It's Tomato Time! Our Picks for What Not to Miss

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When I was in Chicago last weekend for Lollapalooza, I was telling a friend about the upcoming Tomato Art Festival. A rather eavesdroppy barista appeared to be hanging on my every word, and my suspicions of his nosiness were confirmed when he asked, "Where is this? Is it this weekend? Can I still get tickets?"

I guess the polite Southern thing would have been to invite him to our beloved fest — hey, he was cute! — because the poor guy looked thoroughly disappointed when I explained it was in Nashville.

"I've heard Nashville is really cool," he said. "I've been meaning to get down there with my band."

Sigh. That felt like home.

Anyway, we know that the Tomato Art Fest, commonly known as Tomatofest, is pretty damn special. I mean, you guys have named it your "Best Festival" in the Scene's Best of Nashville Reader's Poll for the past five years.

Last year, 18,000 people hit the streets of East Nash to celebrate everyone's favorite fruit. As one of those 18,000, I can attest — it was hot. HOT. After wrapping the Tomato 5K, I ran home to shower, which was pointless, and came back to join my sweaty compadres in enjoying everything from Bloody Mary contests to doggie fashion shows. (Side note: The official rules of the Faux Paws Fashion Show state that any pet is eligible to compete. Nashville, I beg of you, please bring your tiny pigs, your mini-horses, and your monkeys!)

So, if you're heading east tomorrow — and you should be, because the weather is going to be awesome — here are five things you don't want to miss:

1. Tomato 5K, 7:30 a.m. at the corner of Woodland and 10th: Even if you didn't get a chance to participate in East Nasty's pre-race "Potato To Tomato" training, you can probably handle a simple 5K, right? No? Well, then, get up early and watch it, because people are dressed all kinds of crazy and the course winds through the beautiful Lockeland Springs neighborhood. There's also a kids' run at 7:00 a.m.

2. Giant Ice Cream Sundae Extravaganza, 12:00 p.m. at Pied Piper Creamery: If the name alone doesn't make you want to scream and run across the river to Pied Piper, we probably can't be friends. This is a kid-friendly event where kids ages 2-10 get to build the largest ice cream sundae in East Nashville. (Those above the age of 10, don't fret: I am pretty sure adults get to eat ice cream, too.)

3. Bloody Mary Competition, 3:00 p.m. at 3 Crow Bar: If you're more into vodka than ice cream, head to 3 Crow to find out who has the best Bloody Mary recipe in the land. And if you did partake in that giant ice cream sundae thing? Maybe take it easy on the vodka ...

4. All East Fashion Show, 4:00 p.m. at The Clearview Stage behind Margot: This runway show is super fun because it features a bunch of hot eastside models ... and probably a lot of people you recognize. This is Nashville, after all!

5. Wet Burrito Contest, 5:00 p.m. at Nuvo Burrito: Normally, "wet burrito" means you smother that puppy in a bunch of red sauce. Not today. Nuvo Burrito challenges contenders to eat a burrito the fastest ... while being hosed down with water. Who doesn't want to watch that?

Check out this week's Scene for a full guide, festival map, and other fun stuff. Or, reference the official Tomato Art Fest site.

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