Our mission is to promote Grainger County agricultural products, specifically the Grainger County Tomato, and to promote the local artists and craftsmen.
The Grainger County Tomato Festival was organized in 1992 to promote our world famous Grainger County Tomatoes. Our 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 we have in our area. Over the years we have added a number of special events making the festival one of the largest free festivals in East Tennessee and has been named by Parade magazine as one of the top ten free festivals in the USA. The festival is always the last full weekend in July in Rutledge, Tennessee. Be sure to mark your calendars! You don't want to miss it. It's always a three day festival, and we have numerous vendors with food, crafts, art, authors, and commercial exhibits.
We also have a living history section where people are dressed in period clothing exhibiting what life was like during the Revolutionary War. There are vendors in this area as well selling handmade items like leather goods, wooden toys, and iron tools. These craftsmen are demonstrating their craft right there on the festival grounds, and they love to share their knowledge. This is an educational opportunity for the entire family.
Another crowd favorite is the tractor and engine exhibit and its not just for the guys. The ladies are included thanks to the pink tractors. The folks that own these wonderful machines are right there with them and love to talk about all that is involved with restoration and use.
We have several misting tents scattered around the festival grounds that cool the air by about 15 degrees. We do welcome dogs and you can find many water stations for your pups to get a drink to cool off. It is July and it will be hot so please keep that in mind when you bring your pets out for a day of festivities.
The Tomato Wars is so popular that we had to add an extra day to accommodate all the sign ups, which is a great thing because it's a fundraiser for God's Planet for Haiti. We have had tv stations and news stations sign up and battle it out with the too ripe to sell tomatoes that the Grainger County tomato farmers have donated for the event. It's not so clean fun for families, businesses, and church groups to get in on the action.