Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

March 18, 2013

BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL: Tomato Fest is Jacksonville at its best

A tomato-y promotion effort with tomato-y zest!


Promotional T-shirts. Online booth applications and payments. Television news stories promoting concrete tomato pride.

It's starting to come into focus, folks. Lots of small things eventually dovetailing into one HUGE thing — namely, the 29th Annual Tomato Fest on June 8 in sunny downtown Jacksonville.

The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce is in the process of shepherding a steady stream of developments heralding the approach of Tomato Fest.

One of the newer is a touted photo contest awarding $1,000 to winners — of something. Not a lot of specifics in the item was posted on Facebook this week. But details and directions are expected to be issued by the chamber soon.

On Wednesday, the chamber announced that Randy Gorham was slated to appear on the local NBC affiliate KETK promoting “Jacksonville Concrete Tomato Pride.”

And as far as the developments regarding online payments and applications are concerned? Food vendor applications available online soon.

According to the Jacksonville Chamber's Facebook page, there should be many more related developments. Inquiring minds are referred to the chamber, 903-586-2217 or www.jacksonvilletexas.com.

The payoff? Thousands upon thousands of attendees are expected to attend the event whcih will bost 26 activities, including motorcycle events; tractor and antique car shows; various fishing, soccer and tennis tournaments; arts and crafts; a food court, a farmer's market, and a salsa contest.

There also will be a tomato shed tournament; a Kiwanis Club auction; a tomato shoot; a tomato eating contest; a history display; tomato peeling; a tomato mashing contest; and various activities for children.

The city didn't win the title of “Tomato Capital of the World” during a marketing meeting. In a recent news release, Chamber officials explained the designation was awarded back in the early 1900s, when the 'maters were shipped across the country in state-of-the-art refrigerated rail cars.

These tasty treats make up the nexus of many relishes, salsa and stews.

The tomatoes have even made world records. In June 2010, more than 150 local volunteers created the world's largest bowl of salsa, certified by Guinness World Records.

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