The 30th annual Jacksonville Tomato Fest will be in full gear on June 14.
The long-standing tradition celebrates the tomato and the city’s claim to the “tomato capital of the world.”
The festival, always is held on the second Saturday in June just as the tomatoes ripen, will include a tomato eating contest, tomato peeling contest, salsa cooking contest and a baby crawling contest.
This year’s festivities include more than 26 family-friendly activities, including a motorcycle, tractor and antique car shows, arts and crafts, information booths, food court, farmer’s market, tomato shed tour, tomato shoot, live entertainment, history display, tomato mashing contest and many kids activities.
There also will be various tournaments, including fishing, soccer and tennis.
The film “Tomato Republic,” based on the town’s mayoral race, will be airing on the big screen at Jackson Cinema III, 1710 S. Jackson St. in Jacksonville.
The final event of the evening is the Ninth annual Chili’s Street Dance at Chili’s, 1225 S. Jackson St., from 7 to 10 p.m., with music by Lady Chazz & The Tramps on the stage.
In addition to taking some local produce home, patrons also can buy special 30th anniversary Tomato Fest salsa and salad dressing.
The Chamber of Commerce has five flavors, including mango peach, black bean and corn, ghost chili and five amigos, as well as the tomato ripe vine salad dressing. Each are made by Gourmet Gardens, based in Cherokee County.
Salsas are $6 each and the dressing is $4. They can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, 526 E. Commerce St.
For more information on the festival, visit www.jack sonvilletexas.com.