Massive tomato fight invades downtown Minneapolis Saturday

Categories: Festivals
tomato fight 1.jpg
A Frame Forward Photography
Related stories:
Midwest Tomato Fest gets messy (2011 slideshow)

What do you get when you take 60,000 tomatoes, give them to 5,000 pumped up, sweaty people, and give them the green light to wreak havoc on each other? Downtown Minneapolis is about to find out.

This Saturday, the second-annual Midwest Tomato Fest takes place on Portland Avenue in downtown, culminating with the biggest, messiest tomato fight you've ever seen. Last year, the event attracted over 2,500 to Afton Alps, and this year organizers are expecting double that number.

"We really wanted to do it downtown this year and make it more accessible for people," says Kamal Mohamed, one of the event organizers. "We already have more tickets sold than we did last year, and we'll probably get a lot of people who buy on the day-of too."

In addition to the fight (which isn't mandatory for attendees), the all-day festival will feature live music from Absolute Gruv, The Blend, DJ Zeke Thomas, Gemini Club, and Tim Sigler band, along with food trucks from Barrio, World Street Kitchen, and Nate Dogs that will be on-site to fuel battlers before the rumble as well. But really, this is all about the tomatoes.

tomato fight 2.jpeg
A Frame Forward Photography
Much like the annual La Tomatina festival in Spain (which Mohamed says served as the inspiration for the Minnesota-version), the streets will be flooded red with tens of thousands of tomatoes. But fear not, acidic fruit lovers: Just like last year no healthy tomatoes will be harmed during the course of the massacre.

"The tomatoes we're using are overripe and past the date they can be sold to people," Mohamed explains. "They are going to be thrown away anyways, so the wholesalers agree to sell them to us instead." 

In addition, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless, a local non-profit that helps feed those in need.

Based on the impressive growth they've seen in just two short years, Mohamed says they may expand the fest outside of Minnesota next year. For now, however, he's just looking to make this year's event as big and messy as possible. 

"Everyone who went last year seemed to have a great time, and it's been really cool to have people asking about it, posting pictures on their Facebooks, and telling us that they're excited to be there. It's going to be a lot of fun, and I think that having it downtown is going to make it even better."

The event kicks off at noon and will conclude with the fight around 7 p.m. Clean-up stations will be available on-site as well, so you can avoid having to drive home looking like Carrie. Grab your goggles, and get ready for the messiest day of your life this Saturday.

Check out a preview of the fruit-fight happening Saturday:



IF YOU GO:

Midwest Tomato Festival
Saturday, July 14; noon to 7 p.m.
395 Portland Avenue S., Minneapolis
$40 admission; all ages
Click here to learn more

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Midwest Tomato Fest Event Site

395 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN

Category: General

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11 comments
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LB2
LB2

I got free tickets to this. It is my understanding that the tomatoes used are not edible any longer and that is why they are used to throw at people. I am not a binge drinking self absorbed hipster but I do think it would be enjoyable to throw rotting fruit at my boyfriend. He loves lycopenes.

Gay Ted
Gay Ted

Binge drinking,self absorbed Hipsters are the ones who find this event enjoyable..Everyone else is more mature.

LerpDerp
LerpDerp

Consider it a hosted concert event and you'll be able to sleep at night, Rusty. 

Rusty Shackleford
Rusty Shackleford

Hey Lepderp, Huh? Do me a favor. While you are throwing your $40 worth of rotten tomatos on Saturday look up for a few seconds and glance over at People Serving People on 3rd and Portland. That is where you can go to help the homeless if you are serious. Midwest Tomato Fest is a for profit enterprise that is using the homeless as a ruse to make money.

Gay Ted
Gay Ted

2 years ago,late on a Sunday evening following the Pride parade,myself & 7 other guys took turns shooting our hot,creamy loads all over one another..Most of the "proceeds" from that evening landed on my smiling face.

LerpDerp
LerpDerp

1.) Google "Tomatina" and learn a little about cultural history around the world. 2.) The word "offensive" means nothing.  None of us care that you don't know how to control emotions over something as innocuous as this... 3.) Throw out your ironic bit at the end along with a rotten tomato next time you consider trolling.

Rusty Shackleford
Rusty Shackleford

Publicizing that a "portion" of the proceeds will be donated to Open Your Heart For The Hungry and Homeless isn't the same thing as a benefit. Hey if you are looking for an actual benefit for Open Your Heart To The Hungry and Homeless this weekend head to State Fair Park on 7/15 for The Color Run. Just because I find throwing food offensive when we live in a world where people go hungry don't let me stop anyone from having fun and hopefully raising some money no matter how ironic the mechanism may appear.

Jessica Armbruster
Jessica Armbruster

Rusty, I have nothing to do with the ticket price of the event. As it says in the piece, it's also a daylong a music festival and a benefit party for a local homeless organization. The food fight caps off the event, and was quite popular last year. Pre-sale tickets were $25... before July 7.

jimn
jimn

What exactly is the purpose of a snowball fight?  Pillow fight?

Guest
Guest

 To give internet commenters something to bitch about.

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