It’s official: Great White and Phil Vassar will rock the 2019 Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival.

After a year’s hiatus, the free festival is scheduled for Aug. 8-10 in Huber Park, 1520 Davidson Drive.

Great White, the California-based band behind ‘80s hits including “Once Bitten, Twice Shy,” is scheduled to play at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9.

In addition to writing for some of country’s biggest stars, Vassar has 10 No. 1 hits to his name, including “American Child,” “Six-Pack Summer,” and “Just Another Day in Paradise.” He’ll close out the festival on Saturday, Aug. 10, also taking the stage at 8:30 p.m.

Two stages of entertainment are planned, with local acts being recruited for Thursday and Saturday performances, said Jennifer Clemens, the city’s special events coordinator.

City Council unanimously approved a $41,000 contract Feb. 25 with West Virginia-based Media Promotion Enterprises (MPE) for production and booking services related to the festival. The company has worked with other Ohio communities, including the Obetz ZucchiniFest and the Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival.

The festival will also become the new home of a two-day chili cook-off hosted by the International Chili Society, Clemens said. The ICS is a nonprofit group that helps run more than 80 cook-offs nationwide and hosts the annual World Championships every fall.

Reynoldsburg expects to welcome as many as 30 cooks to compete in two contests – the Buckeye Regional Chili Cook-Off and the Ohio State Chili Cook-Off.

Festival visitors can pay $5 for unlimited chili tastings.

Reynoldsburg Festivals Inc. organized the festival for nine years before it turned over operations to the city last year.

The Tomato Festival was started in 1965 as a way to honor Reynoldsburg’s claim to fame as the birthplace of a sweeter, edible tomato created by resident Alexander W. Livingston. In 1870, he was the first to upgrade the wild tomato plant.

Festival hours will be 4 to 11 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, and Friday, Aug. 9; and 10 a.m. to 11p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10.

Tomato Festival planning meetings are open to the public. They are held at 7 p.m. the last Tuesday of every month at the municipal building, 7232 E. Main St.

For more information visit reytomatofest.com.

editorial@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekNews