Central Valley December 2017

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December 2017

56 Fulton Street is back

08 12 18 27 56

With the reopening of Fulton Street to vehicular traffic, the city is posed to return this iconic street to its past glory.

Art takes flight Permanent gallery spaces have opened near boarding gates at Fresno Yosemite International Airport.

From fruitcake to folly


If you’re looking for ways to celebrate, look no further than our 12 Days of Christmas — a guide to the season.

Holiday Flavors Our readers share their favorite seasonal recipes in our annual Holiday Flavors special section.

San Francisco for the season The City By the Bay knows a thing or two about celebrating. The winter holidays are no exception to the very festive rule.

6 Sneak peek 7 Believe it 8 Pastimes 12 In the Spotlight

14 Don’t Miss Calendar 16 25 Things You Didn’t Know About... 18 Timely Trends 27 Holiday Flavors 43 Make it 44 Timely Trends


50 Eat, Drink, Be Merry 56 Get Up & Go 64 Snapshots

Santa Claus Charles Diffey is comfortable in the winter wonderland home of Jude Lanfranco. The Fresno resident and owner of Jude’s Fantasy Land loves Christmas, so it is only natural for Santa to stop by for a visit this time of year. PHOTOGRAPHY: Gary Kazanjian

4 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

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At Home

Enjoy all of the flavors of the season


Our Holiday Flavors special recipe section begins on page 27. In addition to cookie recipes from our contest, the pages contain pies and baked goods and even some savory items sent in from some local restaurants, ag companies and readers like you. We’re excited to share these recipes with you here, and also on Central Valley’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ CentralValleyMag) during the month of December. In addition to recipes inside our Holiday Flavors section, we’re also sharing one of our all-time favorites with you. Even if you think you can’t stand fruitcake, we encourage you to give this one a try. We’ve published it before, but you asked for it again. Check out Joanne Harland’s recipe for fruitcake on page 18, in our 12 Days of Christmas story. The fruitcake is just the beginning of all you can do to embrace this season. I hope you have the most happy holiday season. Thank you for reading Central Valley in 2017. We’ll see you next year.


few months ago, Central Valley hosted a contest at The Big Fresno Fair. The contest asked you, our readers, to show us your best holiday cookies. More than a dozen of you responded. There were candy cane-shaped peppermint cookies, peppermint mocha sandwich cookies, frosted pumpkin cookies and more. To put it mildly, our judges, Nola Wilson and Sonia White, had a job most would envy. They had to taste each cookie in front of a crowd of about 50 onlookers gathered to watch the contest inside the Home Arts building at the fairgrounds. They tasted, took notes and judged each cookie on texture, aroma, presentation and, of course, flavor. The winner, Joshua Maynard, took home the grand prize, a KitchenAid mixer. You can see his picture on page 29, presented alongside his recipe for pumpkin pie sandwich cookies. While we couldn’t fit in every recipe from our contest, we did share with you another of the Maynard family’s recipes, Lisa Maynard’s Nutty Yule Log cookies, which took home a secondplace prize. That recipe is on page 33.

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Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 5


New year, new venue

December 2017/ Vol. 6, Issue 12 ......................... Central Valley magazine is produced by the Custom Publications staff of The Fresno Bee and published by The Fresno Bee. It is inserted into The Fresno Bee on the fourth Saturday of the month in the Fresno/Clovis area. It can also be found in waiting rooms throughout Fresno/Clovis. Cover price $3.95 President & Publisher Ken Riddick Vice President, Sales & Strategic Marketing John Coakley

With a reputation for hosting the largest Hmong New Year celebration in the United States, the Hmong International New Year Foundation has welcomed thousands of local and global visitors to the Hmong International New Year for nearly 20 years. Starting on Tuesday, Dec. 26, the seven-day cultural festival will move from the Fresno Fairgrounds to Granite Park Sports Complex — featuring more than 600 vendors, activities, live performances and competitions. Founded in 1999, the Hmong International New Year Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aims to preserve and support the diversity of the Hmong community. The Hmong International New Year also hosts the crowning of Miss Hmong International.

The deadline to submit applications is Friday, Dec. 15. Granite Park Sports Complex is at 4000 N. Cedar Ave., Fresno. Details: www.hinyf.com

Editor Carey Norton | 559-441-6755 Advertising Sales Director Bill Gutierrez | 559-441-6405 Production Coordinator Anna Ramseier | 559-441-6751 Central Valley Sales Leader Sonia White | 559-441-6156 Assistant Editor Monica Stevens | 559-441-6149 Custom Publications Staff Janessa Tyler | 559-441-6764 Dani Villalobos | 559-441-6759 Gary Kazanjian Contributing Writers Cyndee Fontana-Ott, Douglas Hoagland, Janice Stevens, Teryn Yancey Contributing Photographers Matt Drake, Wayne Hutchison, Tomas Ovalle, Mark Wojdylak Design Kristi Marinelly, Carey Norton, Monica Stevens, Janessa Tyler, Juan Vega, Lisa Vogt Contributing Artists Pat Hunter Reader inquiries Central Valley magazine 1626 E St., Fresno, CA 93786 www.centralvalley.com 559-441-6755 All content © The Fresno Bee To contribute, please contact Carey Norton at 559-441-6755 or cnorton@fresnobee.com

The Fresno Bee

Bet your bottom dollar If there’s a character who embodies pure optimism in the face of overwhelming odds, it’s Annie — the famous red-headed orphan who sang and danced her way into our hearts since making her big Broadway debut in 1977. And I’d say we need to be reminded of what’s truly important during the holiday season, yes? Children’s Musical Theaterworks presents the Tony Award-winning show, “Annie the Musical,” from Friday, Dec. 1 through Sunday, Dec. 10 in the Veterans Memorial Building— sharing the timeless tale of her quest to find her parents in New York City during the 1930s.

The cast is split into two parts — the NYC cast and the Manhattan cast — for “Annie the Musical.” The role of Annie will be played by Samantha Shaheen-Smith for the NYC cast and Elisabeth Burbidge for the Manhattan cast. You can expect the cruel, yet humorous antics of Miss Hannigan, played by Biz Fiester, a score with classics like “Tomorrow,” “It’s the Hard Knock Life” and “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here,” and the heartwarming bond formed between Annie and the ultraserious billionaire, Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, played by Eric Estep. The Veterans Memorial Building is at 2425 Fresno St., Fresno. Details: www.cmtworks.org


6 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

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365 days of cuteness

Universal Studios celebrates ‘Grinchmas,’ all things Potter With the holiday season at our doorstep, California’s most popular theme parks are magically decked in merry, spirited splendor. And for 2017, Universal Studios Hollywood has decided to raise the ante. The first holiday-themed program for “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will bring a yuletide of magic to accompany the usual fare that can be found throughout the village of Hogsmeade and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Through Sunday, Jan. 7, witches, wizards and muggles alike can expect a special light show that illuminates the stunning Hogwarts Castle in the evenings with dancing imagery that complements a musical arrangement fans of the Harry Potter film series will recognize. Not to be outdone — and because “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” creators are anything if detailed — each of the storefronts that compose the landscape of Hogsmeade are also decorated to match the unique theme. The theme park will also debut a selection of handcrafted ornaments designed specifically for Universal Studios Hollywood, including the Hogwarts crest and mascots representing each of the four houses. And of course, we can’t forget to highlight the Christmas cheer sprinkled throughout the rest of the theme park — including the annual “Grinchmas” Who-lebration, which is scheduled for the weekends of Dec. 2-3 and Dec. 9-10 and daily from Dec. 15-31. The tale of the Grinch, Max and residents of Who-ville comes to life with the 60-foot-tall Grinchmas tree, and features musical performances by Martha May Who-vier and the Who Dolls and the Who-liday Singers. You should also look for the crew of jolly, mischievous Minions found at “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and the adjoining “Super Silly Fun Land” — helping to spread joy and cheer while bringing your favorite worlds and characters from the big screen to reality. Details: www.universalstudioshollywood.com

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With 2017 coming to a close, we have found the purrr-fect gift — for yourself and/or a friend — to celebrate 2018. Back by popular demand, The Cat House on the Kings is selling 2018 calendars — designed by Kim Barker — for $20 (shipping is free for U.S. residents). It features photographs by Jess Lessard, Stefanie Kraus, Casey Elise Christopher, Beth Caffrey and Leda Takacs Graphics Design. The no-cage, no-kill cat sanctuary and adoption center has saved thousands of felines — and dogs, too! — since being founded by Lynea Lattanzio in the early 1990s. It raises money to help more and more cats find loveable and secure homes. Details: www.cathouse onthekings.com

A night of nostalgia In the world of social media, traditional gatherings to reconnect with your friends from high school is moot — we know what they’re doing (and exactly what they ate for lunch). Still, there are occasions that need to be experienced outside the virtual world. Case in point: prom. On Saturday, Dec. 9, you’re invited to take part in “A Moment Back in Time: An Adult Prom” at The Grand 1401 — a celebratory engagement dedicated to the reopening of Fulton Street, Downtown Fresno Foundation and a lot of nostalgia. Starting at 6 p.m., VIP guests will begin the evening with hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and a dinner prepared by local eateries. The evening will continue on the dance floor. And don’t forget to smile — a photographer will be snapping shots as you relive the days of high school. A portion of proceeds benefit the Downtown Fresno Foundation. Tickets range from $40 to $550. The Grand 1401 is at 1401 Fulton St., Fresno. Details: www.fresnoadultprom.com

Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 7



‘Back to the future’ for Fulton Street BY: Janice Stevens | ILLUSTRATIONS: Pat Hunter | PHOTOGRAPHY: Fresno Historical Society

I Janice Stevens is the author of multiple books on California history: Fresno’s Architectural Past, Vol. I and II, William Saroyan: Places in Time; Remembering the California Missions; and An Artist and a Writer Travel Highway 1 (North, Central and South), plus Breaking Bread with William Saroyan, collaborations with her business partner, watercolorist Pat Hunter, and two volumes of Stories of Service, compilations of Valley veterans’ military memoirs. Ask Janice a Fresno history question by emailing custom@ fresnobee.com or posting your question on the Central Valley magazine Facebook page, www.facebook. com/CentralValleyMag.

The iconic clock tower by Jan De Swart is now in Mariposa Plaza at Mariposa and Fulton streets at the entrance to Chuckchansi Park.

