Fall full of tastebud-friendly festivities

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Fall is working its way into the foothills, bringing with it a feast of fairs and festivals where food and beverages are the focus. Grab a snack and start marking your calendar with any number of these events, categorized by dates. Hot Chili & Cool Cars First up, and down the hill, is the Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce’s Hot Chili & Cool Cars, which will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday on Pacific Street in Rocklin. In its 16th year, this free street fair includes a chili cook-off, classic cars, live music, crafts, kids’ activities, midway games and toilet races. Entries for the chili cook-off have capped at 38, and each competitor has been asked to make a 10-gallon batch, which means plenty of spice to go around. Chili kits are $5 and include a bowl, spoon, napkins, water and cornbread, and there’s no limit on tasting. Chili judging starts at 11 a.m., and the stalls open to the public at noon. Learn more at or call (916) 624-2548. Juice & Jazz The Auburn Winery Trail hosts Juice & Jazz, a special passport barrel tasting event occurring from noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 26. Participating wineries include Fawnridge Winery, Vina Castellano, Dono dal Cielo, Ophir Wines and Mt. Vernon Winery. Hear live music, snack on appetizers and, of course, sample wines. Juice & Jazz is an Auburn Fire Disaster Relief Fund benefit. Tickets are $30 and are available at Community 1st Bank, Strings or Carpe Vino, or online at Call (530) 888-3688 or visit for more information. Eggplant Festival Celebrate all things purple at the Loomis Eggplant Festival, hosted Oct. 3 by the Loomis Basin Chamber of Commerce at the Loomis Depot on Taylor Road at Horseshoe Bar Road. The festival, in its 22nd year, incorporates crafts, art, free entertainment, wine tasting and all kinds of edible eggplant menu items. Admission and parking are free, as is a shuttle running throughout the day. Contact the chamber at (916) 652-7252 or for more information. Auburn Wine & Food Festival Eat and drink your way through Downtown and Old Town Auburn during the Auburn Food & Wine Festival, which will be held Oct. 10. Check in begins at 11 a.m., the same time free shuttle buses begin running. Pouring goes from 1-5 p.m., and wine sales are open 1-6 p.m. Some two dozen wineries and just as many restaurants and food vendors have signed on for the festival. Tickets are $35 through the month of September. Come Oct. 1, the price goes up to $45. Designated driver tickets are $20. Two dollars from each ticket is donated to the Auburn Symphony. Call (530) 885-9644 or visit for additional information. Fall Brew Fest Seniors First is gearing up for its 14th annual Fall Brew Fest, which will be held 5-9 p.m. Nov. 7 at The Ridge Golf Club and Event Center, 2020 Golf Course Drive, Auburn. New this year are wine and chocolate tastings, in addition to food and beer sampling and live music by Midnight Sun. Tickets are $40 in advance, $45 at the door and $25 for designated drivers. Buy advance tickets online at or in person at The Ridge, from Seniors First board members or at Seniors First, 11566 D Ave. Call (530) 889-9500 for additional information. Placer Hills Fall Winery Tour Grab a map and taste your way through the foothills during the Placer Hills Fall Winery Tour, which will be held noon to 5 p.m. Nov. 14-15. More than a dozen wineries and cider makers throughout Placer County open their doors to visitors. The tour itself is free, but attendees should keep in mind that some wineries might charge tasting fees. Find more information at placerhillswinetour. com.