• Thu. Sep 22nd, 2022

Crystal Springs Tomato Festival draws hundreds

ByStephanie M. Akbar

Jun 25, 2022

CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. (WLBT) – Hundreds of people filled the streets of Crystal Springs on Saturday for this year’s Tomato Festival.

The celebration included everything from a parade and classic car show to homemade produce, food and lots of plump red tomatoes.

The goal is to bring the city together to have fun and celebrate each other and the city’s rich history.

“Let me just tell you, everything of Crystal Springs was built on the tomato industry,” Mayor Sally Garland said with a huge smile between cute tomato-style dangle earrings.

Garland said the story goes back decades in the tomato growing industry.

“It started a long time ago with a man who came over from Italy with a suitcase full of tomato seeds and he planted them and we shipped our first load of tomatoes to Denver, Colorado on our railroad. [sic] who built Crystal Springs,” she said.

The festival has been attracting people from Crystal Springs and Mississippi for over 20 years.

Although good times bring many people to the area, Garland said it’s the close-knit camaraderie that canned people who come back.

“I’m 8th generation and the reason I came home and the reason a lot of people come home…it’s because of the camaraderie and the people. You don’t have to tell your story over and over again. They know your story and they love you. Garland said sincerely.

“It’s every last weekend in June,” Crystal Springs native Lauren Birch said.

Birch has attended the festival for as long as she can remember.

The city was once called the “Tomatropolis of the world” and, for her, she still is.

“It brings our little town together and brings a lot of other people around just to see what our town is all about. That’s exactly what we do,” smiles Birch.

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