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SEPT. 10 AND 11, 2011


FRIDAY, SEPT. 9, 2011


25 years as California’s dry bean capital

By Gary Daloyan For the Tracy Press

The year 1987 was a very good year for a small town group with independent means and a plan to change the city of Tracy forever, at a time when the world was a far different place. Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher were world leaders. Michael Jackson and Madonna topped the pop and video charts. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 2000 for the first time. Liberace played his last piano, and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” made its debut along with the California — now Tracy — Dry Bean Festival. Instead of the current second-weekend-inSeptember event, the inaugural Dry Bean Festival was on Aug. 22 and 23. But, by 1988, organizers recognized the summer heat-date blunder and created a lasting harvest celebration tradition in a cooler month. Throughout its history, the city of Tracy has had numerous annual celebrations: community and street fairs; Frontier Days; a tomato festival; and the annual Harvest Festival and Parade. Interest and participation waxed and waned until 1986, when the future of the Harvest Festival and Parade fell into jeopardy, according to historian and co-festival committeeman Gary Kinst.

The bean fest begins The bean festival seed was planted by an entrepreneurial group of San Joaquin County business and agricultural leaders at a luncheon meeting Nov. 17, 1986. Tom Woolley, a manager of Leprino Foods Co., who was

also president of the Tracy Chamber of Commerce, conducted the meeting. The main players were Larry Teixeira of Rhodes Bean and Supply Co-op, and his wife, Kathy; Kinst; Bob Carruesco; Dena Fagundes, the chamber manager; Bob Haupt; Gene Birk; Mike Souza; Dan Bilbrey; Diana Mast and Kathy Post Lewis of Gamut Promotions; Sam Matthews of the Tracy Press, now publisher emeritus; and Ken Yasui, a bean grower. As a director of the California Dry Bean Advisory Board, Teixeira proposed a festival featuring beans, similar to the other California commodity-based festivals, like Gilroy’s for garlic and in Stockton’s for asparagus. Downtown Tracy, with its long bean growing tradition and proximity to major Northern California population centers and Central Valley farm communities, was the location of choice. Teixeira reported that the California Dry Bean Marketing Board would finance the festival organization for $10,000, while another $3,000 for planning was provided by Rhodes Bean and Supply Co-Op. Instead of a traditional park setting, the five block tree-lined business district became the festival focal point at Central Avenue and 10th Street. The site offered weekend vendors and attendees access to existing businesses and a charming, shaded and relaxed atmosphere for people to stroll, gather, eat and be entertained. The group’s goals were, and continue to be: Provide monetary support for participating local nonprofit organizations and the Chamber of Commerce; promote the local and state dry bean industry; provide a

Press file photo

BACK IN THE DAY: The first Tracy Dry Bean Festival — then the California Dry Bean Festival — was hosted in 1987 the heat of August as a way to continue Tracy’s tradition of end-of-summer, beginning-of-harvest season celebrations. Locals gathered, above, to share their recepies and promote the city as the “capital” for dry beans. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Tracy’s signature party. Below, people crowd around the main stage to hear music from local bands during the 1991 incarnation of the festival, which by then had moved to September.

major special event for the city of Tracy, utilizing the Chamber of Commerce as its vehicle; and to provide a family event that focused on “Good Food, Entertainment, Community Involvement and a Good Time.” The group proposed a budget of $87,000 for essentials like entertainment, advertising, signs, decorations, fences, sound amplification, electrical hook-ups and sanitary facilities. Vendors either rented or supplied their own booths, tables and chairs.

A volunteer effort But, the core of the plan in 1987, as today, was the establishment and continuance of an extensive volunteer network headed for many years by

Dorlane Thrasher and former Tracy Mayor Richard Hastie. Leadership has always been the key to the success begun by Post Lewis and Carruesco, who over-

saw the effort through 1989, and continued by retired Jefferson School District Superintendent and Principal Tom Hawkins, 1990-95; Leslie Hamrick, who

oversaw it the next two years and became the executive vice-president of the chamber and helped develop the HISTORY, CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE


FRIDAY, SEPT. 9, 2011

“Throughout its history, the city of Tracy has had numerous annual celebrations: community and street fairs; Frontier Days; a tomato festival; and the annual Harvest Festival and Parade. Interest and participation waxed and waned until 1986, when the future of the Harvest Festival and Parade fell into jeopardy, according to historian and co-festival committeeman Gary Kinst. About that time, a new celebratory idea began to germinate.” HISTORY CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 festival into the co-sponsorship event it is today. For the past six years, the sisters-in-law Sophia and Maria Valenzuela have held alternating festival directorships and chamber management roles. But, besides the host chamber officials and steering committees over the past 25 years, the biggest contributors to the festival’s success has been the hundreds of Tracy volunteers who assist in every capacity, from setting up and hosting a V.I.P. food and drink lounge for vendors and workers, to providing ice, tables, chairs, public sanitation, and trash cleanup. These are representatives of community organizations found at every festival venue, usually dressed in colorful and identifiable garb. Today, there are some 200 street vendors and 50 nonprofit organizations who participate in the festival, along with most downtown businesses.

Getting in and out Over the years, and today, to avoid the early day hodgepodge of vendor booths and create uniformity, the Chamber of Commerce

TIME TO CHOW DOWN: At left, fair-goers in 2006 dig into a bowl of hot peppers during that year’s chili pepper eating contest. Above, during the same year Michael Beale checks the pot of chili he whipped up for the annual chili cook-off. Press file photos

supplies and requires white canvas canopy booths, tables, hook-ups, ice, water, etc. for a commercial registration fee. Admission was also charged for the first nine festivals which were fenced and gated with fees from $1.50 to $3. Some 18,000 people attended that first weekend, generating a net profit of $7,000. Entrance fees were dropped in 1996 to increase community attendance and because of added corporate sponsorship, which became a key element to festival growth and prosperity for the next decade. Today’ the bean fest is free for local residents and out-of-towners alike, allowing more people to visit downtown Tracy and experience the little legumes for which the city is famous.

Music, food and fun And there’s been plenty to hear, see and do since the festival started 25 years ago. Good food, especially bean dishes with an ethnic flair, has always drawn cooks and visitors. In 1987, the booth menus included Portuguese bean soup, garbanzos, Basque food, baby limas with chilies con queso, Mardi gras salad, black-eye pea Creole, ribs-n-beans, and, of course, chili. In recent years, a HomeTown Buffet bean extravaganza has featured samples of up to seven different side dishes, soups and salads for $5. Some vendors grind dry

beans into bean “flour” and offer tasty free samples of homemade and experimental bean concoctions like fudge, candy, ice cream, pie, cookies and cakes. But, hands down, the biggest featured cooking event for 22 years has been the chili cook-off on Sunday morning, with free tasting samples of chili handed out by the competing cooks from 1:15 to 1:45 p.m. Usually, lines start forming near the cooking booths at around noon for the first-come, firstserved treat. Entries must be submitted to a blind judging panel at 1 p.m., with the cash award presented to the winner on stage at 4. Queues are especially long behind the cooking station of Paul “Smokey” Burgess, who

has finished no worse than second in the past six years. His recent consecutive victories have targeted him as the cook to beat. Over the years, media, entertainment and sports celebrities have attended festivals many times. These have included members of the Raiders and 49ers of the National Football League, Martin Yan of “Yan Can Cook,” and KCBS Radio food editor Narsai David, who has demonstrated culinary skills in preparing a variety of bean dishes. The movable feast will continue again this year with local politicians and notables preparing bean dishes in a demonstration kitchen. For a quarter century, the festival coordinators planned

and designed core attractions such as the Bean Mall, Bean Museum, Bean Country Store, Bean Theater, Bean Town and now the Bean Town Pavilion. But the first and longest running attraction was a car show, which began as a twoday event but has become a Saturday-only affair. This year’s Show–N-Shine exhibition will feature some 100 vehicles vying for various trophies Saturday. The raffle also features a raffle and 5050 drawing for all attendees — not just the gearheads with the gorgeous rides. Family-oriented arts and crafts booths have morphed into the Kids Be’an Kids craft area and carnival with rides FESTIVAL, CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

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Tracy royalty Two decades of leadership

Press staff report Before Bean Queen Julia Flohr and Bean Princess Colby Haskel were named Aug. 27, each pageant contestant was asked a series of questions by the Press: What is your favorite subject in school? What other activities do you do? What do you want to do for a job as an adult? What’s your favorite thing about Tracy? Why did you participate in, and why do you want to win, this pageant? These short profiles are compiled from their answers.

