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.