15th Annual Lauderdale County Tomato Festival

July 9-11, 1998

Thanks for Coming, see you in 1999

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Tomato Festival 98

1998 - The Year of the Tomato
15th Annual Tomato Festival
Lauderdale County - Tennessee
Main Stage - Ripley City Park
Mary Robert drive (and other locations)
Ripley, TN 38063

Celebrate the "Year Of the Tomato" at the 15th Annual Tomato Festival in Lauderdale County, July 9-11 in Ripley, Tennessee. To celebrate the event , many new activities have been added. The tomato festival was established in 1984 as a tribute to the Lauderdale County tomato growers and their locally famous produce. Named "Our Tomatoes Are Best" ...in taste by many of the vendors who sold them years ago.

This unique festival offers a variety of entertainment. Located in the Ripley City Park, exhibits will include arts & crafts, doll show, demonstrations, pet show, BBQ cooking, 5-K run, music for everyone, tomato patch tours, talent contest and much, much, more.

If you enjoy the taste of a tomato, whether ripe or green , you'll not what to miss the 6th annual "tomato tasting" that the Family & Community Education Clubs are planning. The club will showcase recipes made with the famous "Ripley" tomato. This fabulous presentation will be on Friday, July 10 at the First Baptist Church - 107 Lafayette Street - Ripley beginning at 11am until 1:30pm with a fee $3 per person. Favorites of the tasting are the green tomato pie and fried green tomatoes, but the red tomato will be the main ingredient in many other mouthwatering dishes. The recipes featured are from the Tomato Cookbook Volume I and Volume II which see for $7 each.

Regional music is another annual feature of the festival. A number of musicians make their appearances annually at the festival and feature a variety of musical types, including gospel and country, western, rockabilly and patriotic. The guest for Saturday night's main event will be "Little Milton", famed blues artist. This will be an open air concert. Bring your lawn chairs. (no fee)

The Lauderdale Council of Arts will host an exhibit "Partners In Art". Student artists have been paired with professional artists to create work for this event. The exhibit will open Thursday, July 9 and run through Aug. 12 at the Bank of Ripley lobby (On the Square) 8-5 and 8-12 Sat. Some forty pieces will shown. (no fee)

For the classic car lover, the annual car show will begin on Saturday morning at 9am 'til 5pm There will be an entry fee to enter your car but no charge to attend. This is the 6th year for the event which is sponsored by the R.A.C.E. (Ripley Area Car Enthusiast).

Each year the festival has gotten bigger and better. Only a short distant from Memphis and Jackson, the 15the Annual Tomato Festival will be held at the Ripley City Park - Mary Robert Drive - Ripley, Tennessee (off Hwy 51 South). There is no fee for the festival parking. The festival is sponsored by the Lauderdale County Chamber of Commerce, 103 E. Jackson, Ripley, Tennessee. For a schedule of events or registration for 5K run call (901) 635-9541.

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Festival Entertainment

Little Milton, right, and Malcolm Yelvington, left, will entertain in Ripley July 11th during the Lauderdale County Tomato Festival.

Milton Campbell was born outside of Inverness, Miss, in a shareholder's home. His family moved to nearby Greenville, also in the Mississippi Delta, where he was exposed to blues, gospel and country music at an early age. It was listening to the Grand Ole' Opry that sparked his interest.

Before he bought his first guitar, he fashioned a stringed contraption out of wire nailed to the side of his family's house. Growing up poor, he secretly worked, picked cotton and taking odd jobs, and saved for a $14.52 Roy Rogers-style guitar from a mail order catalog.

In his youth, Milton began doing apprentice work in local juke joints. "Coming up, I played white honky-tonk clubs on weeknights and black clubs on weekends around the Greenville area," he recalls. Just across the rivet in Helena, Ark., known as the home of King Biscuit" radio shows, Milton found himself playing local gigs with the legendary Sonny Boy Williamson and Willie Love.

