The Pennsylvania Festival That Includes A Food Fight

Have you hugged a tomato lately? Not likely, but America is hugely indebted to this unimposing fruit (yes, it's a fruit). After all, everyone has a plethora of ways to put fresh tomatoes to good use. Where would you be without this trusty red orb that is the base of sauces, the "T" in a BLT, and the splash of color to salad greens? You'd probably be lost, but you wouldn't be the only one. 

In 2015 alone, the United States grew 35 billion pounds of this versatile produce, making this nation the world's second-largest tomato producer (per University of Florida). And, the US Department of Agriculture states that canned tomatoes are the nation's best-selling tinned veggie (yes, they seemed to have lumped them in with vegetables), and that tomatoes are the second most chosen vegetable, with the average American eating about 28.3 pounds per year. Yes, America has figuratively embraced the tomato.

Perhaps it's time to literally embrace it as well. And thanks to a popular tomato festival, you can now wrap your arms around a larger-than-life tomato and give it an appreciative squeeze. 

You can toss tomatoes at the giant tomato fight

Yes, Stew the Tomato, the Pittston Tomato Festival's smiling mascot, is waiting with open arms and tons of tomatoes. From August 18 to 21, 2022, this small city in Northeastern Pennsylvania will welcome roughly 75,000 people to its annual tomato-centric event. With a vast array of activities planned, there's bound to be something to please every tomato fan in your clan — a key to becoming one of the best food festivals in America.

What can you expect at this fruit-themed celebration? Boasting a parade, both an adult and youth run, and a contest that awards prizes to the ugliest and most perfect tomato specimens, every attendee will come away smiling. The festival will host the Little Miss and Little Mister Pittston Tomato contests for boys and girls aged 2 to 6, a selection of artists and vendors, and four days of live music. But the highlight for many is an actual tomato fight. As Reader's Digest explains, participants must sign up for the privilege of tossing rotten tomatoes at fellow players while wearing festival-provided protective goggles. It is, after all, only fun until someone loses an eye.

If you've been taking tomatoes for granted and think it's high time you showed the fruit some respect, you may want to head to Pennsylvania this summer. Don't forget to pack a shirt you don't mind getting a little dirty.