Update: The location has been changed to San Benito County Historical Park in Tres Pinos.
OCTOBER BOASTS A PLETHORA OF PUMPKINS, and thank goodness, for savory squash dishes are as classically autumn as candy corns and cocktails made with caramel vodka. We don't want the pumpkin-seeing, pumpkin-tasting opportunities to diminish during the month; in fact, many fall fans would recommend upping those sights and flavors that are quintessentially autumnal. But October also happens at a time when a number of gourmet-minded events are revving up, the sort of sumptuous, multi-course, hearty-dish'd dinners that make a culinary cameo when the weather grows chillier. So finding a festival that isn't pumpkin-based but rather celebrates the pleasures of wine, and the harvest, and artisanal eats, right in the heart of the tenth month, is pretty perfect, if you're an olive aficionado. Oh, we let the pit out of the bag, for this is all about the...
SAN BENITO OLIVE FESTIVAL, a happening that'll flower on Saturday, Oct. 14. The place is San Benito County Historical Park, and numerous vino and food purveyors will be out and about, as well as makers of soaps and other cool, non-edible stuff that contains olives or olive oil. It's feasty, but not overly tony, so you don't need to dress up or think this isn't a walk-around, easy-breezy festival: It is, with a foodie component firmly intact. There wll be chefs leading info-filled demonstrations, and a strong olive oil-purveying contingent, too (think Pietra Santa Olive Oils, Moonshadow Grove, and more). Craft beers'll be on the pour in addition to wine, and "local growers and creators' will be out and about, in case you have questions, thoughts, or want to know more about the fascinating world of olives or other hand-grown, lovingly tended foodstuffs. An early bird adult admission is $16 — a four-dollar savings — through Thursday, Aug. 31.