Annual Cherry Festival Gets Sweet Start in Sunnyvale

Cherry season is in full swing in the South Bay, where the 20th annual festival dedicated to the sweet red fruit hit Sunnyvale.

A large crowd showed up for the opening day celebration on Saturday at the iconic C.J Olson fruit stand on El Camino Real.

In the week leading up to the festival, workers were busy in Santa Clara County as cherry season bloomed. At one time, the season used to involve much more work for Olson and company, but Silicon Valley’s tech boom has overwhelmed the agricultural scene in the area.

Fourth generation owner Deborah Olson has seen a lot of changes since she’s been manning the stand, but she says that this year’s El Nino had and unexpected impact on both crops and the cherry market.

"You know you’re going to have rain during cherry season,” she said. “It’s just the amount of rain…and that’s what happened. We just had too much rain a couple weeks ago."

She continued: “The state of California was supposed to produce 8 million boxes of cherries, and we’ll be lucky if we get 4 million boxes at the end of the season.”

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