This Saturday, August 8th Woodland’s Main Street, between First and Third Streets, will be transformed into the 8th Annual Tomato Festival. With over 60 vendors, 10-12 salsa competition entries, a Top-Chef inspired competition and a mechelada garden the Festival is sure to exceed expectations for the 2500 guests that are expected to attend through out the day. The Festival hours are 9:00am – 2:00pm.
The Festival stared with very humble beginnings 19 years ago as a salsa tasting competition while the Woodland Farmer’s Market was held at Yolo County Fair Mall. Sonia Mora, a co-founder of the Farmer’s Market and Tomato Festival, introduced the tasting competition in hopes of providing a fun activity for customers. At the time the salsa competitors were home cooks who were judged by a panel of judges.
When Freeman Park became the new home of the Farmer’s Market the salsa competition grew to include local restaurant’s salsa recipes and the public became the judge of which salsa would be crowned winner. The first year at Freeman Park saw 18 salsa entries. Restaurants used the competition as an opportunity to test multiple recipes, relying on the public’s taste buds to determine which recipes they would eventually serve in their restaurants.
Many of the same features of past Festivals will return along with the introduction of a mechelada garden hosted by Maria’s Cantina. Mechelada is a Mexican cocktail comprised of tomato juice, hot sauce, lime juice and beer usually served over ice. The garden will be set up in front of the Opera House and will only be accessible to those 21 and over. All proceeds from this garden will go back to the Tomato Festival.
For anyone interested in being a part of the Tomato Festival Sonia is always looking for help. Set up and tear down seems to be the area of most need. If interested, please contact Sonia at 530-666-2626 or just show up around 8:30am and help a vendor unload their car or help them pack up at 2:00pm when the festival ends.
Visit the Woodland Tomato Festival’s website here.