His first hit was I'm a Lonely Man, in 1958. In 1965 his song, We're Gonna Make It, was a number hit. Walking the Back Streets and Cryin', That's What Love Will Make You Do and Friend of Mine, were mega-hits from 1971 through 1975. In 1983 he released an album for MCA, Age Ain't Nothin' But A Number, which became an instant hit.

He received the 1988 W. C. Handy Blues Entertainer of the Year Award and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

Milton recently moved all of his artistic offices, Camil Productions, to Las Vegas, Nev. After having a home and office in Chicago for several years.

Malcolm Yelvington was born in Tipton County, he grew up in Covington and remained there until moving to Memphis as a young man.

His first professional performance was as a solo act at the Gem Theatre in Covington in 1943. He sang and accompanied himself on guitar. Later, he met keyboard player and composer, Reece Fleming, and steel guitar player, Red Wynn, and formed a group, The Tennesseans, who played in dances and honky tonks around West Tennessee. Bassist, Jake Ryles, and lead guitarist, Gordon Mashburn, joined the group and they changed the name of the band to Malcolm Yelvington and The Star Rhythm Boys.

In 1954, Malcolm and The Star Rhythm Boys recorded Drinkin' Wine Spodeeodee, for Sun Records in Memphis. Later, he recorded a hit single, Yakety-Yak, for the Meteor label, under the pseudonym of Mack Sales and the Esquire trio.

Mr. Yelvington spent about 30 years out of the music business, continuing with his musical career after retiring. In 1988, he toured England and Holland, playing to sold out houses every time he performed. One of his shows in Holland was released as a live album on a Dutch record label.

The release of There's A Little Life Left In This Old Boy Yet, marks Malcolm's first domestic release in more then 40 years. The title track was written especially for him by one of his old Sun label mates, Texas rockabilly artist, Mack Stevens. Former Sun rockabilly star, Billy Lee Riley, contributed four original songs to this album, Born To Be A Hillbilly Rockin' Man, Walk, Talk, Sing, Fast Living, and Little Girl of Four, and also contributes vocals and harmonica. Billy Swan, top songwriter, fan and close friend, wrote Make Yourself At Home In My Heart, for the album.

While out of the music business for years, he sang with a gospel group, The Carpenter's Crew.

Malcolm's influences range form poplar music of the 30's and 40's, big ban, Bob Willis and Jimmy Rodgers to Elvis Presley and contemporary music.

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If you enjoy the taste of a tomato, whether ripe or green, you'll not want to miss the annual "tomato tasting" that the Family & Community Education Council of Lauderdale County is planning. The group will showcase recipes made with the famous "Ripley" tomato. They are scheduled to be at all Seessel's stores in Memphis late June and at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center (107 Lafayette Street - Ripley) on Friday, July 10 starting at 11 am until 1:30. Favorites of the tasting are the green tomato pie and fried green tomatoes! Two volumes of recipes featuring tomatoes are available for $7 each from club members. This year interest have been added. There will be fresh produce, home made jellies / jams and other canned vegetables as well as arts and crafts available for purchase. The efforts of the F C E Clubs is in conjunction with the "Tomato Festival of Lauderdale County" -- This year the 15th annual festival will be July 9, 10 and 11 - Ripley, TN

For information call Jane Connell, Extension Home Economist at (901) 635-9551 - Ag Extension Service or Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce (901) 635-9541. Visit the web site at www.lctn.com

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Schedule of Events

Friday, June 19

7:00pmTalent ShowRHS Little Theater
Ripley Merchants & Professionals

Monday July 6

8:00amJunior Golf TournamentRolling Hills Country Club
Lauderdale County Bank

Monday-Friday, July 6-10

Independence Day Tennis TournamentCrichfield Park, Halls

Thursday, July 9 - Growers' Appreciation Day

7:30amPrayer BreakfastRolling Hills Country Club
Union Planters Bank
8:00amArt Exhibit - "Partners in Art"Bank of Ripley Lobby, Court Square
Lauderdale County Councilancil of Arts
9:00amOpening CeremoniesRipley Park Main Stage
9:00amArts, Crafts & Food BoothsRipley Park
9:00amChildren's Games, Petting Zoo & CarnivalRipley Park
1:00pmGolf TournamentRolling Hills Country Club
Exchange Club/Tina Turner Center
2:00pmTomato Contest
Judging biggest, oddest, color, taste
Ripley Park
Union Planters Bank
6:00pmHillbilly Choo-Choo RidesRipley Park
7:00pmGospel Quartet Singing
The Laymen Quartet, Pathway & The Jones Family
Ripley Park MainStage
Todd Uniform

