‘Our town exists because of the tomato industry’: Crystal Springs Tomato Festival attracts hundreds of people
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 goods, food, and lots of plump, red tomatoes.
The purpose is to bring the city together to have fun and celebrate each other as well as the town’s rich history.
”Let me just tell you, all of Crystal Springs was built on the tomato industry,” Mayor Sally Garland said with a huge smile between cute, dangling, tomato-styled earrings.
Garland said the history dates back decades to the tomato farming 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] which built Crystal Springs,” she said.
The festival has drawn people from across Crystal Springs and Mississippi for more than 20 years.
While the good times attract many people to the area, Garland said it’s the close-knit comradery that keeps people returning.
“I’m 8th generation and the reason I came home and the reason a lot of people come home... is because of the comradery 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 genuinely.
“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 dubbed, the “Tomatropolis of the World” and as far as she’s concerned, it still is.
“It brings our small town together and brings lots of other people from around just to see what our town is about. It’s just what we do,” Birch smiled.
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