By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Festival continues today, Sunday at Mistlin Park
ABF vendor
Conchita Cisneros was standing in for her daughter, Stephanie Benham, who is the owner and operator of Mama Stephs Salsa, currently available at the festival.

Mario Corral was in search of a sausage sandwich that a friend highly recommended.

As a relatively newcomer to the area – he moved to Ripon from the Bay Area not too long ago – Corral, who arrived early to the Almond Blossom Festival at the Mistlin Sports Park on Friday, inquired about this particular food item.

When asked, it took nothing flat by anyone within ear shot to utter: “Lockeford Sausage.”

Corral was guided to the popular booth – Lockeford Meats offers a variety of different types of fresh and smoked sausages and other items – amid the other enticing food vendors at the 62nd annual event.

Included once again were booths offering kettle corn, mini donuts, Philly Cheesesteaks, garlic fries, tri-tip beef, chicken, tacos, hamburgers and fully-loaded hotdogs, to name a few.

As for the weather, the Almond Blossom Festival opened under dry conditions with temperatures hovering around mid-60s with more of the same for this weekend, much to the delight of the Ripon Chamber of Commerce.

Last year’s Almond Blossom Festival was a wet one.

“It rained like crazy,” recalled Conchita Cisneros of Mama Steph’s Salsa.

That’s the booth featuring hot and mild salsas made by her daughter, Stephanie Benham, who started the business over a year ago.

Since then, she’s taken her homemade Mama Steph’s Salsa to various craft fairs, farmer’s markets, and others events around the area.

Fresh ingredients are the key to her salsas not to mention the popularity of the condiment. “Everybody likes salsa,” said Cisneros.

As for Corral, he was not disappointed with Lockeford Sausage.

He bought a sandwich with the works for $8, sat back at a nearby table, and enjoyed the nice afternoon weather along with the ambience of the Almond Blossom Festival.

“I’m tempted to get another one before I leave,” said Corral, who is looking forward to the weekend of activities around town.