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Fun, Food, Friends and Tomatoes


Here’s everything you need to know about the iconic 40th Annual Pittston Tomato Festival.

Late August means many things to many different people. For some, it’s those waning days of summer vacation. And for others, it’s the signal that it’s time to start packing away the summer clothes. For faithful festival-goers in NEPA, however, August is all about those beautiful Pittston tomatoes. Ok, ok… it’s also about 4-days of delicious, homemade food, awesome live entertainment, the parade, the annual 5K and so much more.

Yeah. Traditionally, if it’s late August in NEPA, we’re all about the Pittston Tomato Festival. And we’re not alone. The festival, a summer tradition for many local families, has grown to draw in over 75,000 visitors each year.



This year’s festival runs from Thursday, August 17 through Sunday, August 20. Of course, there will be plenty of incredible, local food vendors dishing out everything from homemade Italian favorites to pizza to fried Oreos and more. And you’ll still get to dance the evenings away to the tunes of a bunch of popular local bands. As always, you’ll wake up early on Saturday for the Tomato Run. And then stick around for the parade, and the Best Tomato contest, and the Little Miss and Mr. Tomato contest.

But that’s not all. A few additions to this year’s Pittston Tomato Festival include a Spaghetti Eating Contest and a Dunk Tank benefitting Pittston’s Shop with a Cop.


2023 Festival Food and Events



The 24th Annual Ultimate Tomato Run

The Ultimate Tomato Run is an urban-course 5K held on Saturday, August 19 at 8 a.m. Festival race day also features a 1.5-mile Youth Run and Fun Walk. Participants can also race as a team to earn a trophy and bragging rights until next year’s race. Awards will be offered to the fastest team, the top 3 male and female overall in both the 5K and Youth Race and the top male and female in each age group.

Register for the race here.



40th Annual Tomato Festival Parade

Of course, no Pittston Tomato Festival would be complete without the parade. This year’s Grand Marshal – former city Councilwoman, Maria Caporallela Montante will kick off the festivities on Saturday, August 19 at 11 a.m.

Grab your spot along the 2-mile route to check out tomato-themed floats, marching bands, firetrucks, bagpipers and so much more. The official parade route begins on Main St. in South Pittston and proceeds through Downtown around to Kennedy Blvd. and ends on East St.



Best Tomato Contest

There’s a reason this whole festival exists. It’s those gorgeous, tasty Pittston-grown tomatoes. Make your way to the Committee Stand on Saturday, August 19 at 7 p.m. for the annual Tomato Contest to see whose exceptionally plump and vibrant tomato takes home the crown as the “Most Perfect.”

Ribbons will also be awarded for Largest Tomato, Smallest Tomato and Ugliest Tomato. The contest is free to enter. Eligible tomatoes must be dropped off by Saturday at 5 p.m.



Little Miss. & Mr. Tomato Contest

Stop by the Festival Bandshell on Sunday, August 20 at 11 am for what’s becoming one of the festival’s most popular events. The Little Miss and Mr. Tomato Contests are open to boys and girls ages 2-6. One winner and runner up will be selected in each category. Prizes will be awarded. The entry fee for the contest is $5. Fill out the entry form here.



Fun For the Whole Family

Don’t miss out on the festival’s many safe, fun carnival rides. Located in the Tomato festival’s third tier – the parking lot behind the Pittston Memorial Library – attendees will find 8-10 awesome carnival-style rides. A stunning, 42-foot Ferris wheel serves as the centerpiece and offers panoramic views of Downtown Pittston. Alongside the Ferris wheel, the festival will also feature an assortment of rides for all ages.

The Tomato Festival also includes midway games, live Bingo and plenty of arts & crafts vendors.



Live Entertainment

Live, local music rounds out the list of awesome events at this year’s Pittston Tomato Festival. All four days feature a handful of local bands and a variety of music styles to get you jumping out of your seat. Check out this year’s schedule:


Thursday, August 17
6:15 pm – Windfall
7:15 pm – Phyllis Hopkins Trio
8:30 pm – The Taxmen

Friday, August 18
5:30 pm – Call of the Nightbird
7:00 pm – Tori V
9:00 pm – Sweet Pepper and the Long Hots

Saturday, August 19
3:00 pm – Luongo Brothers Band
5:00 pm – Shakin
7:00 pm – Flaxy Morgan
9:00 pm – 52nd Street

Sunday, August 20
1:00 pm – Danny Argo
2:30 pm – The Music Room
4:30 pm – Mere Mortals
6:30 pm – Tony’s Wine Cellar Jam


And, Of Course, All That Irresistible Food…



I mean, be honest, It’s why your’e going.

Finally, if everyone had to pick just one reason for attending the Pittston Tomato Festival, the easy money would be on the food. You have four days. So, you can just keep coming back to try all the different pasta dishes and pizzas, the sausage and peppers and the cannoli. And don’t forget to wash it all down with a little local wine or birch beer.

The festival’s second tier will feature dozens of local specialty vendors, local restaurant stands and more. You’ll also find plenty of local vendors offering arts & crafts and homemade products.

Article Updated from its original version published on 8/8/2022