Lodi is a dream destination for not only wine enthusiasts, but also adventurous foodies, art aficionados, families and even history buffs. From antique fairs to downtown art crawls, here are some of Lodi’s most anticipated annual events.
Food and Wine Events
Valentine's Day is a romantic time of year, and if you're in Lodi with that special someone, you can sweeten the deal. Indulge in your favorite sugary treats at the 20th annual Lodi Wine & Chocolate Weekend, Feb. 11 and 12. This year they're putting on the ritz for a roaring 20's themed weekend and want you to dress up and go all out! The two-day event features more than 50 of Lodi's wineries and, of course, pounds upon pounds of chocolate. There's extra emphasis on wine and chocolate pairings, so expect a decadent array of goodies.
The Lodi Wine & Food Festival is back for its 2nd Annual appearance on April 1st from 2 pm-6 pm. Have a total wine experience with wine tastings, olive oil tastings, a bounty of delicious food from local restaurants and caterers, wine pairings, live music, and more. Another of Lodi’s top wine events is ZinFest and this May marks its 13th year. Festivities begin in the evening on Friday, May 19th with the Vintner's Grille at Lodi Lake. Attendees of the Vintner’s Grille get to sample the region’s finest pairings of Zinfandel and local cuisine. Don’t go too crazy with the tastings, though, because Saturday the ZinFest Wine Festival is even more action-packed. Expect a selection of 200 handcrafted wines from more than 40 Lodi wineries. Stick around on Sunday for intimate cellar tours at a variety of participating wineries.
Wine's not your thing? No problem because we're bringing back the Lodi Beer Fest for its 2nd annual event on April 22nd from 1 pm-5 pm. Round two of the Lodi Beer Fest will be a great celebration of craft beer from local and national breweries. Bring your friends, find your favorite beer, toss around a game of cornhole and dance along with the music at this beer lovers paradise.
Downtown Lodi Events
First Friday Art Hop is a monthly event where galleries in and nearby Downtown Lodi open their doors for an evening of art, wine and conversation. While galleries are open to the public during regular business hours as well, First Friday allows for a more casual setting. It's a chance to view new artwork, meet the artists and snack on wine and cheese with other art connoisseurs. The friendly atmosphere is almost as enticing as the artwork itself. When in Lodi, wine is almost always on the brain, and come spring, there's an extra reason to celebrate. Lodi's evening open-air Wine Stroll event usually kicks off around mid April (2017 date TBD). Among the historic buildings in Downtown Lodi, visitors can sip wine from more than 25 local wineries. Many local businesses participate as well, partnering with wineries to provide hors d’oeuvres and wine to eager shoppers.
A few weeks later, on May 7, the city celebrates its biannual Lodi Street Faire. Over 10 square blocks, more than 600 vendors set up their wares. Items run the gamut, from vintage jewelry and antiques to artwork and craft kits. There are also 25 food vendors serving up fresh dishes, with cuisines ranging from Chinese and Mexican to American staples like hamburgers and hot dogs. The Lodi Street Faire comes to town twice a year, so if you miss it in May, you can join the festivities in October!
Family Fun in Lodi
While Lodi’s wine events appeal to the 21-and-over crowd, there are plenty of family-friendly activities, too. Kids Night Out at the World of Wonders Science Museum (WOW) is always a hit with kids ages 5 to 12. The hands-on museum opens its doors for a special evening of electricity and energy. Every third Saturday of the month, kids get to leave their parents at home and partake in a night of science experiments, pizza, popcorn and a movie. Kids will also have a field day at the Lodi Grape Festival, which takes place September 14-17 this year. In a nutshell, it is about as close to an old-time country fair as it can get, with decadent Blue Ribbon quilts, pies and colorful murals made from grapes. Parents can enjoy the region's premier wines while children snack on carnival treats and take a twirl on the amusement-park-like rides. Come nightfall, the Ferris wheel and other attractions light up and illuminate the fairgrounds.
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