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The Hayward Zucchini Festival was founded in 1983 to create a family-oriented event in the Bay Area as well as to serve local charities and non-profit organizations. Thirty years later, the festival is as popular as ever and continues to raise money for dozens of charities and non-profit organizations through out the Bay Area.  The festival attracts nearly 20,000 to 30,000 children, parents and grandparents each year and has raised and distributed over $2,500,000 to local charities and non-profit organizations over the last thirty years. 

The spring of 1983 was a low-economic period in the nation and in the Bay Area. There were plant closures and funding to many non-profit organizations was cut. There was a need to bolster the spirits of the community, provide a source of revenue for non-profit organizations and, most importantly, find something fun, different and exciting to do right here in our own backyard. 

Several local leaders, including Hayward Mayor Alex Giuliani, shared these concerns. They considered the various festivals and events held in other areas and laughingly hit upon a festival honoring the most prolific and versatile vegetable, the ZUCCHINI.  Thus, the Hayward Zucchini Festival was born to offer an alternative funding source for our many local charities and non-profit organizations and, at the same time, provide a fun family oriented event featuring live entertainment, shopping and food, lots of food and Zucchini.

The thirty years following the successful first year, festival leaders have endeavored to keep the Hayward Zucchini Festival's fun and entertaining persona. Great emphasis is placed on hiring local Bay Area talent to entertain on all stages during the weekend. The Hayward Zucchini Festival has strived to keep in mind that the Bay Area has a diverse population and entertainment be carefully considered.  Between the entertainment stages, one can find something to their taste and culture. 
Hayward Zucchini Festival
P.O. Box 247
Hayward, CA 94543

Office: 510-278-2079              Cell: 510-604-9466                   Fax: 209-248-5737

Zucchini takes center stage at this enormous festival where booths will feature the summer squash in many forms including famous Fried Zucchini, Grilled Stuffed Zucchini, fluffy Zucchini Fritters, and Mimi Montano's Chocolate Zucchini Cake. Also taking place will be the great Zucchini Cook-Off and cooking demonstrations.

How many ways can Zucchinis be cooked? 

The answer to this - and to any other question about the vegetable, dubbed “jewel of the summer”, probably will be found at the annual Hayward Zucchini Festival. Visitors will find zucchini quiche, zucchini bread, zucchini relish and even zucchini ice cream. There will always be plenty of zucchini cooking samples and also various fine wines and quality beers in a wine/micro-brew area. There will be zucchini on pizza, in sausage, in cakes and sandwiches.

Zucchini reigns supreme as the king of summer squashes, bountiful in backyard gardens with origins dating back to 7,000 to 5,500 BCE Mexico. Popular, in part, due to a mild flavor that balances both savory and sweet dishes, zucchini is also nutritious and filling, making it an ideal addition to any healthy diet.

Not only is this super-fruit (yes, technically it’s not a veggie) low in calories, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, but it’s also a great source of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. Nutrients in zucchini include vitamins A, C and K, plus potassium, magnesium and folate, which can help reduce blood pressure and support the immune system while possibly lowering the risk of certain cancers, heart attack and stroke.  

What began in 1983 as a pseudo-joke in response to various festivals and events held in other cities has now morphed into a fun, family-oriented affair that has attracted up to 20,000 - 30,000 people in past years, successfully raising funds for local non-profit organizations and charities.
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