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Eggplant Festival returns to Loomis

By: Steve Archer, Reporter
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Know and Go:

What: 31st Loomis Eggplant Festival

When: 9 a.m. Saturday

Where: Loomis Depot Building, 5775 Horseshoe Bar Road

Admission: Free

 

Saturday events:

Pancake breakfast

A pancake breakfast will be at the Loomis Fire Station, 5840 Horseshoe Bar Road, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Cost is free but donations are accepted.

Parade

The 31st Loomis Eggplant Festival will kick off with the Purple Kazoo Parade. Staging will begin at the Loomis Train Depot between 9:30 and 9:45 a.m. and the parade will start at 10 a.m., led by the Del Oro cheerleaders and Eggplant King and Queen. Also expected to march in the parade are student leadership participants and Loomis Basin Education Foundation MandaRIDE family members.

Cooking contest

Amateur and community chefs are encouraged to try out new recipes or tried-and-true eggplant dishes at the Eggplant Cooking Contest.  Categories include main dish or appetizer and the recipe must include eggplant as the main ingredient. The dish should serve six portions. Entries are due by 10 a.m. to the festival’s cooking contest booth.

The first-place prize is $100, second-place is $50 and third-place is $25. Youth are encouraged to enter the contest. Anyone age 18 or younger who submits an entry will get an honorable mention certificate, according to Mary Jane Perkins, cooking contest chairwoman. Complete rules and the entry form can be found online at Loomis Eggplant Festival Cooking Contest 2018.

Eggplant derby

Hosted by Loomis Cub Scout Pack 815, the free Eggonopolis 500 is a purple take on the pinewood derby. Bring a decorated eggplant driver from 11 a.m. to noon. Categories include children up to 13 years old, adult, and business teams. Show your post and don't forget to tag @loomiseggplantfestival @loomisbasinchamber on Facebook and @loomischamber #loomiseggplantfestival on Instagram and Twitter.

Logo contest

The Loomis Basin Chamber of Commerce is looking for original submissions to feature next year as its 2019 Eggplant Festival logo. The selected logo will embody the spirit of the Eggplant Festival and appear on promotional materials such as shirts, coffee mugs, posters, brochures and on festival-related websites and other social media.

Entries will be displayed at the Arts Council of Placer County booth and will be judged in two categories: artist's choice and people’s choice. The Loomis Basin Chamber of Commerce will make the final selection. The winning artist receives a $100 cash prize and will be granted free booth space during next year’s festival, a shirt, coffee mug, wall poster, and special recognition at several Loomis chamber events.

For specials and local deals at Loomis businesses text #loomis 56512 for more information or check Facebook @loomiseggplantfestival.

 

Purple will be the color of the day Saturday when the town of Loomis celebrates the 31st annual Eggplant Festival.

The 2017 Eggplant Festival drew thousands of residents and visitors to downtown Loomis, and this year, Taylor Road will be closed from Horseshoe Bar Road and Oak Street for the duration of the festival.

Loomis Town Manager Sean Rabe said opening the road to the festival is an opportunity to show off the downtown. The festival started on Taylor Road, he added.

“The Town Council approved closing Taylor Road for the festival this summer,” Rabe said. “It brings vibrancy to the downtown and gets people walking up and down our new street.”

Executive director Jenny Knisley of the Loomis Basin Chamber of Commerce, the festival’s sponsor, expects big crowds on Taylor Road.

“I’m super excited to be back on Taylor Road. That’s where the festival started,” Knisley said. “We want to highlight the downtown and we want people to experience the small-town community day. It’s for everyone.”