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Interested in planning your own tomato-tasting event? Post your ideas and/or plans here!

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Old February 6, 2011   #1
JohnnyRock
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Location: Longmont, CO
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Default Propose new tomato festival near Boulder CO

Hi,
I live in Longmont, and I'm interested in organizing a tomato festival/tasting/seed exchange around the Longmont/Boulder CO area, probably around mid-August timeframe. At this point, I'm looking for a few others to help with the organization details. I used to live in Texas, and I really enjoyed attending the SETTFest several times (thanks to Suze, Feldon, and others for organizing that festival, and motivating me to organize this one). I'd like the festival here to be similar to that. I propose calling it FRATTFest - Front Range Annual Tomato Tasting Festival.

Thanks,
John
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Old February 7, 2011   #2
feldon30
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I say go for it!

I'd pick a date on the calendar when you think you'll have the bulk of your tomatoes, and maybe adjust it a week before or after if there is already a big event planned that weekend.

The hardest part is finding a location. Public parks are the obvious choice but with the economy and state budgets being cut to the bone, the facilities may be in a rather grim state. If you go this route, you may need to rent some portable facilities. There might be a VfW hall that would rent their parking lot and bathrooms out to your event. I guess you could defray the costs if you put out a basket with a request for $5 donation, and also a little display of seeds for sale. Who knows, someone might have a large enough property to host such an event themselves.

Once you have date and location set, I'd whip up a flyer and ask local nurseries if they will post it up on their bulletin board. Tell everyone you can think of and then remind them about 3 weeks before the event (and maybe pass out another round of flyers).

Unless you tell people otherwise, some people will stay away if they think it's a paid event or only open to gardeners/farmers. Let people know it's like a wine tasting and open to the public, and that they don't have to grow or bring tomatoes to attend.

Setup

Suze or I can provide you with a list of items we bring to each SETTFest. I can tell you that we've got the event setup down to a science now. We put each variety in its own shopping bag (Kroger, Wal-Mart) along with a foam plate with the name of the variety written on the plate in permanent marker. The bags of tomatoes go in cardboard boxes divided up by color. This cut our setup time down by 3/4 and also others are able to help.

Good luck!
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Old February 7, 2011   #3
earthbox13
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I would be interested in a tomato festival of some sort in the Longmont / Boulder area I drive through Longmont every day on my way to work. The D-Barn Reception Hall looks like a good place for a mater gathering, probably price prohibitive I think there are a couple other T’ville members in the vicinity that would be interested. Let’s see if we can get something going.

Scott
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Old February 7, 2011   #4
JohnnyRock
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Hi Feldon,
Thanks for the advice! I've sent emails to several area Chambers of Commerce to help find a good venue. I'd appreciate it if you could send me a PM with the list of items you mentioned.
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