(FROM TYLER PAPER) - Jacksonville will celebrate its heritage as the Tomato Capital of the World with the 30th Annual Tomato Fest, a day of events on Saturday.
In the early 1900s, many of the tomatoes grown in the United States came from the Cherokee County area and were shipped across the country in refrigerated rail cars, according to festival sponsors. The festival boasts dozens of activities including motorcycle, tractor and antique car shows; sports tournaments; booths from vendors and community groups; a food court and farmer’s market. The tomato-themed attractions include the tomato poster display, a salsa making contest, a tomato eating contest tomato peeling contest and tomato mashing contest. Most events will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. along Commerce and Austin streets downtown. A gospel concert is set from 5 to 7 p.m. The festival will conclude with the 9th Annual Chili’s Street Dance, 1225 S. Jackson from 7 to 10 p.m. with entertainment provided by Lady Chazz & The Tramps