Manteca, California, is the world's pumpkin capital. Every October, as Halloween approaches, Manteca pumpkin patches become filled with this giant vegetable as far as the eye can see. And every year, this small city in the middle of California's Central Valley produces more pumpkins than anywhere else in the world. But Manteca's pumpkins aren't just for show. They're used to make pies, roasted seeds, and Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks.
A brief history of Manteca
Manteca's agricultural roots date back to the mid-1800s when the first settlers began farming the land. The fertile soil and warm climate made Manteca an ideal location for crops like wheat, corn, and pumpkins. The city's agricultural heritage is still evident today in the many farms that dot the landscape
In 1873, the locals assembled to choose a new name for their town and landed on Monteca, which is Spanish for "lard" or "butter." Unfortunately, the railroad maps misprinted this as Manteca, and the misspelled version became the official name of the town. Founder Joshua Cowell was elected as Manteca's first mayor after the city was officially formed in 1918.
To learn more about Manteca's rich history, explore the Manteca Historical Society Museum or San Joaquin County Museum.
The Pumpkin Capital of the World
Today, Manteca is still a hub for agriculture. Pumpkins are big business in this small town; farmers produce more than one million pounds (454 metric tons) of pumpkins yearly! That's more pumpkins than anywhere else in the world.
Manteca's Pumpkin Fair
At this time, the city comes alive with visitors from all over the world. In addition to being a fun event for locals and tourists alike, the festival helps to promote Manteca's pumpkin industry. There are plenty of pumpkin painting, pumpkin carving, and pumpkin-eating contests, and attendees can eat and drink at the festival's beer garden or many food and vendor booths. The festival also boasts a photography contest, a pie eating contest, a corn hole tournament, and pets on parade from the Delta Humane Society. Most importantly, this fall event is a family-friendly festival with a kid's zone for children so everyone can attend and enjoy!
The Manteca Pumpkin Fair is made possible by the Kiwanis, a worldwide network of volunteers committed to making a difference in the lives of children and their local neighborhoods.
Manteca's thriving community
A convenient location
Beautiful weather year-round
With more than 300 days of sunshine per year, residents can enjoy an abundance of outdoor activities in Manteca. Whether it is hiking, biking, or fishing, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this San Joaquin County city.
Top-rated school system
A delicious dining scene
Manteca is a melting pot of various cultures, and the city's dining scene reflects this fact. It boasts everything from traditional Mexican to Hmong-inspired dishes. With its veritable smorgasbord of dining options, Manteca offers something to please every palate.
Look no further than Manteca
*Header photo courtesy of Pexels