Heaping truckloads of brilliant red tomatoes plying Yolo County back roads; farmers market growers selling yellow, red, purple and striped heirloom varieties; and backyard gardeners finally harvesting their favorite summer vegetable (technically a fruit) — all mean it’s ‘tomato time’ in Yolo County.
Recognizing the region’s connection to tomatoes, the Woodland Farmers Market and the North Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce invite the community to come and celebrate the harvest at the fifth annual Woodland Tomato Festival from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at Freeman Park on Main Street in downtown Woodland.
The final schedule is set for this free festival and there is something for everyone. The “Best Salsa in Town” restaurant competition starts at 9:30 a.m. and invites attendees to taste and vote on salsas prepared by local restaurants.
At the Top Tomato Chef Competition, starting at 11 a.m., local chefs Kate from ciocolat, Edna and Carla from Cup and Saucer, Chris Lombardi from the Burger Saloon and Justin from the Nest at Wildwings will prepare their favorite tomato-based creations for the judges.
From 9 a.m. to noon, the Yolo County Master Gardeners will once again host their free tomato tasting booth where festival-goers can taste and compare some 30 varieties of heirloom and hybrid tomatoes, as well as a booth offering advice on gardening problems.
There will be live entertainment all day including performances by the Putah Creek Crawdads, Ballet Folklorico and the Sacramento FBI Band, who will keep things lively from noon until 2 p.m. with a mixture of motown, soul and R&B.
Festival activities for kids include a bounce house, face painting, rotten tomato toss and meeting Tommy and Tonia Tomato. Also, the Woodland Farmers Market growers will be selling summer produce along with booths featuring local crafters, artisans and nonprofit community groups.
Festival sponsors include Cash Creek Casino, Champions for Change, Monsanto, Morningstar, Tri County Bank, Woodland Chamber of Commerce and Woodland Healthcare. For more information, visit woodlandtomatofestival.com.