Post #406 The Great Eastern Shore Tomato Festival

August 24, 2015 at 9:56 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I’ve mentioned before that we live in a small town in a rural community on the Delmarva Peninsula in the mid-Atlantic area of the country.  Twenty minutes north of us is a mid-sized town of good size and 30 minutes south of us is a large town.  Between the three town, we can usually find everything we need for modern living.  For everything else, we have the internet.  Clustered around us are smaller towns, villages, and hamlets.  One of those villages held the Great Eastern Shore Tomato Festival this weekend and we went to it.

It started at 10am so we headed out about 10, not wanting to be there at opening.  After a few mis-starts, we finally were on the road at 10:30 and arrived just before 11.  We drove down one of the main roads and encountered a young man, sitting in a lawn chair in the middle of the road.  He directed us to the parking area where an older (much) man told us where to park and where to pick up the tram that would take us to the festival.

Tomato Festival 5

It’s hard to tell in this picture, but that’s a tractor pulling the tram.  We sat all the way at the back.  Once we knew where we were going, we found it was only a few blocks away.  A lot of the locals took advantage of the day and held yard sales.  We didn’t stop at any of them, though.  Far too tempting.

So we arrived at the festival.  It was right on the Nanticoke River Riverwalk pathway.  The first booth that greeted us was from our favorite local winery allowing adult to have free tastings.  I didn’t want to start the day drinking wine so we bypassed that booth, but took in several others along the Riverwalk.  We had just missed the opening event, the Mayor’s Tomato Challenge Race where contestants had to run a short course while carrying tomatoes in spoons.

Food was abundant.  The scent of burgers on the grill dominated the area and made our mouths water.  They had the requisite burgers and dogs, but they also had fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, and other grilled and fried delicacies.  We didn’t eat there.  One small cheeseburger was $6 and I’m a cheapskate.  We wandered around for quite a while.  Everyone was friendly, shouting out Hello and Hi to all the folks passing by.  Even though we arrive after the start up, it wasn’t too crowded.  I noticed a craft area for little kids and was impressed by the fact that it was free.  One booth was set up to sell festival gear and I got this:

Tomato Festival 4

The day was sunny and warm, but not hot.  At least, not to us.  Several venders tried to sell us hats or caps, but we declined.  Turned out to be the wrong thing for one of the three of us.  Since Partner/Spouse and I had been to this little town before, we were pointing out all the sites.  We had just arrived at the main area of the festival when we were startled by a loud clanking and boom.  Then a loudspeaker announced they were starting the Punkin Chuckin.  The intent was to launch pumpkins across the river.  Every few minutes, the clank and boom would sound and the pumpkin would launch based on some festival-goer’s aim.  None got across the river while we were there.

Then we found our prize!  One booth was set up for Friends of the Library here in our town.  And the ladies recognized us from the times we’d been in.  We didn’t go crazy, but we got several books, about a dozen, and paid only $6.  I think they cut us a break.  From there, we went to the local animal shelter’s booth and played with puppies and young dogs.  We explained that we have two rescued dogs and had just lost our third, so they didn’t press us too hard to take any home.  Partner/Spouse stopped at a booth where he talked with a volunteer organization for our town and county about controlled growth to maintain the area’s culture and history while still bringing in the jobs and growth necessary.  I was at a booth where there were sheep being sheared, and wool being spun into yarn.  The main topic of conversation was my t shirt which said “Sarcasm: the official language of the Irish”.

Our final stop for the day was at a booth where they had models of boat called skipjacks which run up and down the rive and the bay harvesting oysters.  Turns out they run tours out of our town, just a couple of miles from our house!

Tomato Festival 2

At 2pm was the great tomato war, but we weren’t there for that.  There was also a watermelon rolling contest, and a peach pit spitting contest.  Didn’t watch those either.  We were long gone by then.

Tomato Festival 1

2013 Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival | www.kitchenconfi

But, we were so inspired by the festival we went to our favorite farmer’s market and stocked up on various veggies, including tomatoes.

It was a fun day, a very small town kind of thing to do.  It was the kind of thing that I love and it was a blast for me.  I’m glad we went.


1 Comment

  1. I like those Smalltown things to do. Seems like they’re from a forgotten time.
    Plus … tomatoes.

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