A nostalgic Vacaville amusement park, which closed its doors in 2009, is getting a new lease on life as it becomes the grand stage for the 30th annual Solano Wine & Food Jubilee in May 2017.
Thanks to a pending agreement between NorthBay Healthcare Foundation, the City of Vacaville and Dunhill Partners, Nut Tree’s management entity, the Harbison Event Center at the Nut Tree will be gussied up to host Solano County’s largest local fundraising event on May 20.
“It’s a milestone year for the Jubilee, and we’re thrilled we can celebrate it at such a historic location,” noted Brett Johnson, president, NorthBay Healthcare Foundation.
The Jubilee was established to benefit the programs of NorthBay Hospice & Bereavement when those programs were first created. The first Jubilee was held as a wine and cheese event in a Fairfield church and as the event grew in popularity, it needed larger and larger venues. It has been held in a hanger at Travis Air Force Base, in the then-new Jelly Belly manufacturing facility, in Lagoon Valley and for many years under a tent adjacent to the Nut Tree.
As in years’ past, 2017 Jubilee ticketholders will be able to sample an array of foods, wines and brews offered by a number of Solano County’s most generous restaurateurs, breweries and wineries. More information can be found at a later date on the Jubilee web site, at www.wineandfoodjubilee.org.
The Jubilee’s “pearl” year kicks off with Open That Bottle Night on Feb. 11, 2017, when the Solano Wine & Food Jubilee’s largest supporters will gather at Sunrise Event Center in Vacaville. They’ll be treated to a gala evening with a Nut Tree theme, the re-creation of an iconic Nut Tree dinner prepared by long-standing Jubilee partners, and the appearance of internationally acclaimed entertainers.
The Harbison Event Center is named after the Harbison House, a 1900s-era home that belonged to the owners of the Nut Tree Restaurant. The restaurant opened in 1921, but closed in 1996. Harbison House was saved, donated to the Vacaville Museum in 1998 and moved to a piece of city property in the center of a 3-acre lot that eventually became the Nut Tree Family Park. When it opened in 2006, the mixed-use complex featured meeting rooms and an amusement park with a roller coaster, bumper cars, and an arcade. The amusement park was closed to the public in 2009.
“We want to invest with the city to bring back the events center,” Johnson added. “And Measure M – which we hope earns voters’ approval on Nov. 8 – can be another mechanism the city uses to repair some of its aging facilities. Our Jubilee at Nut Tree could be the first of many other future uses there.
“We are honored to partner with the City of Vacaville and Dunhill Partners on this important event, on what will be a milestone year for our Jubilee. We are looking forward to our role in helping return the Nut Tree to the shining pearl it is for our community, as well,” Johnson added.
For more information about the Solano Wine & Food Jubilee, contact Colleen Knight, Foundation program coordinator, at (707) 646-3131.