1520 Davidson Dr,
Reynoldsburg, OH 4306
Written and Photographed by Doreen Dawkins
Sidebar: Don’t make the mistake I did. Enter the park from Livingston Avenue instead of Main Street. The parking closest to Main St. was full. There was ample grass or paved parking near the Livingston Ave. entrance. The price was right for parking, free.
This event was free, but pop (soda), water and Gatorade were $2. Most beer, wine, and the Bloody Mary bar were $6. The wrist bands to ride the rides were $20. Tickets were $1 each or 24 tickets for $20. Each ride on the average required 3 to 5 tickets. A wrist band or ticket was required to ride the rides.
Sidebar: This is how the website (reytomatoefest.com) describes the tomato war: “One open round of up to 150 goggle wearing participants will divide and face off in a battle where there are no losers. Participants will toss rotten tomatoes til there are no more”. I envisioned tomatoes swarming with flies and mold filled being smashed in someone’s face from about a foot away. Each team was separated by several feet. This seemed to be a safe and fun activity.
(Interview with Steven Hicks) Why did you participate in the Tomato War?
We are excited about the life they are breathing into the Tomato Festival. A lot of people are excited about the festival this year. We thought we would participate because it would be a heck of a lot of fun. We get to throw tomatoes at each other and have a big food fight. I hope this is a tradition we can do every year and have a lot of fun doing it.
Anything you would like to add (Grace Hicks)?
I like getting dirty, so this was pretty fun.
Why did everyone want to hit you or get you even before the Tomato War began.
I have been part of the community for 25 years. I officiate 5 different sports. I do a lot for the city of Reynoldsburg. Every sport they have, I do. A lot of the parents and kids know me. The one time they can get me back is right now.
They really didn’t get you back because you look clean.
Trained skill. You got to dodge and weave.
This is the first Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival in a while. How long was it gone?
It has been gone for about 2 years. This is the first year it’s been back. The city of Reynoldsburg is running it. It is a little more organized. It’s very well put together. We are looking forward to the future.
Why are you dressed this way?
I helped with the Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival junior pageant. I had the opportunity to crown the Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival junior pageant contestants.
Tell me about what you are wearing.
I was just crowned Today’s International Woman’s Mrs 2019 this past Saturday. In Greenville, SC.
Did you come all the way from Greenville?
I am from Reynoldsburg, OH and I competed in Greenville.
Tell me about the process.
I automatically advanced from Ohio to the national and international pageant. I had the opportunity to compete and I won.
What was your talent?
It was not about talent, but my platform. My platform is called faith of a poppy seed which is premature awareness. My daughter was born 11 weeks early. She weighed 1 pound, 13 ounces at 29 weeks. I told myself and I told God, if you get us through this, I am going to dedicate my life to premature awareness. Here we are.
Interview with Senhet Sefe
You are doing what and representing what?
This booth is for Stuco which is our student council at Reynoldsburg High School. We are bringing awareness to the events that we are having this year and to have a little fun, we have Jenga for everyone to play.
What is Jenga?
It is a game where you stack up the blocks and you pull out blocks one by one and put them on top. Whoever makes it fall, loses.
What are the events that you are highlighting?
The homecoming parade, homecoming game, homecoming dance, the winter carnival in December, the Sadie Hawkins Dance, and the prom.
How does a person get on the student council?
At the beginning of the year, a person can join. There is an orientation where you sign up for the committees. For example special Olympics, or game day committees for tail gate, to help organize a fund raiser, etc. If you don’t participate, you are off.
Can a person be an F student and serve on the student council?
Sidebar: Things have changed!
Not your ordinary kickball games:
Interview with Shalom
Why did you participate in kick ball?
The mission of Collision Church is to get out in the community and to reach the unchurched who need some love. What better way for us to get out into the community than to be in the community? What better way than kickball. Even though we are not the best at the game, we wanted to come out and show people that church folks are not stuck up, can get dirty, have fun, and love life too.
Tell me about your church.
Service time is 11:00am on Sundays. The service is contemporary. It is not odd for our pastor to wear jeans and a tee shirt preaching. Sometimes shorts and a tee shirt. We have a café where we offer specialized coffee drinks, iced lattes, regular coffee, expresso drinks, etc. The café starts at 10:15 am until 10:45 am. Come out, have some fun and have some good coffee.
Any specific outreach?
We are here at the Tomato Festival. We have done some events in JFK Park. We are still looking for opportunities to get out and serve in the community.
You made a great play at first base. What is your background?
I started attending the Simple Church about two years ago. I love it. We are a family, so it makes it fun to come out and play. This is one of our grow groups. It is an opportunity to get to know one another and be athletic.
I played college soccer at Ohio Dominican University, so that is where I get my catching from. The stretching is just a gift from God.
Does your church have a kickball team?
We are going to play in the city of Reynoldsburg’s league. This is our team that we are playing with.
Why did you participate?
We put this together at the last minute. This is a dream run. Our team has good teamwork. We are going hard trying to win. Team unity, hang out, and have fun.
Tell me about your church.
We are so good that we have out of towners coming in. Deon Fraiser is the pastor and a great guy. Fun to listen to. Church is fun.
My take: The Tomato War and kick ball are “special sauce” activities. I think activities of this type bring people together to connect on a more meaningful level. If I didn’t have my camera gear, I would have participated in both activities.