Friday, July 10

8:00amArt Exhibit - "Partners in Art"Bank of Ripley Lobby, Court Square
Lauderdale County Council of Arts
9:00amArts, Crafts & Food BoothsRipley Park
9:00amChildren's Games, Petting Zoo & CarnivalRipley Park
9:00amPublic Book SaleSugar Hill Library
11:00amEducational Exhibit - "Tomatoes"Union Planters Bank, Court Square
UT Extension Service
11:00amTomato TastingFirst Baptist Church Family Life Center
FCE Clubs - UT Extension Services
5:30pmAuctionRipley Park Main Stage
Exchange Club/Tina Turner Center
6:00pmBBQ Cooking ContestRipley Park
6:00pmHillbilly Choo-ChooRipley Park
7:00pmCheerleading & Pom Pom ExhibitionRipley Park
8:00pmPatriotic Program/Community ChorusRipley Park Main Stage
Lauderdale Council of Arts
9:30pmTommy Currie BandRipley Park Main Stage

Saturday, July 11

7:30am5-K Run/WalkFirst United Methodist Church
First Citizens Bank & BMH-Lauderdale
7:30amAction Shooting Pistol ContextFOB Building
8:00amArt Exhibit - "Partners in Art"Bank of Ripley Lobby, Court Square
Lauderdale County Council of Arts
9:00amArts, Crafts & Food BoothsRipley Park
9:00amChildren's Games, Petting Zoo & CarnivalRipley Park
9:00amBaby Crawling ContestRipley Park
Helen R Tucker Adult Developmental Center
9:00amR.A.C.E. Car ShowRipley Park
10:00amPet ShowRipley Park
12:00pmBBQ FinalsRipley Park
5:00pmAuctionRipley Park Main Stage
6:00pmHillbilly Choo-ChooRipley Park
8:00pmMalcolm YelvingtonRipley Park Main Stage
9:00pmLittle MiltonRipley Park Main Stage

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Partners In Art

July 9 through August 12
Lobby of the Bank of Ripley - 134 N. Jefferson - Ripley, TN

The Lauderdale County Council of Arts invites you to attend the "Partners in Art" Exhibit. Through funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission the council was able to promote a collaboration whereby a local art student was paired with a professional artist to create work for the show.

The students spent time at the artists' studios working side by side with them. Each will exhibit work in their medium.

Beginning Thursday, July 9, 1998 and continuing through August 12, the show will be open to the public during the banking hours at 134 N. Jefferson Street (8-5 daily and 8-12 Saturday). An invitational premier opening will be held Saturday, July 11, 1998 in the lobby of the Bank of Ripley (Court Square). More that 40 pieces will be exhibited and some will be for sale.

Professional Artists:

Student Artists:

Tim AndrewsDonald Williams
Martiza DavilaMatt Harper
Carol DeForestSara Pilcher
Gwen EnglishThomas Anderson
Jay EtkinAngela Pugh
Herbert FeistLeslie Voss
Tom LeeTyler White
Annabel MeachamNicholas Hayes
Nancy NecausMichael Vowell
Sherri RiethWillew Bonds
Murry RissDale Taylor
Dolph SmithSelena Webb
Charles TuthillBeth Climer
Barbara WalkerDavis Dearth
Pam WebbSally Hartman
Also showing:
Natalie Smith
Paul Hansbrough
April Permenter

This exhibit is curated by Jessie and Dolph Smith. For information contact Jessie Smith (901) 635-4959 or the Bank of Ripley (901) 635-1230

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