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n July 2012, I wrote a column with the header, “Seeing the beauty in the ever changing J Street/ Fulton Mall.” Five years later, the early history of Fulton Street hasn’t changed; however, the street has evolved from a street named for an early pioneer of Fresno, to the award-winning Fulton Mall in the 1960s to the present reopened Fulton Street to through traffic. The changes were fraught with controversy. But as Mayor Lee Brand said at the grand reopening celebration last month, “It’s a historic day for Fulton Street. It’s back to the future for the heart of Fresno.” But first, to revisit history, one wouldn’t normally appreciate a bawdy song such as “There’ll be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight” played at a dignitary’s funeral parade down what was then known as J Street in downtown Fresno. In keeping with Fulton G. Berry’s express wishes, the song and other popular tunes of the early 1900s played by a brass band, greeted revelers who were in a party mode. A parade and celebration would have been precisely how the flamboyant former owner of the Grand Central Hotel at the corner of J and Mariposa streets in downtown Fresno would have wanted before he suddenly passed away in 1910. The eternal prankster, he rode out of town in style, remembered by his sometimes questionable associations, one being Marcus Pollasky, the mastermind of the San Joaquin Valley Railroad in Clovis. Fulton Berry was a prominent citizen in the annals of early Fresno history, and community leaders chose to recognize him by renaming J Street to Fulton Street in his honor. Throughout the passing years, Fulton Street continued to be the hub of downtown Fresno with high-rises joining Fulton’s

Grand Central Hotel, including the 10-story GriffithMcKenzie then later under new ownership as the Helm Building built in 1914, the Matte/Guarantee Building built in 1921, the Bank of Italy Building built in 1918, the San Joaquin Light and Power Company built in 1923, and the Radin and Kamp Department Stores in 1925. In the decades to follow, J Street evolved from a horse-and-buggy thoroughfare to streetcars to a paved two-lane street. However, in an evolution of the town by the 1960s, faced with the abandonment of downtown Fresno to the suburbs, the Fresno Downtown Association considered ways to revitalize the downtown and bring back viable economic growth. Although coming through the Great Depression and World War II with new construction bringing forth buildings such as the Del Web TownHouse Fresno County Plaza, a new courthouse and convention center, at a cost of $10 million, the area continued to struggle. After community leaders acquired mastermind Victor Gruen and Associates, world-renowned in urban planning and design, six blocks were closed on Fulton Street, creating a pedestrian mall. Seeking to not only restore economy and a destination to downtown, the desire to create a space of beauty and pride for the citizens of the Valley became the primary focus. Thus, Garrett Eckbo, one of the most highly respected and influential modernist landscape architects, who pioneered the theme of beauty and function in landscape design, was enlisted to line the historic buildings along Fulton. In an article by Charles A Birnbaum, president of The Cultural Landscape Foundation in the Huffington Post Dec. 22, 2011, he notes, “Eckbo’s widely hailed design echoed the rippled groundplane of the nearby San Joaquin Valley and featured stained concrete construction, curvilinear and angular ribbons of concrete aggregate, a pioneering use of

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“Le Grand Laveuse (Washer Woman)” is a bronze sculpture by Pierre Auguste Renoir.

outdoor sculpture, brightly colored seating areas of various sizes and configurations, plus play spaces, pools, fountains and 80-foot right-of-way.” The Mall Art Committee, using private donations, pursued 19 rare and expensive sculptures and water fountains to include in the mall’s landscape. Collaborating with Eckbo on his vision, local sculptor Stan Bitters designed and strategically placed clay pipes to repeat the theme of agriculture in the landscape throughout the mall as well as water fountains, including the “Dancing Waters” sculpture at Fresno Street. Several sculptors’ names are widely recognized, the most famous, perhaps, is French Impressionist painter, Pierre Auguste Renoir. Afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis in his later years, he began sculpting. “La Grand Laveuse (The Washer Woman)” is one of only six original bronze castings in existence. Another famous sculpture is a large abstract bronze by Peter Voulkos. At the installation of his piece, on Aug. 19, 1965, Voulkos told a Fresno Bee reporter, “It just means itself. It doesn’t represent anything but the combination of ideas I had when I made it.” Pedestrians could sit awhile on “Tile Mosaics,” mosaic-covered benches placed on every block of the mall designed and created by Joyce Aiken and Jean Ray Lowry. And “Rite of the Crane,” an elegant bronze by Bruno Groth, perched among the marshlands of reeds and grasses, reminds the viewer of the crane and egret posing gracefully in the Valley landscape. When the mall opened to acclaim nationwide, record crowds and dignitaries gathered from across the country, including Gov. Edmund G. Brown to light the clock tower, a rare and expensive laminated wood and fiberglass creation by Jan De Swart, a prominent Dutch-born artist known for his unique signature style of using wood in his sculptures. Fresno’s Fulton Mall was a tremendous success, and the party to celebrate would have pleased Fulton G. Berry immensely. Other cities patterned their malls after Fresno, creating beauty and function in their

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downtown cores much as Eckbo envisioned for his Fulton Mall, a place of artistry and the pride of Fresno. A 2011 appraisal of the mall’s extraordinary art surpassed $2 million. That same year, the mall was placed on the California Register of Historical Resources. In spite of the designation on the Register, the abandonment of the downtown core continued to take a toll on the Fulton Mall. Businesses fled north. The treasured art pieces became fodder for vandalism and destruction. Controversy swirled as to what to do with the mall, with sides lining up to either save the historic mall, or make a change, and open it to through traffic. Eventually, the decision set the wheels in motion to return it to Fulton Street, in part from a grant worth $15 million. On Oct. 21, Fresnans, dignitaries and other notables once again flocked to Fulton Street to have a party, to celebrate a grand reopening.

The award-winning Fulton Mall originally opened in 1964.

Please see next page

Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 9

Restore the whole building eadlines in The Fresno Bee, on news outlets and social media announced the stage used by The Children’s Musical Theaterworks will close by the end of December. Housed in the Fresno Memorial Auditorium, now known as the Veterans Memorial Building, the group has used the downtown performance center for 18 years. By many accounts, the letter stating this cancellation caught the organization and the performers off guard, although the City of Fresno stated notices had been sent out for months in advance. When the notice came is not the issue. Canceling scheduled performances is the issue, and even more important, the deterioration of the classic 1936 building given as the reason to cancel organization’s use of the venue. Let’s review our history: The purpose for the building was as Jerome Laval said in “As ‘Pop’ Saw It, “a long awaited facility that seated 3,500 and could stage any production.” The construction cost approximately $400,000, “Thirty percent was appropriated by the U.S. Adminis-


tration and the rest by a bond issue.” History records the Fresno Memorial Building as the venue for the performing arts, classic films and concerts for decades. The Legion of Valor Museum refurbished a portion of the building to exhibit veterans’ memorabilia. It has gleaned the reputation as one of the finest on the West Coast. But what about the stage and theater? The Children’s Musical Theater, founded in 1997, has showcased more than 1,000 of Central Valley youth. The productions include approximately 100 children on stage to audiences of 500 each performance. This usage clearly fulfills the vision of a communitybased facility. “The auditorium’s main foyer and the Veteran’s Museum will remain open to the public,” said Bruce Rudd, interim assistant city manager and interim director of the Parks, After School, Recreation and Community Services Department, in a Fresno Bee article. “The city will undertake any needed repairs to the portion of the building that contains the museum. ...” I am relieved our treasured Veterans’ Museum will remain open and “needed repairs” will continue to maintain it. I am dismayed to see no reference to repairs to the theater. City of Fresno, at an estimated $500,000 to a million dollars to bring the stage and auditorium up to code, isn’t that a priority? Don’t neglect the performing arts and a venue to showcase our Valley’s youthful talents. Find a way to return The Children’s Musical Theaterworks to the Fresno Memorial Auditorium to continue to enrich our community. Let this be just a temporary setback while “all hands on deck” restore the entire building to the Central Valley. CV

continued ... The art is spruced up. Mosaic tiles are reset in decorative walls; Stan Bitters’ “Dancing Waters” sculpture has been refurbished and relocated to Fulton and Kern streets. The crowd gathered to celebrate could rival the opening of the Fulton Mall 50-plus years ago. Dignitaries flanked the stage, and expressed their words of gratitude for those whose vision brought the opening to fruition. Those words resonate long after the party ended, “This has been a herculean effort that has literally taken every minute of every day for almost 10 years,” said former Mayor Ashley Swearengen, whose vision launched the dream that became a reality. Present Mayor Brand told the crowd he was 15 years

old when Fulton Mall opened. “Downtown is poised for a renaissance. This is a remarkable moment, and one that was in the making for decades.” Assemblyman Jim Costa said, “This is a day we all share. Times have changed, and we are changing with them. Great things lie ahead. We love Fresno.” Perhaps the spirit of Fulton G. Berry hovered over the scene, reminiscent of the party and parade down Fulton Street given in his honor in the early 1900s. One could almost picture him astride his large white horse leading folks down the street that would bear his name. More than 100 years later, the parade of classic cars draggin’ the main on Fresno’s historic Fulton Street complete the party atmosphere. CV

BY: Janice Stevens | ILLUSTRATION: Pat Hunter

The deterioration of the classic 1936 Veterans Memorial Building is given as the reason to cancel The Children’s Musical Theaterworks’ use of the venue.

Fulton G. Berry was a flamboyant business man who owned the Grand Central Hotel on J and Mariposa streets with his wife, Mary. He became such a prominent person financially as well as socially that J Street was renamed Fulton Street after his death in 1910.

10 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

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Marc Blake, founder of the Central California Conservatory of Visual & Performing Arts, curated the opening exhibit theme, “This is Central California,” which celebrates the region’s natural beauty, culture and identity at Yosemite International Airport. Multiple displays located on the first and second floors near the boarding gates will serve as permanent art galleries creating a serene environment for travelers to discover and experience the wonders of the Central Valley.

