YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollections

Niland readies for Tomato and Sportsman's Festival

February 03, 2001|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

NILAND — The small town of Niland in the Imperial Valley's Northend is set for its 61st annual Tomato and Sportsman's Festival.

The festival will start at 5 p.m. Friday and run through Sunday evening.

Donna Dearmore, a member of the Niland Chamber of Commerce board, said she wasn't sure how the festival started, but she said, "Sixty years ago the city was mostly tomato growers."

"That's pretty much how the tomato festival got started," she added.

She also said organizers changed the fest's dates from the first weekend in February to the second to not compete with the Holtville Carrot Festival.

"We're trying to get more people," she added.

The winners of two queen categories will be named Saturday. Competing in the grade school category are Christina Tafoya, 4, and Tracey Charles, 4, both of Niland. In the middle school category Patricia Martinez, 12, and Dayna McEntire, 11, are the candidates.


On Sunday Queen Cleopatra Tanya Soriano, 16, of Niland, will be introduced. No other candidates competed in the high school category.

Winners are determined by the number of raffle tickets they sell. The raffle will include various items.

At 5 p.m. Friday will be the festival's official kickoff in the chamber building.

Saturday's festivities will begin with a parade at 10 a.m. starting at the interseciton of Commercial Avenue and Sixth Street.

Breakfast will be served from 7 to 9 a.m. Saturday and Feb. 11 at the chamber building. The cost is $3.50 for adults and $2 for children under age 10. The breakfast includes pancakes, sausages and eggs.

A barbecue dinner will be served from noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 11. Also on Feb. 11 there will be a whiskerino and knobby knees contest.

The famous tomato-packing contest will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11.

Anyone interested in participating in the contests call Augustine Sadorra at 359-3730.

There will be music and dancing until 10 p.m. all three nights.

Booth spaces are still available. For more information call 359-3229.

Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 370-8549.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles