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Pecan Festival 2014SAHUARITA, Ariz. – Preparations are well under way for the 7th Annual Sahuarita Pecan Festival, an old-fashioned country fair with activities for all ages. Hosted by The Green Valley Pecan Company, it will take place on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Green Valley Pecan Company, 1625 E. Sahuarita Road, Sahuarita. Admission to the Festival will be free.

“We are excited to open the farm for our guests to learn about agriculture and the heritage of the Santa Cruz River Valley. The festival is now a tradition in southern Arizona, with more than 20,000 people attending this one-day event,” said Jennifer Zubieta, Director of Community Relations and Events.

The day’s festivities will kick off with the Pecan Classic Nut Run/Walk at 8 a.m. To register, go to Register by Oct. 31, 2015 to receive your commemorative T-shirt.

This year’s festival attractions include a KID’s Zone, sponsored by the Sahuarita Sun. The KID’s Zone will include bounce houses, carnival games, bungee jumping and pony rides and our popular Arabian Horse demonstrations presented by the Southern Arizona Arabian Horse Association (SAAHA).

As in years past, there will be arts and crafts vendors in the marketplace to start your holiday shopping. Also, food vendors from throughout Southern Arizona will be preparing great barbeque and other local fare along with sweets and treats.

Pecan Festival 2014Our heritage area will feature the always-popular tractor pull contests, antique tractor displays, and the heritage tent where guests can learn about traditional basket weaving, and agriculture and history of the Santa Cruz River Valley. Horse-drawn wagon rides into the orchard for pecan harvest demonstrations will be available for either a food or monetary donation to the Green Valley-Sahuarita Community Food Bank.

Now in its third year, the Sahuarita Pecan Pie Contest is sponsored by Mama’s Hawaiian Barbeque. The entry fee is $10 and entrants will receive a 1 lb bag of pecan halves for baking. Registration forms can be found at either the Mama’s Hawaiian Barbeque location in Sahuarita or at

Festival attendees can take advantage of the free shuttle service from three locations around Sahuarita: Walden Grove High School, Quail Creek Grill parking lot, and Sahuarita Unified School District parking lot.

Also, parking (general and disabled) will be available immediately south of the festival grounds for $5.00 per car; a portion of the proceeds going to local community organizations volunteering at the Sahuarita Pecan Festival.

Most of the festival grounds and parking areas are not paved, so please take care and be aware of the grounds when getting around.

Pecan Festival 2014Sahuarita Pecan Festival is Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Green Valley Pecan Company, 1625 E. Sahuarita Road, Sahuarita, AZ.  The Sahuarita Pecan Festival averages nearly 20,000 attendees each year. Over the past six years, the Festival has raised more than $20,000 and 6,000 pounds of food for local charities.

Local organizations that will benefit from Sahuarita Pecan Festival 2015 are: Sahuarita Educational Enrichment Foundation, Green Valley Sahuarita Community Food Bank, Sahuarita Unified School District, Sahuarita Explorers, Optimist Club of Green Valley and Valle Verde Rotary. Sponsorships and vendor participation and other activities enable the Sahuarita Pecan Festival to financially support the work of these local groups.

For the latest updates, please visit the official Festival website at



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Festival Numbers in a Nutshell

November was such a busy month! After checking numbers from all departments, we have the totals from the 2014 Sahuarita Pecan Festival.

The Festival had a continual flow of visitors all day long, averaging between 20,000 and 22,000 guests. We were able to raise over $13,000 for local community groups and over 600 pounds of food for the Green Valley-Sahuarita Food Bank.

The Pecan Classic and Nut Run also broke past records of participants, boasting a total of 275 runners. 15k winners were 1) Jose Rodriguez, 2) Lukas Kramer and 3) Ronald Schell. The 5k results were 1) Ureil Arreola, 2) Tyler Stewart and 3) James Greene.

Becky Roberts took home 1st [Recipe] and 2nd Place for the Pecan Pie Contest.  3rd place went to Rebecca White.

There was a total of 171,360 pecans in the large bin that sat outside the Green Valley Operations Tent. Congratulations to Richard Hog for the closest guess.

A great day of family-fun was had by all who attended. Make sure to mark your calendars for next year’s festival scheduled for Saturday, November 14, 2015. See you there!

Agricultural Food News

Pecan Farm in the News

Green-Valley-Pecan-AM12Recently, Laurie Merrill from the Arizona Republic wrote an article about Green Valley Pecan Co. The home to the nuttiest festival in Arizona! The article provides some interesting facts about what has been going on the in the nut world.

Pecan farm in southern Ariz. enjoying high nut prices

Everybody’s going nuts these days. In a good way. Shoppers around the world are embracing their health benefits. Demand is growing, especially in a more prosperous China.

And as the holiday season approaches, many of us will indulge in a homemade pecan pie.

