So it has taken me a couple of days to recuperate from my weekend, but here I am. And what I'm here to tell you is that I did check out the Tomato Art Fest (tomatoartfest.com) and it didn't disappoint. Of course, this festival happens in East Nashville (or as the locals call it, "East Nasty") so my first challenge was just to find it! Not being an East Nashvillian and definitely being someone who can easily get lost in her own neighborhood meant that it was almost a given that I would have problems and I did. But I'm a smart cookie (despite the way it might look given that I failed to map out a route to my planned destination BEFORE hitting the road) and I eventually stopped my aimless wandering, checked my phone for directions, figured out the location of the festival and headed that direction. (Of course, you would think that a festival wouldn't be the easiest thing to hide, but, by the time I found it, I was beginning to think that was exactly what had happened. I was becoming convinced that it had been hidden and only the locals knew where to find it! Fortunately for me, that was not true at all.)
Anyway, once the car was parked (another challenge made more challenging by the fact that I was unfamiliar with the area) and I was heading toward the festival itself my frustrations became a distant memory pretty quickly. The proof that the tomato is "a uniter - not a divider" could not have been more obvious than it was here at this festival built around that idea. That was made clear by the throngs of people checking out the booths advocating green living and social consciousness and the tomato art despite the heat. (Even though several people I spoke with assured me that today was not nearly as hot a day as the festival day has been in the past, I think that everyone there was still pretty much a stewed tomato by the time it was all said and done. But you could tell that everyone was having a fun time while stewing.) A fair number of the festival goers were still decked out in their best tomato garb after having participated (I assumed) in the parade that had kicked off the day. Beer was flowing and music was playing. It was awesome, I tell you. With my love of art festivals(and the tomato!), I was in heaven (although, with the heat, you might have thought it would have been another less desirable locale. Have I mentioned that it was a little hot??)
I didn't take in the parade or the beauty pageant that would be held later in the day. I just checked out the vendors and made sure to tour Art & Invention Gallery (the people responsible for putting this event on in the first place) and then headed for the house. Yes, I was a wimp in the face of the heat. I admit it. But, before leaving, I did make sure I found my friend, Courtney Loving (owner of Hardware Designs), to check out her cool jewelry and I was lucky enough to accidentally discover that another one of my favorite jewelry artists, Katie Sasser, was also there so I could say hello and savor the eye candy that is her booth for a few minutes, too. All in all, I definitely understand how this festival has become the go-to event in August in Nashville. I can tell you right now that I'll be stewing again next year right along with everyone else and loving every minute of it!