East Side BID
Press Release

The East Side’s 10th Annual Tomato Romp Festival

The Tomato Romp is North America’s first rotten tomato fight for a good cause.

By - Aug 31st, 2016 10:49 am
Tomato Rom

Tomato Rom

Join us in celebration of the 10th Annual Tomato Romp Festival on September 10th on Milwaukee’s East Side in a day of eating, drinking and throwing over-ripe tomatoes. The Tomato Romp is North America’s first rotten tomato fight for a good cause with proceeds donated to the Hunger Task Force to help end hunger in our community. The day’s activities include a Bloody Mary Challenge among 12 East North Avenue establishments, the first unveiling of the Black Cat Alley’s large-scale street art mural installations, live music and a procession of all tomato fighters led by the Milwaukee Buck’s Bango, Milwaukee Bucks Dancers and Bucks Beats Drumline. Tomato Romp registration begins at 10 a.m., with Bloody Mary’s served from 11 AM to 3 PM at participating East Side Bars. The Tomato Fight will commence at 4 PM on E. Ivanhoe Place. Attendees can view Black Cat Alley street art murals in the alley between E. Ivanhoe Pl. and Kenilworth Blvd. The Tomato Romp is hosted by the East Side Business Improvement District.

Registration 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Register for the Tomato Fight and get your Bloody Mary voting ballot in the Beans & Barley parking lot 1901 E. North Ave.

Best Bloody Mary Challenge 11 a.m – 3 p.m.

The 10th annual Best Bloody Mary challenge takes place among 12 of the East Side’s favorite bars and restaurants. Those of legal drinking age can purchase an official Tomato Romp! ballot in advance by visiting www.tomatoromp.com or on September 10th in front of Beans & Barley. A ballot purchase of $25 entitles the ‘voter’ a 5 oz Bloody Mary sample and beer chaser from each of the participating establishments. Voting then begins at 3 p.m. with the crowning of the East Side’s Bloody Mary judges champion at 4 PM and the fan favorite will be announced a few days after the event.

Costume Contest & Procession to Tomato Fight 3:30 p.m.

It has become a tradition for many tomato fight fans to dress in costume for the fight. This year all tomato fighters are invited to return back to the registration area near Beans & Barley 1901 E. North Ave by 3:30 p.m. to be led by a surprise band in a sidewalk procession to the Tomato Fight. A Best Costume prize will be awarded during opening ceremonies.

The Rotten Tomato Fight to help end hunger in our community 4 p.m.

This year our sponsor Maglio & Company will provide 8,000 lbs of inedible, over-ripe tomatoes for the Tomato Fight. There is an entrance fee of $10 and it includes a pair of goggles & a free T-shirt, with all fight proceeds donated to the Hunger Task Force. Ten years ago Milwaukee was the first in America to host a Rotten Tomato Fight, inspired by La Tomatina in Spain, and now the event is imitated in cities across the country. The tomatoes will fly, splatter and smash on E. Ivanhoe Place (just south the Educators Credit Union building on E. Ivanhoe Place and Prospect Ave.)

Registration details: Must be 16 or older to participate. Advanced registration is available by visiting www.tomatoromp.com and in-person registration begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 10th in the Beans & Barley parking lot at 1901 E. North Ave. A wash-off station will be hosted by Educators Credit Union 2243 N. Prospect Ave.  THE FIGHT IS FREE TO WATCH!

Black Cat Alley Art

View the first unveiling of large-scale street art murals in the Black Cat Alley during the Tomato Romp Festival! Follow on-site signage to view the first five Black Cat Alley artists’ installations and view internationally renowned graffiti and street art muralist MTO’s recent completion of his first full-color and self-portrait titled A French man in Milwaukee. Please find the map of the Black Cat Alley here

Live Music

Shake your tomato throughout the Tomato Romp festivities with live music beginning at 11:00am. FM 102.1 will also provide music from 2 – 5 PM near the Black Cat Alley and Tomato Fight cage on E. Ivanhoe Place


Tomato Romp is sponsored by Educators Credit Union, Maglio Companies, Hunger Task Force, Milwaukee Brewing Company, Absolut Vodka, FM 102.1 Milwaukee Radio, Milwaukee Record and Info* Magazine.

For more information, visit www.tomatoromp.com or call 414-272-5823.

The East Side BID

The East Side Business Improvement District #20 manages and promotes the thriving commercial district along E. North Ave. on Milwaukee’s East Side and provides neighborhood enhancement programs, event production, business recruitment and economic development for the area. Visit theeastside.org for more information.

Tomato Romp Festival

Tomato Romp is Wisconsin’s only tomato festival, most known for its Rotten Tomato Fight for Hunger. The East Side was the first in North America to create a celebration of the tomato and tomato fight inspired by La Tomatina Fight in Spain. 10 years later it’s now replicated in cities across America. 8,000 pounds of over-ripe tomatoes are donated by Maglio Companies for the fight, with the fight proceeds donated to the Hunger Task Force. Visit www.tomatoromp.com for more information.

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