On Saturday, Sept. 8, tomatoes will fly when the Annual Tomato Romp Festival returns for its 12th year. This year, all proceeds from the tomato fight are being donated to the Riverwest Food Pantry.
The Rotten Tomato Fight for Hunger takes place on Milwaukee’s East Side every year and is North America’s first Tomatina-inspired rotten tomato fight. The proceeds from each year are donated to help end hunger in Milwaukee’s communities.
The goal this year is to raise $3,000 for Riverwest Food Pantry’s Healthy Food Fund. The Fund aims to lessen low-income communities’ reliance on food that is unhealthy but affordable.
“At the Riverwest Food Pantry we’ve made a commitment to our community that we will promote and distribute the healthiest food possible,” stated Vincent Noth, Executive Director of the Riverwest Food Pantry, in a press release. “That’s why we distribute more than 60,000 pounds (and growing) of fresh produce, and a growing portion of the 260,000 pounds of food our 12,000 shoppers access annually is low sodium, no sugar and whole grain.”
Also returning to the Tomato Romp is the Absolut Vodka Bloody Mary Challenge. Eight East North Ave. establishments will compete for the title of “best Absolut Bloody Mary.” The crowd and a panel of a celebrity judges will vote. The winner of the People’s Choice will be the featured drink at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts during their production of Something Rotten (Oct. 16–21, 2018).
Challenge ballots can be purchased in advance by visiting tomatoromp.com or on Sept. 8 at the registration desk located on the corner of North and Farwell Ave. The ballots run for $25 and includes a 5 oz Bloody Mary sample from each competing bar.
The Tomato Romp registration begins at 10 a.m. The Bloody Mary challenge will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at participating bars. The Rotten Tomato Fight for Hunger will begin at 4 p.m. on N. Murray Ave. between E. North Ave. and E. Thomas Ave. Register for the Rotten Tomato Fight by tomatoromp.com or in-person beginning at 10 a.m.