29th Annual Tomato Festival Kicks Off Saturday
JACKSONVILLE- It’s about to be “tomato time” in Jacksonville! This year the City of Jacksonville will celebrate the 29th Annual Tomato Festival this Saturday. Jacksonville has been producing tomatoes for the commercial market in the State of Texas for over a century, since 1897. Tomatoes became the primary crop until the 1950s. During this time, Jacksonville earned the title “Tomato Capital of the World.”
Through the years, Jacksonville has been recognized as one of the outstanding tomato producing sections of the Nation with an average of 15,000 acres grown annually in the area and with a production of about 3,000 cars which are shipped to all parts of the United States and Canada.
Tomatoes grown in the rich, red loam and sandy soil heavily impregnated with iron ore and other minerals of the East Texas area are fine flavored and a distinctive favorite on American tables. Growers of this section have an advantage in a superior pack and a higher quality product, due to their experience, as well as the soil and climatic conditions.
The Tomato Fest will be held Saturday, June 8, from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival boasts over 26 various activities for the entire family to enjoy. Activities include: Motorcycle, Tractor and Antique Car Shows, Various Tournaments (fishing, soccer & tennis), Arts/crafts/information Booths, Food Court, Farmer’s Market, Salsa Contest, Tomato Shed Tour, Kiwanis Club Auction, Tomato Shoot, Tomato Eating Contest (celebrities & kiddos), Live Entertainment, History Display, Tomato Peeling, Tomato Mashing Contest and many Kids’ Activities.
On June 12, 2010, the festival and its celebrated centerpiece even garnered Jacksonville a starring a role on the television show “Glutton for Punishment”. More than 150 local volunteers, alongside TV personality, Chef Bob Blumer, raced the clock to craft the world’s largest bowl of salsa, certified by Guinness World Records.
This fruity event is all FREE! Free admission, free parking, free gospel concert and free entertainment. For more information on the events, please contact the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce at 903-586-2217 or 800-376-2217.