Claycord Online Museum – The History of the Walnut Festival in Walnut Creek

September 18, 2018 14:00 pm · 12 comments

Today, we celebrate the history of the Walnut Festival in Walnut Creek.

The video above was created in the early-1990’s, and includes some interesting facts, including how the Mayor of Concord in 1911 asked all Concord residents to travel to Walnut Creek to assist in the success of the event. The Concord Mayor also created a city-wide holiday to celebrate the festival in Walnut Creek.

Click on the video above to learn more!

ABOUT THE CLAYCORD ONLINE MUSEUM: The Claycord Online Museum is made up of historical photos, documents & anything else that has to do with the history of our area.

If you have any old photos or items that you’d like to place in the Claycord Online Museum, just scan or take a photo of them, and send them to the following address: It doesn’t matter what it is, even if it’s just an old photo of your house, a scan of an old advertisement or an artifact that you’d like us to see, send it in and we’ll put it online!

Click on the tag below titled “Claycord Online Museum” to view other items!

Noj September 18, 2018 at 2:21 PM

Way back in 1960, when the Walnut Festival was held in Civic Park, my favorite booth was the local Lions Club. For 10 cents, you could buy an ear of fresh corn.
They would haul the steaming cob out of a large wash pot, stick a wood skewer in in, and then dip in a pot of melted butter.
1960, man, burgers were five for a buck.

Who else is hungry?

MEV September 18, 2018 at 6:51 PM

yum, I am. miss those days. i moved to the area mid-1960’s.

Mike September 18, 2018 at 4:07 PM

If you jump to the credits at 28:58 you will see the name of everyone’s favorite Orinda Democrat Politician.

Jojo Potato September 18, 2018 at 8:31 PM

1958. That’s the date on the trophy us neighbor kids won for the best float in the youth classification. Sits on my shelf in pride of place. I was all of 6 years old and remember it pretty well. Every year for a stretch there the older kids would organize us. We entered the float on the kids parade on Saturday and then the winner of that event was invited to the big parade on Sunday. That year we won and brought our show to the big time. We dressed up some radio flyer wagons as pioneer covered wagons and some kids as Indians and the rest as Cowboys. (we all had cap guns back then). In front of the judging stand the Indians came running up howling and shooting,, The Cowboys circled the wagons and a grand battle ensued. After that we all stood in a line a bowed to the judges. Great fun. I may have lost a few things moving and rearranging over the years but not that little trophy. It’s mine.

Noj September 18, 2018 at 10:26 PM


Must’ve passed by you a couple of times cruisin’ the Creek.

Bill Pickle September 19, 2018 at 6:44 AM

I remember when there was Walnut trees in Walnutnut Creek. As kids we fished in the creek near Treat Bl that is now the cement flood control channel, and the whole was Walnut trees.

Bill Pickle September 19, 2018 at 6:55 AM

My grandparents lived in a house on Geary Rd and had a big Walnut and fruit orchard, near the old Coop store. My grandfather would knock the Walnuts out of the trees with a long piece of bamboo, dry them on racks, and remove the skins by hand. I remember black stained fingers from helping skinning the dried Walnuts. They told me that when they bought it in the 40s Geary Rd was only a dirt road and just 1 car a day would drive by their house.

T. Payne September 19, 2018 at 3:52 PM

Growing up, my parents house had 7 Walnut trees in the back yard left over from when it was an orchard. My grand parents lived over off Myrtle Drive in Concord, also had many Walnut trees. Every year we would knock them down with our bamboo poles like Bill Pickle above and dry them on old pallets in the sun. All the walnut trees are long gone in their yards but the memories will last forever. Nothing like a fresh Walnut you just knocked out of the tree.

Silva September 19, 2018 at 5:17 PM

You knew when it was walnut time when some classmates and a teacher or two had black hands at school.

Silva September 19, 2018 at 6:11 PM

I got to ride my horse down Main Street in the parade in 1968 with my 4H group. It was a very fun day for me. I was never 100% sure what my little buckskin Mustang thought about it. He went all Lipizzaner on me and pranced in place for six solid hours with nutso, wild looking eyes, as he pretended to be hard to control. It wasn’t his first rodeo either. He was a retired barrel racer. The leaders had made me put a bit in his mouth for continuity sake(?☹), but he’d always worn a hackamore bridle (no mouth bit) as far as I knew. He was one of the smartest animals I’ve ever known and I’ve always believed he was 1/4 bent outta shape and 3/4’s putting on a good show. As we passed by the crowded sidewalks for several blocks people’s eyes and mouths opened wide as they caught sight of him, and my mom said a lady next to her pointed out to her kids how young and spirited he was. We had a laugh about that, because he was about 30. He went right back to normal again when it was over. That old dude was full of tricks though.

rw September 20, 2018 at 12:21 AM

The charm of the Walnut Festival has drizzled away ever since they moved it from Civic Park out to Heather Farm Park. Now it is really just a carnival relegated to a parking lot.

Frank Barker September 20, 2018 at 1:06 PM

Only Gangmembers and Alcoholics attend these events and you pay double the price to get on a ride

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