Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Tomato Fest gets seed money

Messenger photo by Dianne Garrett
Reynoldsburg Wal-Mart presented a check for $1,750 to the Tomato Festival at the June 27 meeting of the Reynoldsburg Kiwanis, who also gave an additional $250. Pictured left to right are Michael Kritsch, Manager of Wal-Mart, Kiwanis President Fred Deskins, Kiwanis member and Wal-Mart HR Manager Laura Zarlino, Tomato Festival representatives Robert Whightsel and Nancy Mergel.

Rumors have circulated throughout central Ohio communities, and even on the radio, that the Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival is canceled.

Festival President Robert Whightsel said, “We have only canceled the parade. The festival will happen.”

The group continues to receive sponsorships from businesses and civic groups.

At the June 27 Reynoldsburg Kiwanis meeting, Whightsel and Nancy Mergel were presented $1,750 from Reynoldsburg Wal-Mart for the festival. The store previously donated $500. Kiwanis donated an additional $250.

Kiwanis President Fred Deskins is challenging residents and businesses to contribute.

“If every resident would donate one dollar, and each business $50, it would help,” Deskins said.

He doesn’t think that is asking too much of the community to keep a 42 year tradition going. About $17,000 in cash and in-kind donations have been received, including a recent $5,000 contribution from Pet Butler.

The event will begin Wednesday, September 5, at 5 p.m. at Civic Park, which will also be Family Night, featuring entertainment by Vineyard Church. There will be activities for the entire family in the R&R Tent.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 6 p.m. It will close at 10 p.m. The hours for the remainder of the week will be Thursday 4-10 p.m.; Friday 3-11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

The festival will include musicians, pageants, a K-9 Cruise-In, pet masquerade, car and motorcycle cruise-ins, pizza tasting contest, Civil War encampment and re-enactments, and much more.

For a complete schedule listing, or to become a sponsor or a participant, log on to www.reynoldsburgtomatofestival.com. Applications and registration forms can also be obtained there as well, and by calling 866-2861.

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