FAIRFIELD — A dunk tank offered some respite from soaring temperatures Sunday – if only for the Fairfield firefighters who were taking the plunge.
The Tomato Festival continued Sunday despite 100-degree weather, and gathered near the Water Zone were a group of firefighters taking turns on the hot seat as comrades and passersby tried to knock them into the drink.
“I took no pleasure in the tossing,” said firefighter/paramedic Ross Warner, who managed to drop fellow firefighter Mike Rudolph off his pedestal two consecutive times.
“He’s one of the best young firefighters we have here in the department,” Warner said.
Members from the Fairfield Fire Department were at the Tomato Festival raising funds for the Children’s Nurturing Project, which serves high-risk children and families in Suisun City. The Project has been at the Tomato Festival before, but this was its first year with the Celebrity Dunk Tank, said Debbi Davis, executive director of the Children’s Nurturing Project.
Nine-year-old Lorenzo Oakley had no problem nailing the bull’s eye.
“For me, it was like, ‘Can I do it? Can I do it?’ and I tried my best,” said the Suisun City boy. “It was pretty hard.”
Lorenzo was at the Tomato Festival for the first time with his mother Michelle Oakley. They had already been to the Bobble Lagoon, where children scampered in inflatable spheres floating on a pool of water.
The Water Zone was a new addition at the Tomato Festival, and it featured activities such as SCUBA training, paddle boating and a water balloon toss, said Margaret Manzo, executive director of the Fairfield Main Street Association.
Manzo, who along with event assistant Yolanda Ramirez organized the event, declared the festival a success.
“We had a great turnout,” she said. “I would have appreciated it if it was a little cooler today.”
Manzo estimated the weekend’s attendance was around 20,000 to 25,000, although she said it was difficult to count because the free event is ungated.
Some festival highlights included Saturday’s performance of Sapo Guapo, “which brought a big crowd,” said Manzo. “And, of course, the tomatoes.”
Another hit was Cheating Daylight’s two-set performance Sunday afternoon, which attracted several young fans.
Rodriguez High School students Taylor Foy, Meghan O’Connell and Sarah Moreau and Buckingham Charter student Emilee Foy came to the Tomato Festival just to watch the performance.
The 15-year-olds have been fans of the pop-punk band for about a year.
“They were always great but improved a lot,” O’Connell said.
The band, featuring Jesse, Kyle and Jaden Crosson of Vacaville, and Jacob and Connor Gill, of Cobb, performed original songs and some covers that included The Ramones’ “Blitzreig Bop,” Van Halen’s “Jump” and Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know.” They also performed three new songs for the first time.
As the music played on Sunday afternoon, some vendors were already packing up their wares, wrapping up the 22nd year of Fairfield’s main event.
Reach Adrienne Harris at 427-6956 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aharrisdr.