Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival

20.) Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival – August 14, 2015

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A long, long time ago, in the actual house of which this model was replicated…

…Reynoldsburg resident Alexander Livingston used seed experimentation to stabilize the smaller and sour tasting wild tomatoes…

…into larger and sweeter commercial tomatoes, starting with the Paragon tomato, introduced in 1870.

Eventually, Livington would develop 35 varieties of tomatoes, changing tomato agriculture forever…

…and be remembered for the last 50 years through a Tomato Festival.

Celebrated in Huber Park…

…the Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival was a rather big festival…

…where the few booths selling things like Roly Poly Pocket Pets and antiques…

…were overtaken by Scentsy-esque booths…

…and local organizations that were most likely political…

…dramatic (Pickerington Community Theatre)…

…historical (RTHS)…

 

…or religious (Church of the Nazarene).

The festival was obviously more about the community…

…where local police let kids turn on the siren…

…where local firefighters helped kids put out cardboard fires…

…and where there were plenty of kids’ activities that included games…

…playgrounds…

…inflatables…

…and more (inflatable) games.

The festival offered lift-offs in a hot air balloon…

…tomato festival royalty…

…Home Depot mascots…

…martial arts masters…

…a fenced off beer garden…

…and a stage for musical entertainment.

But what about the tomato?

Well, in the food court, near the BBQ, Macedonian food…

…soda (Sock Hop Soda Shop)…

…and meatballs in a cup…

…festival goers could purchase ripe Ohio tomatoes by the pound…

…or green sliced tomatoes all fried up (but this was done slooooowly as I waited 15 minutes and the line still didn’t move).

If that wasn’t enough, there was a little pocket of tomato-ness…

…where this booth offered…

…free tomato juice…

…as well as samplings of tomato jelly and popcorn that were available for purchase.

Two nearby booths also offered tomato souvenirs…

…and tomato foods that included tomato pies, tomato breads (sold out at the time)…

…and strawberry tomato jellies (Christian Corner Cafe).

Meanwhile, out in the tents, at the Parkview Presbyterian Church booth…

…you could try and/or purchase the exotic sounding tomato fudge.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t taste even a hint of tomato.

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