Saturday Oct 04 2008 comments Eggplant Festival in Loomis By: Photos by Ashley Baer/Auburn Journal -A +A Peter Bond, of Loomis, follows his two-year-old son, Gabriel, through the corn maze at the Eggplant Festival. Nicole Salle, of Salle Orchards in Wheatland, discusses with customers how long eggplants will keep. This was the orchard's first year selling at the festival. "We're glad we did it," Salle said. "It's a great turnout and everyone's so appreciative. Natalie Recendez bags produce for customers at the Salle Orchards tent. Festival volunteer Danielle Gray helps prepare sample plates for the judges of the cooking contest. Bailey Renken, 10, makes her way through the maze. In her fourth appearance as The Eggplant, Emily Knisley, 11, walked around the festival grounds passing out candy. The Eggplant Festival in Loomis, located at Loomis Station Plaza, featured a plethora of eggplant-related foods, drinks and crafts, along with live bands, kids activities and fall-themed goodies. The Del Oro marching band and color guard treated early morning festival goers to several songs. Eighteen-month-old Heidi Quinn decides that she's had enough interaction with the dog and runs back toward her grandmother. Working the Randy Peters Catering and Event Planning booth, Lisa Peters shows off a fresh plate of Eggplant Sticks, akin to eggplant french fries. "The people are great and it's always an improvement every year," Peters, who has worked the festival for six years, said. "They always add something new. It's a great town to work with, and it's fun to work with just eggplant." Along with the staple eggplant tacos, new additions to the menu were eggplant pancakes, eggplant burritos and eggplant brownies. Cooking contest judges Lisa Peters, Sue Johnston and Ellie Ramsey taste various dishes. There were appetizers, side dishes, main course and dessert categories. Eggplant desserts created for the cooking contest. Eighteen-month-old Heidi Quinn decides that she's had enough interaction with the dog and runs back toward her grandmother. Pumpkin heads by Cindy Clement of C R Creations in Penryn.