There’s really nothing worse than a tasteless tomato. Bred for grocery store shelves, today’s tomatoes are mealy, tough, and sad representations of their former selves, which is why we should thank our farmers for resurrecting the tastiest heirloom varieties ever grown.

This weekend, Columbia will do just that at the 3rd Annual Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival. Slow Food Columbia and Sustainable Midlands will host the event Sunday, July 15 at the urban farm City Roots.

They’ll have free heirloom tomato tastings, a tomato contest, live music, high-quality food and drink vendors, tomato bobbing, and a tomato potluck.

The music starts at 4 p.m. with DJ Scott Padgett and various bands which will be playing until the festival ends at 9 p.m. Food includes a tomato sandwich bar by Rosewood Market, local food trucks, some good beer and wine, and much more.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. Kids 12 and under (and with an adult) get in free. If you’re interested in the 4 p.m. VIP tomato potluck — which sounds pretty awesome — bring $20 and your own creative tomato dish that features at least one sustainable ingredient. For tickets and more information, visit

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