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29th annual Jacksonville Tomato Fest


POSTED: Saturday, June 8, 2013 - 10:52pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 4:59pm

Thousands of people flocked to Jacksonville for the 29th annual Tomato Fest.

More than 8,000 people from all over the world came to get a taste.

"I've asked them to tell me where they are from and we've had someone from China who is actually here today for our tomato festival," said Tomato Fest Chairman Robin Butt.

Gail Massey hasn't been back to the Jacksonville Tomato Fest since the 80s.

Massey was excited to buy some tomatoes and onions for her very own specialty hot sauce.

"We always love their tomatoes and that's why we came."

The fest was filled with tomato eating and peeling contests, concerts, a car show, a salsa contest and many other activities.

27 people including two kids entered into this year's salsa contest.

"We start with our Pico de Gallo then we have a sweet salsa and then we have a medium category and of course the famous fire engine hot which is always fire cracker hot," said Chair of the Salsa Contest Wendi Green.

The tomato fest first started back in the 1800s.

But, was put on hold during the war.

It started back up 29 years ago, and the committee says it gets bigger and better every year.

The fest continued throughout the day into the night ending at the annual street dance at Chili's restaurant.

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