An artistic diversion Fresno Yosemite International features gallery spaces BY: Cyndee Fontana-Ott | PHOTOGRAPHY: Tomas Ovalle


ravelers through Fresno Yosemite International no longer have to leave the airport for their first on-the-ground glimpse of Central California’s charm and artistry. That singular splendor and skill now unfolds in a several gallery spaces at the airport. The opening exhibit theme, “This is Central California,” debuted this fall and celebrates the natural beauty, culture and identity of the region through the work of local artists. One portion of the exhibit is a series of large photographs that feature images of birds taking flight, a field of sunflowers, a celebratory Fresno Grizzlies baseball team, an orchard in bloom, a pair of owls and

12 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

more — including a near-panoramic 8-foot mural of downtown Fresno’s Fulton Street. Those photos were the first pieces installed, and they fan out along the walls of the upper concourse. Kevin Meikle, director of aviation, says art exhibits are a natural complement to FYI’s “sense of place” theme inspired by the region and the airport’s Giant Sequoia forest. More than 1.5 million national and international travelers move through the airport each year — making it the perfect spot to share the beauty of the region and the talent of local artists. “This is the perfect showcase for our Central Valley artists,” he says. Meikle described the opening exhibit as “a powerful statement about who we are.” The permanent art galleries are located on the first

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Marc Blake (center), founder of the Central California Conservatory of Visual & Performing Arts, Kevin Meikle, director of aviation, and Claudia Arguelles-Miller, director of marketing and public relations, look at images on Blake’s iPad.

and second floors near the airline boarding gates. This is in the post-security area of the airport, so only ticketed passengers have in-person access to the galleries. The spaces feature special lighting and installations to reflect an authentic gallery experience. The exhibitions are curated by Marc Blake, a well-known figure in the local art community and a professional photographer and video producer. He’s also the founder and CEO of the Central California Conservatory of Visual & Performing Arts. “Everyone is excited about this,” Blake says of the art community, which offered up a healthy response to a call for submissions for the first show. Artists throughout the Central Valley submitted about 250 pieces for consideration in the inaugural exhibit, according to Blake. In part, the response shows they are eager to find an audience for their work. “This is evidence that creative people in our community are absolutely starving for attention — in a good way,” he says. This first installation features 50 to 60 pieces, including the dozens of photographs along with paintings, tapestries, blown glass and other fine art. An online virtual tour is in the works to expand the viewing audience beyond those passing through the airport in the next few months. Blake is creating an online gallery that also will feature submitted images that weren’t included in the first exhibit. Some artwork also will be available for sale; check out www.artinfresno.com for information about the galleries and submissions. The idea for art in the airport originated at FYI. Claudia Arguelles-Miller, airports marketing and public relations officer, has an art background and an interest in the arts. Last year, she broached the subject to Meikle — who quickly endorsed the concept. The next hurdle was figuring out how to bring together the two worlds. After reaching out to several

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potential partners, Arguelles-Miller met Blake and the idea began gain traction just before the spring. Blake reached out to the art community within the Central Valley to spread the word and invite submissions for the first exhibit. The response was immediate from artists around the region. “We cast a wide net,” Arguelles-Miller says. Some artists were ready with pieces that fit the “This is Central California” opening theme, while others created new artwork. The theme shines a spotlight on the culture, natural resources, industry, agriculture, education and other aspects of the region, Blake says. Arguelles-Miller says the response on social media has been very positive (look for details about the exhibit on the airport’s Facebook page or the @FresnoAirport Twitter account). While the gallery space provides a welcome showcase for artists, it also gives waiting travelers a fresh and artistic diversion. That fits into FYI’s ambition to create a comfortable, efficient and serene “living room to gate” experience for visitors. In part, the art galleries enhance the traveling atmosphere and may also help soothe the jangly nerves of an anxious passenger. “Whatever we can do to help people relax, to reduce the stress of flying, we want to do that,” Meikle says. The airport art exhibits are expected to rotate every four months or so and will explore a variety of themes. Blake already is inviting submissions for the second show; artists can find submission forms at www.artinfresno.com or contact Blake at marc@cccvpa.com or (559) 251-5152 for information. He looks forward to talking to artists who might want to submit works for consideration. “I encourage people to contact me because it gives me a chance to get to know the artists who are anxious to show their work to the world,” Blake says. CV

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December 2017

Move over, Santa Claus. The Central Valley is the gift that keeps on giving — offering residents a sleigh-full of entertainment opportunities for December

Concrete and gold


Sure, silver and gold are the customary colors of the holiday season, but the Foo Fighters have never been traditional. The rock band’s Concrete and Gold tour is set to hit the Save Mart Center, shepherding in the

month of December with the sounds of its new, ninth album. Details: www.savemartcenter.com

A Fresno Philharmonic tradition


The Fresno Philharmonic has undergone a big shakeup this season with a new music director at its helm. Still, at least one thing that remains firmly in place: its annual ode to the

For more complete calendar listings, go to fresnobee.com/ calendar

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festive season, “Home for the Holidays.” The Fresno Master Chorale will join the orchestra at the Saroyan Theatre to present holiday classics for the entire family to enjoy. Details: www.fresnophil.org

Fit for a princess


Calling all Central Valley royalty — your castle awaits. The Tower Theatre will transform into a party fit for a princess with Sparkle 2017, including a fully constructed castle, performances and games led by Snow White, Ariel and Rapunzel and even a special photo opportunity with your favorite Disney princess. Details: www.towertheatrefresno.com

A circus for the season


Cirque Dreams Holidaze combines the best of, well, all the performing arts worlds with its festive extravaganza — masterfully presenting cirque and Broadway musical elements for the show’s 10th anniversary run. Experience the costumes, acts, music, performers and holiday spirit at the Saroyan Theatre. Details: www.cirqueproductions.com/public-shows/cirquedreams-holidaze

Race for charity


A bit of snow has been forecasted at Fresno’s famed Christmas Tree Lane this year — well, at least for one, special morning. The 6th annual Jingle Bell Run for Toys for Tots is bringing out all the stops with this year’s event, creating a snow-filled start and finish for race participants as they share in the holiday spirit and help to raise toys and funds for the popular Toys for Tots campaign. Details: www.runsignup.com/ race/ca/fresno/jinglebellrunfortoysfortots

Journey to the Middle Kingdom


See China how you’ve never seen it before with “Shen Yun” — an imaginative trip to the Middle Kingdom’s lost culture of magic, dragons, emperors and immortals expressed through dance, music and pure imaginative artistry at the Saroyan Theatre. Details: www.fresnoconventioncenter.com/eventlist/shen-yun c e n t r a lva lle y.c o m

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Jimmy Pardini J

immy Pardini — chef at The Annex Kitchen in Fresno — is a foodie through and through. The evidence? He talks about pizza dough being “sassy” and having “attitude.” He’s a third-generation restaurateur. His late grandfather, Al, and his father, Jim, are synonymous with Fresno food. Only 35, Jimmy was named Restaurateur of the Year this spring by the Fresno chapter of the California Restaurant Association. And when celebrity chef Tyler Florence visited Fresno last month, he posted this to his Instagram page: @annexkitchenfresno killed it tonight. @jimmypardini has a hit on his hands ...” That’s huge recognition for Pardini and his restaurant, which specializes in Italian cuisine. Now, more about his kitchen cred. BY: Doug Hoagland | PHOTOGRAPHY: Central Valley and Fresno Bee archives

1 He thrives in the controlled chaos of a restaurant kitchen. “I don’t have to be tame. The environment is energetic and action packed.” 2 He’s poetic on the virtues of authentic Italian cooking. “Bright” flavors. “Poignant” ingredients. “Revelatory” to the taste buds. 3 Italian hospitality inspires him. It’s when someone anticipates what you need and gives you even more than you were hoping for. Bring it on! 4 First cooked authentic Italian food in high school after a family trip to Italy. Made basil pesto. Key: good cheese. Very good: Buonissimo! 5 College semester in Florence was pivotal. Went as a business major. Came home a chef at heart. “I realized the only thing I liked doing was cooking.” 16 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

6 Florentine discovery: Margherita pizza. San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, salt and extra-virgin olive oil. Inspired him to cook. 7 After college: Prep cook (cleaned lettuce, chopped onions, etc.) at L.A.’s Osteria Mozza, co-owned by Mario Batali, chef, writer, media personality. 8 Cooked “on faith” after college. Friends made more money. He had more fun. “I knew someday it was going to pay off.” 9 Speaking of faith: He toyed with getting a master’s degree in religious studies after college. 10 Did “staging” after returning to Fresno in 2011. It’s working for free to learn from another chef. He “staged” in San Francisco for pasta perfection. 11 Wife, Jenny, rules the kitchen at home. He helps. Son, Preston, 21⁄2, is already a foodie. His favorite breakfast: fried rice with egg and soy sauce. c e n t r a lva lle y.c o m



20 5 12 Jimmy and Jenny started a family food blog: Umami & Us (umamiandus.com) Umami? “So delicious or savory it makes you smile.” 13 Met Jenny in L.A. at one of those “romantic locations you might only find in the movies — a bar!” (So says their blog.) She’s a marriage and family therapist. 14 Mischievous as a kid. He was an instigator who liked to have fun and was hard to wrangle. 15 Favorite teacher: Mrs. Aller at Malloch Elementary School. Second grade. She kept him in check, but also laughed with him. 16 Huge Michael Jordan fan. “All I wanted to do as a kid was play basketball.” 17 Waited tables in high school at Tony Roma’s (owned by his dad). Not his thing. 18 San Joaquin Memorial Class of 2001. Profile: friendly with many, tight with a few. Obsessive golfer. 19 Passion for sports has shifted to work, kids (Preston has a little sister, Chloe), travel, and seeking different food experiences. 20 Travel adventures: South Korea (homeland of his in-laws) and Japan beckon in the future. Vietnam, too.

21 First car: white ’94 GMC Yukon. First night behind the wheel: a fender bender. 22 Food mood determines his favorite Fresno restaurant. Tacos: La Elegante Taqueria. Seafood: Pismo’s Coastal Grill. Italian: “I can’t go there. I just can’t.” (Laughter.) 23 Hemingway fan. “Raw and rugged” writing. No happy endings; just good stories (“The Old Man and the Sea”) about grit and emotion. “That’s life.” 24 First concert: Alan Jackson at Selland Arena. Didn’t wear a cowboy hat. “I wasn’t that country.” 25 Fan of films by Martin Scorsese, plus “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Sense of humor? “I like to poke fun at social convention.” CV




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Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 17



Joanne Harland’s fruitcake

18 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

BY: Carey Norton and Janessa Tyler | PHOTOGRAPHY: Central Valley archive, Bee archive

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he holiday season is stressful, but only if you make it that way. It can also be an epic adventure filled with frivolity and festive fun. Forget about the partridge in a pear tree, maids-a-milking and all that jazz. We have a whole different take on the 12 days of Christmas for you. And if doing all 12 is too much, don’t worry — sometimes slowing down to enjoy the peace of the season is the best gift you can give yourself.

1. Bake a festive treat During our first year at Central Valley, we published a story about the food everybody loves to hate this time of year. We had no idea just how wrong we were. Literally. We made a mistake. We left out an ingredient and ended up receiving hundreds of calls about that missing cup of sugar. Apparently we were also wrong about our community hating fruitcake. Fresno can’t get enough of the stuff. So, here, once again, is Joanne Harland’s recipe for fruitcake. And, don’t worry. All of the ingredients are listed.

2. Go see Santa Claws Join Santa Claus for breakfast in the Kopje Lodge at Fresno Chaffee Zoo. A hearty breakfast and hot cocoa while admiring a pride of lions and a herd of African elephants in African Adventure? You don’t have to ask us twice. Afterward, take a picture with Father Christmas, decorate a cookie to take home with you, plus be entered for a chance to win tickets to ZooLights.

