The Visalia View

Gospelpalooza? Is that even a thing?

Fan Festival 2017Visalia is getting ready to welcome fans from all across the US and Canada for the Great Western Gospel Music Fan Festival. Don’t know what this event is? It is a “gospelpalooza” if you will, that brings internationally known Gospel singers together for an uplifting and glorious 3 day festival held at the Visalia Convention Center May 4-6, 2017.

Join them as groups such as The Hoppers, Greater Vision, Triumphant Quartet, Legacy Five, and more sing gospel tunes as well as hear a touch of bluegrass from Southern Raised. Award winning artists will be here, ready to wow you with their inspired tunes.

So get your tickets while there is still time and see what you have been missing. You won’t regret it! Then let us know if “gospelpalooza” should be added to the dictionary!

Check out our calendar of events for all the details on this event.

Welcome Senior Games Athletes!

Senior Games

Welcome Visalia Senior Games Athletes! We are so glad you decided to join us here in Visalia for this year’s Senior Games. If you have a little break between events or if you are anxiously awaiting the results, why don’t you check out some of our local hot spots.

For breakfast and a morning stroll, wander around our charming downtown area and find the perfect cafe for you. One of our most unique breakfast locations is Valhalla Restaurant. Here you will find a fabulous assortment of classic Danish dishes including Aebleskivers and Danish pancakes. Other local favorites include: Mama K’s Diner, Bothof’s Bakery, Cafe 210, and Tazzaria Coffee & Tea. Or visit Black Bear Diner, Denny’s or Marie Calendars on Mooney.

Maybe you’d like to relax at a park before your big event. Plaza Park is an excellent place to wander through trees and grassy areas as well as relax around the duck pond. This is a great location to have a picnic out in the sunshine (or the shade). Pack a lunch or visit one of our many sandwich shops downtown before you head over to the park. Here are a few local favorites: The Lunchbox, Picnic Sandwich Shop, Watson’s Veggie Garden, Subway, Jimmy Johns.

Or if you are looking for another weekend event to attend while you’re in town, here are just a few:

  • Kellie Pickler @ Visalia Fox Theatre: March 18
  • Wit @ Ice House Theatre: March 17-19

If you are sticking around for the week between and the second weekend here are some events:

  • Citizen Kane @ Visalia Fox Theatre: March 22
  • #Laugh@Life @ Lamp Liter Inn: March 23
  • The Reunion: A Fantasy Tribute to the Beatles: March 24
  • Menopause: the musical @ Visalia Fox Theatre March 25

We are excited to celebrate with you at the opening ceremonies and throughout the weekends. The best of luck to everyone as you race to the finish line.

Now, without further ado…

Let_the_games_begin meme






You can always find more information about local events, parks and recreation, eateries, shopping and more on our website:

“Trading Places” with George Folsey, Jr!

Trading PlacesSometimes life is all about who you know. This is the premise of the hilarious 1983 movie, “Trading Places” that stars Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. This is also how Visalia is lucky to have the movie’s Executive Producer, George Folsey, Jr join us at the Fox Theater for a pre-show chat about the making of the movie.

The CVB tapped into some personal connections (See? It’s all about who you know!) and invited Folsey, Jr to Visalia to introduce the movie that is being screened as part of the Visalia Fox Theater’s Throwback Thursday film series. Lucky attendees will hear a little background info on the filming of this movie as well as other blockbusters that Folsey worked on. Movies like “Animal House,” “The Blues Brothers,” and “An American Werewolf in London” were just a few of his projects.

So we hope that Visalia comes out and supports this event. Perhaps we can talk Folsey into coming back again to do the intro to another of his great movies!

Movie is on Thursday, March 2 at 6:30. Pre show chat with Folsey will begin about 6:10. Come early and get your popcorn. Then settle into your seat for some fun stories!

Top 10 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Visalia

Christmas Tree in the SnowWow. The holidays are here! With Thanksgiving next week, so starts the most wonderful time of the year-and the most hectic! Let’s make sure you take some time to truly enjoy this season. I mean Really.Enjoy.It. Here’s how. Give the absolute best gift ever: the gift of time spent together with family and friends. It may not fit under the tree or in a stocking but we guarantee that when the holidays are over it won’t be a gift that is thrown in the back of the closet and forgotten. So, here are the top 3 suggestions that you can do with others to help get you into the holiday spirit. For the rest of the list, click on the link at the end. You are sure to find something that will get you in the holiday spirit!

