No matter what time of year, there are always plenty of places to go, things to do and lots of ways to enjoy Lodi and its people.
In January, there are many key events recognizing accomplishments of our people and celebrating their successes — such as the Outstanding Citizen of the Year Celebration, a fun event that honors a worthy Lodi citizen for his/her contribution to our community. Visit www.lodichamber.com for more information on this event.
Because of Lodi's proximity to the Pacific Ocean, many Lodi not-for-profits have crab feeds as fundraisers for their organizations. If you want an evening full of great food for a great cause, go to the Community Calendar page at www.lodichamber.com .
Around Valentine's Day, visitors can enjoy the Wine & Chocolate Weekend. The area's finest wines are paired with decadent chocolate creations, making for a deliciously romantic experience! Visit www.lodiwine.com for dates and information.
Springtime brings beautiful weather and a myriad of wine tasting events to Lodi. The Spring Wine Show at the Lodi Grape Festival Grounds is perhaps the largest wine show of the year, with several thousand visitors tasting the offerings of dozens of area wineries. Visit www.grapefestival.com or call (209) 369-2771.
For an event that allows you to enjoy the outdoors as you taste all the best that Lodi has to offer, come to historic downtown Lodi for the School Street Wine Stroll. This affair brings award-winning wine, food, first-class shopping and entertainment together in a unique open-air event. Over 25 local wineries will take up residence in the unique shops of Lodi's historic district. Each participating business is paired with a winery for the evening. Merchants provide delicious hors d'oeuvres and offer special sales while the winery pours a tasting of their label to strolling visitors, wine lovers and shoppers. Street entertainers, friendly faces, and the ideal valley weather make this a perfect evening out. Event held in April and October. www.lodichamber.com or call (209) 367-7840 x100 for tickets and information.
Zinfest is another popular wine tasting event that takes place in May. Featuring over 40 local wineries, a dozen regional restaurants, live music throughout the day, vendors and an on-site wine store, this event continues to draw wine lovers to its lovely lakeside location. For tickets and information visit www.zinfest.com or call (209) 367-4727.
Held in April of each year, the Legends of California Wine Auction and Dinner is a celebration of leadership/service in California agriculture — especially the grape and wine industry. The event consists of an auction featuring truly world-class wines and dining and entertainment packages. The auction is preceded by a dinner of original foods, paired with featured wines and prepared by the finest chefs and caterers in Northern California. The event benefits the San Joaquin County Historical Society & Museum and the Micke Grove Zoological Society and has achieved statewide recognition as a not-to-be-missed occasion. For information call (209) 331-2055.
The Lodi Memorial Hospital Foundation holds a very special "hometown" event that is typical of Lodi's ability to care for its own. During mid-May each year, the Foundation takes to the streets and hundreds of people "Walk For the Health of It!" This fundraiser is successful, and is equally successful for raising fun for all who participate. Call 339-7582 for more information, or visit www.lodihealth.org.
The Lodi Street Faire is the largest antique and craft fair for a hundred miles in any direction. Over 700 vendors and exhibitors line 12 downtown city blocks with their creations and collectibles the first Sunday in May. Visit www.lodichamber.com or call (209) 367-7840.
In late May, join us for Art on The Square, an outdoor art event that showcases the collections of local artists on the lawn of Hutchins Street Square. Enjoy the sounds of local musicians as you shop all kinds of fine art and handcrafted items. Call (209) 333-6782 or visit www.hutchinsstreetsquare.com.
Every Thursday evening there's "a happening" at the downtown Lodi Farmer's Market. There are all kinds of offerings, including delicious locally grown fruits and vegetables and food vendors. Visit http://home.downtownlodi.com or call (209) 369-8052 for more information.
