Tomato Fest count-down begins

by Jo Anne Embleton

JACKSONVILLE – It’s back: The city’s annual Tomato Festival returns to Jacksonville after a year-long hiatus, with a weeklong calendar of events to celebrate 37 years of tomato fun.

While the festival itself is slated for Saturday, June 12, in and around downtown Jacksonville, events kick off Saturday, June 5, with the 2021 Tomato Fest 5K & Fun Run, with proceeds benefitting the Highway 69 Mission of Jacksonville.

A Mr. & Miss Tomato Fest pageant will be held Sunday, June 6, at Woodland Height Baptist Church, 273 E. Loop 204 in Jacksonville. Youths up to age 18 will vie for the honor of representing the festival.

Also on Sunday is a city-wide church singing at First Methodist Church, slated for 6 p.m. at the 1031 Loop 456 church.

The following day, city leaders will read issue a proclamation naming Jacksonville “Tomatoville,” during a 2 p.m. gathering on Monday, June 7. Later that evening, a dodgeball tournament will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the John Alexander Gym.

On Tuesday, June 8, the local Kiwanis and Rotary clubs will compete for bragging rights in a “Tomato Fest Diced” competition, beginning at 6 p.m. at Kiepersol, 21508 Merlot Lane in Bullard.

And on June 9, the Jacksonville Rotary Club will host a Par 3 night-time golf tourney at Cherokee Ranch Golf Club, 14499 U.S. Highway 79 East in Jacksonville.

The Cherokeean Herald will publish additional events in its June 9 edition.