7th Year For America’s First Tomato Fight, Tomato Chomp Crawl Added

The 7th Annual Tomato Romp!, Wisconsin’s only celebration dedicated to the mighty tomato, returns on September 14th on Milwaukee’s East Side in a day of eating, drinking and throwing tomatoes. In addition to America’s first Rotten Tomato Fight and the Best Bloody Mary Competition, East Side chefs are preparing special small plate tomato dishes as part of the new ‘Tomato Chomp’ Crawl to show off the food of area restaurants, in partnership with Milwaukee Food Tours. Tomato Romp!  runs 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on E. North Avenue between Prospect and Oakland Aves and is hosted by the East Side Business Improvement District. Other activities include the East Side Green Market with a special Tomato Edition at 10 a.m., a tomato-inspired plein air art station on Farwell & North Ave, live music, costume contest and a procession of all tomato fighters led by the Samba Unit of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. 

The East Side Green Market Tomato Edition 10 a.m. -2 p.m.

Featuring locally grown produce from right here in Milwaukee, local artists, designers/craftspeople and great local entertainment in the Beans & Barley parking lot 1901 E. North Ave.

Tomato Chomp Crawl  11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

This is a new event in partnership with Milwaukee Food Tours to showcase the food of the East Side and offer people the chance to stroll and sample small plates at their own pace from nine different restaurants: Beans & Barley Divino Wine & Dine, Love Handle, Melthouse Bistro, Ian’s Pizza, Two Bucks, School Yard Bar & Grill, G-Daddy’s BBC and Chubby’s. 

 *Same day tickets will be available beginning at 10 a.m. near Beans & Barley 1901 E. North Ave

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

The seventh annual Best Bloody Mary competition takes place among 15 of the East Side’s favorite bars and restaurants. Those of legal drinking age can purchase an official Tomato Romp! ballot in advance or on September 14th in front of Beans & Barley. A ballot purchase of $20 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 champion and fan favorite announced before the Tomato Fight at 4 p.m.  Last year’s winners were Yield (Judges’ Choice) and Vitucci’s (Fan Favorite).  

 * Same day tickets still available beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday 9/14

In-Person Registration:  Saturday September 14th 10 a.m.  

1901 E. North Ave
between Beans & Barley and Von Trier  


*New* 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 the Samba Unit of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in a sidewalk procession to the Tomato Fight. A Best Costume prize will be awarded during opening ceremonies.

 Rotten Tomato Fight    4 p.m.

This year our sponsor Maglio & Company will provide 8,000 lbs of inedible tomatoes for the Infamous Rotten Tomato Fight. There is an entrance fee of $10 and it includes a pair of goggles & a free T-shirt, with proceeds donated to organizations that fight hunger. Seven years ago Milwaukee was the first in America’s to host a Rotten Tomato Fight, inspired by La Tomatina in Spain, and now the event is imitated in cities across the country. Tomato Romp is often known for the Rotten Tomato Fight, but it comes at the end of the Tomato Romp day. The tomatoes will fly, splatter and smoosh in the parking lot on Murray and Thomas Avenue (behind the US Bank building on Farwell & North Ave.)  A wash-off station will be hosted by Educators Credit Union 2243 N. Prospect Ave. 

Registration details: Must be 16 or older to participate. 

In-Person Registration:  Saturday September 14th 10 a.m.  

1901 E. North Ave
between Beans & Barley and Von Trier  

Tomato Plein Air – Sponsored by Whole Foods

A tomato-inspired plein air station will be located on Farwell & North Avenue, sponsored by Whole Foods.

Live Music

Shake your tomato throughout the Tomato Romp festivities with live music in both the parking lots of Beans & Barley and next to Von Triers both on E. North Ave. 




East Side Green Market 10 a.m. -2 p.m.

Tomato Chomp Crawl 11 a.m- 6 p.m.

Bloody Mary Challenge 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Cast Bloody Mary Challenge Ballots by 3 p.m. 

Tomato Fighter Check Ins: 3 p.m. 

Sidewalk March To Fight: 3:30 p.m. 

TOMATO FIGHT  Opening Ceremony  4 p.m.



Maglio & Co, Skyy Vodka, Milwaukee Brewing Company, Wisconsin Educator's Credit Union, Milwaukee Food Tours, Whole Foods, 102.1FM, 







The 2012 Tomato Romp! featuring the Best Bloody Mary Contest, Rotten Tomato Fight!,  East Side Green Market  and our eclectic commercial district returned to the East Side for the sixth year on Saturday, September 22.  As in previous years, registration began at 10:00 am in front of Beans & Barley.  Cost was $20 per person per ballot and $10 for the Rotten Tomato Fight. 

In the Bloody Mary Contest, the 2011 defending champions were Cans Bar and Canteen (Judges' Choice) and Hotch Spot (Fan Favorite).  Serving ended at 3:00pm, and the 2012 winners were announced before the Tomato Fight.  Participating this year were:  BBC, Cans, Clutch, Hooligans, Hotch Spot, Hotel Foster, Rascals, Replay, Two Bucks, Vintage, Vitucci, Von Triers, and Yield. 

At 4:00pm in the city parking lot at Murray and Thomas, the 2012 winners were crowned.  Fan Favorite was Vitucci's and the Judges' Choice was Yield.  You will find the travelling trophies proudly displayed at those locations until next year.   After the announcement of the Bloody Mary Contest winners, the famous Tomato Fight was set to start. 

Maglio & Company donated over 6,000 pounds of tomatoes for the popular charity event.   Approximately 200 people, most in costumes, ended up in the cage turning those three tons of tomatoes into tomato soup.   All proceeds went towards organizations that help alleviate hunger in our community. 


Here are some pictures of the day!