Happy 25th, Fairfield Tomato Festival

Summer's slipping away, but one of its flavorful stars shines on.

HOW YOU TAKE ON A TOMATO... is really up to your own quirks and fancies, but chances are you don't mind it in a pasta sauce, or a pico de gallo, or as a topper to a classic leafy salad. Maybe, though, you are one of those tomato-ists who just like their favorite fruit neat. Nope, we're not talking sliced up on a plate, with a touch of salt or a kiss of olive oil; rather, we're talking about a tomato devoured apple-style, with the eater holding it like an orchard-plucked pomme. Many fans do like their tomatoes this way, even if the orb gets a little juicy, and a little seedy, with every bite. That's okay, if so, for the tomato is a summertime superstar, and getting a bit on your shirt, and chin, is kind of a seasonal staple (think of the watermelon, and berries, and ice cream, and the other wonderfully juicy/melty foods of summer). There's still time to enjoy it, even with fall on approach, and Fairfield will do just that at its 25th Annual Tomato Festival.

SATURDAY, AUG. 20 AND SUNDAY, AUG. 21... are the 2016 dates, and all the bright-flavored doings will take place in downtown Fairfield, along a stretch of Texas Street. For sure, there shall be good-natured showdowns, like a salsa contest, and there shall be tomato-eating competitions, too. Tomato-basil cupcakes, tomato jams, and a host of classics like fried green tomatoes will fill out the culinary end of things. If you can't quite let this perfectly August-awesome edible go yet, slip into the final third of the month by spending some time with the fruit. A fruit that covers many bases, from sweets to hamburger toppers to pastes to shakes. What can't the tomato do? Well, be unjuicy, for one (and we wouldn't want it to be that, as juiciness is just about its top quality).

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