Bean Queen candidates

two years ago, but the SoCal transplant said it already feels like home. “It’s like a family,” she said. “You know a lot of people here in Tracy.” She said that being Bean Queen would give her a chance to give back to the place that’s given her so much. “I never expected so many opportunities to come from this town.”

Julia Flohr, 13, Monte Vista Middle School, Bean Queen To Julia, math is “awesome,” because it’s a subject that pushes your abilities. “It challenges me. I like something that motivates me and makes me go to a higher level,” she explained. That higher level, she hopes, some day includes studying law at Harvard University. For now, she tutors other Monte Vista students, sings, loves running, plays soccer and performs other community service. Julia only moved to Tracy

petitions, and wants to do track when she gets to high school. When it comes to her hometown, she said the best thing is the down-to-earth people. A return contestant to the Bean Pageant, Julia said she’s back because of the people she met, and because of what winning the queen’s crown would symbolize. “I want to show girls and adults you can be what you want to be,” she said. “You can be smart and successful, and that doesn’t make you a nerd — it makes you powerful.”

Glenn Moore/Tracy Press

THIS YEAR’S ROYALTY: Above left, Julia Flohr is given her crown as the 2011 Bean Queen following the annual pageant at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts on Aug. 27. Above right, 2011 Bean Princess Colby Haskel wears her crown for the crowd earlier in the evening.

Julia Price, 13, Williams Middle School, First runner-up In school, Julia loves history. “There are a lot of things that happened in the past, and I think that’s an important thing to move forward.” And in the future, Julia sees herself as a businesswoman, or a singer — maybe even both. “I’ll be a singing CEO,” she joked. Now, she sings in vocal com-

Malorie Bournazian, 11, Poet Christian School, Second runner-up “I like to learn about our past. I want to know about what happened before us,” Malorie said when explaining

why her favorite subject in school is history. Outside school, Malorie volunteers helping second graders with a variety of classroom tasks — pretty much anything they need, she said. That experience is one of the reasons Malorie

said she hopes to work with kids when she grows up. She also cheerleads, dances and is in the Girl Scouts, and she loves seeing shows at the Grand Theatre, particularly her school’s performances. She said the Grand is one of her favorite things about the city.

Being named queen, she said, would let her reach out even more to the city of Tracy. “I think it’s a great opportunity to meet people, be a role model and do a lot of volunteer work,” she said. PAGEANT, CONTINUED ON PAGE 7


FRIDAY, SEPT. 9, 2011

plenty of

things to do at the downtown festival

Press staff report

Whether you’ve attended one Bean Festival or 24, you know that the historic festival is all about bringing families together and celebrating our community’s past, present and future. And while there are some changes in store, public admission remains free to all events to the festival that brings back many favorite features of years past. Due to the construction of the Sixth Street Plaza, the layout for this year’s festival will change, the most notable of which is the move of the Kids Carnival to 10th and A streets near the Tracy Press building. Another change will be the relocation of the Global Village Stage, which will now be near 10th and B streets. This stage willfeature a

variety of community acts Two additional stages are scheduled to highlight local music and entertainment. At the corner of 10th Street and Central Avenue, the Main Stage will have bands such as Latin Essence, which is headlining Sunday afternoon. The secondary stage is sponsored by The Great Plate on Eighth and Central. For the complete list of Main Stage entertainers, visit The Bean Pavilion, located on Central Avenue between Ninth and 10th streets, returns, giving festivalgoers an opportunity to celebrate dry beans via food samples, a variety of specialty dry beans for purchase, give-aways and cooking demonstrations. And the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts

on Central Avenue will have its galleries registrations are accepted. open in partnership with the festival. Cook-offs, including the competition for Also back this year is the mechanical the prestigious title of Best Chili in Town, bull, which bucked adventurous riders a begin on Sunday at 8 a.m. and last through year ago at 10th and 1 p.m., with judging B streets. starting by 1:30 p.m. On Saturday, the and awards handed 5K and 10K runs out at 4. Downtown Tracy is open for the feshave a 6 a.m. regisAlso on Sunday, tival from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, tration with 8 a.m. the festival will conSept. 10, and from 10 a.m. through 6 p.m. start at the Tracy clude with a Sept. Sunday, Sept. 11. However, on both days, Branch Library, 11 memorial tribute major participation events begin earlier. 20 E. Eaton Ave. from Tracy Police Meanwhile, classic Department, Tracy cars and trucks begin pulling up to claim a Fire Department, Tracy City Council, and spot along 10th Street at 7 a.m. Saturday, other nonprofit organizations from the with the show lasting through 3 p.m. Day-of community.

