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CHARLESTON -- The 18th Street Farmers Market will have a tomato-centered focus this weekend.

The fruit’s ripening season is underway, and this Saturday, the Charleston farmers market is hosting Tomato Fest, a tomato-based special event for the weekend affair going from 8 a.m. to noon.

Along with a slew of tomato varieties available for purchase, the event will include live performances, cooking demonstrations and tomato planting tips from local experts. According to a press release, Coles County Master Gardeners Rita Wiessing and Phyllis Schultz will be explaining to those in attendance how to best take care of their tomatoes at 9:30 a.m.

Later, Produce with Purpose chefs will be doing a tomato-based cooking demonstration at the event. Tomato sampling and free tomato-based recipes will be available at the Five Feline Farm market stand as well.

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There will also be a tomato eating contest at 10 a.m.

Family-friendly activities will be on offer at the event. According to the release, face painting will be available at Hazel Anne’s market stand.

Tomato Fest will be located where the farmers market normally sets up in the Coles County Health Department Parking Lot, 825 18th St.


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Contact Jarad Jarmon at (217) 238-6839. Follow him on Twitter: @JJarmonReporter

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