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26th annual Grainger County Tomato Festival set for July 27-29

RUTLEDGE, TN - The 26th annual Grainger County Tomato Festival kicks off on Friday, July 27 and runs through Sunday, July 29.


The Grainger County Tomato Festival was organized in 1992 to promote the area's world famous Grainger County Tomatoes. Its mission is to promote all Grainger County agricultural products, specifically the Grainger County Tomato, and to promote the many local artists, authors, talent, and craftsmen in our area. Over the years a number of special events have been added, making the festival one of the largest free festivals in East Tennessee. The festival has been named by Parade magazine as one of the top ten festivals in the USA.

Bring your art show entries to the elementary school on Friday, July 27 by 3:30 ready to hang unless it is 3D. Several categories are offered. Children and adults are invited to bring their entries. There is a limit of three per artist. Be sure to fill out the little tags to identify your piece when you drop them off. Judging will be done at the end of the day and you can see the winners on Saturday.

An opening ceremony will be held at 1:00 pm on the main stage.

grainger county tomato warThe festival's main event is the Grainger County Tomato War which will be held on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. and again on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. This is one event you don't want to miss.

The 12th annual Grainger County Opry is scheduled for Friday, July 27 at 6:00 p.m. Performers include Cooter Daniel, Daria Daniel, David Earl Weset, Freddie Hodge, Phillip Ellis, Tommy White, and many more.

On Saturday evening, July 28, at 7:00 p.m. the festival will present Trace Adkins in concert. Admission is free.

Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree, The Village Smithy Stands. Kelvin Ryder the blacksmith will be returning for the 8th year. He is the owner of Homegrown Forge and makes a number of items including railroad spike knives, equipment for outdoor cooking and various small items. He will be demonstrating under the big tree in the Living History area and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about blacksmithing.

New to Living History this year is David L. Adams of Tennesseans for Living History. He makes black powder bags, powder horns, blowing "fox" horns & knives. He has been constructing period correct black powder accoutrements since 1965. You will find David by the big tree in the living history area.

The story teller is Harry Bumgardner, a member of the Sons of the Revolution. He knows almost everything a man needs to know about the early history of our country. Be sure and bring the young folks by to see him because he has a variety of things to talk about.

Various craftsmen will showcase their goods, and vendors will be set up to serve food.

The Tomato Festival is a family event. Vendors and visitors are asked to please be considerate and not smoke (cigarettes, vapes, cigars, pipes, etc.) nor have alcohol on the festival grounds.

Pets are welcome to attend. Watering stations and misting tents will be placed throughout the festival founds to help keep cool.

Festival hours are Friday, July 27 - noon to 8pm; Saturday, July 28 - 9am to 6pm; Sunday, July 29 noon to 5pm

​Grainger County Tomato Festival is located at ​7480 Rutledge Pike, Rutledge Tn 37861

For more information on the Grainger County Tomato Festival, visit

Published July 25, 2018

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