Bean fest hours

Fill up with good food If food isn’t one of your top reasons for visiting the Tracy Dry Bean Festival, this year’s vendor lineup might change your list of priorities. Sure, there’s the nowstandard Bean Pavilion, which offers beans for sale as well as food samples and other tasty treats. But the main show when it comes to grub is clustered on 10th Street between B Street and Central Avenue, and on Central Avenue between Eighth and Seventh streets. Among the vendors, 150 in total, lined up the week before the festival are:  Aidan’s Icies,  Artful Creation BBQ  B.P. International Foods  Bubbas BBQ  Ed’s Events Food  Estelitas  Eric’s Buffalo Wings and Funnel Cakes  Fruit Friz  Good & Tasty  Hula Huts  Las Tapatias  Lemon Yard  Lockeford Lemonade  Lockeford Meat and Sausage Co.  Lommp-Yah!  Los Olivos Salvadorian Food  Mary’s Roasted Corn  The Rock Apostolic Church  Sandy’s Pop Shop  Scoop Shop  Sherry’s Interprise  Summer & Spencer Grill

Music on the Main Stage Located at Central Avenue just north of 10th Street, the main stage will showcase several musical acts as well as the location for Sunday’s Sept. 11 memorial ceremony. The lineup includes:

Saturday  10 a.m.: Opening ceeremonies  11 a.m.: Great Oglee Moglee and Bean Fest birthday wishes  1 p.m.: Network  2:10 p.m.: Chili Cook-Off announcements  2:30 p.m.: Funkanauts  5 p.m.: Sunkings Sunday  11 a.m.: Sept. 11 remembrance  12:30 p.m. Knottywood  2:30 p.m. Q  4 p.m.: Latin Essence

ing throughout the weekend. The lineup incluces: Saturday  10 a.m.: Lovesick Romeo  12:30 p.m.: Katie with Karaoke  3 p.m.: Metal Shop San Francisco — classic ’80s rock  5:45 p.m.: LED Sunday  10 a.m.: Katie with Karaoke  1:30 p.m.: Hari Kari  4:30 p.m.: Threshold

Kids Carnival again More tunes at the rides Set up near the Tracy Great Plate Press parking lot off 10th Set up next to the long-

time Tracy watering hole, the Great Plate stage will feature a variety of local acts that will keep the tunes flow-

BLAST FROM FESTIVALS PAST: Clockwise from top left, runners race during the 2010 edition of the Bean Run. This year’s event starts from Lincoln Park at 8 a.m. Saturday. The Orbitron gives kids a ride in the Kids Carnival section of the festival a year ago. Chili cookers get serious during the first festival in 1987. The Bean Pavilion, which offered plenty of dried legumes in 2010, will offer a plethora of beans again this year. A 1912 International Auto Wagon, shown off at last year’s Show and Shine car show, hearkens back to the days beyond the Tracy Dry Bean Festival.

and A streets, the Kids Carnival will be filled with a variety of activities that’ll please the young and youngat-heart alike, though a final

Press file photos

lineup was not available as of press time.

Other attractions The mechanical bull also

Liven up with a Global Village A variety of different acts

makes its return on B Street north of 10th Street, bucking adventursome riders. The Euro Jump, off Central Avenue on Ninth Street, lets festival-goers strap in and bungee themselves skyward before hurtling back down toward a trampoline. It’s the perfect place to go for a ride before chowing

and attractions are on tap throughout the weekend at the Global Village — formerly the Multicultural — Stage on B Street off 10th Street. A final lineup was not available as of press time.

down on a plate of beans from the Bean Pavilion, just south of 10th Street on Central Avenue, where HomeTown Buffet will again offer tastes of several bean dishes for a small price. And kids with an artsy side should check out the Kids Be’an Kids craft area on 10th Street, where a variety of creative projects are available to young artistes.


