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Auburn's Mandarin Festival returns for in-person, virtual festivities

Shop for holiday gifts from local vendors at the marketplace to celebrate the mandarin orange season in Placer County.

AUBURN, Calif. — The Auburn Mountain Mandarin Festival has returned in 2020 with an outdoor and virtual marketplace, celebrating the mandarin orange season in Placer County for the 27th year. 

The festival has taken place annually the weekend before Thanksgiving since 1994. It routinely attracts tens of thousands of visitors throughout the West Coast. The in-person event will be held at the Gold Country Fairground at 1273 High St., Auburn, this weekend from Friday Nov. 20 to Sunday, Nov. 22. 

The festival will look different this year though due to coronavirus. There won't be samplings to limit spread of the virus, but thousands of filled mesh orange bags full of fruit await as they do every year, along with jams, jellies, olive oils, vinegars and more. Food vendors specializing in mandarin treats — like mandarin pizza and mandarin doughnuts — are ready to cater to your citrus needs.

The outdoor market is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Masks and/or face shields are required for everyone attending. Other safety measures have been taken, including spacing booths 10 feet apart. Admissions will limited by the numbers of people that show up.

While the outdoor marketplace will only be open for a limited time, the virtual marketplace is currently live and will stay active until Dec. 24. You can check out the virtual booths here.

According to the official Mountain Mandarin Hybrid Marketplace event page, "Each virtual booth will be able to link their Shopify account, Etsy website, or set up your booth with your product for sale. During the three-day live event you will have a chance to Zoom in your booth and talk to guests, do a demo, answer questions, and be the live person to help with your guest shopping experience."

You will be able to order and ship Placer County Mandarins right from your home. An entertainment schedule will also be posted with Virtual Cocktail Time, Cooking and Flashback of the Good Old Festival Times.

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