Woodleaf Tomato Festival 2016

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 18, 2016

By Patti Safrit

It’s going to be a grand day in Woodleaf!

The festival will be held on Saturday, Aug. 20. This year’s theme is “Celebrate the Tomato!” This is our 10th year anniversary, so we’re celebrating!

So, what’s going on at the festival?

Kicking it off at 9 a.m. is the West Rowan ensemble and the National Anthem, with the parade at 10 a.m. If you want to be in the parade, meet at the Woodleaf Fire Department at 9:30. No fee nor need to pre-register (BTW — we love tractors).

At mid-day, we’ll be serving free cake from our big anniversary cake — and along with it, cupcakes that will be part of the Cupcake Challenge, in which we’ll name the first official Baker of the Woodleaf Tomato Festival. Judges will judge the cupcakes on taste, appearance and how it follows the tomato theme, and the winner will be announced.

Also, we’re excited to have a scavenger hunt lined up for children of all ages! Check in at the information table to pick up your card and then search the festival for tomatoes.

We’ll have the annual Tomato Eating Contest, both Senior and Junior Division, and tomato tasting to help us decide which variety tomato is the “official tomato” of the festival.

New this year: fried green tomatoes! And back by popular demand, TOMUFFLES! Introduced last year, these are chocolate covered cherry tomatoes about the size of a truffle. Get it? Tomato + truffle = TOMUFFLE.

Along with the craft vendors, we have folks who will be onsite demonstrating their crafts, such as soap making, pottery, wood carving and pine needle basket weaving. We’re also excited to have our new Youth Crafters Booth for those under 12 that want to display and sell their items.

We’re excited to offer train rides this year, as well as a kid’s play area.

At mid-day, we’ll recognize the King and Queen of the Tomato Festival, along with the announcement of the winner of the 2016 Woodleaf Tomato Festival Mayor. Our children’s pageants, Little Miss Mater, Little Tommy Toe and Little ‘Mater Sprout will also be named at this time.

Being that this is fefstival number 10, we are inviting all previous pageant winners, including those “beautiful” queens from the earlier years of the womanless beauty pageants, parade Grand Marshalls, and last year’s Mayor to be recognized on stage. (We hope some of these early beauty queens will dress in their finest!)

Earlier in the day, the judges will taste and decide on the winners of the Tomato Cook-off, and these will be announced mid day also.

Our Center Stage Live will host local favorites, such as Matthew Weaver, Scarred Worship and the Lutherridge Cloggers. Bring a chair, set it up under the “big tent” (courtesy of Lazy 5 Ranch), get you a tomato sandwich and enjoy summer’s finest!

We’ll also have College BBQ folks on site cooking our burgers, dogs and fries. We’ll also have home made ice cream, tomato sandwiches, ham and sausage biscuits, and baked goods, plus cold drinks and Cheerwine slushies.

And if all of this isn’t enough tomato for you, our GIANT tomato from the New Year’s Eve Tomato Drop and our very own Home Grown Dancing Tomatoes will be onsite too. Dancing with the Tomatoes will take place immediately following the parade.

As a community outreach project, boxes will be set up and we will be collecting school supplies, which will be delivered to both Woodleaf and Cleveland elementary schools.

At the church table, jars of canned goods will be available, and a special 10th Year Anniversary “throw-back” T-shirt (from our very first festival) will be available for purchase.

Goodness gracious, we sure have a lot to pack in to this fun-filled day! Starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Free-parking. Proceeds benefit church missions and projects.

For more information, email woodleaftomatofestival@yahoo.com or call Patti Safrit 704-224-5134.

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