Sunday August 18th, 2019

PITTSTON, PA - The 36th annual Pittston Tomato Festival has array of events from American-Italian eateries to a 5K Walk/Run, Parade, music from local musicians performing live to a unique Tomato-throwing fight.

They call it 'The Worlds Greatest Quality Tomato' capitol of the world due to this Northeastern Pennsylvania's both soil from its coal mining days and its climate. In the 1930s it was officially titled the Tomato Capitol.

Every summer Pittstonians call the Tomato Festival one of its towns highlights they look forward to attending. Without attending at least one of the three days is like missing out on something special.

The festival began 36 years ago and originated in where the modern Burger King and CVS Parking lots sit today. The festival has relocated in the late 1990s to the current location today. However this year is a little bit more expansive. The City of Pittston puts on an Art Walk event along Main Street in the Downtown region. With that events growth and popularity, it was best decided to join forces with the Tomato Festival and add it to the newly developed 'third tier' which is located behind the Pittston Memorial Library and Cosgrove Community Center.

In May of 2019, an un-official grand opening of an greek-style amphitheater was opened up to the community for live events and future theatrical performances so both the Festival Committee and the City of Pittston figured what a great add-on to the Festival by adding live music. Some of the artists chosen to play this years festival were in hype of the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock Festival to have that 1960s vibe.

Next to the amphitheater is a children's park. As the parents are tapping their toes to rock and roll classics, their children can be occupied by a brand new playground.

With the Art walk tied into the festival, there is a lot of neat things to see. As I was walking around observing I saw some fellow photographers, painters, a winery, brick-oven pizzeria business and then it was time to walk and see the familiar food vendors of course.

A majority if not mistaken all of the food vendors have returned like Tonys Pizza, Sabatelles, Nicos Pizza, just to name a few. Even the local AHL team Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were out plus Blue Chip Animal Farm too promoting what they do the best.

There is always the Tomato Contests, live music, the smell of great food but we can't forget about the Pittston Tomato Fight that is always held at the former Coopers Seafood parking lot.

About one hundred people gathered this year lined up with boxes of unwanted tomatoes donated by local farmers to be thrown at each other. $10 for goggles and participate AND another $10 plus if you wanted a 2019 Pittston Tomato Fight Official T-Shirt. A majority of the participants stuck with just the googles and whatever they were already wearing.

Jim Zarra, who is known for bulldozing the mess at the end of the event had his air horn ready. After a brief run-down of the rules by Mayor Michael Lombardo, the airhorn by Zarra, the Italian music playing in the background, the fight had begun.

After a total of 5:17, the fight was all done and over with in a flash. Flying tomatoes in the clear blue sky and laughs and smiles filled the parking lot up with spectators from all over.

Carol and Paul Nelson from Easton, PA "It's a lot of fun! This was our second go-around!"

Local news stations make it even more exciting with the cameras like News 16 WNEP and WBRE Eyewitness News. Of course us at The Vinnie Langdon Show were in attendance capturing the fight in all of its raw glory.

Check out the video here: