festival
The annual Napa Valley Mustard festival is alive and going strong. Whether you are in the mood for wine tasting, marathon running, fabulous photography exhibits, gourmet foods or just the appreciation of Napa Valley in springtime, you will not be disappointed. This festival is world renowned and has grown exponentially since it’s inception in 1994. Its humble beginning drew a few hundred patrons, while today, thousands descend upon the valley to enjoy the bountiful pleasures of mind, palate and soul.
The Mustard Festival is essentially a non-profit, county wide event benefiting many different organizations from health care to art in the schools, and has become integral to the support of many different commendable causes. The Festival also offers local businesses an opportunity for greatly increased revenues during January, February and March as well as an opportunity for professional and amateur photographers and artists to exhibit their works.
A bit of history behind the mustard flower that blankets the valley in a rich yellow carpet is worth mentioning. Father Junipero Serra had come from Spain to Mexico in the 1800's to spread his faith. He was told of a beautiful land to the north full of wildlife, grand trees and verdant valleys. Serra decided he must see this land and with the aid of some Native American guides, set out to explore the country to the north. Father Serra had brought with him Spanish Mustard seeds and scattered them all along the path of his travels. The following year they returned south and followed a golden ribbon of bright mustard flowers that had sprung from the northern trek.
This path of “gold” was where Father Serra established his “Rosary of Missions” that extends from San Diego to Sonoma and is indeed why California is veritably covered with Spanish mustard in the spring. It is thought by some that the mustard flower should be the state flower and may very well have been except that it has a very limited bloom time unlike the beloved California poppy.
For Mustard Festival Event Information, click here