This weekend, thousands of people visiting downtown Fairfield will likely run into Russian Black, Boxcar Willy, Pink Girl and Green Zebra.
No, these are not cartoon or movie characters, nor are they the latest superheroes. These are tomatoes.
Russian Black, Boxcar Willy, Pink Girl and Green Zebra are four of dozens and dozens of varieties of heirloom tomatoes that can be sampled in Tomato Alley during the 23rd Annual Fairfield Tomato Festival Saturday and Sunday. There will be a “rainbow” of tomatoes, organizers from the Fairfield Main Street Association promise, and the delicious taste is sure to draw a large crowd.
Tomato Alley, an enclosed 60-ft long tent at the intersection of Jefferson and Texas Street, is just one component of this popular and beloved festival that has been going strong in downtown Fairfield for over two decades.
The two-day festival, now in its 23rd year, celebrates the tomato as the leading cash crop in Solano County for over two decades, along with Suisun Valley's rich agriculture history. Solano County is known for its abundance of fresh fruit, nuts, vegetables, and fine wines from Suisun Valley.
Over 25,000 people from Solano County and beyond visited the festival last year and the Fairfield Main Street Association expects just as large of a crowd for this year's fun festivities. 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 festival also includes 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.
Back by popular demand is the Wine & Food Pairing event hosted at the Solano County Events Center Saturday, Aug. 16 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.
The festival will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16 and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 17.
Some of the scheduled highlights include:
- The popular Tomato Eating Contests will be from 12:30 to 1 p.m. Saturday on the Webster Street stage and 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday on the Jefferson Street stage.
- The Youth Talent Competition will be from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday on the Webster Street stage. The competition will be hosted by Star Producers and Danc-Sing Stars Studio and will feature both dance and vocal categories. Winners will be announced in two age divisions - ages 11 and under and ages 12 to 18
- The Tomato Costume Contest will be from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday on the Jefferson Street stage. Prizes will be awarded for Mr. Tomato, Ms. Tomato, Tiny Tomato, and Tomato Head/Hat
- Submit your recipe for the best Salsa on Saturday at 2:00. $10.00 entry fee will contribute to the cash prize awards. Entry forms available at FairfieldMainStreet.com
- Farmers Market area will feature Tenbrink Farms Heirloom tomatoes for purchase.
- A wide variety of live music and entertainment takes place on two stages. Enjoy performances from Sapo Guapo, Terry Sheets Band, Used Blues Band, Rhythm Method, Matt Applin & the Midnite Band, and Vino Bandito’s and more.
- Children’s activities include amusement rides for all ages, pony rides, and activities.
Fairfield Tomato Festival proceeds are used to benefit and revitalize the core of Fairfield, its historic downtown. More than 40 local non-profit and service organizations have benefited by participating in the festival.