FRIDAY, SEPT. 9, 2011

rock pot c e g a b b a c d n a Easy bean s: iscardDirection e beans, d Soak . through th

Mixed bean summer salad Ingredients: 2 16-oz. cans garbanzo beans, drained pink 2 16-oz. cans kidney or beans, drained 1 16-oz. can white lima beans, drained 2 /3 cup sugar 2 tbsp cornstarch 1 tbsp A+D seasoning ¾ cup feta cheese egar 2 /3 cup sweet pickle vin ½ cup cold water 1½ cups boiling water salt, to taste

Directions: together sugar, To make the dressing, mix salt in a saucepan. and ing son sea h, arc cornst until smooth. Add stir and , ter wa Add the cold ring for two to stir l, boi and the boiling water, e thickens tur mix three minutes or until the egar. vin the in nd Ble ar. cle and is beans and mix gently. Add the dressing to the ed shallots, parsley, dic add and salt Add the if desired. Cover the h nis gar er oth pepper or overnight. ll chi m beans and let the es and onion. ato tom , uce lett h Serve wit gs. vin Makes 8 to 10 ser

Gram’s traditional beans Ingredients: 1 20-oz. bag of pinto bea ns 5 cloves garlic, grated 1 jalepeño chile 6 cups water salt, to taste ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese

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ts: Ingredien i ed Anasaz ht ri d d 1 poun overnig ed ak so beans, ry, diced 1 cup cele ots, diced 1 cup carr iced w onion, d Directions: 1 cup yello ped op ch bage, Rinse and pick through 2 cups cab the beans, discarding ed ic d , any discolored or broken 2 cups ham leg in a large saucepan or pot umes. Place them ater w s p cu 8 with the water. Bring to a gentle boil. parsley 2 tbsp dried Roast the jalepeño eith lic powder er in the oven or over ½ tbsp gar a gas burner until the out powder n side is charred. Drop 3 tsp onio the whole chile into the beans and water, es av along with the garlic and 2 bay le e two heavy pinches er, to tast of salt. black pepp Cook, simmering gently, until the beans are tender. About 2 to 3 hou rs. Add salt to taste. Serve either whole, or mash the beans in a smaller pan over low hea t to create refried beans. Crumble cheese on top. Serves 6 to 8.

Dire ans, discarding through the be es. Soak them Rinse and pick m gu or broken le any discolored th n e cooking ater to shorte overnight in w e time. water in a larg g the soaking . in rv ps se cu re 6 l n, ua ai eq Dr ock or water to cept the ex pot, and add st s, nt ie ed gr ning in Add the remai g to a boil, d cilantro. Brin green onion an and simmer for 1½ to 2 at, reduce the he fork-tender. the beans are til un or s, hour garnish with d lt to taste, an Season with sa . n and cilantro the green onio Serves 6 to 8.

Build a meal around beans

Festival’s featured bean is a rare legume Press staff report

The Anasazi, a unique heirloom bean with deep roots in North America, is the featured legume among over 60 varieties available at the 25th annual Tracy Dry Bean Festival. The red and white bean was originally named by the Navajo to describe the cliffdwelling Indian tribe who lived in the Four Corners area of the U.S. Southwest.

The Anasazi mysteriously disappeared nearly 2,000 years ago — but the naturally degassed bean was rediscovered in an archeological dig. The Anasazi bean is grown on 7000-foot-high Colorado plateaus and cannot tolerate the Central Valley heat. Because of limited supplies, purchases are restricted at the festival to 25 pounds per person until 2 p.m. Sunday, following the free chili contest

and public bean tasting. The chili cooks will be using the Anasazi bean in their cooking, but the versatile bean can be used in soups, side dishes, vegan burgers, salads and as a baking bean. It is sweeter and more mealy than a pinto bean, with 75 percent less gas-causing carbohydrates.

The perfect plant to grow in Tracy By Heather Hamilton For the Tracy Press

Beans are the perfect warm-season crop for our area, grown for their immature pods (snap beans), immature seeds (shelled beans) or mature seeds (dry beans). Beans are easy to grow, which makes them perfect for introducing gardening to children, and provide excellent nutritional value. Beans grow best in full sun and well-amended soil. It is important that beans are not grown in the same location — or in the same soil, for container or raised-bed gardeners — to help avoid disease problems. Beans should not be planted until after the danger of frost has passed and the soil has n warmed. Germination and rot problems are likely if the soil temperature at the time of planting is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Many commercially packaged bean seeds are treated with a fungicide to protect the emerging seedlings from disease. If you choose to use untreated seed, it is even more critical to wait to plant until the soil is thoroughly warmed. Beans are heavy feeders and need to be fertilized. Incorporating a 5-10-10 fertilizer into the soil before planting is a good start. Avoid using a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, which will promote lush growth with few bean pods. A second application at the time you notice pods forming is recommended, as well. Plant bean seeds (except cowpeas, yardlongs and limas) 1 inch deep in heavy soils or 1½ inches deep in light, sandy soils. Cowpea, yardlong, and lima beans should be planted half an inch deep in heavy soils and 1 inch deep in light soils. To prevent soil crusting in heavier soils, cover seeds with compost, peat, vermiculite or sand, rather than soil.