Breakfast with Santa 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 2 Fresno Chaffee Zoo, 894 W. Belmont Ave., Fresno Details: www.fresnochaffeezoo.org/event/breakfastwith-santa

3. Light the season If you’re a native of the Central Valley native, Christmas Tree Lane holds a certain nostalgic tradition that can’t be matched. The 2-mile stretch of homes features 140 homes and 300 decorated trees. Located on Van

Thousands walk Van Ness Boulevard during Christmas Tree Lane’s annual walk night when vehicular traffic is prohibited, allowing people to experience the historic lane on foot. An estimated 140 homes and 300 trees are decorated each year for a span of almost 2 miles between Shields and Shaw avenues.

Please see next page

1967 Betty Zajic’s Fruit Cake 1 pound diced dates 1 pound drained pineapple chunks, cut in half 1 pound Maraschino cherries, drained 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 ⁄2 teaspoon salt 4 eggs 1 cup sugar 8 cups pecans and walnut pieces

Combine dry ingredients; coat well. Wisk eggs and sugar together. Combine with dry ingredients. Mix well. (Harland usually uses her hands.) Spray angel-food pan with non-stick spray. Bake in a 275-degree oven for 11⁄2 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Remove from pan and invert on a serving plate. You can brush the top with Karo or maple syrup for a glazed appearance.

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Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 19




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The Children’s Electric Christmas Parade is a Clovis tradition. See community floats, trucks and cars illuminated by the lights of the season. Bethany Church of Fresno’s annual “Journey to Bethlehem” is a drive-through re-creation of the story of Jesus’ birth. The event will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 19 to Dec. 22 at the church at 9161 N. Maple Ave. in Fresno.

continued ... Ness Boulevard between Shields and Shaw avenues, Christmas Tree Lane is one of the longest-running holiday events in the nation. Hours of operation 6 to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday 6 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday Christmas Tree Lane runs from Saturday, Dec. 2 to Monday, Dec. 25. Walk nights will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2 and Tuesday, Dec. 12. Details: www.christmastreelane.com

4. Meet the Sugar Plum Fairy “The Nutcracker” will delight the hearts and souls of audience members as the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Fairy Godmother come to life during the 2017-2018 season of the Central California Ballet. Presented by the Lively Arts Foundation, catch a showing of the beloved holiday classic at 2 or 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 9 and 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10 at William Saroyan Theatre in downtown Fresno. Meet the Sugar Plum Fairy after the matinee on Sunday. Details: www.livelyarts.org

5. Get stitched Thousands of people line downtown Fresno streets to watch the annual Downtown Fresno Christmas Parade. This year’s theme is “A Funky Fulton Chritsmas” to celebrate the newly opened Fulton Street. The festivities begin at 11 a.m., but it is recommended to show up early to get a prime spot for viewing the parade.

22 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

Perfect your sewing skills or learn a new technique by taking a class at Kiki’s Quilt Shack. There are several workshops to choose from like “Beyond the Basics” with Shirley Gambero and “Quilt Making 101” with John John Egbert. Or, if you need a break during December, send your children to Kiki’s Kids Camp from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 2 to 5 p.m., Monday, Dec. 18 through Friday, Dec. 22. They will learn the basics of using a sewing machine and make several projects including a quilt. Details: www.kikisquiltshack.com

6. Embrace the story of Jesus’ birth At Bethany Church of Fresno, the story of Jesus’ birth comes to life — literally. The community church is hosting “Journey to Bethlehem” — a live nativity scene that features more than 50 volunteer actors as characters from the Biblical story. An audio CD will be your guide as you drive through each scene. Hours of operation 6 to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 19 through Friday, Dec. 22 Bethany Church, 9161 N. Maple Ave., Fresno Details: www.bethanychurchfresno.com

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GIFTS TO GO “Believe in Christmas, A Holiday Musical Variety Show” is at the Golden Chain Theatre in Oakhurst.

and MORE!

7. March to the beat Save the date for Saturday, Dec. 2 because Christmas has officially arrived in the Central Valley. For nearly nine decades, natives of Fresno have launched the holiday season with the Downtown Fresno Christmas Parade. Starting at 11 a.m., be amazed and dazzled by the abundant use of lights, tinsel and animated characters as hundreds of floats cruise along Fulton Street in downtown Fresno. With Fulton Street recently reopened, the theme for 2017 is “A Funky Fulton Christmas.” Later, head to Old Town Clovis for the Children’s Electric Christmas Parade. Presented by the Old Town Clovis Club, celebrate the holiday season with a slew of floats blanketed in a blizzard of lights starting at 6:30 p.m.

8. Shop until you drop Dubbed as “the season of giving,” Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a round of retail therapy. Luckily, Fresno is home to a number of local specialty shops that have gifts for everyone on your list. First, start in the Pavilion West Shopping Center at Bullard and West avenues. Owned by Jude Lanfranco, Jude’s Fantasy Land is a wonderland of home décor for your home and garden. It carries merchandise from world-renowned artists such as Darren Gygi, Arthur Court and Mark Roberts and top-notch brands like Gracious Goods, Casafina, Gracie Candles, Byers’ Choice LTD. But during the holiday season, Christmas trees are decked with lights, tinsel, ornaments and ribbons. Across the way on Bullard Avenue is Verdalee. It sells an array of furniture, accent décor, fine gifts and children’s clothing. Like Jude’s Fantasy Land, Verdalee doesn’t skip a beat when the holiday season approaches. You’ll find aisles and shelves filled with ornaments, LED light displays, wreaths and keepsakes to cherish. Finally, visit Holiday Boutique — staffed by members of the Holiday Guild in support of Valley Children’s Hospital — on the northeast corner of Bullard and West avenues. It specializes in home décor, fine gifts, children’s clothing and accessories, tableware, fashion jewelry and collectibles. The best part? Proceeds benefit Valley Children’s Hospital.

DECEMBER SUNDAY HOURS: Open Dec. 3, 10, & 17 Noon to 4:00 Christmas Eve 10-2:00


Instead of listening to the classic songs of the holiday season on the radio, enjoy the magic of live music. “Home for the Holidays,” directed by Anna Hamre, is a collaboration between the Fresno Philharmonic and the Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale. “Home for the Holidays” is slated for 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 2 at William Saroyan Theatre.

Please see next page

c e n t r a l v a l l e y. c o m

1772 West Bullard Ave. Fresno, CA 93711

(559) 435-1660


9. Go “Home for the Holidays”


Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 23

continued ...

10. Deck the halls

Trek to the Nation’s Christmas Tree at Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park.

The Fresno High Holiday Home Tour is back by popular demand. Since 1995, the Fresno High Neighborhood Association has invited the community to experience the beauty and history of the Fresno High Neighborhood. Starting at 6 p.m., Monday, Dec. 5, you’ll walk through four homes that embody the essence of the Fresno High neighborhood — known for encompassing Mediterranean-style homes and mid-century ranches made by Taylor-Wheeler in the late 1920s. Proceeds will benefit Fresno High School as well as beautification projects and improvements in the area. Tickets can be purchased for $25 at Gazebo Gardens Nursery, Top Drawer, The Vintage Market at 601 and Quality Carpets Design Center. Details: www.fresnohighhometour.com

11. Believe in Christmas Warm your heart and soul with “Believe in Christmas, A Holiday Musical Variety Show” at the Golden

Chain Theatre in Oakhurst. The review of classic carols and festive vignettes — directed by James Mierkey — will launch you into the holiday season with a smile on your face. “Believe in Christmas, A Holiday Musical Variety Show” 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 8 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 9 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec 10 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 15 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 16 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 17 Golden Chain Theatre, 42130 Highway 41, Oakhurst Details: www.goldenchaintheatre.org

12. Visit the Nation’s Christmas Tree Kings Canyon National Park is home to the General Grant, which was declared the Nation’s Christmas Tree in 1926. The 267-foot-tall redwood tree is an icon and symbol of joy and goodwill. To honor the memory of the men and women who have served, fought and died for our freedom, the Sanger Chamber of Commerce hosts an annual Trek to the Nation’s Christmas Tree. This year’s trek will be held at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10 at the base of the General Grant. Tickets for bus rides (some include meals) go quickly. Details: (559) 875-4575 CV

California has stories hiding in every shadow of her landscape. With this book, you can learn them all.

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Genini is a third-generation Californian who holds a BA and MA in history from the University of San Francisco. He taught high school history for 34 years, has worked as a book reviewer for history publications, and as a history book editor. He lives in Fresno with his wife, Roberta.


With borders spanning almost the entire western coast of the United States and its size dominating most other states in the country, it’s no wonder California has long fascinated pioneers and scholars alike. With such a long history, it could feel overwhelming to try to gain a comprehensive understanding of the state’s full history – until now. California: On the Edge of American History is a stunning survey of a state many people call home, yet few truly understand. Based on masterly historical research, this is a book that immerses you in the full evolution of one of the country’s most electrifying places. This book approaches some of the most important parts of California’s story with honesty, compassion, and rigorous research. Whether you hope to gain more insight into the native tribes of the state, the Mexican War of Independence, the Donner Party, or what life was like during World War II, California: On the Edge of American History fearlessly exposes every light moment and every dark shadow with acute vision. A place of innovation, cultural immersion, and geographical beauty, California has stories hiding in every shadow of her landscape. With this book, you can learn them all.

A P E R F E C T H O L I D AY G I F T F O R T H AT P E R S O N W H O H A S E V E R Y T H I N G . 24 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

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f lav rs c e n t r a l v a l l e y. c o m

Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 27



Crust: 23⁄4 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons sugar 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into small pieces 1 ⁄2 cup ice water

Crust: 11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 11⁄2 teaspoons sugar 1 ⁄2 cup canola or vegetable oil 2 tablespoons almond milk

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter with pastry blender or fingers until butter is the size of small peas. Add water until dough comes together. Divide and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Put flour, salt and sugar in pie plate. Stir with fork to combine thoroughly. Whip the almond milk into the vegetable oil. Pour all at once in center of flour mixture. Mix with fork. Press together with hands. Press evenly with fingers or fork to cover sides and bottom of pie plate. To prepare crust for filling, heat oven to 350 degrees. Prick bottom and sides of crust with fork (about 8 fork pricks in entire crust). Double over a sheet of aluminum foil. Fold in sides to form the shape of the inside of the pie plate. Place unbaked pie shell, lined with foil, in 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and add pumpkin filling.

Filling: 7 large Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 ⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg 2 ⁄3 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons flour 1 ⁄3 cup boiled cider (recipe follows) Roll bottom crust and place in deep-dish pie plate. Trim edges. Fill with apples. Top with top crust allowing for vents. Decorate as your heart desires with cutters or lattice work. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with granulated sugar, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cover edges with foil if necessary to prevent over browning. Pie is done when juices bubble vigorously, crust is golden brown and apples are soft. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream drizzled with boiled cider. Boiled Cider: 1 gallon apple cider, spiced or plain Pour cider into non-reactive large pot. Heat over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to low or medium low. Simmer for 5 hours, watching during the last hour, until cider turns syrupy. Makes approximately 3 cups. Drizzle over pie, pancakes or cocktails. Store in refrigerator and use within a week. — Cindy Cameron, Clovis

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Filling: 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree 8 ounces silken tofu 2 ⁄3 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 ⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 ⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 ⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt Place pumpkin puree, tofu, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and 1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Pour the filling into the prepared, parbaked vegan pie crust shell. Smooth filling with a rubber spatula. Bake until firm and set, 40 to 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely on a rack. Chill in refrigerator, uncovered, for at least 2 hours to allow filling to set, or chill overnight. Slice and serve. Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream (if desired).

COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM Makes 21⁄2 cups 1 (14-ounce) can coconut cream 1 ⁄2 cup powdered sugar 1 ⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional) Chill can of coconut cream overnight in refrigerator, allowing the cream to separate from the liquid. Chill mixing bowl and beaters overnight in refrigerator, or place in freezer one hour before use. Open cold coconut cream can and drain liquid into jar. Put on lid and save in refrigerator to use in making fruit smoothies. Place solid coconut cream in cold bowl of mixer. Using cold mixing blades, whip coconut cream at high speed, until it reaches a whipped cream consistency, adding the powdered sugar and vanilla as you whip the cream. Coconut whipped cream can be used immediately or kept refrigerated in a sealed container for up to two weeks. Keep refrigerated. — Carolyn Ocheltree, owner and executive chef, Tree of Life Café & Bakery

28 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

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PUMPKIN PIE SANDWICH COOKIE 15 sheets graham crackers or 2 cups graham cracker crumbs 1 ⁄4 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar 1 ⁄2 teaspoon baking soda 1 ⁄4 teaspoon fine salt 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1 ⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract Heat to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Crush graham crackers until they are completely broken down into crumbs and

have a sandy texture. Put them in a large bowl. Add sugar, brown sugar, baking soda and salt and whisk to combine. Add butter, egg and vanilla and stir together with a rubber spatula until just combined into a soft dough. Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to measure 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of dough from the bowl. Roll to form a small round shape. Do this with all of the dough. Space the dough balls about 2-inches apart. Cut a large center out of half of the cookies, making a doughnut-like shape. Bake until the cookies have spread and the edges are lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Let the cookies cool on a baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use a flat spatula to

transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Filling: 8 ounces cream cheese 1 ⁄2 cup pumpkin 1 ⁄2 cup sugar 1 ⁄2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 1 ⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon Cream together ingredients. Pipe onto cookie and top with cookies without centers. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired. — Joshua Maynard, Fresno, first-place winner, Central Valley Flavors Christmas Cookie Contest at The Big Fresno Fair

NANNY’S RAISIN PIE 2 cups raisins 2 cups water 1 ⁄2 cup sugar 1 ⁄4 salt 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 tablespoon butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Pastry for double 9-inch crust

Valley Fig Growers

CALIFORNIA FIG & BOURBON PECAN PIE Makes 1 (9-inch) pie 1 refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed 1 cup stemmed, chopped Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs 1 cup packed light brown sugar 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons bourbon 3 large eggs 1 ⁄2 teaspoon salt 3 ⁄4 cup light corn syrup 11⁄2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest 11⁄2 cups chopped pecans, toasted Whipped cream Adjust oven rack to middle position. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9-inch glass pie plate with vegetable oil spray. Fit pie crust into plate;

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flute edge. Chill until ready to bake. In medium saucepan, combine figs, brown sugar, butter and bourbon. Stir over medium heat until butter and sugar melt. Remove from heat. In medium bowl, whisk eggs and salt until well blended. Whisk in corn syrup and orange zest. Stir in fig mixture; mix well. Sprinkle nuts evenly over bottom of crust. Gently pour fig mixture over nuts in crust. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until center is set, shielding crust with foil after 30 minutes. Cool. Chill until serving time. Pie can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated. (Reheat in oven at 300 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.) Serve with whipped cream. Variation: Substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons water instead of bourbon. — Valley Fig Growers

Combine raisins and water. Boil for 5 minutes. Blend sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add to raisins and cook until thickened. Stir in butter and vanilla. Cool slightly. Turn into pastry-lined pan. Cover with top pastry or lattice strips. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. — Nola Wilson, Fresno

Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 29

BUTTERFINGER PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES 1 cup peanut butter 1 ⁄2 cup softened butter 1 ⁄2 cup shortening 11⁄2 cups granulated sugar 1 cup brown sugar 2 eggs 21⁄2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 cup Butterfinger Baking Bits In a mixer bowl, cream together peanut butter, butter and shortening for about 1 minute. Add 1 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar, beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Slowly add flour, baking soda and baking powder. Mix well. Mix in the Butterfinger Baking Bits. Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop cookies into 11⁄2-inch balls. Roll in 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar to coat. Flatten cookies with fork dipped in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Cool for 1 minute, transfer to a wire rack. — Nola Wilson, Fresno


2 cups water 2 cups California raisins 1 cup Crisco 2 cups sugar 3 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 4 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 11⁄4 teaspoon salt 11⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 ⁄4 teaspoon allspice 1 ⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg 2 cups walnuts, chopped (optional) Icing: 4 cups powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 4 tablespoons water Kelly Petersen Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. Boil raisins in water for 5 minutes. Drain and let cool. Save raisin water. Let raisin water cool. Measure 1⁄2 cup raisin water and mix with baking soda. Cream Crisco and sugar. Add eggs, 1⁄2 cup of the leftover raisin water mixed with baking soda and vanilla. Beat well. Add dry ingredients to flour and sift. Blend in raisins and walnuts. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes, check after 10 minutes so cookies bake until lightly browned. Icing: Blend ingredients. Spread on cookies. — California Raisins, made by Charlene Garabedian, grand-prize winner, The Big Fresno Fair, “Baked with Raisins Contest”

30 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

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In small bowl, combine cranberries and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar; set aside. In medium bowl, stir together 2 cups flour, oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar and baking soda. Stir in butter.

Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture. Press remaining crumb mixture in bottom of 13- x 9-inch baking pan. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Stir figs and walnuts into cranberries and sprinkle evenly over crust. Stir together caramel topping and remaining 1⁄3 cup flour; drizzle over fruits and nuts. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake for additional 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into 32 bars. — Valley Fig Growers


Come in for Holiday Decorating Ideas

Makes 4 dozen 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 3 ⁄4 cup ENZO’S TABLE almond flour 1 ⁄4 teaspoon baking powder 1 ⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 1 cup granulated sugar 1 large egg, separated Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 cups ENZO’S TABLE sliced blanched almonds Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg yolk, lemon zest and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides of bowl after each addition. Beat in dry ingredients on low speed to make a stiff dough. Remove dough from bowl, flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease two baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Place almonds in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, lightly beat egg white with a fork

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Save 25% until frothy. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Work with 1 piece at a time, keeping the other portions wrapped and refrigerated. Roll the piece of dough into a narrow log, 1⁄2 inch in diameter. Cut narrow log into cylinders about 11⁄2 inches long. Roll each cylinder in the beaten egg white, then in sliced almonds to coat completely. Place cookies on prepared sheets, spacing them evenly, about 1⁄2 inch apart. Repeat with the remaining portions of dough. Bake cookies until firm and almonds are lightly golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes, rotating the sheet 180 degrees halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning. Allow cookies to cool on the sheets for 1 or 2 minutes, then use a spatula to remove them gently to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust cookies generously with confectioners’ sugar. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container, layered between sheets of parchment paper, in a cool, dry place for up to 4 days. — Ricchiuti family and ENZO’S TABLE, recipe by Chef Gina DePalma, Dolce Italiano

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1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 21⁄3 cups all-purpose flour, divided 2 cups old-fashioned oats 1 ⁄2 cup packed light brown sugar 1 ⁄2 cup granulated sugar 1 ⁄2 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup butter or margarine, melted 11⁄2 cups chopped Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Figs 3 ⁄4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts 1 cup caramel ice cream topping

For More Information www.designerflowercenter.com Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 31

PUMPKIN SPICE COOKIES WITH BUTTERSCOTCH FROSTING 2 cups butter, softened 2 cups granulated sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 1 teaspoon salt 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 15-ounce can pumpkin 4 cups all-purpose flour

BUTTERSCOTCH SAUCE Makes 12⁄3 cups ⁄4 cup butter 6 tablespoons light-color corn syrup 1 ⁄3 cup granulated sugar 1 ⁄3 cup packed brown sugar 1 tablespoon water 1 ⁄8 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons heavy cream 2 teaspoons corn starch 1 teaspoon vanilla 1

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat butter with a mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Beat on medium for 2 minutes, scraping bowl as needed. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in pumpkin and then flour. Drop 1⁄4 cup portions of dough, 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until tops are set and edges are golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack. When cool, frost with butterscotch frosting.


Makes about 51⁄2 cups 12 ounces cream cheese 3 ⁄4 cup softened butter 1 tablespoon vanilla 81⁄2 to 9 cups powdered sugar 1 ⁄2 cup butterscotch sauce (recipe follows) Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla on medium about 1 minute, or until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and butterscotch sauce and beat until well combined.



