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In wining, dining and grooving 

Fowler´s--Durham´s specialty "fine food and wines" shop located in the historic tobacco district--kicks off a series of special events/music showcases Saturday, August 26, with the 2nd annual Big Fat Funky Red Tomato Ball. Fowler´s Special Events Coordinator Lora Brooker decided downtown Durham could use some cool rock shows, so she´s combined her love of fine food and local music to coordinate a series of Fowler´s theme nights (at least one each month). The Tomato Ball starts with a tomato juice "Happy Hour" at 5:30 p.m., followed by a buffet dinner featuring NC-style BBQ, chicken, hushpuppies and sweet tea, not to mention a banana pudd´n eating contest (bring yer bib). From 9 p.m. to midnight, check out the alt-country sounds of Charlotte´s Lou Ford (pictured) and Chapel Hill´s Grand National (the new project from fIREHOSE´s Ed Crawford) on their outdoor stage. The parking lot will be cleared for dancing and there´ll be a tent if it rains. Carolina micro-brews and Biltmore Estate wine will be available all evening. Tickets: $20 for evening; $10 for music only. --Angie Carlson

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