Tasty Tomato Festival returns

cherokee purples BIG

Cherokee Purple tomatoes will be one of many varieties available. | Photo provided by Sustainable Midlands

Here Saturday, gone tomato 🍅

The 11th annual Tasty Tomato Festival returns on Sat., July 23, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. for a block-party-style event in the Cottontown neighborhood. Since the festival took a few years off and has changed locations, we wanted to give you a slice of what to expect at this year’s fest.

Get your salt and pepper shakers ready; let’s taste some tomatoes.

Friday Night Kick-off Party

The Friday kick-off party is a first for the festival and will take place at Gardener’s Outpost from 6-8 p.m. The event will serve as a fundraiser for Sustainable Midlands, the nonprofit that hosts the festival and works to create sustainability across the Midlands through advocacy, education, and celebration.

Your $50 ticket to the event includes:

  • Your Saturday festival entry
  • Live music by Parker’s Back
  • Small bites by Dupre Catering
  • Two drink tickets
Concerts in Cottontown

Tasty Tomato Festival will take place on Sumter Street in front of Indah for the first time. | Photo provided by Sustainable Midlands

🥪 Tasty Tomato Festival rundown

Arrival | Free street parking is available in the neighborhood, but carpooling is encouraged. Colatown Bike Collective will host a bike valet in the Sherwin Williams parking lot, and bikers will receive a day-of discount of $10, instead of $15. A limited number of handicap spaces will be available at 2200 Sumter St.

Bonus: Blue Bike SC will have a pop-up with BCBS bikes and a promo code for a two-hour free ride.

Where to enter | Entrances are located on Sumter Street at Franklin Street + Sumter Street at Jefferson Street.

Tomato tasting | The tomato tasting will take place inside of NoMa Warehouse so you can stay cool while you taste different types of SC grown tomatoes.

Eat | Around 40 vendors will be on hand, and four food vendors, that will feature specialty tomato dishes for sale like Rambo’s Fat Cat Biscuit’s tomato biscuit and Il Focolari serving heirloom tomato personal pizza pies.

Drink | Both NoMa Warehouse + Indah Coffee will be serving a variety of beer and other beverages. Plus, Lemonade Paradise will be on hand serving slushies to wash down those tomatoes.

Music | Live music is a big part of the festival, featuring eight acts at three locations — Indah Coffee’s outside stage, inside of NoMa Warehouse, and at Gardener’s Outpost. Click here for the full lineup.

For the kids | Cola Bounce House and the Environmental Educators of SC will have activities, along with a face painter. Admission is free for Kids 10 and under.

Following the mission of Sustainable Midlands, Resoil Compost will bring its composting truck to haul away food waste, and the City of Columbia will have the Water Monster on site, so bring your own reusable water bottle.

More information and tickets are available here, or at the gate on Saturday.

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