The Sylmar Olive Festival takes place this Saturday and Sunday featuring live entertainment, a classic car show, and a chalk artist expo, amongst a variety of other activities. In addition, there’ll be a variety of vendors, selling crafts and food, plus a whole lot more.
Why olives you may be wondering?
Well interestingly, back in the early 1900s, this part of the San Fernando Valley was olive country. The industrious Cristo Fusano, who emigrated from Italy in 1909, is credited with having built up the olive industry here, and to this day, there is even an avenue named after him.
In its heyday, the Sylmar area was said to have 2,000 acres of olive groves where San Fernando Valley brand olives were grown; Sylmar’s cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil was also a highly desirable product nationwide.
The very first Sylmar Olive Festival was held in October 1947, where attendees could dance to the music of Aiton’s five-piece orchestra and buy an entire barbeque dinner for a buck thirty.
A lot has changed in Sylmar.
But those olive trees that still stand are a testament to what was and a promise of what might be.
(The Sylmar Olive Festival will be held at El Cariso Community Regional Park, on Saturday and Sunday, September 21 and 22, from noon until 8 p.m. General Admission is $8; children under 54 inches are free. (Any festival attendees who come in ancient Greek, Roman, or Egyptian costumes will also be admitted free.) Covered parking at adjacent Los Angeles Mission College is $5; free street parking will also be available. El Cariso is located at 13100 Hubbard Street, Sylmar 91342.)