Farm-to-Fork Dinner on Tower BridgeIt’s hard to believe that 2013 is almost over, but the calendar and the volume of holiday candy in my office don’t lie. It has certainly been a whirlwind of a year.

In Sacramento, the year was dominated by food. As “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital,” we enjoyed our local bounty in new ways and put Sacramento in its rightful spot on the culinary tourism map. The inaugural Farm-to-Fork Festival along Capitol Mall was a huge success and a special dinner that spanned the Tower Bridge across the Sacramento River sold out in mere hours. Local chefs were featured in national media, including on ABC’s “The Taste” and some of our local favorites brought home James Beard awards for their culinary contributions. New breweries popped up to join old favorites as Sacramento beer-makers staked their claim to our city’s unmatched history as the best brewing town in the west. There were culinary walking tours, cooking classes, chef competitions, farm days, pigs, chickens, caviar, tomatoes, almonds, a burger battle, a bacon festival, a whole week dedicated to cocktails and way more. In short, we ate well, we drank well and we had a lot of fun.  Click here for more information about America's Farm-to-Fork Capital.

The other big news in town this year was that – after a hard-fought battle - our beloved Sacramento Kings will be staying in town. The new ownership group has proposed a cutting-edge new sports and entertainment complex which will include retail, restaurant, hotel, residential and event space. Over the next few years, this project will transform Sacramento’s downtown core and bring with it new opportunities for locals and visitors alike. Personally, I’m hoping it also brings someone who can hit a three-pointer and get back on defense.  

This year, Sacramento welcomed industry groups from Australia, Germany, the U.K., France, Japan, Denmark, Mexico, China and more as part of our busiest year of FAM trips ever. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Sacramento is full of fun and attractive people doing fun and attractive things. You can’t keep that secret for long, so it’s easy to see why there is such an increase in international interest in California’s capital city.

Over the past year you’ve seen me spreading the word about Sacramento at industry shows like IPW, ABA Marketplace and the Go West Summit and you’ve seen sales manager, Linda Eldred at NTA Travel Exchange and SYTA. We also welcomed a new addition to our department in 2013, Tourism Coordinator Joselyn Nussbaum. Joselyn brings our small, but mighty department up to three people. The three of us will be making the rounds again in what is sure to be another fun-filled year in 2014. Keep an eye out for us!

Thanks for another great year and, as always, don’t hesitate to contact me if you need anything in Sacramento.

Happy Holidays!