Sonoma sports dueling zucchini races
Only in Sonoma would there be not one, but two zucchini races. One race will take place Tuesday, Aug. 2, on the Plaza during farmers market while the other is set for Friday, Aug. 19, at Sebastiani Winery.
It all began at the Tuesday night farmers market more than two decades ago, when former market manager Hilda Swartz invited Sonomans to build racecars from fresh market produce. The popular tradition flourished as racers of all ages used their creative construction skills to craft their cars.
Today, Swartz is no longer manager of the Tuesday night market, but she continues to run the Friday morning farmers market in the Arnold Field parking lot, and sought to continue the tradition, with a zucchini race on Friday, Aug. 19, at 6:15 p.m. at Sebastiani Winery. The racers can be no bigger than 10-inches wide and cannot be made using skateboard, doll buggies or something that already has wheels. The zucchini-mobiles will be judged on speed and creativity.
But the veggie races will still be a fixture at the Tuesday night farmers market on the Plaza. New managers, the Valley of the Moon Certified Farmers Market board, will host their own event on Tuesday, Aug. 2, with sign-ups beginning at 5 p.m. for the race at 6:30 p.m., on a racetrack built and donated by Robert Wilson of Sonoma Old School Skate and Surf.
Rules for this race state that the zucchini can be no longer than 12 inches; and the racecar itself, including wheels, cannot be wider than eight inches. The axle must be incorporated into the vegetable, it cannot just sit on a toy car, for example.
While wheels can be made of an material, the racecar must be self-propelled and cannot have a motor. The racers will be separated by weight class, with winners declared in each class.