Go Forth and Be Fruitful 

The Grape and the Tomato once again meet on the field of honor.

Festival of the Grape

1) Sixteen Virginia wineries will be there, from Barboursville to Peaks of Otter, with 100 wines. Think how many times you can announce "Robust, yet heady."

2) Musical highlights include Steve Bassett and Ammon Tharpe, aka The Mystic Soul Bubbas. Music and wine: Go ahead, call it a cheap second honeymoon.

3) Crafts, art and food will be for sale, because everybody knows wine makes people suggestible.

4) The festival is set in lovely, fast-developing Powhatan. See it before it becomes the suburbs.

5) It'll be more sophisticated than a hot-dog eating contest.

Shockoe Tomato Festival

1) Tomatoes can and will be made into anything: sandwiches, ice-cream sundaes, fried, baked and sold on the vine.

2) The Richmond Jazz Society's Make Music With Me Band, Dixie Power Trio and Page Wilson with Reckless Abandon perform for the tomato-intoxicated masses.

3) The Hot Tomato Talent Show: people dressed as tomatoes doing tricks. Here's your chance to show the world your Barbra Streisand repertoire.

4) Ask a contestant in vines and red tights: "Who are you wearing?"

5) It'll be more appealing than the Shockoe Haggis Festival.

Then again, there may be time to go to both. The Festival of the Grape runs 11 a.m.-7 p.m. in Powhatan's Courthouse Square. Tickets are $20. 794-1555, ext. 416. The Shockoe Tomato Festival runs 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the 17th Street Farmers' Market. Admission is free. Call 646-0477 or visit www.17thstreetfarmersmarket.com. — Brandon


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