Carrot Festivals & Carnivals

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Events around the World Which Celebrate the Wonderful Carrot

Several countries have an annual event to celebrate the glorious carrot, usually in a growing region. In addition there is an organisation which celebrates International Carrot Day every year on 4 April - here.

Here are the ones which have become known to the World Carrot Museum.

Holtville California Bradford Ontario Ohakune New Zealand Croissy sur Seine, France Georgia, USA Bakersfield CA Cuevas Bajas, Spain Tiggiano, Ippazio Italy Bardowick, Germany
Aarau Switzerland Schenectady County NY Creances France Beypazarı, Turkey Kalfresh, OZ Everdale, Ont Cayasta Argentina Harvest Moon Tasmania Any others?

The Carrot Museum Road Show has had exhibitions at the Royal Horticultural Society, Harlow Carr Gardens for the past few years, also at the Yorkshire Show Ground. Visit the dedicated pages here. Talks to schools, local societies and institutions are given on a regular basis, please e-mail the Museum if you would like a show or talk about carrots. Also anyone interested in holding an event in the UK, please get in touch.

Have a look at the Boston Vegetarian Society, which holds its Annual Food Festival in October and has a carrot in its main logo.  They even produced a special carrot T-shirt!  Click here for more.

The Holtville Annual Carrot Festival - January/February

Some carrot enthusiasts (Carrot Museum Curator bottom left)


Holtville in California, USA, calls itself the "Carrot Capital of the World" and to acknowledge such a prestigious title it holds the Annual Carrot Festival. The year 2007 saw the holding of the 60th festival, organised by the Chamber of Commerce, in late January/early February. They refer to it as "The Annual Community salute to the carrot".  The Festival took place on February 2nd to February 11th.

See the full story and pictures of the Carrot Museum's first visit in 2007, here.

Several carrot collectors (shown above) visited the 68th Festival in 2015, see the other photos of the visit here.

Holtville is on the east side of Imperial Valley, in the area's most fertile agricultural region, producing quality crops of carrots, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, melons, wheat and cotton. It is a very large carrot growing area and in 2013 was producing carrots on 13,698 acres in the Imperial county amounting to a gross value of $70 million. (source: Imperial County Agricultural Crop Report 2013, Agricultural Commissioner for California)

The Carrot Festival comprises a week long schedule of events, culminating in a hugely entertaining Carnival from noon until 10 p.m.

The Festival Parade takes place On a Saturday and features schoolchildren, bandsholtville carrot festival 70th year, floats, antique cars, equestrians, the Festival Queen, the Princess and Junior Princess. You can even have some carrot ice cream there, strictly during festival week!

Other intriguing events include several cookery contests, a golf tournament, two more carnivals a Student Art Show, Entertainment in the park and an Arts and Craft Fair.

All in all a thoroughly good time is plainly had by everyone, long may it continue.

The Holtville Chamber of Commerce's web site is: here

Learn more about the Carrot Festival and other Events at the Holtville CA web site here.

The Annual Carrot Fest - Bradford West Gwillimbury, Ontario, Canada - August

For the latest information do visit Bradford's Festival Website here.

Video of 2011 event here (Youtube)

One of Canada's biggest carrot producing areas is Bradford, where, every year the Annual Carrot Fest takes place.
It celebrates the area's agricultural heritage and the important role played by the carrot in the economy. Bradford West Gwillimbury alone supplies Ontario with 99% of all of their carrots AND onions! This means that Bradford also supplies Canada with 50% of their carrots and 60% of their onions

Here is a sample of what the crazy locals get up to !! See the report of John's visit in 2006 - HERE. 2018 visit here.

The local newspaper report of the day's event can be seen here.

See the Carrot Fest Flyer for 18 August 2007 HERE

2015 photos here

Fête de la Carotte - Annual Carrot Festival  - Croissy sur Seine - September

A tradition since 1860!

At the end of the 18th century, Croissy discovered a vocation for itself as a gardening village located 12 kilometres from the main food markets of Paris (the main one in Paris is known as Les Halles). Thanks to a predominantly sandy terrain, a plain which is sheltered from the western winds, and underlying ground water (possibly an aquifer), the village very rapidly became the queen of the markets - and remained so until the 1970’s.  It gained a reputation for her famous vegetables used in making pot-au-feu, of which the carrot was of superior quality.

