Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tracy Went Bean Crazy

This past weekend for two days, Saturday and Sunday, a sizeable portion of the old downtown of Tracy was festively converted into one huge bazaar, carnival, cook-out, etc., for its annual dry bean festival.

Dubbed as the 22nd Annual Tracy Dry Bean Festival, it is Tracy’s prideful reply to similar festivals celebrated around the farming centers of this huge San Joaquin Valley. Stockton has its asparagus festival, Manteca its pumpkin, and famous Gilroy its garlic

Tracy residents could not helped but noticed and hopefully attended the festivities since they were given more than adequate exposure and promotion by the city’s newspaper, Tracy Press, which devoted an entire supplement to focus on the event. http://tracypress.com/

Though I couldn’t find the time and effort to witness the festivities on the first day, I finally was able to gather myself up at almost 2 p.m. on Sunday and gingerly negotiate the almost one mile distance from the house to the downtown area. And let me tell you that the sweltering heat of that hot afternoon couldn’t shrink my newly-minted interest, or maybe just ticklish curiosity, to see what was cooking.

The blistering heat from the no-mercy sun definitely affected many of the goers, most of them slyly escaping to the shaded areas and under the trees. But it was easy to see that total attendance and interest were not dampened by this, even considering that this was already the afternoon of the second and last day of the festival. Most were dressed outdoorsy and I espied many of them either licking or eating bottled water or soda, ice cream, shaved ice, popsicles, anything that had coolness written on it.

I simply gave my feet and fancy freedom and control to roam wherever, through main Central Ave and down the side streets looking and observing the activities. With the many vendors and participants around, in my mind there was enough diversity of selection, activities, and assorted wares to tickle the fancies and interests of everybody attending that festival – from enticing cook-outs of many varieties, fancy motorbikes and odd-looking trail vehicles, carnival rides, to the usual T-shirts, and performances on the stages erected at strategic places in the venue.

With one hand dangling at one time and clicking the next, I had my little point and shoot ready to record what I saw and from the singular and limited prism of this one eye witness here are the scenes witnessed:

One side-street scene

Slide ride

Western movie set

Along Central Ave

Tracy Firehouse

Fireman bronze statue

Grand Theatre

Bank building

On stage..

.. and the audience


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