In Arizona, growers of both pecans and pistachios are benefiting as prices of the tree nuts soar.

In the past 10 years, pecan prices have swelled from $3 a pound to $5.40. Pistachio prices have doubled, to $5.50 a pound from $2.25.

The state is home to the Green Valley Pecan Co. in Sahuarita, one of the largest pecan farms in the world. Arizona growers seeking to cash in have recently planted new orchards in Cochise County.

Arizona ranks as the fourth-largest pecan-producing state in the nation and is on track to double production to about 40 million pounds in 2025.

Land values, drought and economic downturns for decades reduced the number of pecan farms in Arizona from several dozen to a handful. But the Green Valley Pecan Co. has been farmed with steady success by the same family for three generations. [Read full article]


And the 2014 Pecan Pie Contest Results are…

Green Valley Pecan - Photo by Dan Lamont1st Place – Becky Roberts [1st Place Recipe]

2nd Place – Becky Roberts

3rd Place – Rebecca White

We had so many good looking pies, we had pie security in the VIP tent. Thank you to all the participants in this year’s Festival Pie Contest. Winners, enjoy your gift cards!

The 2014 Pecan Pie Contest was sponsored by Mama’s Hawaiian Barbecue! Mama’s menu features traditional Hawaiian Plate Lunches, Homemade desserts and a daily special with island flair. Mama’s serves the full menu seven days a week. Visit the Sahuarita location or the 3 others around Tucson.

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Sahuarita Pecan Festival on KGUN9

Thanks to KGUN9 for this great segment about the 2014 Sahuarita Pecan Festival. Rikki Mitchell describes what goes on at the nuttiest festival in Arizona. Full transcript and video can be viewed at KGUN9

Thousands attend annual Sahuarita Pecan Festival

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – If anyone knows pecans, it’s the Walden’s.

“We’re a nutty kind of family,” said Deborah Walden Ralls, who’s the granddaughter of Keith Walden, the man who founded Farmers Investment Co. back in 1948.

And her parents, Dick and Nan Walden currently run FICO, the parent company of the Green Valley Pecan Company. 

“We have a lot of second and third generation employees and we treat them and feel about them like they are our family,” said Nan Walden. “And both of our kids Debbie and Rich are also working in the business and our grandsons, who are 7 and 10 are going to help out this summer, so we’re breaking them in too.”

The Waldens invited the community into their company on Saturday for the sixth annual Sahuarita Pecan Festival.

“Being a food and agriculture production company, we can’t allow people to come into our plant,” said Deborah Walden Ralls. “So this is a way for us to give demonstrations, show people what we do and how we do it.” [Read full transcript]

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Schedules and Maps For Today

The big day is here! Make your way over to the Green Valley Pecan Company, 1625 E Sahuarita Road, Sahuarita, AZ 85629 for the nuttiest festival in Arizona. 9am-5pm. Bring a hat, sunscreen and water. It looks to be clear blue skies all day.

Green-Valley-Pecan-AM12Take advantage of our FREE Shuttle from 3 locations, the Sahuarita School District, Quail Creek Grill and Walden Grove High School parking lots. The shuttles start loading at 8:30am.

Bring your non-perishable food items or pay $3.00 per person to enjoy the horse drawn hay wagon into the orchard. Hayride leaves from Heritage Area.

Below is the schedule for the day. Make sure you pick up a 2014 Sahuarita Pecan Festival Program at one of the information booths. See you around!

Main Stage [map]
9-10:00 am – Mariachi Cielo de Mexico
10-11:00 am – Sahara with Tony Corrales Band
11:00 am – Welcoming Ceremony
11:30 am – Tony Corrales Band
2:00 pm – Pecan Cracking Contest & Pecan Pie Winner Announcement

Heritage Area [map]
9:00 am – 5:00 pm – Heritage Tent – Come see native food crops displayed, historical photos and watch how Native American basket weaving is staying alive!
9:30 am – 4:00 pm – Community Food Bank Harvest Demonstration in the Orchard – Bring your non-perishable food items or pay $3.00 per person to enjoy the horse drawn hay wagon into the orchard to see how we harvest pecans.
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Power from the Past Tractor Pull

Children’s Area 9:00 am to 5:00 pm [map]
Our children’s area is completely FREE! Come bounce on the gravity jump, bounce houses, take pictures with your friends and see what the Walden Grove High School Robotics team is up to.

Horse Demonstration Area
9:30 am – Horse Parade
10:30 am – Insiders guide to selecting the right horse – Lee Boles
12:00 pm – Horse Shoeing – Robert Burkett
12:30 pm – Cutting Demo
1:00 pm – Basic horse handling, grooming & tack – Kris Searle
2:00 pm – Basic veterinary care & when to call a vet  – Mary Campbell
3:00 pm – Distance Riding Demo
3:30 pm – New Horse Owner Equine Nutrition  – Patti Woodbury – Kuvik
4:00pm – Horse Parade

The Sixth Annual Pecan Classic
8:00 am – 15k & 5k Run
10:00 am – Nut Run – Family Fun Run/Walk through the orchard


Events Food News Pecan Store

Who Makes the Best Pecan Pie?

Green Valley Pecan - Photo by Dan LamontDo you know someone that makes the best pecan pie? Or do you have THE recipe that everyone raves about? Let it be known to all and register for the Pecan Pie Contest at this year’s Sahuarita Pecan Festival. The cost is $10 (includes 1 lbs bag of Green Valley Pecans) and open to all ages. Registration forms can be picked up at Mama’s Hawaiian Barbecue in Sahuarita or download the form online. Bring 2 pies, (1 for presentation display and 1 for judging) between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Please read full rules below.

The 2014 Pecan Pie Contest is sponsored by Mama’s Hawaiian Barbecue! Mama’s menu features traditional Hawaiian Plate Lunches, Homemade desserts and a daily special with island flair. Mama’s serves the full menu seven days a week. Visit the Sahuarita location or the 3 others around Tucson.

Contest Rules  |  Registration Form

Sahuarita Pecan Festival Pecan Pie Contest Rules

  1. Enter Pie
    a. Registration forms can be picked up at Mama’s Hawaiian Barbecue in Sahuarita or online. There is a $10.00 fee to enter contest and must be paid at time of registration at the Rancho Sahuarita Mama’s Hawaiian Barbecue location only. Contestants will also receive a 1 lbs bag of Green Valley Pecans for their pies when they pay their registration.
    i. Pies must be entered in the name of the person who made it.
    ii. Acknowledge that the entered pies become the property of the Sahuarita Pecan Festival and that you do not get your pie or pie pan back.
    iii. If you are a winner, you give your permission to have your photo taken during the announcement ceremony and have it used for Festival promotional materials, including the website and Facebook.
    b. Bring two pies (one for presentation display and one for judging) to the contest site (contest table will be in entertainment area, VIP Tucson Originals tent) between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. on the day of the Sahuarita Pecan Festival.
    c. NO PIES WILL BE ACCEPTED AT MAMA’S HAWAIIAN BBQ. You must deliver your pie on Saturday, November 8, 2014 to the stage area – Tucson Originals VIP Tent.
    d. One general parking pass is given for parking. Please be aware of major construction and delays and plan delivery on Saturday, November 8 accordingly.
    e. ABOSOLUTELY NO PIES THAT REQUIRE REFRIGERATION (i.e. dairy or cream). The person running the Pie Contest will have the final say on acceptability of pies.
    f. A copy of your pie recipe is required. It may be used in future festival promotions. It will be posted on our Facebook pages as well.
    g. All contest entrants will receive a “PIE BAKER” ribbon.
  2. Categories
    a. Adult
    b. Youth (Max. age = 18)
  3. Prizes
    i. 1st Place ribbon and $100 gift card and $50 gift card to Mama’s Hawaiian Barbecue.
    ii. 2nd Place ribbon and $50 gift card, $50 gift card to Mama’s Hawaiian Barbecue.
    iii. 3rd Place ribbon and $25 gift card to Mama’s Hawaiian Barbecue.
  4. Judging
    a. Judging will start at about 12:00 pm. It is closed to general public.
    b. Criteria
    i. Overall appearance
    ii. Crust
    iii. Taste
    iv. Amount of pecans used
    c. Scoring
    i. Each judge assigns a numerical value (1-10) in each criteria category, without consultation with the other judges.
    ii. The pie receiving the highest total numerical value is the winner.
    iii. In the case of a tie, the judges will judge those pies again.
    d. Winners will be announced after the judging is complete.
Events Food Marketplace Pecan Classic

The Nuttiest Festival in Arizona is 1 Month Away!

SPF postcardThe day starts with the Pecan Classic 15k and 5k and The Nut Run – A Family Fun Run – 1.5 Mile at 8:00 AM. Come be a part of this run, and run through the Pecan orchard in November in all it’s fall colors… The race route will travel a scenic course on the orchards south of Sahuarita Road on dirt roads and trails through the pecan orchards, giving runners a unique opportunity to see the farm and enjoy the most amazing Fall running experience under the trees.

The Sahuarita Pecan Festival starts at 9 a.m. and runs to 5 p.m. The Festival will celebrate the culture, cuisine and music of the Santa Cruz Valley. Designed to be fun for all ages, live entertainment and family-friendly activities, including real harvest demonstrations, hayrides and games, will be available for children and adults to enjoy.  A variety of regional food and pecan-related dishes will be showcased, along with a local arts and crafts market and live music.