In 1860, the first community festival of Croissy was held. With the rapid development of market gardening, Croissy became the natural choice for the festival of the carrot. The queen of the markets has therefore been celebrated for nearly 150 years in Croissy every second weekend of September.

6, 7 and 8 September 2008

It is the traditional festival of Croissy sur Seine, "carrot capital" since the mid  19th century. As ancestral home to the vegetable which once gave glory to this former market-gardening town, Croissy pays homage to the carrot with an annual festival held on  the second weekend of September.

The itinerary includes a torchlight procession, fireworks, evening DJ, mass of the 'Saint Fiacre', procession of floats, the traditional great meal “beef carrots”, a forum of local associations and a fun fair,

A procession of carrot objects is held, basically anything which moves! -    bicycles, child's scooters, wheelbarrows, soapboxes, electric wheelchairs , mobility scooters, skate boards, rollers blades and so on.

See the full story and pictures of the Carrot Museum's visit in 2007 here.

See the Carrot Festival Flyer for 2007 HERE

Click here to see more photos of this great festival from previous years.

 The Annual Carrot Carnival - Ohakune, New Zealand -

The Ohakune "O"


Over to Ohakune in New Zealand where The Big Carrot was set up in September 1984, a symbol of the pioneering work of the early Chinese market gardeners and today's entrepreneurial growers who have developed thriving business in hard times with plenty of mud, slush, cold and rain. The carrot is 7.5 metres tall! See the video of the big carrot being delivered by truck back in 1985.The Ohakune Carrot was built for a TV commercial for ANZ NZ Bank, who donated it to the town. The commercial video here.

Ohakune comes from the Maori translation meaning "Place To Be Careful."

It is a free street carnival full of stalls, competitions, growers games, sponsors displays, music, entertainment, activities and family fun.- website here.

See the full story and pictures of the Carrot Museum's visit in 2009 here.

The Carrot Carnival in Ohakune celebrates the important role the colourful, tasty, famous plays in the life and livelihood of the Ohakune community. The first Carrot Carnival was held in 1990 in an effort to provide a fun occasion for the local children and encourage people to support their local retailers. Each year the carnival has become a little bigger, a little better and a little better known and always the weather has been cold, wet, windy or all three but this does not dampen the enthusiasm of the organisers or participants.

The day starts off with a market with local organisations and also visitors having stalls which range from the local food through to a blacksmith working on a forge. Entertainment is provided by local as well as visiting artists, demonstrations by local organizations, Karate, Aerobics, Children’s Dance, competitions run by retailers for best decorated shop windows, Carrot poems, Vegetable sculptures, wearable art, a shoppers draw (usually $1000), and last but not least, the parade of floats, horses and horse drawn vehicles, trucks, tractors and all other forms of motor vehicles.

New Zealand's premier landmark has been named - and it's not the harbour bridge or Sky Tower. It's not even the Viaduct Harbour or One Tree Hill. It's a park in New Plymouth.  Pukekura Park and its two-month festival of lights has won the prime Mayfair spot on the new Monopoly, Here and Now New Zealand board.

The provincial park knocks off Auckland's Queen St, which held the top spot for 21 years. Rangitoto Island takes the neighbouring Park Lane square, the only Auckland feature to make the board. The Viaduct, Sky Tower and bridge were all nominated by local authorities.

John (5 ft 11 - 1.8 metres tall), alongside the biggest carrot statue in the world. Approximately 7.5 meters tall!! The giant carrot statue is reputedly the world's largest model carrot, and was originally constructed as a prop for a television advertisement for the ANZ Bank in the early 1980s. After filming, the carrot was donated to Ohakune, in recognition of the area's reputation as the source of a high proportion of New Zealand's carrots, and installed in its current position in 1984.

Ohakune Carrot Statue

But in public voting, the vibrant America's Cup venue was beaten by a big carrot and an oversize kiwifruit.

The Ohakune and Te Puke landmarks were winners in the quirky kiwiana section.

Carnival  Web site here.

Top left shows the flag presented to the Carrot Museum during the visit in 2009.

