For over three decades the community of Hilmar has gathered at the end of June to pay homage to the community's agricultural lifeblood — dairy farming.
The Hilmar Chamber of Commerce's Dairy and Farm Festival brings an estimated 2,000 community members together to celebrate the farming tradition and for a pre-Independence Day fireworks show.
"People really look forward to it. It's a nice, fun and simple outing. It's strictly an event put on to give the community something to do. And the fireworks show is as good as any out there," said Hilmar Dairy Farm and Festival chair Stewart Schulze.
Throughout the Dairy Festival, guests can support local high school athletes by purchasing food from the snack bar. The festival’s menu boasts a variety of mouthwatering options, including linguica, pulled pork, and Portuguese corn dogs.
Festival visitors can browse vendor booths, check out a number of farm equipment displays and enjoy an expanded kids zone. The kids zone, sponsored by the Hilmar Family Medical Center and Walgreens, will include water bounce houses, face painting, balloon animals and petting zoo.
Special events will take place at the Hilmar Lumber main stage, including an animal call contest at 6 p.m. and the Little Milkman and Little Milkmaid competition at 7 p.m.
During the Little Milkman and Little Milkmaid competition, 10 contestants between the ages of three and six years old will vie for the title of Little Milkman or Little Milkmaid, meaning that they will represent the Hilmar community at a number of events, including Hilmar’s homecoming parade.
Later in the evening, guests will have the opportunity to watch a community slide show, created by Stewart Schulze Photographic Artist, before the skies are lit up with an array of fireworks.
The festival will culminate with the highly anticipated fireworks show sponsored by Hilmar Cheese and Fanelli Dairy.
Hilmar Chamber’s Dairy and Farm Festival will take place from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday at Hilmar High School’s football field. Admission is free.