It all started in 2004, when Meg and Bret MacFayden, owners of the Art and Invention Gallery, hosted an art show that celebrated the tomato, and they held a few events to promote it. It was so popular that it soon became an annual tradition. Today, the free event welcomes patrons who want to enjoy tomato art and other tomato-themed activities. Some even show up donning tomato apparel or costumes.
There are several events and activities to explore at the Tomato Art Festival, such as the redhead competition, a parade, the Faux Paw Pet Fashion Show, and a bloody Mary contest. New in 2018, there will be a Bloody Mary Garden Party where participants can try different bloody mary drink mixes. Attendees will also want to stop by the Tomato Art Preview Party, which features more than 300 pieces of tomato-inspired art.
Many of the traditional contests and events are expected to return, such as the recipe contest, bobbing for tomatoes and the Tomato Art Kidfest. The 15th annual Tomato Art Festival is scheduled to take place August 10-11.