Nearly 35-thousand people celebrated Hanover's famous fruit on Saturday at the 36th annual Hanover Tomato Festival.
The festival drew people from all across the Commonwealth. "I love tomatoes," said Cynthia Sanders, who brought her entire family out to Pole Green Park to experience the festival for the first time. While others have been coming since the event was established in 1978.
Folks had the chance to sample a variety of tomato-inspired dishes, including tomato pies, fried green tomatoes and stuffed tomatoes. More than 200 local vendors were also on-hand selling crafts, clothes and food.
Tommy Aquaro and his wife launched "Tommy's Wicked Garden Salsa" at the Hanover Tomato Festival nearly a decade ago and have been running a successful salsa business ever since. "The crowd has always been real friendly. They come out here to buy Virginia products and it's really a great day for everybody," said Aquaro.
All proceeds from the festival benefit the Black Creek Volunteer Fire Department. They started the festival decades ago as a way to raise money for the department. "This year we're working towards upgrading our hearst tool, jaws of life, rescue equipment, that type of stuff," said Larry Leber, president of the Black Creek Volunteer Fire Department. Organizers hope to raise several thousand dollars from this year's event.
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