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Marion County Master Gardeners Host Tomato Festival

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FAIRMONT -

The Marion County Master Gardeners hosted its fifth annual Tomato Festival on Sunday.

Cooking demonstrations, craft vendors, and produce tables filled Fairmont's Historic High Gate Carriage House.

Farmers got to display their prized tomatoes in contests including the biggest tomato, and the best tasting tomato in three different sizes.

A panel of six judges awarded a winner for the best tasting small, medium, and large tomato.

The public also got to taste each one, and choose a People's Choice winner by placing pennies in a cup.

Christa Blais, the festival chairman, said there were so many varieties of tomatoes at the festival that you can't find in a grocery store.

"We have different flavors and different heirloom varieties of tomatoes and people get to taste it and see which ones are their favorite, and we do have judging. It just showcases all the different varieties that there are and also helps promote the local businesses and local growers," said Blais.

Blais said this wasn't the best summer for tomato growing, but there were still 32 varieties of tomatoes for the public to taste.

She said that the last tomato festival there were almost 65 varieties.

The winner of the biggest tomato was almost three pounds.