Throughout the week, enjoy 16 Farm-to-Table Restaurant Week menus that highlight local farms and artisans with our region’s premier chefs. Also, enjoy 12 Craft Cocktail Competition mixologists, and get a Tom Tom Cocktail–each specialty drink features at least one local ingredient. Make sure to review the cocktail online afterwards.
On Monday, kick-off the festival with our Future Forum: the Creative Economy 2025, which features some of the area’s most innovative leaders, including Hunter Smith of Champion Brewing Company, sharing their vision for the future of the City. It’s a free event that offers a thought-provoking way to start the week.
Tuesday starts with Will Work For Food, a food business summit that aims to help those in the Charlottesville community and beyond who are starting their own food businesses. Morning sessions will focus on topics pertinent to start-up entrepreneurs and afternoon sessions will cater to more established food businesses.
Tuesday evening, enjoy a free Boyd Tinsley with Crystal Gardens concert at the Paramount Theater. As a founding member of Dave Matthews Band, Boyd Tinsley’s violin is indelibly linked to DMB’s sound. The Grammy award winning artist has helped propel the band to become the biggest worldwide ticket-seller of the past decade. This evening offers an introduction to one Boyd’s projects, Crystal Garden. Seats are limited, enter the free ticket lottery here.
On Wednesday evening, after dinner and a cocktail, come to the Crowdfunded Pitch Night. This high-energy event features 10 local entrepreneurs, artists, and nonprofits who compete for votes from the crowd. The pitch with the most votes wins either $5,000 or a spot at the i.Lab at UVA, a startup incubator at UVA’s Darden School of Business. Many of the competitors are food-based startups, so if you’re interested in future of food in Cville, the Crowdfunded Pitch Night is a can’t miss event.
Friday is a packed day, with the Founders Summit starting at 9 and the Friday Night Block Party following at 5PM. The Founders Summit is Tom Tom’s marquee event and combines talks, competitions, and exclusive access to leading founders. Specifically relevant to foodies, Founders Summit attendees have exclusive access to industry-specific Summit Luncheons, which offer an opportunity to meet and make connections with speakers and other attendees. The Making Local Food First For All luncheon explores how eating local can become the norm, not the exception.
After the Founders Summit, head over to Lee Park for the Friday Night Block Party. With amazing free concerts, a New Belgium Craft Beer Garden, and the best food trucks in Charlottesville, the first of the weekend’s block parties will be the perfect way to kick-off the weekend.
Saturday is a full day of food and fun, starting at the Charlottesville City Market with the Iron Chef Competition and Local Food Expos at 9AM. The Iron Chef Competition challenges six sous chefs to create a dish that is 100% locally-sourced. The six contestants will each have a $50 budget, 35 minutes to tour the farmer’s market, and just 30 minutes to cook, before presenting their dishes to a formidable panel of local food celebs.
After the competition, walk down to Main Street Arena for the Downtown Chili Showdown, which features dozens of chilis made by both homegrown and professional chefs. In addition to chili, Red Shoe Cville will be hosting their 2nd annual Brew Ha Ha!, packing the house with local beers that raise money for the Ronald McDonald House of Charlottesville.
Staring at noon in Lee Park, join the Saturday Block Party for a massive fleaVILLE, more great free concerts, local food trucks, and some truly outstanding art events. Starting at 6PM, there’ll also be a Sunset Concert with two of the biggest acts at Tom Tom: The Big Takeover and Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds. Sister Sparrow has been shooting into the spotlight recently, playing 150+ shows last year, including Bonnaroo, Firefly, and Austin City Limits.
After the concert, there’ll be a film screening in the park. We’re collaborating with Virginia Film Festival to show CLAW, the award-winning documentary that charts the origins and growth of Charlottesville’s Collective of Lady Arm Wrestlers (CLAW), with many special cameos throughout the night! When the raucous show ends, we’ll have a nighttime parade up the mall to an afterparty at Mono Loco, led by local favorite Elby Brass Band.
During the Sunday Picnic Day, join friends and neighbors for public art, live music, top notch food, and a giant New Belgium craft beer garden. To conclude the Festival, Tom Tom is hosting a giant picnic throughout Lee Park. Bring your civic group, art group, student organization, business, or family and celebrate the start of Spring with your community. Tom Tom’s final block party closes the week with all-local bluegrass, indie rock, and country.