The 11th annual tomato festival, which is put on every year by the Lawton Farmers Market, is less than a month away. This is the first year its being held it at their new location off 4th street.

“We’re so excited that our new building is ready this year,” said Dr. Edward Legako, the president of the Lawton Farmers Market. “So this year, we’re hoping to have a bigger and better tomato festival.”

While they may be in their new home, Dr. Legako said they’re still going to have their annual festival activities like the tomato contests.

“A cash prize for the best tasting,” he said. “Which is judged by celebrity judges. We have largest tomato. Last year, the largest tomato was two pounds. There’s also prettiest tomato, ugliest tomato, and best in show which is the best representation of the tomatoes.”

And if that isn’t enough tomatoes for you, there will also be a salsa contest sponsored by Comanche County Memorial Hospital.

“Everybody thinks they have the next salsa that’s going to be the thing, so we invite people to bring in their salsa, and we give cash prizes for all of these things,” Dr. Legako said.

He said these contests aren’t just for vendors, as anyone can compete.

“And you’ll be surprised,” he said. “I’ve had one year, a little boy raised one tomato plant in his backyard and won the best tasting tomato. So, it’s fun to watch the people come in and bring their tomatoes in, and it’s also fun to see people smiling, out, and purchasing local tomatoes.”

Dr. Legako said they plan on adding a walk to the festival this year. It’s supposed to start on the 9th at 9.

“And we encourage them to dress up as a tomato and give cash prizes to those who have a costume that resemble a tomato or any farmers market type of theme,” he said.

Now the day before the festival, there will be a tomato themed art show at the Leslie Powell Gallery. He says between 30 and 40 art exhibits highlighting farmers markets will be there. They’ll be judged, and art will be available for purchase.

“So I’ve had tomato art from the last two years in my kitchen now,” Dr. Legako said. ”In fact, one of my favorites is by Jan Stratton from KSWO.”

The art show is on Friday, July 8th at the Leslie Powell Gallery, and the tomato festival is on Saturday, July 9th at the Lawton Farmers Market. Tomato entries must be in by 10.

Copyright 2022 KSWO. All rights reserved.