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Who makes the best goodies with almonds?
The trickle of rain that started on Jan. 30, which ended 53 days straight of no rain in California, left pearly droplets of water on the petals of early-blooming almond varieties such as these blossoms at an almond orchard. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO


• WHAT: 52nd annual Almond Blossom Festival
• WHEN: Feb. 21-23
• WHERE: Ripon’s Mistlin Sports Park
• INFO: For information or applications for the parade, Almond Blossom Fun Run or to be a vendor go to the Ripon Chamber of Commerce site at You can also drop by the chamber office at 929 W. Main St., Ripon, or call 599-7519 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cakes, cookies and pastries – all homemade confections – are once again part of the upcoming Almond Blossom Festival

The Almond Blossom Baking Contest has been in limbo in recent years and is now open to those 5 years and older. The categories include cakes, breads, cookies and bars, candies, pastries, and special chocolate delights that represent this year’s festival theme, “Home on the Grange.”

All entries must contain almond meats or almond paste and eggs and be completely homemade. Entries that include premade mixes are not acceptable, according to Laurin Sephos, Ripon Chamber Events/Marketing manager.

Entries may be turned in at the Ripon Community Center Hall between 7 and 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20. Each division and each category will be awarded ribbons at the Almond Blossom Queen Coronation ceremony at the Community Center at 7 p.m. that evening. First place finishers will be set out for public view during the queen’s ceremony.

Entry forms are available at the chamber of commerce office or may be obtained online at