Hanover Tomato Festival returns this weekend
MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (WWBT) - Whether you like them sliced, diced or whole, the Hanover Tomato Festival is returning to its original format to celebrate all things tomato!
The free, outdoor, pet-friendly festival will feature artisan vendors, select agriculture and Hanover tomato-focused cuisines.
The festival will take place at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville at 8996 Pole Green Park Lane Friday, July 15, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and on Saturday, July 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Friday features a Pizza Race and Relay with obstacles and challenges and a pizza station with a hot slice waiting for anyone who stops by. Individuals or teams of four can compete in team, male or female races. The first person to reach their toma-TOES to the finish line will win Papa John’s Pizza for a year. Each winning team member will receive coupons for two large free pizzas. Click here to register for the Pizza Race.
Saturday will feature Bow Wow Beach, a cooling station for any four-legged friends looking to beat the July heat, a tomato eating contest, a tomato scavenger hunt and activity stations for children.
The Hanover Tomato Festival was started in 1978 by Black Creek Volunteer Fire Department members looking for a way to raise money for the department. In 2020, the festival was canceled due to the pandemic. The following year, the event was reimagined into small-scale events across Hanover County as Tomato Month.
“This is not the same old, same old Tomato Festival we used to do. COVID gave us the opportunity to kind of reset and refocus, so we’ve been able to refocus the Tomato Festival on community,” explained Marcy Durrer, who works for Hanover County Parks and Recreation.
Many vendors who are part of this year’s festival have been coming back for years. Mechanicsville vendor, InkT, is the official t-shirt vendor for the festival. They said they are looking forward to seeing the community come together.
“You know, with the two years being off, I guess it’s made it even more exciting to be back and to see everyone that has come around since we got started and looking forward to getting their shirts. Some people collect them,” said Chris Price, who works for InkT.
It wouldn’t be the Hanover Tomato Festival without the Hanover tomato. All tomatoes for the festival are grown in Hanover County and come from two local farms, Rosa’s Garden and Hanover Vegetable Farm.
To learn more about the Hanover Tomato Festival, click here.
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