Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

June 3, 2013

BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL: There can be only one: Cities face off next week for title of “Tomato Capital of the World;” viewers needed

JACKSONVILLE — Plans are quickly falling into place for the June 5 tomato showdown between Jacksonville and Crystal Springs, Miss.

Witnesses are being sought for this special event. Those who wish to attend need to contact the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce at  903-586-2217.

At stake – at least for the next year – is the title of “Tomato Capital of the World.”

This particular showdown – leading into Jacksonville's Tomato Fest – will be a “Pepsi Challenge”-style eat-off that takes place on air on Shreveport's KTBS-TV.

It will be completed in time for each town's respective tomato festival. The 29th anniversary of Jacksonville's Tomato Fest, held June 8. Crystal Springs also celebrates its Tomato Festival June 29.

Randy Bain, KTBS news director, is the organizer of this particular battle, scheduled during his station's morning program. KTBS is located at 312 East Kings Highway in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The first television teaser for the showdown takes place as both contestants set up their display will be between 8:45 a.m. and 9 a.m., according to an itinerary submitted by Peggy Renfro, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce president.

Two of the three items – the best plate of three and largest tomato – will be judged between 9 a.m.-ish and 11 a.m. that day.

The actual judging of the tasting of the tomatoes will be live on television between 11:10 a.m. and 11: 20 a.m.

Those witnesses who attend should be prepared to be interviewed, according to Renfro's chamber announcement.

“Please be prepared as you may be one of the folks interviewed that day,” Renfro wrote. “If interviewed, share Jacksonville’s uniqueness and tourism exchange for both communities.”

As far as transportation is concerned, Jacksonville Chamber officials are willing to rent a van, but they quickly need to know who is going before making that particular decision.  

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