Jacksonville, Texas- It’s about to be “tomato time” in Jacksonville! This year the City of Jacksonville will celebrate the 32nd Annual Tomato Festival this June. 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.
The Tomato Fest will be held Saturday, June 11, 2016, beginning at 9am in downtown Jacksonville.
Get in on the fun with the Tomato Eating Contest, Tomato Peeling Contest (peel tomato with your teeth), Salsa Contest, Best Home Grown Tomato Contest, Tomato Shoot, and Farmer’s Market. The farmers sale thousands of tomatoes that day.
Don’t miss the Tomato Fest Salsa Tasting! The tasting will take place inside the Norman Activity Center, 526 E. Commerce, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, Saturday, June 11.
“This year there are 3 salsas, salad dressing and a tomato preserve,” said Robin Butt, Tomato Fest Chair.
The Tomato Fest specialty items are available now and will be sold during the Tomato Fest on Saturday, June 11th. Peach Salsa, Pepper Patch Salsa, Tomatillo Salsa, Vine-Ripe Tomato Dressing, Green Tomato Pickles and Red Tomato Preserves will be available to sample and purchase during the tasting on Wednesday, May 25th, from 11:30 am until 1:30 pm. The items are $6 each except the dressing and that will be $4 per jar.
This year, Catfish Row will also take place on the West end of town during the festival. Catfish Row is a monthly flea market set up along the streets and alleys in downtown. Antiques, handmade crafts, art, and much more will be available just as it was back in the 1930s.
There will be over 200 vendors, a Got Talent Contest, Kids Zone, Antique Car Show, Motorcycle Show and fried green tomatoes from Sadler’s! Chili’s Street Dance begins at 7:00pm. On Sunday, June 12th at 2:00pm there will be a Ski Show on Lake Jacksonville.
And if you’re looking for a little culture with your tomatoes, don’t miss the Tomato Fest Murder Mystery Dinner at the Landmark Event Center.This dinner event will be held Thursday, June 9th at the Landmark Event Center catered by Traditions.
The dress is summer casual and complimentary beer and wine will be provided. Fried Green Tomatoes and sliced Jacksonville tomatoes will be served as appetizers. The menu will consist of a dinner buffet featuring Tossed Salad, Chicken and Beef Shish-Kabobs with fresh local Vegetables, Baked New Potatoes with cheese and chives, fresh local Peas and Rolls. And for dessert take your pick of Home-Style Banana Pudding, Mississippi Mudd Brownies or White Chocolate Bread Pudding.
Advance tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, 526 E. Commerce or by calling 903-586-221. Seating is limited.