Plant seeds of wax, soy, cowpea, dry and bush snap beans 2 to 4 inches apart in rows 2 to 3 feet apart. Pole beans may be planted in rows or hills. In the row, plant seeds 6 to 10 inches apart, in rows 3 to 4 feet apart. Stakes for pole beans should be 6 or 7 feet tall and have a rough surface to allow the plant to climb. Form a teepee shape with at least three poles, and train vines to climb each pole. Another method is to stretch a wire between posts at each end of the row and train vines to climb up coarse ropes tied from the wire to short stakes at the base of each plant. The tips of vines can be cut off when they reach the top of the support to induce branching. Proper watering is most crucial from flower bud formation to pod set. Too much or too little water, or excessive heat, can cause blossoms and pods to drop. Provide bean plants with 1 inch of water per week. Extremes in soil moisture can also lead to malformed pods, in which only the first few seeds develop, leaving the rest of plants to dry quickly and reduce opportunity for disease infection. Because beans are shallowly rooted, use a shallow, shaving stroke with the hoe to remove weed tops. Although some weeds may resprout from the roots, repeated shallow hoeing will starve them out eventually. Surface cultivation also leaves other weed seeds deep in the soil, where they cannot germinate. To avoid spreading diseases, do not cultivate early in the morning when foliage is wet from dew.  University of California-certified master gardeners are available to answer gardening questions from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 953-6112 or Questions for Heather Hamilton can be sent to ucmastergardener@

Covering Tracy’s highways, byways and waterways for more than 100 years.

es pick ken legum Rinse and red or bro shorten the lo co is d y ing an ater to night in w them over in e. m gredients cooking ti Combine in high for 8 s. n ea b e cook on Drain th k pot, and g, stir and a large croc and adjust seasonin e hours. Tast her 2 hours. ot simmer an 8. Serves 6 to



FRIDAY, SEPT. 9, 2011


One of the best things about Tracy, she said, is meeting new people — and it’s one of the big reasons she enjoyed her time preparing for the Bean Pageant. Charissa said she and the other contestants “definitely will stay friends,” even after the competition is over.

Passing the Bean Queen crown Press staff report

Angela Alvarez has worn the crown of Tracy Bean Queen for the past year. The 13-year-old passed the crown on Aug. 27 to Julia Flohr, but had plenty to say about what she called the awesome experience of representing her home town. “It was very exciting. I got to meet a lot of leaders in Tracy,” she said. “When I grow up, that’s the kind of person I want to be, helping people with their needs.” Angela said that before being named Bean Queen, she was shy. But part of being queen is meeting a lot of people, and she worked diligently during her reign to look people in the eye, talk with confidence and speak in public. “It’s made me a lot more confident,” Angela said. “I used to be very shy. I could

Payton West, 11, Williams Middle School, Fourth runner-up Payton admits to being good with math — she describes it as “really fun.” But she also has fun outside the classroom as a member on the Running Rebels Gold softball travel team. Someday, she’s like to be a pro softball player. Or maybe a veterinarian. When she was young, she said, she helped an injured bird, and ever since has had a major soft spot for animals. Tracy’s a special place, she said, because it’s home — where her school, friends and family are. “I just love being here,” she said. Though she’s never been to the bean festival before, Payton said she can’t wait to be there as part of the pageant. Hopefully, she said, as Bean Queen. “I’d love to represent Tracy and the Chamber,” she said.

