Tomato Art Fest
Tomato Art Fest returns August 10th and 11th, 2018 for the 15th year! Located in Historic East Nashville’s Five Points, this free, costume-encouraged event provides a wildly entertaining, fun-filled day for all types and all-ages. A community builder, Tomato Art Fest has steadily drawn larger crowds with each passing year. In 2017, an estimated 60,000 came to celebrate this beloved fruit / vegetable and enjoy the day’s memorable festivities.
The Fest was founded by Meg and Bret MacFadyen, owners of East Nashville’s Art and Invention Gallery. In 2004, the gallery hosted an art show celebrating the tomato in late summer, and planned a few neighborhood events to promote the show. The Tomato Art Fest proved so popular that it immediately turned into an annual, signature event for the hip, urban neighborhood of East Nashville.
The essence of Tomato Art Fest can really be found in the array of wacky & hilarious contests, and the Push, Pull & Wear Parade kicking off tomato weekend, full of floats and costumes. This year, (year fifteen!), the festival is boldly reaching for a world record attempt for the Most People Dressed in Tomato Gear (wish us luck!), and TURBO Nashville, part of the Nashville Civic Design Center 's Reclaiming Public Space initiative, is back this year with their incredible installation of tactical urbanism dedicated to improving our community's built environment. True to our namesake, the ART gets a big part of the tomato spotlight, where Art & Invention showcases over 300 tomato-inspired pieces throughout the weekend.
There are a few new features to get excited about, starting with an improved V.I.T. Area ("Very Important Tomato") with tons of perks and refuge from the August sun. The festival will have SIX stages this year, to include the 37206 Stage presented by Xfinity, and a Cooking Stage added for tomato-based cooking demonstrations! We've also formally graduated to a Bloody Mary Stage to host our infamous Tomato Art Fest Bloody Mary Competition with 3Crow Bar. The Woodland Stage presented by Basement East is new this year at 10th & Woodland, along with a Cold Lunch Recordings Stage at Woodland & 12th, and the longtime favorite Muddy Roots Stage will return and is always a big hit! Keep an eye out for our Bloody Mary Garden Party in the Grassy Knoll that will offer an exciting new festival experience!
The local Nashvillians behind this beloved event strive to improve the festival each year in all areas, while keeping the character of Tomato Art Fest the same familiar fun that Nashville has known and loved for 15 years. Welcoming organic growth (and no shortage of tomato puns!) while sticking close to traditions is something the festival excels at thanks to active community participation.