  1. Run/ Walk in the Annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning in downtown. This is one of the best ways to kick-off the season. Yes, it’s a challenge to get up early but when you see all the people who have gathered, it will be well worth it. This fun run/walk benefits the Visalia Emergency Aid Council. What a great way to start our national day of Thanksgiving, by sharing with others. Gather family and friends and make this your new annual tradition.
  2. Grab a place on the curb for the Candy Cane Lane Parade. Speaking of tradition, this is the 71st  Annual Parade and is the Monday after Thanksgiving. This year’s theme is “A Storybook Christmas” and is sure to delight all ages. Stay til the end because the big man himself always makes an appearance.
  3. Take the kids (or the young at heart) to the “Santa Paws Holiday Show” at the Visalia Convention Center. Winners of “America’s Got Talent” TV show, these dogs will wow you with tricks and acrobatics. Who doesn’t love a cute puppy in a santa hat??

There a lots more things to do from the Trek to the Nation’s Christmas Tree in Kings Canyon National Park to taking a horse drawn carriage ride in downtown. Just click on the link below to see. We would love to see pics of you and your family and friends out celebrating. So if you post on social media, hashtag VisitVisalia for a chance to be featured.

Happy Holidays!

10 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Visalia


Election Madness and our Privilege to Vote

Mural at Mooney Grove

Mural at Mooney Grove

Voters came out in record numbers this past Tuesday to cast their vote in arguably the one of the most historic, contentious, and wildest elections in years! We’ve seen all kinds of crazy posted on Facebook and Twitter, printed in our newspapers, and on TV. It got so that we were arguing over everything!

  • Marney the Dog or Hamilton the Pug
  • Snickers or Kit Kat
  • Paper or Plastic
  • Country Music or Alternative Rock (Ok, maybe that’s just at my house)

But now we challenge you to get away from all the election backlash and do something that we all can agree on: take some time this Veteran’s Day (Friday, Nov 11) to honor our Veterans who have fought to defend our land of the free and home of the brave.

Here are some suggestions of things to do:

  • Go to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and enjoy the fresh air, beautiful views and of course the giant sequoias. In honor of Veterans Day, everyone gets in fee FREE on Friday.
  • Watch the Visalia Veterans Day Parade: Saturday, Nov 12 at 10am. Starts at Garden St Plaza on Main Street
  • Drive The Caldwell Avenue of Heroes and see over 120 banners hanging along the roadside honoring those from Visalia currently serving in the military (By the Brave Project) Along Caldwell and Akers St.
  • Check out the murals around Visalia that honor our veterans. They are all FREE to look at. Here are the locations of a few: at Mooney Grove Park, at the Visalia Convention Center (Eucalyptus Courtyard), at Main St at Willis
  • Shake the hand of a vet and thank them for their service, treat a vet to a meal, or other acts of kindness

Have a great weekend. And to all our Veterans, thank you for your service.

Get your Taste of Visalia this Month!

PumpkinsFall is here, which means it’s time for the Visalia festivals! Get your taste of Visalia this month with our Taste of Downtown Visalia Festival, Taste the Arts Festival, and Tastemakers Festival. Take the whole family along to check out the Vossler Farms Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze or head up to the Sequoia National Park for a spooky Halloween at the Crystal Caves. Take advantage of this cooler weather and enjoy all of these upcoming events.


Top 5 Weekend Get-Away Ideas for Fall Travel

dsc_1395-resized-moro-rockFall is the perfect time for a weekend get-away. The kids are back in school, tourists are back to work and many places that were swamped with visitors are now pleasantly quiet. Here are a few suggestions for a long weekend vacay in Visalia (just a few shorts hours from LA and SF)  that will leave you feeling refreshed and renewed.