3 tablespoons pumpkin 1 ⁄2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice) 1 ⁄4 cup plain Greek yogurt

32 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

In a medium-sized heavy saucepan, heat butter over low heat until melted, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium and stir in corn syrup, sugars, water and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. In a bowl, whisk together heavy cream, cornstarch and vanilla. Carefully stir into butter mixture in saucepan. Return to boiling. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Cool, cover and completely chill before using. — Victoria Melkonian, Fresno, third-place winner, Central Valley Flavors Christmas Cookie Contest at The Big Fresno Fair

⁄4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice ⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon 1 tablespoon chia seeds 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed 1 ⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 ⁄8 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon stevia (or sugar is OK) 1 cup old-fashioned oats 1 ⁄4 cup vanilla protein powder Maple syrup and walnuts/pecans (optional) 1 1

In a bowl, mix together pumpkin, milk and Greek yogurt. Add remaining ingredients and combine. Divide between two mason jars or mugs. Cover and place in refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight. Add toppings before enjoying. Note: You can enjoy cold or place in microwave for 30 to 45 seconds to warm. — Tawnie Kroll, www.krollskorner.com c e n t r a lva lle y.c o m

Center Brownie Filling: 1 cup chocolate chips 1 ⁄2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread 1 stick butter 2 eggs, plus one yolk 1 cup flour Melt butter, add 1⁄2 cup chocolate chips and stir until melted. Add hazelnut spread. Mix in sugar, eggs and flour. Stir in 1⁄2 cup chocolate chips. Bake in mini muffin tins at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Outer Cookie Layer: 3 ⁄4 cup granulated sugar 3 ⁄4 cup packed brown sugar 1 cup softened butter 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 1⁄2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda

⁄2 cup coarsely chopped nuts 1 ⁄2 cup chocolate chips 1

Mix sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and then stir in dry ingredients. Take mini brownies, roll into log shapes and pat cookie dough around logs. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Trim edges. Cool. Ganache: 1 cup heavy whipping cream 1 cup chocolate chips 1 ⁄2 cups chopped hazelnuts Heat whipping cream and chocolate until chips are melted. Cool. Spread on logs and sprinkle with hazelnuts. — Lisa Maynard, Fresno, second-place winner, Central Valley Flavors Christmas Cookie contest at The Big Fresno Fair

In bowl of food processor, combine 1⁄4 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1⁄4 cup pecans and salt. Whirl to a fine texture. Spoon into bowl and set aside. In the same food processor bowl, combine gingersnap cookies, figs, 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1⁄2 cup pecans, brandy and butter. Pulse to blend well. Chill mixture for 20 to 30 minutes. Form rounded teaspoonfuls of mixture into balls. Roll balls in reserved sugar-nut mixture. Place in airtight container. Chill for 12 hours for flavors to meld. Balls can made up to 2 weeks ahead; store in refrigerator.

CALIFORNIA FIG & PECAN BRANDY BALLS Makes 65 balls 11⁄4 cup confectioners’ sugar 3 ⁄4 cup pecans, toasted, chopped 1 ⁄4 teaspoon salt 2 cups gingersnap cookies, crushed 1 cup stemmed, Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, chopped 1 ⁄2 cup brandy 1 ⁄4 cup butter, melted

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Variation for Chocolate & Fig Amaretto Balls: Prepare as directed substituting toasted almonds for pecans, crushed chocolate wafer cookies for gingersnaps and amaretto for brandy. Variation for Brandy Balls: Instead of brandy, pour 1 teaspoon brandy extract into measuring cup; add water to measure 1⁄2 cup. Increase brandy extract to 2 teaspoons as needed. Variation for Amaretto Balls: Instead of amaretto, pour 1 teaspoon almond extract into measuring cup; add water to measure 1⁄2 cup. Increase almond extract to 2 teaspoons as needed. — Valley Fig Growers

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800-397-NUTS(6887) Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 33

CALICO BEANS 2 pounds ground beef 1 pound bacon 2 large yellow onions, chopped 2 red bell peppers, chopped 1 cup ketchup 1 cup brown sugar 1 tablespoon salt 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon mustard 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce 1 15-ounce can lima beans 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans 2 15-ounce cans pork and beans

SLOW COOKER BALSAMIC POT ROAST Serves 8 2 pounds small potatoes, halved 1 pound baby carrots Salt and pepper 3 to 31⁄2 pounds boneless rump roast 6 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise 1 ⁄4 cup STAR Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Gold Edition 1 ⁄4 cup STAR Ferran Adria Signature Series Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 ⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 ⁄4 cup parsley, chopped, for garnish Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.

Place carrots and potatoes on the bottom of slow cooker; season with salt and pepper; set aside. Make 12 incisions around roast; insert a piece of garlic into each slice. Season roast with salt and pepper. Place roast, fat side down, over carrots and potatoes. Set aside. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, oregano, thyme, basil and nutmeg; whisk until well combined. Slowly pour the balsamic mixture over and around roast. If needed, use your hands to coat evenly. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 6 hours. Roast is done when internal temperature reaches at least 145-degrees Fahrenheit. Remove roast and let rest at least 10 minutes before cutting. Cut into thin slices and serve with prepared potatoes and vegetables. — Star Fine Foods, developed by www.diethood.com

APPLE MUSTARD GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN 2 pounds pork tenderloin Salt and pepper, to taste 2 onions, cut into wedges 2 apples, cut into wedges 1 ⁄2 cup apple juice 2 tablespoons STAR Unfiltered Organic Apple Cider Vinegar 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon sage, chopped Head oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a roasting pan with cooking spray; season pork tenderloin with salt and pepper.

34 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

Transfer to roasting pan. Arrange wedges of onions and apples around pork tenderloin. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine apple juice, apple cider vinegar and mustard; whisk until thoroughly combined. Stir in sage. Pour apple-dijon mixture over pork tenderloin. Cover with foil and roast for 1 hour. Remove foil and put back in oven. Continue to cook for 20 minutes, basting pork tenderloin every 4 minutes with juices. Remove from oven and let rest for about 10 minutes. Cut and serve. — Star Fine Foods, developed by www.diethood.com

Cut bacon into one-inch pieces. Sauté ground beef, bacon, onions and bell peppers. Drain grease. In a slow cooker, combine ketchup, brown sugar, salt, apple cider vinegar, mustard, Sriracha sauce and beans. Simmer. — Mark Ford, JD Food

POTLUCK-PERFECT VEGAN CEVICHE 2 cans hearts of palm, whole 2 large or 4 small cucumbers, peeled 4 Roma tomatoes, diced 1 ⁄2 white or yellow onion, diced 1 Anaheim pepper or 2 small jalapeños, seeded and diced 1 bunch cilantro 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt Juice of 1 lemon Juice of 1 lime Peel cucumbers and dice. Dice tomatoes and onion. Juice lemon and lime. Cut off stems of peppers; remove veins and seeds; dice. Pick leaves from cilantro stems. Chop leaves. Drain hearts of palm and slice thin, about 1⁄4-inch thick. Toss ingredients together in a large bowl or container. Season with garlic powder and salt. Add chili powder if peppers aren’t spicy enough for you. — Farin Montañez, www.spiritedvegan.com

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PECAN STREUSEL BREAKFAST CAKE Topping: 1 ⁄4 cup granulated sugar 21⁄2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted 1 ⁄3 cup California pecans, finely chopped

Generously grease an 8-inch square metal baking pan with softened butter. Prepare Pecan Streusel Topping by combining sugar, flour and cinnamon in a bowl. Drizzle in butter. Combine with fingertips and work into a course sandy texture. Mix in pecans. Set aside. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly pour in 1 cup sugar. Beat 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Add eggs one at a time, beating until well incorporated after each addition. Add vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. On low speed, alternately pulse in half flour mixture, sour cream, then remaining flour. Beat 30 seconds just until combined. Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle on brown sugar and pecans. Add remaining batter and level off the top. Evenly distribute the Pecan Streusel Topping mixture over batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 42 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean. Cool at least 1 hour. — The Naked Nut, www.thenakednut.com


Cake Batter and Pecan Brown Sugar Filling: 11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour 11⁄2 teaspoons baking powder 1 ⁄4 teaspoon Kosher salt 1 ⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened 1 cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 ⁄2 cup sour cream 1 ⁄3 cup dark brown sugar 1 ⁄2 cup California pecans, chopped

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Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 35


1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries 11⁄4 cups packed light brown sugar 1 ⁄2 cup STAR Unfiltered Organic Apple Cider Vinegar 3 ⁄4 cup light orange juice 1 teaspoon ground ginger 3 ⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 ⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine ingredients in slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 7 hours, or until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Taste and adjust accordingly. If needed, stir in more sugar. Serve. — Star Fine Foods


2 zucchini, shredded 1 large egg 1 ⁄3 cup whole milk 1 ⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 ⁄2 cup all-purpose flour (or white whole wheat) 1 ⁄4 cup sugar (granulated or coconut sugar) 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Dash of cinnamon Salt and pepper Shred zucchini with grater. Place shredded zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with about 1 ⁄4 teaspoon salt. Let the salted zucchini sit for about 10 minutes. Squeeze excess water from zucchini using a cheesecloth or towel. Very important to remove as much water as possible. Heat the waffle iron to medium. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, milk, vanilla extract and 1⁄4 cup of grated Parmesan. In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Mix the contents of the small bowl into the large bowl and then add zucchini; toss until ingredients are combined. Coat the waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray. Place enough batter on the waffle iron to fill the area. Close lid; cook until lightly browned. Serve topped with the remaining grated Parmesan and butter. — Tawnie Kroll, www.krollskorner.com

36 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

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38 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

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40 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine



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Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 41




Personalized photo keepsake ornaments BY: Teryn Yancey | PHOTOGRAPHY: Teryn Yancey


ecorate your Christmas tree with these 10-minute personalized photo keepsake ornaments. With a few supplies and minimal time, you can create a special handmade gift — or a few for yourself — that will mean so much to your family and friends.

Supplies Round distressed wood ornaments (found at craft stores) Matte Mod Podge Small foam brushes Scissors Printed photos Photo editing program or PicMonkey.com (optional)

Method Start by choosing your photos that you want. Print your photos at home or at your local photo lab. To print as a standard size, copy and paste

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your circular photo onto a blank 4-by-6 canvas (in photo editing program) and save as a JPG file. Next, you can upload the file to your favorite online photo lab and print as a standard 4-by-6 size. Cut your photos into circles. You have the choice to use an editing program to add text and create circles or cut circles from preprinted photos. Apply a layer of Mod Podge to the top of the wood ornament with the foam brush. Make sure Mod Podge coats the surface of the wood ornament entirely with an even layer. Apply an even layer of Mod Podge to the back of your photo. Perfectly place your photo on the wood ornament. Apply a final layer of Mod Podge on top of the photo to seal. Make sure you apply the final layer evenly and your brush strokes are going in the same direction. Let dry completely. Hang on your Christmas tree. Pro tip: Print on white cardstock for a simple solution to photo paper.

Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 43



If Fresno has one house that Santa would call home, it’s this one

BY: Dani Villalobos | PHOTOGRAPHY: Gary Kazanjian

44 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

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o many, “A Central Valley Winer Wonderland” may seem like an oxymoron — but they probably haven’t met Jude Lanfranco. The Fresno resident and owner of 5-year-old local retail store, Jude’s Fantasy Land, has built her livelihood on making the impossible possible, the big even bigger and helping to transform mere dreams into a reality. “I live in a fantasyland; I’m like Walt Disney — if I can dream it, I can build it. And that’s what I do,” she says, looking around her. “My creativity comes out more so because I love Christmas.” In fact, because the August 2012 opening of Jude’s Fantasy Land in the Pavilion West Shopping Center coincided with the fall and winter holidays, customers were under the impression that the home décor and gift store was actually a Christmas shop due to its over-the-top tribute to the season — a misconception she’s still trying to shake. Still, the personal affection she has for Santa Claus, candy canes and the overwhelming joy the Christmas holiday represents can’t be denied. Please see next page

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Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 45

Santa Claus stops to look at just one of Lanfranco’s decorated trees.

continued ... Don’t believe us? Enter: Fresno’s very own Disneyland. Or, as it’s more formally known, the Lanfranco home. A grouping of over-sized ornaments, candy canes and some of the North Pole’s most popular residents fill the household’s front lawn, lighting up the sky as day turns to night and functioning as a beacon to Santa Claus’s sleigh come Dec. 25. Two nutcrackers are posted at the entrance of the residence, welcoming guests with noble flair and offering a small glimpse into the winter wonderland that awaits. “My mom was like this. She was very creative, and I get all of my talent from my mom, Dolores,” Lanfranco says. “She’s passed, but her love of Christmas lives on through me and I’ve now passed that onto my kids.” It’s true. Lanfranco’s design is catered specifically through the perspective of a child — everything arranged and placed so the items are looking slightly downwards. But make no mistake, there are no rules she restricts herself to during the four- to sixweek holiday metamorphosis that the transformation requires each year. When entering the household, there’s a lot to take in. Which is exactly what Lanfranco is aiming for: the “wow” factor.

46 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

“You come in, stand here and there isn’t one thing you focus on,” she explains. “You turn around and it’s ‘Oh, wow. Oh, wow. Oh, wow.’ That’s me. It’s bringing the fantasy to life.” Take the home’s parlor, for instance. Lanfranco has designated the homey space as the music room, which can be seen through a foursome of giant carolers standing near a lamppost in cotton snow alongside one of the 10 Christmas trees strung throughout the house — littered with a blend of ornaments created by their children over the years and baubles painted with various musical notes and instruments. A grand piano, music-themed art, wreaths, garlands and other flower arrangements help to further set the

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scene, with the blazing heat emanating from the fireplace making the atmosphere extra cozy. See, Lanfranco hopes to convey genuine warmth in each of their residence’s rooms — everything can and should be touched. Feel like putting your feet up? Go for it. “I want people to feel welcomed. With all my decorating, everything that I do — whether it be seasonal, wedding, home décor — I want you to get the warm, fuzzy feelings,” she says. “Every room is set. Every room has a different feel. Every room has a dimmer switch to help set the mood, too.” The dining room follows in a rich gold, red and burgundy color scheme, the powder room a fluffy pink and the master bedroom continues with Lanfranco’s rose-decorated bed spread with the romantic flowers stapled to the headboard, zig-zagged throughout the Christmas tree and the room’s special wreath. Color inspires the motif for a lot of the spaces, including the gold bedroom, ultra feminine pink bedroom (complete with a tree garnished with real pieces of candy) and hints of fall — hues of reds, oranges and golds — for the spare room. Lanfranco adds unique touches to each of the rooms, but there are certain pieces that be found throughout: Mark Roberts’ collectible fairies. A grand total of nearly 400 of the popular items can be found, flying overhead, peeking from behind the staircase’s

bannister and hidden in almost every nook and cranny of the Lanfrancos’ home. She uses her business’ access to new items on the market to her benefit, setting aside certain inventory that catches her creative mind’s eye. But a majority of the décor is entirely original, with every tree and decorative garland festively trimmed from scratch each year. The massive garland braided along the staircase can take Lanfranco upwards of two hours. (Pro tip: Staple Please see next page


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6721 N Milburn Avenue, Suite 130 | Fresno, CA 93722 *Cannot be combined with any other offer. Restrictions may apply. See store for details. Edible , Edible Arrangements , the Fruit Basket Logo, and other marks mentioned herein are registered trademarks of Edible Arrangements, LLC. © 2016 Edible Arrangements, LLC. All rights reserved. ®


Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 47

Wrap up your holiday décor now and save.


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Make sure your home is holiday ready by ordering beautiful new Hunter Douglas window fashions today. Rebate savings are available on select styles, 9/16/17 through 12/11/17. Ask for details today.


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559-324-0555 www.jzdesigncenter.com Ask us about special savings on select Hunter Douglas operating systems. *Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases made 9/16/17 – 12/11/17 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. Rebate will be issued in the form of a prepaid reward card and mailed within 6 weeks of rebate claim receipt. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed against card balance 6 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. Additional limitations may apply. Ask participating dealer for details and rebate form. ©2017 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners. 17Q4NPPIRC3.

48 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

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your pieces down if you want them to really stick. A little wood putty after goes a long way.) Other pieces, like the house’s assortment of themed floral arrangements, are packed away when she transitions the home back to normal in January. Lanfranco refurbished their attic to function as a makeshift workspace — complete with a hidden door, lots of room for storage and a table to restructure and spruce up the flowers every few years. From early October through the end of the year, the Lanfranco home is decked for the season — with the front and backyards converted into Santa’s workshop at the hands of Jude’s husband, Edmond. Coming home to their jolly retreat is fun for the couple and their visiting grandchildren, making it a bit of a challenge when it’s time for the decorations to make their way safely back to the attic’s workspace for the next nine months. Lanfranco’s silver lining: Valentine’s Day and Easter are just around the corner. Because for her, capturing the feel of each season is more than an obligation. “Love what you do,” she says of choosing to go all out for the holidays. “Don’t do it because you have to, but because you have a passion for it.” CV

February 24, 2018 $49.00 pp

Visit www.besttoursandtravel.com for complete list and details. Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 49



Little Leaf Tea offers more than your traditional cup of hot tea. You can’t go wrong with a Mexican Hot Chocolate from Sabor Mexican Bar & Bistro.

50 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

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If you’re feeling festive, try the Snow Globe at The Standard Restaurant and Lounge. The drink features vanilla vodka, white chocolate liqueur and peppermint liqueurs.

Satisfy your seasonal thirst with holiday flavors BY: Cyndee Fontana-Ott | PHOTOGRAPHY: Wayne Hutchison


rom merry belly warmers to specialty cocktails, seasonal drinks can help satisfy a thirst for holiday flavors while also adding joy to your mood. Coffee and tea shops, restaurants and bars around the Central Valley are serving new and traditional beverages with the spirit of the holidays. Many feature the familiar flavors of the season, ranging from peppermint and cinnamon to pumpkin and chocolate. We chatted with a few local bartenders, baristas and chefs for a peek into their kitchens. Happily, you don’t have to be a fan of actual spirits to indulge in many of these gifts. But we aren’t opposed to that either … At The Standard Restaurant and Lounge in northeast Fresno, a delightful slate of seasonal cocktails is pretty much guaranteed to put you in a festive spirit. The upscale restaurant and lounge, located in the shopping center at Fort Washington and Friant roads, complements its set cocktail menu with four or five seasonal drinks. Please see next page

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Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 51

continued ... For the holidays, that means concentrating on flavors and spices like gingerbread, cloves, allspice, peppermint and chocolate. Manager Rajan Bisla says the bartenders have free rein to dream up seasonal drinks — “and we never do the same cocktail twice.” The change in seasons naturally influences the drink menu. Says Bisla: “As the weather cools down, we’re doing things that may warm up your insides.” Bartender Zac Parker says he loves to create cocktails for his favorite season. For starters, he’s bringing back a classic that may be unfamiliar to many people. The Lion’s Tail is made with high-proof whiskey, allspice liqueur, lime juice, orgeat (almond syrup) and bitters.

“It’s just a good drinking cocktail,” he says. The Standard also will feature a Spiced Apple Martini and Peppermint Martini along with a few other seasonal options. Signature cocktails are a key part of the menu at Sabor Mexican Bar & Bistro in northwest Fresno. The restaurant on Figarden Drive offers a modern take on traditional Mexican dishes and a yearround menu of intriguing cocktails. Owners Alberto Torres and Santos Arevalo are brainstorming on holiday drinks, but will continue to serve classics like the Blood Orange Margarita, the Tequila Sour and the Hot Mamacita (Patron Silver with mango puree, chamoy — made from

A Peppermint mocha or white chocolate mocha are both crowd-pleasers at Kuppa Joy. Don’t forget a maple doughnut to tempt your palate.

52 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

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pickled fruit — and hot sauce). One drink that does debut with the winter season is the hot chocolate. It’s prepared classically with a traditional Mexican chocolate — abuelita — that is melted into boiled milk. (You might also taste abuelita in the mole and barbacoa dishes). As for the hot chocolate, each cup is made from scratch and made to order.

Last December, customers loved pairing the hot chocolate with Sabor’s homemade churros. If you’re looking for more of a caffeine-inspired holiday jolt, look at the menu at newer hot spot: Yellow Mug Coffee, located on Champlain Drive near Perrin Avenue in northeast Fresno. Please see next page Sabor Mexican Bar & Bistro is offering a special treat for the holiday season — a traditionally prepared Mexican hot chocolate. Last year, customers loved to pair the drink with Sabor’s homemade churros.

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continued ... The coffee house dives right into the holiday season with an array of aptly named drinks. In part, there’s the “Grinch” (white hot chocolate made with green-tinted milk), “The Merry Latte” (maple brown sugar cinnamon latte) and “The

“We come up with things and go from there,” she says. “Everyone is pretty creative here.” Also in the holiday spirit is Kuppa Joy Coffee House, which has locations in Fresno (on Echo Avenue near Fresno High School) and Clovis (on

Yellow Mug Coffee offers “The Grinch,” a white chocolate mocha made with green-tinted milk. Other offerings include an egg nog latte, as seen below.

Snowflake” (white chocolate brown sugar cinnamon latte). The coffee house also will feature an eggnog latte, a gingerbread mocha and a white chocolate peppermint mocha. The coffee house is experimenting with a frozen hot chocolate that, if successful, will offer those classic flavors in a milk shake consistency. Manager Jamie Tarlton says there’s always a seasonal menu of drinks available in addition to the usual brews, like the distinctively named “Punch in the Face.” Don’t worry, the “punch” is the caffeine bomb from espresso shots (as many as you’d like). Seasonal specials are sometimes inspired by a customer’s tastes, but most often are the product of staff brainstorming sessions.

54 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

Clovis Avenue near Fifth Street). The coffee house is known for serving delicious drinks and inspired latte art. Meghann Fischer, manager at the Kuppa Joy in Clovis, says one seasonal crowd-pleaser is the pumpkin spice latte.