Madeleine Lanthier, 11, Hawkins School, Royal court Math comes easy to Madeleine in school, but it’s hair and fashion design that she hopes to pursue when she gets older. Maybe even start her own business. It’s that entrepreneurial spirit that makes Tracy a great town, she said. “I love how you can always go places you want to go, like the park or library, and if you can’t find it, you can just make it up. … Maybe, start a business.” Already a flute player in the school band, following in the steps of her clarinet-playing brother, she hopes to play volleyball in the near future. She said that being queen and performing royal duties, would be a lot of fun. “I want to represent Tracy,” she said.

they teach good lessons. Her favorite and most powerful, she said, is the story of Jesus sacrificing himself on the cross. She said that Tracy is a town with a lot to offer. “I like the malls, the people, the food, and the fun activities,” she said. She wanted to compete to be queen, Corinne said, so she could “set a good example, by being a good person.”

is perfect for swimming. And she also loves the bean festival, one of the reasons she wanted to compete in the Bean Pageant. “It’s a way to make new friends, and it is a big opportunity,” she said. Win or lose, she added, “It’s a way to serve our community.”

Charissa excels in math. When asked if she’s a whiz, she simply replies, “All the way. … (It’s) definitely a challenge.” Outside school, she participates in cheerleading and dance. Despite her skill with numbers, Charissa said she wants to some day work in a bridal store. “I just love dresses,” she said, explaining that helping people find the perfect fit makes her happy. “I like seeing them smile and be happy.”

Corinne aspires to be a fashion designer — one of the best, judging by whose footsteps she hopes to follow. “I want to follow Coco Chanel,” she said. Corinne dances outside school, while her favorite inclass subject is Bible study. She said that the stories in the Bible aren’t just fun to listen to,

Colby is into multiple subjects in her school — “I love history, math science, art,” she said. Eventually, she hopes to be a veterinarian. She already takes care of two dogs and a rabbit at home, and wants to make a career out of it. “I just really love animals,” she said. When it comes to fun in Tracy, she loves when it gets hot during the summer, which

to meet new people, and see everybody in Tracy and perform for them,” she said.

Darcy Paris, 10, Jefferson School, Third runner-up Meredith Hagler, 9, Hawkins School, Second runner-up

Colby Haskel, 10, Poet Christian, Bean Princess Corinne Parco, 10, West Valley Christian Academy, Royal court

more people and being the face of her hometown are why she entered the pageant. “I want to meet new people and represent the city of Tracy,” she said.

Bean Princess candidates Lexie Van Os, 10, St. Bernard’s Catholic School, First runner-up

Charissa Goodman, 11, Williams Middle School, Royal court

not hold a conversation. … It’s really made a difference.” One of the things about being royalty — you have to be ready to speak at a moment’s notice. At different events, Angela said, she’d often be asked to talk to a crowd off-the-cuff. “I have to be prepared to say something.” So before she went, she’d research the businesses and people who would be at the event, so she was always ready. It was a lot of work being queen, Angela said, but it was rewarding and exciting. And she hopes her successor seizes the opportunity. She even had some advice: “To totally be herself, and have a great time, and to learn as much about the community as she can — it really pays off in the long run.”

A problem-solver, science is Lexie’s favorite subject in school. “I like to do different experiments and figure out how things work,” she said. She hopes to turn her love of science into a career — Lexie wants to be a paleontologist, discovering and putting together the bones of ancient creatures. “I like figuring out the different bones,” she explained. The competitive cheerleader and basketball player likes how Tracy’s a bit of both urban and rural. “It’s a mixture of city and country,” she said. “I love it.” Lexie said getting to know

In school, Meredith’s favorite subject is math. Her love, though, is animals. Meredith hopes to be a veterinarian when she’s older. “I love animals, and I would like to help them feel better,” said Meredith, who has two dogs at home. She also plays soccer and swims competitively, and wants to play basketball. When it comes to the best parts about living in Tracy, Meredith says the Grand Theatre is the best. “The people in Tracy are very nice, and I like the Grand Theatre and watching the plays there,” she said. She wants to be a princess not just to represent Tracy, but because of the people she’d get to meet. “I’d like

Darcy enjoys the creative outlet of art, but likes the difficulty of math. “It challenges me, so I like it,” she said. Darcy has big dreams, and wants to be a dancer, singer, actor and fashion designer. “I want to make my own clothes,” she said, and already has her own small fashion portfolio. The ballet and jazz dancer said her favorite thing about Tracy is its downtown Grand Theatre Center for the Arts, where she was part of an acting camp recently that included a play at the end. She was inspired by a friend to be part of the Bean Pageant, and hoped to become Bean Princess. “I wanted to be a princess so I could represent Tracy — and beans around the world,” she added with a laugh.


