SCICON finally able to host Barbecue & Wildflower Festival

SCICON was able to host their annual barbecue and wildflower festival last weekend for the first time in three years

TULARE COUNTY – Due to the pandemic, SCICON has not been able to host their annual Barbecue and Wildflower Festival for the past three years, instead they posted videos of all their wildflowers on their YouTube channel. Not to worry this year though. The 60th annual SCICON Barbecue and Wildflower Festival is ready to go this Sunday, April 10.   

This event is an opportunity for families and individuals of all ages to experience and enjoy what SCICON has to offer. Festivities begin at 11 a.m. and last until around 4 p.m. This was the first event held since 2019.

There are several areas of the SCICON campus available to tour and activities to participate in free of charge. Student entertainment will be continuous throughout the day. SCICON plans to have staff available to lead wildflower walks and nature hikes. The  museum of natural history will be open all day and shows are presented in the SCICON Raptor Center. SCICON has decide to make one change and not have their planetarium open according to communications director Robert Herman. 

“The only change this year is that normally the school’s planetarium is open for shows, but it’s a small space,” Herman said. “So just with an abundance of caution, we’ve decided not to open the planetarium for visitors, but everything else is as it has been in the past.”

In addition to all the SCICON campus has to offer, there were several resource agencies available with educational displays and activities, including Sequoia National Forest, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and the Tulare County Conservation Corps. Smokey Bear also made an appearance! Those who visited SCICON’s tree nursery had the opportunity to receive free seedling and learn about worm composting.

Each visitor will receive a framable commemorative wildflower poster by local Springville artist, Frances Pyles. This year the poster features a watercolor of a beautiful Owl’s Clover plant. 

A full day prior to the event, two thousand pounds of beef will begin simmering underground in preparation for the barbecue.. The beef will be served alongside the famous SCICON barbecue sauce. Meal ticket donations are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, $10 for active duty military personnel, and $10 for children 12 and under. All proceeds from this meal go to “Friends of SCICON” to benefit the SCICON program. 

SCICON is the outdoor school of science and conservation operated by Tulare County Office of Education. Each year, over 17,000 fifth- and sixth-grade students visit this 1,100-acre campus located in the foothills above Springville. The SCICON Barbecue and Wildflower Festival is sponsored by Friends of SCICON.  

For more information on the SCICON Barbecue, please call (559) 539-2642 or visit

Start typing and press Enter to search