LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) -Calling all tomato lovers... if you enjoy fresh home grown tomatoes, then Lawton's annual tomato festival is the place for you. A time of celebration, fun competition, and plenty of tasting. And this year, they've added some new things.
The annual Tomato Festival at the Lawton Farmer's Market draws crowds from surrounding areas. Lawton pediatrician Edward Legako is the President of the Farmers market. He says people are always anxious this time of year for the tomato festival.
"People love tomatoes," said Dr. Legako. "What can you say. Each year we get asked throughout the year at the market, is when are the fresh tomatoes?."
There are competitions for best in show-which requires 3 tomatoes, best tasting tomato, and the ugliest tomato. And this year they've added the heaviest tomato. Dr. Legako says you don't have to be an expert farmer to enter, you just have to have grown it yourself.
"If you have one tomato plant, we'd love for you to bring in your tomato and see if it wins best tasting tomato," said Dr. Legako. "You don't have to be a professional or someone who raises large amounts of tomatoes. If you have 2 or 3 tomatoes in your back yard, bring them in for the contest. We want lots of entries."
They also have a salsa contest. Dr. Legako says this year they're adding something new the night before, a professional tomato art contest.
"We're going to have a reception, and I think we have almost 20 art exhibits and they will be professionally judged," said Dr. Legako. "So we'll name a winner of the art contest. And people will be able to purchase some professional art if they want."
Even if you have no plants to bring, Dr. Legako says the festival is a great way to get out of the house. He says there will more than just tomatoes there. You can even purchase some Oklahoma made products.
"We have some great companies around this area that produce some great products like for seasoning and things we offer at the market," said Dr. Legako. "We have baked goods now, homemade dog biscuits, all different types of variety that are homemade and home grown that people have to choose from"
To learn more about tomatoes you can head on down to Lawton’s 8th annual tomato festival July 13th from 8 to noon at the Great Plains Coliseum. The Festival is free. However, they do rely on donations to put the festival on. They will also be selling this years tomato festival t-shirt at the market. For more information on entries for the contests, or to become a sponsor you can call 365-4256.