..... and when the Rugby World Cup arrived in 2011..... the carrot, chamelion-like changes its colour! (right hand photo, back to orange in 2012).

Annual Carrot Festival - Creances France - August

The small town of Creances in Normandy, France celebrates the apiaceae family - or the humble carrot.  Créances is on the West coast of the Cotentin peninsula, about ten miles north of Coutances. The population of the village is about two thousand in the winter, perhaps five thousand in the Summer, and a whole lot more on the second Saturday in August, when the whole region turns up to celebrate the Feast of the Carrot. Sadly it is not quite the event it could be, read more on the Museum report.

Some sample pictures of the Creances Fetes de la Carotte are shown below, for a full report and lots more pictures of the Carrot Museum visit in 2009 click here.

The Schedule of events flier (in French) is here.  The Fete programme is here.

The inhabitants of Créances have been known for growing a whole range osand carrots of Creances, Francef different vegetables since the 13th Century. Carrots, leeks, beetroot and salsify grow in the "mielles" (little fields), a sandy area close to the sea. The reclaimed beaches have been  constant applications of seaweed. After a few centuries of this, the soil is rich, deep and incredibly fertile, and produces leeks, onions, pumpkins, shallots, and above all the finest carrots in France. 

As growing conditions improved, from about 1919 the local population started selling their produce at markets in the area and as far away as Paris.

Growing carrots took off in a big way once a market garden co-operative was created in 1943. Thanks to the persistence of its members, the quality "Label Rouge" mark was awarded in 1962 to carrots grown in Créance’s sandy soil and since 1990 the town has organised a special festival dedicated to its "queen of vegetables", held every second Saturday in August.

Eight years ago Créances was granted the only Appelation d'origine for carrots. Go into any supermarket and you will see French carrots marked either "Origine France" or "Origine Créances". The town produces high-quality vegetables, carrots in particular, and every year the local farming community congregates to celebrate its terroir and the local produce with performances, a market, food stalls and music.

It takes place on the second Saturday of every August and admission is free!

There are floats piled high with produce, contests for the finest (judged on taste, not size), and the ceremonies and procession of the Confrérie des Môgeous de la Bonne Carotte des Sables. Môgeou is a local word, part of the patois that calls the village Crianches. In plain fact, it means mangeur, eater; but in this context its nearest English equivalent would be Panjandrum. The Panjandra of Créances wear carrot-coloured robes and (of course) green hats.

The programme includes a parade of carrot growers, the "Mougeous d’Carottes", a cooking competition, a fair open to everyone and musical entertainment.  Every year about 25,000 visitors come to join in the fun.

The Fête de la Carotte is principally a big excuse to sell things to each other. Five hundred stalls line all the streets of the centre, some run by professional junk dealers, some by individuals clearing their attics.

The Second Saturday of every August. 2013 - 10 August. (details here)

Aurau, Switzerland - November

Always on the first Wednesday in November, the town of Aarau, in Switzerland - known as  "The town of beautiful gables" holds its annual  "Rüeblimart" (Carrot market).  The first one was held in 1981.

The legend of Rüeblimärt - About 25 years a ago a couple in the Aargauer restaurant “Monkeys box” were having a glass of beer and discussing with their friends about the Zibelemärit held in Berne every year (Onion Market). They decided that Aarau could also organize a vibrant and successful market in their City to match what was happening in Berne and so the Rüeblimärt was born.

The first Rüeblimärt was a modest affair produced with little publicity or advertising and about 30 stalls took part, offering a wide variety of the vegetables grown in the region, together with decorative items. The public interest was so great that by 11 clock in the morning all the stalls were empty!. No one had expected such a success. It has since always been held on the first Wednesday in November, in the Old City Aarau market place, from 7.30 am and over 140 stalls ply their wares and it attracts of 35000 visitors.. A wide variety of goods are sold, carrot cheese, tea, preserves, crafts, pastries, bread, honey, eggs, clothes, crafts and of course every colour of carrots!

Aarau is a beautiful place - within minutes you can be by the river Aare, in the Jura hills, in the city or going on the Intercity train somewhere; or you can be on the "Riviera" in one of the many pub gardens in Schachen.  Also close by is Windisch, a Roman town formerly called Vindinissa and where you can see many remains including the amphitheatre.

