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State Fair; Virginia Garlic Festival 

Tastemakers

The State Fair is back, and just in time, too. It's really been a drag these past few months, what with all the fresh vegetables and ripe fruit summer offers. If you're looking to purge yourself of all that health and energy, the State Fair will do it. Any of the deep-fryer stands will work, but good Lord, don't ever venture behind one.

Probably you should get some pizza when you arrive in the morning, since pepperoni pizza, as we all know, contains all four food groups, and breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Adding a side order of jumbo fries at 10 a.m. will show the more timid fairgoers that you mean business. From there you really can't go wrong. The State Fair of Virginia returns to the former fairgrounds on Strawberry Hill Sept. 27 through Oct. 7.

It's not the St. Patrick's Day Parade by any means, but the Virginia Garlic Festival returns this year to Rebec Vineyards in Amherst on Oct. 13 and 14. A garlic festival? All we can do is repeat the information given to us: First of all, there will be contests, and plenty of them. There's the obligatory garlic cook-off, the garlic king, queen and junior miss pageants, best garlic costume and biggest garlic bulb. There will be people walking around with T-shirts that say things like "So Much Garlic, So Little Time," and "Bark If You Love Garlic!" (for real).

The festival's promoters are also promising music, entertainment and some things to keep kids occupied. Visit www.rebecwinery.com or call (434) 946-5168 for more information.

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