  1. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: with fall foliage and fewer visitors, the Parks are a wonderful, peaceful place to spend a weekend.
  2. Taste The Arts Festival: On October 15, artists will line the streets of downtown Visalia with amazing artwork. Meet the artists, stroll the streets and enjoy art in all forms.
  3. Taste Makers: On the same weekend as Taste the Arts (see what we’re doing here!) the Taste Makers event happens. This is an emerging artist music festival. Listen to music, maybe have a beer or two and enjoy the last of the warm weather.
  4. Pickle Ball Tournament: October 21-23. If you haven’t heard of this sport that is surging in popularity, come out and see what all the excitement is about. Or if you play the game and want a challenge, sign up to participate.
  5. Halloween at the Cave: So we know that #1 on the list is Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, but really amp up your trip with a visit to Crystal Cave the last week of October. You will enjoy special tours that are extra spookie!!!

If you want more information on these suggestion or want more ideas on what you can do this Fall, read our Visalia Buzz newsletter or go to our website





Visalia brings Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks to downtown

Adventure Talks Brief

Are you traveling – or thinking of traveling – to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks with the family and looking for something both kids and adults will enjoy? How about stopping in the charming city of Visalia for some fun and adventure! Visalia CVB is excited this summer to partner with Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, the Sequoia Parks Conservancy and the Visalia Farmers Market to bring the National Parks to downtown Visalia. Called “Visalia Adventure Talks,” these events will feature Living Historians who will talk about great people in the parks’ history, local experts who will provide information on Outdoor Adventures like hiking, back packing, fly fishing, and more. Park Rangers will be on hand to answer questions about the park as well as provide educational information. Visitors driving through the area are encouraged to stop by to listen to talks about park history, ask questions and to get brochures. Want to know about camping in the park? Or great fishing spots? What about tips on back packing? Curious about animal skat? We’ve got all of that covered. Stop by and see us at the south end of the Farmers Market on Church Street every Thursday through August 25, 2016.

Schedule of events:

July 14: Camping in the Parks; Sequoia Shuttle

July 21: Botanist Alice Eastwood; Lady Back Packers

July 28: Buffalo Soldiers in the Parks; Kaweah Fly Fishers

August 4: Susan Thew: Unsung heroine of SNP; Tulare County Astronomical Society

August 11: Animals of the Park; 50+ Hiking Club; Camp Cooking Demo

August 18: Colonel Young; Mountain Bike Demo

August 25: Happy Birthday National Park Service! Birthday Cake and Selfie Spot

Catch ’em here: Pokemon love Visalia

pokemonI now carry an emergency medical kit with me at all time. Not because I have a terrible illness that may strike at any time but because I live in fear that I will stumble upon a Pokemon Go player in dire need of medical aid after slamming into a light pole or falling off a cliff while playing this game that is riveting the nation. Please, people, have fun but be careful!

The good news is that Visalia has no cliffs from which to fall and we are apparently teeming with Pokemon, Pokeballs, gyms, Pokestops, and whatever else Pokemon Go players need. I know this because while at the downtown farmers market last night a young friend showed me all the characters that could be found right around us. Tons of them! (Who knew Pokemon like fresh fruits and veggies!) And with all the parks, monuments, and public spaces available in Visalia, I am certain there are many more.

I am so excited to see young (and not so young) people and their friends walking all around our city. Known for our walkable and quaint downtown, this just proves the point. Even Pokemon know it’s a great spot to hang out. So go down to Main Street, hang out at Taylor’s Hot Dogs, stop by the Fox Theater or Marriott Hotel and go to the Visalia Mall – they’re all great spots to find pokemon! We know you will have fun exploring this great city. By the way, the ER is located at Locust and Mineral King. You know, in case you need it!

Visalia Summer fun in July!

This month has no shortage of fun things to do in the Valley. The FREE summer movie series in the parks and pools continue through July and includes The Hunger Games Mockingjay 2 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

There will be a throwback concert at the Fox featuring The Turtles, Three Dog Night Paul Revere & The Raiders and more! Sun July 17th @ 7:30 pm.

Blues, Brews and BBQ offers a FREE night of Blues music on Friday July 8th featuring Glen Delpit and the Subterraneans.

As always the weather is always cooler up in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks so it’s a perfect time to celebrate the centennial of the National Parks! July 2016 BUZZ