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LOOK, DON’T TOUCH: At left, one of the hot rods at the Show and Shine car show draws attention in 2001. The 2010 car show along 10th Street east of Central Avenue expects to draw as many as 100 classic rides. Above, in 1991, visitors to the festival check out one of the food booths. Press file photos

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and contests that vary each year, including a bean toss, beanstalk planting, bean mosaic classes, pig racing and a kiddie “tractor” pull, among others. And since beans are a healthful food, in 1988 the 5K and 10K Bean Runs were inaugurated. A bike ride was added in 1996 for those who want to ride. Though the Bean Run was discontinued for a time, it made a return in 2010, and runs again this year before the Saturday festival. Not all of the entertainment survived the years. Starting in 1989, a bizarre 1-ton burlap sack of pinto beans was split open with an axe and donated to the public. In 1993, a restored Southern Pacific steam locomotive named the Bean Steam brought passengers from four Bay Area communities to downtown Tracy for a day trip. Other events have become a festival mainstay, including the Bean Queen pageant, which celebrates its 20th year along with the Bean Festival’s 25th. In 1991 the first Bean Princess made her debut as the official hostess of Festival IV. Art — of the bean-centric variety — has always been a mainstay of the festival. One spectacular piece of festival-generated work in 2008 from the Kids Be’an Kids mosaic contest won a $500 first place award. A photo of the winning mosaic photo, titled “Mona Lima,” was picked up by the Associated Press wire service and appeared in U.S., French and Italian newspapers. Also a part of the festival since its inception is entertainment and music. Both local musicians and singers with large followings have graced the Bean Festival stages to woo crowds with Dixieland, country, rock, jazz, Gospel and Latin tunes. Magicians, comedians, dancers, jugglers and other local performers have also been a big part of the festival.

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THE FESTIVAL’S NAMESAKE: A volunteer sets some of the 10,000 bags of beans that were given away as free samples during the 2001 Tracy Dry Bean Festival. This year, 60 varieties of beans will be available at the Bean Pavilion.







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“Without the people who support the festival — from promoting it, to organizing it, to attending it — the festival would simply not exist.”

The bean-less calamity

KEEP EATING: Veotha Shackleford (left) serves up a sample of bean soup while Amanda Knox dishes up some chili beans at the 2010 festival. Press file photo

But it was a dark and gloomy second weekend in September for the festival’s 20th anniversary in 2006, when there was a festival without beans. Ken Hylton of Stockton Rhodes Co-Op Controller recalls: “The issue was poor planning and communications between the industry and a third party festival planner who was hired.” In the past and present, the festival chamber management led by a steering committee, organized and hosted the festival, except that year. “There was a lack of interest on part of the bean

industry to participate due to miscommunication. In 2007, we made it our priority to improve our relationship with the bean industry,” explained chamber operations manager Sofia Valenzuela. “Since then, we have gained their support and commitment to be part of the festival.” The legumes made a triumphant return in 2008. And the presence of dry beans at their namesake has grown ever since, part of a festival resurgence. “The turning point for the bean dealers was the key placement in 2008 of the

huge Bean Town Pavilion tent at 10th and Central, which has become the foot traffic hub of the festival,” observed Lee Perkins, managing partner of Pacific Grain & Foods, a festival cosponsor and bean supplier. Plenty of people are expected to turn out for this year’s festival. This year’s weekend attendance is estimated at between 40,000 and 70,000 bean lovers celebrating, tasting, buying and finding up to 60 conventional and organic varieties of the nutritious legumes.

A tale of community success The Tracy Dry Bean Festival’s success, longevity and story reflects the people who attend, support and host the event. Without the people who support the festival — from promoting it, to organizing it, to attending it — the festival would simply not exist. “It cannot go unmentioned that the Tracy Dry Bean Festival would only be a dream if not for the monumental volunteer hours unselfishly donated to make this event a reality,” concludes Kinst.  Tracy Press publisher emeritus Sam Matthews, Tracy Press editor Jon Mendelson, and Gary Kinst, Dave Kirsten, Sofia Valenzuela and Ken Hylton contributed to this story.

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Bull Rides

Main Stage 10TH STREET


Arts & rs

Food Vendors Info Booth 10TH STREET

Global Village Stage

Big O Tires

Kids Be'an Kids Crafts


Cooking Demos

Food Vendors

Euro Jump

First Aid




Great Plate Stage Arts & Crafts Vendors 7TH STREET


Tracy Bean Festival 2011  

News and events of the 2011 Tracy Bean Festival