Tomato festival continues home grown flavor

Tommy for President 2016
VIENNA — On Aug. 20 on the waterside of Vienna, the 5th Annual Great Eastern Shore Tomato Festival will be held from 10 am until 4 pm. An informal flea market will start the day off at daybreak and is being held at the Community Center on Race Street. This event continues to be a family friendly and free event and officially opens with the Mayors’ Tomato Challenge Race.

Continuing in the vein of highlighting local people and their livelihoods, interests and talents, the Timmons Family Bluegrass Band will be on the Gazebo stage from noon until 4 pm. Hailing from North Dorchester, this group is a favorite and features three and four part harmony.

New this year, the Eastern Shore Dance Academy will be performing a variety of dance including ballet, jazz, hip hop and more. In this area of the festival, Chunkin for Charity will be shooting watermelons on behalf of the Dorchester County Historical Society, Inc., which is the sponsoring organization of this event. For $3/shoot or 2/$5, visitors can take aim across the Nanticoke and see their shots make a huge splash.

Nearby vendors of all types will be selling their wares-handmade jewelry, scarves, antiques, collectables, hand painted wooden signs, yard art, wax goodies, sea glass art, decoys, art and much, much more. Meet Tommy the Tomato at the Tasty Tomato Flights and enjoy 4 different recipes for $5. Tommy will be demonstrating how to fry green tomatoes.

Heritage Demonstrators include the Heritage Fiber guild, showcasing their wool and their goats, Terry Crannell and a Native American artifact collection, a display of historic items that have been unearthed around the county by local metal detector Tim Webster and more. Area nonprofits will be on hand to share information about their organizations.

Large scale, very active children and adult artwork will be performed for free by festival goers and includes painting with flyswatters and other unusual tools. There will be a silent auction of artwork that has been created by DCHS’ Board members and includes decoys, shell art mirror, stitched and knitted items, string art and more.

At the other end of the venue, the Chicone Ruritans will cook up a full offering of food that includes hamburgers, hot dogs, crab balls and more. Shelley Abbott will provide entertainment for this end and is always a big hit. The Welcome Center will offer chances on this year’s Heritage Raffle, which will be drawn at 4 pm on the day of the festival. This year’s raffle contains many different things and is held in a 1950s Coca Cola cooler.

For the first time, festival-goers will have the opportunity to design and print their own t-shirts. Attendees can even bring a t-shirt and print on it for $5/print. T-shirts whether self designed or already made will be sold for $12 each or 2/$20.

For information about the festival, call 410-228-7953 e-mail or visit

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