Photo: Jacksonville, Texas, the self-proclaimed “Tomato Capital of Texas,” has decorated its downtown businesses and neighborhoods with large tomato sculptures for a decade. 

 

Dave Rogers

For The Record

 

They don’t call it Orange for nothing and the future is looking bright and orange with big and heavy oranges.

The Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce rolled out its “The Orange Grove” project Tuesday, selling 650-pound, 30-inches-across concrete oranges “to promote pride and beautification in Orange County.”

“This is a project for community beautification that has been in the works for four years,” Kris Kovatch, project coordinator, said.

“These concrete oranges can be decorated, within city guidelines, something to tie the communities together.”

Ida Schossow, chamber president, joined Kovatch Tuesday. They said their idea was borrowed from similar civic projects in Texas — decorated tomatoes in Jacksonville, the self-described “Tomato Capital of Texas;” decorated frogs in McKinney – and decorated cows in Chicago.

These sculptures are placed outside businesses and homes, each decorated by the individual displaying it.

Kovatch said the sculptures would be designed and molded in Indiana.

The cost to buy one is $250 for Chamber members. Non-members of the Chamber can purchase one for $500, with the purchase price including a one-year membership in the Chamber.

Brad Childs of Childs Building Supply has volunteered to deliver the unpainted sculptures, and serve as purchase point for the paints to decorate the oranges.

Delivery should begin this fall. A smaller, paperweight sized orange sculpture will also be available, Chamber officials said.

Orangefield schools superintendent Stephen Patterson is chairman of the Chamber board for 2019.