Next month, Austin will host the Gelato World Tour, an international competition that pits gelato makers from five continents against one another to find the best gelato in the world.

Austin is the only North American stop on the eight-city tour, which has already passed through Rome, Valencia, Melbourne and Dubai. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place May 9 to 11 at Republic Square Park downtown and will feature 16 gelato makers from the U.S. and Canada competing to win the title of best gelato in the continent. Three of the tour winners will then compete in the finals in Rimini, Italy, later in the year.

Teo, the gelato shop at 1206 W. 38th St. that Matthew and Anna Lee opened in 2003, is the only Austin gelateria competing in the contest.

"The city’s interest in diverse food experiences, healthy lifestyle, artistic culture and desire for high-quality locally-sourced food ingredients made Austin the perfect choice for our competition," Achille Sassoli, Gelato World Tour director, said in a press release.

At the event, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, the audience can watch the competitors make their products and take hands-on workshops from Carpigiani Gelato University instructors to learn how to make it at home. Tasting tickets cost $10.