Tracy Talks: Residents find name of new festival in good taste
by Anne Marie Fuller
Jun 20, 2014 | 4231 views | 5 5 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Have you heard about the Taste of the Valley Art & Food Festival making its local debut this September? The festival — formerly the Tracy Dry Bean Festival — will debut the weekend of Sept. 6 and 7. The local Chamber of Commerce is hoping to redesign the outdated bean festival and attract people from throughout the valley. Times of the festival will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Will a name change be enough to draw people to downtown Tracy for the two-day festival? With the recent news of the nearby Stockton Asparagus Festival going under, will organizers pull from the resources in that city?

“We’ve heard what people have said over the past years, and our goal this year is to turn this festival around for the community,” Cliff Hudson, vice chairman of events for Tracy Chamber of Commerce, said. “Now that the Asparagus Festival is over, we need to make sure everything we are doing is in the best interest of the community. We want this festival to be bigger than in the past and attract people from all over the valley.”

Highlights this year will include cooking demos and tasting events, children’s events, vendors and a strong art theme. Organizers are working on art competition for young artists ages 5 to 18, whose artwork will be judged and on display at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts during the first day of the festival. Winners will receive prizes, to be determined. Hudson said the target audience for the redesigned festival will be families.

A media campaign will be launched soon and will expand into nearby Stockton. Social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, will be utilized, and a mobile application will be available July 1.

An opinion poll on the Tracy Talks Facebook page during the past week yielded mostly positive comments about the new festival name and redesigned theme. The new name adds a level of class, and residents are hopeful for a local festival that could draw out-of-town guests into downtown.

Feedback also included hopes for a higher level of entertainment, more crafts and food options, and interactive activities for kids to take part in. People would also like the festival to remain true to include items from right here in the valley area.

For my two cents worth, I am willing to support the effort in redesigning a festival we can be proud of. I would love to see an inclusion of the four-legged set in a petting zoo or other venue — so long as the summer heat issues are properly addressed. See you in September!

• Anne Marie Fuller, National Mrs. Beauties of the Nation and Mrs. California BOTN, is the host of “Helpful Hints with Anne Marie” on Channel 26. Contact her at annemarie@columnist.com.

 
Comments
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newtotracy
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June 23, 2014
I'm just hoping the vendors will be better quality...the past couple of years have been little more than a flea market called a street fair. I'm hoping for artisans, unique crafts and good food...no discount sheets, knock off sunglasses or car insurance thanks. If it's more of that, then I probably will not be going back...and I live within blocks of downtown.
victor_jm
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June 21, 2014
"Higher level of entertainment." What does this mean? Well, I don't think it matters to me because the festival never features music I enjoy, so I don't do most festivals. What I do know is preferential music ought to be privately-funded, not city-sponsored. Also, leave animals out of cages, so don't feature them. I don't see how anyone enjoys looking at animals behind bars. Stop breeding them; stop caging them; stop dumping them in backyards.
jena1
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June 25, 2014
What we need is more responsible people to take care of their animals and have them spayed/neutered. I am so tired of catching and taking these poor innocent animals to the vet to have them "fixed". I am also very upset that year after year there are ads in the Tracy Press giving away "free kittens"! Have your cat taken care of so that these "free kittens" are not one day the poor victims. Call the ANIMAL RESCUE for solutions to this. CAB'T STRESS ENOUGH HAVE YOUR PETS NEUTERED/SPAYED!!!
TracyCares
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June 21, 2014
I love the new name and am very excited and optimistic about the new festival! I hope a lot of kids get involved in the art contest, what a great educational experience! See you out there!!
jena1
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June 23, 2014
It would be wonderful if City of Tracy could also incorporate the ASPARAGUS Festival in the new festival. Also disliked "Bean Festival" also having it in the hottest of weather also kept me away.


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