It’s kind of hard to believe that this weekend’s Sacramento Banana Festival is already the fifth annual installment of the event. It seems like just yesterday that our poor, boring city was without its famous self-described “multicultural celebration of the diverse cultures that use banana as food.” Launched in 2009 as a fundraiser for the National Academic Youth Corps, its partner organizations now also include Sol Collective, Samoa Silasila, and Fenix Drum and Dance Company.
This Saturday, August 9 (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), and Sunday, August 10 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), the festival once again offers multicultural entertainment like dancing (Polynesian, hip-hop, salsa), drumming (Caribbean steel pan, African drumming) and live music (Urban Fire, Texas Blues Band, Patrick Riley Band). There’ll also be circus performers, art demonstrations, a 5k walk, and a competition called the Little Mr. & Miss Banana and Miss Banana Queen Pageant. Entertainment happens on three stages—a main stage, a stage for teens and a stage for kids—so there’s something for the whole family.
Then, of course, there’s the main reason everyone shows up: to eat a whole bunch of bananas. There are multiple banana-pie eating contests, a banana-pancake breakfast each day (starting at 9 a.m. before each day’s events start), and dozens of banana-based foods (ice cream, cake, vegetarian banana burgers, salads, cheesecake, fried plantains, grilled bananas) to sample. In the words of Kanye West, you’ll be “going gorillas.” Tickets cost $5. William Land Park is located at 3800 S. Land Park Drive. Visit www.sacbananafestival.com for more information.