Heat doesn’t stifle Fig Jam celebration

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By SUSAN HILAND/McNaughton Newspapers

The heat last Saturday didn’t deter anyone from enjoying some bluegrass tunes and relaxing with a little wine and good friends on the grounds of Park Winters.

The inaugural Fig Jam brought out 300 people for an evening that was memorable, not just for record heat but for something new in a park-like setting, albeit one with choice amenities.

Park Winters owner Rafael Galiano was the driving force behind the fig celebration.

“Over the years, I have given away millions of figs,” Galiano said. “Then one day I thought I should make some money off of these things.”

So began the quest to use as much of his fig forest’s fruit as possible.

Callista Polhemus, marketing manager for Park Winters, said Galiano has been working on this idea for the past six years. He has created a fig jam, fig wine and even given figs to a local creamery for ice cream.

The logo for the event was inspired by the album, “One Night with Janis Joplin.” The music for the night began with Manzanita and its laid-back indie-folk vibe. They were followed by the “whiskey-soaked bluegrass” band Merrygold. Guests were treated to a barbecue dinner of chicken, salad and even a fig pizza. Vendors included Berryessa Brewing Co. of Winters, Twin Rivers Cider of Sacramento, Davis Creamery and Henry’s Bullfrog Bees’ Pure Honey of Winters, among others.

“I invited vendors who have the same passion for their product that I do,” Galiano said.

The venue was a draw for some.

“This is my favorite place in Yolo County,” guest Jessica Freedom said. “They just make everyone feel so welcome.”

Her friend Annie Morrison wanted to spend the night, she was so relaxed and happy.

“This weather is atypical, and everyone is bringing their kids to the pool,” Morrison said.

Freedom sipped wine outdoors at a long table with a purple-and-white tablecloth.

“This might just be the crown jewel of all Northern California,” she said.

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