Local Company Secures Tomato Festival

The chair of the Leamington Sunset Tomato Festival insists there would have been an event either way, but admits without a large donation from Mastronardi Produce it would have been difficult.

Mike Ciacelli says the company doesn’t want the amount revealed, but it will secure the event for the next five years. The festival lost its major sponsor when Heinz closed the Leamington plant in June.

He says it’s important the event continue considering the loss of Heinz. “People recognize that the Tomato Festival happens during the tomato harvest season so it was really important for us to continue that and to keep our spirits high in Leamington.”

The festival, which runs from Thursday August 14th to Sunday August 17th, is undergoing some changes including a new name, and during opening ceremonies, the “slicing of the tomato” instead of “the tapping of the keg”. Ciacelli also says it will also place a higher priority on the local greenhouse industry.