Reynoldsburg News

Tomato Festival 'blessed' with good weather


Great weather, crowd-pleasing demonstrations and, of course, tomatoes -- large and small -- contributed to a successful 2013 Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival.

Mary Hudson, from the Tomato Festival Committee, said the Aug. 16 and 17 event was a success.

"We were blessed with wonderful weather once again this year and as usual, our largest crowds were in the evenings," she said. "With the addition of Games 2U and the video games truck, hamster ball and laser tag, we were able to serve a more diverse age group."

She said Truro Township firefighters presented a Jaws of Life demonstration, bringing in LifeFlight helicopters.

"That demonstration is always a true crowd-pleaser and a great teaching tool for the department," she said.

She said the Reynoldsburg Police Department also had a great display and presence at the festival.

"And as in the past, McGuffey Lane really packed the park on Saturday night," she said.

The dunk tank, which allowed people to try their hand at dunking police officers, firefighters and others, raised $1,300 for Ronald McDonald House.

This year's tomato royalty included Tomato Queen Alissa Jones; first attendant Alyson VanAlmsick and second attendant, Katelynn Titchell. The Little Princess was Shelbie Lyn Donaldson, with attendant Rachel Marie Sheridan. Senior King and Queen were Malcolm and Nancy Spangler.

As for the prize-winning tomatoes, three residents had bragging rights to the biggest ones: Sam Hessler brought a tomato that weighed 2.61 pounds; Al Biggs had a 2.34-pound tomato and Henry Fasone grew one that weighed 2.13 pounds.

More tomato contest winners were Mike Motz with the tallest vine, at 12-feet, 2-inches; Randy Dye was second with a vine of 10-feet, 4-inches; and Nicole Yeager was third, entering a vine that was 8-feet, 5-inches tall.

Winners in the smallest tomato category were Randy Dye, first place; Craig Luzader, second place and Tim Maynard, third place. Winners for the most oddly shaped tomatoes were Randy Dye, Jerri Dombrowski and Jim Palermo, respectively.

Kay Luzader won first prize for the best tomato dessert, with Dombrowski winning second place.

Dombrowski also won for best tomato bread and best hot salsa. John Haag and Donna Clifford came in second and third for best bread.

The second-place hot salsa winner was Jennifer Kocher, with Clifford coming in third.

Laura Corpron won the top spot for the best mild salsa, with Dombrowski winning second place and Clifford coming in third.

Winner of the best three tomatoes was Donna Wortman, with Palermo winning both second and third place in that category.

Wortman also won for best heirloom tomato, with Dombrowski and Maynard coming in at second and third.

The winner of the Pizza Taste-Off was Jet's Pizza.