Because summer days are so invitingly perfect here in Lodi, food and wine outdoors is easily found at many events. Another great event is the Lodi Memorial Hospital Foundation's Summer Fest, held each year during the second week of July at the beautiful Woodbridge Winery of Robert Mondavi. Casual elegance is the de riqueur of fare under the shade of tall valley oaks and cedars. Visit www.lodihealth.org or call (209) 339-7582 for more information.
Concerts in the parks, plays and celebrations of all kinds happen all through the summer. The 4th of July is an evening that makes all Lodians proud. The City and local clubs put together a spectacular fireworks show over picturesque Lodi Lake. The aerial pyrotechnics reflected from the water's surface silhouette thousands of families sitting around the lake. The day is filled with celebration and various events of homespun fun, beginning with the Kiwanis Club Pancake Breakfast — a Lodi tradition. Call (209) 368-4626.
Harvest time in Lodi is a busy time, and fall is a season of festivals and fairs. As the harvest is completed, members of the community coordinate the Grape Festival at the fairgrounds. The Fair has all the trappings of an old-time country fair — right down to Blue Ribbon quilts, pickles and pies. The fun is oozing out from grape stomp contests to incredible billboard-size murals made from grapes! Of course, there is wine to taste and great food to eat and a carnival for the kids. Visit www.grapefestival.com or call (209) 369-2771 for further information.
The Lodi Street Faire is the largest antique and craft fair for a hundred miles in any direction. Over 700 vendors and exhibitors line 12 downtown city blocks with their creations and collectibles the first Sunday in October. Visit www.lodichamber.com or call (209) 367-7840.
A Taste of Lodi is held on the picture-perfect grounds of Wine & Roses Hotel and Restaurant. Built in 1906, the location is, without a doubt, one of Lodi's most cherished destinations. The winding drive serves as a guide to tasters as it twists through displays of gourmet food offerings, chef demonstrations, jazz music and the finest wines in California. Visit www.tasteoflodi.com. More information is also available at (800) 798-1810.
The Sandhill Crane Festival is headquartered at Hutchins Street Square early in November. The fest has over 60 wildlife tours going out in all directions. The 6,000 - 8,000 Sandhill Cranes that winter in Lodi are a true spectacle of nature. Each crane stands at approximately five feet, and has a wingspan of seven feet. Every evening, the birds do their "fly-in" at sunset. The sky fills with sorties of these graceful flyers, and the orange harvest sunset provides a colorful backdrop. The Festival has many offerings, including an art show, workshops, storytelling, nature tours, music and dance and hands-on exhibits. Call (800) 581-6150 or visit www.lodichamber.com.
In December, the holiday-decorated downtown area plays host to The Parade of Lights. More than 80 lighted floats make their way through twinkling tree-lined streets, and 40,000 friends and neighbors wave at one another in the glow of the town's Christmas spirit. It is one of the events that truly makes Lodi someplace special. Visit downtownlodi.com or call (209) 369-8052 for more information.
You won't want to miss First Sip, a winter wine event where you can see the wineries decked out in their holiday splendor. At this passport event, visitors can enjoy wine tasting and light appetizers while browsing gourmet food items, unique wine accessories and receiving special discounts. For more information call (209) 367-4727 or visit www.lodiwine.com.
The Annual Festival of Trees at the San Joaquin County Historical Museum is held the first Saturday and Sunday in December. During the event, the Historical Museum at Micke Grove Park is transformed into a wonderland of holiday cheer. More than 60 exquisitely decorated trees, many with heirloom ornaments, are arranged throughout the Museum. Adding to this festive setting will be Santa and Mrs. Claus, wandering carolers and entertainers, wood carvers, weavers and other artisans demonstrating their crafts and selling their wares. For more information call (209) 331-2055.
As you can see from this sampling of events, there is a lot to see and do in Lodi. To find scheduled times, locations and other information for these and other Lodi events, you can contact the Lodi Conference & Visitor's Bureau at (800) 798-1810 or go to www.visitlodi.com, or lodichamber.com and click on Events Calendar.