After the absence of its namesake at last year’s Tracy Dry Bean Festival, the Tracy Chamber of Commerce promises dry beans will be back this fall.
State bean organizations promised to set up booths at the Sept. 10 and 11 event after they sat out of the 20th annual installment of the festival in 2006.
The Dry Bean Advisory Board and the California Bean Shippers Association will sell and talk all things beans at two booths. Both bean groups had been two of the most visited booths for 19 years.
“It seemed like the focus had changed,” said Jane Townsend, manager of the California Bean Shippers Association, of last fall’s festival. “It seemed like they are really going to try to refocus on beans this year. That makes us excited to participate.”
The Tracy Chamber of Commerce heard numerous complaints after last fall’s festival, and chamber Executive Director Dan Maloney said the chamber wants to get back to the roots of the event.
“We need beans at a bean festival,” he added. “And they weren’t there.”
Festivalgoers will be able to buy a burlap bag full of various types of beans grown in California, including pink, pinto, black turtle, cranberry, light red kidney beans, dark red kidney beans, large lima, baby lima, black-eye and garbanzo beans.
One of the bean festival pioneers, Larry Teixeira, is a longtime member of the bean shippers association.
“It was always important to us to keep up the work he started,” Townsend said.
A chili cook-off, bean mosaic contest and bean taste-testing are on the schedule of events. Bean mascots Pinto and Pepe will greet people along downtown streets.
“We’re trying to get it back to the nice, wholesome fun event,” Maloney said.