mustard festival
winter napa valley


mustard festival board president - Rick HayesPrior to establishment of the Napa Valley Mustard Festival few leisure travelers or corporate groups opted to visit Napa Valley during the months of January, February and March. The Festival was established to promote Napa Valley as a destination during these winter/early spring months, generating tourism and business travel. The Festival's broad based marketing, promotion and advertising efforts have generated results surpassing expectations. The Festival has in fact created a new visitor season.

The Festival's framework creates newsworthy festivities during the time of year when a mere 7% of annual visitation took place prior to 1994. A report compiled by the State of California and County of Napa in 1997 revealed that visitation had increased to 27% in 1996.

Visitors come to Napa Valley during the "Mustard Season" for the events, to take advantage of special promotions, and to enjoy the beauty of the season as they see it portrayed in the media. Hospitality industry employees who were once laid off during the "slow-season" are now generally employed year around. Tasting rooms, restaurants, and hotel rooms that were once sparsely occupied, are now bustling during "The Mustard Season."

As a result of the mustard season promotion, millions of additional dollars in revenue have been generated during the first quarter of each year since 1994. Numerous sponsors have reported increased sales while non-profit organizations have netted substantial proceeds from their mustard season events.

"I donít know how the rest of the community has weathered the first few months of 2008, but the Jessel Gallery has two big thank yous to gratefully share with your readers... My second thank you goes to Pat Summers and the Mustard Festival. I was given the honor of doing the poster this year and was thrilled to find out that this image has been the top-selling poster in the 15-year history of the event. I also attended all the events and remained in complete awe at how smoothly Pat and her staff ran this huge festival. The global advertising this event does brings people from all over the world. Our business soared, turning our finances around so that we had our biggest month in years this March! The final event held at the Silverado Country Club was the sponsorsí dinner (which was lovely and delicious). I sat as sponsor after sponsor got up and sang praises to this event and how it affected their business (including the Wine Train, Mumm Napa, Ceja Vineyards and American Airlines, to name only a few). I cannot say enough good things about being a sponsor for this event. If I were a restaurant in this valley looking to expand my business, or a winery that slowed down and let people go through our winter season, I would jump on the Mustard Festival bandwagon for 2009."

Jessel Miller, Artist and Gallery Owner


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