In the 1940s and 1950s, Dixon became known nationally for its sheep production. Marks Meat opened in the 1940’s and was sold to Stoeven Bros. in the 1950’s. Superior Farms purchased the Company in the 1980’s. Superior Meat Packing remains one of the largest employers in Dixon.
Another contributor to the lamb industry was Mace Meat Company. Mace was sold to Armour Foods in the 70’s and Monfort bought the Company in the 1980’s. Sadly, Monfort has closed its doors.
It was in Dixon, during the mid-eighties, that the celebration of lamb came into being. The festival founders wanted a local event singling out Dixon as a major sheep producer in the region, but mostly to celebrate the taste of California lamb. This annual tradition continues to this day and is held the first weekend in October.