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Red Fire Farm to Host Tomato Festival Aug. 27

GRANBY — Red Fire Farm will host its 16th annual Tomato Festival on Saturday, Aug. 27 — a celebration of the end of summer, peak harvest, and the sweetheart of the summer crops: the tomato.

This year’s celebration will include a big brass band and more music, local food and craft vendors, games, kids’ activities, wagon rides, and a tomato tasting, featuring more than 75 varieties of tomatoes. The festival runs from noon to 6 p.m. at 7 Carver St. in Granby.

Among the many types of tomatoes to taste this year will be classics like Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, and Paul Robeson, as well as more exotic offerings such as Arkansas Marvel, Gold Dust, Chocolate Stripes, Sunsets Red Horizon, and Moonglow.

The collection of cherry tomatoes is a popular stop each year as well, with great varieties such as Matt’s Wild and Red Pearl, along with the more unusual Indigo Cherry Drop, Egg Yolk, Lemon Drop, and Pink Bumble Bee.

In addition to tasting tomatoes, the farm creates a day filled with tomato-themed events geared toward families. This year there will be a Great Tomato Toss, with prizes available for those who can catch the longest throws without getting sauced. Attendees will also enjoy tomato spoon races, vegetable sculpture, vegetable stamp painting, face painting, and more.

For cooking and homesteading enthusiasts, the festival features cooking demos with “Shakshuka: An Israeli Stewed Tomato Dish” by Mary Reilly from Edible Pioneer Valley, “How to Make Fresh Ricotta” by Mary Nelen from the Valley Locavore, and more. A Wild Edibles Walk with Jean Bergstrom, an experienced outdoor guide, will be another fun, family-friendly learning opportunity, as well as a yo-yo demo from some of the best players in the Northeast with the A2Z Modern Yo-Yo Team.

Under the music tent, the Party Band, a wild many-piece brass band from Lowell, will bring booty-shaking music to this year’s Tomato Festival. Other bands performing include Violet Maeve, Larry Dulong & Random Sighting, and Will Kindler.

Local vendors will provide tasty treats to snack on throughout the day, such as Barnlight, serving rustic fare including local tacos and other treats from the grill. Tom’s Kettle Corn all natural popcorn, Beets & Barley vegetarian creations, and grilled, farm-fresh corn from Red Fire Farm are among the many other food options.

Day-of admission is $14 for adults, $7 for kids, and free for children under 8. Advance tickets at discounts are available online. Parking is free. This year’s Tomato Festival is sponsored by PV Squared.

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