Since its inception in 1985, TomatoFest has raised over $300,000 and collected more than 13,000 canned goods to help feed the hungry through donations to participating area food pantries. All food pantries receiving donations purchase foods from the Central New York Food Bank, which triples the value of every dollar donated from TomatoFest. Donations from TomatoFest each year enable local food pantries to provide more than 10,000 meals to Cayuga County residents. Approximately 50% of those meals provide food for families with children.
The first "festival", only a few hours long on a Sunday afternoon, was created to bring the community together and provide a public venue for not-for-profit organizations. A few hundred people turned out, and when all was said and done a small profit was realized. From there the festival has grown to a two-day event, with over 13,000 in attendance over the weekend. People from all over Central New York come to enjoy the great food, music, crafts, and entertainment for the whole family.
The name TomatoFest was selected because the festival is held at the end of the tomato season, and the thought of canning or "putting up" the harvest reflected the support of local food agencies.
A volunteer Board of Directors provides their services throughout the year, striving to make each festival a memorable event for everyone who attends. This year's festival will be bigger and better than ever so make plans to bring your friends and family to a fun-filled weekend at the 30th annual Central New York TomatoFest, on September 12th and 13th at Emerson Park.