Aarau is an attractive location in many different respects. The town is situated between Basel, Berne, Lucerne and Zurich.
Aarau is certainly picturesque with many painted gable roofs on the numerous houses in the Old Town which are unique.

Some sample pictures of the Rueblimart are shown below, for a full report of the Carrot Museum visit in 2008 click here.

The day the town turns into Carrot wonderland and all manner of baked carrot products -  carrot cakes, carrot muffins, carrot bread, carrot soup, carrot jam, carrot cheese, are on display, to sample and buy. Also ornaments, musical instruments and carrot tea!

Also, of course carrots of every colour!


Turkey - June

Carrot Festival TurkeyThe Carrot and Stew Festival is often held every first weekend of June.  The full name of festival is Beypazarı Havuç, Güveç (Traditional Dish ), Handcraft and Traditional Houses. The area surrounding Beypazarı produces 70 percent of the carrot needs for Turkey

The Carrot Museum attempted to visit the Festival in June 2011. Despite confirmation in advance from the Turkish Tourism Ministry and local checking, upon arrival the Festival had been cancelled due to Turkish national elections.

The organisation is a little erratic and I would not recommend you try and visit this event unless you have a cast iron guarantee of the date!  This is an area attempting to attract tourists, yet make little effort to clarify when they hold ANY events.  Beypazari is an hours bus journey from Ankara.

Read more about the Carrot Museum's second (and successful!) visit in 2015, with photos here. 

Bakersfield Californiacarrot fest poster

2015 - 3rd Annual Carrot Festival at Haggin Oaks Farmers Market
Sunday April 12th. 9am – 2pm

• Enter your Original Vegan & Gluten Free Cakes
• Cake Walk – With fresh Farmers Market prizes
• Human Chess & Checkers
• Carrot Cake-off!
• Dress to Impress – Renaissance and Fairy-tale Attire

New York - Schenectady County

The County holds its Annual Carrot Festival in September. Website here.

What's all the fuss about Carrots in New York?  and why a Festival? 

Begun in 1978 as a modest farmers market, Congregation Agudat Achim’s annual mid-September Carrot Festival has evolved into an eagerly awaited mega-autumn harvest fair and community carnival, featuring arts, crafts, games and musical entertainment.

From humble beginnings Carrot festival has turned into a huge event that is enjoyed by the entire community. The event showcases foods and desserts from all over the world including carrot cake, local produce, music and entertainment, vendors and crafters, a miniature health fair, and plenty of activities to keep kids entertained.    

Huge crowds from all over New York and surrounding states spill across the expansive front lawn of the synagogue to enjoy wonderful food cooked al fresco. The visitors stroll among artists’ and crafters’ stalls and display tables piled high with succulent produce trucked in from nearby Schoharie Valley farms.

If you like fun and music, carrot cakes, carrot bagels and other carrot goodies, Multi-cultural foods, and if you are looking for children's activities and a chance to buy plants and farm-fresh produce, and to shop at 50 craft booths, you'll love the Schenectady County Carrot  Festival. Held whether it rains or shines!!

Over 25 years ago one of the local farmers and some of his friends thought they could have a celebration that featured their farm's most important crop - the Carrot. Since then the carrots have kept growing and so has the Festival. Today it is one of the area's most popular September activities.

Previous Carrot Festivals have featured - the 5K Carrot Run, and the business and professional tent fresh organic produce from Schoharie County; honey and plants; over 40 craft tables; fun for the kids; and, of course, the Walking Carrot.  Sounds like great fun!

The festival’s crowning glory is its incomparable slate of carrot-based baked goods, the festival’s signature carrot cakes, crowned by a heavenly two-layer praline filled carrot cake, topped with a lush cream cheese frosting. The other carrot cakes are prepared non dairy.

They include applesauce carrot cake, banana chocolate chip carrot cake, zucchini carrot loaf, chunky apple cake, traditional carrot strudel, contemporary apple carrot strudel and pineapple carrot cake with streusel topping.

The 'carrot morá' of Cuevas Bajas - this unusual carrot grown in the municipality of Cuevas Bajas, M