The Elk Grove Western Festival was held on May 4-6 at Elk Grove Regional Park. This year’s festival was a great success with a well attended Carnival night, a nice parade, the Western Idol competition, lots of barbecue, and plenty of games, rides, and vendors.
The Elk Grove Western Festival Parade
First of all, the Elk Grove Western Festival Parade had just over 40 entrants this year. It was a lively parade. While I didn’t see any animal entries this year, it was a joyful crowd and lots of fun to watch. City of Elk Grove Public Affairs Manager Kristyn Nelson and City of Elk Grove Planning Commissioner Kevin Spease announced the parade entrants as they walked in. The icing it on the cake was when Vice Mayor Darren Suen, City Council Member Pat Hume, and City Council Member Stephanie Nguyen began line dancing. It was awesome!
The Atmosphere & Entertainment
When I first got to the festival, I quickly realized that the Elk Grove Western Festival is completely different from the Elk Grove Multicultural Festival or the Elk Grove Pumpkin Festival. While they have a lot of the same things, the Elk Grove Western Festival seems bigger, with a lot more rides, and more to see and do. There’s a lot of food, a lot of vendors, a lot of people. Therefore, it takes awhile to take it all in. If you wanted to go 2 days in a row, you’d seriously have plenty to see and do each day. I thought everything was well organized in general and that it was a well put together event.
I’m not even into country music and I thought the entertainment was great. I enjoyed watching the different bands play. My personal favorite was Momma T & Shaky Ground Band. Also, my family really enjoyed watching the motorbikes ride around inside the circular metal cage. It’s just lively and fun. You can’t really go wrong because there is so much to see.
The ever popular Western Idol competion was held. Competition this year was fierce and there were a lot of good singers. Ultimately, Carly Rhoades took 1st Place for the Women and Ben Taylor took 1st Place for the Men. Congratulations to the Western Idol Winners!
Saferrah Mansfield 3rd place Women’s $200
Jose Miramontes 3rd Place Men’s $200
Justin Michael Parrish 2nd Place Men’s $300
Tossa Newcomb 2nd Place Women’s $300
Ben Taylor 1st Place Men’s
Carly Rhoades 1st Place Women’s
On to Grand Finals:
Ben Taylor GRAND FINAL RUNNER UP TOOK $400
Carly Rhoades GRAND FINAL WINNER TOOK THE $600
Important to note, I’ve never seen more rides at a festival I have been to in the City of Elk Grove. Really. I’m a resident of Elk Grove and I take my kids to all the festivals this town has to offer. My kids loved the rides at the Elk Grove Western Festival. There was a roller coaster, a fun house, a train ride, an airplane ride, a ferris wheel, and a drop ride, and numerous rides that I would never go on. Also, wrist bands were $30 so I got my older daughter a wrist band and counted it well spent. My daughter Roxy had a blast. She loved the big slide, the roller coaster, the airplane, and the carousel. If you have kids, I highly recommend the taking your family to the Elk Grove Western Festival next year and checking out the rides.
Truthfully, I expected the Elk Grove Western Festival to be all country music and barbecue. However, that was just what I had in my head. As a result, I was surprised but the different varieties of food I saw. Sure, there was plenty of barbecue, but there were so many different kinds of foods there that it was hard to choose where to eat. I wanted to try everything. The Adobo Wings from Tailgate 44 were my favorite. I was not expecting to find food with a Filipino twist at the festival so I was pleasantly surprised. Considering that they cost $10 for 8 wings, and I bought $30 worth, I’d say they were phenomenal.
I also had a very good plate of ribs that were decimated before I could get a picture. The bbq part of the festival is insane. The Main Stage has food trucks around it, and then the bbq competition is on the other side of the festival. There is so much choice bbq and sides. My advice is come to the Elk Grove Western Festival hungry. If you love good barbecue, or lots of meats, or Mexican food, funnel cake, shaved ice, and good craft beers, you’ll be in heaven.
In conclusion, my family and I really enjoyed the Elk Grove Western Festival this year. It’s just a fun and entertaining event. My kids loved the rides. We also go to do a few things we don’t normally do like watch the motorbikes and watch the Western Idol competition. The food was phenomenal. I’m still thinking about the Adobo Wings from Tailgate 44. You definitely missed out if you didn’t go to the festival this year. In my humble opinion, this is a “must go” to festival in Elk Grove. My advice, make plans to go to the Elk Grove Western Festival next year and take your family. You’ll have a blast, just like I did. I give props to the organizers of the Elk Grove Western Festival for putting on a great event! I’m already looking forward to next year’s Elk Grove Western Festival.