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More Than Tomatoes: City of Jacksonville to showcase heritage despite cancellation of Tomato Fest

The next Tomato Fest is scheduled for June 2021.

JACKSONVILLE, Texas — Every year, the Jacksonville community and people from all over come together for their love of tomatoes at the annual Tomato Fest.

"Jacksonville is the tomato capital of the world in Texas,” Jacksonville City Manager Greg Smith said. “So, it is long heritage for this community."

The 36th Tomato Fest was scheduled for June, then postponed to September. However, it has been officially canceled until next year due to the pandemic.

“This year we kind of figured with all that was going on that it wouldn't happen in June like normal,” Wanda Guinn, with Guinn’s Produce, said.

Despite the cancellation, tomatoes can be found all across the city and Guinn says she’s still seen quite a bit of people from out of town stop by the produce stand.

“We still grow tomatoes, whether we have it or not,” she said.

The city will have tomatoes until early November, when the first frost is expected to come.

But Smith says the city is working to remind people of what else it has to offer.

“We are trying to promote our local businesses during this troubling time,” he explained. “The economic impact is still unknown.”

A website for the area’s tourism has been developed to showcase different activities people can do.

“Wood, water, wow that is what our slogan is,” Smith said. “The main tourism industry for the area is all based outside and with COVID-19, that's one of the safest places to be. Besides Lake Jacksonville you got Love’s Look Out, we’ve got a couple of other locations in the county the Safari, the Rusk State Railroad.”

The city manager says while the festival is canceled, the heritage is still in Jacksonville.

“Several of our restaurants have fried green tomatoes,” he said. “If they want to learn even more in depth about that heritage that they could just stop by the Chamber of Commerce or here at City Hall.”

The 2021 Tomato Fest has been scheduled for June.

To learn more about Jacksonville’s tourism attractions, click here

RELATED: 36th Annual Jacksonville Tomato Fest canceled for 2020; will resume June 2021

RELATED: Jacksonville Tomato Fest moved to September