Yuma puts its best garbanzos forward - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Yuma puts its best garbanzos forward

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Posted: Friday, January 23, 2004 9:28 am | Updated: 5:16 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Here’s something for your next round of cocktail party banter: Yuma produces 93 percent of the nation’s winter lettuce.

Not to mention bok choy, garbanzo beans, medjool dates, edible flowers and a host of other crops.

The town pays homage to its rich agricultural industry during the sixth annual Lettuce Days, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday along Main Street. All events are free.

The festival with its downon-the-farm feel is expected to draw more than 25,000 visitors.

"The Lettuce Days are getting to be pretty well known," said Susan Dillon, festival director. "There are games, educational activities, shopping. There’s just so much to do."

Young farmhands can bowl with cabbages, race pint-sized tractors, navigate a 75-foot maze of lettuce crates and straw bales, and dig through a giant sandbox for money and toys.

Older spectators can play a "Name That Crop" game to win prizes. They can also venture guesses as to which fruits or vegetables will sink or float when dropped from a crane into a pool of water.

Three stages will provide venues for local musicians, dancers, clowns and even cooks — four selected finalists will create dishes using at least five Yuma-grown ingredients in a cookoff.

Local growers will bring more than 50 tractors, trucks and other farm equipment for close-up viewing, while an open-air market offers fresh Arizona-grown produce. Arts and crafts vendors will sell decor and gifts.

Other activities include educational presentations and a milk-mustache booth, where you can sip a frosty brew of milk, ice cream and ice, then have your picture taken.

You can also plant your own lettuce seeds in soilfilled tubes durable enough for the ride home.

For information, call (928) 783-3061.

GETTING THERE

Yuma is approximately three hours southwest of Phoenix. Take Interstate 10 south toward Tucson. Merge onto Interstate 8 west, toward Yuma.

After about 150 miles, take the Giss Parkway exit. Turn left, and follow signs to downtown Yuma.

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