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Artistry is an extra perk at Kuppa Joy. Seasonal favorites include the pumpkin spice latte, peppermint mocha and the white chocolate mocha.

Customers rave about the seasonally offered pumpkin spice chai latte tea from Little Leaf Tea.


11⁄2 ounces vanilla vodka 1 ounce white chocolate liqueur 1 ounce peppermint schnapps Peppermint candies (optional) Grind peppermint candies into a powder; dip the rim of a martini glass into water and then the peppermint. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour vodka, white chocolate liqueur and peppermint schnapps over the ice. Cover cocktail shaker and shake; strain into the prepared martini glass.

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MAKE IT! The drink, introduced in early October, features pumpkin spice-infused milk, white chocolate and espresso and can be served hot, iced or blended. The drink has been a seasonal favorite at Kuppa Joy for several years. “People come in here asking for the pumpkin spice latte,” Fischer says. “They love it.” If tea is, well, more your cup of tea then you could head to Little Leaf Tea for a seasonal sip. Owner George Widjaja’s signature holiday offering is a pumpkin spice chai latte tea — in fact, the customers might just merrily revolt if it wasn’t offered in the last few months of the year. Widjaja happily obliges at the northwest Fresno shop, located at Palm and Bullard avenues. He says the tea is quite popular during the fall, likely because people naturally start craving pumpkin at this time of year. “I think it’s just when the weather gets colder, everyone wants pumpkin,” he says. CV


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The two-story gingerbread house is a Victorian masterpiece in the grand lobby of The Fairmont San Francisco.

San Francisco celebrates the holiday season BY: Cyndee Fontana-Ott | PHOTOGRAPHY: Fisherman’s Wharf, Laura Hamburg-Cirolia, Matthew Millman, Rick Camargo, Rich Yee, Sean Teagarden Photography


magine a holiday destination where a parade of twinkling lights glides over water, a gingerbread house stands life-size and hundreds of Santa Clauses race in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge. Or, you could just visit San Francisco in the next few

56 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

weeks. The iconic American city connects with the festive season in big and small ways, making the Bay Area an ideal spot for a day trip or longer stay. You can participate in — or simply watch — the annual Great Santa Run for charity, admire The Fairmont San Francisco’s spectacular gingerbread house or mark your calendars for the Lighted Boat Parade at Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf.

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The gingerbread house makes The Fairmont San Francisco a holiday destination and a feast for the eyes. It includes lighted vignettes and decorated trees.

Beyond that, there are concerts, light displays, skating rinks and tree-lighting ceremonies. And many of the events won’t steal the ho-ho-ho from your wallet. We can only hit a few highlights here so consider doing some additional scouting if you’re headed north for the holidays. Let’s start with some fun things to see — like the two-story gingerbread house at The Fairmont San Francisco. The architectural marvel is so big that you can actually dine inside of it (fair warning, you might want to eat dessert first).

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The delectable house has been part of the holiday décor for about 10 years, says Melissa Farrar, director of marking communications for The Fairmont San Francisco. Engineering and culinary elves start work weeks in advance to assemble the Victorian masterpiece in the grand lobby. It stands about 22 feet high and 23 feet wide and features more than 7,500 homemade gingerbread bricks, hundreds of pounds of candy and roughly a ton of royal icing. “It’s a huge undertaking,” Farrar says. “It smells amazing when you walk in.” And while most of the gingerbread house is edible (the base structure isn’t), Santa Claus would banish you to the naughty list if you try to eat it. The holiday beauty is officially unveiled on Nov. 25; hotel guests have full access but public viewing hours may be limited. (Check the website at www.fairmont.com/san-francisco for details.) The gingerbread house stays up through Jan. 1. According to Farrar, “they’re not in any hurry to take it down after spending so much time putting it up.” Another sweet and mesmerizing treat is the Holiday Sugar Castle Display at the Westin St. Francis (www.westinstfrancis.com). Please see next page

Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 57

The Holiday Sugar Castles are the work of Executive Pastry Chef Jean-François Houdré and his talented team at the Westin St. Francis.

continued ... The two handcrafted castles are the work of Executive Pastry Chef Jean-François Houdré and his talented team. The original Sugar Castle resembles a French chateau inspired by Houdré’s travels, while the St. Francis Enchanted Castle is a bit more modern in style. “It’s truly a great exercise for me and my team to show what we can do with sugar,” he says. The two castles represent thousands of hours of work; each piece is annually disassembled, stored and then reassembled, repaired and expanded. Both castles celebrate the highly technical art of blowing, pulling, shaping or molding sugar. New this year will be “more towers, more little elves and more sugar displays,” Houdré says. “The goal is to add on but to also respect what has been created.” He added that children love the castles and usually want to know if they can sample a piece. (Uh, no.) You can admire these sugary achievements in the Landmark Lobby from Nov. 23 to Jan. 2. Another dazzling display is the 2017 Lighted Boat

58 DECEMBER 2017 | Central Valley Magazine

Parade presented by the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District and St. Francis Yacht Club. Organizers call it the oldest and biggest such parade on the San Francisco Bay, with boats showing off holiday lights and decor between 6 and 8 p.m. on Dec. 15. “It’s like watching holiday lights on the water,” says Laura Schaefer, program manager with the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District. The parade is led by a fireboat and typically includes members of the St. Francis Yacht Club, Fisherman’s Wharf Fishing Fleet, Golden Gate Yacht Club, Pier 39 Marina, the SFPD Marine Unit and the Sea Scouts. The number of boats depends on the weather. The parade has been a holiday tradition since 1994. You can get a good look from Aquatic Park, Pier 39, the Marina Green and Crissy Field. Learn more at www.visitfishermanswharf.com. Anyone minding holiday steps — or looking for a jolly sweaty time — should consider the annual Great Santa Run on Dec. 10, which benefits the nonprofit Opportunity Village. The festive 5K run is known for the hundreds of Santa Clauses who challenge the Crissy Field course.

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The Great Santa Run — held on Dec. 10 at Crissy Field — benefits Opportunity Village.

Sail into the holiday season on the Lighted Boat Parade at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.

Runners are issued a five-piece Santa suit (coat, pants, hat, beard and belt) that comes in three sizes. (You supply the shoes.) Most entrants don the outfit at least part of the way — organizers usually collect more than a few discarded hats, beards, etc. along the course

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after the runners hit the finish line. Race director Jason Jacobson says the four-year-old event appeals to fun-seekers who want to get into the Please see next page

Central Valley Magazine | DECEMBER 2017 59

Union Street is blanketed with thousands of twinkling white lights — dressing the Victorian houses and shops along Union Street between Van Ness Avenue and Steiner Street and Fillmore Street between Union and Lombard streets — starting on Dec. 2.


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continued ... holiday spirit or have a different experience. That goes both for runners and spectators. “It’s quite the scene,” he says. “It’s pretty crazy to watch 1,200 runners in Santa suits.” Finishers keep the suit and receive a medal that transforms into an ornament for the tree. You must register in advance. Details are available at www.greatsantarunsf.com. Walking is perfectly fine for visitors to the historic Cow Hollow neighborhood and the annual Union Street’s Fantasy of Lights. The month-long, family-friendly celebration launches on Dec. 2 with entertainment, pictures with Santa, ponies wearing reindeer antlers and carriage rides. Get details at www.unionstreetsf.com. One seasonal draw is the thousands of twinkling white lights dressing the Victorian houses and shops along Union Street between Van Ness Avenue and Steiner Street and Fillmore Street between Union and

Lombard streets. Lesley Leonhardt, executive director of the Union Street Association, says the holiday event is a roughly 25-year tradition for the neighborhood. The business Please see next page

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The Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party runs Nov. 18 to Dec. 17 at the Cow Palace in South San Francisco.

continued ... association has been working since 1963 to promote, preserve and beautify Union Street. If you’re looking to step back in time, consider The


The Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party features characters from Oliver Twist, as well as other novels by Charles Dickens.

Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party at the Cow Palace in South San Francisco (technically Daly City). The annual trip to the time of Charles Dickens runs five weekends (Nov. 18 to Dec. 17) and features 800 Victorian characters — from royalty to chimney sweeps — along with seven entertainment stages, hand-on crafts and shops.

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You can indulge in ale or champagne at various pubs or take in an English high tea with scones and finger sandwiches. The slate of entertainment includes the Gilbert and Sullivan comic operetta “Trial by Jury” along with family-friendly fare and more adult shows such as the “Saucy French Postcards Tableaux Revue.” Tickets prices vary and range up to $30 (for adults) at the gate. Tickets are limited and available in advance; head to www.dickensfair.com for details. Finally, while not technically in the city, California’s Great America is just down the road and in the neighborhood of the San Francisco 49ers Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. So we fudge a bit to mention the park’s holiday WinterFest that features displays of light and festive décor, holiday shows, Santa Claus’ workshop and of course, amusement rides and attractions. Since 2017 marks the second year for WinterFest at Great America, expect the same attractions like an ultra-tall Christmas tree with hundreds of lights and ice skating in front of the Carousel Columbia. Get details and pricing at www.cagreatamerica.com. CV WinterFest turns Great America into a winter wonderland for the holiday season.

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Old Town Clovis Craft Beer Crawl The streets of Old Town Clovis were filled with thirsty adults as the bi-annual event featured local breweries including Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co., Riley’s Brewing, House of Pendragon, Full Circle Brewing Co., The Mad Duck Craft Brewing Co., Tactical Ops Brewing and 411 Broadway Ale & Spirits.

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“African American Migration to the Valley”



On Sept. 29, the African American Historical and Cultural Museum of the San Joaquin Valley and the Fresno County Historical Museum presented the launch of “African American Migration to the Valley” — an exhibition/pictorial in the Fresno County Fair Museum at the Fresno Fairgrounds. It highlights the people, places and experiences that have shaped the Central Valley through the African American journey.

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The Big Fresno Fair 2017 The first two weeks of October were celebrated with the 12-day run of The Big Fresno Fair. Thousands of people headed to the Fresno Fairgrounds to enjoy the family-friendly carnival, scrumptious treats, exhibits, attractions and concerts by artists like Chris Young, Brian Wilson and Ice Cube.




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Fulton Street Party

On Oct. 21, the Downtown Fresno Partnership held a celebration in honor of the relaunch of Fulton Street. The multifaceted event included a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

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1 Maria, Alexander and Fitz Moreno 2 Parker 3 Glitter Twins 4 Vehicular traffic on Fulton 5 Madeline and Sal Navarro 6 Johnnie Rae 7 Fresno Mayor Lee Brand and former Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin PHOTOGRAPHY: Matthew Drake

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