Tomato Fest Highlights City's Heritage

One East Texas town was seeing red Saturday.... or green... whichever kind you prefer.  The 20th Annual Tomato Fest was held in Jacksonville.

The annual event has become one of the largest festivals in East Texas.  Organizers estimate more than 10,000 people came out to the Tomato Bowl Saturday to enjoy some games, shopping and of course some home grown tomatoes.

The festival was started to celebrate the town which was once known as "The Tomato Capitol of the World," and while tomato production in Jacksonville is not as strong as it once was, the spirit of the festival is still there.

"It's more of a community event now than what it used to be, because there is not as many tomatoes shipped out of here like there used to be several years ago and it's mainly to celebrate the heritage and it brings people in to the town which creates tax dollars for the local businesses," said festival co-chair Phil Shinalt.

Organizers said not to worry about the Tomato Fest dying out in Jacksonville. This year's event was one of the more popular in the 20 year history.

Chris Gibson, reporting