SAHUARITA, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Green Valley Pecan Company hosted its 9th Annual Sahuarita Pecan Festival on Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Green Valley Pecan farm, drawing approximately 25,000 guests throughout the day, according to a recent news release.
Families and friends celebrated Veterans Day at the Festival with horse-drawn wagon rides, pecan cracking contests, tractor pull contests, and Veteran recognition events, including a flyover by the 162nd Wing and a special photo at the Festival of more than 50 local veterans that was featured in the Green Valley News.
The Sahuarita Pecan Festival began the morning with the 9th Annual Pecan Classic and Family Fun Run—hosted by Tagg Running Events—that led nearly 350 runners and walkers through the pecan orchard. The top male finisher in the 3.3-mile was 29-year-old Jose Rodriguez with a time of 18:22.0; the top female finisher was 33-year-old Lauren Reasoner from Sahuarita with a time of 20:58.6.
Thirteen pies were entered in the Festival's Pecan Pie Contest, hosted by Mama's Hawaiian Barbeque, with the 2017 win going to Morgan Scott of Sahuarita. In second place was Louann Young and in third place was Christina Stephens. They all used Green Valley Pecans as the main ingredient in their pies. Participants were judged by District 4 Pima County Supervisor Steve Christy, Chef Frédéric Lange from Lavender's Restaurant in Green Valley, Town of Sahuarita Mayor Tom Murphy, retired actor Michael Caprio who performed in well-known productions such as "Amistad" and "The Sopranos," and Chase Emery, a member of the Sahuarita High School culinary arts program.
As a major annual event in the Sahuarita and Green Valley communities, the Sahuarita Pecan Festival helps support local volunteer groups and non-profits. This year, $14,000 was raised, a portion of which will be distributed to local community groups within the coming weeks, including: the Amado-Green Valley Community Food Bank; Walden Grove High School groups such as the Student Council, the Booster Club, Wolfpack Football team, the Camera Club, the Cheer team, and the Law & Public Safety; Boy Scouts of America Troop 301; Valle Verde Rotary Club; the Sahuarita Food Bank; the Sahuarita Police Explorers; Tucson Synchro; and Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, an organization dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing. In total, the Festival has raised nearly $100,000 for the community over the past nine years.
"The 9th Annual Sahuarita Pecan Festival was a huge success! Guests were able to get some holiday shopping done while also learning about the farm and honoring our veterans. Best of all, we raised money for local charities that will help families in our community. Join us next year for our 10th Anniversary on Saturday, Nov. 10!" said Paula Beemer, Sahuarita Pecan Festival Coordinator.
The Sahuarita Pecan Festival is held at the Green Valley Pecan Company located at 1625 E. Sahuarita Road in Sahuarita, AZ. The inaugural event was in 2009; over the past nine years, the Festival has raised approximately $100,000 for local charities. For the more details, please visit the official Festival website at www.SahuaritaPecanFestival.com. Additional information can also be found on Facebook (/SahuaritaPecanFestival) and Twitter (@PecanFestival).