Fairfield Tomato Festival celebrates another successful year
Over 25,000 people from Solano County and beyond were in downtown Fairfield Aug. 16 and 17 for the 23rd annual Fairfield Tomato Festival, hosted by the Fairfield Main Street Association Tomato Alley is the core of the festival, featuring an array of samples of dozens of varieties of heirloom tomatoes grown in the valley. The many varieties included yellow and white brandy wine, pineapple, hillbilly, marvel stripe, green zebra, Snow White cherry, sweet 100 cherry and more.
The festival also featured tomato eating contests, live entertainment, wine and beer gardens, firemen demonstrations, food courts, crafters, tomato-related vendors, children’s activities, a water zone, and more.
Miss Fairfield, Gabrielle Franklin, was in the dunk tank both days of the festival, helping to raise money for the Children's Nurturing Project. "Anything for a good cause," she says. "This is my second year being at the tomato festival and it's so much fun. It's one of my favorite events." As for the cold water on a hot day, she says it feels great. "It's really refreshing!"
Margaret Manzo, executive director of the Fairfield Main Street Association, was often found in a golf cart riding up and down the downtown streets, making sure the beloved Fairfield Tomato Festival operated smoothly. Everything is perfect, she exclaimed Saturday. "People are having a great time," she said. "That's why we do this." Over 100 volunteers have worked with the Main Street Association to pull off the event. They were in downtown until 1 a.m. Saturday setting up and back again at 6:30 am. "It's all worth it," Manzo said.
"Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?" Brittany and Jasmine, seniors at Fairfield High School, are asking that question to everyone who entered Tomato Alley. It was all part of a community service project for their class. The girls reported that about 80 percent of visitors responded with the correct answer - the delicious tomato is indeed a fruit.