FAIRFIELD — Downtown was bustling Saturday as Fairfield hosted its 22nd Annual Tomato Festival.
Crowds meandered along Texas Street as live bands covered popular songs, food vendors sold barbecue and kettle corn and children played in the carnival.
“Folks are really excited,” said Fairfield Mayor Harry Price. “It pleases me tremendously that there are so many children . . .”
In Tomato Alley, Suisun Valley-based Tenbrink Farms boasted boxes of heirlooms in all sorts of shades. A placard described the Vintage Wine tomato as “pink with a gold-striped pastel hue” and the Cherokee Purple as “a purple, rose-colored beefsteak.”
Daryl Tenbrink, 28, said he helped plant 100 varieties of tomatoes at the family-owned farm – “10 to 15 plants of each kind.”
The tomato displays proved fruitful as there were plenty of takers.
“We’re making tacos tonight,” said Dalene Sovine, of Vacaville, who brought her grandsons to the event.
Sovine attended last year’s festival and knew there would be plenty of tomatoes.
“Our crop this year didn’t look good, so we came this year to get some,” said Sovine, who planted this year’s tomato crop in a barrel.
Pluot samples were also the rage in the Sovine family.
“I like the flavored kings and the dinosaur eggs,” said 9-year-old Dylan Sovine of the sweet hybrid fruit.
Tomato Alley also featured fresh produce from Suisun City-based Erickson Ranch, which had a display of Big Jim green chile peppers as well as jams and fruit.
“Peaches and nectarines have been good . . .” said Ross Erickson. “The heat brought them on early.”
As people perused, others sampled an array of tomato slices from Tenbrink Farms in a nearby tent.
First-time festivalgoers Lance and Susan Jensen, of Vacaville, completed the tomato buffet and confirmed that they are fans of the fruit.
“We have six varieties in our yard,” said Lance Jensen.
The couple of 34 years said they particularly enjoyed the German Green and the Sun Gold tomatoes.
The Tomato Festival continues from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Reach Adrienne Harris at 427-6956 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aharrisdr.