Washington Boro Tomato Festival: Preview
Before I review the Washington Boro Tomato Festival, I'll preview "Why and How" I chose this event.
Pennsylvania was the target of my first review because of economic reasons. Being from the Philadelphia area made accommodations convenient and despite high fuel prices, Flights weren't expensive.
After searching for Festivals in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, two were on my short list. The Pittston Tomato Festival and Washington Boro Festival. I picked the latter for a few reasons. It was closer to where I would land and stay. Searches on the Web revealed little of the event. As Festivals go, it was a bit of a curiosity because information was so limited.
I love a journey into the unknown and believe me this was the perfect choice. As I started researching the trip three things were causing concerns while peaking my curiosity. The Washington Boro Tomato Festival is a two day event on two consecutive Saturdays. I found two different times for the Washington Boro Tomato Festival. one between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm, the second 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. The disparity didn't bode well for planning a trip.
Contacting someone from the event was an interesting hurdle. The Washington Boro Tomato Festival has no website and the only available phone numbers were off the Washington Boro Fire Company website.
Now I'm really curious! "Will there be tomatoes at the Festival" I asked, trying not to sound sarcastic. "hold on and I'll check" she replied. Now I'm laughing in amazement. After a short time on hold she came back, "yes, they'll have tomatoes too, but don't forget to get there early for the Chicken Corn Soup"! I thanked her and sat stunned for a while. Then I thought to myself, I definitely made the right choice! Let the adventure begin!
Getting to the Festival was an adventure in itself. I flew into Philadelphia Airport, the first Saturday of the Festival, got my rental car, dropped off my luggage and was off. As the bird flies, the direction I needed to go was Southwest. I ran multiple online map directions and they agreed on the fastest way. Going Northeast, Northwest and then Southwest, was the only choice. I thought that was odd, but I guess traveling major highways was faster.
A word of advice for anyone planning a trip involving super highways. Don't rent a super fuel efficient, micro compact for traveling super highways. A few high speed close calls will realign your nervous system to a frightening level, as it did mine.
Just as I was ready to give up the quest I came upon the exit that would take me to the famous Route 30. This, for as long as I can remember was the path to Amish heaven.
A road that took you back in time, away from the grind of everyday life.
Wrong! That was then this is now.
The tourist trap machine brought the grind to the Amish. The remaining distance to the other side of Lancaster was pure hell. Confused drivers everywhere, vying for position to be in line for the next gaudy hot spot. The horror of Summer vacationers on a Saturday in Lancaster put me into a deeper state of shock. God Bless them all and get me outta here.
Exiting Route 30, disoriented and unsure of my bearings, I stopped at a gas/convenience store near the exit. I asked the girl at the counter if I was close to the Washington Boro Tomato Festival. "Sure are, right down the road a couple of miles, go left at the river and follow the road.
Are you going for the Chicken Corn Soup? Good thing you're getting there early!" (I know what you're thinking, I didn't believe it either.) I must have looked like an idiot standing there with my mouth hanging open, wondering if this was the same girl I talked to previously or was I in a forgotten episode of the Twilight Zone? "Yep" I replied. I almost thanked her for snapping me out of my traveling funk.
I bought a map for the ride home. Back roads all the way! Afterwards a friend suggested that I should have taken the shortest route the online maps offered instead of the fastest. I looked at the shortest but it had the same Route 30 unhappy ending and that's a big no. A look at the miles vs. time numbers makes it clear this isn't an easy Festival to get to. From Philadelphia, the Fastest was 94 miles and took 1hr. 55 min.(actual time using route 30 on a Saturday was 2 hr. 30 min.) , the Shortest was 68 miles and took 3 hrs. and my back roads route home, was a delight and neither number mattered.
Finally I was back on track. 3:00 pm, I had plenty of time for the Chicken Corn Soup, Oh, I mean the Washington Boro Tomato Festival.